Forced treatment, nervous breakdowns and trauma in childhood: news and blogs on Wednesday

Midweek reading:

  • On the Verge of ‘Vital Exhaustion’? — NYTs — The history of the term “nervous breakdown” — The vagueness of the phrase [nervous breakdown] made it impossible to survey the prevalence of any specific mental problem…[it] allowed the speaker, not the medical professionals, to control its meaning…a breakdown, after all, is something that happens to cars. It’s a temporary problem; or at least, not necessarily chronic.
  • How a deprived childhood leaves its mark on the brain — The Independent — Certainly not all abused and hurt children become violent. Trauma and abuse is generally part of most people’s lives who get psychiatric labels. “If the maltreatment of children is altering their developmental pathways then we are not dealing with children who are morally flawed. The public perception is that these children are just like anyone else until they come to the point of doing something bad. Then the public decides these children have made a thought-through decision, when the vast majority will not have thought at all – their violence was almost instinctive.”
  • iTherapy — Spit, Bristle and Fury — Our relationship with technology never ceases to amaze me — mostly in its ability become a substitute for actual relationships. For better or worse, the cell phone has had a clear impact on the way we interact with each other. We think we’ve had a nice chat with a friend when we’ve sent them text messages from the back of a cab or a line for the bathroom. We know what our friends and family are up to because we’ve read the status updates and seen the pictures on their facebook profile.

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