Archive for September, 2010

Hard Times in Toyland

No more pretend ECT for Barbie’s depression or antipsychotics for GI Joe’s PTSD — finally, the line of toys every budding psychiatrist has been waiting for — toys with specific mental illnesses already laid out from the German “asylum” that pumps them out.

These plush “patients” are the idea of Martin Kittsteiner from Hamburg, Germany. Each of the five toys from Paraplush has a specific psychiatric disorder presented in distinctly psychiatric terms on Paraplush’s online store — or as their website calls it, The Asylum: Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddlytoys. Dub is a turtle suffering from depression, Dolly is a sheep suffering under the delusion that she’s a wolf and Kroko is battling paranoid psychosis and so on. Maybe the “asylum” can better relay the plight of these troubled toys. For example, Kroko, a crocodile:

The patient’s hypersensitive hallucinatory perception is a symptom of a paranoid psychosis. The signs are a mental block and a Gestaltzerfall (disintegration of structure) of the habitual field of experience. The consequence is a compensational reactivation of archaic reaction patterns.

The patient needs your help!

For the kid that just can’t help enough, they are available as a set — you know, for group therapy sessions.

The psychological dynamic of a group will challenge your analytic skills and leads to a complete new understanding of therapeutical treatment. Notice the relationships between different patients and discover the structure of a collective plush-subconscious.

Kittsteiner says of his creation,

“Children and grown ups like their vulnerability and find something in them that gives them a great sense of comfort in helping to heal them.”

Just like Cabbage Patch Kids come with adoption papers from Babyland General Hospital, these dolls are shipped out to your kids complete with medical histories and treatment plans. It is, after all, their new little owner’s job to  treat them — and really, who doesn’t like to revel in the vulnerability of the mentally ill?

It’s bizarre on so many levels and only becomes more so when you poke around on their website a little. There are illustrated posters detailing the theory of “plushtoy psychoanalysis” and treatment options and there’s even a game.

At least we can still count on Germany to offer up healthy approaches to mental hygiene.


September 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm 3 comments

What’s Beyond…Beyond Meds?

We shall see. Gianna Kali has announced that her popular and informative blog, Beyond Meds, has reached its end.

Thank you to all my readers for being part of this transformative journey with me. It’s time for me to move on and do other things.

This blog, depending on which ranking system you look at, is between number 1 and number 5 or so of non-pharma funded mental health blogs. I feel good about leaving and that the work has been a success. — Gianna Kali

It was one of the few blogs that I checked regularly and I know many people (myself included) have found it to be of use in so many ways — news, information, inspiration, encouragement or to know they weren’t the only ones experiencing an intensely harsh withdrawal from psych drugs, particularly benzos. It was a great blog and I’ll miss seeing new posts from Gianna. Past posts, however, will remain as a resource — and with such a wealth of information and personal experience, it’s one hell of a resource.

For something as simple as a self-supported means of relaying thoughts and information to have a direct and positive effect on people’s lives is remarkable — maybe the best we can hope for — and she’s done it many times over.

Gianna is ending Beyond Meds to move forward with her life beyond the keyboard and I’m glad she’s at a point in her recovery to even approach that next step. At some as yet undetermined time, we can expect another blog from her, focused on more positive things and free from the heavier issues that make up the broken mental health world. I can’t wait. It’s not one topic that makes her blog what it is, it’s her openness and perspective. I look forward to seeing what she approaches with these qualities next.

I wish her well, both in the “blogosphere” and beyond. I’m sure good things are to come as she determines her own future. If she clues us in, great. If not, I’ll assume she’s out living life — beyond meds and beyond the internet.

September 5, 2010 at 11:02 am 5 comments


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