Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Soundtrack to my Life

"Live Like You Were Dying"- Tim McGraw- This song is very personal to me because it was played repeatedly at my cousin, Kevin's, funeral last April when he passed away after a year and a half long battle with pancreatic cancer. I always thought this song was upbeat and gave a good message, but I never really thought to hard about it until I heard it at Kevin's funeral. When Kevin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009 he decided to live every day to the very fullest since he knew he didn't have very much longer (just like the song). He accomplished some of the most amazing things and most importantly spread cancer awareness to numerous fire stations. Kevin was a firefighter, which was the likely cause of his cancer from breathing in all the smoke and debris. Every time I hear this song I think of Kevin and all the awesome things he accomplished when he was "living like he was dying" with no regrets and doing the things he always dreamed of doing. It inspires me to accomplish my dreams and to live every day to the fullest because you never know when it could be your last.

"All I Want For Christmas Is You"- Michael Buble- I am one of those people that only listen to Christmas music after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Research Practice

"Tiger's story of repeated unsuccessful genital surgery is shocking, but not rare" (Preves, 2003, p. 31)

Preves, S. (2003). Intersex and identity: The contested self. Piscataway, NJ: Rutger's University Press

This is a book that it all about what it means to be intersex relating to hormones as well as the appearance of genitals. It contains a chapter that is solely on medical sex assignment. It seems like it will be very helpful for me as I am explaining the processes they have for cosmetic surgery. However, the book seems to hold a view that is against medical sex assignment and is for accepting who you are. The reasons I can tell this is because a few of the chapters titles are "Intersex Pride" and "Seeds of Change". Overall it will be helpful to give me background knowledge on this topic.

"In the majority of our sample of intersex adults the longterm outcome(of medical sex assignment) appears to be more favorable than some current rhetoric suggests" (Meyer-Bahlburg et al, 2004, p. 1618)

Meyer-Bahlburg et al. (2004) Attitudes of adult 46, XY intersex persons to clinical management policies.  The Journal of Urology, 171, 1615-1619.

This is an article that consists of a study that was done to find out the perspectives of people that had had medical sex assignment surgery. Their findings were that people felt positive about it, which is an opposing viewpoint of my last source. This article will give me something to compare the research that have a negative view on medical sex assignment. It will be very useful to me. It also seems pretty solid because people actually did research and it is published in a journal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chapters 10 and 11

In chapter 10, The Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley, in Jon Ronson's book The Psychopath Test, Ronson talks to the creators of the evolving DSM checklists and discusses the views that psychiatrists and the rest of the population has on the checklists. Ronson first sits down and talks with Robert Spitzer. Spitzer was fascinated with classifying people because he saw his mom see different psychoanalysis to try to figure out what was wrong with her, but they never could. So he created the first DSM that was just 65 pages and could classify people to different disorders. Spitzer started to take different ideas from numerous other psychiatrists and they kept adding to the DSM collection to the point that pretty much every person with a little behavioral problem was classified to some disorder. The effects of the new DSM was that much more medications were selling because people thought they needed drugs to treat their problems, therefore the drug industry was booming. Some people, like Gary Maier, believe that we are diagnosing too many people with disorders and medicating people too quickly. Spitzer has started to realize toward the end of the chapter that maybe the DSM suggests too many people have disorders when they are really reflecting normal behavior.

These chapters made me very upset! I think it might have been because I just got done taking a sociology test that sort of relates to this chapter. The book is talking about diagnosing people with mental illness, which is basically all guessing, and our whole sociology test was based on people's theories, that aren't even true for everyone. People everywhere are trying to understand how the brain works and if the beetle is really in the box. Well i don't think anyone will every really know what is going on so why don't they stop trying? Maybe it is all a way to create more jobs and get more money circulating in the economy. If people think they have a mental illness, they will think they need to see a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist is getting paid, and probably going to refer them to get drugs. The drugs will be purchased from the pharmacist generating more money in the economy. Before the psychopath tests or DSM tests were around people were just fine, granted some people really do have cognitive disabilities. But people are making up the strangest disorders, like picking your nose. So overall I guess I just don't understand what a psychopath really is and I think there should somehow be a level of madness they need to surpass before they can be incarcerated or put on medication.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chapters 8 and 9

Jon Ronson, in chapter 8 of The Psychopath Test, examines the different episodes of madness from David Shayler to tell which episode was the "right sort of madness" according to the media. The first episode examined was the bombing of the carriage on July 7th. David Shayler was convinced that this bombing never happened. When a passenger of this carriage, Rachel North, expressed her turmoil in response to this event he didn't believe that Rachel even existed. He was convinced that people were making up this occurrence under her name on the internet and trying to make people believe the bombing happened through pictures and blog posts. Even when Rachel presented herself to David he still didn't believe her. The second episode was that he believed 9/11 didn't happen and it was just the United States putting on the whole attack. His third episode was that he claimed he was the Messiah and that everyone should follow him if they want eternal life. The episode out of these three that was covered most extensively by the media was his belief that 9/11 never happened. The media had established that David exhibited the "right sort of madness" that is interesting to viewers because they like to see people that are more mad than they are in order to classify themselves as normal.

I thought these two paragraphs were quite funny because they were so absurd. In chapter 8 it showed the crazy thoughts of David Shayler and how the media covered those thoughts. The only thing i was questioning was whether his thoughts on the 9/11 attacks were just covered more because it was a much bigger event that affected more people or if it really was because that was deemed "the right sort of crazy". This chapter also made me think about how the world kind of feeds off of other people's madness. For example, people watch the crazy people on shows, like Jersey Shore and Wifeswap, and it makes them feel better about their own lives because they aren't as crazy as these people are or have as many problems as the people on TV do. As I read chapter nine I felt myself sort of get annoyed with Bob Hare and how he just calls everyone a psychopath. The concierge just yelled at Jon Ronson for using his phone and Bob thought the was a psychopath. I also felt bad for Colin Stagg because he didn't even have anything to do with the murder, but he was getting interrogated by an undercover policewoman for being a witness just because he fit the qualifications of a murderer according to Paul Britton. I just don't understand how that can happen to a person without any substantial evidence supporting his belief of Stagg being the murderer.