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Devra Torres

The Self-Referential Person: What I Didn’t Mean

Jun. 24, 2013, at 11:55pm

Today’s topic is one that’s very close to my heart, and one on which I used to consider myself an expert. 

Last week, inveighing against the “self-referential person,” I wrote this:

It’s a bunker mentality, and it has a certain appeal to, say, apprehensive parents looking out upon a landscape of reckless hedonists, regulation-happy collectivists, self-absorbed politicians, clueless relativists, resolute terrorists, and useful idiots.  They figure their best shot at survival is to ghettoize themselves and their dependents as thoroughly as possible and try to avoid contagion.

The only trouble is, this contradicts the essence of the Church.

Katie responded:

I am sometimes actually

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Devra Torres

Reductionism and Other Mental Illnesses

Apr. 26, 2013, at 3:05pm

Lately I've run into some exceptionally interesting articles on mental health (by John Janaro

 Steve Gershom

and Gregory Popcak).

It occurs to me how closely related to personalism this subject is.  In the quest to “become who you are” (not somebody elseand not some lesser version of yourself)—in the struggle to sort through all the bogus and genuine paths to fulfillment and maturity, where exactly do mental illness and its treatment fit in?

Simple!  (I used to think)  Mental illness is scandalously overdiagnosed!  Drugs are shockingly overprescribed!  Every squirmy little boy is saddled with an ADHD label, every sleep-deprived new mama is PPD, every moody adolescent bipolar.

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Katie van Schaijik

Personalist meditation of the day

Sep. 10, 2012, at 12:25pm

Today's Magnificat meditation, which comes from John Janaro (whose name is not familiar to me) is beautifully personalistic.

My trials have opened my eyes, my ears, and my heart to something I never noticed in my youth.  Maybe it is because I have finally started listening to people.  The fact is that many people are suffering, many of them more than I.  Indeed, suffering is deeper than the immediate external struggles that engage most of us.  Everyone has something missing in life, something that has disappointed, something that does not measure up to a once-cherished hope, something that inhibits freedom, some burden that tires, some hunger that is never satisfied.

People usually

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