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Society As Plastic: Some Very Short Observations

Out of all things people could be interested in, why are the masses so amused by the cheap, the insipid, and even more fatefully, the profane? Matthew wrote in 6.22 that our eyes are lamps, and furthermore, that our whole bodies should be brimming with light. But alas, many no longer use their lanterns as moral compasses, but rather, they use this technology not to guide them out of the darkness, but to keep them enveloped. Nowadays, we are worse off than Nietzsche's madman; at least he was looking for God with his lantern! What are people looking for these days? Politics, entertainment, gratification, violence, idols.

I keep on seeing content related to millennials eating guacamole toast at bourgeois restaurants, and therefore being unwise with their capital, or something along those lines. As you might have guessed, I have not taken much interest in the ordeal. Whatever the case may be though, I am stunned that these trivial news stories are the objects of peoples attention. I a…

Twelve Twenty Six

Wonder is disinterest
when its edge is expected.

Hearts of trees lay open,
as I view skies of red.

White clouds are melting
all feelings down a drain.

Does anyone know
where everything goes?

In this world,
nothing stays the same.

Points of Fiction: Mental Labor and Ontology

Fiction is supposed to read in a similar way to how a movie plays. A cinematographer and their ilk intend to construct scenes for viewers to see on a screen, much akin to an author using words to convey a particular image which the reader ascertains through reading. However, there is a discrepancy in relation to the image of the film and the image of the novel. Consider the following fictional scenario: a green alien breaks into a donut shop in which he steals coffee and donuts. For the film-makers, they are going to use real props, or perhaps CGI, or even both, to portray this. Maybe they will make the alien bright green, have donuts with pink frosting and sprinkles, black coffee, a 1990s checkered floor, a neon "closed" sign, etc. There is only going to be one scene for this film and that will be the scene on the screen. Now, perhaps an author will go into great detail and try to make it as objective as possible, but there will be no external alien, nor will there be donut…

Simon & Garfunkel - April Come She Will

From two of the most introverted musicians out there ... also, modern folk has got nothing on this and I would rather be a curmudgeon than a liar.

The Great Chain of Linking, Part 2

Face melting guitar skills - Buckethead's awe-inspiring performance of "Soothsayer." If you like the fast stuff, skip ahead to the 4 minute mark.

A David Berlinski montage - The American intellectual talks about new atheism, evolution, and some other things along the way (in his signature biting prose, of course).

Why are pencils yellow? - If the question has ever kept you up at night...

A sociologist critiques gender sociology - I haven't actually read this one yet, though the abstract was a good sell [seller? ... Zellers?]. For all those who complain that "sociologists say x," here's a counterargument. Some of these erroneous accusations have been making me roll my eyes to the point where they'll start singing "googly, googly, begone!"

Review of The Case for Christ movie - David Wood does some hilarious impressions of Lee Strobel, Gary Habermas, and William Lane Craig (they begin at around 2:19).

Gary North has some harsh words for Frank Scha…

Musing Over the Lord's Prayer

I occasionally find myself frustrated over the lack of times I witness the Lord's Prayer being recited. Matthew writes in 6.9 that we should pray like this (NLT); of course, the issue of whether the prayer ought to be communicated verbatim or not is debatable. However, what I do not think is debatable is that this is a powerful prayer. What other prayer has caused such civic uproar? The Lord's Prayer is, after all, that same prayer which public schools first welcomed and then denied. It is the Peter of prayers, or maybe, our prayer lives are just wayward like Peter was?

Whatever the case may be, I understand the difficulty with praying, and I trust that a lot of people relate to me in this way. But this prayer should dismantle that worry. It's right there in Scripture and God is waiting for you to pray it. What amazes me about the Lord's Prayer is that, I think, it is capable of taking on so many different meanings. What I mean here is that this ancient and objective p…

Do Hipsters Exist?

Often times, it is said that post-structuralism and postmodernism followed existentialism. While this is true, I might also wager that hipsterism should have joined the continental conga line. Just as certain existentialists denied that they were existentialists, many hipsters deny that they are hipsters (in addition, reading existential literature gains hipster points).

But unlike the fact that existentialism was once a real theory and approach to be reckoned with, the very notion that the hipster was/is actually a materialized entity has been questioned. Rob Horning, in his article The Death of the Hipster, asks "...are there hipsters, actual hipsters, or just a pervasive fear of hipsters?" Perhaps this says something significant about identity-denial among those perceived as hipsters, an implication that is very much a fact in the social stock of knowledge. In a way, it almost seems like hipsterism is to aesthetics what atheism is to religion. The gods who are so obvious …

The Great Chain of Linking, Part 1

In typical blogger fashion, I am going to start doing some link sharing posts on here. While my own writing will continue to be central to the hesitant telos, sometimes I lack more original ideas to communicate and want to let others know about media of interest without being so boring as to replicate the intellectual property that belongs to others or whatever you might call it. The name I have ascribed to this is a parody of "the great chain of being." This probably isn't related enough to that, but I thought it was catchy - a catchy pleonasm. Also, no promises on the relevancy (in terms of publication date) of these. I'm notoriously late in many a ways, so such a rule about trendiness just won't work for me. Without further ado, I give to you The Great Chain of Linking, Part 1.

1. Can Sociology be Saved? - The mentioning of criminal justice here is interesting to me as a sociology major, which is to say, that sub-field isn't really interesting to me at al…

i m a g e d . s e n s - my new photo blog

I suppose it's time to let the cat out of the bag - I just can't stop making blogs, apparently. Just last week I started up i m a g e d . s e n s, a (mostly) wordless blog that is intended to showcase my own photography/visuals, unless otherwise noted. I spent money on a DSLR camera (Canon Rebel T3i) a few years ago, so I may as well put it to use. There's a good chance many of the uploads to come will be oldies but goodies laying around in the crevices of my hard drive, though a couple of the shares have been recent (by recent I mean within the past couple weeks). In theory, I could just share the photos here, but I really think the design of the other blog really compliments the intention. Speaking of design, you might have noticed that I changed some things around on here: links are green, I disabled the sticky header, and I no longer have a featured post. Unfortunately, the search button and those three lines beside it button (not sure exactly what it's called) are…

Why I Enjoy Philosophy More Than Theology

I have really thrown myself into a sarlacc pit this time! As a self professing Christian, I find myself uncomfortable with making the inference that I enjoy "the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language" (philosophy) more than "the study of the nature of God and religious belief" (theology). I can see that I have also made some of the more serious Christians uncomfortable here, as a swarm of them run towards me. The Roman Catholics have copies of the Catechism and Vatican II documents to lend, the Reformed have their Westminster Confession of Faith, and process Christians have a handful of Alfred North Whitehead and John Cobb books cupped in their eco-friendly local soap washed hands. Those are the first three groups I saw. There are a plethora more and far too many to count. I jest; really, I do.

Before I try to defend my mere opinion, I can think of no better way to begin than b…

Saint Lucy

It's been awhile since I posted a "digital artwork" on here. Today's feature is an icon of Saint Lucy.

A Saucy Defense of Rhetoric: The Escape Artist of Prose Style

Since when did so many writers become recalcitrant about paying attention to their prose? Publishing information is easy; a soul-less robot can do that. Even if there is a mountain of meaning, a soupçon of style is nothing more than unsatisfying. Indeed, it is quite a shame (sham?) how 'rhetoric' has become a pejorative term. In Jane Austen's time, the conflict existed between pride and prejudice; now the conflict lies between pejorative and prejudice. Rhetoric, the modern pejorative, has unfairly been equated with prejudice. "Just as prejudice lacks reason or experience, rhetoric is also void of substance," I can hear the analytic variety loudly roaring.

What the analyst does not understand, however, is that rhetoric is no mere gymnast, but rather, an escape artist. The analytic crowd can complain as long as they please about the somersaults, tumbling, and aerials, but they are not seeing the full performance. The rhetorician has meaning as its gymnastics and p…

The Epistemology of Magnetic Resource Imaging, or, the Futility of Empiricism

The plausibility of the idea that the brain has different sections which serve different functions, as well as the objectivity of how these sections are to be referred to, are questionable matters. First of all, science is defined as “systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation” (Dictionary.com; emphasis mine). The plain truth of the matter is that nobody has actually seen a functioning brain in itself. The closest humans have come to achieving such observation is through technology such as magnetic resource imaging (MRI). But the results these scanners render are not true access to the brains themselves; they are mere images. This is not some abstract, philosophic notion that has no practical utility, as some scientists themselves have affirmed this attitude. To substantiate this claim, I would like to provide a quotation from neuroradiologist Mario Mastroianis: “The images pretend a precision and objectivity which is not rea…

Aesthete Observations

My legs are very sore today, and if there's one reason I won't sleep tonight, it's because my legs are a little sore today.

The hours of the past three days have not been what I quite expected, though I take delight in them. My world feels open to me even if the world itself is not. What a difference 'the' makes! When I think about it, I am, in actuality, nothing more than an unsuccessful rebel. For what I rebel against is not so much of importance as the truth in itself that I rebel without being granted the very success which drives my rebellion. But here I am sounding rather tautological and wish to write no more.

"What am I waiting for?" This is such a common question and prima facie it appears to be one that should have been answered a very long time ago. The question almost brings to surface a kind of angst or despair. The questioner understands that they are waiting and wants to do something to change their situation; and yet, either they sincerely…

Four Years Since Bible School

It's been about four years since I departed from Capernwray Harbour Bible Centre, which I attended from September 2012 - May 2013. In the immediate aftermath, I remember looking at the yearbook quite a lot. Though such a preoccupation with this particular past has fluctuated over time, lately I've been returning to it. Arguably the most engrossing of the implications which make up the yearbook would be the notes/signings. The wording of some of the notes make it sound like familiarity would never waver. I believed that and it seems that others did, too. Of course, being cities, provinces, countries, etc. apart can make contact more difficult, I have found out. Related to this, I wonder how to classify the group I was immersed in: primary or secondary? The answer appears to be rather ambivalent. That being the case, this entry is not intended to read like some mnemotechnics that purely brims of confusion and forlornness.

I thought it might be fun to jog my brain for some highli…

Summer Reading 2017

I posted a reading list last summer, though this time around I won't be mentioning what music I plan on listening to 'cuz I'd rather be more spontaneous with what music I do listen to, as opposed to even trying to listen through full albums or EPs. However, I would like to continue mentioning what books I've been going through and which ones I plan on reading. Below is a list and the order is in accordance with the picture I took. In the brackets I will be mentioning the genre and my progress (please forgive the inconsistency). Also, sorry the picture isn't that great. It's tricky to get a good photo indoors, I guess.

1. Thomas Merton - New Seeds of Contemplation (meditations / 12 of 39 essays read).

2. Max Weber - The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (sociology of religion, economics / have not started).

3. Jay DiNitto - Pale Blue Scratch (philosophical fiction / halfway).

4. David A. Karp - Speaking of Sadness (sociology of mental illness, symbol…

Mars Ill - Inside Out

"Blames the system that built jails instead of schools
Blames religion as a set of useless rules
Blames his father that he never even knew
Looks in the mirror. Yeah, he blames him too..."

Train Bridge

The armchair is cozy but I never know what I believe until I leave it. Truth is best found in fear and not tranquility. To be in fear means to lay waste to both knowledge that is taken for granted and to rediscover knowledge that is taken for granted. I am not thinking about what I usually think about, as my life-world begins to brim with surprise. The thing I have forgotten in my stable life-world comes to surface. It has been there all along, though I did not know it. Truth has been there all along, though I was unaware. My life, the chess board, has been crammed with pawns, knights, bishops, and rooks ... but where was the queen? Where was the king? The king has come to greet me in my fear! He was hidden in the crowd for so long a time; but now, I see him. Why did he ever disappear at all? Situation puts the human on their feet, in the objective world, while theory only puts pen to paper, in the subjective. In situation, I am tested in my entirety. I not only recognize my responsib…

Bad Sociological Writing

It's a pitiful truth that most prose from the court of sociology reads as if it were the transcript of a forlorn jester - unenthused, serious, opaque - or worse yet, like a document from the judge's desk in the supreme court! Filled with political, legalistic jargon that is "too sophisticated" for the normal man or woman to understand, the document was to never leave the judge's locked drawer. But alas, a key has been found, provided by libraries who spend too much on the indulgent nonsense of the intelligentsia (no more Foucault references, please!).

Condescending remarks aside, sociology articles certainly can differ in their prose style. Some articles read like quantitative research papers, others like personal stories - or, "people sharing their narrative" as postmodernists might put it, and still others may utilize ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, which are explicitly on the qualitative side of social science town. What is interesting about th…

God: as a question, as an answer

God is a question that I don't have the answer to, and yet, its importance demands my utmost attention. God is an answer that all the questions in the world bow down before, and still, my utmost attention remains ignorant.

Christian churches and denominations have been a worry for me this past year or so; which one is most right in the eyes of God? Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism all have their questionable characteristics to me. I suppose that's bound to happen with any and all human institutions, that is to say, they are necessarily imperfect. Churches have the rare ability of having their feet in two worlds: the natural and the supernatural.

At what point does ruminating over these problems become an idol? Surely the realness of God exists wholly apart from any institution of this world, or else, we're merely building some anthropomorphic construct. But if it's the polar opposite of being socially related, you run into a Kierkegaardian individu…

Art as a Practice of Honesty or Beauty

Art may be defined as: "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power" (emphasis mine). There seems to be a lot of talk these days about how some artists are so 'real' and 'honest,' which I take to be within 'emotional power,' but my question is, where have the artists making beautiful things wandered off to? The honest artist is stuck in the quagmires of this world, thundering grumbles and groans while no one is there to help them - at least, so they think. To borrow an idea attributed to Kierkegaard, you can't see clearly when you have tears in your eyes. The honest artist has mud on their eyes, is unable to see their comrade's hand of help, and so, they look pitiful and confused. They are confused from the inside. But from the outside, why, they look so naive and silly you'd t…

Christian Mysticism is for the Commoner

It is a truism that Christian mysticism is difficult to define, and furthermore, that it renders mixed responses. A conservative, Protestant website like Got Questions Ministries deem the theology an oxymoron, while there is less hostility among Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. This becomes apparent when considering some of the prominent mystics, people like Augustine, Saint John of the Cross, Bernard of Clairvaux, Teresa of Ávila, Thomas Merton, and Fr. Stephen Freeman. Most of these people were Catholics, save for Fr. Stephen Freeman who is an Orthodox Christian. Still yet, Christian mysticism has not been entirely separated from Protestantism, as made evident through the work of A. W. Tozer. In his introduction for The Christian Book of Mystical Verse, he defines 'mystic' as: "...that personal spiritual experience common to the saints of Bible times and well known to multitudes of persons in the post-biblical era ... [who is] aware of the Presence of God in his…

A Rotten Stroke Spoils the Whole Artwork: My Critique of Banksy

I was recently thinking about how I used to enjoy Banksy's artwork. If you're having trouble putting the art to the artist, they stenciled this image of a man with a bouquet in his hand, instead of a grenade, presumably. A few years back, I made a photo album on Facebook that included some of their art works. Most of the photos in the collection were of the political variety, those maudlin works of art that are usually tainted by some iota of hypocrisy and always tainted with evil aggression. I really liked their art style a few years back, but nowadays it leaves me feeling sick to my stomach. It's as if I retain that it's objectively good, that Banksy has an objective skill or set of skills, but that I can no longer enjoy it.

I suppose the first thing that bugs me is how Banksy uses art to convey political messages. The first problem I see here is that art can never properly convey political messages. A batch of spray paint on some grimy wall in England simply cannot p…

Grotto

Alone in a grotto and I have no complaints to echo. History is a dentist - no tooth, no claw, no lilting. The quiet can make no mark. This void, so beautiful; it is for me, just as I am for it. This can't be the vanity of halcyon days. How long will emptiness remain? I don't mind. When do the waves come?

Lifesavers Underground - Shaded Pain

L.S.U. haven't received much play from me recently, but for whatever reason I was thinking about them the other day, and decided to listen to "Shaded Pain" again. I thought I had overplayed that song so as to no longer enjoy it, but a break from it proved to keep my interest in tact. Melancholic songs are a dime a dozen but there's something special about "Shaded Pain," methinks.


Communication, Values, and Identity in Christ

There is introduction. There is body. There is conclusion. They are all separate, and yet, they form a whole. They form a whole so well that you might overlook these chasms of identity. Even words are reducible to lonely letters; they mean nothing on their own, except in particular circumstances. What drives me to communicate? It must be something I'm craving ... some rich chocolate mousse and a glass of ginger ale. Unless one is ill-mannered, they will use a fork or spoon to eat their cake and a glass to drink their ginger ale from. Likewise, when I communicate, I'm not all about the communication itself. I have a tool at my disposal to ascertain that communication. I suppose it's all a little different than eating because communication involves the interpersonal. Emotions are very important here. What can I pry from the other when I am angry? When I am happy? When I am forlorn? There is manipulation in the communicative process, and not necessarily in the negative sense.

The Cinematic Orchestra - As The Stars Fall

Aboat the Weather

It was cloudy this morning. There was some rain - possibly hail - in the afternoon that lasted for 30 minutes, give or take. I like everything about the song I'm listening to right now except the voices. Why did they add those in there? It would have been even better otherwise. I used to not like cloudy days but now I do. I used to not like the wind but now I see it differently. Cloudy days remind me of my apathy; not in the sense that it reminds me of what I don't want to be reminded of, but more so that the sky has empathy in relation to me. As for the wind, it's at least an archetype for the Spirit of God. And who knows, maybe God Himself is really found in the wind itself somehow? I need some mysticism in my life, at least, I try to make room for it. Lately I've been reading at least one poem/hymn a day from The Christian Book of Mystical Verse edited by A.W. Tozer and I've found it enjoyable. Sometimes I think of poetry as rather boring - even though I write p…

New Blogger Themes?

So I just signed in to start writing a poem and apparently Blogger has NEW themes! The only reason I'm writing this is because this puts me in an uncomfortable situation, to say the least. I have changed the theme/design/template/whatever more times than I can count ... and I'm profoundly ashamed at my inconsistency ... but I have to at least have a look at those new themes. Ah, I like this old one I got going now though! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!?!?!? HA HA HA HA HA HA ... UGGGGGH.

Psychedelics and Popular Philosophy

I was perusing this reddit thread today and was rather disappointed by the philosophers mentioned. The two names that caught my attention were Alan Watts and Friedrich Nietzsche. While I have not read any of Watts' work, and though I am sure he has some interesting ideas, the fact that his very name connotes some sort of post-hippie, stoner culture is enough to make me lose my appetite. Philosophy should be about coming to terms with reality, not distancing oneself from it. Then again, I could ask the question of whether or not psychedelic drugs are capable of bringing one closer to reality, but that is a topic I'd rather not get into at the moment. And some people blame religious people for trying to escape reality...

As for Nietzsche, the opaque prose of Beyond Good and Evil is just not worth anybody's time, even though there are some interesting insights buried deep down. Most people understand Nietzsche as being a morally degenerate man - which he was - and so, I'm …

Unity

Your eyelids are fair, like skylight halos. A Gaussian image - falling faster - though distant from shambles. Broken photography writes letters to reality, the pages crowded with circles. I can't see a thing in anything because I see everything, and yet, it's all so empty. This unity of appetite and pangs.

Surety

The word 'sophistry' has a nice ring to it; so does 'tapestry.' Can I effectively use both of them in the same piece? Then again, why would I? "Well, here I am again, sitting on my puke green love seat" - if I keep writing the words out, I'd write the entire song out! I don't know how I ever get much of anything done when I always have music stuck in my head. Maybe that's why I'm not as productive as I'd like to be ... and yet, my love for music is what inspires me to get anything 'important' done. Just as Pavlov's dog fetched the food at the ring of the bell, I attend to my tasks at the sound of music, and sometimes, at the expectationof that sound.

Patterns are deceiving. I must be hardwired for something beyond repetition, and still, I can't seem to bring myself out of it.

I thought I had found God today. Now that I reflect on it though, it must have been Him who was there up until shortly after the realization had begun. …

Melancholia I

Another paper on mental illness is underway. Depression and/or anxiety are illnesses of particular interest to me, and I think this anthropology paper will be the sixth occasion I've written on the topic. So far I have explored: the sociological implications of pharmaceutical antidepressants and their use in the United States and Canada, Bell Canada's Let's Talk campaign, mental illness among the homeless in Canada and the United States, how herbal medications compare to pharmaceuticals, suicidal thoughts among Aboriginal peoples, and this time around, I think I'll be focusing on 'race-pattern' interpretations of depression as they occur in the United States, i.e. how some and perhaps even a majority of persons from a certain race interpret the issue.

I'm not exactly sure why I listed all that out. A bout of nostalgia if anything. At any rate, I'm planning to make a special title page for this essay because my title pages are usually plain and boring. Al…

Can I Give Up Atheism for Lent for Lent?

I'll start off by saying this: yes, the title of this entry is a little confusing. But what is even more confusing is this program initiated by radical theologian Peter Rollins called Atheism for Lent. No, it's not about trying to overcome doubts that one might have in relation to God, which to me sounds pretty good, but it's about basking in the doubts of acclaimed atheist writers! Take a look at the blurb below.

Lent is a time that is traditionally reserved for a type of psychological purging that leads up to the Crucifixion. In light of this, Atheism for Lent seeks to use some of the most potent critiques of Christianity as a type of purifying fire that might help us appreciate and understand Christ’s cry of dereliction on the Cross in a new way. Just as Christ experienced the loss of God on the Cross, so Atheism for Lent invites participants into that desert space traditionally called the dark night of the soul.

What initially strikes me as strange is that "Christ e…

Skip

Geography has been lost to a technological torrent. Survey the lay of the land. Empires, ghettos, mansions, houses, apartments, boutiques, discounts ... what does it all mean in the face of proper questions? Is there a silence apart from the cacophony? Has the world wide web become a world wide marketplace? The downtown, tenth floor office residing capitalist is no longer the only one raking in the dough. Cultural capital, social capital, and money all have their presence in the digital hemisphere, though I think such an un-nature promotes bungling to a certain extent. All of these presences are social; you need a buyer and a seller. Unfortunately, the seller is granted a more comfortable accommodation while the potential buyers must surf the net with caution, much like a surfer trying to avoid getting trapped in the coral reef! The potential buyers are assumed to be interested in buying. I suppose that's not much different than walking into a shop and having employees badger you …

Questioning the "Science Says" Attitude

A few snippets from Meredith Wadman's article, "One in three scientists confesses to having sinned", published in 2005 by the notorious scientific journal "Nature":

More than a third of US scientists, in a survey of thousands, have admitted to misbehaving in the past three years. The social scientists who carried out the study of research misconduct warn that because attention is focused on high-profile, serious cases, a broader threat from more minor deeds is being missed.

Of 3,247 early- and mid-career researchers who responded, less than 1.5% admitted to falsification or plagiarism, the most serious types of misconduct listed. But 15.5% said they had changed the design, methodology or results of a study in response to pressure from a funding source; 12.5% admitted overlooking others' use of flawed data; and 7.6% said they had circumvented minor aspects of requirements regarding the use of human subjects.

Overall, about a third admitted to at least one of th…

'Aesthetics' as a Contemporary Word

Though Hegel never used these terms, he is recognized as the creator of the following triad: thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. It is quite convenient, then, that there are, what I would consider, three contemporary meanings for 'aesthetics': 1) as a philosophy; 2) as a practice; 3) as a preference. The game at hand, it appears to me, is to delineate which meaning fits within each of Hegel's categories. But first, let me properly describe what I am referring to with each of these three meanings. First, aesthetics as a philosophy refers to not only the study of beauty but how 'beauty' might be defined, if at all. Second, aesthetics as a practice refers to the attempt to make things beautiful - e.g. Roberta, an aesthetician, dyes a client's hair blonde because that's what the client deems beautiful. Third, aesthetics as a preference refers to a certain characteristic or set of characteristics that a person maintains - e.g. "Black nail polish is my aesthe…

The Social Construction of the Chemical Imbalance Theory: Part III

An important document that these different stages of science led to was the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), that is, the most current edition of this document. Its descriptions for depression and anxiety reveal that this document reinforces the idea that these illnesses are problems which pertain to the brain. Citing Hasler and Northoff and Ravindran et al., it is stated that many brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, amygdala, and hippocampus have been involved in persistent depressive disorder. Citing Jorge et al. 2004 and Levin et al. 2005, it is also mentioned that depression is associated with traumatic brain injury. Still yet, it has been suggested, though there is no certainty on the matter, that depression might be episodic (that is, recurring), in certain persons with static brain injuries and other CNS diseases (American Psychiatric Association).

Within the description for anxiety, there is much…

The Social Construction of the Chemical Imbalance Theory: Part II

Also of significance in the 1950s was reserpine, which is an alkaloid contained in the root of Rauwolfia serpentina. Prior to being introduced in the United States, this herbal medicine was used in India as a treatment for both psychosis and hypertension. This drug was found to have neuroleptic effects, meaning it operates as a depressant (France et al. 412). What is fascinating about this is that nearly 70 years ago, herbal medicine was intersecting with the pharmaceutical industry. Through animal studies, it was first found that serotonin was present in the CNS and affected behavior. Reserpine was found to decrease serotonin levels, and so, a hypothesis was developed that low serotonin levels caused depression (France et al. 412).

Notice here though that this study was performed on animals and not humans. As Michael B. Bracken, an epidemiologist at Yale University, mentions in an article from 2009, this has been a controversial subject for a long time. For instance, the Persian polym…

The Social Construction of the Chemical Imbalance Theory: Part I

The chemical imbalance theory was introduced in the mid-20th century. Various scientific findings brought this about, including: the potential of chlorpromazine to treat psychosis; monoamines acting as neurotransmitters in the CNS; and an understanding of how monoamines operate in the brain, such as their synthesis, storage, release, and activation. These discoveries also brought about the emergence of the discipline of psychopharmacology and the practice of treating mental disorders by means of prescribed medication (France et al. 411).

The first antidepressant drugs of the modern era, iproniazid and imipramine, were introduced in the 1950s. Originally, such drugs were used to treat tuberculosis, but when it was discovered that some tubercular patients had elevated moods upon using this medication, iproniazid and imipramine were tested on psychiatric patients both in and outside the United States. It remained a popular treatment for depression for many years until concerning potential…