Check out this super cool Skepticon fundraiser! You get excellent chocolates, Mississippi folks get to go to Skepticon, and Skepticon gets more funds! Buy sets of 8, 16, 24, 56, or 120!!
Ever since my appearance on the Godless Bitches podcast, I've had some people ask me about the aftermath of my near-fatal pregnancy and my recovery. In order to answer these questions more fully and dispel the myth that pregnancy is harmless, I've decided to write an detailed account.
Reason in the Rock - Conference about Science and Secularism! This is our second year hosting Little Rock's conference on Science, Secularism, and Critical Thinking. Help us keep this unique experience free to the public!
It's the end of our 2013 fundraiser at least and I can only say one thing: Holy Hypatia, guys! You really came through for us.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
This has always been a pet peeve of mine. Mental illness isn't always determined by what is real. It's often determined by what is a cultural norm. So if you believe you can talk to your ancestor's spirits and they talk back to you, that's ok in a culture that promotes such belief. But if you stray too far outside your culture's beliefs, you may be labeled "mentally ill." If you think Jesus hears you and gives you the strength to get through the day, you're fine! But if you think some other cryptic deity or power guides you and gives you power, you may be insane. Of course, I'm not saying that irrationality equals mental illness - otherwise, we'd all be labeled as insane! But it does seem rather ridiculous that two people can have the same exact symptoms or delusions but only one person gets the label.
Back to the lectures, I was further shocked to see this otherwise intelligent and professional instructor talk about the difference between schizophrenia and demonic possession. He listed three ways he believes you can tell the difference:
1. Schizophrenics will display a strong, positive reaction to the mention of God or prayer while the possessed will show a strong, negative reaction.
2. Schizophrenics do not typically display logical speech and are often confused. Demons are sharp-witted, logical, and clever. They often know things about the people who are attempting deliverance.
3. Schizophrenics typically respond to meds and therapy. Demons do not.
By these criteria, I may be demon possessed. After all, I have responded negatively to mention of God. I have had doctors and laypeople galore tell me I need to get back in church, pray harder, turn it over to Jesus, etc. in order to get well. These responses are unhelpful and aggravating. Of course I'm going to respond negatively!
I also display logical speech most of the time. I do not have disorganized schizophrenia. I can also cold read the hell out of most people.
Lastly, I did not respond to medication for the first 14 years of treatment. If at first it doesn't succeed, there must be a demon!
It truly broke my heart to see this otherwise wonderful professor give his students such bad advice. Not just bad, mind you, but truly dangerous. But what else can we expect from an institution (religion) that critiques everyone else's delusions but refuses to examine its own? Tales of demonic possession not only made me feel more guilty and worthless but they also retarded my treatment. In the world of schizophrenia, early treatment is a big deal as it can slow down or stop some of the brain damage associated with the disease. So losing those first 14 years to irrational superstition has likely harmed me physically as well as emotionally.
Please think twice before you turn your mental health over to religion. You can't cure delusion with another delusion.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Well this is just been the worst 2 weeks that I can remember. First our only car decides to have issues that result in the on-board computer needing replaced (estimated $800+) then I get a notice that my previous school is holding my "Official Transcripts" until a disputed charge is resolved ($1100). Both of which are stopping me from signing up and taking classes next semester.
This meant we had to cancel our trip to Skepticon 6, an event we helped raise money for and really wanted to attend. It also means that all the money we had for the trip which is less than $400 will go towards the $1900+ we need to come up with by the middle of December to make sure I can stay in school.
We have been on a strict budget and have absolutely no wiggle room for such expenses. Yea I should have seen this coming and planned a little better but we were to excited about me going back to school.
If there is any of you reading this and can help us out we both would greatly appreciate it. I feel bad about asking for such donations for us and not a bigger cause but I am at my wits end and have nothing left to sell off.
I have added a donation button in the upper right hand corner of the page.
Thank you all
Nathan and Tweenky