Tags: crime | TV | saves | lives | CSI | Law | and

Crime TV Can Save Lives

By Dr. Laura   |   Thursday, 22 Jul 2010 03:12 PM

I like to be fair about everything. Giving people their “props” when they’ve earned them is enjoyable, actually.

Television, for instance, is trash . . . except when it’s not.

There are programs that truly entertain. And there are programs that teach something along the way — and even save lives.

Take this example: An 8-year-old boy was on vacation with his family in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Every parent’s worst nightmare came true this day for the boy and his 4-year-old sister. In broad daylight, the little boy saw a stranger trying to pull his sister into a dark-colored car.

He immediately reacted. Fearlessly, he ran to the scene and started to yank her back. The abductor pulled the little girl by the feet and the little boy kept pulling back.

When the brother finally got his sister free, he had the presence of mind to get some evidence against the man. So — as he’s seen on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation — he scratched him to get a piece of the attempted abductor’s skin under his own fingernails.

If there is an arrest, they hope a DNA match could identify the man. Wow! And this is all because an 8-year-old boy had the bravery to act and had learned something from a very scientifically oriented television show. I was immensely amused and impressed by this story.

I had a similar experience recently on my radio show. A female caller shyly admitted that she was feeling hypersexual. I initially joked, as I often do to put a caller at ease, by asking if she were jumping every man in her sights. She painfully admitted, yes. “I don’t know . . . I just don’t feel like myself.”

Well, I’ve watched Law & Order over the years, and the instant she said that, I remembered one episode where a high-school teacher was carrying on with a student.

Her life had become quite sexualized and she also “didn’t feel like herself.” Turned out she had a tumor in an area of her brain that involves impulse control.

Since my Ph.D. is in physiology from Columbia University, I already knew about this disorder. As a licensed psychotherapist, I would have asked her what was new or stressful in her life. I didn’t bother to do that.

It is important when there is a major personality change to examine the possible medical component. I told her to see her family doctor to get a referral to a neurologist for a brain CAT scan. I invited her to call me back once that was done.

I didn’t want to alarm her, but I sure wanted to eliminate the possibility of any kind of tumor.

She agreed to do so.

Television has its valuable moments. But, interestingly, so-called “reality shows” never demonstrate this kind of reality that helps or saves lives.

All of Dr. Laura's daily blogs can be found at www.drlaurablog.com.

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