Depression

I don’t remember where I ran across this link, but it’s worth a read: Depression is humiliating…

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Rodney Dangerfield would feel right at home.

We just don’t get no respect.

What to make of the weird personal economics of mental illness? Over at The Health Care Blog, Peter Ubel discusses work that he and his colleagues have done on the relationships between how much impact people think mental illness would have on their lives and what they’d be willing to do to avoid it.

There is, as one would suppose, a sizable disconnect.

My best guess? People think it’s avoidable, so the hypothetical pill isn’t necessary. And I think this is cultural baggage, a combination of the view of mental illness as a character defect, the perception that it’s more easily treated than it often is, and the sheer difficulty of believing that your mind can get away from you. It’s so much easier to imagine that your own eyes could be damaged than that your mind could be. It’s easier to imagine a lost limb than it is to imagine madness.

The things that we cannot imagine, we do not fear.

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So not good.

This is more than a little ugly. Taxamageddon? Yikes.

I wonder how the usual suspects will feel about this given that it will kick folk in the lower income brackets right in the balls. Enough of this stuff is tied together to make it tough to avoid raising taxes on the people who really, really can’t afford it after all of the rest of the fucking around these idiots have done. And speaking for the slice of America who are eating more ramen so that they can afford the drive to work…I’m not sure that I can curse strongly enough to truly express how I feel about this sort of thing. And I was in the Navy, ferchrissake. Even the cost of ramen has gone up 13% in the last year. Put that in your bowl and boil it.

Posted in economic adventures, political headaches | 1 Comment

The hardest part of blogging is showing up.

Of course, that’s true for a startling number of things in life, yes?

I switched jobs last month, which has really messed with my routine. It’s funny, because it didn’t so much at first, but as I’ve learned more it’s occupied more space in my life. Not in terms of hours worked; it’s a strict 40, no matter what happens. But my mind has enough to work on that it’s constantly churning in the background now, which is reducing the available resources for anything else. Which means a lot of dropping into bed exhausted instead of writing.

At some point these sorts of irregularities ceased to bother me all that much. Do I miss being a medium-name blogger? Sometimes. But 9 years ago my life was completely different. I was single, and lived by myself, and had a job I could surf from. Now it’s often all I can do to keep up with a headline or two…which I don’t always feel like doing, anyway. I used to be much more open about certain things, because I didn’t have to really worry overmuch about internet overexposure. now, even though I’ve created this place to open up a bit, I’m more reluctant to say some of the things I think need saying, because I need to take the future into account more than I once did. Of course, I think all of this judging job-worthiness by what you post on facebook is bullshit…I’m old enough to remember when it was possible to have a private life. I wonder if employers lurked on the phones when they were still party lines?

Of course, none of that matters because I still avoid facebook like the plague, but it is a bit intimidating to put words out in public you can’t take back, because the definition of public when it comes to the internet is so. damned. big. It’s the entire world. All of it. And that’s thrilling, but given how wacky things are right now, it’s also a little scary.

In any case, I seem to still be mulling over the line between share and overshare, between linking enough to my old blogging life and not linking it at all, between discussing my industry and avoiding it, lest my words come back to haunt me. When my mind is overcrowded anyway, the obstacles that these questions can become seem insurmountable.

Which is rather a lot of musing about something that may or may not be interesting to anyone but me, but isn’t that a risk we take every time we write?

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Been a long time now

Almost 3 years since the ugly manic episode (is there any other kind?) that landed me in the hospital and got me a diagnosis and it still freaks me out every time I’m in a really fantastic, energetic mood.

This disease really fucks with me sometimes.

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This is about how I see it.

Here.

Well except for the bit about the Republican primary. I’m having a really hard time not watching that trainwreck, even though it terrifies me.

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Quick takes

Romney not crazy enough? Sounds counterintuitive, but I think it’s true. I also typed “bot” instead of “not,” which seems like a bit of a slip to me rather than a typo, lol. My favorite quote from the interview? This:

But I’m going to talk about the real issues Americans face and talk with respect about people who have differing views. I’m not going to attack them personally. I mean, I know that’s fun, but it’s just not productive.

Heh.

Also, I no doubt read in circles where this doesn’t get discussed enough, but I’m happy to see attention paid to the economics of the contraception mandate. Especially since I could give a damn for the religious arguments.

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This article bothers me.

This one, right here: Study of the Day: Even Low Doses of Sleeping Pills Triple Death Risk

I passed lightly over it when I saw it on Instapundit, thinking, as Glenn did, that perhaps it was the sleep problem that was causing the real issue. Sleep deficits have a number of well-known and seriously detrimental effects. And I didn’t think a whole lot of it.

Until I did.

Look, this is the thing: insomnia can be deadly. Forget the car crashes and the mistakes exhausted people make on the job and the way that a short temper can ruin a home. Forget the heart attacks and the blood pressure issues and the caffeine headaches and all the rest of it. Nobody believes it’s a serious problem, anyway. Not sleeping has become a fucking status symbol, and despite some advances in understanding the consequences, it’s not all that likely to stop being one any time soon.

The problem isn’t sleeping pills. It’s the complete obliteration of anything resembling a sane lifestyle. We’ve got food that’s not food, night that’s not night…hell, I know better and after a hearty supper of hot dogs and oreos, my kids are now watching netflix. At 8 we’ll send them to their room to bounce off the ceiling until they drop of exhaustion.

We are very, very modern.

Anyway, we didn’t have netflix when I was a kid, or computers, or any of this shit that keeps us up all night. I had books, but they lack that special flashing-light-in-your-face component that helps keep you awake. And I always, always had trouble sleeping. Always. Ask my mother.

I think the thing that kills me about this article is the *moralizing* that I suspect will follow. Sleeping and waking on command have somehow become so tied up with this culture that not to be able to do it is seen as somehow inferior, somehow wrong. People with sleep problems get told that they need to practice better “sleep hygiene,” as if there were something unclean about tossing and turning. Sleeping pills are already viewed as dangerous and slightly unsavory. This correlation will not help, whether it is borne out in further investigation or not.

I don’t tell many people that I take a sleeping pill every. single. night. It’s none of their business anyway, but I can stand not to be looked at like I’d just admitted to sodomizing a Smurf.

This is not much of an exaggeration.

I take a sleeping pill every night because it’s saving my damned life, and I don’t expect a soul to understand that (with the exceptions, of course, of the folks treating me–and my husband, who likes me much better when I sleep). And they had to talk me into taking it every night, because I kept seeing it as a personal failure to have trouble sleeping. Even though I have bipolar disorder. Even though said disorder seriously fucks with your body clock. Even though I happily (well, maybe happily is pushing it, but still) take other drugs that goof around with my personal chemistry in order to allow me to be myself on a more regular basis, and the girl having a screaming breakdown on a decidedly *less* regular basis, or better yet, not at all.

In any case, the human tendency is to generalize the hell out of stories like this, and ignore the whole correlation/causation question, and to celebrate how they’ll live forever now because they’re not one of those people who are dumb enough to abuse a sleeping pill by actually, you know, taking one. First an Ambien, next thing you know you’ve blown up the neighborhood trying to make Sudafed out of your meth (pdf, ht: Radley Balko).

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This is one of the smartest things I’ve ever read.

Rick Santorum, Meet My Son

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do a better job of capturing the complexities of choosing–or not being able to choose–to have an abortion based on a child’s disease or disability. Well worth a read.

(Seen at Balloon Juice)

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Another angle on what’s gone wrong with the GOP…

I seem to have an OTB addiction today, but that’s not a bad thing. Twilight of the RINOs? is definitely in the RTWT category, but I wanted to comment on the end of Doug’s post:

But the blame for the current state of the Republican Party doesn’t just lie with Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum. It lies with the party leaders and conservative pundits who let them get away with what they’ve managed to do over the past five years.

Now, I was never near the popularity level or and certainly didn’t have the audience of said pundits, and I am certainly not a party leader (I registered unenrolled, like 52.2% of Massachusetts voters), but I once had a blog that was read by a fair number of folks, and you know what I did when things started getting really testy during Bush the Younger’s second term? I sat down and I shut up.

As a matter of fact, I think the last political post I made might very well have been about Terri Shiavo debacle.

I got tired of the shouting. I got tired of the contention and trying to word things politely so that I didn’t have folks angry at me. I got tired of feeling like I was pissing on a fire that was going to burn the whole country down. I’d lost my faith that talking about it, that screaming about it at the top of my lungs, was going to make any difference in the world in what happened.

Which, to be fair, it probably wouldn’t have.

But there’s a part of me that feels like a coward for failing to stand up and say: this is wrong. This is not the America I want to live in. This is not the party who can create the America I want to live in, even though I thought I shared many of their purported beliefs about how things ought to be. The GOP has been dead wrong about a lot of things for a long damned time, and not very many folks seem to have called them on it.

Including, unfortunately, me.

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