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Posted: October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween, readers! Today’s topic is Edgar Allan Poe, the famous writer of dark tales and stories. With his own lived experiences with addiction, and his interest in science, psychology is all over his work in very exciting ways. Edgar Allan Poe was an author and literary critic in the early 1800s. His parents died when he was young, and he was adopted by the Allan family in Richmond. He dropped out of the University of Virginia due to gambling debts, enrolled in the army and went to...

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Posted: October 17, 2013

Crime is usually connected to mental health in fiction. What that really means and what that looks like in fiction may vary a bit, with some stories showing empathy for the person and others favoring lock them up and throw away the key scenarios. Often the interactions are cheap and over simplified and cater to the lowest common denominator. A perfect example of this is Primal Fear. Primal Fear is the 1996 movie that launched Edward Norton’s career. The story focuses on Richard Gere’s...

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Posted: October 10, 2013

It’s October, so I thought I’d use this month’s blog posts to go back to where we started, with horror. (I’m not reviewing this season’s American Horror Story.) The perfect place to start is with Fatal Attraction, with one of the most obvious villains with mental health conditions in film history. Fatal Attraction is a 1987 movie starring Michael Douglas as Dan, a seemingly happy family man, Anne Archer as his wife Beth and Glenn Close as Alex, a woman he has an affair with. Dan and Alex have...

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Posted: October 3, 2013

The ‘90s don’t seem like that long ago, certainly not 20 years. But having watched a bunch of ‘90s movies for this blog, I’ve come away with the thought that things really have changed. Nell brought that point home very clearly. The movie Nell was made in 1994 and stars Jodie Foster as the title character. A young woman raised in isolation by her grandmother, she is “found” after the older woman’s death, and it is discovered that she speaks a made-up language. The local town doctor, played...

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Posted: September 26, 2013

One of the great things about this blog is finding unknown or hidden places where mental health conditions are being addressed and looking at what is being said about them. One of the great, positive frontiers is children’s television.  Newer shows seem much more willing to take a look at these controversial issues head on. One recent example is Adventure Time’s season four episode “I Remember You.” Adventure Time is a Cartoon Network show about a boy named Finn and his shape-shifting,...

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Posted: September 20, 2013

Tender is the Night is one of those books that has been on my to read list for as long as I can remember. Considered one of the classics of American literature, its reputation precedes it, to the point of obscuring what the novel is actually about. A scathing review of the idle rich and mental health in the 1920s and 1930s, the novel illuminates one ugly, persuasive view of psychiatry. Tender is Night is about Dick and Nicole Driver, two rich expat Americans in Europe after World War I. Dick...

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Posted: August 30, 2013

The movie A Dangerous Method focuses on one specific aspect of psychology, the early years of psychoanalysis. The interaction between the well-known psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung was seminal in the creation of the new discipline. What the movie looks at is the importance of two other, less famous colleagues, Sabrina Spielrein and Otto Gross, who were influential at the beginning of the movement. The movie focuses on Sabina Spielrein, a young woman admitted to Burghölzli, the famous...

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Posted: August 23, 2013

Prozac Nation is a movie that’s been on my Netflix Queue for a long time. It’s been one of  those movies that keeps getting pushed down when something more interesting comes up, with the reasoning that I’ll get to it eventually. I wish I hadn’t gotten to it. It’s one of the more infuriating movies I’ve seen in a long time, and that’s not a good thing. Prozac Nation is based on Elizabeth Wertzel’s book of the same name, about her mental health breakdown during her first year at Harvard....

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Posted: August 11, 2013

Debbie Plotnick, Mental Health America’s Senior Director of State Policy, will speak at Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research Panel on the Affordable Care Act on Saturday, November 16, from 2:00 – 5:00 pm. Other panelists are: Michael Campbell, JD, Director, Villanova University Law School Health Clinic, and Koyuki Yip, of the Public Policy Department of the Maternity Care Coalition. Moderator of the panel is Darlyne Bailey, Dean of Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School...

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Posted: July 25, 2013

Does familiarity with a story dim its effects on a person?If over 400 years have passed since its creation, can a play still encourage a person to self-harm?With William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it seems that question is still very open. The numerous movies made of the story help keep it in the public consciousness, like Baz Lurhmann’s 1996 adaptation, Romeo+Juliet. The play centers on Romeo and Juliet, two young lovers from warring families who fall in love at a party.  After...

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Posted: July 18, 2013

Perception, the TNT television show, has an interesting hook. The main character, Dr. Daniel Pierce, is a neuroscientist who assists the FBI with cases. He also has paranoid schizophrenia. Instead of making him an empty shell of nervous tics, the show makes Dr. Pierce a fully formed person. Entering its second season, Perception focuses on Dr. Pierce, played wonderfully by Eric McCormack, and Agent Kate Moretti, played by Rachel Leigh Cook. She’s a former student of his who brings him in to...

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Posted: May 7, 2013

As you may have heard, sequestration resulted in the cancellation of funding of consumer scholarships to Mental Health America’s 2013 Annual Conference, Why Welllness Works: Breakthroughs and Pathways to Whole Health, June 5-8, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland In the past, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provided funding for people with mental health and substance use conditions to attend Mental...

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