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Unit 3: the edge of reason


In this unit you will: read extracts from a Young Adult novel and discuss bullying and defence mechanisms; listen to celebrities who talk about mental disorders, such as depression; talk about things that are often seen as ‘taboo’; learn about different mental disorders and read about psychotherapy and treatment; learn how to give advice.

Keep in mind that you will be writing two letters in the Last Stop of this unit: one about seeking help for a (fictional) mental disorder and a second that offers some treatment suggestions.

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MAIN TRACK 1 ⁄ OVER THE EDGE 1.1 ⁄ I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! SPOKEN 1 What drives you crazy? Share and discuss with a partner. Be prepared to share with the rest of INTERACTION the class.

2 How do you think the people in these photos deal with their problems or frustrations?








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3 Which of these would you consider the most and least productive ways of dealing with problems? Rank the photos and give an example of what you mean.


4 How do you deal with your problem(s)? Again, share and discuss with a partner.


1.2 ⁄ TRYING TO COPE 1 Watch the interview in which Demi Lovato shares about her experience of bullying and answer the questions. a How did the bullying start for Demi Lovato in elementary school?

b How did it change in middle school?


People say

sticks and stones may break your bones, but

names can never hurt you, but that’s not true.

Words can hurt. They hurt me. Things were said to me that I still

Haven’t forgotten.

Demi Lovato

c What do you think ‘cattier’ means in the context of bullying?

d Which particular bullying experience does she recall?

e What do you think the danger is of saying this to someone, especially to a 14-year-old girl?

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Why is cyberbullying ‘a whole different world’ according to Demi Lovato?

g Who can do something about the problem? How?

2 Watch a second interview clip of Demi Lovato on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and answer the questions.


a Which eating disorder has Demi dealt with?

b What were other reactions that Demi had to being bullied?

c Why is Demi so ‘adamant and outspoken’ about bullying awareness?


Krista Schumow Photography

a.s. King

A.S. King is the author of several award-winning young adult novels. Her 2010 YA novel, Please Ignore Vera Dietz was a 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick. Everybody Sees the Ants was a Cybils finalist, and a 2012 YALSA Top Ten book for young adults. She also wrote Ask the Passengers (2012), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. More recently she published I Crawl Through It. Her favorite writers are Salman Rushdie and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. She gets her inspiration from real life, history, news articles, things she hears on the bus … She loves writing YA because the minds of young adults are endless. 1 Read the prologue from the novel Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King and answer the questions.


a Why are the principal and school guidance counsellor concerned about Lucky’s social studies project?

b Do you think Lucky’s research topic is okay? Why (not)?


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c Why is Lucky annoyed with the whole situation?

d Perhaps Lucky does have a problem. What could be one of the reasons for this problem?

e Why does Lucky think they are all hypocrites?

OPERATION DON’T SMILE EVER – FRESHMAN YEAR All I did was ask a stupid question.


Six months ago I was assigned the standard second-semester freshman social studies project at Freddy High: create a survey, evaluate data, graph data, express conclusion in a two-hundredword paper. This was an easy A. I thought up my question and printed out 120 copies. The question was: If you were going to commit suicide, what method would you choose?


This was a common conversation topic between Nader (shotgun in the mouth), Danny (jump in front of a speeding truck) and me (inhaling car fumes), and we’d been joking about it for months during seventh-period study hall. I never saw anything bad in it. That kind of stuff made Nader laugh. And Nader laughing at my jokes meant maybe I could get through high school with less shrapnel. When I told the principal that day that it was a joke between Danny, Nader and me, he rolled his eyes and told me that Danny and Nader were not having ‘social problems’ at Freddy High. ‘But you, Mr Linderman, are.’




Apparently, Evelyn Schwartz went blabbing to the guidance counselor about my questionnaire. She said it was ‘morbid’ and ‘creepy.’ (Evelyn Schwartz has a T-shirt that says HE DIED FOR ME with a picture of a dead guy nailed to a cross on it. Oh, the irony.) I really don’t think it’s that morbid of a thing to ask. I’m pretty sure everybody has thought about it at one time or another. My whole plan was to make a few cool pie charts or bar graphs, you know – to show off my Microsoft Excel skills with labels such as SLIT WRISTS, OVERDOSE and FIREARMS. Anyway, just because a person talks about suicide does not make it a ‘cry for help.’ Even if the kid’s a little bit short or unpopular compared to his so-called friends. Three hours after my meeting with the principal, I was sitting in the guidance office. Six days later, I was in the conference room with my parents, surrounded by the school district’s ‘experts’ who watched my every move and scribbled notes about my behavior. In the end they recommended family therapy, suggested medications and further professional testing for disorders like depression, ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome. Professional testing! For asking a dumb question about how you’d off yourself if you were going to off yourself.

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It’s as if they’d never known one single teenager in their whole lives. 30


My parents were worse. They just sat there acting as if the ‘experts’ knew me better than they did. The more I watched Mom jiggle her leg and Dad check his watch, the more I realized maybe that was true. Maybe complete strangers did know me better than they did. And seriously – if one more person explained to me how ‘precious’ my life was, I was going to puke. This was Evelyn’s word, straight from her mega-hard-core church group: Precious. Precious life. I said, ‘Why didn’t anyone think my life was precious when I told them Nader McMillan was pushing me around? That was … what? Second grade? Fifth grade? Seventh grade? Every freaking year of my life?’ I didn’t mention the day before in the locker room, but I was thinking about it.


‘There’s no need to get hostile, Lucky,’ one of them said. ‘We’re just trying to make sure you’re okay.’ ‘Do I look okay to you?’ ‘There’s no need for sarcasm either,’ Jerk-off #2 said. ‘Sometimes it’s hard to grasp just how precious life is at your age.’


I laughed. I didn’t know what else to do. Jerk-off #1 asked me, ‘Do you think this is funny? Joking about killing yourself?’



And I said yes. Of course, none of us knew then that the suicide questionnaires were going to come back completed. And when they did, I wouldn’t be telling any of these people, that’s for sure. I mean, there they were, asking me if I was okay when they’re letting people like Nader run around and calling him normal. Just because he seems okay and because he can pin a guy’s shoulders to the mat in under a minute doesn’t mean he’s not cornering kids in the locker room and doing things to them you don’t want to think about. Because he did. I saw him do it and I saw him laughing. They asked me to wait in the guidance lobby, and I sat in the tweed chair closest to the door, where I could hear them talking to my legjiggling, watch-checking parents. Apparently, smiling and joking was an additional sign that I needed ‘real help.’ And so I initiated Operation Don’t Smile Ever. It’s been a very successful operation. We have perplexed many an enemy.

jiggling: shaking to off yourself: to commit suicide to puke: to throw up shrapnel: metal bomb fragments, here it means ‘damage’. to slit: to cut

Source: A.S. King, Everybody Sees the Ants

2 Think back to the different ways of dealing with problems and frustrations. Is Lucky dealing with his problem? If so, in what way? What would be the best way in your opinion? Try using some of the phrases from the Strategy box.


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strategY How to make suggestions Certain verbs can be used to make suggestions, namely ‘could’, ‘should’ and ‘might’. These are called ‘modal auxiliary verbs’. They are ‘helping’ verbs that are always followed by another verb. – I think you should + verb e.g. I think you should talk to someone about your problem. – He could + verb e.g. He could talk to someone about it. ‘Might’ and ‘may’ are often used with want or like to add politeness. – You may/might + verb e.g. You might want to talk to someone about it.

3 Read the next extract from the novel and answer the questions.


a Where and when does this scene take place?

b Describe Lucky’s frame of mind at the beginning of this scene.

c What happens when Lucky comes out of the changing rooms? What is the first thing Lucky experiences when this happens?

d What is the second thing Lucky experiences when Nader is bullying him?

e What is the meaning of the ‘Transformer daydream’?


What happens at the end of the extract?

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g Having read the extract, what do you think the terms ‘defence mechanism’ and ‘escapism’ mean?

h What do you think the ants represent in this situation?

THE FOURTH THING YOU NEED TO KNOW – THE ANTS The Freddy pool is looking especially inviting today. Mom comments to Kim the manager about her stellar water quality. Kim mentions something about calcium levels. It’s very exciting stuff here on a sunny Tuesday in July. Seriously. Could we all be more boring? 5

I head into the bathroom to change and am happy to find that the new swim shorts Mom gave me aren’t those annoying extra-large puffy things. These are a little gay, but at least they won’t hang down and almost show my butt crack when I climb up the ladder, and I’m pretty sure they’ll make for better cannonballs. When I walk out of the men’s room, Nader ambushes me.



He pulls and twists my arm so hard I think he’s going to dislocate my shoulder. He pushes me onto the concrete and puts his knee in the middle of my back, the way the cops on TV do. He turns my face to the side and presses my cheek into the baking cement. I can feel it burn my skin. Up close, I see the sparkling bits. I can see the tiny world ants see. Hills and valleys of concrete – crumbs from the snack bar, and the trail of water that leaks from the pipe under the water fountain between the bathrooms. Nader begins to move my face across it – slowly scraping me against sandpaper. He says, ‘See what happens when you fuck with me, Linderman?’


I don’t say anything. My face stings and I tense it. He drags it more, pressing it so hard I swear my cheekbone is going to shatter. I can feel the skin melting off it. I feel oddly happy. Peaceful. Like I’m going crazy. Ants appear on the concrete in front of me. Dancing ants. Smiling ants. Ants having a party. One tells me to hang on. Don’t worry, kid! he says, holding up a martini glass. It’ll be over in a minute!


‘Answer me!’ Nader says. Time has slowed to a complete head-fuck. I can’t say anything. I don’t think he knows how hard he’s pressing my face into the concrete. And yet the smell of the concrete is pleasant. The ants continue dancing. Danny pokes his head around the wall.


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Nader says, ‘See what happens when you fuck with me, dude?’ Danny says, ‘Come on, man. He’s all right.’ ‘Answer me!’ Nader says again. I don’t know what to say, so I say, ‘What did I do?’ 35

He laughs. ‘You fucked with me. Remember? Helping that little slut? See what happens? Karma, dude! Say it! Bad shit happens!’ He jerks my face with every enunciation. I concentrate on the feeling of my skin peeling off my cheek. I wonder will the ants eat it after this is over. Do ants eat skin? ‘Say it, Linderman! Bad. Shit. Happens.’


I say, ‘Bad shit happens.’ ‘Now keep your fucking mouth shut,’ he says into my ear. He’s so close I can smell the toothpaste he used this morning. He gets up and struts behind the bathhouse to his bike and rides off.


While I lie there for a second or two, I have one of my old Transformers daydreams from when I was seven. I am Optimus Prime, and I grow to the size of the entire swimming pool. I stomp Nader into dust. I regrow him like dehydrated potatoes, and then I stick him in my prison camp. There are a lot of bamboo spikes. I make him eat rat shit. The ants all laugh. I’m sitting up, propped against the men’s room doorjamb, and Kim the pool manager is squinting at my face.


‘Jesus, Lucky!’ I blink. ‘You okay?’


I nod feebly. At the same time I hold back maniacal laughter, suppressing my inner crazy person who is still watching ants dance. One of them is popping the cork on a bottle of champagne. Another is setting up a limbo stick. ‘Who did it?’ she asks, looking around. I glance at Danny, who’s now in place behind the snack-bar counter with his head through the window, craning his neck so he can see us. She says, ‘Who did this to him?’


He shrugs. Asshole.

doorjamb: or doorpost, the vertical portion of the frame onto which a door is secured. enunciation: articulation feeble: weak to squint: narrow your eyes to strut: to walk

Source: A.S. King, Everybody Sees the Ants.

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4 Think back to the suggestions you gave Lucky in question 2. Do you still think that is the best way to help Lucky? Why (not)? Write a short note to Lucky in which you give him some personal advice or encouragement. Use some of the expressions from the Strategy box again.



KendriCK LaMar

© Robb D. Cohen/Retna Ltd./Corbis

Kendrick Lamar is an American rapper from Compton, California. He has released several albums, including Overly Dedicated (2010), Section.80 (2011), good kid, m.A.A.d city (2013) and the critically acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly (2015). In both his lyrics as well as interviews, Lamar has opened up on his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts in the past.

Adapted from:

1 Read the article on Kendrick Lamar’s song ‘u’ and answer the questions.


a Explain the opening line ‘Loving you is complicated’. Who is ‘you’? Why is it ‘complicated’?

b Which line in the article claims that ‘u’ is a kind of confession?

c What are some of the reasons why Kendrick feels guilty?


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‘Loving you is complicated’ TWITTER




That’s how Kendrick Lamar describes the struggle to love himself in the face of ghetto strife on ‘u.’ The tag line for ‘i,’ by comparison, is ‘I love myself’ and it’s called out so strongly and so often that it uplifts all the other fiery emotions stuffed inside the song. ‘u’ is the dark twin to ‘i’, the GRAMMY Award winner and ode to positive thinking. Even with dual tones set this far apart, both sides of the spectrum promote love and hope as the real cures for our selfdoubt. They’re close in name for that reason too.

Kendrick chose these songs as each other’s complement on To Pimp A Butterfly because ‘i’ is the welcoming pop decoy, contrasting profound personal faith with warring police mobs just down the street. It drums along to the rhythm of a Top 40 anthem while carrying heavier themes in the trunk. ‘u’ is a low-key prayer, an earnest attempt at forgiving his many sins by revealing them out loud. The bare blues that shape the somber tone in ‘u’ mingle with its voice of forgiveness and vulnerability. As Kendrick begins ‘u’, he points more severe criticism at himself. Rather than rise out of the pits too soon, he sits in his doubt and exaggerates the effects, reducing talent to almost nothing, handing himself over to outside judgment: I place blame when you steal Place shame when you steal Feel like you ain’t shit Feel like you don’t feel, confidence in yourself Breakin’ on marble floors Watchin’ anonymous strangers tellin’ me that I’m yours But you ain’t shit I’m convinced your talent’s nothin’ special



EMAIL © Christian Bertrand /


The goal of ‘u’ is balancing [the] unquestioned ambition [of fulfilling a personal dream] with a need to explore where he’s missing the mark. His personal triumphs are not gratifying without further sealing the bond to the loyalists who got him there: You ain’t no brother, you ain’t no disciple, you ain’t no friend A friend never leave Compton for profit or leave his best friend Little brother, you promised you’d watch him before they shot him Where was your antennas, on the road, bottles and bitches You FaceTimed the one time, that’s unforgiven You even FaceTimed instead of a hospital visit You should thought he would recover, well The surgery couldn’t stop the bleeding for real Then he died, God himself will say ‘you fuckin’ failed’ You ain’t try



bravado: bragging, bluff, language used to impress decoy: something that distracts one’s attention from something else gore: the explicit image of a wound, usually with a lot of blood gratifying: satisfying mingle: to mix different things; to socialise mob: large group of people redemption: making your fault or mistake right again strife: difficult conflict tarnished: dirty, damaged vulnerability: in a state of being exposed (physically and/or mentally) to external harm

That’s when Kendrick wholly loving himself gets complicated. Guilt drags after him anyway, good intentions and all. Why take the easy road to redemption when he could endure the thorns of striving for better? This kind of love is sturdier for it, the strength in earned scars and rested regrets. The Compton hero described how necessary pain was in creating ‘u’: 40

‘That was one of the hardest songs I had to write […] There’s some very dark moments in there. All my insecurities and selfishness and letdowns. That sh-t is depressing as a motherf–ker. But it helps, though. It helps.’ The reason we enjoy Kendrick Lamar on To Pimp A Butterfly is the same reason to admire all of his work. He’s never afraid to go there. He won’t spare us the gore of his wounds. He substitutes the fragile rap bravado that raised him with tarnished confidence, and reimagined power that’s shared instead of abused.


Everybody lacks confidence. It’s a plain truth we all know without always summoning the courage to say it. Kendrick lifts that weight, revealing in ‘u’ and ‘i’ that the secret to tackling fear is admitting only we can give it power. Adapted from:

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2 Now listen to the song ‘u’. Fill in the missing lyrics below.


’U’ - KendriCK LaMar Loving you is complicated I place

on you still,


on you still

Feel like you ain’t shit, feel like you don’t feel in yourself, breakin’ on marble floors 5

Watchin’ anonymous strangers, tellin’ me that I’m yours But you ain’t shit, I’m convinced your tolerance nothin’ What can I


you for, nigga I can name several

Situations, I’ll start with your little sister bakin’ A baby inside, just a teenager, where your patience? Where was your antennas, where was the

you speak of?

You preached in front of 100,000 but never reached her I fuckin’ tell you, you fuckin’ failure – you ain’t no leader! 15

I never liked you, forever

you – I don’t need you!

The world don’t need you, don’t let them


Numbers lie too, fuck your pride too, that’s for Thought money would change you, made you more complacent I fuckin’ hate you, I hope you 20


I swear Lovin’ you, lovin’ you, not lovin’ you, 100° proof I can feel your vibe and recognize that you’re

of me

Yes, I hate you, too 25

House keeping *knocks* House keeping ¡Abre la puerta! ¡Abre la puerta tengo que limpiar el cuarto! ¡Es que no hay mucho tiempo tengo que limpiar el cuarto! ¡Disculpe!



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You the reason why mama and them leavin’ No you ain’t shit, you say you love them, I know you don’t mean it I know you’re irresponsible, selfish,

, can’t help it

Your trials and tribulations a

, everyone felt it

Everyone heard it, multiple shots, corners cryin’ out 35

You was deserted, where was your antennas again? Where was your presence, where was your

that you pretend?

You ain’t no brother, you ain’t no disciple, you ain’t no friend A friend never leave Compton for profit or leave his best friend Little brother, you promised you’d watch him before they shot him 40

Where was your antennas, on the road, bottles and bitches You faced time the one time, that’s unforgiven You even

instead of a hospital visit © Kobby Dagan /

Guess you thought he would recover well Third surgery, they couldn’t stop the bleeding for real 45

Then he died, God himself will say ‘you fuckin’ failed’ You ain’t try I know your secrets nigga Mood swings is frequent nigga I know


is restin’ on your heart for two reasons nigga

I know you and a couple block boys ain’t been speakin’ nigga Y’all damn near beefin’, I seen it and you’re the reason nigga And if this bottle could talk *gulp* I

myself to sleep

Bitch everything is your Faults breakin’ to pieces, earthquakes on every weekend 55

Because you shook as soon as you knew confinement was needed I know your secrets Don’t let me tell them to the world about that shit you thinkin’ And that time you *gulp* I’m bout to hurl I’m fucked up, but I ain’t as fucked up as you


You just can’t get right, I think your heart made of bullet Shoulda killed yo ass a long time ago You shoulda feeled that black revolver blast a long time ago And if those mirrors could talk it would say ‘you gotta go’


And if I told your secrets The world’ll know money can’t stop a suicidal

100˚ proof: alcohol proof; measures amount of alcohol in an alcoholic beverage beefi n’: slang for having a conflict deserted: to have abandoned someone or something disciple: someone who follows and spreads the word of another hurl: informal synonym for the act of vomiting tolerance: being able to or wanting to accept something for what it is

Source: Lyrics: Kendrick Lamar, Taz Arnold and Whoarei

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did YoU KnoW?

The word ‘nigga’ is often used amongst African Americans, especially in rap and hip-hop lyrics. It can be used to simply refer to somebody who is African American, but it can also be used as a term of endearment between African Americans. The word evolved from, but should not be confused with, the word ‘nigger’, which carries a much more negative and racist connotation. Likewise, use of the word ‘nigga’ is often considered most acceptable between African Americans themselves and, as a general rule, should not be used by someone who does not have (black) African roots. Grammar and vocabulary usage common to rap and hip-hop songs often breaks with the norms of ‘standard English’. It should be noted, however, that such usage is usually consistent with African American Vernacular English, which is a variety of American English. In this way, it should be considered a linguistic phenomenon and not necessarily as ‘bad English’. Source:

3 Have another look at the lyrics and answer the questions.


a Why does Kendrick feel guilty about his sister?

b Similarly, what does the line ‘You preached in front of 100,000 but never reached her’ (line 15) mean?

c Why does he feel guilty about the rest of his family?

d ‘Where was your antennas?’ is repeated numerous times in the song. What do you think this means?

e Why does Kendrick feel guilty about his friends? (Hint: beefin’ = having a serious argument or fight)


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Kendrick admits to depression towards the end of the song. What does the line ‘The world’ll [world will] know money can’t stop a suicidal weakness’ (line 66) mean?

4 Watch the interview with Kendrick Lamar and answer the questions.


a What prompted the inspiration for ‘u’?

c What can ‘draw a thin line’ between sanity and ‘losing it’?

© JStone /

b What is the hardest thing for man, according to Kendrick?

d What is Kendrick’s ‘release therapy’?

e What is so difficult for Kendrick while he is on tour?


How does Kendrick put a lot of pressure on himself?

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2 ⁄ BRAIN CHEMISTRY 2.1 ⁄ DISORDERS 1 Read the defi nitions (symptoms) and link them to their corresponding mental disorders. a b c d e f



Alzheimer’s disease depression phobia bulimia nervosa schizophrenia OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)

Fear is the normal response to a genuine danger. Here, the fear is either irrational or excessive. It is an abnormally fearful response to a danger that is imagined or is irrationally exaggerated.

A psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape, or other violent personal assault.

g h i j k




bipolar disorder dementia anorexia nervosa PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) addiction

This disorder is diagnosed when patients weigh at least 15 percent less than the normal healthy weight expected for their height. People with this disorder don’t maintain a normal weight because they refuse to eat enough, often exercise obsessively, and sometimes force themselves to vomit or use laxatives to lose weight.

An anxiety disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations that make them feel driven to do something repetitively.

5 A common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

6 This disorder, also commonly known as manic depression, is a brain disorder that causes shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function.

7 A chronic brain disorder that affects more than one percent of the population. When it is active, symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration, and lack of motivation.


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9 A progressive neurodegenerative condition that causes dementia by slowly killing nerve cells in the brain. It gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate, and carry out daily activities.

Patients with this disorder binge eat frequently and during these times sufferers may eat an astounding amount of food in a short time. After a binge, stomach pains and the fear of weight gain are common reasons for those with this disorder to purge by throwing up or using a laxative.



A chronic brain disease that causes compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences. Health, finances, relationships, and careers can be ruined.

A condition that is associated with, but not an inevitable part of, growing old and is characterised by confusion, memory loss and disorientation.













2 Now link the disorders to the appropriate disorder classifi cation. addiction – Alzheimer’s disease – anorexia nervosa – bipolar disorder – bulimia nervosa – dementia – depression – phobia – post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – schizophrenia

Anxiety disorder

Psychotic disorder

Substance-related disorder

Mood disorder

Cognitive disorder

Eating disorder

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3 Have a look at the following words from the defi nitions in exercise 1. Can you fi nd out what they mean based on the context of the defi nitions? Use a(n) (online) dictionary for help if needed. 1 excessive (definition 1) easy to enter more than normal willing to fight

6 recurring (definition 4) freezing coming back bending

2 traumatic (definition 3) having left an emotional ‘scar’ a musical instrument pleasant

7 neurodegenerative (definition 8) deterioration of nervous tissue causing itch producing hormones

3 assault (definition 3) an offering of peace a gymnastic move an attack

8 compulsive (definition 10) computing propelling unable to hold back

4 delusion (definition 7) an idea or belief that is not true the act of sliding loss

9 binge (definition 9) playing a game burning overdoing something

5 laxative (definition 2) something that creates tension something that causes confusion something that stimulates bowel movements

10 inevitable (definition 11) impossible to avoid increasingly easy digestible

4 Watch the fi lm clips and decide which mental disorder is presented.


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5 Films that feature mental disorders are often based on true stories. Watch the clip from The Aviator, a fi lm about the famous American businessman Howard Hughes (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), and answer the questions.


a Which mental disorder is portrayed in the clip?

b Which symptoms of this disorder do you see?

c What is the source of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character’s anxiety at the end of the clip?

6 Now read the article about how Leonardo DiCaprio was able to relate to his character in The Aviator and answer the questions.


a What is the first way in which DiCaprio relates to Hughes?

b Aside from both men’s love for beautiful women, what is another way in which they are similar?

c How do they differ in this aspect?

d What is one example of DiCaprio’s OCD?

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e How does he deal with this?


What was different during the filming of The Aviator?


‘Leonardo DiCaprio’s magnificent obsessive’


Featureflash /


[…] The Aviator begins shortly after Hughes’s arrival in Hollywood to film Hell’s Angels, which, at a cost of $4 million, was at the time by far the most expensive film ever made. It ends with Hughes’s one and only flight at the controls of the Spruce Goose, the giant flying boat he designed and built. In between, among other things, the film covers his love affair with Katharine Hepburn, a stormy romance with Ava Gardner, his flight around the world in a record-breaking four days, his purchase of Trans-World Airlines, his feuds with Pan-Am, his victory over a corrupt US Senator and his fight with film censors for the right to show Jane Russell’s cleavage on screen. His public exploits notwithstanding, Hughes was a man who valued his privacy.





‘He was the last private man in America,’ says DiCaprio. ‘Despite his ambition, he had a strong need for solitude and I can definitely empathise with that.’ It is apparent to everyone but DiCaprio that there are other common denominators linking him and Hughes, apart from their love of privacy. Both had a taste for beautiful women – Hughes had affairs with Jean Peters, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner and countless starlets while DiCaprio has romanced a slew of supermodels such as Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Eva Herzigova and Amber Valetta, and was also involved with Gisele Bundchen. Both men’s romantic dalliances were regular fodder for the gossip columns, although the similarity seems lost on DiCaprio, who marvels at the thought of Hughes in his Hollywood heyday. ‘Imagine being a billionaire at that time and being that good-looking and being a movie producer and a shy and private guy and so charming,’ he says. ‘It must have been a killer for the ladies. A killer.’ He grins at the thought. Another trait DiCaprio shares with Hughes is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Hughes’s compulsions eventually fuelled his descent into madness in later years while DiCaprio has a firm control of his mild symptoms, and used them to good effect while portraying Hughes. Not yet a recognised condition when Hughes was a sufferer, it increasingly took over his life, causing him to repeat phrases over and over, continually wash his hands and break down at


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the sight of a spot on another man’s suit. A scene in the film depicts him stark naked in his screening room, unable to face anybody and conducting a deranged experiment with bottles of his own urine. ‘I think being obsessive-compulsive tied into his women, too,’ said DiCaprio. ‘He was never able to stay with one woman because he looked on them like aeroplanes: he literally wanted to get the faster, sleeker aeroplane with the bigger turbines.’ DiCaprio’s disorder is more likely to take the form of making him reluctant to step on cracks in the pavement or something similar, although he has little difficulty overcoming his urges. ‘I’m able to say at some point, ‘OK, you’re being ridiculous, stop stepping on every gum stain you see. You don’t need to do that. You don’t need to walk 20 feet back and put your foot on that thing. Nothing bad is going to happen.’ ‘I can talk myself through it, you know, whereas Howard Hughes couldn’t do that and people with hard-core OCD can’t.



‘During filming I let it all go and I never listened to the other voice, so I remember my make-up artist and assistant walking me to the set and going, ‘Oh, God, here he goes again. We’re going to need 10 minutes to get him to the set today because he has to walk back and step on that thing and touch the door in a certain way and then walk in and walk out again.’ ‘I let myself do it because I wanted that to come out. I was trying to be the character. It became real bothersome, even after the filming.’ […]

censor: somebody who wants to forbid certain things to appear on e.g. a film. dalliance: flirtation common denominator: something shared deranged: crazy heyday: the top of someone’s popularity or power reluctant: unwilling, resistant solitude: being alone

Adapted from:

2.2 ⁄ CRANK

Ellen Hopkins (°1955) is a novelist who has published several New York Times bestselling novels. She has been writing poetry for as long as she can remember. Her YA verse novels including Crank (2004) expose teenage struggles such as drug addiction, mental illness, and prostitution. Glass (2007) is the sequel to Crank, and Fallout (2010) is the third and final book in the series.

© Larry D. Moore

eLLen hoPKins


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1 Read the fi rst page of Crank (‘Flirtin’ with the Monster’) and answer the questions.


a What might ‘the monster’ be?

b What does ‘flirtin’ mean in this context?

c What does the last sentence mean?

d Accepting that the poem is written in a stylised manner, why do you think the author wrote the poem the way she did? Do you have to read every single word to understand the poem?

Flir t in ’ wit h t h e Mo n s t e r Life was good before I met the monster. After, life was great. At least for a little while. Source: Ellen Hopkins, Crank

2 Now read the second extract ‘Before I Met the Monster’ and answer the questions.


a Briefly summarise the poem’s message. Consider the poem’s title in your answer.


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b Why do you think the main character (Kristina) would give up this kind of lifestyle? Consider the content of the poem in your answer.

c Why do you think the author wrote the poem the way she did (the style)?

d What do you think will happen next with Kristina?

Before I Met the Mo n s t e r Life had a certain rhythm. An easy downhill Seconds,

flow. minutes, hours, days, a segue of perpetual

Everything in

motion. its proper place, at its proper

Morning alarms, kitchen clatter,

time. bus gears, school bells,

Locker clang,

teacher talk. hallway laughter, slamming


doors. queries, homework, music,


TV. thrived in repetition, routine, familiarity.

Source: Ellen Hopkins, Crank

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3 Find a partner. Your teacher will give you a text. One of you reads text A. The other reads text B. Answer the questions that go with your text. Text A questions

Text B questions

a Why did Ellen Hopkins write the books Crank and Glass?

a What does Ellen Hopkins sometimes do with the letters that her readers send her?


b What happened at a teen literary festival in Texas? b Why does she write about ‘serious matters’ like drug addiction and suicide?

c Why is Ellen Hopkins so popular with teen readers according to Heather Booth?

c What does she say about the readers of her books?

d How is her writing style described?

4 Based on the questions you answered, explain to your partner what was said in your text. 124

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2.3 ⁄ YOU CAN’T TALK ABOUT IT! 1 Brainstorm about these questions with your group. a Were you surprised to hear that Ellen Hopkins’ books are sometimes removed from (school) libraries? Why (not)? Have you heard of other books that were challenged (or banned)?


b Why would this happen? Consider the texts you read throughout this unit so far (Crank and Everybody Sees the Ants) but also the songs by Kendrick Lamar. Complete these sentences with your ideas.


− Sometimes people think a book could − The topic might − Certain readers might − By relating to a book, you may − c Look at these tweets. What is the overall conclusion in them? Complete the sentences.


− Certain books can − Some books could − Books about serious topics might




I feel less alone & more comforted bc I read this book: mostwanted. com/2015/03/weall … @tommywallach #mentalhealth #yasaves

© Kyle Cassidy

Neil Gaiman


I get letters from readers – 2 or 3 every month – telling me how my books got them through hell. & the Teens have the worst hells. #YAsaves RETWEETS




Susane Colasanti LIKES



© Sonya Sones

Robin Wasserman @robinwasserman


Without books, I would have been alone. Trapped. Without hope. If adolescence is a cage, books are the key. #yasaves RETWEETS






Teens are crying out for help. Books help them deal with problems in ways that are non-intrusive, introspective, personal. #YAsaves @WSJ RETWEETS




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2 What are the verbs in bold from exercise 1 called again? Read the text below and fi ll in the table.

Sometimes a book is censored or banned. Before a book becomes banned, someone must (1) first challenge it. The American Library Association defines a challenge as ‘an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.’ That means that access to that book is restricted and not everyone can (2) read it. A successful challenge results in a ban. People who censor or ban a certain book think it could (3) harm the reader: - A book might (4) be appropriate for older children, but just not younger ones – a book that might (5) be perfectly fine for a 9th grader may (6) be disturbing or confusing to a 4th grader. - censors sometimes believe a reader may (7) do bad things because they read about it in the book, like hurting themselves or others. - Sometimes they say you can’t (8) read a book because it is too negative or depressive, or because there is too much sexual content or profanity in the book. Luckily librarians, teachers, students, and community members stand up and speak out because they think that everyone should (9) have the freedom to read what they want, and one person can’t (10) decide for everyone what is and is not acceptable. You may (11) not like something, but that’s no reason to take it away from everyone. People who defend the freedom to read also say that books could (12) help people deal with serious problems, like mental health issues. Readers can (13) escape their daily life, or they may (14) see a character in a book that reminds them of themselves. This character will (15) show them that they are not alone and that things may (16) get better for them too. If you think that’s not good enough reason to pick up your next book, here are 6 more reasons why you should (17) absolutely be reading books: -

Reading can (18) chill you out. It could (19) help keep your brain sharp. It might (20) even stave off Alzheimer’s disease. Reading may (21) help you sleep better. Getting lost in a book could (22) also make you more empathetic. Certain books can (23) even ease depression.

Based on: and


Modal auxiliary


permission prohibition possibility/impossibility

ability/inability obligation/necessity suggestion/advice volition/prediction


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3 Now fi ll in the grammar box below.

graMMar Modal auxiliary verbs There are 9 modals (or modal auxiliary verbs ) in English: ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘will’, ‘would’ and ‘shall’. Some characteristics of modal verbs are: − They are auxiliary verbs or


− They don’t change their

(you cannot add -s, -ed, -ing).

− They come before the negative particle ‘not’ (e.g. You may not go, I cannot go). − They are followed by the

of a verb (infinitive without ‘to’).

− They allow speakers to express ‘modality’, such as certainty, possibility, willingness, obligation, necessity, ability, etc. − One modal can express different meanings: e.g. My 5-year-old can read (= possibility). You can go home now (= permission). There are also semi-modals that function like modals, like ‘have to’, ‘got to’, ‘ought to’. Modals are often used to speculate or to make guesses about the present, past and future. Certainty: must, can’t, couldn’t + base form of the verb Possibility: may (not), might (not), could + base form of the verb The present and the future: modal + base form of verb e.g. She can’t stop using drugs. She must be addicted. He can’t be anorexic; he eats very healthily. He may/might/could be depressed, because he often stays at home alone all day. The past: modal + have + past participle e.g. Where is she? She must have forgotten about her appointment. She could have taken the wrong pills again. She may have been ill. For a full overview of the modals and semi-modals, see the Summary of this unit. Based on: Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English

4 Fill in an appropriate modal auxiliary verb in these sentences. 1 If you’re feeling ill, you 2 She

see a doctor. start seeing a therapist soon.

3 He

not think so negatively all the time!

4 You you feel better.

decide to stop taking the medication when

5 The patients

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(suggestion/advice) (volition/prediction) (obligation/necessity) (possibility)

leave whenever they want.



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3 ⁄ SEEKING HELP 3.1 ⁄ TREATMENTS AND DRUGS 1 What are some possible ways of seeking help if you are suffering from a mental disorder? Discuss with a partner and take notes below. Use modal verbs! e.g. I would ..., You should ..., One might ..., etc.


2 Now read the text about getting treatment for mental illnesses.


a Are there any other options you didn’t mention in exercise 1? What other things could you do? You (one) could ...

b What else did you find interesting or did you learn?

Mental illness: treatments and drugs - by Mayo Clinic Staff

Your treatment depends on the type of mental illness you have, its severity and what works best for you. In many cases, a combination of treatments works best. If you have a mild mental illness with well-controlled symptoms, treatment from one health care provider may be sufficient. However, often a team approach is appropriate to make sure all your psychiatric, medical and social needs are met. This is especially important for severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Your treatment team Your treatment team may include your: - family or primary care doctor, - nurse practitioner, - physician assistant, - psychiatrist, a medical doctor who diagnoses and treats mental illnesses, - psychotherapist, such as a psychologist or a licensed counsellor, - pharmacist, - social worker, - family members. Medications Although psychiatric medications don’t cure mental illness, they can often significantly improve symptoms. Psychiatric medications can also help make other treatments, such as psychotherapy,


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more effective. The best medications for you will depend on your particular situation and how your body responds to the medication. Some of the most commonly used classes of prescription psychiatric medications include: - Antidepressants. Antidepressants are used to treat depression, anxiety and sometimes other conditions. They can help improve symptoms such as sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and lack of interest in activities. Antidepressants are not addictive and do not cause dependency. - Anti-anxiety medications. Anti-anxiety medications are used to treat anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. They may also help reduce agitation and insomnia. Long-term anxiety medications consist mostly of antidepressants that also work for anxiety. There also are fast-acting anti-anxiety medications, which help with short-term relief – but they have the potential to cause dependency and ideally would be used short term. - Mood-stabilizing medications. Mood stabilizers are most commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, which involves alternating episodes of mania and depression. Sometimes mood stabilizers are used with antidepressants to treat depression. - Antipsychotic medications. Antipsychotic medications, also called neuroleptics, are typically used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medications may also be used to treat bipolar disorders or used with antidepressants to treat depression. Psychotherapy Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, involves talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health provider. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts and behavior. With the insights and knowledge you gain, you can learn coping and stress management skills. There are many types of psychotherapy, each with its own approach to improving your mental well-being. Psychotherapy often can be successfully completed in a few months, but in some cases, long-term treatment may be needed. It can take place one-on-one, in a group or with family members. Brain-stimulation treatments Brain-stimulation treatments are sometimes used for depression and other mental health disorders. They’re generally reserved for situations in which medications and psychotherapy haven’t worked. They include electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation and an experimental treatment called deep brain stimulation. Make sure you understand all the risks and benefits of any recommended treatment. Hospital and residential treatment programs Sometimes mental illness becomes so severe that you need care in a psychiatric hospital. This is generally recommended when you can’t care for yourself properly or when you’re in immediate danger of harming yourself or someone else. Options include 24-hour inpatient care, partial or day hospitalization, or residential treatment, which offers a temporary supportive place to live. Another option may be intensive outpatient treatment. Source:

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3 In (British) English the word psychiatric is pronounced as /ˌsʌɪkɪˈatrɪk/. a Which letter is not pronounced?

b Think of at least 4 other (medical) words like this. Fill them in in the table below and complete the other forms if possible. c Look up their pronunciation and meaning in an online dictionary. Practice saying these words in English. Noun(s) − field of study

Adjective psychiatric

− person − field of study − person − field of study − person − field of study − person

4 There are more words in English where the spelling and the pronunciation are not linked at all. What about the word ‘physiotherapist’, which is pronounced as /fɪziəʊˈθɛrəpɪst/? a Go through the text to find similar words and complete the table below. b Practice saying the words from the text. Words with ph- pronounced as /f/ physiotherapist


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stabilising agitation



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Synonym (of headnoun) or explanation

5 An online dictionary usually gives you words related to the word you are looking up. Go online, look up the words in the table, and then add the related words (if possible).


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3.2 ⁄ THE COUNSELLING MODEL 1 First read the outline below. Link a title to a step of the counselling model.


Considering options – Developing a plan – Ending – Exploring feelings – Rapport building

Simple Counselling Model 1 This is the beginning of the call, the time when the counsellor works to establish a relationship with the caller so that it is possible for the caller to talk. 2 This phase of the call explores the caller’s situation and how he or she is feeling about it. Skipping this stage of the call and jumping straight to considering options may leave callers feeling as though they have not been listened to. In practice, when a child faces immediate danger this might be necessary. 3 This stage of the call is when the counsellor and caller together consider the options for solving the situation, or making it more bearable. In some cases this may be very limited. 4 This is the stage of the call when the preferred course (or courses) of action are further developed, and actions identified. This might mean that the child practices what they might want to say to significant people such as parents or teachers. 5 A good ending helps leave the caller with a positive experience of their call, and lays the foundation for further calls should these be necessary – even if such calls are at some point in the future and about unrelated issues. Source:

2 Now listen to a girl calling a help hotline. Use the counselling model from exercise 1 and take notes for each step on how the helper responds to the girl.


Step 1


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Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

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3 With a partner, act out a telephone call to a help hotline. −− Your teacher will give you a situation. −− One of you is the caller and one of you is the helper. −− The helper should use the counselling model to structure his or her response. The helper should also use modal verbs in his or her answer (e.g. when giving advice). −− When you finish, ask your teacher for a different situation and switch roles with your partner. −− Fill in the appropriate checklist (caller or helper).

Caller checklist

Yes, I did. ✓

I think I did. ?

No, I didn’t. ✗

Yes, I did. ✓

I think I did. ?

No, I didn’t. ✗

1 Content • I described the symptoms of the disorder. • I talked about how a mental disorder can influence someone’s life, relationships, etc. 2 Language • I used appropriate words to describe the symptoms of a mental disorder. • I used fairly formal language appropriate for a telephone call. Feedback:

Helper checklist 1 Content and structure • I offered advice to someone suffering from a mental disorder. • I structured my response based on the counselling model. 2 Language • I used appropriate words when offering advice. • I used modal verbs. • I used fairly formal language appropriate for a telephone call. Feedback:


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SUMMARY 1 ⁄ GRAMMAR 1.1 ⁄ MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS There are 9 modals (or modal auxiliary verbs) in English: ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘will’, ‘would’ and ‘shall’. Some characteristics of modal verbs are: − − − − −

They are auxiliary verbs or helping verbs. They don’t change their form (you cannot add -s, -ed, -ing). They precede the negative particle ‘not’ (e.g. I cannot go). They are followed by the base form of a verb (infinitive without ‘to’). They allow speakers to express ‘modality’, such as certainty, possibility, willingness, obligation, necessity, ability, etc.

There are also semi-modals that function like modals, like ‘have to’, ‘got to’, ‘need to’, ‘ought to’. Source: Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English

Modal meaning certainty




ability past


Modal auxiliary / Example semi-modal must

Patrick regularly refuses to eat and vomits when he has eaten something. He must have an eating disorder.


Ryan is having a fit. He can’t be taking his medication now.

must/can’t have + past participle

It must have taken Jake a long time to overcome his addiction. Susan can’t have been at home; she’s in the hospital.


If you’re suffering from those symptoms, you may have PTSD.


He could be dealing with the aftermath of the accident.


She might feel better if she goes into therapy.


Marie may have been depressed.

might have + past participle

Rafael might have forgotten his doctor’s appointment.


My brother can have very big mood swings at times.


Marcia couldn’t handle the death of her sister.

could have + past participle

Therapy could have saved him, but he refused to seek help.


You can’t skip your medication!

may not

You may not leave this room unattended.


You mustn’t talk so negatively.

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Modal meaning

Modal auxiliary / Example semi-modal

obligation necessity

need to

You need to see a doctor before it gets worse.


have (got) to

At the clinic, anorexic patients have (got) to eat 3 times a day.



People who have suicidal thoughts must seek help immediately!


had to

He had to take medication twice a day after he was diagnosed with his mental disorder.


It’s my birthday but you needn’t come to my party if you’re not feeling well.

absence of obligation



past advice

past polite request


past habit

don’t need to don’t have to

I don’t have to take medication, but I feel better when I do.

didn’t need to

He didn’t need to talk to a therapist, but he wanted to.

didn’t have to

She didn’t have to stay at the hospital overnight.

needn’t have + past participle

You needn’t have called the doctor. I would have done it myself.


You can call me whenever you want!


May patients receive visitors at the hospital?


After therapy, I could go out in public for the first time in months.


You should talk to a psychiatrist about that.


You shouldn’t worry about that. It will be ok.

ought to

We ought to seek help for our son. I’m worried.

had better

We’d better start taking our daughter seriously. Perhaps all this is a call for help.

should have + past participle

You should have sought professional help a long time ago.


Could you help me?


Would you please pick up the phone?


May I record this conversation? (formal)


Can I see what’s in your bag, please?


May I help you?


Could I help you? Can I help you?


Shall I go and get help?

used to

Mark used to take drugs on a daily basis. Did you use to smoke when you were younger?



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She doesn’t need to go to therapy every week anymore.

Whenever we had a problem we would ask Bill for help.

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2 ⁄ VOCABULARY obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD)

Alzheimer’s disease


ANXIETY DISORDER phobia post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)




bipolar disorder depression



anorexia nervosa




bulimia nervosa








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brain-stimulation therapy diet adjustment hospital / residential treatment programme

physical exercise



relaxation therapy




anti-anxiety medication


anti-depressants doctor nurse

antipsychotic medication mood-stabilisation medication prescribed medication (prescription)


psychologist therapist social worker


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3 ⁄ STRATEGIES 3.1 ⁄ MAKING SUGGESTIONS Certain modal auxiliary verbs can be used to make suggestions, namely ‘could’, ‘should’ and ‘might’: − I think you should + verb e.g. I think you should talk to someone about your problem. − He could + verb e.g. He could talk to someone about it. ‘May’ and ‘might’ are often used with ‘want’ or ‘like’ to add politeness: − You may/might + verb e.g. You might want to talk to someone about it.

3.2 ⁄ WRITING (FORMAL) E-MAILS − First complete the subject in the subject bar. (1) − Secondly add the e-mail address (or the name) of your addressee. (2) − Address your reader in the proper way: Dear X (3) • If your addressee is a man, use Mr with his last name. • If your addressee is a woman, use Mrs or Ms with her last name. • If you don’t know the reader at all, use Dear Sir or Madam. − Introduce the topic: why are your writing, what are you responding to? (4) − In the body of your text, use paragraphs to structure your text. (5) − Don’t forget to write a short conclusion at the end of your e-mail. (6) − Finally add your name under the salutation ’yours sincerely’ or ‘with kind regards’. (7) New Message To: (2)

Cc: Subject:

Appointment (1)

Dear Sir or Madam, (3) I am writing because I have been dealing with some problems as of late and I would like to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. (4) My father died recently and since then my sister has started using drugs in order to deal with her grief. My mother also seems very depressed. As a result, I have nobody to talk to that would understand me. I think I’m starting to get depressed, too. I feel so helpless and alone. (5) As mentioned, I really would like to schedule an appointment. Could you please tell me when this would be possible? (6) Thanks in advance! With kind regards, (7) Stacy


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ON DIFFERENT TRACKS 1 Complete the following crossword puzzle with words related to mental health and mental disorders. Across 1 characterised by compulsive behaviour 4 medication used to relieve depression 7 doctor specialised in psychological disorders 9 a disorder that can be caused by a traumatic event 11 therapeutic treatment for the mind or body 13 allows people to withdraw from reality 14 a controlled substance used to treat an illness 15 someone who prepares and sells medicines 16 a feeling of fear and/or nervousness 17 symptoms include delusions and paranoia

Down 2 conscious mental activity, such as thinking 3 characterised by compulsive substance use 5 a disorder also known as manic depression 6 an illness that causes feelings of sadness 7 a specialist in psychology 8 ‌ nervosa, an eating disorder 10 associated with memory loss and confusion 12 an abnormal or unhealthy medical condition



















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2 Read the sentences and fi ll in the appropriate modal verb. 1 You 2 I 3 You 4

do it if you really want to. go out again after I started taking my medication. call a therapist.


(offer) have gotten help for his problem. (certainty, past)

experience headaches when you first start your medication. (possibility) I talk to your parents about this?

8 You

listen to them anymore.

9 Melody

(polite request) (absence of obligation)

take her pills twice a day.

10 You

go out after 12am anymore.

11 That 12

(permission, past) (advice)

I bring you a cup of warm tea?

5 Jordan is so much better now. He 6 You


(necessity) (prohibition)

have been the reason why Zach was acting so strangely. (possibility, past) you show me where the nurse’s office is, please?

13 Avery

take her prescribed medication.

(polite request) (obligation, past)

3 Read the following situations. Then choose one and write an e-mail (100-125 words) to a doctor seeking advice. When you are done, give your e-mail to a classmate who will also give you some feedback. Remember to: − use words that deal with mental disorders and their symptoms; − use (semi-)modal auxiliary verbs; − follow the rules for writing a formal letter. 1 Rita is 85 and seems to be increasingly confused. She often forgets appointments she has made, can’t think of certain words when speaking and sometimes feels lost.


2 Kyle was recently involved in a serious accident. He has nightmares about the accident almost every night, feels overly anxious and starts to sweat if he nears the site of the accident and suffers from stress. 3 Wes can’t always determine what is reality and what is fantasy. He often hears voices, doesn’t seem to think clearly and is paranoid about certain things. 4 Charlene can’t stop using drugs. She first started doing them because she felt she needed to escape the ‘real world’. After that she lost control. 5 Tommy’s eating habits are extreme. He often eats a very large amount of food, but then forces himself to vomit or take a laxative afterwards.

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New Message To: Cc: Subject:


E-mail checklist

Me ✓ ? ✗

Classmate ✓ ? ✗

1 Content and structure • I used the e-mail template and filled in all the necessary information for my text. • I wrote between 100 and 125 words. • I described a mental disorder. • I talked about how a mental disorder can influence someone’s life, relationships, etc. 2 Language • I used appropriate words to describe the symptoms of a mental disorder. • I used (semi-)modal verbs correctly. • I used fairly formal language. • I used correct spelling and punctuation. Feedback:


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4 Work with a partner and simulate a phone call to a doctor. Choose one of the situations from exercise 3. Make sure to use the counselling model.


5 Watch the clip and answer the questions.


a Which mental illness is talked about in this clip?

b What is a ‘pivotal moment’?

c Why was the news about Robin Williams ‘shocking’?

d What is the ‘human cost’ of the disease, according to the speaker?

6 Read the article and answer the questions.


a Given the context of the article, what is a ‘renewal center’?

b Cocaine, to Williams, was a means to do what?

c How did John Belushi’s death influence Williams?

d What was Williams’ ‘relapse’?

e What’s another word (synonym) in the article that is used to mean ‘relapse’?


Why was drinking alcohol dangerous for Williams?

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g How did Williams communicate his self-criticism?

h Why did Williams check himself into another rehabilitation center?

Robin Williams’ Long Struggle With Addiction by Hilary Lewis

The comedian, found dead Monday, often talked (and joked) about his battles with cocaine and alcohol. Robin Williams’ unexpected death Monday brought to an end the comedian’s long battle with cocaine and alcohol addiction. Williams checked himself in to a renewal center just a few weeks ago, but his battle with addiction dated back more than 30 years. He struggled with cocaine and alcohol abuse in the early ‘80s, after his rise to fame on Mork & Mindy. ‘Cocaine for me was a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down,’ Williams told People in 1988. Williams was even with John Belushi during the Saturday Night Live star’s all-night cocaine and heroin binge that led to his fatal overdose. Belushi’s death and Williams’ then-wife Valerie’s pregnancy with the couple’s son, Zak, forced the comedian to quit cocaine and alcohol cold turkey. ‘The Belushi tragedy was frightening,’ Williams told People. ‘His death scared a whole group of show-business people. It caused a big exodus from drugs. And for me, there was the baby coming. I knew I couldn’t be a father and live that sort of life.’ He later told The New York Times that he hadn’t confronted the underlying issues at the root of his addiction. ‘There was still, in the background, this voice, like, ‘Psst,’ ‘ he told the newspaper. ‘So when I relapsed, I went back hard. The one thing I hadn’t dealt with was, how honest do you want to live?’ Once again, it was his son, Zak, who was an integral part of Williams’ decision to get sober. Without going into detail, the younger Williams told the Times of his father’s return to rehab, ‘There was an ultimatum attached to it. I’m pretty confident that if he continued drinking, he would not be alive today.’ Williams checked himself in to Oregon’s Hazelden Springbrook treatment center in August 2006; after two months of treatment, he talked about his battle to stay sober in an interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America.


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He said it was a ‘very gradual’ descent back into using. ‘It’s the same voice though that … you’re standing at a precipice and you look down, there’s a voice, and it’s a little quiet voice that goes, ‘Jump,’ ‘ Williams told Sawyer. ‘The same voice that goes, ‘Just one.’ … And the idea of just one for someone who has no tolerance for it, that’s not the possibility.’ Williams got more specific with Parade magazine in 2013, recounting the moment that he fell off the wagon: ‘One day I walked into a store and saw a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s. And then that voice — I call it the ‘lower power’ — goes, ‘Hey. Just a taste. Just one.’ I drank it, and there was that brief moment of ‘Oh, I’m okay!’ But it escalated so quickly. Within a week I was buying so many bottles I sounded like a wind chime walking down the street. I knew it was really bad one Thanksgiving when I was so drunk they had to take me upstairs.’ And as with his earlier cocaine crisis, another star’s struggles spurred Williams to seek help. This time, it was Mel Gibson, Williams told GMA, whose DUI arrest served as a ‘wake-up call’ for him; Williams joked that Gibson’s public implosion took the spotlight off him. Williams also joked about being an alcoholic in his stand-up act. Just recently, Williams had checked in to a center that is affiliated with a 12-step program to help him focus on his ongoing sobriety. At the time, the comedian’s rep told The Hollywood Reporter, ‘He has been working hard and now has a break in his schedule, so wants to come back and be the best that he can be. This is his version of a retreat.’ Source:

7 Work with a partner. You will each get a text. One of you will be the ‘reader’ and one of you will listening be the ‘writer’. When you are the writer, listen to the reader and take notes. For each category below, write down what is said and the modal or semi-modal verb that is used. When you have fi nished, switch roles and move on to the second text. Text 1

Text 2








Past habit

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8 Read the article and fi ll in an appropriate modal verb.

Banned Books Week adopts author’s anti-censorship poem as manifesto US author Ellen Hopkins, whose young adult fiction tackles controversial topics, writes poem addressing censorship to coincide with Banned Books Week. An author of young adult fiction whose books have provoked bans and complaints in the US for tackling controversial topics such as teenage prostitution and drug addiction has written a poem that is being used to champion the cause of banned books across America. The author, Ellen Hopkins, this week saw a school visit in Oklahoma cancelled after a parent complained about her New York Times bestselling novels Crank and Glass – loosely based on her own daughter’s story of addiction to crystal meth. ‘I have had my books challenged before, but never had an event cancelled because of a challenge. I was go to the school

then and remain incensed that a single person and make that happen,’ said Hopkins. ‘No one person

have that

be able to choose what anyone else’s

kind of power. No person child


read, let alone who they

see or speak to. Some of the kids were devastated.’

The idea to write a poem addressing banned books and censorship came to her after all her books were banned from an Idaho town, she said, because her novel Burned features a Mormon girl who is questioning her faith because she get help for her family, whose patriarch is abusive. ‘Pocatello has a large Mormon population, but half the town isn’t Mormon. And the book isn’t a slam against the religion, anyway ... it’s one


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girl’s story,’ she said. ‘How

half the town censor the other’s ability

to read something? Anyway, that’s where the idea came for me to write a poem.’ The poem has now been picked up as the manifesto for Banned Books Week, the annual American celebration of the freedom to read, which kicks off on Saturday and which see hundreds of libraries and bookshops across the country drawing attention to censorship with displays of challenged books and events. According to the American Library Association, there were 513 challenges to books reported in 2008, up from 420 the previous year. ‘I most definitely see the problem growing here, with the quite vocal, extreme right-wing power grab going on right now,’ said Hopkins. ‘My books speak to hard subject matter. Addiction. Cutting. Thoughts of suicide. Abuse. Sexual abuse. All these issues affect children. Look at the statistics. Closing your eyes

make these things go away.

Why not talk about them with your kids, to arm them with knowledge. Open the books with them. Listen to the author speak with them.’

Adapted from:

9 Read Hopkins’ poem ‘Manifesto’ on the next page and discuss the questions with a partner. Use modal or semi-modal auxiliary verbs.


E.g. Hopkins argues that one person shouldn’t be able to determine what another person can or can’t read. a What is Hopkins’ main argument in the poem?

b What does Hopkins think about one person ‘speaking’ for another?

c What do you think Hopkins means in the stanza ‘You say you’re afraid for America ...’ (line 15)?

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d What is Hopkins’ possible critique in the following stanza (lines 24-31)?

e What is Hopkins’ message in the last stanza? What do you think the final line (line 37) means?

Manifesto - eLLen hoPKins


To you zealots and bigots and false patriots who live in fear of discourse. You screamers and banners and burners who would force books off shelves in your brand name of greater good.



You say you’re afraid for children, innocents ripe for corruption




by perversion or sorcery on the page. But sticks and stones do break bones, and ignorance is no armor. You do not speak for me, and will not deny my kids magic in favor of miracles. You say you’re afraid for America, the red, white, and blue corroded by terrorists, socialists, the sexually confused. But we are a vast quilt of patchwork cultures and multigendered identities. You cannot speak for those whose ancestors braved different seas. Source:


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You say you’re afraid for God, the living word eroded by Muhammed and Darwin and Magdalene. But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven and earth designed intelligence. Surely you dare not speak for the father, who opens his arms to all. A word to the unwise. Torch every book. Char every page. Burn every word to ash. Ideas are incombustible. And therein lies your real fear. bigot: someone who hates someone else for unjust reasons; someone who is exceedingly prejudiced discourse: a discussion about a certain topic incombustible: cannot be burned omnipotent: having infinite power zealot: someone with very strong feelings about something (e.g. religion)

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Authors and musicians often reach out to their fans via social media. You can find those mentioned in this unit on Twitter: • Ellen Hopkins: @EllenHopkinsLit • A.S. King: @AS_King • Kendrick Lamar: @kendricklamar

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Your teacher will decide whether you have to do option 1 or 2 of the Last Stop. Option 1


You will get a letter or an e-mail from one of your classmates and you will write a response in which you try to give some advice. In your letter (between 150 and 200 words): − make sure to include words that deal with mental disorders, their symptoms as well as treatment; − when discussing treatment, take care to make suitable suggestions; − use modal and semi-modal auxiliary verbs where appropriate (making suggestions, expressing ability, etc.); − write in the proper letter format. Me ✓ ? ✗

E-mail checklist

Classmate ✓ ? ✗

1 Content and structure • I used the e-mail template and filled in all the necessary information for my text. • I wrote between 150 and 200 words. • I described the mental disorder and its effects on a person’s life and relationships, etc. • I talked about possible treatments. • I used the counselling model in my response.


2 Language • I used appropriate words to describe the symptoms of a mental disorder. • I used modal and semi-modal auxiliary verbs correctly. • I used fairly formal language. • I used correct spelling and punctuation. Feedback:

Number: 150

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New Message








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Option 2 You will get a letter from one of your classmates. The person who wrote the letter is now calling you on a help hotline and will tell you his/her story. Try to help him/her using the counselling model.

Date: Caller checklist


Yes, I did. ✓

I think I did. ?

No, I didn’t. ✗

Yes, I did. ✓

I think I did. ?

No, I didn’t. ✗

1 Content • I described the symptoms of a disorder correctly. • I talked about how a mental disorder can influence someone’s life, relationships, etc. 2 Language • I used appropriate words to describe the symptoms of a mental disorder. • I used fairly formal language appropriate for a telephone call. • I checked my pronunciation. Feedback:

Helper checklist 1 Content and structure • I offered advice to someone suffering from a mental disorder. • I structured my response based on the counselling model. Class:

2 Language • I used appropriate words when offering advice. • I used modal and semi-modal auxiliary verbs correctly. • I used fairly formal language appropriate for a telephone call. • I checked my pronunciation.




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My teacher’s opinion should improve

very well

should improve

Name: Class:


My opinion

UNIT 3 MY SKILLS Listening / Watching

I can watch a clip about bullying and mental issues and answer questions about these topics. (1.2) I can listen to a song, understand it and identify certain words. (1.4) I can answer general questions about an interview with an artist about mental health. (1.4) I can watch a film clip that features a mental disorder and link it to the correct disorder and film poster. (2.1) I can listen to a call to a help hotline and apply a counselling model (theory) to it (practice). (3.2)


I can understand extracts from a young adult novel and answer questions about what I have read. (1.3) I can understand an article explaining the lyrics of a song. (1.4) I can understand the lyrics of a hip hop song. (1.4) I can link definitions of mental disorders to the corresponding disorders. (2.1) I can read an article about living with a mental disorder and answer questions about it. (2.1) I can read and understand what a poem is about. (2.2) I can understand an article about an author reflecting on her work. (2.2) I can read and understand an article about specific treatments for mental illnesses. (3.1) I can read and understand a model for offering counselling advice. (3.2)


I can read a text and then summarise or explain it to a partner. (2.2)

Spoken Interaction

I can talk about what drives me ‘crazy’. (1.1) I can talk about how people deal with their (mental) problems. (1.1, 1.3, 3.1) I can discuss censorship in literature. (2.3) I can act out a telephone call to a help hotline. (3.2)


I can offer someone written advice and encouragement. (1.3) I can write a rather formal letter/e-mail.

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very well


My teacher’s opinion should improve

very well

should improve

Name: Class:


My opinion


I can identify modal auxiliary verbs. (2.3) I can use modal and semi-modal auxiliary verbs correctly. (2.3, 3.1)


I can use words related to offering advice on mental health issues. (1.3, 3.1, 3.2) I can use words related to mental illnesses and disorders. (2.1)

Functional practice & language strategies

I can write a formal letter/e-mail. I can offer advice/make suggestions. (1.3, 3.2) I can use online dictionaries to check the pronunciation of words. (3.1) I use a spell checker. I evaluate myself and my classmates using checklists.


I concentrate in class. I ask for explanation when needed.

Work attitude

I respect guidelines and deadlines.

Social attitude

I show respect for classmates and the teacher.

I work actively in class. I collaborate well.



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