Women who kill
​Beth Thomas

So, usually in this section I write about women who have killed, but this time I want to talk about a young girl, Beth Thomas, who stated that she wanted to kill. She was born to an abusive family and taken into care at a a young age. Her adoptive family were nothing but supportive, but Beth's behaviour became worse and worse as she became older. Highly sexed, she would masturbate in inappropriate places and seemed to have no grasp of what was acceptable behaviour. She frequently hurt her little brother and declared that she wanted to kill him and her adoptive parents. Beth was supported with counselling and a loving family, so interestingly, she never acted upon her murderous impulses and instead grew up to become a nurse. A documentary was made about Beth Thomas and you can see part of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME2wmFunCjU When watching it, I couldn't help but wonder how much of what she was saying was true and how much may have been said because she knew her words would have a shocking effect. What do you think?


​For more about Beth Thomas,
click here.

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Knife

Psychological stuff!


There are many weird and wonderful psychological conditions which afflict the human mind. Below are just a couple that I find particularly fascinating.


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​Stendahl Syndrome


​Now, this is a fascinating disorder, also known as Florence Syndrome and hyperkulturemia (and sometimes referred to as 'Tourist's Disease' and 'Art Disease'), which is triggered when people are overcome with emotion in the presence of beautiful works of art. A range of symptoms are experienced including physical and emotional anxiety (rapid heart rate and intense dizziness, that often results in panic attacks and/or fainting), feelings of confusion and disorientation, nausea, dissociative episodes, temporary amnesia, paranoia, and – in extreme cases – hallucinations and temporary ‘madness’. The syndrome has also been applied to other situations where individuals feel overwhelmed in the presence of what they perceive to be immense beauty (such as something in the natural world like a beautiful sunrise). This has been observed particularly at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, hence the name 'Tourist's Disease. Dr. Graziella Magherini (who at the time was the chief of psychiatry at Florence's Santa Maria Nuova Hospital) began to observe that many tourists visiting Florence appeared to be overcome with a range of symptoms including temporary panic attacks to seeming bouts madness lasting two or three days!


To read more about this extraordinary psychosomatic illness, click here and here


The Jumping Frenchman of Maine
This is a very rare disorder which, despite its almost comical name, can significantly impact the lives of the sufferers. Described as a neuropsychiatric disorder (relating to the nervous system), those afflicted exhibit an exaggerated and abnormal startle response, such as flailing limbs, screaming, jumping, hitting or throwing things. After the startle reaction, the person may begin to repeat words back part fashion (known as echolalia) and imitate movements or gestures involuntarily (echopraxia); some individuals even exhibit forced obedience, responding to commands which they would ordinarily ignore.​ Because it is so rare, the Jumping Frenchman of Maine has not been studied in any great detail, so little is known as to its cause. It is known, however, to typical afflict people in puberty or the teenage years.


To find out more, read here.​​​