It's Not Me. It's My OCD: The Evolution of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Postpartum OCD, and Obsessive Personalities

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under General


Every day, people use the phrase "OCD" to describe any number of behaviors, from being meticulous about appearance to the desire to get things completed a certain way: 

"I just cannot go to bed with dishes in the sink. I'm SO OCD." 

SPOILER ALERT: That ain't OCD (though it might be a different condition, so read on). 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a lifelong condition that usually shows up during puberty or early adulthood and is identified by (you guessed it) obsessions and compulsions. OCD is equally likely to occur in men and women, and affects around 2% of the population1. And it can be absolutely debilitating. This is not a "sink full of dishes" type concern. OCD can be a "I'm not leaving my house today because I'm too busy scrubbing my hands raw" kind of concern. 

Aside from the obsessions and compulsions, most with OCD tend to worry, usually about how worried and anxious they are. But make no mistake; whether they are seen as over-reactors, as overly sensitive or as obsessive, the whole thing is scary as fuck. I really think that phrase should be a part of the clinical definition of OCD, which is why they will never hire me to write that book, though I guarantee mine would be more entertaining to read. Maybe I will write my own, dammit....  continue reading

Are Criminals Blameworthy Or Are They Victims? American Justice, Mental Illness and the Illusion of Free Will

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under General

Justice. 

It is an uncomfortable topic, particularly once we begin to explore mental health issues within the context of American prisons. There are currently ten times the number of individuals with serious mental illness in jails and state prisons than there are in state mental hospitals1. Prisons are currently our way of housing the mentally ill, de facto institutions when we find ourselves without appropriate healthcare facilities for long-term commitments.

Most prisoners are worse off biologically and emotionally when they emerge, increasing rates for re-offense. Not that this bothers us much; we assume that one who has been put away is a menace to society anyway, an individual who will surely do more harm than good. After all, you have to do something to get locked up. It is that action that we judge in our courthouses. 

But neuroscientist David Eagleman has a slightly different take on the notion of justice in Incognito. Ealgeman argues that it is not simply the act committed that we should look at during sentencing. To judge an individual, we must identify how blameworthy they are. 

And that, my friends, is a more difficult subject than most realize....  continue reading

On Love. And Hate. And Trump. And Us.

Friday, November 11, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under General


Trump is the president-elect. I sincerely can’t believe I’m typing that sentence. Because it feels like betrayal. 

If someone called me a “Mexican rapist” and you gave him a hug, I’d not be thrilled. If someone said they have the right to grab me without permission and you give them a job..again, not happy. But I must try to understand. Because this is bigger than me. It’s bigger than any of us.

If you’ve been with me any length of time, you know I’m a liberal, and unapologetically so. But my college-educated, pro-female, anti-bigotry, DEMOCRAT husband’s candidate was Donald “grab-them-by-the-pussy” Trump. Maybe I, for my own sanity, am being forced into a corner. I HAVE to understand. I have to see. Because I know, perhaps better than most people, that not all Trump supporters are bigots and xenophobes. I know, because no way in hell would I marry one....  continue reading

Is America Being Overmedicated? Suffering From Undertreatment

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under General

 

In part one of this series, we saw that the pharmaceutical industry has evolved to influence modern care practices in ways that directly impact our health. In part two, we explored the ways that marketing can potentially trigger individuals to seek medications they may not benefit from

However, the issues of overdiagnosis and overmedication pale in comparison to undertreatment....  continue reading

Is America Being Overmedicated? Making People Sick to Make Them Well

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under General

In the last post, (Is America Being Overmedicated? Money, Medicine and the Pharmaceutical Industry) we explored the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on health care, the impact of biased research studies and the evolution of big money in health treatment. It is obvious that the drug companies exert a great deal of influence over modern health care practices. 

But how exactly does it trickle down to us?...  continue reading

Is American Being Overmedicated? Money, Medication and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under General

There are many who believe that some normal personalities are patholgized—treated like illness—in a culture where only certain

traits are rewarded (click here for more on that). There is also a tendency to look down on those who have traits that don’t mesh with our society’s version of success. 

However, whether we overmedicate individuals for these traits is a hot button topic.  

Many believe that people are prone to seek drugs based on a misunderstanding of symptoms or for “quick fix” reasons. Others think that parents and schools are actively trying to medicate children to make their lives easier. 

So, are people actually being overmedicated for mental health problems?...  continue reading