Mental Health in Books

Welp even though summer is over, reading is always IN! I may have repeated some of these books in the past, but here are direct links (I kinda work for Amazon.com) to these books and more so you can buy and better understand mental health.

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Wonder Twin Powers Activate: Pop Culture In The Form Mental Health Awareness

Like comic book/superheroes? Want to know about your mental health and mental health in general? Why not have both? Like I mentioned in my previous post “Superheroes and Mental Health”, sometimes you could understand human behavior behind these masked/unmasked heroes, because they represent the throes of humanity. The sites I’m about to introduce YOU to are two great sites that I find do a great job at intertwining mental health awareness and the world of superheroes together:

The Arkham Sessions: Batman: The Animated Series

Pop Culture Hero Coalition

Superhero Therapy

Under The Mask: A Deeper Look at Heroes and Villains

Superhero Therapy

Superhero Therapy

Superhero therapy, ran by Dr. Janina Scarlet, a licensed clinical psychologist, uses various forms of pop culture such as comic books and videos games along with evidence based practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help individuals achieve optimal mental health. As being refugee and being bullied herself, she decided to use her pain to help others by attaining her Ph.D in Neuroscience and clinical psychology and of course, her love comics/pop culture to create “superhero therapy”. She has contributed her knowledge of behavioral health in various books like “Star Trek Psychology”, “Doctor Who Psychology”, “Game of Thrones”, “Captain America Vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology,” “Dark Side of The Mind: Star Wars Psychology,” and “Psych of the Living: The Walking Dead.” She is about to release a new book titled, “Superhero Therapy: A Hero’s Journey Through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” coming out in the U.S. August 1st this summer (out already in the U.K.).

In addition to that, she contributes to the Saga comic series, aids Veterans with PTSD and other mental health disorders. She is also a curriculum creator for the “Pop Culture Hero” organization and website. For more information on her, her site, her works, and contributions, click on the websites below:

Superhero Therapy

What Is Superhero Therapy?

Contributions

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Family Support for Military Sexual Trauma

Paths To Recovery For Military Sexual Trauma

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Books

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Under The Mask: A Deeper Look at Heroes and Villains

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“Under the Mask” created by Dr. Andrea Letamendi “uses fictional heroes and villains to discuss mental health awareness”, while reducing the stigma and misconception toward achieving optimal mental health while still being able to nerd out!

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Using her degree in clinical psychology (and love of pop culture, comic books, especially Batman) her sites goes health topics like, “panic attacks”, “PTSD”, “recovery and rehabilitation” and “bipolar disorder”.

While promoting mental health awareness, the website also aims to bring about “awareness and knowledge of psychology” and “strengthen and broaden the public impact that scientists and academics have about important scientific discoveries” through topics like “sports psychology”, “relaxation therapy”, the “recovery oriented model”, “positive psychology”, “neuropsychology”, “ethics and morality”, “cognitive psychology” and “electroconvulsive therapy.”

If you want to know more about her and her works in clinical psychology and pop culture, look at the links below:

 Under The Mask: A Deeper Look At Heroes and Villains

Batgirl’s psychologists

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/batgirls-psychologist/384661/

Captes, Cowls, and Courage: The Psychological Power of Superheroes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv9nlrM28Ro

“Iron Man 3”: Does Tony Stark Have PTSD? (Guest Column)

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/iron-man-3-does-tony-520868

Meet Batgirl’s Psychologist

https://femmagazine.com/meet-batgirls-psychologist/

the Mock Trial of the Winter Soldier

Saving Lives For 75 Years: “Batman Helped Me Find My Voice.”

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/26/living/batman-anniversary-irpt/

The Legal Geeks

http://thelegalgeeks.com/2016/02/14/sdcf-winter-soldier-mock-trial-report/

 

The Arkham Sessions Batman: The Animated Series

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This weekly series by Dr. Letamendi and Brian Ward gets into the psychological views of Batman: The Animated Series, while still providing educational and comical views of the iconic Batman Heroes and villains.

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Co-host Brian Ward

The show does use other characters of the DC Universe to further explain mental health and world of psychology. Here are a few topics/characters they discuss:

The Arkham Sessions, Episode 102 “Joker’s Millions”

The Arkham Sessions, Episode 101 “WonderCon 2017: The Psychology of Animated Series

For more information, click on the link below (you can also download them via podcast; very fun and informational stuff. Trust me):

The Arkham Sessions

Pop Culture Hero Coalition

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The “Pop Culture Hero Coalition” is a non-profit organization that “stories from TV film, and comics to make a stand for real-life heroism over bullying, racism, misogyny, LGBTQ, bullying, cyber-bullying and other forms of hate”. They have a team and have partnerships with non-profit (Random Acts and To Write Love On Arms, and the United Nations Associations of the United States of America: San Diego Chapter) with various organizations that discusses crucial information on how we can make this nation, this world a better place. Two of people who are a part of the Pop Culture Hero Coalition, team include the two doctors I mentioned earlier, Dr. Letamendi and Dr. Scarlet.

They have also made visits to various schools and conventions around the country (I’ll tell you about the one I saw at this year Wonder Con) to discuss about pertinent details that is essential to living a great and optimal livelihood. For more information, click on the link below:

Pop Culture Hero Coalition

Superheroes and Mental Health

I Love Superheros

Yes… I made a big ol’ picture depicting how much I love superheroes. They are so cool! I mean they have their own individual superpowers and they fight to save those they love

I love watching superhero movies and tv shows! I mean like, I currently I am watching “Gotham”, “The Flash”, “Supergirl”, “Arrow,” and “Legends of Tomorrow”. My favorite superhero is Batman. I own a bunch of comic books (as well as manga). I am definitely looking to watch “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2”, “Wonder Woman”, “Justice League”, “Thor Ragnarok”, “Spiderman: Homecoming” and of course… “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”.

As a child growing up in a domestic violent household, seeing violence day by day made me  feel small , hopeless and hopeless. No matter how many times I mediated my parent fights, no matter how many times I closed the door to my room to block out the arguing, the screaming and fighting, I still felt insignificant and that my life was meaningless. But…whenever I watched superheroes on tv, there were big and powerful. They used their powers to defeat evil and deflect harm away their neighboring communities and the people they loved. But you know what what really amazed me? They didn’t allow their weakness to hold them back.

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I mean, for example, Superman despite knowing Lex Luthor would wear Kyrptonite to defeat him, he would still go toe to toe against Lex. Or another example, Batman despite have no superpowers, utilizes his personal resources to protect Gothamites from the villains that hope to overpower them.

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Superheroes, whether the grew up in humble beginnings or affluent backgrounds, showed that grief, tragedy can happen to anyone. But do you know what people can also choose can let to happen to them? The choices they make. Do they choose to rise above the pain? Or do they allow it to pummel them? If you have read and/or watched any sort of superhero and even supervillain, you’ve seen it happen. Again using Batman as an example, although he is still tormented by the loss of his parents from a young age, he still continues to protect the city and people he loves. Yes, from time to time that pain haunts him, but he recovers from that pain everytime. Sometimes I feel that the loss of his parents takes a harder it on him than all the bad guys he’s ever faced! It kinda reminds me of this old African proverb:

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

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“I am vengeance. I am the night. I…Am..Batman!”

Recovery from his past hurts prevents him from taking harder hits—especially emotionally and psychology—physically from his enemies.  I mean, we’ve all been in a place where past hurts + current circumstances = major damage to our overall well-being. However, the real challenge beings when we ask ourselves will we allow that pain to continue to make us victims? Or…will we become victors?

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If the pain should knock you—as so to speak—does that mean there is no point from rising again? Or do we get up anyway and continue to fight?

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Yes, the world of superheros and villains only exist in our comic books, movies, video games and cartoon shows, but the human struggle of overcoming loss, heartache, disappointment and shame is very much real in this world. I have been made up fun of growing up, because of this statement, but where else have authors and comic writers got the ideas for most famous heroes and most infamous villains? Their butts? No.  Simply these fictional characters embody human strength and struggle. That’s why in addition  to readers and viewers admiring superheros and their powers, they can also identify with, for example, being different or being from a foreign land (*coughs Trump Administration*).

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Senator Kelly in X-Men #58

I think such human experiences caught on comic books are reason why they still exist and why they continue to thrive. Heck…that’s why I read comic books.

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Below are websites that use comic book heroes to help better explain mental illness and bring about mental health awareness. Click on the sites below for more information:

Resources

Pop Culture Hero Coalition

Superhero Therapy: Psychologist, Scientist, Writer, and Geek

The Arkham Sessions

Under the Mask: A Deeper Look At Heroes and Villains

For More Information:

Comicspedia: The Intersection of Comic Books and Clinical Psych

Geek Therapy: Episode 40: Stories Can Be Healing

What Is Superhero Therapy?