RE: [xmca] RE: mental health

From: Achilles Delari Junior <achilles_delari who-is-at>
Date: Sat Jul 12 2008 - 17:05:22 PDT

Peter, thank you, very much.
I strongly agree with your position, not only agree but
I'm learning a lot with you. I wonder that medication can not
directlly affect highter mental funtions, not in semantic/
ideologic organization of conciousness. I agree with
Volochinov/Bakhtin's postition (in his wor "Freudism")
that human conflicts are ideological/not strictly biological
in its constitution...
Maybe I was remarking the need to socially overcome "sad
passions", more than the really essential need to socially
enpower "glad passions"... (in spnozian terms). There is
no the first process without the second one. I know.
I only don´t know how yet. Not exactly. I belive that
many people alread have this know-how. I wish to learn...
I can try. Now I have important references here, then
I must organize myself. =)
Thank you.
Oh. Please. I couldn't access the file... When I try, apears
this message:
You don't have permission to access /hold5yr/cook_leslie_s_200408_phd/cook_leslie_s_200408_phd.pdf on this server
What can I do?
Best, Achilles
Umuarama, July, 12 2008.
> From: smago who-is-at> To: xmca who-is-at> Subject: RE: [xmca] RE: mental health> Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 09:12:53 -0400> > Achilles, again I speak largely from experience here. I think that there's a> balance between attending to the neuroatypical issues (autism, bipolar> disorder, etc.) and attending to what's more strictly on the outside (other> people's attitudes, the social arrangement of material surroundings that> channel thinking about difference--see, e.g., accommodations for physically> handicapped people). > > What we argue in the book excerpt, and what Leslie argues, is that it's> vitally important to create mediational contexts that both contribute to new> settings (when there are wheelchair ramps, being wheelchair-bound appears to> all to be less of a handicap) and new ways for people to think about> themselves; or as some research suggests (see Damasio in our review below),> new ways for the brain to encode perceptions.> > This is not to say that some conditions do not require additional attention.> I take a medication for anxiety, and many people I know take antipsychotics,> depression medications, and so on. Undoubtedly there's some overprescription> of such meds, but many of us are glad to have the option.> > One thing seems certain: We need more research in this area, so I strongly> encourage you to extend your investigation! Best,Peter> > > > -----Original Message-----> From: [] On> Behalf Of Achilles Delari Junior> Sent: Friday, July 11, 2008 7:36 PM> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity> Subject: RE: [xmca] RE: mental health> > > Thank you, very much Peter...> > "Cook (2004) argues that relying simply on medication and counseling > is inadequate; that a broader environmental change that enables an > understanding and tolerance of difference, and gives young people > tools for managing their difference, is essential to helping young people > construct positive lives for themselves and in turn contribute to a more > humane society."> > It's a beautiful and deep contribution. I really agree with this> orientation. > But, let me ask you: don’t you think that could exist a subtle distinction > between (a) “tolerance of difference related to inclusive education” and > (b) “(self)tolerance of mental pain”? I think about my own experience: > there are several moments in which I don't only accept my different > (dysfunctional) process, but desire overcome/master it... There are four > hyperbolic semiotic process that I recognize (and struggle with) in BAD > (bipolar affective disorder): {paranoia<->megalomania} (mania) X > (depression) {self-moralist<->suicide ideation}. And I know that if social > others learn to comprehend and accept these different semiotic ways of> means world and my own experience, changing "social situation" by> inter-mental mediation, my own personal sense for this process can be > transformed. But, even so, a paranoid delirium not always can be only > accepted. If we could understand cultural-historical genetical roots of > mental pain, can we do something to not only accept it, but even > overcome/replace its dysfunctional social/personal consequences?> Here, ariseesthe problem of “psykhotekhnika” again, an approach that > not only explains psychic process as function of social relations, but> socially > (and deliberately) constructs it too… > > Personally talking, seems to be not too easy to me to engage myself> in social relations that could actually produce important functional > (and structural-dynamical) changes in my life - even more, since I > haven’t control about multiple social and biological determinations.> Things seems turns better or worse more in a casual than a determinist > way. But, by epistemological principles and with an emotional need to hope,> I know that social formation of mind is open to co-construction/> inter-constitution/co-existence (sobytie)… Along the years, Vygotsky’s> claims > (to create new psychology and new means to make people’s life better) > make me take this problem of psychology applied to mental health as a kind> of personal and professional challenge to my own mental (cognitive/> affective) > resources… (but sorry about my "ecogentric language" here, righ now, i will> control me better in future)> > Oh, sure. One more operational question. Let me ask: is this “dissertation > of Leslie Cook” (“who looked at young women with depressive disorders > and the mediational means they use to make sense of their lives”) > available in any digital midia?> > Thank you very much, for this opportunity of inter-constitution. I must > organize my reading tasks now, there are very important contributions of all> > you here.> > Achilles> Umuarama, July, 11 2008.> > From:> To:> Subject: RE: [xmca] RE:> mental health> Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 15:24:52 -0400> > Achilles asks: > Can> we really creat semiotical means to produce better mental health to people?> Or this kind of a goal is a mistake like possible Vygotsky´s or perhaps some> Vygotsky's followers' mistakes about 'social engeneering'?> > I would say> YES to the first question. I'll take a shortcut and paste something in below> from a book I've coauthored about The Discourse of Character Education> (Erlbaum, 2005, with Joel Taxel). It draws on the dissertation of Leslie> Cook, who looked at young women with depressive disorders and the> mediational means they use to make sense of their lives. My apologies for> the length of the following excerpt.> > > Mental Health and Character> Education> We have briefly expressed our concern that the issue of mental> health is virtually absent from discussions about character education. Yet> many students who come to school with a mental health problems are treated> as discipline problems of the sort measured as indexes of low character in> the proposals we have studied. We believe that it is important for any> character education initiative to recognize and account for mental health in> its conception of good character, both for those with nonnormative makeups> and those with whom they interact.> Mental health is the elephant in the> character education closet. The World Health Organization (2001) reports> that about 7.5 million children in the U. S.—12% of all children under> 18—have mental disorders, nearly half of which lead to serious disability.> Jamison (1997) found that 20% of high school students had seriously> considered committing suicide during the year prior to his study, with most> having drawn up a suicide plan; suicide is the #3 cause of death of> teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age, often following from a depressive> disorder. Yet most parents and teachers feel that mental health issues are> poorly addressed in schools (Dowling & Pound, 1994; Rappaport & Carolla,> 1999), many teachers have little understanding of how to recognize or> respond to students with mental health problems (Madison, 1996), and only> recently has mental health been identified as a reason to develop an> Individual Education Plan (IEP) for students.> These widespread> misunderstandings have resulted in many such students being regarded as> troublesome or lacking character in schools. Yet, as reporter Anne Imse> (1999) wrote following the Columbine school shooting tragedy, > Even teens> as dangerously troubled as Eric Harris stand a good chance of slipping> through the cracks in Jefferson County and across Colorado, failing to get> badly needed mental health care. There are serious roadblocks to getting> treatment for sick kids [including]> • State prohibitions against law> enforcement agencies telling schools about a problem kid unless there's a> conviction; > • Schools worrying about being saddled with psychiatric bills> if they recommend treatment, or even being sued; > • Not enough money> earmarked for counselors and counseling for the state's youth. > So, even> though Jefferson County school officials have become more sensitive to kids'> mental states . . . they remain hamstrung about arranging treatment. "We> have no place to go with them," said Clark Bencomo, a counselor at Green> Mountain High School. "All we can do is suspend or expel." "We are> oftentimes reduced to putting a kid in a place where they're safe, but it's> not the right program," added Kay Cessna, intervention services director for> Jefferson County schools. "There are not enough places." [One parent of a> child with disabilities complained], "They don't have the time, the> manpower, and they don't get it."> ( > Cook (2004)> finds this problem occurring in other states as well, reporting that> students with mental health problems are often put in special education> programs or disciplined when they act out, either as a consequence of their> makeup (e.g., a child with Tourette’s syndrome’s involuntary profanity) or> in response to the taunting they face from their peers.> Yet a mental health> professional would surely argue that the problem is not a lack of character> and the solution is not to punish students with mental health problems.> Rather, a broader understanding of mental health among students and> faculty—the sort of attention to climate we found in the states from the> Upper Midwest—would contribute to a more sympathetic and less punitive> environment for such students in school. Indeed, Damasio (1994) argues in> his somatic-marker theory against the classic Cartesian mind/body binary,> instead positing that brain and body are integrally related not just to one> another but to the environment. A change in the environment, he finds, may> contribute to changes in how a person processes new information (cf. Luria,> 1979; Pert, 1997); that is, in response to developments in the surroundings,> the brain will encode perceptions in new kinds of ways. > Conceivably, then,> changes in school climate can contribute to the emotional well-being of> students whose mental makeup falls outside the normal range. The therapy for> such students is still widely debated. While medication and counseling have> benefited many with nonnormative makeups in their relationships with others,> the medical model has been criticized because it assumes that a normative> mental state is best for all. This criticism frequently comes up in debates> about whether medications for Attention Deficit Disorder are prescribed too> often for any students who have difficulty focusing in school. Some argue> that prescribing such medications is designed more to increase the comfort> levels of those around such students than to help those students> themselves.> The jury is still out concerning the question of whether people> with such diagnoses are sick and in need of medicine. Cook (2004) argues> that relying simply on medication and counseling is inadequate; that a> broader environmental change that enables an understanding and tolerance of> difference, and gives young people tools for managing their difference, is> essential to helping young people construct positive lives for themselves> and in turn contribute to a more humane society. Taking a punitive approach> to difference, she argues, is regressive and only makes life more fragile> for those characterized as different and more emotionally and cognitively> unhealthy for those who surround them.> >> _______________________________________________> xmca mailing list>>>> _________________________________________________________________> Conheça o Windows Live Spaces, a rede de relacionamentos do Messenger!>> _______> xmca mailing list>>> > _______________________________________________> xmca mailing list>>
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Received on Sat Jul 12 17:06 PDT 2008

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