The term neurodiversity was coined by Judy Singer in 1998. A lot has changed in the two decades since that first essay about neurological differences was published in The Atlantic . The neurodiversity movement has burgeoned through grassroots organization among people interested in social change. It's gradually making space for itself in government, research, and education . As Steve Silberman argues in his book Neuro-Tribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity , “Neurodiversity advocates propose that instead of viewing this gift as an error of nature—a puzzle to be solved and eliminated with techniques like prenatal testing and selective abortion—society should regard it as a valuable part of humanity’s genetic legacy while ameliorating aspects of autism that can be profoundly disabling without adequate forms of support.” Philosophically, the neurodiversity movement is based on what we might call cerebral pluralism—the idea that each brain is … [Read more...] about Neurodiversity: The Movement
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I have a confession to make: I like mixed martial arts (MMA) and the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Yes, I get that, as a psychologist who is a huge advocate of peace, compassion, kindness, and well-being, this doesn't make a lot of sense. One might understandably call me a hypocrite, especially if you have read some of my other blogs! I can accept that. Maybe it's just a rationalization to say that we are all hypocrites in ways. None of us lives up to our own ideals. Also, we are tempted to judge others, and sometimes ourselves, in dualistic, all-or-nothing ways. Thus, when I say I like the UFC, that seeming contradiction or hypocrisy might be enough for many readers to judge me harshly and discount anything I say. I hope you don't though! To be quite honest, I do feel a certain level of cognitive dissonance about my enjoyment of UFC (and American football). I'm still trying to understand these contradictions within myself. Let me provide a little backstory that … [Read more...] about What UFC Fighters Can Teach Us About Getting Along Better
Keeping senior Covid blues away Source: Photo by Gail Melson I come by my expertise to speak for all stressed seniors out there with just one number—78. That’s the age I will turn in two months. Since early March, the last time I went out to a restaurant, traveled on a plane, or did something so radical as shopped in a grocery store, I’ve been living the Covid life with my husband at home. We are extraordinarily lucky and privileged. We are financially secure in a comfortable retirement ; we are healthy, and our children and grandchildren are too. What’s more, we are sheltering in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, Cape Cod, where miles of pristine beaches beckon in every direction. Socially distancing here, even in the summer tourist season, can mean spying a lone beach walker through binoculars. What do I have to complain about? Rationally, the answer is nothing. Yet, I find myself fighting off malaise and Covid Blues of the senior variety. And I am not … [Read more...] about Covid-19 and the Mental Health of Seniors
In 2013, personality disorder afficionados reviewing the newly released Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , 5th Edition (DSM-5), noticed a unique classification. Schizoptypal Personality Disorder would be considered both as a personality disorder and as part of a non-personality category: Schizophrenia and Related Disorders. Recognized in some form since at least 1668 (Millon, 1996), it seems this puzzling condition has taxonomically come full circle, and it remains mysterious. Source: Gabby-K/Pexels Dementia Praecox to Schizophrenia Phenotype Psychiatric researchers in the 1800s considered the appearance in adolescence of chronic, emotionally detached, eccentric-thinking presentations as indicative of a precocious onset of Dementia Praecox. This was an earlier term for Schizophrenia, which usually surfaces in the 20s to early 30s. In the early 1900s, Eugen Bleuler realized most early-onset cases didn’t lead to progressive … [Read more...] about Schizophrenia or Schizotypal Personality?
Most people who have experienced serious anxiety find it hard to believe that there could be anything good about it, but there is. If a genie ever emerges from a bottle and offers to make you anxiety-free for the rest of your life, don’t take him up on it until you consider this research finding: The only identifiable group of people who have practically no anxiety are psychopaths. The unifying theme of this post is an idea traceable to Aristotle, Buddha, and Confucius and supported by a great deal of recent research: Effective psychological functioning usually involves some kind of moderate balance between opposite extremes ( Shapiro, 2020a ). This means most forms of dysfunction involve potentially effective ways of functioning that have gone too far. The best way to understand this idea is to picture spectrums that show the full range of the dimension in question. Here are three classic examples. Scaled Dimensions of Functioning Source: Shapiro, 2015, p. 80. John … [Read more...] about How to Right-Size Your Anxiety