This is the TED talk I mentioned during the Life is Prana discussion on the Power Hour, In The Rooms last night when subbing for Tommy Rosen (jan 2016).
“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.”
writer Andrew Solomon takes you to the darkest corners of his mind during the years he battled depression. That led him to an eye-opening journey across the world to interview others with depression — only to discover that, to his surprise, the more he talked, the more people wanted to tell their own stories.
… a story about a rep who had recently spent a day doing a “preceptorship,” a practice in which a drug company pays doctors to let a rep shadow them while they see patients. This rep was shadowing a high-prescribing psychiatrist at a med-check clinic. Med-check clinics are extremely busy sites where psychiatrists see large numbers of patients in quick succession, mainly to make sure that their medications are in proper order. At one point during the day, the rep said, a cheerful man in a wheelchair rolled into the office. Barely looking up from the stack of charts on his desk, Dr. C started quizzing the man about his medications. After a few minutes the man interrupted. “Look at me, Dr. C. Notice anything different?” Dr. C pushed his glasses up on top of his head and looked carefully at the patient for a few seconds before replying, “No, I don’t. What’s up?” The man smiled and said excitedly, “I got my legs cut off!”
Read more …
by Carl Elliot. As America turns its health-care system over to the market, pharmaceutical reps are wielding more and more influence—and the line between them and doctors is beginning to blur
There’s a saying in educational circles: white kids get diagnosed, black kids get disciplined. Poor and brown kids, too, disproportionately get suspended, expelled, transferred to “continuation” schools, or even arrested for behavioral problems as mild as swearing. White kids, especially if their parents have money, health insurance, and access to lawyers, are more likely to have even chronic discipline problems treated as symptoms needing investigation and assessment. Read more in this article
I am so honored to be on faculty for NIROGA Institute: Transforming Lives and Cultivating Compassionate Communities – Creating healthy, peaceful, and compassionate communities through universal access to Dynamic Mindfulness. I’ll be teaching two modules for their Yoga Therapy training – Ayurveda and Yoga of Recovery weekends there again next year. Please enquire with them to attend the full training or come to the public workshops available every weekend of the training on Sunday 1-4pm.
This is scientific indication of why Ancestor Rituals are part of Yoga of Recovery training …
Researchers have shown that certain fears might be inherited through generations, at least in animals.
Scientists at Emory University in Atlanta trained male mice to fear the smell of cherry blossom by pairing the smell with a small electric shock. Eventually the mice shuddered at the smell even when it was delivered on its own. Despite never having encountered the smell of cherry blossom, the offspring of these mice had the same fearful response to the smell – shuddering when they came in contact with it. So too did some of their own offspring.
On the other hand, offspring of mice that had been conditioned to fear another smell, or mice who’d had no such conditioning had no fear of cherry blossom. The fearful mice produced sperm which had fewer epigenetic tags on the gene responsible for producing receptors that sense cherry blossom. The pups themselves had an increased number of cherry blossom smell receptors in their brain, although how this led to them associating the smell with fear is still a mystery.
“I drank to drown those voices, because I wanted the bravado of a sexually liberated woman. I wanted the same freedom from internal conflict that my male friends seemed to enjoy. So I drank myself to a place where I didn’t care, but I woke up a person who cared enormously. Many yeses on Friday nights would have been nos on Saturday mornings. I had wanted alcohol to make me fearless, but by this point I was scared all the time. Afraid of what I’d said and done in blackouts. Afraid I would have to stop. Afraid of a life without alcohol, because booze had been my trustiest tool.
I needed alcohol to drink away the things that plagued me. Not just my doubts about sex – my self-consciousness, my loneliness, my insecurities, my fears. I drank away all the parts that made me human, in other words, and I knew this was wrong. My mind could cobble together a thousand PowerPoint presentations to keep me seated on a bar stool. But when the lights were off and I lay very quietly in my bed, I knew: there was something fundamentally wrong about losing the narrative of my own life. …”
from new book “Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget” by Sarah Hepola
Hadley Freeman writes …”Nobody ever asks me what it felt like…Instead they ask why: “Why were you anorexic? Why?”
Eating disorders are the only mental illness that people still assume is caused by something identifiable and external. No sensible person would ask anyone why they became schizophrenic, why they suffer from clinical depression. But eating disorders are different, and this is partly because of the behaviour of those who suffer from them. In the grip of the disorder, your world shrinks to the size of a pinhole: your brain fixates entirely on weight, calories; and, if you’re underweight, being so cold it feels like you have icicles for bones.
Asking a person with an eating disorder why they are behaving like that is not going to elicit a sensible answer, any more than asking an alcoholic why he or she drinks. There will be talk of wanting to be thin like this model, pretty like that friend, slim enough to wear nice clothes. But none of these reasons are why the person developed an eating disorder…
It’s about the way women are still valued primarily by their physical appearance…one potential factor behind eating disorders in women, especially anorexia, is a fear of being sexualized, which is just one reason why it tends to take root during puberty…
So why did I stop eating? Because I was unhappy. Because I didn’t know how to express it vocally. Because I didn’t understand I was allowed to respond to my own needs. Because I was scared of growing up. The specific causes of eating disorders are varied, but those factors are pretty common.
Here is an excellent article calling into question the whole premise for the war on drugs … rat addiction remedied by the Rat Park, US soldiers using heroin in Vietnam who simply stop their use when they return home, patients in hospitals given diamorphine – the medical name for heroin who do not leave the hospital and attempt to score heroin on the street …
This has huge implications for the one hundred year old war on drugs. This massive war – which kills people from the malls of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool – is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction – if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction – then this makes no sense.
From an article discussing Johann Hari’s book ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs‘. The book has been praised by everyone from Elton John to Glenn Greenwald to Naomi Klein.