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johnny depp amber heard, amber heard bpd

Screenshot taken from a live video of the trial.

A recent (and fairly insensitive) sketch from “Saturday Night Live” said it best regarding the widespread fixation many have on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial:

“It’s not the most pertinent story of the moment, but with all the problems in the world, isn’t it nice to have a news story we can all collectively watch and say ‘glad it ain't me?’”

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial Cold Open - SNLwww.youtube.com

Schadenfreude, celebrity fascination and previously inaccessible information now being at our fingertips is a potent combination in this trial, making amateur lawyers and psychologists of all who feel compelled to unleash their hot takes. And though the right to converse and speculate exists, is it always in our best interests to do so? Especially when it means potentially spreading misinformation, or at the cost of empathy and compassion?


For example: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a complex and very rare disorder; less than 2% of adults in the U.S. have it, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And yet, since Dr. Shannon Curry’s testimony, where she diagnosed Heard with it, I have seen BPD used a number of times to angrily describe someone whose behavior was less-than ideal … usually a co-worker or a former romantic partner. Dr. Curry is a trained and experienced professional in the mental health field and she made her assessment through proven methods that she has studied and practiced throughout her career. The same can’t necessarily be said of the person making an impulsive judgment online.

Just because a person is displaying similar behavior patterns such as fear of abandonment and intense mood swings, it doesn’t mean that they have BPD. Just like someone who is often immature and self-centered isn’t necessarily dealing with narcissistic personality disorder (another rare and serious disorder thrown around somewhat carelessly).

When we oversimplify these nuanced psychological terms—especially when we use them as petty insults—it can help to further stigmas and ignorance surrounding mental illness. In some cases, it might even prevent people from seeking help. It’s wonderful that we can more openly talk about things like “trauma” and “PTSD” now that social media has made this terminology more common. But this trial reveals that perhaps most of us still really have no idea what the words we're using mean. And we use them harshly.

I get that it can be healing to put a word to your suffering and the cruelties elicited by another. A very good friend of mine only recently discovered that her now ex-fiance was diagnosed with BPD. Though a painful truth to consume, ultimately it erased so much confusion she had about their relationship and helped her stop blaming herself for things not working out. It also helped her move on.

The traction that BPD has gotten through the Depp and Heard trial has certainly cultivated more mainstream awareness of the disorder, which might help others find similar solace. That is a great thing. It’s only when we overuse specific terms to generalize actions we find “bad” that it becomes problematic.

I have a feeling anyone who’s been called “the crazy ex” would agree.

Bottom line: The words we use matter. Overuse depletes real meaning. Misuse creates misunderstanding. In a time when it’s so easy to use default labels to criticize someone’s worst attributes, perhaps discretion is the best discipline.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

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Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

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1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.