Violent Games Increase Violent Behavior?!

Author: Murat Artiran, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

The game name “BattleField Bad Company 2 Vietnam”. In their website, there are interesting statistics such as last year almost 14 billion people killed in this game. 5 million times sold, 300 million hours spent on the game, 500 billion bullets used, and as I mentioned 14 billion (it is double to world population) got killed.

Do video games lead to violence?

According to developmental psychologist Douglas A. Gentile and department of psychology chair Craig A. Anderson assert that violent video games cause several physiological changes in children that lead to aggressive and violent behavior.” (Slife, B., 2010, pg 327).

Rather than games which contains violent, bullets, killings, blood, could we imagine different games sell millions? Such as games about animal kingdom, or games about building another earth-like planet with natural beauty. Can you imagine such games sell millions? No. There are such games; however, they are not popular.

A meta-analytic summary of violent video game effects shows that “Paying violent video games increases arousal, increases aggressive cognition, increase aggressive emotions, increases aggressive behaviors, and decreases prosocial behaviors.”(Slife, B., 2010, pg 332).

An interesting question is that violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto is really can make someone thief? Opposite opinion may say that such games helpful to direct ones emotions to cyber world and there will be no energy left to real world. In that case we can say violent games are actually helpful to reduce ones’ hostile emotions.

Adjustment And Other Aspects Of The Adoptive Process

Author: Murat Artiran, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

The older the child the difficult to build trust to the new parents. Therefore parents should work hard to provide secure environment for the adopted children. Emotionally, physically, cognitively secure environment may allow the child to trust his/her new parents. Children learn by modeling so new family may become for them a new model. According to Piaget, children develop from sensorimotor stage to pre-operational, then concrete operational to formal operations (internet source: simplepsychology). Development occurs from concreteness to abstractness cognitively. Awareness and understanding of emotions are also changes from basic emotions to complicated emotions. Therefore adopting an older child mean working harder than adopting a younger child. Another possible difficulty to adopting an older child may come from the idea of cognitive schema. Well-developed cognitive schemas may be difficult to change later in life. ‘A schema can be defined as a set of linked mental representations of the world, which we use both to understand and to respond to situations’ (Wadsworth, 2004). However sometime adopting an older child may be better than younger child. For instance, if adopt an adolescents, she/he may be in the stage of identity development. So it might be good for the adolescents to develop his/her identity freely without having any disturbances from his/her family.

References:

Wadsworth, B. J. (2004). Piaget’s theory of cognitive and affective development: Foundations of constructivism. Longman Publishing. 

Internet source: http://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html http://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html

Debate about ADHD

Author: Murat Artiran, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

There are a lot of debate if ADHD is real disorder. Before talk about this, I would like to point out an interesting detail from ‘YES article’ even if I am in the ‘NO’ side. The detail is about ADHD’s definition. Let me sum it up: “According to National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD is inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.. different symptoms may appear in different settings.. a child who ‘can’t sit still’.. ‘discipline problem’.. ‘unmotivated’.. ‘poor concentration’.. feeling restless.. running, climbing.. having difficulty waiting..” (Slife, B., 2010) and so on. Lists can be 200 hundred pages long to describe definitions and symptoms. If you go any kindergarten, I assure you, you will see hundreds of kids showing those symptoms.

My point is that I do not say ADHD shouldn’t be exist. What I mean is it can be expended almost every our behavior if we want to. Another way of saying, if you cannot see any abnormal behavior in a person you can still label anyone you want with ADHD. For example I can easily label Lady Gaga with ADHD (They do). Also Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln are in ADHD list according to many web sites. Complete list for ADHD’s famous people can be found at http://www.adult-child-add-adhd.com/categories/general/famous_people.php and I added below.

ADHD is in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). However, there are questions about some disorders placed in this manual. “Problems with the DSM: Because of the DSM’s powerful influence, critics maintain that it is important to be aware of its limitations and some inherent problems in the very effort to classify and label mental disorders. The danger of over diagnosis: “If you give a mall boy a hammer,” wrote Abraham Kaplan (1967), “it will turn out that everything he runs into needs pounding.” Likewise, say critics if you give mental-health professionals a diagnostic label, it will turn out that everyone they run into has the symptoms of the new disorder.” Consider ‘attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder’, a label given to children (and adults) who are impulsive, restless, and easily frustrated and who have trouble concentrating. Since ADHD was added the DSM, it has become the fastest-growing disorder in America, where it is diagnosed at least ten times as often as it is in Europe. Critics, therefore, fear that parents, teachers, and mental-health professionals are overusing this diagnosis, especially with boys, who make up 80 to 90 percent of all ADHD cases. The critics argue that normal boyish behavior-being rambunctious, refusing to nap, being playful, not listening to teachers in school-is often being turned into and illness. A longitudinal study of more than a hundred 4-to 6-years-olds found that the number of children who met the criteria for ADHD declined over time. Some remained highly impulsive and unable to concentrate, but others, it seems, simply matured.” (Wade, C., Tavris, C., 2008).

According to Rogers H. Wright “Certainly, there are deficiencies of attention and hyperactivity, but such behavioral aberrancies are most often indicative of a transitory state or condition within the organism. They are not in and of themselves indicative of a ‘disorder’. Every parent has noticed, particularly with young children, that toward the end of an especially exciting and fatiguing day children are literally ‘ricocheting off the wall’… when distractibility and/or hyperactivity characterize the child’s everyday behavior (especially if accompanied by factors such as delayed development, learning difficulties, impaired motor skills, and impaired judgment), they may be indicative of either a neurological disorder or of developing emotional difficulties.” (Slife, B., 2010).

About Bipolar Disorder

Author: Murat Artiran, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

Someone with Bipolar Disorder suffers from periods of “extreme highs(mania)and extreme lows(depression)”(The Sun,2003).Someone who suffers from Bipolar Disorder has a hard time making decisions and usually the decisions they make are not reasonable.They make plans in a delusional way and not appropriate in reference to a realistic decision.Someone who suffers from this disorder put themselves in dangerous sexual situations,that could possibly put them at risk for STDS and this could be a life threating situation;as they could contract a serious desease called Aids.They could also be susceptible to getting raped and many other dangerous situations.These situations can possibly make their disorder worse because they would have to deal with more problems in addition to their disorder.The (Mania) episodes are the worst and causes them to make these bad decisions leaving the person vunerable to getting into a lot of trouble.Relationships might suffer causing discord within the family and spousal or other relationships.The disorder might also cause the person to be involved in police contact,jail time and could make their situation worse.

Bipolar Disorder can be treated in a combination of ways.Medication that is approved for the disorder is the first and most important factor in treating the disorder.”Psychosocial therapies including cognitive- behavioral therapy,interpersonal therapy,family therapy”(Nami,2011) and educational information about the illness are good ways to treat the illness along with medication.There are several medications on the market that are FDA approved to treat the illness.The treating doctor or psychairtrist will have to prescribe a medication for the stages of mania and another medication for the depression.There are also medications to help delay recurrence of symptoms.Mood stabilizers can also be prescribed for acute manic episodes.A combination of antipsychotic medications may also be included in treatment of bipolar disorder.

Someone with bipolar disorder needs the help of society to help them overcome or regulate their illness.Many years ago there was not much help for people with mental illnesses,but today there is a lot of help for someone with a mental illness.People suffering a mental illness need community projects and solid support systems that are vital to helping these people recover from their suffering and to help maintain a healthy lifestyle and to live a productive life.Today we have many programs avaliable for someone with a mental illness.County and state programs to help low-income people medication,counseling,life skills,help to attain a job and help to acquire social security in cases where the person is unable to work because of their illness.There are prescription drug assistance programs avaliable to those who can not afford their medications and do not qualify for other assistance.I found a website called National Alliance on Mental Illness that lists many programs to assist someone with a mental illness.

They needs love and understanding along with emotional support.They may need help making decsions and help getting to their appointments and help finding the right programs that offer assistance for their disorder.Since Bipolar Disorder can affect relationships it is important to remember the symptoms and help in a loving way to avoid unneeded confrontations.

References:

Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2008). Invitation to Psychology. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education

N.A.”Mental Illnesses” Retrieved January 16,2011 from www.nami.org.

N.A.”Lost Among Us”(2003)The Sun,Associated Press,Retrieved January 16, 2011 from http://www.lang.sbsun.com