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Showing posts from September, 2009


John McManamy has been on a theological kick.  So I thought I'd take a turn, it being my profession anyway.

The relationship between GoD and DoG is one of those enduring theological themes.  Here is one contribution to the discussion:

This dog reminds me a bit of my own, named Mazie -- Amazing Grace.  Except there are too many stars in the lower right corner of the constellation, a leg that she lost a long time ago.  Move those stars up to form her crown chakra.  For twelve of her thirteen years, people have watched her run and said, "That's Amazing!" -- the inspiration for her name.

Mazie is a therapy dog.  Not officially, she never received the training.  Now she has renal failure and it's too late.  But everywhere she goes, she finds the person who needs her.  When I took her to visit the shelter for victims of the Iowa floods in '08, she stopped to visit with each one.  After an hour, I was depressed and weary -- the start of my latest relapse.  I thought…


Cut the top ten and go straight to the number one reason why Willa Goodfellow should never get herself committed to the psych ward:

I suck at arts and crafts.

I didn't used to.  I used to produce Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses that made adults and children alike respond, "Oh! My! God!" -- though not the way this cake does.  I used to make big gingerbread houses.  No kits. and no showing off with royal icing and special decorating tips (which might have improved this cake, if I had been able to find them).  I used Golden Grahams for shingles, individually placed sprinkles on the door wreaths, graham bears ice skating in the yard, pretzels for fences.  I made Dr. Seuss-like trees out of marshmallows and gummy savers, M&M's for roofing material, or maybe candy-canes for the Swiss chalet touch -- those were a bitch to hold in place until the frosting glue dried.  Once I used peanuts to construct a fire chimney.  All color coordinated.  I must have made thi…

To Survive

To all of us who are surviving treatment resistant depression.

I’m coming up only to hold you under
I’m coming up only to show you wrong
And to know you is hard and we wonder
To know you all wrong we were
Ooo Ooo

Really too late to call so we wait for
Morning to wake you is all we got
To know me as hardly golden
Is to know me all wrong they were

At every occasion I'll be ready for the funeral
At every occasion once more is called the funeral
Every occasion I am ready for the funeral
At every occasion one brilliant day funeral

I'm coming up only to show you down for it
I'm coming up only to show you wrong
To the outside, the dead leaves, they are alive
For'e (before) they died had trees to hang their hope
Ooo Ooo

At every occasion I'll be ready for the funeral
At every occasion once more is called the funeral
At every occasion I am ready for the funeral
At every occasion one brilliant day funeral

by Band of Horses

Ten Plagues

I dreamed about ants this morning.  Little black ants, covering every surface.  Gnats, too -- so thick I had to breathe them.  There was some kind of family gathering going on, pretty much oblivious to the ants and the gnats.

I woke up and thought -- the ten plagues.  [See Exodus, the second book in the Bible.  The Prince of Egypt was based on it.]  Then I remembered, last month in Costa Rica I woke up one morning from a dream and thought -- the ten plagues.  I don't remember which plague that one was.  Frogs?  Blood?  It wasn't the deaths of the first-born.  I would remember that, being one myself.

I get these dream series every so often.  For a couple years before I went back to school, I dreamed about vehicles that broke down.  The tire went flat, the axle broke, the runner fell off the sled... The first couple years of my current episode, I dreamed of a young man.  I thought his name was Steve.  I thought he was my depression, though he didn't like it when I called him t…

Suicide Prevention Cake

Okay, I know.  It's supposed to read Suicide Prevention Week.  I had a post all written, an attempt at a thoughtful response to an exerpt from Nancy Rappaport's book, In Her Wake: A Child Psychologist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother's Suicide.  I found it on Knowledge is Necessity, one of my favorite blogs to follow.

But before I ever heard about Suicide Prevention Week, I gave the topic a whole month just last June.  And I do recommend that you look at those posts, especially the ones that refer to David L. Conroy, "Suicide is not a choice.  It happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain."  Those two sentences open his book, Out from the Nightmare, help to make sense of a topic that people would rather hold at a distance, and give a simple program for suicide prevention.  Reduce pain and/or increase resources.

So after I did my best at one more profundity, I thought again, really, how should one mark Suicide Prevention Week?  It occurred to me, wh…

Costa Rica and Depression

This is my breakfast view on the left.  It is called patita, a vine on the edge of my porch.  I planted the seeds myself.  A stranger gave them to me when I admired it in his yard.

If I look to the right, I see "bird of paradise," outside my neighbor's door.
Some friends invited us for drinks and this view at sunset.  Why the hell would anybody be depressed in Costa Rica?

I prepare my answer for friends back in Iowa.  Most of my friends already know the answer, or else are too discrete to ask.  I really just ask myself.  Why the hell am I depressed in Costa Rica.

Five years into studying this disease, it still baffles me.  I know the answer, too, and yet it baffles me.  There are psychiatrists in Costa Rica.  There are psych wards in Costa Rica.  I have seen the boxes of Effexor on the shelf of the pharmacy where I go to buy contact lens solution.  There is even Electro-Convulsive Therapy in Costa Rica.  I have read the brochure.

So there must be depression in Costa Rica.  I a…

OMG!!! That's What They Said! Significant

"Clinical studies of adults with depression showed that adding ABILIFY to an antidepressant helped to significantly improve depressive symptoms compared to adults treated with an antidepressant alone."

Okay, first let me say that this is not "Pick on Abilify Month."  I usually wander the web, (not quite so intentional as surfing), for interesting little tidbits to share with my readers.  But at my last appointment, my doctor gave me a list and told me to do my research and pick one.  So for the last month, I have had a focus.

Abilify has long since been eliminated as the winner of this assignment.  But it is such a good example of so many of my interests, including the use of language (as in this monthly OMG!! feature), marketing and clinical trials, that I can't let it go.  In fact, it gets another post later this month.  Not because I am picking on it, but because, well, stay tuned.

I found the winning quote for the month's OMG contest, "...helped to…