abuse and neglect during childhood, arch of stones wallpaper, biology and antisocial behavior

Child abuse has been linked to children who grow up to be abusive parents (not always the case, but abuse does increase the likelihood) and to some maladjusted behavior such as depression and substance abuse. Regarding the later, many of the reports have relied on the statements of adults who claimed to be abused as children. That does not mean they were not abused only that sometimes people do have false memories. I have little doubt that twenty years from now there will be people who distinctly remember there being WMD in Iraq despite all the evidence to the contrary and the lack of proof they ever existed.  One way around the false memory predicament is to survey agencies that compiled reports on actual child abuse and then survey a sample of those for whom documentation of their abuse exists, Abused children appear likely to have mental disorders as young adults

After adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic factors, a history of abuse or neglect was associated with having any mental disorder and with five individual mental disorders—including anxiety, mood and substance abuse conditions—both over a lifetime and in the previous year. The strongest associations were with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

When asked in young adulthood, 15 percent of the participants in the group without a child protection agency record reported maltreatment. “After excluding these individuals from the comparison group, the magnitude of associations increased, with child protection agency history conferring a 10-fold higher odds of 12-month PTSD, together with elevated odds of other anxiety disorders, mood disorders and drug use disorders,” the authors write.

The findings suggest that maltreatment, not just the memory of maltreatment, is associated with mental health disorders in young adulthood. “This implies, first, that targeted mental health interventions with present or past clients of child welfare agencies are indicated in addition to the interventions currently provided to stop or reduce the maltreatment; and second, that concerted population-level strategies are required to address the needs of the many other children who also experience maltreatment.”

It is one thing to complain that society is deteriorating, people are becoming more difficult or rude or anti-social. It is another thing to see where the problem might be and deciding to spend or not spend the money to be proactive. There is the general feeling – via cable pundits etc – that causes of destructive and self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse or mood disorders might be the reason, but they are no excuse. One of those rare generalities which is mostly true, but also often resorted to by people who like simplistic answers . Though if a society knows the root cause of a problem, of which the majority could be decreased through education and counseling, and chooses to do nothing about it, then the complaining just amounts to so much whining by a culture that could have done something and chose not to.

There was a stand-up comedian on Comedy Central – a ‘best of stand-ups’ as I remember – who said to just get over it when it comes to childhood abuse. Not that simple as it turns out.

arch of stones wallpaper

If you had to choose between having an organic personality disorder or one which was psychological in origin which would you choose. Brain biology linked to severe teenage antisocial behaviour

The onset of severe antisocial behaviour in teenagers may be more than just ‘falling in with the wrong crowd’. A new study jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council (MRC) reveals that young adults with conduct disorder display an abnormal pattern of brain activity compared with their peers without the disorder.

[   ]…Teenagers with both forms of the condition [Conduct disorder -CD] showed very similar patterns of brain abnormality compared with teenagers without the disorder. The scans showed less activity in the areas of the brain responsible for processing emotions in both types of CD. This may explain why teenagers with CD are insensitive to the distress of others and to social signals of aggression. The scientists also found that the more severe the aggression and antisocial behaviour in the teenagers, the greater the level of brain abnormality.

If a behavioral problem is organic that would require different types of intervention. Whether its public or private funds, thousands could be wasted by treating an organic disorder purely via psychological counseling even if it included psycho-therapeutic drugs. And since most cultures like to know where to place blame it would be more than a bonus to know the origins of the behavior society finds anti-social. While individuals must be accountable for their behavior, societies’ judgment, in some circumstances, should be mediated if the behavior is partly due to circumstances beyond someone’s control. This gets to be tricky in terms of the law and sentencing, but the medical issues and treatment actually become clearer the more one knows about why someone behaves the way they do.

Sunnyside Beach, Toronto,1922 photo by John Boyd

A fool and their money are soon parted – Beck plans ‘university’, hires Dr. Stoner and ‘the right’s favorite pseudo-historian’ to teach and former Republican senator Fred Thompson – Fred Thompson pitches government-backed reverse mortgages

Unfortunately, it’s not like Thompson has suddenly become a progressive on economic policy. As Gawker points out, the company he’s pitching for has been sued by attorneys general in Massachusetts and Illinois for deceptive marketing practices.

(Video) Jeremih – “Birthday Sex”. So over the top the song manages to be sly in spite of itself.

George Gershwin  – Rhapsody in Blue. A timeless classic. A completely instrumental account of a day in the life of an American city.