Executing The Mentally Ill

JamesThis is happening tomorrow by the way. A mentally ill man is being executed in Ohio. The story is here. The basis of the execution is that Abdul Awkal killed two people. As far as I can tell, he did not plead insanity. However, while in prison, he has been diagnosed with PTSD as well as Schizoaffective disorder. And the condition is recognized by the courts, only, not enough to warrant an appeal. And the biggest difficulty that I find in this case is that the diagnosing psychiatrist says that Abdul Awkal is so detached from reality that he does not know why he is being executed. If this is all true, then the state is executing someone who has no understanding of his crimes. Continue reading


Sensory Integration Dysfunction and Mental Disorder

Lulu newSensory Integration Dysfunction and Mental Disorder.

Most of my research in the past has been centered around affective disorders, theories surrounding the causation of dysfunction, and the cognition / behaviors that sustain it. I am broadening my horizons to include many mental health disorders and developmental disorder, particularly autism.

I have had a theory for awhile that hinged almost completely on curious connections I’ve made between bipolar disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Continue reading

“Serious” Mental Illness

DeeDee newI’ve seen references to “serious” mental illness here and there. What the heck does that mean? Even Google can’t give me a clear answer. A fantastic blog post by Kaitlin Bell Barnett pretty well says everything I would have said about this topic. Rats. Now I have to come up with something more.

A point I’d like to specifically highlight is that most of the time, this term is reserved for illnesses that involve mania or psychosis: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. The National Institute on Mental Health uses a broader definition: Continue reading

The Land of Anti-Psychotics

MondayI’ve been reasonably stable (or at least no one has complained loudly) over the past several years by taking Lamictal alone for bipolar.  However, my moods have gradually gotten out of control over the past year. I realized (and admitted) that I needed a meds adjustment, so I found a psychiatrist who believes in the teamwork approach to meds management.  Thus, she sent me on a quest for new medications; I’ve always been opposed to lithium, but she asked me to consider it and also to look into the anti-psychotics.  In fact, she loaned me a book that describes the mechanisms behind how (it is believed that) they work. Continue reading