When Cuban society advances towards computerization as a priority, it turns out, in the opinion of Dr. Miriam de la Osa O´Reilly, head of the Psychiatry Service of the Hermanos Ameijeiras clinical-surgical hospital, that the theme chosen for the IX Cuban Congress of this specialty is very timely: Frontiers of Psychiatry and the Impact of New Technologies.
Author: Lisandra Fariñas Acosta | firstname.lastname@example.org
14 March 2019 00:03:09
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
In the danger of living an excessively “connected” 21st century, and increasingly dependent on computers or cell phones, psychiatry finds new and enormous challenges, said Dr. Miriam de la Osa O´Reilly, head of the Psychiatry Service of the Hermanos Ameijeiras clinical-surgical hospital, to Granma during the first day of the 9th Cuban Congress on this specialty.
We are talking about behavioral addictions, which can range from distorting reality, showing dependence on devices to having communication and socialization problems, and even suicidal attitudes, all related to the misuse of mobile phones and different social networks on the Internet.
When Cuban society moves towards computerization as a priority, in the opinion of the specialist, the topic chosen for the appointment is very topical: Frontiers of Psychiatry and the Impact of New Technologies.
The congress, which seeks to be a space for reflection, scientific exchange and professional commitment, on a science that gains in maturity and experiences on the road to human improvement and well-being. It brings together more than 250 Cuban delegates and some twenty countries at the Havana Convention Center through Friday, March 15.
“We have tried to make the scientific program address the main problems of mental health in the population, while constituting an update on topics specific to this century. Among these are the advantages and dangers of using the Internet, but also the development of neurosciences and nanotechnology in psychiatry,” said the president of the organizing committee.
We communicate all the time, and there is a network like a highway, in which one can advance in time, distance, friends and knowledge is extraordinary. But that same goal implies, if not used properly, multiple dangers, she said.
That’s why psychiatry professionals insist, from the promotion of health and prevention of diseases, on being aware of the problems that so-called TICS can bring; an alert that involves the media and the rest of society, especially when Cuba connects more and more, insisted Dr. Osa O´Reilly.
Healthier contents should be placed in the social networks that are being created and in the existing ones. They should be directed to the well-being of people. At the same time, a critical reading of those messages that we consume daily is needed. And let’s not lose sight of what the smallest members of the household consume, she warned.
The young population is the most affected by this misuse, explained the specialist. And there are plenty of examples, ranging from nomophobia or fear of being without a mobile phone for a long time, the need to check it even when the person wakes up at dawn, to the controversial selfies, which have caused death in the search for new, exuberant places… and the construction of a virtual life in networks like Facebook, dissonant from reality and which can lead to depression.
The interviewee also mentioned other organic consequences of these addictions, such as vision disorders or orthopedic disorders, when adopting incorrect postures for a long time in front of a computer or mobile phone.
On the other hand, for Profesor de la Osa, in this technological era, the cornerstone of the specialty continues to be clinical training, she said.
Based in the capital, the 9th Cuban Congress of Psychiatry was extended in a group of pre-congress courses to the provinces of Artemisa, Santiago de Cuba and Holguín.
On the closing day this Friday, Doctor of Science Pastor Castell-Florit Serrate, director of the National School of Public Health of Cuba and president of the National Council of Scientific Health Societies, stressed that Cuba recognizes the complexity of mental health problems and their social determination, as well as the right of the population to it. In addition there’s to the provision of information and communication with patients and families, and to understanding and support until recovery and continuation of the life project.
Dr. Carmen Borrego, head of the Mental Health and Addictions section of the Ministry of Public Health, signified the high knowledge and responsibility of the professionals of this branch in Cuba, who work in a wide network of services in the country and exceed one thousand specialists.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Ultimately, people like to dream of a better world. They like to commit themselves, even to sacrifice for another being, or for an ideal, or for a revolution. The madness that the West has spread across the planet to keep capitalism and imperialism in control of the planet will not last much longer. Soon, people will understand that there is nothing more glorious than building their own country, improving conditions around the world, cleaning up our environment, loving and fully committing to that work.
But before that, however, the lies will have to be exposed. War is war, peace is peace. Aggressors are aggressors and victims are victims.
The West has immobilized people all over the world with its filthy, depressing lies. Soon, I’m sure, the world will rise up and demand the truth! With the truth, the psychological balance will return.
People will learn to dream again. The alienation that the West has been spreading will be confronted with dreams and imperialism will scream, howl, try to chew on everything that moves, but sooner rather than later it will lose all its power.
Millions of people are now, again, ready to fight for it and hopefully, it will kick the bucket. I believe in it.
The preceding paragraphs summarize the ideas of the philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist Andre Vltchek, a native of Leningrad, of Czech parents and resident in the United States. He has written several books, including The Great October Socialist Revolution, in a substantial essay entitled The West has taken a philosophical blow to the left, published in the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.
People all over the world, including certain groups within the imperialist countries, feel that they have already endured too much. The main media, academia, the most visible propagandists of capitalism have been trying to convince the world that ideology has died, or at least become irrelevant and that the left is actually… the right!
It is an extremely complex but important event. The main problem is that, after decades of philosophy being locked up, imprisoned, inside the decadent classrooms of decadent universities, most people have lost all idea of what they really dislike; of what they reject and what they want.
People all over the world have had enough. Even certain groups within the imperialist countries have endured enough. Philosophy and issues as deep and essential as “the direction in which the world should evolve” were no longer discussed at UNESCO meetings, but were no longer discussed by the presenters of surface talk shows. Light pop music, horror films, the promotion of selfish, often childish, values and desires did not satisfy the masses, but damaged them, reducing their ability to think, analyze and draw sober and well-informed conclusions.
Increasingly, the left has been defamed and conflated with the extreme right, even with fascism. In fact, comparing communism and fascism was tremendously rewarded. In the West, thousands of thinkers and ideologues have made their living doing nothing more than that.
In Europe or North America, when you tune into any television or radio station you hear the great political leaders of the left being systematically called demagogues, populists, or worse, and they make crazy comparisons between Stalin and Hitler. Never a logical comparison like Hitler’s with Churchill or German Nazism with European colonialism. The political reality becomes extremely confusing, Vltchek says.
The biggest problem is that the vast majority of Western citizens have succumbed to this propaganda. They are no longer able to question anything related to these issues, and if they want to question them, they don’t even know where to look for sources that could effectively challenge the official dogma.
They are indoctrinated, but they believe they are free. Not only that, they do not realize that they are deeply conditioned and brainwashed: they really think they are in a position to preach, obliged to enlighten others, instructing the world with what they have been taught.
And so, they talk and write, they get paid for it. They join the UN, international cultural institutions and NGOs, universities, and continue to spread all those dogmas developed by Western ideologues for one and the same purpose: to exploit and control the world.
August 23, 2018.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
By examining our evolutionary past and history as egalitarian, cooperative, and supportive hunter-gatherers in the primitive era, we dispel the false idea that human beings, by their very nature, are competitive, aggressive, and individualistic. Human beings have all the psychological and social skills to live differently and inequality is not inevitable.
This is the view of epidemiology professors Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, authors of several books and other studies on the effects of social inequalities in the United States. In their new book entitled The Inner Level, they rely on a solid set of arguments to demonstrate that “inequality devours the heart of the intimate world and the social anxieties of the vast majority of the population.
In The Inner Level, the evidence shows the impact of inequality on mental well-being, but is only part of the new situation. Professors Pickett and Wilkinson question two key myths that some use to justify the perpetuation and tolerance of social inequality.
Let’s address the misconception that current levels of inequality reflect the existence of a justifiable meritocracy in which those of greater natural capacity rise and those who are incapable languish at heart. We understand that, on the contrary, it is inequalities in outcomes that limit equal opportunities; differences in achievements and achievements themselves are driven by inequality, not its consequences.
Pickett and Wilkinson argue that inequality is a major obstacle to the creation of sustainable economies that serve to optimize the health and well-being of both people and the planet. They say this is because consumerism is about self-improvement and competition for status is intensifying with inequality.
A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that at one point last year, 74% of adults in the UK were so stressed that they felt overwhelmed and unable to cope. One-third were suicidal and 16% had self-injured at some point in their lives. These figures were much higher among young people.
In the United States, death rates are rising steadily, especially for middle-aged white men and women, due to “desperation,” which includes deaths from drug and alcohol addiction as well as suicides and many car accidents. An epidemic of distress seems to be affecting some of the richest nations in the world.
Studies in 28 European countries show that inequality increases status anxiety in all income groups, from the poorest 10% to the richest segment.
Another study on how people experience low social status, in both rich and poor countries, found that, despite huge differences in their material standards of living, people living in relative poverty around the world had a strong sense of shame and self-hatred. Being at the bottom of the social scale feels the same if you live in a rich country as if you live in a very poor country.
While the vast majority of the population appears to be affected by inequality, we respond in different ways to the concerns raised by the way others view and judge us. One such way is to feel overwhelmed and oppressed by distrust, feelings of inferiority and depressed self-esteem, and that leads to high levels of depression and anxiety in more unequal societies, say the authors of The Inner Level.
Psychotic symptoms, such as delusions of grandeur, are more common in more unequal countries, as is schizophrenia. Narcissism increases as income inequality increases, as measured by the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) from successive samples of the American population.
Another widespread response to the need to overcome what psychologists call the “social evaluative threat” is through drugs, alcohol or gambling, through comfort food, or through the use of status and conspicuous consumption. Those who live in more unequal places are more likely to spend money on expensive cars and to buy status goods; and are more likely to have high levels of personal debt because they try to prove that they are not “second-class people” by owning “first-class things.
August 17, 2018.