Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Three Shrinks Podcast 33: Inane Banter

[32] . . . [33] . . . [34] . . . [All]

Sorry for the delay in posting podcasts. I didn't get this posted last week due to a family emergency, but should be regular for a while now.

Podcast #34 will feature a guest speaker, Mark Komrad MD, who used to have a nationally syndicated radio call-in show about psychiatry. Be sure to check that out next week.

September 16, 2007: #33 Inane Banter

Topics include:
  • Q&A from Jennifer: "In your relationships with the greater world, do you find that you are more compassionate and understanding when it comes to putting up with the foibles of people since you have a greater understanding of the brain? When you see people in traffic driving like they own the road, do you still simmer and think dark thoughts like the rest of us, or do you think, 'well there goes a person who clearly has issues of narcissism (or whatever), and I just hope he doesn't smash into anyone'? Do you find the inane banter of teenage girls less headache inducing because you know the stage is only one of a thousand they will go through on their way to the grave and Oblivion? If a really religious neighbor keeps bugging you about your lack of faith and tries to nag you into going to church with her, would you just smile and thank your stars that you are free of 'invisible friend' delusions? If any of these scenarios are true, I think I may need to go into psychiatry."
    We do a decent job of answering these questions.

  • American Visionary Arts Museum (AVAM). Clink discusses her observations about this Baltimore museum and some critical comments noted about the squelching of creativity by Psychiatry.

  • Involuntarily medicating an "incompetent" defendant. Clink discusses a Baltimore Sun story (couldn't find link) about changes in Maryland created by "the Kelly case". It has now become harder to medicate defendants who are not competent to stand trial.

  • Q&A from Emily: "Have you read the book called 'Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness' by Pete Earley? It is about the criminalization of the mentally ill. When I read it, my mind was opened to the phenomenon of mentally ill people who commit crimes while under the "influence" of their symptoms, and are punished by being imprisoned rather than getting adequate mental health care assistance.
    A few questions for you:
    -Do you feel that prisoners who require mental health care are able to be receive adequate assistance while locked up?
    -How do you feel about mentally ill prisoners? For example, a paranoid schizophrenic who committed acts such as breaking & entering, destruction of private property, etc while hearing voices instructing him to do so, and winds up in prison rather than a psychiatric hospital. Do you treat people in similar circumstances?
    -Something else that the book talks about is mentally ill people who are arrested and put in jail, then deemed incompetent to stand trial and sent to psychiatric hospitals until they can be stabilized, then sent back to the jail where they rapidly decline again for a number of reasons before they can stand trial. And the cycle goes on and on.
    -So I was wondering how much of this you witness in your daily work. How often do you see people that you think should be in a psychiatric facility instead of a prison? How big of an issue do you think it is, or what do you think should be done differently?"

    Clink addresses these questions, and also her contact with Pete Earley, and about another book of his, Hothouse, about Leavenworth Prison.

Find show notes with links at: The address to send us your Q&A's is there, as well.

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Thank you for listening.