First Psychiatric Hospital: A Study in Contrast

Filed under: History, Mental illness | No Comments

“WORKROOM” Bethlem Royal Hospital of London (1860) founded 1330 … you find yourself in a long and wide gallery, on either side of which are a large number of little cells where lunatics of every description are shut up, and you can get a sight of these poor creatures, little windows being let into the …

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A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

Haidt on Us-vs-Them

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, Justice | 2 Comments

Below is a TED talk by Jonathan Haidt, the social psychologist who wrote The Righteous Mind, in which he introduced six belief categories: important issues to Democrats are care/harm, liberty/oppression, and fairness/cheating, whereas for Republicans the most important issues are loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/ degradation. In this video he tells us that openness to new …

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Republicans Not As Happy As they Think They Are

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology

“A true saying it is: Desire hath no rest, is infinite in itself, endless, and as one calls it, a perpetual rack, or horse-mill.” –Saint Augustine (354-430) The modern science of happiness appeared on the radar screen in 1978 with Brickman, Coates and Janoff-Bulman’s paper entitled “Lottery Winners and Accident Victims: Is Happiness Relative?” In …

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Rules To Live By: Hierarchy

Rules To Live By in a Hierarchy

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, eccology, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature | 2 Comments

The fundamental unit of behavior in a hierarchy consists of a political triangle: two attempting to intimidate a third. When four possible political triangles between four individuals socially interact, the individual with the most alliances ends up at the apex of a stable social pyramid in which all four members are bound together by bonds …

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Anti-Trump for Dummies

Anti-Trumpitude for Dummies

Filed under: Ancient human migration, Belief, Evolution of Emotion, Justice, Self domestication

. . . Justice is The Human Instinct Anthropologist Christopher Boehm has been a pioneer in documenting in nomadic hunter-gatherers their “deliberate use of social sanctioning to enforce political equality among fully adult males including ridicule, shunning, and even killing those with persistently selfish dominance behavior,” giving detailed examples from tribes on every continent. Why …

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The Meaning of Belief

The Meaning of Belief

Filed under: Belief, Enlightenment Narrative, Human Nature | 2 Comments

The term “belief” originally referred exclusively to one’s loyalty and affinity, such as when people say that they believe in a sports team, which clearly carries an emotional and competitive connotation. William Cantwell Smith points out in his Belief and History (1977) that it has only been since the Enlightenment, when knowledge became more theoretical, …

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Trump & Evolutioon

TRUMP for DUMMIES

Filed under: Belief, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature

It’s called Darwinism Human nature is determined by: 1) The survival of the fittest (natural selection); 2) Including group selection: There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to give aid to each …

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Irish and Drinking

Drinking & the Irish

Filed under: Human Nature | 1 Comment

Breaking the Code of Silence: The Irish and Drink Dr. Garrett O’Connor (from Irish America) Why We Drink Contemporary Irish drinking patterns, particularly drinking regularly to intoxication, have their roots in history where alcohol often made the difference between survival and death. This propensity has been carried down in the Irish cultural DNA as a …

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Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde

Blackouts Lead to Violence

Filed under: Mental illness

Below is the conclusion of a scholarly review of the association between violence and dissociation (similar to blackouts). The author found studies ranging from 10 to 49% correlation between the two. It describes how blackouts can lead to violence as well as the other way round. From: Dissociation and Violence: A Review of the Literature …

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Alcohol Blackouts

Filed under: Human Nature, Mental illness | 2 Comments

From  Addiction Professional: “Take blackouts seriously” by Donal F. Sweeney, MD, FACP, FASAM, July 15, 2011: Long neglected and misunderstood, the alcohol blackout is now being recognized as a serious medical condition worthy of clinical treatment. Blackouts are as old as the grape and as common as swizzle sticks, yet until recently they were considered …

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Narrative Truth

Narrative (vs empirical) Truth

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, History, Myth | 2 Comments

“What brings you in today?” you ask after a new patient sits down in your office. The first order of business is a chronology of the present illness. Precisely when did the problem start? What was happening both at that moment and more generally in his/her life? Then the present illness prompts targeted questions about …

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Mental Illness Not Genetic

Mental Illnesses Not Genetic

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness

Second post in a series starting with previous post. Mental illness all in your genes? Think again. A major study by the Brainstorm Consortium comprised of hundreds of investigators over the course of five years was published in the June 22, 2018 issue of Science and entitled, “Analysis of shared heritability in common disorders of …

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Mind vs. Brain

EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOANALYSIS

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness

Passages from my current project entitled Evolutionary Psychoanalysis: Preface This book is written for those who care for and about the mentally ill. That includes psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers, and psychiatric nurses. I am particularly eager for those in training to read it, as your attitudes toward the mentally ill are in the process …

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UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTION CAUSING SUICIDE

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness

With two high-profile suicides in the news, it is timely to discuss the inner experience of the most lethal form of depression. Seeking escape from an intense feeling of entrapment is intrinsic to melancholic depression, among the most dreaded of all mental illnesses. Aptly named by Hippocrates, melancholia means “black bile,” a potent metaphor for …

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PREGAME—PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE INSTEAD OF ANTHEM

Filed under: Belief, Faith, God, Justice | 2 Comments

From Wikipedia: The Pledge of Allegiance was originally composed by Captain George Thatcher Balch, a Union Army Officer during the Civil War and later a teacher of patriotism in New York City schools.[6][7] The form of the pledge used today was largely devised by Francis Bellamy in 1892, and formally adopted by Congress as the …

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Elastic relationships

Inside the Most Common Type of Depression

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, Mental illness | 1 Comment

I practiced psychiatry during the period in which the paradigm of the mind shifted from the perspective of how it is experienced from the inside (i.e.: phenomenology, mainly psychoanalytic theory) to the examination of how it works from the outside, i.e.: neurochemistry, genetics, and cognitions. The impact of Prozac on this shift cannot be exaggerated. …

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The Human Spirit

The Human Spirit: Love

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, eccology, Evolution of Emotion, Human Nature, The Ascension of the Human Spirit

During the decade in which I was actively engaged in marital therapy, I became convinced that hidden beneath more superficial reasons that people marry each other is an evolved instinct to re-balance their respective temperaments. Temperament is the component of personality that is derived exclusively from genes and is comprised of blends of paired social …

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Seafaring Homo erectus

Human Evolution: Earlier and Earlier

Filed under: Ancient human migration, History, Migration

A rule of human evolution research is that the milestones in the progression of becoming human are always getting earlier. The most prominent of those backward-creeping milestones is the date of the appearance of our own Homo sapiens species. Driven by new dating techniques, the fossils in Jebel Irhoud Morocco were revealed to be 300,000 …

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