Tag Archives: planet

The State of Depression

19 Feb

This article on http://www.weather.com was rather interesting until the last page.

The 10 Most Depressing States in the U.S.

To summarize, it lists (rather irresponsibly and), alphabetically, indicators of what makes these states possibly depressive to live in.  Things like poor economy, high unemployment rate, poor health statistics, etc.  I was rather intrigued by these statistics until I read the last page, listed for West Virginia:

The Mountain State is ranked last or next-to-last in every mental-health category on our list, including the average number of “mentally unhealthy” days residents have per month and the percentage of people who experience frequent mental distress (15%).

One reason may be that roughly two-thirds of West Virginians live in rural areas, where both steady jobs and access to mental health care can be hard to come by. A 2000 study found that while nearly 1 in 3 residents living in rural areas had “a high level” of depression symptoms, almost half had never been treated for the condition by any doctor, let alone a psychiatrist or mental-health specialist.

I think the most interesting sentence there is the one listing their supposition behind these markers for frequent mental distress: these people live in rural areas where almost half had never been treated for their conditions by any doctor, psychiatrist or mental-health specialist.

Doesn’t this seem a bit arrogant to you?

I can see one side of the coin, and probably how it was meant, that it is a largely agrarian, mining, and industrial society that has incredibly sparse access to the luxury of a mental health physician…but the other side of the coin?

Are they really implying that rural society must be depressed because they are rural?  That’s how this last page read to me.  Not to mention that it was incredibly irresponsible to make a LIST of the most depressing states for those states to see.  Gee, let’s just tell people how sick they are! (and watch the money roll in for the medical profession, I think?)

Look at that last sentence.  “1 in 3 residents living in rural areas had a ‘high level’ of depression symptoms“.  Where are the actual numbers stating that these people have depression?  I can sigh and have a bad day, but maybe I just stubbed my toe.  Does that mean I’m depressed?  Maybe I’m having trouble making my checkbook balance and my kid’s clothes weren’t completely dry before sending them off to school today so they might catch cold before the day’s out.  With winter storms like we’ve been having, every day being cloudy and rainy and snowy…YEAH, I’m going to look depressed, but that doesn’t mean I am clinically or chronically depressed to the point where I need help.  You can observe many points where I might look like I need medical attention, but I can look on Webmd.com all day long and find symptoms I’m sick with, too.  That doesn’t mean I’m really sick.  I can write an entire thesis on the supposed connection between strep throat carriers and autistic children, but it doesn’t mean it’s true.

My point is, the medical profession and their researchers are becoming increasingly arrogant to believe that just because they say something is so, we need to believe it and never question them.  I know this is one report and one article, but honestly, how many times do you read or see some kind of advertisement that wants you to try something new, simply because you “might” be expressing those symptoms?

THAT’S unhealthy, and something incredibly arrogant in the current pharmaceutical and medical professions.

I leave you with this:  Please don’t hesitate to question your doctors.  They are human and second opinions are well-respected.  Don’t fall for this claptrap that someone puts online about “depressing states”.  If you feel depressed, yes of course, get whatever help you need and I’m sure you (and especially West Virginia) have a medical professional or at least a counselor within at least 100 miles that can help.  Do not forget the power of friends and family, or if you’re religious, the higher power of your faith.

What have you seen recently that has been a solid representation of irresponsible medical advertising?

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Go. Bid. Now! Save the Manatees!

31 Jan Froggy Dolls!

HERE

DO IT! The Manatee’s up for Bid for Charity to Save the Manatees!  Own it, it’s ADORABLE! And then buy one for yourself.  He’s talented and makes them custom for you.  www.facebook.com/froggydolls

Bidding ends midnight tonight!  I’ve bid $30.  BEAT ME!  I’m asking for it! LOL

Froggy Dolls!

He'll custom make creatures for you!

Blaspheming and Pontification over a Stubbed Toe

24 Jan

First, I’d like to point out that my computer did not recognize “pontification” as an actual word.  How sad.  Just in case, I checked the good ole’ http://www.m-w.com and it was there, all right.  *sigh*

We live in a  world where “friended” is more easily recognized as a word than “pontification”.  We also live in a world where I, immediately upon stubbing my toe as I miss a stair tread, burst into blasphemous phrases the likes of which make my dogs cringe in fear.  Why?

We’re so accustomed to crude language and elementary vocabulary, we’re almost offended when someone reaches above and uses that great vast welling abyssal of lexicon available to us.  Many times I find people will get angry with me for what I think are simple or common words (ie: gregarious, dismal, droll, cacophony) and will then resort to cursing or blaspheming to “get the upper hand”, so to speak.

Isn’t that interesting?  That the use of coarse and crude language instills power in us, some sort of control over the situation…  Why would my first instinct be screaming “Son of a Fuck” upon stubbing my toe (amongst other, more damning things, I assure you) instead of just “Ow” or “Well that was stupid of me”?  Why?  I lost control over my body for a split second and therefore felt the need to scream expletives to the air – not another soul around but me and my pets, and quite possibly eavesdropping neighbors.  No one saw me (of any consequence).  It hurt like hell, I’ll admit it, but that’s not why I yelled.  I’ve been hurt worse and not admitted a sound, so it wasn’t the pain.  Perhaps it was the emotional equivalent, needing to be released, something like a pressure valve?

Do we therefore have an emotional connection to physical pain that has to be released before we can resolve the physical pain?  Yelling, crying, laughing, fainting…

It certainly makes me wonder about the mysterious mechanics God built in these bodies.  Just how intertwined are our physical nerves with our emotional brain centers?  I’ve heard many stories of a good deep tissue massage or accupuncture session creating amazing emotional reactions in the client, most of which are from past, blocked, or stored emotions (or at least, that’s the theory I’ve been told).

So my next conclusion would be that emotions are much less ephemeral than I originally thought.  They must therefore be something rather concrete, physical and measurable.  If they are so physically tied to the body and its reactions (think about how tied up you can get with stressors affecting you) then emotion simply CAN’T be intangible.

I wonder if, somewhere, there’s some group of people in a lab working on this, trying to quantify and measure these things.  I know this can’t be an original thought ;)  Besides, they’ve been putting nodes to people’s sleeping heads to try and capture DREAMS for decades, if not longer.  That’s not much more different.

And then there’s always the Wachowski brothers…  ;)

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