Body Morphic Disorder

So often you hear about people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). 


This is a psychiatric disorder where people are obsessed with their real or perceived body flaws. 


Often their notions of a physical flaw is widely exaggerated like someone who has a barely noticeable mole, but they see it as a major blotch on their skin that everyone must be staring at and repulsed by.  


People with this disorder may often stand in front of the mirror starring at themselves obsessing over these minor imperfections. 


But there is something major that is missing here. 


And it is the polar opposite of BDD.


I would call it the Body Morphic Disorder (BMD). 


My notion of BMD is where people are similarly obsessed with their bodies, but rather than real or perceived flaws, they are focused on real or perceived notions of their body’s beauty and  perfection!


Instead of looking in the mirror and perceiving problems and feeling self-loathsome, these people are excessively vain and see themselves as a (near) perfect specimen of a human being. 


“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”


Or the equivalent of ain’t I just grand!


It’s funny-weird that we perceive criticism and self-contempt (BDD) as a psychiatric disorder, but we don’t generally see narcissistic self-worship as a personality disorder!


Yet any extreme is a bad thing. 


Excessive loving or hating of your physical self–is the kiss of death when it comes to seeing things the way they really are and being a genuine human being. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Ten Commandments – Good News, Bad News

Ten Commandments - Good News, Bad News

This was a funny joke told over in the Wall Street Journal today:

When Moses was coming down from Har Sinai, he said to the people of Israel, “I have good news and bad news.”

“The good news is I kept him down to ten.”

“The bad news is adultery stays!”

Aside from the joke, the editorial posited why there are so many Jewish comedians–from Jackie Mason to Joan Rivers, and from Jack Benny to Jerry Seinfeld?

But maybe it should’ve asked, why do all the Jewish Comedians names seem to start with a J.

Thinking this through a little more, I realized so many other Jewish comedians out there–Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Billy Crystal, Chelsea Handler, Gene Wilder, George Burns, Jack Black, Larry Fine (from the Three Stooges), Mel Brooks, Rodney Dangerfield, Seth Rogen, The Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, and so many more.

So what is it that makes the Jewish people so funny?

Ms. Wisse, the author postulates that maybe it has to do with the dichotomy of the Jewish people being historically chosen to receive the Torah and hopefully serve as good examples of G-d’s law and morality while at the same time “being targeted by some of the world’s most determined aggressors”–Oy vey! and this list is even longer than that of the comedians!

So as Ms. Wisse points out, the Jewish people are on one hand “exalted” by G-d, but attacked by the wicked among nations.

I guess that would give just about anybody a severe complex–where do I find this one in the DSM?

Up, down, rewarded, punished, chosen, reviled–can make anyone’s head spin–maybe that is why we wear Kippot (head coverings)–I was always taught it was to remember that G-d is above us and always watching and guiding us, but maybe it’s also to help us keep our heads on straight with all the mixed messages we get in the world.

People mistake what “chosen” means–they think maybe Jews think they’re better than others, but this is a mischaracterization.

I learned in Yeshiva–that chosen means we have a great burden to bear in fulfilling G-d commandments–when we do it well, things are good, but when we fail, we learn the hard way.

It’s good to be Jewish–and it would be even better, if Jews accepted themselves and each other.

None of us are perfect–some of us are more imperfect than others.

But we are still brothers and sisters.

There is a Torah, but even the most righteous among us, don’t do everything right–is anyone free from sin?

I always believed that religion is our guidepost, but as we are taught “every person is a world unto themselves” and that there is room for all of us to serve Hashem.

We each have to find the spark within and fulfill Hashem’s destiny that he has for each of us–we all have what we can give and we should do it with a pure heart. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Home Videos)

Children, Our Future

Children_are_the_future

20 children dead today in school shooting. 

Completely unacceptable!

We need better psychiatric screening, more treatment options, and safer schools.

How can we expect children to excel, when they can’t even feel safe. 

Safeguard our children, protect our future.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Massimo Valiani, Source Quote: ABC News article comment by Quinn, and Mashup by Andy Blumenthal)

>Newer Isn’t Always Better

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I love new technology as much or more than the next guy, but…

Last month, I came across an article in USA Today called “Army Ditches Velcro For Buttons,” which chronicles how after deploying high-tech, “space-age Velcro” in uniforms in 2004, the Army found that the good old button worked better on keeping pants packets closed. The Army is now substituting three buttons for Velcro on the cargo pockets of its pants to keep them from opening up and spilling out.

To me, the point is not whether we use new, newer, or even the newest technology out there (like space-age Velcro), but whether we are right-fitting the technology to our organization (in this case, the button met the needs of the soldier better).

I’m sure you may have noticed, as have I that certain technology enthusiasts like, want and literally crave the “latest and greatest” technology gizmos and gadgets, whether they fully work yet or not.

These enthusiasts are often the first to download a new (still buggy) app and the ones that line up (often bringing their own lounge chairs) the night before a new iPhone or other “hot” consumer technology product goes to market.

Similar, and perhaps well-intentioned, enthusiasm for new technology can end up in pushing new technologies before the organization is ready for them (in terms of maturity, adoption, change, priorities, etc.). In other cases, newer technologies may be launched even before the “ink is dried” on IT purchases already made (i.e. the technologies bought are not yet implemented and there has been no return on investment achieved!).

At the extreme, organizations may find themselves with proverbial IT storage closets full of still shrink-wrapped boxes of software and crates of unopened IT hardware and still not be deterred from making another purchase and another and another…

I remember in graduate school learning about shopaholics and those so addicted to consumerism that their behavior bordered on the abnormal according to the Bible of psychiatry, the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM).

This behavior is in sharp contrast with organizations that are disciplined with technology and strong stewards with their organization’s investment dollars—they tend to follow a well-thought-out plan and a structured governance process to ensure that money is well-spent on IT—i.e. it is requirements-driven, strategically aligned, ROI-based, and technologically compliant with the architecture.

In such organizations, responsibility and accountability for IT investments go hand-in-hand, so that success is not measured by whether new technologies get identified and investments “go through,” but rather by how beneficial a technology is for the end-user in doing their jobs and how quickly it actually gets successfully implemented.

This latter organization model is the more mature one and the one that we need to emulate in terms of their architecture and governance. Like the Army, these organizations will chose the old fashioned button over the newer Velcro when it suits the soldier better and will even come out saving 96 cents per uniform.

New technology is great–the key is to be flexible and strategic about when it is needed and when it is not.