Monthly Archives: March 2015

Depression and pilots may not mix, so why don’t we figure out depression?


Here’s what I think of the suicidal German pilot thing.  I posted it on http://www.wired.com/2015/03/no-way-screen-every-pilot-mental-illness/

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This is another opportunity for people to wake up and aggressively research what the brain is doing during ‘abnormal’ mental states. The experiment isn’t even that hard. Offer compensation to volunteers, both depressed and of ‘normal’ mood to do a complete scan of their brain using whatever we have technologically over the course of their stated mental state. Have those same people come back on a regular basis for X amount of time. Do a blood draw and all of that. My thoughts kind of peter out there with some rumblings about 3d sonograms, MRIS, and EEG’s.(Not a scientist)

If we invest in doing this, find out what is actually going on instead of using the current guinea pig method of testing antidepressants and similar, we could turn mental illness into something that people understand.

Depression is hell. I have bipolar, so I have my depressed times, and I wish sometimes that I had a Neuroscientist handy to see what the heck is misfiring in there.

Mental illness of any kind comes with a stigma. I understand the stigma completely, because those of us with mental illness do not want to be ‘incapable’ or lazy. I think sometimes that may be the worst part. Those accursed words that haunt our brains, ‘You are sick. You can’t do this.’ We therefore appear, for lack of better words, ‘lazy’ and ‘cowardly’.

Of course the copilot didn’t self report. You go tell your boss tomorrow that you can’t come in because you’re sad. You have no handy reason to be, you just are.

So, by pursuing this, you establish a means for testing the pilots and surgeons and nuclear reactor technicians. Perhaps find a way to treat it, whether it’s genetic or self-developed. Perhaps we all have a propensity to become depressed, we just compensate in whatever way we find, and perhaps everyone is a little bit mentally ill in their own special way.

I wish Amy from Big Bang Theory was handy. She might be willing to do it just for fun.

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What racing thoughts are like…


Over the course of many years of psychiatric care, I have been asked a number of questions for which I had no good answer.  This is the best way I can think of to answer, “…and what’s that like?”…

Here’s an example “stock” answer I filed away for those times when I knew they were going to ask: Sometimes my thoughts are like raindrops.  Bold and surprising when they hit me, but I am aware of more.

I have come up with, what I think is, a way that maybe I can show you.  This will require some participation on your part, but all you need is a deck of simple playing cards.

Look at the cards.  Say each name.  Take in what it looks like.  This is me when I have a good handle on my thoughts.  I enjoy the little nuances, the texture of the card, the way it shines in the light.  Sometimes this thought-mode weirds me out, because I become acutely aware of whatever I’m doing…  like typing…  (lol)

Now, take the deck in your hands and begin moving the cards, one at a time, from one hand to the other.  I use my thumb to push them over, like I’m sorting through a hand of cards, but don’t spread them out.  You only need to move them about a half the width of the card.  (Yes, I like specific instructions.)

As you’re doing this, pick a card to watch for.  Generally, you can sort through pretty quickly and still find the one you’re looking for.  This is how a thought process should work.  (I imagine.)

My true normal is with the following added challenge:  Focus on the center of the cards as you’re doing it, and try to focus on a spot in the middle distance, that area that is somewhere about 6 inches from the cards.  It’s doable, but it can be a challenge.  Decisions take a bit longer as I try to sort through things.

More on decisions later.

“Racing thoughts” is when you take the cards and just flip through them really fast.  Like trying to spot a card as someone shuffles them.  Remember the instructions before about picking a card?  Try to stop on that one.

If possible, try to have someone else flip and stop when you tell them.  See if you land on the card that way.

Yeah, that’s racing thoughts.

 

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I hope that God has a lenient attendance policy…


I don’t go to church.

I have some spiritual reasons, but those are things I’m not sure I want to get into right now.  The fact, for me, is this:  I have no desire to join a social club.

There have been a few churches in my life, and every one of them had exceptional individuals.  Individuals that… well… shined.  I may not have agreed with all of the technicalities of belief, but their enthusiasm was just uplifting.

Then there were the fun ones that just made it a negative experience.  The people that you felt ashamed to talk to, not because they were necessarily “holier”, but because they projected it selectively.  An example of this would be the classic lady who gossips about how bad it is such and such is a gossip.

My brain just can’t handle that level of duality in the world.  (If you read some earlier posts, you’ll understand this.)

It literally gives me a panic attack thinking about it very much.

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notice: some of my personal spirituality follows.  If you are strongly offended by non-traditional views, please stop now.

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Still here?

Ok.  I have never been able to roll very well with the whole creation/ark/etc thing as literal and using technologies of the time.  I can’t understand why so much focus is put on minor, trivial laws that Jesus seemed irritated by.  I can’t roll with the whole “visible works” thing as a scoresheet for “who’s the best christian”.  Finally, I have no proof whatsoever, nothing I can’t plausibly explain in life or otherwise as “proof” or “requiring” a deity of any form.

Let me guess.  Confused?

Let me explain.  Faith is belief in that which you have no evidence.  Therefore, faith is either a delusional state or it is an active choice.

I choose to believe in God.  I choose to believe that it will matter that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.  It makes me happy.

Based on this choice, I imagine God as a consciousness.  That consciousness has a personality, a thought proces on some level that we can understand and connect with.  This being is an extradimensional being, meaning that, to Him, we are at the same level that pictures are to us.  To us, He is as comprehendable as our finger would be to a sentient drawing of a square.  We can be aware.  We can interact to a limited degree.  We have no way to understand.

That would make Angels potentially what we think of as ET.  (Yay Aliens!)

Heaven is an unknown to me.  Reincarnation is a possibility.  Beings that we would comprehend as demigods can exist, but I don’t worry about them.  They’re interesting to think about.  (Yay Cthulhu!)  I don’t want to sing in a choir or be constantly happy.

God is perfect only by His own definition.  Consider this: God created Lucifer, knowing that he would rebel.  God chose not to instantly obliterate him.  Lucifer only actually has to fight with angels, and he hangs out in heaven.  Time passes for Lucifer and the other angels.  Therefore, angels and demons and all that are definite maybes for 3rd dimensional beings.

I think hell may be reincarnation.  Which would make this hell.  Which would explain depression and such.

Science is all just working out the “how?” of God’s…  whatever you want to call it.  I’m somewhat hesitant to call it a “creation”, because I believe that science is probably right.  Given enough time they may figure out how to reproduce it and use it to escape entropy.  Remember the alien thing?  Totally expecting aliens to show up for the Revelations/Tribulation bash.

Finally:  here are the big Jesus rules I go by.  The ten commandments are nice, but they’re pretty generic.  Jesus gave some rules and here’s how I understand them.  (You may understand them differently, and want to bring me X bible verse and interpretation, but…  how about don’t?)

1:  Be kind

This means that if you can do, do it.  If you see a need and can provide somehow, do it.  Not to the point of absurdity, but if you can help someone else and it means a little discomfort somehow for you, isn’t that what you would wish someone else would do if you were in a tight spot?  That means listening when someone talks.  That means sharing if you can.  That means saying nice things.  That means putting other people ever so slightly before yourself in importance.

2: Communion with God is right here, right now

Every moment.  Everywhere.  God sees you pooping.  Yes, that freaked me out for a while once I thought about it.  I have wonderings about whether or not we may be God’s own simulation.  (I make sure some of my first purchases in Sims 3 are steel bladder, then trance meditative sleep, hardly hungry, and dirt defiant.  Just sayin’, God.)

3: You can be a “light unto the world” without being a jackass about it

I get on a religion kick from time to time, where I want to talk about it.  Generally, though, I don’t.  I don’t want to persuade you to believe like I do or anything.  If you like how I do things and think it’s a good way to roll with things.  Great.  If not, well, this makes me happy.  It’s what I’m going with.

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Today.


Today…

I didn’t give up when I wanted to.  I didn’t give in to self-destructive desires.  I even made a short blog post.  Yay me!

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