Beyond Blue

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Also from Save the Assistant’s Lilit Marcus comes this interesting nugget …

Dr. Drew, the psychologist/addiction specialist who runs the clinic on the TV show “Celebrity Rehab” said the following about Tom Cruise:

A lot of people in the public eye who behave strangely have mental illness we can learn from, and much of it is based on childhood trauma, without a doubt. Take a guy like Tom Cruise. Why would somebody be drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology? To me, that’s a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood – maybe some abuse, but mostly neglect.

Now I could argue a lot of different points here. I’ll stick to two since I got carried away in my first post.

First, yes, neglect causes mental illness. But folks, hello, let’s not forget that there exists evidence (through twin studies) for a genetic susceptibility for bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. Scientists like James Potash of Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science are close to using the susceptibility genes to point to biochemical pathways of disease that could lead to development of new medications to alter those pathways. Let’s not lose sight that mood disorders are organic illnesses -not make-believe conditions that happen to those who crack under stress.

Second, while I, for one, am not a huge Tom Cruise fan (Gee, I wonder why?), I don’t think the fact that he is a Scientologist makes him mentally ill. Does this mean because I’m a fish-frying Catholic, I’m a nut? Some would say yes. (And, okay, I did say that Catholicism was the best religion for the mentally ill because of all the visions and stuff.) I’m uncomfortable with anyone saying that because a person follows a set of beliefs that, in effect, makes him a member of my very elite camp. To tell you the truth, I hope Tom Cruise isn’t mentally ill … because I don’t really want to run into him at one of my “retreats.” Especially if he’s off meds. Yikes.

Opinions anyone?

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