Depression is a Drug, Matt Coateson, Elephant Journal, February 16, 2015
Depression is like being addicted to the state of drug withdrawal. Any addict who knows that feeling of being incomplete, agitated, guilty and miserable knows what it is to be depressed. They believe they can, and often do, find temporary respite from this feeling by attaining and using their drug of choice—only for it to run out and they have to go through the cycle all over again.
Depression sufferers do not have the respite. They may not have the physical withdrawal and discomforts of the drug addict (although psychosomatic symptoms can be severe for those who make them so), but they also very rarely, if ever, find respite from the mental issues. When I did have a good day, as a depressee (I’ve also decided that that’s also a real thing), I used that as an excuse to make myself feel worse.
What right do I have to have a good day, to feel okay? Here I am, feeling miserable, feeling suicidal, making people worry about me, hating myself and I have the audacity to have a moment where I feel okay. I must be a terrible person, to feel good briefly, when I claim to be depressed. What scum I am, to claim I’m incapacitated by a mental illness and then smile today?
The Deadliest Prescription Drug in America? Christopher Byron, AlterNet, February 9, 2015
[W]hen it comes to prescription drugs that are not only able to kill you but can drag out the final reckoning for years on end, with worsening misery at every step of the way, it is hard to top the benzodiazepines. And no “benzo” has been more lethal to millions of Americans than a popular prescription drug called Klonopin.
Klonopin is the brand name for the pill known as clonazepam, which was originally brought to market in 1975 as a medication for epileptic seizures. Since then, Klonopin, along with the other drugs in this class, has become a prescription of choice for drug abusers from Hollywood to Wall Street. In the process, these Schedule III and IV substances have also earned the dubious distinction of being second only to opioid painkillers like OxyContin as our nation’s most widely abused class of drug.
I’ve lately read a number of articles and essays that use attention (or its lack) as a marker and a metaphor for something larger in society — for the multitasking, the electronic distractions, the sense that the nature of concentration may be changing, that people feel nibbled at, overscheduled, distracted, irritable.
But A.D.H.D. is not a metaphor. It is not the restlessness and rambunctiousness that happen when grade-schoolers are deprived of recess, or the distraction of socially minded teenagers in the smartphone era. Nor is it the reason your colleagues check their e-mail in meetings and even (spare me!) conversations.
What The Bacteria In Your Gut Have To Do With Your Physical And Mental Health, Carolyn Gregoire, Huffington Post, February 12, 2015
Strange but true fact: Our bodies are made of more bacteria than human cells, and the gut alone contains trillions of microbes (bacteria and fungi). In fact, it’s estimated that the body is composed of 10 times more bacteria than human cells.
And the intestines are home to more bacteria than any other part of the body, including the skin. Now, scientists are devoting increasing amounts of time and resources to understanding the gut ‘microbiome,’ as the massive collection of bacteria and microbes is called — and the influence it may exert on the brain and body.
Of particular concern among scientists and the public is the effect that gut flora may have on mental health, as a mounting body of research suggests that gut bacteria can have a significant impact on the way we think, feel and behave, and also on the development of neurological conditions. Last year, a major neuroscience symposium called the investigation of gut microbes a “paradigm shift” in brain science.