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Today's Inspiration

June 26, 2012

One of the most famous recipients of electroconvulsive therapy: Ernest Hemingway shortly before his suicide in 1961.

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. — A Farewell to Arms. 

June 11, 2012

Finally! A chance to talk about my favorite cocktail party topics: BIPOLAR DEPRESSION and ELECTROCONVUSLIVE THERAPY!

Here are some talking points for you:

*Electroconvulsive therapy has benefits (rarely though)! It’s most often used for schizophrenics or those with severe major depression, the sort that includes periods of catatonic paralysis. Did you see Melancholia (it’s on netflix!)? It’s like how Kirsten Dunst was when her sister tried to giver her bath. Poor Kiki. Poor Beth.

*Did you catch what Beth’s brute husband said? How she spreads her legs for the first chump that comes along? Between that comment and Beth’s post-coital musings on death and the feeling of DOOM after looking at pictures of earth from space, it’s safe to assume that she’s bipolar. Especially since it sounds like she’s fucked around before, meaning, perhaps, HYPOMANIA! A distinguishing characteristic of bipolar disorder :

 Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., the person engages in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

* Bipolar didn’t even have a name in 1966, psychiatrists were still using DSM 1 from 1952! The DSM wasn’t updated until 1968. That means thirty six years where severe, manic, major, bipolar, unipolar, schizophrenia, were all lumped into one category as some sort of organic brain disorder. Thus, treatment was as blunt as the diagnosis.

*The memory loss issue with ECT is very real! A 1986 study on ECT interviewed 41 recipients of the treatment. 83 percent of women said they had experienced short and long term memory loss. Many of them had treatment in the mid sixties. Here are some quotes from the study:

  • ""I can’t remember my 20-year Marine Corps career…or daughter’s birth or childhood…"]
  • "Turned me into a walking zombie, killing all emotions and feelings for several months…" 
  • "It’s like a bomb being set off inside your head…literally a mind-blowing torture…"
  • "I couldn’t remember people’s names, but it gradually came back…with some prompting…"
  • "Doctor stopped returning my phone calls when I said ‘memory’s not returning…’"
Temporary bandages on permanent wounds and such. :(

1:45am  |  249 notes   |  mad men |  season 5 |  season finale |  psychiatry |  electroconvulsive therapy |  DSM |  depression |  beth 
November 17, 2009
Pete Campbell shows his upstart tendencies early on in season one when he takes that supremely German woman’s research out of Don’s trash to try to impress the Lucky Strike executives. Not surprisingly, the research is uber-Freudian in nature, discussing the controversial “death wish” theory.
Freud posited that, after World War One, people’s desire to live was counterbalanced by a sublimated aggressive streak, known colloquially as the death instinct. This instinct stemmed from a form of masochism, a wish to destroy the corporeal body.Our German lady thinks maybe this can hoity-toity up the Lucky Strike advertising! Don disagrees, because — well because you try to peddle some of that European fancy talk on a farm hand like Don and you know he is NOT IMPRESSED. Pete, on the other hand, is looking forward to an age of counter-intuitive advertising (and relying a little bit on machismo), and applies the research to smoking; if they can’t say smoking is healthy anymore, maybe they should embrace the risks. Maybe a real man would like to destroy his lungs from the inside out! Or something. The idea is definitely raw, and the Lees of Lucky Strike pretty much decide Pete’s a little crazy for even suggesting it.
Although Lee Jr. knows a little something about self-destructive urges, no?
• footnote - by Natasha Simons


Pete Campbell shows his upstart tendencies early on in season one when he takes that supremely German woman’s research out of Don’s trash to try to impress the Lucky Strike executives. Not surprisingly, the research is uber-Freudian in nature, discussing the controversial “death wish” theory.

Freud posited that, after World War One, people’s desire to live was counterbalanced by a sublimated aggressive streak, known colloquially as the death instinct. This instinct stemmed from a form of masochism, a wish to destroy the corporeal body.

Our German lady thinks maybe this can hoity-toity up the Lucky Strike advertising! Don disagrees, because — well because you try to peddle some of that European fancy talk on a farm hand like Don and you know he is NOT IMPRESSED. Pete, on the other hand, is looking forward to an age of counter-intuitive advertising (and relying a little bit on machismo), and applies the research to smoking; if they can’t say smoking is healthy anymore, maybe they should embrace the risks. Maybe a real man would like to destroy his lungs from the inside out! Or something. The idea is definitely raw, and the Lees of Lucky Strike pretty much decide Pete’s a little crazy for even suggesting it.

Although Lee Jr. knows a little something about self-destructive urges, no?

• footnote - by Natasha Simons

1:29pm  |  24 notes   |  Don Draper |  Peter Campbell |  death wish |  freud |  lucky strike |  mad men season 1 |  psychiatry |  smoking |  Don Draper