Legal System

The downside of psychiatric deinstitutionalization - graphic of a psychiatric institution

The Downside of Psychiatric Deinstitutionalization

Now is a far better time to be mentally ill than it was a few hundred years ago. Institutions like the infamous Bedlam were not happy places, and you might just find yourself chained to the wall for years on end. In the 1800s, you may have ended up in the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in …

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Britney Spears performing in 2016

The Strangeness of the Britney Spears Conservatorship

Britney Spears has been in the news recently after the New York Times released its documentary Framing Britney Spears. It’s on Hulu and FX, which I don’t have access to, so I haven’t watched it. Still, I wanted to talk about the concept of conservatorship in relation to mental illness, because Britney represents an unusual …

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Just Say No poster with two marijuana joints

The Failure of the War on Drugs

If you were around in the 80’s, you are probably very familiar with the message to “just say no” that was part of the overall war on drugs. In 1991, Saved By The Bell got on board with an episode that told viewers “there’s no hope with dope.” There was also the classic egg in …

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Consent infographic: consent is clear, coherent, willing, ongoing

Why Don’t More People Understand Sexual Consent?

When it comes to sexual interactions, it seems like the notion of consent should be pretty simple. Yes means yes, no means no, easy peasy, right? Except obviously, it’s not that simple for a disturbingly large number of people. That begs the question, how have we gotten it so wrong as a society that this …

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What Is… Insanity in the Criminal Justice System

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms.  This week’s term is insanity. Wikipedia is always the first place I turn for this series, but I think this particular Wikipedia page could use some work. It opens with: “Insanity, madness, and craziness are terms that describe a spectrum of …

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