Dying To Go To Heaven: What The Heaven’s Gate Suicides Teach Us About Islamic Martyrdom

It was 20 years ago this week, March 20-26, 1997, that 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult “graduated” from this life to ascend to the UFO mothership that they believed would take them to an extraterrestrial paradise. I’ll never forget it. I was on book tour for Why People Believe Weird Things, and neither I nor any of my peers who study belief systems had ever heard of the cult. It was hard to fathom. Now, as I look back 20 years later, I believe the mass suicide has a deeper lesson that goes far beyond the confines of New Age fringe cults, and has relevance to understanding the motivations of today’s suicide terrorists. But first, let’s revisit the story. Heaven’s Gate was founded in 1975 by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles after they met in a psychiatric hospital. They fell in love and believed their pairing had been foretold by extraterrestrials. In the 1980s and 1990s, they recruited several hundred followers, many of whom sold their possessions and lived in isolation, disconnected from their family and friends. They practiced living in dark rooms to simulate space travel and considered sex sinful, with six male members voluntarily undergoing castration. In early 1997, the appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp foretold to them that the coming of the UFO mothership, said to be hiding behind the comet, that would take them to what they called The Evolutionary Level Above Human (TELAH), where they would live forever in una...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

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A causal relationship between sleep disturbances and suicidal behavior has been previously reported. Insomnia and nightmares are considered as hallmarks of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, patients with PTSD have an increased risk for sui...
Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Alcohol and Other Drugs Source Type: news
Learning about suicide is important. Most individuals who end their lives (over 40,000 each year in the United States alone) struggle with mental health disorders. Knowing the signs and symptoms do not always prevent suicides but could help you protect yourself, your family and your friends. Reach out to health professionals if you are worried, and keep in mind you can also research reputable organizations online. The one thing you don’t want to do is stay uninformed about something that could mean the difference between life and death. Warning signs that may indicate a mental health disorder could be mistaken for th...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Stigma Suicide Depression grieving Source Type: blogs
The prevalence of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in adults is lower than that in adolescents and it is more prevalent in patients with psychiatric disorders. Sleep disturbances such as nightmares are associated with NSSI after accounting for depression; th...
Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Suicide and Self-Harm Source Type: news
A causal relationship between sleep disturbances and suicidal behavior has been previously reported. Insomnia and nightmares are considered as hallmarks of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, patients with PTSD have an increased risk for suicidality. The present article gives an overview about the existing literature on the relationship between sleep disturbances and suicidality in the context of PTSD. It aims to demonstrate that diagnosing and treating sleep problems as still underestimated target symptoms may provide preventive strategies with respect to suicidality. However, heterogeneous study designs, d...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
There are few studies examining which types of sleep problems are independently associated with suicide attempt (SA) and gender difference in adolescents. The aim of the present study was to examine whether specific sleep problems were uniquely associated with suicide attempt in adolescents and explore gender differences in the association. A school-based health survey was conducted in four provinces within China from November 2014 to January 2015. A total of 15,132 students aged 10–21 years completed standard questionnaires assessing past 12 month suicide attempt in addition to measures of sleep quality, quantity an...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
  Have you ever been so pissed off, in a state of absolute rage, and said or done something you completely regret later? Many people living with bipolar disorder understand this feeling all too well: At the time, you feel so righteous, so fueled with this powerful Hercules-like energy, so ready to take on your enemy (or the world), only to think later… What in the world was that all about? Yep, in these moments, the angry response tends to far outweigh the initial trigger. In this episode, Gabe and Jackie discuss the blind rage that many people have experienced. They talk about how to deal with it and how it&r...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Anger Bipolar Disorders General Not Crazy Podcast Source Type: blogs
Millions of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — from veterans to rape survivors — have new hope because of a watershed study showing that the injection of an anesthetic to a bundle of nerves in the neck can relieve their symptoms in a clinically significant way. The treatment is known as the stellate ganglion block, or SGB. Used since 1925 for problems such as pain in the arm and shingles, it is safe and effective. In the newly released, eight-week, U.S. Army-funded clinical trial of 108 active-duty service members with PTSD, the nonprofit research institute RTI International found that patients...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Personal PTSD Research Treatment Hyper Vigilance Neuroscience Neurotransmitter Norepinephrine Posttraumatic Stress Disorder pruning Source Type: blogs
This week’s Psychology Around the Net focuses on how turning your to-do list into an action plan can help you become more productive, why nightmares can be beneficial to your mental health, how your brain type affects who you are, and more. How Nightmares Could Be Good for Your Mental Health: Typically, we don’t view nightmares as pleasant experiences, but they might be positive ones. Well, have positive benefits, that is. Research shows that nightmares can help relieve stress, offer insight into our suppressed emotions, and prepare us for real-life threats. According to Harvard University’s Dr. Deirdre...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Psychology Around the Net Abusive Relationships Adhd brain types Mothers Nightmares Romantic Relationships Self Destruction Self Sabotage Teens Source Type: blogs
 Psychiatric medications are the religion and politics of the mental health advocacy world — don’t bring them up unless you want a fight to break out. Luckily, here at Not Crazy, we don’t shy away from confrontation.  In this episode, we cover the good, the bad, and the ugly surrounding medications. Like whether or not you should take them. We tackle side effects like feeling numb and sexual dysfunction and share our personal histories with medication therapy. Listen now! (Transcript Available Below) SUBSCRIBE &REVIEW About The Not Crazy Podcast Hosts Gabe Howard is an award-winning wri...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Antidepressant Antipsychotic General Medications Mental Health and Wellness Not Crazy Podcast Psychology Research Sexuality Stimulants Treatment Source Type: blogs
 Chrisa Hickey’s journey into mental health advocacy started when her son, Tim, was diagnosed with very early onset schizophrenia after being admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the first time at the age of 11.  He had been showing symptoms for years and had received a half dozen different diagnoses. His family was desperately looking for answers. Tim’s illness took a toll on the entire family, which was only exacerbated by the lack of information and resources available to them.  In America, fewer than 100 children per year are diagnosed with very early onset schizophrenia. Chrisa had to find ...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Bipolar Children and Teens Depression Family General Mental Health and Wellness Parenting Podcast Psychiatry Psychology Schizophrenia The Psych Central Show Source Type: blogs
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