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Adolescence

The Rise of Brother-Sister Incest

What was once a taboo has now become, to many brothers and sisters, a cool pastime and an even cooler way to make money online. Brother-sister incest seems to be on the rise, at least according to my unofficial survey of incest websites. In perusing websites that feature incest, I found two types of brother-sister incest clips. Both were more prevalent than in previous years. One kind was the fake kind in which porn stars pretend to be brother and sister or brother and step-sister. The other kind consisted of actual homemade clips by real brothers and sisters. Many were appearing in “cam shows” in which they undressed and had sex for internet audiences who gave tips or paid for private showings.


Communication

Humility and Mental Health

Ancient philosophers and poets knew humility was important. Socrates, the Greek philosopher, checked out all the men who were known to be wise, and he concluded that he was the wisest of all because “I know what I do not know.” Of one reputed wise man, he said, “he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance.” Confucius said, “I have traveled far and wide and have yet to meet a man who could bring home the judgment against himself.” Shakespeare said in Hamlet, “This above all: to thine own self be true,/And it must follow, as the night the day,/Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Both of these ancients pointed to self-objectivity, which requires humility, as a cornerstone of mental health.


Stress

Our Judgmental Society

Every day in every way people in America are whining. They are judging, complaining, bemoaning, finding fault with, protesting, resisting, bad-mouthing, showing disgust for, and generally deriding everything from somebody’s bad shirt to another person’s contemptable tweet. I have collected the following headlines to demonstrate this phenomenon.

Kim K accused of making Manchester blast “all about her”

Passenger with Prosthetic Was Told to Give Up His Seat

Mayor's confederate monuments speech goes viral

Aly Raisman hits back...


Adolescence

Why Happy Countries Have Sad Kids

Two studies by United Nations organizations found a paradox. A number of the countries that led the world in signs of happiness—quality of life, education and healthcare—also led in the number of their young people who suffered from depression and anxiety. When the UN released its annual World Happiness Report, the usual suspects were again at the top of the list—Nordic countries such as Finland, Denmark and Sweden as well as New Zealand and Australia. In the meantime, another study by the World Health Organization on the ratio of citizens affected by mental health disorders showed that the same countries that were at the top of the Happiness Report also had high ratios of young people who suffered from some mental health problem.


Defense Mechanisms

Liam Neeson, Reaction Formations and Hysteria

Recently Liam Neeson confessed, in an interview by Clémence Michallon about his latest film, Cold Pursuit, that he had once had a racist reaction when a woman friend of his told him she had been raped by a black man. “I went up and down areas with a cosh [edge], hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [uses air quotes with fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”


Narcissism

Human Wave Theory

Anyone who watches the ocean will be able to see the patterns of the waves. Waves are constantly forming and reforming throughout the ocean. However, as they encounter land, they begin to change. They gather together in a cohesive entity as they come into the shore, making one last powerful run, then at a certain point the waves crest and spray into pieces. As the poet William Butler Yates said, “Things...


Conflict Resolution

A Third Party Hopes to Restore Sanity

There’s a new party on the block. Recently the Alliance Party, a third party that aspires to become a national entity in the next election, publically announced its formation. People have been crying out for a new party for many years, as the two-party system has been failing. The current government shut down is just one of many signs of its failure. For many years the two parties have grown wider apart, to the point that they are now more like enemies fighting a constant war than respected advisories. This war has been stressing many of us out for years.


Depression

Intropaths and Extropaths: Categorizing Personalities

Mental disorders have been categorized in various ways since the beginning of psychiatry, clinical psychology and psychoanalysis. For example, psychiatrists distinguish between neurotic and psychotic disorders. This categorization filters disorders on the basis of their severity.

Recently I have explored another way of categorizing mental disturbances, which divides people into two broad personality types: intropaths and extropaths. By intropaths, I mean disorders in which an individual’s emotional disturbance is primarily internalized—that...


Communication

New Insights into Crowd Behavior

Do humans behave differently when they are part of a crowd than they do when they are at home by themselves? There have been theories about this over the years, but now a new study, not by a psychologist or sociologist, but by a physicist, has shed new light on this phenomenon.

According to a study published in the journal Science, hydrodynamic theory can be used to explain the collective, fluid-like behavior of human crowds,...


General

Can We Unify America Again?

A healthy person needs to be centered. In psychoanalytic terms, people need to have a strong ego. They can’t let their id (their impulsive side) or their superego (their compulsive side) run things or fight with each other about running things. The id wants to drive the car at full speed. The superego wants to drive...