Last Night’s Mass Killing

Ken AshfordCrime, Gun Control, Mental Health, Military IssuesLeave a Comment

Twelve people including a police officer were killed by a veteran of the Marines at a crowded bar in Thousand Oaks, California, late Wednesday, officials said. Several hundred people were inside the venue, which was hosting a “college country night” for students, police said. The veteran, Ian Long, 28, who died of a gunshot wound, suffered from PTSD. Long has a … Read More

Van Slams Into Toronto Pedestrians; Possible Terrorist Attack

Ken AshfordMental Health, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Police have arrested a suspect after a white van mounted the curb and struck numerous pedestrians in Toronto. The incident happened on Yonge Street south of Finch Avenue around 1:30 p.m. today. A suspect was arrested beside the van on Poyntz Avenue off of Yonge, just south of Sheppard Avenue West. The van is marked as belonging to the rental … Read More

Rape Survivor Jailed

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, Mental HealthLeave a Comment

Lovely: A bipolar rape survivor was jailed for nearly a month in Houston after she broke down while testifying against her rapist. In jail, she was allegedly abused and mistaken as a sex offender. Now she’s suing the prosecutor who sent her to jail, a jail guard who allegedly hit her, and others. The 25-year-old woman, known as Jane Doe, … Read More

Lady Dynamite: A Review

Ken AshfordMental Health, Popular CultureLeave a Comment

I have had a girlfriend with bipolar issues, and another who has since developed identity diffusion disorder* (formally known as multiple personality disorder).  I’ve worked with informal counselling of families and friends of people stricken with mental illness.  Because of that, I can attest to the fact that it is no picnic to be in their shoes, or anywhere near … Read More

Spot-On Review of Maria Bamford

Ken AshfordMental Health, Popular CultureLeave a Comment

Forget Amy Schumer.  Yes Amy is funny, but she’s becoming a bit of a Johnny One-Note. (Yes, we get it, Amy — you are beautiful even if you’re not a size 4, but how many times do we have to applaud your body and being “brave” about it?). But for my money, the real edge-y woman of comedy is Mario Bamford. Which … Read More

A Reminder

Ken AshfordMental HealthLeave a Comment

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you — or someone you know — need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources. Prevalence of Mental Illness Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences … Read More

RIP Patty Duke

Ken AshfordIn Passing, Mental HealthLeave a Comment

Another 69 year old dies. As a teen, she won an Oscar for The Miracle Worker.  Duke became best known in later life as an advocate for mental health issues, after she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982 Her last two tweets: Hi tweethearts and FB friends. I have been absent, but not far, believe me. I love and miss you all. … Read More

Emotional President Moves On Gun Control

Ken AshfordGun Control, Mental HealthLeave a Comment

White House insiders have long said that the worst day of Obama’s presidency was the day of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. What should have been a 9/11 moment for the whole nation turned out to be nothing — as in nothing changed.  Congress voted against reasonable laws like universal background checks. It is clear … Read More

Disease Of The Week

Ken AshfordHealth Care, Mental HealthLeave a Comment

It’s called dementia with Lewy’s Bodies, and Robin Williams.  So says his widow, citing the cause of his suicide.  It wasn’t depression that caused the suicide, so much as the dementia with Lewy’s Bodies which caused the depressions which caused the suicide. I have to be honest here: Is attribution to a physical illness merely a way to make a mental … Read More

Florida Can No Longer Lock Mentally Disabled People And Forget About Them

Ken AshfordConstitution, Courts/Law, Mental HealthLeave a Comment

Fifteen years ago, J.R. — an intellectually disabled man who “functions as a seven-year old.” — was charged with sexual battery, but he was never tried because a court found him incompetent to stand trial. Instead, J.R. was involuntarily committed to a residential mental facility by a court order that contains no end date. End of story.  You see, under … Read More

John Oliver On Mental Health

Ken AshfordMental HealthLeave a Comment

Mental health is in the news again, but only because of another mass shooting.  Mental health is a problem even without the ease of access to guns.  All the politicians agree that the mental health care system in this country is abysmal, but they rarely do anything about it.  Obamacare, to its credit, was a good first (albeit small) step … Read More

The Clinton Gun Plan And The Mental Health Factor Of Gun Control

Ken AshfordElection 2016, Gun Control, Mental HealthLeave a Comment

I was going to write a post about mental health and gun control, but I see that Hillary Clinton just came out with a plan, so I’m going to talk about that as well.  First, the Clinton plan: Fight for comprehensive background checks. Advocate for comprehensive federal background check legislation. Close the “Charleston Loophole.” Tighten the gun show and Internet … Read More

Don’t Call ‘Em Crazy

Ken AshfordMental Health, Racial HomicidesLeave a Comment

I really have a problem with the second-day opinion that the Charleston shooter was “mentally ill” or “disturbed”. 99% of the time, the person offering that assessment isn’t at all a qualified doctor, and 100% of the time, he hasn’t examined the shooter. There’s a ridiculous circular logic that the shooter’s actions explain his mental state, and his mental state … Read More