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Men

#MeToo: When Social Media Can Actually Destigmatize

#MeToo

And judging by my Facebook feed, #YouToo.

For those living under a Facebook rock, the #MeToo hashtag exposes just how pervasive sexual violence is. It lives in seedy basement frat houses and corporate halls of power. And while I frequently disparage social media activism (it is more social than activism -- at least from my perspective), the #MeToo hashtag resonates more than #ThrowbackThursday, #FlashbackFriday, or some other silly social media moniker.  
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Bullying

Victim Shaming and Blaming

With all the allegations coming to light about sexual abuse perpetrated by celebrities, including Harvey Weinstein (no relation to the author of this article), Roy Moore, Louie CK and Kevin Spacey, it seems timely to write an article, about supporting survivors, how to avoid victim shaming, even if it took years to speak up, ways to prevent abuse, as well as means to deal with disillusionment when our icons commit such crimes.

First and foremost is the acknowledgment that sexual assault, whether it comes in the form of words or touch, is about power and control. Sex is merely the vehicle of transmission. It dehumanizes. It steals sovereignty. It robs a person of their sense of safety in their own environment and their own skin. There is no ability to consent when someone has power over another, whether it is economic, legal or by virtue of having given birth to the victim.
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Celebrities

Apologies after Sexual Misconduct: Genuine or Phony?

Many men must be shaking in their boots.

How many more accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior will make the front-page news? And when it does, how will the men respond?

If they take their lead from the President of the United States, who was called on the carpet for his sexually degrading remarks during the election season, they will make an apology that is insincere, inadequate and insipid. “I said it; I was wrong; and I apologized” was designed to call off the dogs and get back to the business of attacking Hillary.
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General

The Power of Preying: Why Men Target Women in the Workplace

The recent firestorm of allegations made by several female actors of unwanted sexual advances and rape seems to have exposed yet another powerful man, Harvey Weinstein, as an apparent sexual predator. Like that of his counterpart Anthony Weiner (and the alleged conduct of Bill Cosby), Weinstein’s alleged predation appears to have been fully calculated. Different than the garden-variety rapist who looks for opportunity in the moment, then lunges in an adrenaline high at his victim, such men in power deliberately orchestrate a scenario forcing their prey to service their deepest, darkest perversions and to remain silent.

These men have ample opportunity to groom the innocent by garnering their trust, seducing them with false promises, and banking that their terror of exposure will keep the victims from exposing the perpetrator. The predator, of course, knows that where he leads, the vulnerable prey must follow because they want or need something from him. When the predator finally strikes, the victim becomes disorientated -- a trusted, admired other has violated her. Sexual acts happen swiftly, sending the victim into a haze of confusion or freezing her ability to move or to determine what’s okay and what’s not in that one moment.
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Ethics & Morality

Gunning for a Solution

“There will certainly be a time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place we’re in at this moment,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

And then she teared up at the horrific Las Vegas shooting.

I rolled my eyes--not because I am questioning Sanders’ sincerity. Like all of us, she is aghast at the latest senseless tragedy. But I roll my eyes--and chuckle ruefully--at the practiced condolences. American society: the equivalent of a Hallmark card.

We decry senseless gun violence in the most visceral of terms. Our Twitter feeds and Facebook post lament the latest tragedy. And following Vegas or Orlando or San Bernadino, we buy a cup of coffee for an appreciative stranger. We reaffirm -- at least temporarily -- our collective faith in humanity’s benevolence.
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Celebrities

#MeToo: You Too?

A viral campaign that has been making the rounds on social media comes equipped with a hashtag and an attempt to bring attention to the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse, both in the workplace and in personal life. It arose because of the not so secret secret of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (no relation to this author) threatening and assaulting women.

On October 15th, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted: "If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet." She
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ADHD and ADD

Want to Die? Call 911 & Hold a Closed Multi-Purpose Tool

You would think that university police would have such great mental health training -- given that they are dealing with a population of young adults exploring limits, learning about themselves, and one of the groups at the greatest risk for a first-episode incident of mental illness.

Apparently not at Georgia Tech. This is a school where I would never send my child, given the most recent incident of a person with mental illness being killed -- rather than being counseled -- in mid-September. One second of poor judgment on an officer's part, and suddenly an entire life is snuffed out. Not because a criminal was threatening anyone (other than himself) with harm. But simply because the man -- Scout Schultz -- had a mental illness.

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Anger

The Las Vegas Shooting: A Therapist’s Perspective

In texting with my mother and sister about the mass shootings in Las Vegas, they shared their concerns, sadness and confusion. “Mental Illness?” my sister asked, as I am the professional… I suppose.

In my career I have worked with clients who have committed murder, who have had multiple cases of sexually assaulting young children or disabled victims, who have been witnesses to traumas of being held at gunpoint, sex trafficking, watching one parent shoot the other, incest by a parent. These are extreme cases and I wish I could say they are rare.

My reactions to mass shootings, the opioid drug epidemic, and other heart-wrenching situations that you wish were not reality, are extremely mixed. I have to react as a human being and as a therapist in the field. Maybe saying I “have to” is not accurate. In actuality, I am just internally torn.
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Anger

What You Can Do Before Anger Becomes Violence

When I heard about the violent attacks in Las Vegas, my heart sank. Why does this keep happening and what can we do to prevent it from happening again?

Awful things are happening with much more frequency. The sense of powerlessness with each tragedy can feel paralyzing. What can we do? Blaming and crucifying the perpetrator doesn't stop the violence. 

There are things that you can do. While you cannot control or prevent another person’s behavior you can help. First, pay attention to anyone in your life that's really struggling. Check in with them and listen. It's not your job to assess their mental state but notice what's happening. Not everyone suffering is in crisis, but don't be afraid to ask questions. If you have concerns, share them with their family. Don't stay quiet.
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Anger

Podcast: What’s the REAL Link Between Anger and Violence?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss mental illness and violence. More specifically, they address the real culprit behind the vast majority of violence: anger. Their discussion dispels the myth that anger is an unhealthy emotion, teaches ways to express anger in a healthy fashion, and addresses the widely held belief that most mentally ill people are violent (and why people hold this belief). The discussion also covers the real factor in predicting whether someone might become violent and ends with suggestions on ways anyone can learn how to get control of anger in their lives.
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