Everyone has an image of a psychopath, and to most people that image is terrifying. Psychopaths, in the popular consciousness, are remorseless criminal maniacs who put us all in danger and who can't be rehabilitated. On a recent episode of NPR's popular show This American Life, host Ira Glass and his staff each took a shortened version of psychologist Robert Hare's infamous psychopath test. A few of the test-takers scored higher on the inventory than they expected to, contributing to an ongoing debate about the use, validity, and potential misuse of the psychopath test.
When people think about posttraumatic stress (PTSD), they often envision a soldier struggling to cope with the physical and psychological ravages of war. Many PTSD outreach campaigns focus on this very image, but a person doesn't have to travel to a foreign land to experience trauma. The domestic violence rate in the United States is extremely high, with about 21% of women experiencing some form of intimate partner violence each year. Intimate partner violence is a leading—and often overlooked—cause of PTSD, and some people with PTSD may not realize they’re experiencing it.
There's no denying that obesity, an issue that afflicts about 36% of Americans, can cause serious health problems. A larger body does not, however, always mean that a person is unhealthy, and misconceptions about obesity can lead to social and mental health issues for people with larger figures.
Some advocates have termed the abuse and discrimination that some obese people experience “fatphobia.” The term might seem offensive, but it's an attempt to reclaim a potentially offensive term and remove its hurtful power.
By David Bedrick, J.D., Bipl. PW
Caregiving is rapidly becoming a central part of the lives of millions of Americans. A recent RAND corporation study found that 1.1 million Americans are caring for wounded war veterans in their homes, and as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, more and more families are caring for ailing parents. The unconditional love of providing care ranging from running errands to round-the-clock assistance is undeniable and should be lauded. But the costs of caregiving on caregivers can be high.
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