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1

Mental Health options including
Pop Psychology
from our First World Environ
and the options and realities available in ...
2
We live in an amazing country that has produced some of the most profound
advances in science, medicine, health, and art...
3
Philosophy of Andy Warhol: from A to B and back again, he noted the following
observation:
Sometimes people let the same...
4
in the New York Times by Jesse McKinley on March 23, 2008, his books and philosophy
have held the top two slots of the N...
5
Sadly, records are scarce about some areas of Mr. Tolle’s life. In addition, there
are no accessible medical records or ...
6

First world countries have benefited since the late 1940’s with major
advancements in psychiatric care and behavioral s...
7
Although our medical science industries certainly could make their medical
services more available, especially in the ar...
8

Works Sited
Cohen, B., Kleinman A., Saraceno, A. (2002). World mental health casebook: social and mental
programs in lo...
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Mental Health options including pop pyschology in our first world environ ~ and the options available in developing countries.

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Abstract:
Will be examining pop psychology and self help advice ranging from observations by Andy Warhol to Eckhart Tolle and the application of those sentiments in a first world context. Then I will compare those philosophies to second and third world realities and the fields of therapy and stress management offered today there.

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Mental Health options including pop pyschology in our first world environ ~ and the options available in developing countries.

  1. 1. 1 Mental Health options including Pop Psychology from our First World Environ and the options and realities available in the developing world today. Nathan Aaron Place Student Health 1132, Professor Radi, October 20, 2013
  2. 2. 2 We live in an amazing country that has produced some of the most profound advances in science, medicine, health, and art. Our first world environ allows us the luxury and freedom of many perspectives and opinions. I have personally benefited by being born in the United States of America. Many of us engage and explore these advances and enjoy the freedom to explore them for our edification, well being, and health. As a country, we have embraced the modality of behavioral sciences like our cousins in Europe. Psychiatry and Psychology have changed the way we even define ourselves and the parlance of these sciences has infiltrated into our shared lexicon. It has also augmented and fortified the area known as Self Help and spawned a billion dollar industry that it seems anyone can participate in regardless of expertise or training. These individuals fancy themselves as New Age Teachers. This paper will be exploring and examining pop psychology and self-help advice ranging from the philosophical observations of Andy Warhol to the current celeb de jour in this field: Eckhart Tolle. Then we will delve into the mental health realities of first world and developing nations and the efforts being made to bring these much needed scientific health services to the later Andy Warhol stated that frigid people really make it and we are all entitled to our fifteen minutes of fame. He was a profuse artist that explored many mediums from the comfort of New York City and in conjunction to his visual art; he explored film, philosophy, and was a keen social observer of the time. In his book entitled The
  3. 3. 3 Philosophy of Andy Warhol: from A to B and back again, he noted the following observation: Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, “So what.” That is one of my favorite things to say. “So what.” “My mother didn’t love me.” So what. “My husband won’t ball me.” So what. “I’m a success but I am still alone.” So what. I don’t know how I made it through all the years before I learned to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget it. This gem of self-styled self-help enabled Warhol to navigate the many spheres and social circles he inhabited. He was also fond of saying in this book that he learned early on not to let other peoples’ problems become his. Spoken like a true product of his time. His lifestyle choices certainly made him immune to the many depths of living others experience. Nevertheless, when that is compared to some of the maxims posited today by our self help/new age gurus it seems almost redundant. Warhol did mention also in this book that he had a deep respect for the sciences and wished that he would have been more abreast of their findings if only they were communicated in a manner that he could understand. Currently the newest author of self-styled self-help is Eckhart Tolle. His book, The Power of Now, has sold over 10 million copies and according to an article published
  4. 4. 4 in the New York Times by Jesse McKinley on March 23, 2008, his books and philosophy have held the top two slots of the New York Times bestseller list for over 4 months. Eckhart Tolle’s message is rather simple, in fact very similar to Warhol’s concept of “So what.” He posits that we are burdened with ego, its incessant need to mull over the past and the pain it has caused, and we worry and simultaneously try to control our future. His advice is simply accept the current moment, however that is defined, and live fully in that. So what. The moment and now is the imperative. The USA TODAY interviewed Eckhart about his recent rise to fame, which was fostered by the media titan Oprah Winfrey, and the article written by Cathy Lynn Grossman in October of 2010 also noted many critics of his new age twaddle. This is someone who in conversation uses the term “is-ness” (the state of being in the now) and who, when he says “human being” means being as a verb. “I am, you are” – and nothing more need be said. According to the information available about Mr. Tolle prior to his meteoric rise to international self-help guru status, there appears to be a rather depressed period in his life. He has been quoted in his book The Power of Now that he suffered from “a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression” until he was 29 years old. There are reports of him being homeless and destitute in the city of London. However, miraculously, at 29 he had his personal epiphany, which guided him toward creating the successful self-styled self-help position he commanders today.
  5. 5. 5 Sadly, records are scarce about some areas of Mr. Tolle’s life. In addition, there are no accessible medical records or personal statements indicating whether he ever saw a trained psychotherapist or psychiatrist. He did in both his book and in interviews state that he experienced bouts of identified depression and physical malaise; I am going to posit that with him recognizing certain elements about himself such as the suicidal tendencies and anxiety that he indeed knew of the sciences that tackle these topics. In 2002, a paper was published entitled World Mental Health casebook: social and mental programs in low-income countries by Alex. Cohen, Arthur Kleinman, and Benedetto Saraceno. This publication by the Kluwer Academic Publishing Company outlined the origins and advances of behavioral sciences in the first world and the issues and realities of developing nations. This scientific and compelling review states that over 12.3% of the global burden of mental disorders are neuropsychiatric in nature the vast majority affected were between the ages of 15 and 44 years of age. It also mentions that the various form of clinical depression and alcoholism and drug abuse are usually the most prevalent when looking at the data. [pp. 1-3] The authors noted the vast advancements of services to rectify and address these issues in the first world, but also noted they are lax and often rarely implemented in developing countries. The primary issues stated were proper funding, coordinated efforts, and the existing stigma mental health issues have in these socio-economic realms. In our first world environ we have done much to diminish stigma of mental health issues and our thriving self-help industries are a testament to that. But sadly there has been a major effort made by political forces to defund existing programs and create barriers to service for those who are in the most need. [pp.1, 3, 18-21]
  6. 6. 6 First world countries have benefited since the late 1940’s with major advancements in psychiatric care and behavioral sciences. This has led to a decrease of patients in our hospitals and institutions. That is not the case outside of our bubble. The patients institutionalized in third world countries and unable to receive the type of care we have available and their current documented population is five times that of our mental health institutions. One should also note that many are not even accounted for or documented according to the authors of this paper. [pp. 3] The publication also examines that these countries and the realities that the inhabitants face are often extreme and outside the norm of our own comfortable life styles in the first world. In the past quarter of a century, we have seen tens of million of people in low income areas forced to leave their homes due to political violence, geopolitical campaigns of war, and invasion. This number seems conservative considering the vast war campaigns we are privy to today via the news, but the realities stated primarily now happen only in second and third world nations. The extent of mental distress experienced by refugees is well known and has been studied thoroughly for the last 60 years. [pp. 17] The WHO, United Nations, and the informed populace has taken issue with these findings and has reviewed several attempts to bring mental health services to third world environs. The studies ran the gamut from contending with the vast issues of diagnosed schizophrenia in rural China to drug addiction and PTSD in Afghanistan. There are now coordinated efforts being planned and executed to contend with this disparity. [pp. 21]
  7. 7. 7 Although our medical science industries certainly could make their medical services more available, especially in the areas of mental health. They have shown considerable compassion concerning the pandemic of HIV/AIDS. Inroads are being made and according to this publication, the sentiment and reserves are being established to begin correcting this major issue. However, there are still many mountains to climb in regards to assisting the people in developing countries who are afflicted with mental health issues. Perhaps though we can spare those that suffer the platitudes of our armchair self-help personalities.
  8. 8. 8 Works Sited Cohen, B., Kleinman A., Saraceno, A. (2002). World mental health casebook: social and mental programs in low income countries. Hingam, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers Grossman, Kathy Lynn (2010, October 10). ‘Life’s Purpose’ author Eckhart Tolle is serene, the critics less so. [USA Today Online] Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-04-15tolle15_CV_N.htm#.Uj96944BbHM.email McKinley, Jesse (2008, March 23). The wisdom of the ages, for now anyway. [New York Times Online] Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/fashion/23tolle.html?emc=eta1 Tolle, Eckhart (1999). The power of now: a guide to spiritual enlightenment. Novato, California: New World Library Warhol, Andy (1975). The philosophy of Andy Warhol: from A to B and back again. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

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