Thursday, 30 August 2012

Shell Shock

Thought this would be something worth mentioning as it could explain a lot about from a military background and why they tend to be more often than others to suffer from mental issues. While watching Who Do You Think You Are last night , Patrick Steward spoke about his father who was abusive to his mother but he never understood why. As the programme went on researching his family history it became clear that his father was suffering shell shock having seen all sorts of sights of children being blown to bits in World War Two.Psychologically now days this is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with soldiers having seen all sorts of horrors of war later leading them to find it hard to readjust to civilian life. Some of the after effects are flashbacks, violence, irrational thoughts and physcial manifestations of psychological sympthoms (such as someone thinking they are on fire when they are not etc.) Patrick Stewart learnt that his father was not angry before he went to war but he came back a changed man. Irish soldiers might also be deemed to be at risk from this as the Dept of Defence has allegedly set apart some of its budget for compensations claims for it as part of a €6m fund to deal with personal injury claims. The last website in the referneces below saysThe Department of Defence has also factored into their compensation budget an allocation for post traumatic stress disorder as well as an increase for the most common types of compensation claim – personal injuries arising from traffic accidents, occupational personal injuries, and administrative law cases in areas such as promotion and disciplinary action.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Campaigners from RISE ( Rural Ireland Says Enough) have been asking the government to get them to over turn the ban on the Union Ward Hunt. Simon Covney has moved to reassure them that there will be no bans on hunting in the new bill (there wouldnt be, there may besome TD's who have an interest in hunting). A spokesman for Hunting Association Ireland said

What we are concerned about at the moment is the Animal Welfare Act that is coming down the line. Minister Simon Coveney has committed to us that there will not be any measures in the Act that will prevent hunting in Ireland.

On the other hand Animal Rights Action Network are calling for a repeal of hunting and that there be psychiatric evaluations in the cases where there is cruelty to animals. This makes perfect sense as those with an aversion to treating animals cruelly are usually desensetised so humans are seen as pretty much a progression in the next step. Protests are going to be held in the next while..

Does the strife and tension in the world at the moment a sign Capitalism is not working?

Capitalism favours a system where there is a hierarchy of people gaining profit on the back of people whom are paid enough to keep them in a job however whom cannot move from one job to another easily enough. You pay a man a wage and also control him with the net result that corporations and large business gain power. Capitalism may have some benefits but by and large is it not the largest contributor to the issues we have at the moment in the world in terms of strife? No one need look any closer than to the US where there has been an inequal health care system, social welfare system and where minorities were treated like second class citizens for years. Large insurance companies own the vast tract of the health care market, social welfare is cut off after a year as people are expected to be wage slaves and large business is predominantly white. Capitalism itself has contributed to the cause of divisions within society with African Americans, Latinos and other minorities all being treated with disdain by large corporations in the pursuit of materialistic wealth. Access to housing, employment, education and other benefits is restricted to a large swathe of white America whom are intent on oppressing those whom they cant make a quick buck from. Israel has seized land from Palestinians in the hope of expanding to make a larger country, more resources means more profit and the pursuit of financial goals inflicts more misery on the people of Palestine.

The divisions that afflict such groups can be seen as to be beneficial to capitalists and their ilk. The worker that is not united is the worker that will not fight, that will not empower themselves and rise up and fight for the rights they are entitled to.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Assange Rape Case

Thanks to my friends on for pointing me in the direction of this. Naomi Wolf is a very competent journalist and has experience working with victims of rape and abused women. Have a read of the following article in which Naomi discusses the facts of the case that do not really add up. Makes for engaging reading:

Lets look at the charges against Assange. Assange is accused of four counts with two of the counts or allegations against him being serious (not my words but that of the Herald Sun in Australia : ) .

The first three allegations arise out of an encounter he had with the first woman, who has been publicly identified, but is widely known as Miss A.

Assange was staying with her in Stockholm, and they were having sex for the second time when she tried to reach for a condom.

At this point, she alleges, Assange pinned her to the bed using his body weight. He then released her and agreed to wear the condom. It then broke but they continued to have sex.

The article goes on to state

In both cases the women had consensual sex with Assange before things went bad, which makes things more murky in many people's minds.

But we should remember sexual assault or rape can start with consensual sex.

At which point during consensual sex does it not become consensual? Under Irish law I dont think this would have much standing would it?

Monday, 20 August 2012

The few lbs are going!

The last three months have been very successful weight wise. Thanks to weight watchers, Im now down nearly two stone so much so that I can fit back into a pair of waist 40 jeans , something I couldnt do for ten years! Reflecting on it, I have an addiction to food and there is a few reasons why . One was emotional eating, if I was bored or had a bad day in work I ate a lot of savoury food (curries and the like) and litres upon litres of coke . Changing the diet was one of the most challenging things I have done but it was also one of the easiest. Out went the coconut milk (the very very and I mean very rare time) as I love Thai food but the coconut milk was replaced with extra light Philadelphia. I cut back on portions of rice. Out the window went the full strength coke and in came the Pepsi Max (no calories at all). Combined with walking three miles approx every night the weight is falling off slowly but surely. All this has not meant I have stopped living. On the contrary. On a Saturday I do not count calories or exercise and I usually have a takeout and will indulge ina  lot of chocoloate but this is always playing at the back of my head! Its all a matter of changing habits and replacing bad habits with healthier ones. If anyone reading this is having trouble with weight gain or just wants a shoulder to cry on or advice of some sorts , give me a shout on facebook or twitter (my twitter is the easiest for most , its ). Onwards and upwards! Making a Korma tonight but with light cream and some lamb :)...

Revolution in a Modern Context

The world is in a state of flux at the moment with the working man coming under more pressure from the establishment to give up more of his wage and people being sidelined as the cogs of the capitalist machine roll on and on. The use of clichés can be forgiven as this is not a metaphor but in a lot of cases this is the actual situation that is taking place. Through years to come and in time that has passed , the more the working man is thrust into the mud, the angrier he becomes but how is this anger to be channelled directly?

Currently the energy is, rightly or wrongly directed at the state through marches and protests with the most notable being the Occupy Dame Street while garnering a lot of attention did not really achieve much bar a footnote in the Indo and pictures of protestors rolling out the same old clichés when questioned by journalists what they are about (it was akin to them having a book of stock answers that they would answer out of, heaven forbid they should think for themselves in a hive entity).  Most weeks Richie Boyd Barrett can be seen marching in the name of something or other and Ming can be seen tending to the needs of the bog cutters but is this revolution? Are these going to make a difference? From memory the only marches that stand out as being successful in Ireland is the march the pensioners took for medical cards. These marches only work when a whole community gets together (as did the African American community in America to fight for rights ).  On the other flip side of the coin is those whom call for a “bloody revolution”, a revolution of guns and for the blood of others to be spilled all in the name of achieving a goal of a socialist state. There must be a happy medium surely between these two?

Marching can only achieve so much, the net effect of marching as can be seen from the Occupy Dame St is that people are only tolerant of so much and the malaise of indifference can settle so much so , that really in the end no one cares. On the other hand a bloody revolution effects change quick but inflicts so much suffering and torture on the innocent, we have to question, is it really worth it? Is it worth spilling the blood of those whom we are intending to protect? This begs the question, how is a modern revolution going to work and if so how can it be done?

Rosa Luxembourg discussed the issue years ago and called for a revolution lead by the people with no leadership but that it must be a proletarian revolution.  This revolution must be led by the people and assume a role of spontenaiety , catch the bourgoise and the capitalists by surprise.  This can be explained in a modern context through the use of the internet. The internet acts as a tool in real time allowing people to work, in a lot of cases anonymously and in other cases not, to organise and create everything from a flash mob to hooligans and everything on the spectrum in between. The internet provides a powerful tool for creating a revolution by which we can effect change in this country. A mass movement by people to change the indifference that is suffered by others could very well move the proletariat forward. The government sees how unpopular they are and they themselves lose confidence and therefore lose the will to govern and call an election. Strikes can be called nationwide in order to get better working conditions for workers whom are struggling after numerous attacks on them by the current government.

A revolution is needed but it needs to be modern, it needs to effect change and will only work with the people on board.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Psychological Conditions - Dissociative Identity Disorder

In the series Lie to Me, a psychologist and his team are tasked with finding out people who are lying and getting the truth from them. In one particular episode a person is brought to their attention whom has Dissociative Identity Disorder in which the person is manifested with two or more personalities as distinct from having one which would be par for the norm in a lot of cases . The sympthoms of the disorder are behaviours outside what other people are aware of and the absence of alcohol, drugs and the lack of financial motive (pretending to be someone else for financial gain). There is no known cause of the disorder but one theory claims that it is from therapists using memory regression in order to gain memories from a childhood where alot of this would occur. A malfunction in the brain causes the child to disassociate himself from his old self thereby creating two identities for himself and a facade of sort.

More info on it can be found here:

This would go a long way towards explaining things like demonic posession or other similar situations where the person claims that they are occupied by more than one personality. The following case study shows the trauma that was suffered by a particular victim called Paula. Having suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her parents, she formed a number of identites to protect her self.

It wasn’t until over a year later that Dr. Harpin was able to officially diagnose Paula with dissociative identity disorder. Dr. Harpin had just concluded a hypnosis session in an effort to help Paula regain her memory from one of her episodes of amnesia when Paula complained of an intense headache. Suddenly Paula seemed very disoriented. She did not know where she was, but she claimed that her name was Sherry and that she was thirty years old. It was later discovered in therapy that "Sherry" was created in order to protect Paula from suffering from the emotional trauma of her father’s sexual assaults

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Kids on LSD? Let is be...

Long the main stay of artists and hippies, LSD has gained a terrible reputation over the years as being a drug associated with long term psychosis and a disastarous effect on the development of personalities in people. LSD is extracted from the ergot fungus which grows in Rye and was first developed as a drug used to treat psychiatric patients in the 1940’s , however this was not met with much success. During the 1960’s, the CIA set up project MK Ultra to look into the effect the drugs may have on covert operations and as the effects were temporary there would be very little evidence afterwards of the drug in the system of the victim. The project was later abandoned after the unreliability of the drug and potentially the instability of the drug with it being subject to being destroyed quite easily by sunlight and oxygen, but should LSD be written off completely?

A recent article on website caught my attention where the author claims to have hacked his brain with an amphetamine called Adderall. In the article he cites how he took on new skills with new vigour after the drug enabled him to take on a new software package he wanted to upskill in. Does the same benefits apply to LSD or are there even more benefits? Read first on the uses of it medically and then creativelly below...

A 1950’s study of alcholocism in the UK came to the conclusion that LSD may be able to treat alcoholics a lot more successfully than the programme run by such rehabilitation units such as the AA etc. Rates of success in treatment of alcoholics using LSD was 50% vis a vis 10% with the success rate of AA (please see Wikipedia and accompanying links for more info). A 1960’s study by Eric Kaast also came to the conclusion that LSD had as much effect as that of opiates when given to cancer patients at a low dosage.The writer Aldous Huxley asked for a dosage on his death bed when he found out that he was dying from cancer and passed away peacefully in his bed having beign given an injection allegedly. Keeping this in mind this is just one of the benefits being touted alongside spiritual and creative needs (think Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles).The doors that can be opened through this drug are immense. DNA amplification was allegedly found through the discoverer being influenced through the use of LSD (Kary Mullins) ( and the same article discusses a programmer who claims he finds ways around programming issues through the use of the drug.

Users of the drugs have reported suffering from flashbacks however there is a lot of evidence that LSD and flashbacks are susceptible to the settings at the time and the mindframe of the person. Literature suggests that a person should be in a relaxed environment and be in a relaxed and non agitated frame of mind to experience a good trip and be secure in themselves to know anything they experience is a flashback/hallucination.

Creatively, spiritually, morally there is a compelling case here for the review of LSD and the scientific literature surrounding it and a strong case for it to be made legal. A recent House of Commons Review in the UK recently downgraded LSD from Grade A to Grade B . Perhaps if we let our 18/19 year olds throw caution to the wind when in college we may indeed stimulate young minds to come up with the answers to the problems of the world?