Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The New Breed of Idiocy

If you missed out on buying Asda's mental patient costume before they sheepishly withdrew it from sale  you can still grab yourself this tasteful little number from Ebay! When I've been in the pits of a depressive episode it's just how I liked to dress.

The good news is that there is a slow but sure movement to a more compassionate attitude towards you who are suffering from mental illness.  Thankfully these days this type of merchandising  is more likely to elicit shocked outrage rather than a titter.  And I've found more evidence that things are changing.  Derogatory language used  by respected academics and physicians in the not too distant past just isn't acceptable today.  I've come across some atrocious stuff in archived notes from the 1960s and '70s that make my blood boil.  People were written off as useless by bumptious blokes wielding  significant amounts of power and influence sometimes before they even reached the end of their teens.   It makes heartbreaking reading.  In  researching some stuff for work around whether sensory intervention is helpful for people with dementia I came across this little gem.

Cleland, C. C. & Clark, C. M. ( 1966) Sensory deprivation and aberrant behavior among idiots. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 71, 213–393.

I'm taken by both the title of the article and the name of the journal itself.   Maybe the title could be resurrected for the 21st century and consider the behaviour of the modern day idiots, those who don a dodgy costume at Halloween.

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