Mental Illness

The most popular drug in America is an antipsychotic — and no one really knows how it works

antipsychotics

One drug that is a close cousin of Thorazine, Abilify, is currently the top-selling of all prescription drugs in the U.S. marketed as a supplement to antidepressant drugs, reports the Daily Beast. Not only is it amazing that an antipsychotic is outselling all other drugs, no one even knows how it works to relieve depression, writes Jay Michaelson. The standardized United States Product Insert says Abilify’s method of action is “unknown” but it likely “balances” brain’s neurotransmitters. But critics say antipsychotics don’t treat anything at all, but zone people out and produce oblivion. They also say there is a concerning rise in the prescription of antipsychotics for routine complaints like insomnia.

via The most popular drug in America is an antipsychotic — and no one really knows how it works.

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Scientists Say It Only Takes 66 Days To Change Your Life, If You’re Strong Enough

Habits

In a study released in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally and her team of researchers surveyed 96 people over a 12-week period to find exactly how long it takes to start a new habit.Over the 12 weeks, the participants chose a new habit and reported each day how automatic the behavior felt. At the end of the period, Lally analyzed the results and found the average time it took for the participants to pick up a new habit was 66 days.

via Scientists Say It Only Takes 66 Days To Change Your Life, If You’re Strong Enough.

The Power of the Uniform: Eye-Opening Experiment Shows How Easily People Submit | The Free Thought Project

If a man in a uniform came up to you, gave you a taser, and told you to guard and detain another man who he claims is a criminal, would you? If that man tried to leave would you stop him or taser him?In the video below, most of the people tested actually go to the extent of hurting another human being, who they’ve never met, simply because a man in a uniform told them to do so.

via The Power of the Uniform: Eye-Opening Experiment Shows How Easily People Submit | The Free Thought Project.

Black Autonomy Federation Radio – Gender and Black Autonomy | BLACK TALK RADIO NETWORK™

gender and black autonomy

Gender and Black Autonomy

Throughout their history in America, women and girls of African descent have been routinely subjected to racism, patriarchy, sexism and other forms of gender oppression, denied jobs and equal access to health services, among other problems. Join us for a discussion with members of the Black Autonomy Federation Women’s Commission about why black women must assert their right to independently organize around and address issues of specific concern to them.

via Black Autonomy Federation Radio – Gender and Black Autonomy | BLACK TALK RADIO NETWORK™.

‘Why Didn’t You Just Leave? ’Six Domestic Violence Survivors Explain Why It’s Never That Simple | #OYRchallenge

Lovern - Domestic Abuse

Lovern is just one of 6 women in this series:

In this series, you will hear from six survivors of domestic violence about why they didn’t leave sooner. The stories — told in their own words — are as distinct as they are similar. One woman suffered a brutal week of abuse before fleeing. Others stayed for decades trying to make things work. Two women were shot, the bullets narrowly missing their hearts. Another endured years of incessant stalking.

via ‘Why Didn’t You Just Leave?’Six Domestic Violence Survivors Explain Why It’s Never That Simple.

Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life | Psychology Today #OYRchallenge

Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D

Racial microaggressions are the brief and everyday slights, insults, indignities and denigrating messages sent to people of color by well-intentioned White people who are unaware of the hidden messages being communicated. These messages may be sent verbally “You speak good English.”, nonverbally clutching one’s purse more tightly or environmentally symbols like the confederate flag or using American Indian mascots. Such communications are usually outside the level of conscious awareness of perpetrators. In the case of the flight attendant, I am sure that she believed she was acting with the best of intentions and probably felt aghast that someone would accuse her of such a horrendous act.

via Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life | Psychology Today.

Hey, White America, You Need To Hear What These Ferguson Kids Have To Say | #Ferguson #OYRchallenge

Hey, White America, You Need To Hear What These Ferguson Kids Have To Say    #Ferguson Kids #OYRchallenge

 

Join the cause.  (Courtesy of FCKH8Sporting charity benefit T-shirts that read “Racism Is Not Over. But I’m Over Racism.” these kids from #Ferguson are helping raise funds for five different anti-racism causes. For every tee or hoodie sold at

http://FCKH8.com $5 is donated to make a difference (details @ http://FCKH8.com) with the bold tees that make a statement starting at $13. 

Join the cause @ http://FCKH8.com

Take the OYR Challenge. #OYRchallenge

We know how to decrease police violence like what we’ve seen after the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson: civil oversight, body cameras, and redefining use of force. | #OYRchallenge

JURIS_PoliceForce

Courtesy of Slate.com

Before they even don their uniforms, police officers receive hours and hours of training about the appropriate use of force. At the nation’s police academies, they learn how to evaluate situations where force could be an option and when it’s illegal. By the time officers are patrol-ready, they know how to use their firearms, batons, and stun guns. Yet, in response to the chokehold killing of Erin Garner, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton has called for the “retraining” of his officers. Training is, of course, essential to law enforcement. But it would be a serious and dangerous error to shrug off these deaths and beatings by cops and simply attribute them to inadequate training.

#OYRchallenge

via We know how to decrease police violence like what we’ve seen after the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson: civil oversight, body cameras, and redefining use of force..

Hands Up United #Handsup #OYRchallenge

There is now a name for the Ferguson, MO alliance against the murder of Black bodies, Hands Up, Inc. Hands up? Yes, because it may be the last position anyone sees you in before you die. 

Want to offer your professional services? Watch the video, then register at http://www.handsupunited.org/ #handsup #justiceformikebrown #OYRchallengeJustice for Mike Brown

Purpose: “We are striving for a world where we deal with harm in our communities through healing, love, and kinship.  This means an end to state sponsored violence, including the excessive use of force by law enforcement.  We are committed to an America that comes to terms with the trauma of its painful history and finds true reconciliation for it.  Mass incarceration and the criminalization of black and brown people must forever end, leaving in its place a culture that embraces our histories and stories.  This means an end to racial bias and white supremacy in all its forms.” #JusticeforMikeBrown #Handsup #OYRchallenge

via Hands Up United.

Dick Gregory|”The State of the Black Union 2008: Reclaiming Our Democracy, Deciding Our Future” took place in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Conference Auditorium in New Orleans. #OYRchallenge

The first of 4 videos featuring Dick Gregory.

The “Own Your Racist” Challenge #OYRchallenge

What is the OYR challenge?

African Americans have been at war – mentally, physically, economically, and socially ever since the first African was dragged from a slave ship onto the American shores. The volumes of histories (European and African American), movies, television series, news reports, studies, and other publications serve as qualitative evidence to support this claim. It has always been the strategy of Racist and their racist collaborators (African American pseudo-intellectuals) to present the resulting body count as isolated or individual incidents to be argued within the confines of the criminal justice system, race discussion forums, and/or the same models used to maintain White Supremacy. Truth-be-told, these systems have eroded and the people lax into comfort that the myth of Black powerlessness is firmly in place. They have secured the veil with a 21stcentury Bi-racial President of their choosing, replacing the Civil Rights icons. Every playbook must be revised. Our young are inundated with slave songs, yet no one drills them with the principals that created Black Wall Street and other past ultra-wealthy and sound communities. There are only so many times African American children can attend the funeral of a murdered/lynched family member, friend or neighbor, buried with Amazing Grace and “I Have A Dream,” before they stop listening.

21st century African American youths acknowledge that they are human and know that humans are fallible. In a 1992 televised panel discussion, The Issue is Race, Sister Souljah points to the need for Black empowerment and business. She also points out that every municipality has their game in place to crush African American businesses much more easily now than with the attack on Black Wall St. Crime in the African American community, the most readily used silencing cue in the racist toolbox, reflects that humanity and the substantive pressures placed on that humanity. Our young in 2014 Ferguson, MI reformed the messages of African American history that racist and African American collaborators use to teach them powerlessness. Yet, take a look at how school systems are now trying to formulate a methodology to discuss the current events in Ferguson and other cities. Why control the conversation? For the same reason our children in African American venues are taught slave songs instead of empowering verse? Our dialogue needs to be controlled to include silencing, powerless training. Some HBCU institutions provide tools to exude our power, along with that the history lesson. The intelligent heed the message, the fearful and mediocre cite statistics, the European face of government, and class conscious models of respectability politics to quell their cognitive dissonance. But that dissonance also creates race-collaborators. This is also human. Fear is human.

To get you through this challenge, we need to revisit and establish in our lives how we accommodate, participate, and sometimes instigate our own demise. Here is the catch, if your town has no industry that will support your degree as well as your Africanism, there are always government positions available. And those who become a part of the machine (thinking they can make change from within), soon become THE MACHINE, despite their good intentions. Get over them … but do not give them a pass. Racist tactics are methodical complete with literature and verbal cues that African Americans are trained to absorb and respond to appropriately. Within this context, we must not forget that on an individual level, racist are confident that whatever their mistakes, there is a cue (crazy toolbox) to combat African American claims to racist attack and the victim will disregard their rights within that transaction. Add an insecure, incompetent collaborator and you have a cocktail for a now seemingly powerless victim.

I want to give you an example of using your power effectively within this context. The necessary back story is that in our region, African Americans rarely challenge the most minute situations, so racist have an exceptional comfort zone (no visible support for Trayvon Martin in public view). As the city fell into economic decline, the mayor initiated a campaign to bring a specific immigrant ethnicity to the area from New York City (I will not name the specific population; it is not about them) to purchase property and strengthen the communities. The specific ethnicity bought into the American slovenly African American stereotype for their benefit, and similar to Rwandan (Hutu/Tutsi) conflict, they assumed a position in our communities as a buffer and caste between the racist White population and the African American community. This actually occurred right after the 1994 Rwandan genocideand subsequent literature highlighting the European strategy that set the immigrant against the indigenous population (Mamdani, 2001)

While in college, I cashed my student loan checks at a local branch of the University’s banking institution, as I had done many semester previously. I approached the teller window, and handed her the check, along with my driver’s photo ID. The teller, immigrant woman, scowled at ID, turned it over, scowled again, then asked for a second form of ID. I then gave her my University photo ID bearing the same name and insignia as on the check. Her reaction was the same as with my driver’s license. She sighed and continued to scowl, leaning on her elbow on the counter, with no movement to either decline or process my transaction. I then grew impatient and asked for the bank manager. The teller was aghast. Apparently, she felt a stool in the bank afforded her power that I had no right to challenge. I reiterated, “I have no more to say to you.  It is obvious that you are not familiar with US identifications and should not hold this position. Please call the manager.” When the bank manager arrived, I informed her of the teller’s inability to read legal documents and that such deficiencies should have been addressed at her job interview. Furthermore, her behaviors may open the bank up to future lawsuits and other damages. The red-faced bank manager “shoved” the teller aside and promptly completed my transaction. By the way, said teller is now working at McDonalds. A brightly smiling young black male has taken her place on the stool.

So here is your challenge. There are two parts.

Part I: At least once per day, approach your racial encounters with power. Inner power. Victories, no matter how small, are the key to this challenge – no hubris, retaliations, pettiness, or abuses exude power or is the aim of this challenge (put away your crazy toolbox; not needed here). This can only be done if you follow principles that we ourselves will create during this adventure. There are a few listed to get you started.

  • We are human.
  • In our humanity, we fail, but as humans we are resilient and rise stronger.
  • Remember, racist gain their power in OUR acceptance of dehumanizing media, literature, slurs, and behaviors on their part.
  • We must know the laws and devices used to counter those laws that work in our benefit, during ANY transaction.
  • We must examine, in any situation, where and how we must exude our power effectively, and when racist malaise will cause them to empower YOU.
  • Recognize oppressive methodology, no matter who attempts it – these 4 indicators may help: Insult, Deny, Threaten, and Attack (these are all a part of the verbal cues). Find them in yourself first, and then you will recognize these tactics in others.
  • Act with a sound, still mind. If you become flustered, BREATHE, SING, or whatever you have to do to get back on track. It may seem crazy to the offender or allow them to feel momentarily “uber” empowered, but the whopper you will deliver will soon change that.
  • Most importantly, never, ever take your failure to control any situation as defeat. Remember, you were trained how to be powerless (regardless of how much Black literature you read or education). Regroup and fortify yourself for the next encounter, and you will recognize more of them as you learn to live as a citizen, instead of props in someone else’s theater.

Part II: You MUST develop your own strategies through these contacts and expand on these few lines with posts using the hashtag, #OYRchallenge. Your stories are important as they energize those too weak to accept this challenge. Start with the meager crumbs I have put before you and together we will create a banquet.

The alternative to this challenge is this – continue doing what you are doing expecting different results. Hence, buy a scooter to carry your crazy toolbox. It will only get heavier.

Mahmood Mamdani. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.