Category Archives: Psychology

Depression is an insidious evil

I briefly alluded to my depression issues in my post on Hyperfocusing. Depression makes everything seem harder. Small stresses become huge. Little problems can seem ginormous. Problems that would be legitimately tough to deal with at your best become insurmountable mountain ranges full of rampaging orcs, bloodthirsty demons, and many other monstrosities that nightmares are made of.

“Man up!”, they say, “Push through it!”, “Just choose to be happy!”

These exemplify a huge societal problem men with mental health issues have to deal with. We are expected to be tough and strong, and any sign of weakness is cause for criticism. We are suppised to be strong, both physically and mentally & to not be is seen as a flaw in our very being.

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When Skepticism goes too far

Is it possible to be too skeptical?

Too many people are missing a healthy level of skepticism and end up being far too credulous. Ironically, many people that claim to be skeptics end up being so skeptical of some things they end up being overly credulous when they hear stories that seem to counter that which they are skeptical about. Conspiracy theorists, I’m looking at you.

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Teaching methods


How Evolution Works

This video, embedded above, was a really cool way to explain evolution. This post isn’t so much about evolution itself as it is, per the title, about teaching methods. I personally find animations such as this one to be a highly effective method of conveying information, especially ones that have the potential for controversy.

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Religion harms children

Sadly, here I am discussing yet another story of a person’s religious belief harming a child. An evangelical Christian woman beat her son with a coat hanger leaving 36 vicious bruises. There’s a graphic image of the child’s back in the linked story.

I know not every child abuser does it for religious reasons, some are just abusive assholes, nor are all religious people child abusers. However, that doesn’t excuse or change the fact that certain religious beliefs are undoubtedly the reason behind some child abuse. Whataboutery won’t change this.

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Therapy Session II: Forgotten Elders

This post is inspired by this Tweet.

Many of you that follow me on Twitter know that my dad has been having health problems lately. He’s had several scary falls in the last few months & it’s become apparent he’s no longer able to live at home. He’s 72 & was in decent shape his whole life outside a 60-year long smoking habit he kicked a few years ago.

However, when he was 65 he had a bad motorcycle accident & hasn’t had use of his left arm since then. He did major damage to the nerves in his shoulder that left his arm basically paralyzed. He can move his hand & elbow a bit, but there’s no movement in his shoulder. This means that really can’t protect himself that well when he does fall. Luckily he hasn’t had any serious injuries from his falls…yet.

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Therapy Session

What does an atheist say to his dad that’s facing congestive heart failure? Well, I made a joke about death not being scary, it’s just like the billions of years before he lived.

Today my dad went into the hospital because of a fall. While there they figure out his heart is having trouble. When I left (my brother was there) they were taking him for chest x-rays, but before that, the doctor asked the question, “If his heart stops, do we try to resuscitate him?”

I thought I knew what my dad would say, but I told the doctor to ask him since he was of sound enough mind to answer that himself. I was somewhat shocked when he said, “If there’s a chance of it working, do it.”

I had expected a pretty solid ‘No.”

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Cognitive Dissonance

migraine“Cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.”

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