liveonearth: (Spidey: come into my parlour)
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi
liveonearth: (Spok has a cat)

“Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you'll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.”
--UCLA Neuroscience researcher Alex Korb

Four Rituals that Make You Happy:

(in summary, and as suggested by science to date)
1. Be grateful.
2. Name negative emotions.

3. Make good enough decisions.

4. Touch people.


liveonearth: (moon)

I think the title is "Sweet Carolina" but in my mind the title ought to be "Pockets full of Dust" or something like it. This song is about how a lost soul can end up in a lonely place.
liveonearth: (bipolar_express)
The DSM, of course, is the list of diagnoses written by and for psychiatrists who are dispensing pharmaceuticals which are covered by insurance. The DSM does not consider the possible causes of the disorders listed, nor allow for the possibility that simple lifestyle changes might be adequate to "cure" a disorder. The book is used to authorize the mental health professional to dispense psychoactive medications. No conflicts of interest there (ahem).

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH instead of just NIH) has decided that the basis of the DSM is not scientific enough, and it is not using those diagnoses as a foundation for ongoing research. The new Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project to is intended to transform diagnosis by incorporating genetics, imaging, cognitive science, and more to create a new classification system. The new system of knowledge will be based on biology as well as symptoms, and will consider specific brain circuits, genetics, and experiences without regard for DSM categories. In fact the NIH is looking to support research projects that look across or subdivide current categories.

This is superb and hopeful to every person who has even been stuck with a diagnosis that didn't fit, or medicated when a simpler solution wasn't even entertained. My congratulations to the NIH for being independent enough to seek the truth.

liveonearth: (pharm: handful a day keep docs at bay)
In this morning's medical news, Pfizer has issued a nationwide recall of Effexor/venlafaxine (a SSRI or SNRI), because a drug used for heart arrhythmias has shown up in somebody's bottle. The two drugs are packaged on the same line, suggesting to me that the pills are of a similar size and shape, and perhaps a pill or two could get stuck inside the machines and rattle out into the next batch being bottled.

But the hazards of taking drugs for depression are much broader than that. The pills themselves could have ingredients that aren't desirable. The drugs could have side effects that we don't understand yet. The drug companies could know about possible side effects but keep that information hidden to protect sales. They're recalling these three batches because accidental ingestion of the heart drug could kill someone. If it just make you a little sick, or did something that wasn't traceable to them, do you think they'd recall product? Or that doctors would stop prescribing them?

One glance at the list of adverse effects given on the wikipedia page for Venlafaxine will boggle your brain. There are a lot. These occur in over 10% of people taking the drug: headache esp when you start taking the drug, or increase the dose, nauseam insomnia, weakness, dizziness, trouble climaxing, sleepiness, drymouth and sweating. And these are a little less common: constipation, nervousness, abnormal vision, anorgasmia, hypertension, impotence, paresthesia, tremor, vasodilation, vomiting, suicide attempts, bruxism, so many more. The list is too long to reproduce here.


Lot #V130142 and V130140, both expire 10/2015
Greenstone lot #V130014, exp 8/2015.

you feel faint, get dizzy, pass out, or have a very fast heartbeat
liveonearth: (pharm: handful a day keep docs at bay)
Three lots of venlaxafine have just been recalled because one bottle contained one pill of a heart drug that could kill a person who didn't need it. The heart drug was an anti-arrhythmic called dofetilide/Tikosyn that could cause your heart to go wonky. The irony strikes me because there is always such noise about Quality Assurance for supplements and herbal medicines. Do people really believe that anything manufactured and packaged by Big Pharm is assuredly Safe? Another thing that strikes me as insane is the fact that brand names of pharmaceuticals are Capitalized. Who decided on That??

Recalled products:
30-count Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCI) 150 mg extended-release capsules
90-count Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) 150 mg extended-release capsules
Effexor lot numbers V130142 and V130140, exp October 2015
90-count Greenstone LLC-branded venlafaxine HCl 150 mg extended-release capsules
Greenstone lot number V130014, exp August 2015.

Potentially faulty product should be returned to Stericycle Inc, 1-888-345-0481.
Questions go to Pfizer Medical Information at 1-800-438-1985
Adverse reactions should be reported to

Medscape at
liveonearth: (moon)
Today on MoveOn they're soliciting for signatures on a petition to make Walmart pay its workers better. Moveon says it's an outrage that Wallyworld employees have to use public services for healthcare because can't afford better. What isn't mentioned is that they spent what they had on vehicles and fuel, guns, alcohol and cigarettes, mobile phones and flatscreens. And a roof over their head.

Minimum wage is law. No company can hire you over the table for anything less. Walmart can pay minimum wage and if people apply for and accept that job, they have made a deal with that company. If they don't like it, they can quit, get another job. If there isn't another job, they can start their own business, or be useful to a family business or take care of an aging elder. They can run for office, start a protest, try and change the minimum wage. There is no shame in doing these things. The shame is in doing nothing. I just don't know how far from nothing this petition is. Having a grievance is not the same as having a solution.

When the economy contracts, families get closer. The resources that we do have get shared with those we care about. The death rate went down in the Great Depression, perhaps for this reason.

I can't get on board with political efforts to increase "jobs" because what "jobs" means is working for large corporations which will strike the best deal they can get for everything including manpower. It's the game, and winning for the 1% means never having to worry about a job. The worker never wins. The worker is a cog in a machine that cares nothing about him and will replace him the moment he begins to crack. The safety net may ease his passage a bit, but it is easy to get caught in.

To be trapped in the safety net is to lose your self respect, to become depressed, to want to die. This may be why so many white American men commit suicide. Middle-aged white guys commit suicide more than anybody else. Perhaps the veterans are driving that statistic.
liveonearth: (House religion psychosis)
These notes from the Oct 15, 2013 Grand Rounds at OHSU in the Psychiatry department. Watching it online, it's about "what you need to know about the new DSM".
notes )
liveonearth: (Tempest in a Teapot)
There is no more miserable human being
than one in whom nothing is habitual
except indecision.

--Williams James
liveonearth: (stone arch doorway)
The Pentagon began tracking active duty military suicides in 2001. They begin rising in 2006, soared in 2009 then leveled. Military suicides hit a record high in 2012. Exceeded combat deaths in Afghanistan in 2012. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta calls it an epidemic. All branches are suffering.
liveonearth: (bipolar_express)
Bruises fade and skin heals, but the mind remembers. Physical punishment is still prevalent among US families. This study found the prevalence of physical punishment without "more severe child maltreatment" was 5.9%. Boys get physically punished more than girls, 59.4% to 40.6%. Blacks get beat more than whites. Asians and Pacific Islanders (including native Hawaiians) were the least likely to get whupped by their own parents.

The harsher the physical (or emotional) punishment was, the higher the odds of an axis I or II diagnosis. Axis I diagnoses include major depression, dysthymia, mania, mood disorders, phobias, anxiety disorders, and drug and alcohol abuse or dependence. Axis II diagnoses include several individual personality disorders and cluster A and B disorder diagnoses. The researchers concluded that 2-7% of all mental disease is attributable to childhood abuse.

the stats )
liveonearth: (moon)
It's scheduled to come out in May 2013, and this doc (Allen Frances, MD) asks the question: is the APA going to release it because it is needed and helpful and founded for psychiatric treatment? Or because they want the income from the release of a new book?? He has a good grasp on where the system fails and what needs to happen next. He'd like to see changes based in science, and is keenly aware of the degree to which psych diagnosis is inexact and the pathophysiology of these diseases uncertain.

You have to create a login to read here:

Here are his concerns that the current DSM-IV does not deal with:
20x autism rates (is everybody really autistic??)
20x childhood bipolar rates
3x ADHD rates
2x adult bipolar rates
"Misuse of the label "paraphilia NOS" to sanction the questionably constitutional involuntary commitment of rapists as a veiled form of preventive detention"

And here are the things he is worried will be stuffed prematurely into the DSM-V:
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
Minor neurocognitive disorder
Removing the bereavement exclusion for major depressive disorder (sadness not allowed!)
Lowered ADHD threshold (by raising the allowed age of onset to 12) (how does this work??)
Lowered threshold and poor reliability for generalized anxiety disorder
Combining substance abuse w substance dependence under "addictive disorders" (low reliability and unnecessary stigma)
A category for "behavioral addictions" that will promote "Internet addiction" as a NOS diagnosis. (Next: "addictions" to sex, shopping, work, golf, boating)
Pedophilia criteria wording that tries to sneak in hebephilia (preference for early pubescent teens) and invites forensic abuse
Making binge-eating a mental disorder
An unusable personality section that the APA Assembly voted unanimously to oppose
liveonearth: (moon)
Sleep well. A gland in the command
center releases its yellow hornet
to tell you you're missing the point,
the point being that getting smacked
by a board, gored by umbrellas, tongue-
lashed by cardiologists, bush-wacked
by push-up bras is a learning experience.
Sure, you're about learned up. Weren't
we promised the thieves would be punished?
Promised jet-packs and fleshy gardenias
and wine to get the dust out of our mouths?
And endless forgiveness? A floral rot
comes out of the closet, the old teacher's
voice comes out of the ravine, red-wings
in rushes never forget their rusty-hinged
song. Moon-song, dread-song, hardly-a-song
at all song. Let's ignore that call,
let someone else stop Mary from herself
for the 80th time. It's never really dark
anyway, not even inside the skull. Take
my hand, fellow figment. Every spring
we'll meet, definite as swarms of stars,
insects over glazed puddles, your eyes
green even though your driver's license
says otherwise. And yes, mortal knells
in sleepless hours, hollow knocks of empty
boats against a dock but still the mind
is a meadow, the heart an ocean even though
it burns. As long as there's a sky, someone
will be falling from it. After molting,
eat your own shucked skin for strength,
keep changing the subject in hopes
that the subject will change you.
liveonearth: (Default)
Supplements 101:
the Who What and Why of Dietary Supplement Manufacturing and Use in Clinical Practice

tabs also not good for pts who are taking acid blocking meds (tagamet, etc)
without acid: don't digest proteins, don't absorb minerals
shakes bottle of tabs: as good as a maraca if you don't have acid
blocked acids in rats: made them more allergic to foods
he asked the researcher, they're doing it in humans, same results
guest lecturer week 7, this post has been moved forward in time: what forms of vitamins to take? good info here, esp on folate as relates to neurotransmitter manufacture )
liveonearth: (Default)
The science has confirmed it. Teens who eat crap feel crappy. Big surprise, eh?
liveonearth: (Default)
There is also a strong inverse association between coffee and suicide (up to 7 cups). We know that caffeine increases serotonin, so this should not be a surprise.
notes )


liveonearth: (Default)

October 2017



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