Currently viewing the tag: "dysfunction"

…researchers assessed each individual’s homelessness, inpatient mental-health treatment, psychological symptoms of mental illness, substance use and as victims or perpetrators of violence. The researchers evaluated all of these items as both indicators and outcomes — i.e., as both causes and effects.

“We found that all of these indicators mattered, but often in different ways,” says Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of the paper. “For example, drug use was a leading indicator of committing violence, while alcohol use was a leading indicator of being a victim of violence.”

However, the researchers also found that one particular category of psychological symptoms was also closely associated with violence: affective symptoms.

“By affect, we mean symptoms including anxiety, depressive symptoms and poor impulse control,” Desmarais says. “The more pronounced affective symptoms were, the more likely someone was to both commit violence and be a victim of violence…

…on average, the researchers found that one event in which a person was a victim of violence triggered seven other effects, such as psychological symptoms, homelessness and becoming perpetrators of violence. Those seven effects, on average, triggered an additional 39 additional effects.

“It’s a complex series of interactions that spirals over time, exacerbating substance use, mental-health problems and violent behavior,” Van Dorn says. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a protagonist with poor impulse control and high anxiety.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the state of your mental health and how it affects your behavior.

Art Prompt: Mental Illness and Violence

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell  your audience about the complicated relationship between mental illness and violence.

Photo Credit: Alvaro Tapia on Flickr

Ostracize transitive verb
  • To banish or expel from a community or group;to cast out from social, political, or private favor.
  • [Greek Antiquity] To exile by ostracism; tobanish by a popular vote, as at Athens.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever felt ostracized or have you ever been part of ostracizing someone else? Write about the experience.

Art Prompt: Ostracize

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt:Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: Excommunicated Spinoza on Wikimedia
12/21/1982 view White House Christmas decorations in the Green Room

12/21/1982 view White House Christmas decorations in the Green Room

The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in that future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present — they are real. –Shards of Honor by Louise MacMaster Bujold

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a calm man in a green room who suddenly realizes the consequences of his decisions.

Journaling Prompt: If you were in a position of power, what is the first thing  you would change?

Art Prompt: The Green Room

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience your opinion of a current event and how it was handled by the authorities.

Photo Credit: White House Green Room on Wikimedia


…anyone who willingly turns their life upside down by becoming a cook is totally insane to begin with. So many chefs that I have met are dyslexic and totally not school people or intellectuals. That could be symbolic of the kind of lifestyle that they choose to live. They all drink a lot, do a lot of drugs, drink a shitload of coffee and espresso. They don’t sleep much, and obviously don’t have much of a life outside the kitchen. A cook’s friend is a cook, there isn’t much time for a non-cook friend or girlfriend. And time really isn’t the issue so much as it’s a lifestyle and a culture that is very hard to understand or identify with unless you are on the inside. Cooks hang out with cooks because there is nobody else awake, hungry and totally wired at 2 am on a Tuesday. –Jennifer Topper, 29 Jobs and a Million Lies

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with a chef as a protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: What personality traits do you have that make you perfect for your job?

Art Prompt: Crazy Chef

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how different personalities are attracted to different careers. Give them resources to find their perfect career. 

Photo Credit: Joe Benjamin on Flickr


Burnout syndrome is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. This exhaustion is typically work-related and is triggered by discrepancies between the expectations and the actual requirements of the job. Burnout syndrome has become a common worldwide phenomenon, especially among members of high-stress professions, such as firefighters, police officers, teachers and all types of health-care professionals.

Critical care health care professionals have one of the highest rates of burnout syndrome, with nearly half of the workforce exhibiting symptoms. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict springs from burn out.

Journaling Prompt: How do you deal with feeling burned out?

Art Prompt: Burn out

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the health effects of burn out and give them tips to avoid it.

Photo Credit: ashley rose, on Flickr

helicopter parent

“When parents become intrusive in their children’s lives, it may signal to the children that what they do is never good enough. As a result, the child may become afraid of making the slightest mistake and will blame himself or herself for not being ‘perfect’. Over time, such behaviour, known as maladaptive perfectionism, may be detrimental to the child’s well-being as it increases the risk of the child developing symptoms of depression, anxiety and even suicide in very serious cases,” said Assistant Professor Ryan Hong, who led the study which was conducted by a team of researchers from the Department of Psychology at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict stems from a helicopter parent.

Journaling Prompt: How did your parents handle your upbringing? Did they pay enough attention? Too little? Too much? How did this affect you?

Art Prompt: Helicopter parent

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the dangers of helicopter parenting.

Photo Credit: Greg Williams on Flickr

wed The_Ducking-Stool_from_Curious_Punishments_of_Bygone_Days_(1896)

In the common law of crime in England and Wales, a common scold was a species of public nuisance—a troublesome and angry woman who broke the public peace by habitually arguing and quarrelling with her neighbours. The Latin name for the offender, communis rixatrix, appears in the feminine gender and makes it clear that only women could commit this crime.

The offence, which was exported to North America with the colonists, was punishable by ducking: being placed in a chair and submerged in a river or pond. Although rarely prosecuted it remained on the statute books in England and Wales until 1967. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create an offense for your story that is gender-specific. Include a punishment that is specific to this offense.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about punishments, whether legal or cultural, that are specifically anti-woman?

Art Prompt: Public nuisance

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of patriarchy and choose one example to illustrate your feelings about it.

tues secret

All secrets are deep. All secrets become dark. That’s in the nature of secrets. –Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. What is your protagonist’s dark secret? How does it drive his/her actions? How does it color how he/she sees the world?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a secret you haven’t told anyone. What do you believe would happen if someone else knew?

Art Prompt: Dark Secret

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the power of secrets to stunt your life and give them tips for letting go of them.

Photo Credit: Araí Moleri Riva-Zucchelli on Flickr

thursday regrets

There are no ghosts. There is no such thing, little Poppy. No ghosts — only our regrets. –Water Ghosts by Shawna Yang Ryan

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, poem, or haiku about the regrets that haunt your protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: What do you regret right now? How are you handling it?

Art Prompt: The ghosts of regrets

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a touching story about something you regretted and use the story to teach them how to handle regrets in a healthy way.

Photo Credit: Neil Moralee on Flickr

monday mental illness

One in five people struggle with mental illness, and many don’t get help, Lannin said. Those who do wait an average of 11 years, before finally seeking treatment. Lannin says distressed students in the study were more likely to click the link for information (8.5 percent probability for those with high self-stigma, compared to 17.1 percent for those with low self-stigma). Distress is like the gas pedal and stigma the brake, he said. Unfortunately, by the time someone reaches a high level of distress, he or she is often struggling to function.

“Identifying distressed students can be difficult because distress affects people in different ways. The main thing we notice is impairment in functioning across multiple spheres. They struggle with school work or with family relationships and friendships. If it gets bad enough, they might struggle with hygiene or start strongly contemplating suicide,” Lannin said. “It’s not just that they feel bad; it’s that functionally they’re impaired.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, three-quarters of all chronic mental illness begins by age 24. Lannin says for many young adults this is a time of transition — going to college, working full-time and moving away from home — adding to the reasons they may not seek help. This is another consideration when designing interventions and educational information, Lannin said. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene from the point of view of someone with an untreated mental illness.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your experience with mental illness in yourself, a friend, or a family member.

Art Prompt: Stigma

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the stigma of mental illness and give some suggestions as to how we can change the stigmatizing.

Photo Credit: reinekaos on Flickr