My favorite past time has never been reading, but in Grad School, there is a Huge emphasis on it (duh) - research, books and various other journal articles. These are two of the good books I'm currently reading for classes:
The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Saks....
Elyn Saks is a success by any measure: she's an endowed professor at the prestigious University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She has managed to achieve this in spite of being diagnosed as schizophrenic and given a "grave" prognosis — and suffering the effects of her illness throughout her life.
Saks was only eight, and living an otherwise idyllic childhood in sunny 1960s Miami, when her first symptoms appeared in the form of obsessions and night terrors. But it was not until she reached Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar that her first full-blown episode, complete with voices in her head and terrifying suicidal fantasies, forced her into a psychiatric hospital.
Saks would later attend Yale Law School where one night, during her first term, she had a breakdown that left her singing on the roof of the law school library at midnight. She was taken to the emergency room, force-fed antipsychotic medication, and tied hand-and-foot to the cold metal of a hospital bed. She spent the next five months in a psychiatric ward.
Without Conscience, by Robert Hare.....
After reading this extremely sobering text, and it is strongly suggested you do, you will recognize someone in your past, present or future to be a psychopath. As Hare suggests, it is dangerous to label individuals without proper clinical research including intense interviews and applying the "Psychopathic Checklist" before a likely diagnosis can be made. However recent research has shown that there are literally millions of psychopaths in jail, mental institutions or simply walking the streets. They can be in your work places, a problem child or sharing your bed. It's a frightening thought, and this book has been written to outline the essential characteristics of the psychopath and a general "survival guide" to help us recognize and prevent the majority of harm to oneself and our loved ones.
I'm also working on a research paper concerning Antisocial Personality Disorder for Adult Psychopathology II and a Behavior Modification Project for my Cognitive Behavioral Therapy classes. So, I'll try my best to post on a regular basis.
Ray and I are heading down to our local sportsbar to watch the game this Sunday. We'll be meeting up with some friends - drunken floozie photos to come. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite Charger Girls to oggle: Say Hello to Ashley M. Meet Lauren: Introducing Michelle:
He will choose you, disarm you with his words, and control you with this presence. He will delight you with his wit and his plans. He will show you a good time, but you will always get the bill. He will smile and deceive you, and he will scare you with his eyes. And when he is through with you, and he will be through with you, he will desert you and take with him your innocence and your pride. You will be left much sadder but not a lot wiser, and for a long time you will wonder what happened and what you did wrong. And if another of his kind comes knocking at your door, will you open it? -From an essay signed, "A psychopath in prison."
Last night in class, we began training on the Rorschach Inkblot test. Here is a sample inkblot (not taking from the actual test, that would be unethical) taken from an independent resource. What do you see? Most people see more than one thing...
We analyzed this case study last night in class (Psychopathology II):
The Case of Tommy D
27 year old single Latino male, admitted 3 years ago to Metropolitan State Hospital as a transfer from a local community psychiatric unit on a LPSconservatorship. Prior to hospitalization he was residing in a board & care home, where he allegedly sexually assaulted a female peer (but was not arrested) - allegedly showing no guilt or remorse.
Currently (1 year +) being treated on a forensic treatment unit due to unmanageable violent (to self & others) behavior on a LPS unit, on continuous 1:1 staff monitoring.
Born in L.A. suburb to an intact marriage as the 2nd of 3 full siblings (sister 15 years older, brother 1 year younger) and has 1 younger half sister (13 y.o.).
His father died of undisclosed cause when Tommy was 7.
Mother remarried soon after for a few years, Tommy did not get along with him. Probable physical abuse. There is strong suspicion of sexual abuse by an uncle and at least one other incident in his early teens.
Birth is described as non-eventful. Mother reports that his eyes crossed at 2 months. At age 9 & 13 he had a head injuries.
Violent, acting-out behavior toward adults and children was noted from early elementary on, resulting in very limited and poor peer relations.
At the age of 9, he was evaluated by the Regional Center; an IEP at this time identified him as markedly below average cognitively (<>
By 19, he was assessed at 1st grade reading, 2nd grade math, 1st grade writing (2 or 3 word sentences).
Behavior problems escalated through his teens, including attacking and threatening teachers & behavioral aides, threats of rape, and culminating in a 5150 hold for threats to kill his mother with a rock at age 17, resulting in foster/group home placement.
Tommy has also been diagnosed and treated as an insulin-dependant diabetic since the age of 16. He also has hypertension controlled by medication.
Mental health treatment included outpatient psychiatry and therapy, group treatment, group homes, and several inpatient admissions from the age of 17 on.When the police arrived to place him on his most recent hold, he threatened to kill the police and hang himself, then carved on his arm with a plastic spoon.
Before and since admission, history includes angry outbursts toward staff and peers, property destruction, and self-abuse (head banging, breaking glass to cut self, burning self).
He has reported hearing voices of both men and women, at times "commanding" him to strike out or "kill", although he is typically very unspecific as to content; he also expresses some paranoia (though not bizarre in content).
In terms of recent mental status, he is alert and oriented X 4, thoughts are linear and usually coherent, speech is normal rate and volume, grooming is good, affect is typically labile, at times laughing and euthymic-at times angry and brooding, insight and judgment are impaired, he has been known to make childlike grandiose statements of abilities and talents (sometimes presenting self as a "gangster").
"Challenging"behavior since admission to MSH which led to transfer to forensic unit (and constant 1:1) includes violent, impulsive behavior (destroying property, throwing chairs, making and using weapons, hitting, AWOL attempts, etc.), self-abusive behaviors (cutting, hitting, swallowing foreign objects).
Behaviors often appear in reaction to jealousy (others getting new items or more attention) or visits or phone calls from his mother (big trigger), and have been preceded by Tommy talking in "his little boy voice".Temper tantrums and crying fits have also been noted.
Behavior analysis and interviews revealed that Tommy seeks to please staff when not upset, likes to be "babied" or nurtured, but also likes to appear "strong and manly"-exercising frequently and taking off his shirt to flex his muscles.
Very sensitive to change in or reaction of staff, or to feedback or expectations (self-sabotage), very hard time managing frustration, anxiety, disappointment Current medications are: Seroquel (atypical antipsychotic) 1200mg; Zoloft (antidepressant) 200mg; & Tegretol (anticonvulsant/mood stabilizer) 700 mg
Professionalization Group II (basically a discussion group)
Psychopathology II (A continuation of Psychopathology I, this course covers the description, etiology, assessment, emphasizing understanding of more severe psychological disorders. Schizophrenic spectrum disorders, mood disorders, and personality disorders are included. Adult Psychopathology II studies a subset of the major psychological/psychiatric disorders of adulthood as delineated in the DSM-IV TR. The course is focused on both descriptive or phenomenological diagnosis, as well as on the developmental and dynamic elements that contribute to psychopathological conditions. Focus will be given primarily, but not exclusively, to more moderate to severe pathological syndromes. Important consideration will also be given to such topics as understanding the empirical basis of the prevailing nosological system, issues of comorbidity, differential diagnosis, course of illness, treatment considerations and psychodynamic diagnosis. The integration of descriptive and dynamic models of diagnosis will be emphasized.)
Projective Personality Assessment (in this class I will get training on how to administer the Rorschach inkblot test - any volunteers?) Cognitive Behavioral Theory/Therapy (Major cognitive-behavioral therapies, as well as their theoretical foundations, are reviewed in this course. There is an emphasis on developing skills in cognitive behavioral analysis and treatment, with special attention to the treatment of selected disorders and personality styles.)
Ya, I'm gonna play. I have not played poker since the last Bodonkey so it should be interesting!
Day of week: Tuesday January 1st, 2008 New Year’s Day
Start Time: 9:05 pm ET
Tournament Name: “Online Poker Blogger Tournament” at BodogEntry
Buy-in + fee: $10 + $1
Starting Chips: 3000 (Double Stack)
Payout: Standard Bodog payout structure
Bonuses:T$109 bonus paid to the top 5 finishers.
T$11 bonus paid to the 5 players that are eliminated prior to payouts.These bonuses will be awarded within 24hrs of the tournament completion.T$ = Tournament Credits. These can be used as a buy in to almost all scheduled tournaments at Bodog and have a ratio to cash of 1:1.T$ can also be combined with cash to buy in to tournaments.