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Fibrant Living: FMS or Depression?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Health | Posted on 24-05-2008

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I post­ed over at Fibrant Liv­ing today, about the dif­fer­ence between fibromyal­gia and depres­sion.

TotD: Thomas Szasz on Language

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Thought of the Day | Posted on 12-05-2008

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The Untamed TongueReli­gion and the jar­gon of the helping/​hindering pro­fes­sions are com­prised large­ly of lit­er­al­ized metaphors. That is why they are the per­fect tools for legit­imiz­ing and ille­git­imiz­ing ideas, behav­iors, and per­sons.

Ordi­nary lan­guage com­bines all of these qual­i­ties. It can be used lit­er­al­ly and pre­cise­ly, to con­vey mean­ing; metaphor­i­cal­ly or poet­i­cal­ly, to move peo­ple; or ‘reli­gious­ly,’ to blind and numb peo­ple, mak­ing them feel ele­vat­ed or debased.
“In the nat­ur­al sci­ences, lan­guage (math­e­mat­ics) is a use­ful tool: like the micro­scope or tele­scope, it enables us to see what is oth­er­wise invis­i­ble. In the social sci­ences, lan­guage (lit­er­al­ized metaphor) is an imped­i­ment: like a dis­tort­ing mir­ror, it pre­vents us from see­ing the obvi­ous.

That is why in the nat­ur­al sci­ences, knowl­edge can be gained only with the mas­tery of their spe­cial lan­guages; where­as in human affairs, knowl­edge can be gained only by reject­ing the pre­ten­tious jar­gons of the social sci­ences.

Thomas Sza­sz, The Untamed Tongue: A Dis­sent­ing Dic­tio­nary

Review: Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading, Writing | Posted on 15-04-2008

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Writing to Change the World
I haven’t actu­al­ly fin­ished Mary Pipher’s Writ­ing to Change the World yet, so it’s prob­a­bly weird for me to be doing a review. It’s a real­ly meaty lit­tle book, though, and I haven’t fin­ished it because I keep going back to re-read sec­tions or copy some of the quotes scat­tered through the text.

The focus of the book is on per­sua­sive writ­ing. I like the fact that Pipher acknowl­edges the pow­er of sto­ries and fic­tion to inspire change.

I’ve got to return it to the library (it’s way late, because I didn’t want to let go of it), but I’m def­i­nite­ly going to find a copy of my own soon. As I real­ly don’t buy that many books, pre­fer­ring to read them from the library, buy­ing a copy after I read the library’s copy is pret­ty high praise.

I’ve admired Pipher for years, since read­ing Reviv­ing Ophe­lia and The Shel­ter of Each Oth­er, but some­thing I learned today rais­es her even high­er in my esteem. Last year, she returned an award she received from the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion to protest the APA’s con­tin­u­ing sup­port of tor­ture by the U.S. gov­ern­ment. The arti­cle includes her let­ter to the APA, and I encour­age you to read it.

No! Don’t Wanna!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Health, Kvetching, Support | Posted on 10-03-2008

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My ther­a­pist, L, is no longer with the prac­tice I’ve been see­ing for the last cou­ple of years. It took a year to get to her — first, they assigned me to M, who was a total pain in the ass and didn’t lis­ten. Not that I was inclined to talk to her, any­way. And she didn’t return phone calls.

So I final­ly got beyond the “get­ting to know you” stage with L, and she under­stands our fam­i­ly and some his­to­ry and such, so she can put things in con­text. And I think they fired her! They weren’t even going to tell me she wouldn’t be there for my appoint­ment this evening. I called to ask her some­thing and her num­ber had been dis­con­nect­ed, which prompt­ed me to talk to the office idiots.

I. Am. Not. HAPPY! It’s a major PITA to break in a new ther­a­pist. I mean, it is for any­body, but when you have a bunch of inter­lock­ing issues and heavy his­to­ry crap, then you add in chron­ic illness/​disability, and just for fun mix in that whole bi/​pagan/​poly thing, believe me, it’s worse. And some ther­a­pists aren’t up to it. In fact, the one I saw a cou­ple of times before see­ing some­one at this prac­tice told me and Sam at the sec­ond ses­sion that she was in over her head and need­ed to refer me else­where.

Oh — the new per­son doesn’t do evening appoint­ments, either. Which means that the only way I can be sure of get­ting there is to take a taxi, as I have not had good expe­ri­ences with using MARTA for any­thing time-sen­si­tive. Expen­sive, but not as dif­fi­cult as hav­ing Sam take time off from work. But L coördinated my appoint­ments with Katie’s appoint­ments with anoth­er ther­a­pist in the same prac­tice, which was nice. Who knows if this one will be as help­ful?

Grrrr.