Archive for September, 2011

Weekend Reading: Claire Danes On Bipolar Disorder

Friday, September 30th, 2011

In the wake of her success with Temple Grandin* (the 2010 biopic portraying an autism advocate of the same name) Claire Danes is taking on another character who deals with mental health issues: Carrie Anderson, a CIA agent with bipolar disorder.

Gist Of It: Agent Anderson is suspicious that Sgt. Nicholas Brody, an American Marine who was held captive for eight years in Afghanistan, isn’t the hero America has portrayed him to be; rather, he’s working for the terrorists.

Of portraying someone with bipolar disorder and how that particular mental illness might play a role in the character’s job, Danes says:

I find the challenge is finding a way to play the truth of her being chemically unstable and also a really proficient, highly capable CIA agent. How can those two things coexist? They’re related in some ways [the job and the disease]. They both involve paranoia and when somebody’s mind is susceptible to that, they’re constantly questioning themselves and the world around them and that translates pretty easily into her work.

Coldplay Follows Winehouse Tribute With “Fix You” At ACL

Monday, September 26th, 2011

So, if you were one of the millions (estimating here peeps, just estimating) of music fans watching the Coldplay perform live at the Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival earlier this month via the YouTube livestream –

(or, what they hey – if you were one of the thousands who were actually there)

– chances are you saw frontman Chris Martin’s brief, solo performance of a fairly well-known little ditty by Amy Winehouse called “Rehab,” before transitioning into Coldplay’s own hit “Fix You.”

Hearing “Rehab” mesh into “Fix You” was quite poignant for me, because it reminded me of the first time someone told me, in a drug addiction-related situation, “You can’t fix [this person].”

Imagine my shock and appall.

Weekend Reading: Review: Mel Gibson In ‘The Beaver’

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Despite how you feel about Mel Gibson, you might want to grab a copy of the The Beaver this weekend, according to fellow blogger Joseph Burgo, Ph.D., who has posted a review of the film over at Movies & Mental Health.

The Beaver (directed by Jodi Foster, who also co-stars as Gibson’s wife) tells the story of a depressed and suicidal man who begins communicating with a hand puppet (a beaver) in an effort to relieve his depression symptoms.

Burgo’s review of the film claims it tackles the difficult subject of suicidal depression “with psychological insight and emotional honesty.”

How Has Social Media Affected Your Relationships?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Back in August, Break Media released a tongue-in-cheek look at the way social media affects our relationships today.

While Elliot Yamin (American Idol) sings “I Just Texted To Say ‘I Love You'” (yes, to the tune of “I Just Called To Say I Love You”), real-life lovebirds Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) and Matt Prokop (High School Musical 3) show us the wedge social media (and technology in general, really) can drive between two people.

Check it out over at YouTube.

In the meantime, what role has social media played in YOUR relationships?

Charlie Sheen: Winning At The Emmys!

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Charlie Sheen might not have taken home any awards after last night’s 63rd Annual Emmy Awards, but he was definitely winning.

The former Two and a Half Men actor didn’t receive a nomination in his usual Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category, but was asked to present the award.


Not quite.

During a remarkably coherent and sober speech before announcing the nominees (and eventually presenting the award to a visibly nervous Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory), Sheen took a second to address the cast and crew of Two and a Half Men:

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you nothing but the best for this upcoming season. We spent eight wonderful years together, and I know you will continue to make great television.

NBA Star Ron Artest Changes Name To Metta World Peace

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Good ol’ Ron Artest…

…er, I mean, Metta World Peace.

In case you haven’t heard, The NBA Basketball Star Formerly Known As Ron Artest has officially changed his name to Metta World Peace.

The name change took place this morning during a hearing with the Los Angeles Superior Court (a hearing that Artest was unable to attend due to Dancing With the Stars obligations).

According to the newly monikered Metta World Peace, the change is intended to inspire youth:

Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world. I’m glad that it is now official.

Of course, this isn’t the only do-gooding the rapper and L.A. Lakers small forward is responsible for. Back in 2010 he publicly thanked his therapist for helping him relax while the Lakers worked toward an NBA Championship. He then auctioned off that championship ring, bringing in more than $500,000 to help raise mental health awareness, and promised to donate some of his 2011-12 salary to mental health charities.

What do you think of Artest’s Metta World Peace’s new name?

Image Credit: jeffbalke per these Creative Commons License Attributions.

Be Honest And Sincere To The Core: Lessons From Lady Gaga

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Remember back when Lady Gaga proved to us that appearances don’t always matter?

Well, she’s at it again.

Usually known for her wild makeup, hair, costumes, and anything else associated with her performances (or…so we thought), Gaga flipped the script for a minute and posed nude for the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

Okay, not actually nude nude, like naked nude, but no makeup, no fancy-schmancy hair nude. (Very much unlike the picture to the left.)

Which, for Gaga, kind of is nude, right?

Latest George Clooney Ex Elisabetta Canalis Talks Relationships

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Elisabetta Canalis – super hot Italian model and actress and the most recent link in George Clooney’s million-mile long chain of ex-girlfriends (I’m not bitter; I just think the guy’s ridiculous) – turns 33 years old today, and as much as I’d like to publish a post about how stunning and intelligent and successful she is (I mean, it is her birthday and you all know how I love some Lessons From… posts), a recent interview with Italian magazine Chi left me, well, for the most part, sad.

On Ending Relationships:

At the end of the day I have always seen the end of my relationships as a personal failure.

5 Easy Ways To Help With Suicide Prevention Awareness

Friday, September 9th, 2011

This week was Suicide Prevention Awareness Week in America, and tomorrow is World Suicide Prevention Day.

In light of this, I thought we’d take a break from our usual “Weekend Reading” posts to talk about some ways you can help spread the word about suicide awareness and prevention, even if there are just a couple of days left or you can’t get away right now.

1. Educate Yourself

You can’t effectively help others if you’re not sure what you’re talking about, right?

Megan Fox: Let’s Not Equate Mental Illness With Negative Energy

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Dear Megan Fox,

As a mental health advocate, I’ve learned to pick my battles.

Sure, I started out down the advocacy path flipping out every time someone used the word “crazy” or “insane” or “nuts.”

Time passed, though, and I learned how to discern the “harmless” uses of such words (“That party last night was crazy!”) from the “harmful” uses (“She went nuts and ended up in the loony bin!”).

More time passed, and I learned when and how to approach the speaker, and when to simply smile and walk away.

After all, calling a storm “insane” probably won’t promote stigma. An editor who refers to readers who leave angry blog comments as “crazies,” however, most likely will.

Like I said: I learned to pick my battles.


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