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News & Opinion

O kay, so if last week's Weekly Wire was arguably "The Education Issue," this week's issue is easily "The Mental Health Issue." The forces of the cosmos are at work again, causing synchronous stories in autonomous newspapers. Ours is not to question why; ours is to enjoy the confluence and exploit it for all it's worth. Hence I am happy to recommend you read Committed and Kids on Pills, which both ask the question: when's the right time to treat mental imbalance? What if the person in question refuses to admit there's a problem and receive treatment? And in the case of kids with Attention Deficit Disorder or hyperactivity, where does the need for discipline end and the need for Ritalin begin?

E qually important questions are asked by What's Killing Psychiatry?, which finds that the days of psychiatrists who take the time to be good, compassionate listeners are over. Now it's wham, bam, here's your pills ma'am. And speaking of pills, Diary Of A Sex Change offers a first-person account of the hormone-popping days leading up to and through a female-to-male sex-change operation. Let's face it, no matter how open-minded they think they are, most people still secretly regard transsexuals as freaks. This personal yet sensible article may just be the cure for that line of thinking.

S peaking of which, elsewhere we've got personalized articles about the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico, the sad cost of "putting Vietnam behind us," and one woman's begrudging acceptance of her role as a "soccer mom." Plus the usual Odds & Ends and Mr. Smarty Pants looniness. Did I say looniness? I mean ... uh ... you know what I mean.

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Full Metal Bracelet
My POW is still missing. [7]
Pamela C. Patterson

Talk Back
Our online BBS is an open forum where you can say anything you like about current events, controversies, or anything else that might be stuck in your craw.

Volume I, Issue 24
November 17 - November 24, 1997

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Diary Of A Sex Change
The diary of a female-to-male transexual reveals a difficult struggle toward self-discovery. [3]

Kids on Pills
Is Ritalin a wonder drug or a typical '90s cure-all for a tough problem? [4]
John Gaver; photographs by Susan Adcock

What's Killing Psychiatry?
Managed-care and psychiatric drugs are shrinking America's mental-health options. [5]
Lisa Birk

If the mentally ill have a right to refuse treatment, what happens when one of your symptoms is not knowing you're sick? [6]
Clea Simon

Mother Mountains
An excerpt from the new book, "Cultures Of Habitat: On Nature, Culture, and Story." [2]
Gary Paul Nabhan

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Kick Started
Margaret Renkl faces a moment of truth on the soccer field. [8]
Margaret Renkl

Odds & Ends
Timed-release news capsules from the flipside. [9]
Devin D. O'Leary

Mr. Smarty Pants
Our resident know-it-all unearths the latest trivia. [10]
R.U. Steinberg

Now What?
Can't get enough news? You're in luck -- more news is created every day. Our Now What? page offers a plethora of recommended links to help keep you living in the present. [11]

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