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Bipolar, Not So Much - A Review

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The Five Stages of Climate Change - Another View

God just tweeted this.

How did I overlook #5 for last week's post?


God @TheTweetOfGod · 18h THE FIVE STAGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE 1. Denial 2. Guilt 3. Depression 4. Acceptance 5. Drowning

Stages of Grief and Climate Change

In 1969 Elizabeth Kubler Ross published On Death and Dying. It described the grief process of dying patients and how family and medical personnel could help them toward a good death.

You probably know what came to be called the stages: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance. They were never intended to describe a straight line process, more like a series of way stations to be visited on the way. They came from her work with people who were dying, and were part of the foundation of the Hospice movement, to take dying back out of the hospital where the focus is on preventing death, and put it on a more humane basis. We all die. Let's do it without the violence of extreme measures.

Kubler Ross has been on my mind lately, as it becomes clear that the planet is dying. We all are dying. But so are the polar bears, as a species, the black rhinos, the bees... And when Monsanto kills off what remains of the bees... We are facing the sixth mass extinction of the planet. Unlike the …

Describing Negative Emotions and Depression

Negative emotion differentiation (NED) refers to the ability to identify and label discrete negative emotions.

Are you the mom who says to your tantruming toddler, Use your words? That's good parenting in so many ways. Well actually, I found it quicker to turn the critter over and hold him up by his ankles, so he could ponder his universe from a different perspective. You could call that reframing. But that technique is more difficult to execute on a teenager.

Here is the latest reason why Use your words is good for your kid: the folk who get paid to come up with new things to research have discovered a relationship between teenagers and words. The more words they have to describe precisely their negative emotions, the less risk they have to develop depression in the face of high stress. And conversely:

Results suggest that low NED is primarily depressogenic in the context of high stress exposure.

That's from "The perils of murky emotions: Emotion differentiation moderates th…

Making Music to Build Your Brain

Manic episodes burn up brain cells. So do depressive episodes. So do panic attacks. Cortisol run amuck leaves you with potholes in your head. Not to worry -- the brain has a built-in repair system, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, BDNF.

They've been trying forever to reverse engineer antidepressants. If they can figure out how they work, they figure they will know what causes depression in the first place. At first they thought it was low serotonin levels, the proverbial "chemical imbalance." A more recent thought is that a low serotonin level is not the cause, after all; it's the effect. Fix the problem farther upstream by stimulating BDNF to repair the brain damage, and the serotonin level sorts itself out.

But the natural thing that gets this hormone humming to patch your potholes is learning! There's this big deal about seniors doing Sudoku to ward off dementia. But it only works until you get good at it. You have to keep doing new stuff that you don't…

It's Friday Afternoon...

Searching for Normal - A Review

Could we have prevented this suicide? - Every survivor asks the question in the aftermath of a loved one's death. In Searching for Normal: The Story of a Girl Gone Too Soon, Karen Meadows traces through her daughter Sadie's entire life, reexamining every decision that affected Sadie's illness. No, Karen, for God's sake, you even paid professionals to find the best options out there for Sadie's care.

Sadie was a bright, lively, inventive child with obvious gifts and potential. A victim of bullying, things turned dark in middle school. The school's routine screening for depression yielded an awkward phone call to her parents - they should get her treatment.


Depression is the DSM's junk drawer. Lots of people start their sojourn in diagnosis by getting slotted into it. Lots of them get moved to another drawer when antidepressants prove less than helpful. Sadie's first suicide attempts followed closely upon beginning treatment with antidepressants.

Another doc…