This is the first of a series of blog postings related to my own series of research studies (my doctoral research at Saybrook University; Williams, 2011) of people who have made full and lasting medication-free recoveries after being diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. This is very exciting research because it is one of the few areas within psychological research that remains almost entirely wide open. One reason it is so wide open is that most Westerners don’t believe that such recovery is possible, in spite of significant evidence to the contrary. Since there are some very hopeful findings that have emerged within this research, I want to begin this series of postings by summing up one particularly hopeful aspect of my own research, which is a group of five factors that emerged which are considered to have been the most important factors in my participants’ recovery process. But before looking more closely at these factors, we should back up for a minute… Continue reading
The portrayal of individuals with autism in movies has come a long way in recent years. From the savant character of Rain Man to the multi-dimensional heroes of Salander and Khan, are we finally seeing the mainstream media develop a better understanding of persons on the autistic spectrum?
1. Rain Man
This film provided an entire generation with their first introduction to the subject of autism and is still highly regarded today, more than 20 years after its release. Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), the autistic character in Rain Man, is a savant. He has an incredible memory but he does not necessarily understand the things that he is able to recall. For example, he is able to remember numbers and help with card counting, even though he does not have a strong background in mathematics. At the outset, Raymond’s brother Charlie (Tom Cruise) mistakenly believes that Raymond’s autism can be cured and this is the source of much friction throughout the movie. Continue reading
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is “a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others.” (Medline Plus, 2012). Persons with ASPD display “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Continue reading