Stigma as a Barrier to Getting and Adhering to Treatment

A big meta-analysis:

The Impact of Mental Illness Stigma on Seeking and Participating in Mental Health Care

Like a lot of meta-analyses it seems a bit “let’s just find everything that proves my hypothesis.”  And there’s a hell of a lot of extrapolation going on, but, in a way, there needs to be a hell of a lot of extrapolation.  Why?  If you were afraid of people finding out you had something, would you tell anyone you were behaving in a certain way out of fear?

Of course not.

While the study itself might be somewhat flawed, I still like it.  It agrees with what I’ve been posting lately, especially about things like the exacerbation of stigma caused by the stereotype of crazy=mass murderer.  Although they include higher rates of violence among the mentally interesting while omitting all the studies showing how the difference isn’t all that high after all while drunks and spouse/partner abusers are way more likely to kill a shitload of people than any of us crazies are.

Is this bad science?  Probably.  I honestly don’t know.

If the study itself if too dense, the press release is far more non-researcher friendly.

On being labelled “schizophrenic”, in the words of the diagnosed

The completely unsurprising results of a study have found that people diagnosed with schizophrenia have a hell of a time coming to terms with it.  The stigma is so bad that they won’t seek treatment.  One of the main problems?

 

Quote

the media’s role in propagating the violence-schizophrenia link

 

Since the interview was done with people getting help through Britain’s NHS, they are the ones who have come to terms with the diagnosis and are getting treated.  It begs the question, how many aren’t getting help due to stigma?

Thanks media.

Full article at BPS Research Digest.

Medicated for your Protection on Everything

Since half of the sales at Straitjacket T-Shirts are for one design, I’m putting it on all sorts of stuff and seeing where that goes.

In addition to including PJs and undies to the line of light-colored shirts, I’ve put Medicated for your Protection on everything out of which you can drink or pour a beverage.

Medicated for your Protection flask.
More like “Self-Medicated for your Protection”

Type Of Depression Helped By Diet & Exercise Can Be Identified With Blood Test. Maybe.

The interview I heard this morning with the lead researcher is the reason for the post title.  He said that diet and exercise can help just as much as …. aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs.  Why?  Because the markers – higher than normal levels of interleukin 6 and c-reactive proteins – are also markers for chronic heart disease, diabetes 2 and inflammatory autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, which diet and exercise also help.  Conditions where depression and other brain cooties are often found together (comorbid).  So while someone with abnormally high levels of these proteins may need crazy meds to treat their depression, and probably need them to treat schizophrenia, there might actually be a way to tell if a non-prescription medication method would work instead of them.  Or if you should be taking an anti-inflammatory, watching what you eat, and getting off your ass and moving around along with taking Celexa.

Association of Serum Interleukin 6 and C-Reactive Protein in Childhood With Depression and Psychosis in Young Adult Life
A Population-Based Longitudinal Study

Here’s a Q&A with Dr Golam Khandaker.

Of course there are dueling studies.

C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, soluble tumor necrosis factor α receptor 2 and incident clinical depression is an equally massive and long-lasting study.  It’s findings?

Blood levels of CRP, IL-6 and TNFα-R2 were not associated with incident depression over a follow-up of 6–18 years. In cross-sectional analyses, antidepressant use may be associated with higher levels of TNFα-R2 but no associations with depression or antidepressant use were observed in the prospective analysis. 

Great, long-term use of ADs might increase your cancer risk.

What’s so different about these two studies?  The first looked at young people of both genders, the second was women-only, and mostly those who were approaching or reached menopause by the time the study ended.  So the markers may not hang around past a certain age, thus the diet, exercise and anti-inflammatories strategy becomes less effective with age.

Even More New Merchandise at Straitjacket T-Shirts

Our most popular bumpersticker design, Vaccines Cause Immunity, is now available as buttonsmagnets and mugs.

Vaccines Cause Immunity Button
Available as 2.25 & 3.5 inch buttons and magnets by the each or in packs of 10 and 100.

 

Vaccines Cause Immunity Mug
Liberal viewpoint.
Vaccines Cause Immunity Mug
Conservative perspective.

 

Buttons and magnets can be purchased by the each, or you can justify CafePress’ outrageous shipping costs by buying them in packs of 10 or 100.

I also wised up and made it, and other popular bumperstickers, available in packs of 10 and 50.

The Black Dynamite-inspired Vaccinations Result In Lollipops can’t get any traction.

New POINTS!-Flavored Designs at Straitjacket T-Shirts

Why should “Fuck” have an exclusively negative connotation?  Shouldn’t fucking be a good thing?  Especially when the stigma surrounding brain cooties is so bad that it renders us untouchable?  With that in mind the most popular of the Fuck {$condition} shirt designs – “Fuck Bipolar” and “Fuck Epilepsy” – now have a POINTS! flavor in addition to the existing FML flavor.  Introducing

Fuck Epilepsy: for the ride of your life.

If you’re offended you probably know nothing about what it’s like being epileptic.

Fuck Bipolar: once you go crazy you’ll never want to have sex the sane way again.

On the front it reads like the usual FML shirt…
…but on the back you can see the real message.

So celebrate your humanity, because those of us with brain cooties have sex lives as well.

Crazy Talk Forum Weirdness

Update:

I think I fixed it. You need to scrub your cache & probably remove local storage cookies.

If you were redirected run antimalware to be safe.

———————

I don’t know what I did this time when fixing that fucking URL4shits problem, but the Crazymeds forum won’t appear from a search.

You can still reach it directly at http://www.crazymeds.us/CrazyTalk/

And there’s a link to it on every page of the wiki.

And every post on this blog.

It Just Doesn’t Matter!

New merchandise at Straitjacket T-Shirts. Mugs, buttons, and magnets with the motivational quote from Meatballs.

It just doesn't matter!
It Just Doesn’t Matter! Black 2.25 inch button.
It just doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter.
It Just Doesn’t Matter black mug.
It just doesn't matter!
It Just Doesn’t Matter! 2.25 inch magnet.

I was actually inspired by Maria Bamford’s last words on @Midnight. (Sorry I can’t find a clip of it. You’re forced to watch almost all of the awesome hilarity to see what I mean).

 

The Hordes of Hypocrisy

News item making its way all around the Internet:

Floor collapses at Cheshire home, woman dead

Published: June 14, 2014 | Last Modified: June 16, 2014 10:24AM
By Mary Ellen Godin and Jeff Gebeau Record-Journal staff

CHESHIRE — A 66-year-old woman who lived alone in her 22 Winslow Road home was found dead Saturday in the basement under a pile of debris after a day-long search.

Police responded to a call for a welfare check on Beverly Mitchell Friday after a postal carrier found mail had piled up at the home for about a week and a half. The investigation is ongoing and being treated as a hazmat situation.

 Police determined that there was a structural collapse of the first floor based on the weight of the content of the house.

 

“The floor gave way and collapsed into the basement. The contents of that room caved in on top of her,” said Sgt. Kevin O’Donnell.

The article continues at The Cheshire Citizen‘s website. Click on the link above to continue reading.

The reason why the story is getting shared from the ISS to the Mariana Trench is because the late Beverly Mitchell was a hoarder.  Hah-hah, the crazy lady died in an ironic way.  Isn’t that so fucking funny?

What’s really fucking funny is the same people who are laughing at Beverly Mitchell’s death are sputtering in righteous indignation when people link to clips of the equally recently dead Casey Kasem losing it on America’s Top 40 or while doing station promos.

The thing is, Mr. Kasem had good reason to get pissed off.  Going from an up-tempo song to a dedication for a family’s dead pet is idiotic.  And he had no idea if a station really was the most-listened-to in their market like they claimed.  Who cares how he expressed it?  These outtakes not only humanize him, they show how much fucking integrity the guy had.  They make him less of an other.  Whereas pointing out how hilarious it was that the reclusive Beverly Mitchell died because all of her shit weighed too much for the floor of her house to hold dehumanizes her.  If Casey Kasem were still alive he would probably hate how all those assholes are laughing at Beverly Mitchell.

But it was Kasem’s lawyers, and not U2′s, who were the ones who gave Negativland so. much. shit. for The Letter U and the Numeral 2, so, fuck that guy.

Where’s NAMBLA NAMI?  As silent as ever.  It’s like they want us to be helpless and afraid of how we’re treated by all those meanies on teh intertwits.

We Don’t Have a Monopoly on Bigotry

“We don’t have a monopoly on crazy people.” – Barack Obama.

Apparently President Obama doesn’t know what it is like to be a member of an oppressed minority.

He doesn’t seem to know what it feels like to be the part of a group of people who are blamed for every violent action that makes the newsPeople who don’t actually commit most of those acts of violence.  He doesn’t know that on any given day more people are murdered by assailants who are not mentally ill than were killed at Virginia Tech.  And not only are we more likely to be the victims of violent crime than its perpetrators, we are ten times more likely to be the victims of violent crime than everyone else.

Let’s change one word in what Mr. Obama said.

“We don’t have a monopoly on black people.”

Look at Nigeria, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The black people there are killing each other by the hundreds, thousands, and millions over religious and ethnic differences.  In the United States the same thing is expressed as Bloods versus Crips and East Side versus West Side.  In the 1990s it was Tutsi versus Hutu in Rwanda and Burundi.  In the US it was Tupac versus Biggie Smalls.

The United States has the best justice system in the world.  Our juries are comprised of citizens vetted by qualified attorneys who attended first-class law schools, lawyers just like the President and the First Lady.  Our prisons are full of black people for a reason.  George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin because black people are as prone to violence as crazy people.

The solution to all the violence caused by black people is simple.  Put all their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and anything else useful in tracking them in an FBI database, accessible to anyone so they can’t buy guns at gun shows.  Or get jobs.  Or rent apartments in my neighborhood.  Some people suggest we preemptively round up all the black people and put them in jail, or camps, or send them back to Africa, or just kill them.  That seems pretty extreme, but how much violent crime do they have in Sweden or Iceland?  White people haven’t gone to war with each other over ethnic differences since the 20th century.  Muslims don’t count, because they’re worse than the blacks.

I sure as hell am glad I never ran into a crazy black person like Wesley Willis.  He would have killed me with his keyboard.  I don’t know how he found the time to make so many records when he must have been killing more people around Chicago than all the drug dealers there.

Have I spewed enough hate for you, Mr. Obama?

I’m not in the least surprised you can’t associate the fear, hatred, violence, stigma and degradation directed at the mentally ill with the exact same thing directed at African Americans, Muslims, immigrants, homosexuals, Mormons, people receiving some form of government assistance, or anyone else not considered ‘real Americans’ by whoever defines themself as a ‘real American.’  Why?  Because the mentally interesting are less than human.  We’re the one group everyone can agree is lower than undocumented terrorists who have entered this country illegally to steal the jobs of domestic terrorists.

I don’t have a problem with being called “crazy.”  I self-identify as “batshit crazy.”  Politically correct “person first” bullshit isn’t going to make things better.  It’s not the terminology that hurts, it’s everything else.

Let’s examine things a little closer.

In referring to mass shootings, especially at schools, Mr. Obama also said, “We get a new one every week it seems.”

There have been 74 shootings at schools since Sandy Hook.  I could find instances of ten, count them, 10 people with either a history, or after-the-fact diagnosis, of a mental illness of some kind who were the shooters, attempted to harm people at a school, didn’t use a gun, or merely threatened violence at a school.   Incidents in the last two groups weren’t included in the 74 incidents that made it into whatever sources are used by the media outlets quoting that figure.  Doing really bad statistical analysis by including the people who didn’t use guns or didn’t do anything in the group of crazies who shot or shot at students, that means 13.5% of the most recent school shootings were committed, or potentially committed, by lunatics.  The generally accepted figure bandied about is one person in four will have some form of mental health issue in their life, so using even more bad statistics – just like politicians and most media outlets like to do – that’s not even meeting random chance probabilities.  We. Aren’t. The. Problem.

OK Mr. Obama, let’s replace “black” with “crazy,” and do a little editing, in part of what I wrote to show you how your bigotry will just make things worse for us.

The solution to all the violence caused by crazy people is simple.  Put all their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and anything else useful in tracking them in an FBI database, accessible to anyone so they can’t buy guns at gun shows.  Or get jobs.  Or rent apartments in my neighborhood.  Some people suggest we preemptively round up all the crazy people and put them in jail, or camps, or just kill them.  That seems pretty extreme, but how much violent crime caused by crazies do they have in Germany?

You don’t think people have seriously suggested that we get rounded up and put away, or even systematically exterminated?  Think again.  Granted, preemptive imprisonment is a far more popular idea.

Jesus didn’t have a problem with us, and got pissed off at people who did.  Including his disciples.  Matthew 17:14-20.  That’s not a particularly obscure passage.  Give it a read, Mr. President, and rethink your bigotry.

Where’s NAMBLA NAMI?  How come they haven’t posted anything about what President Obama said?  Isn’t fighting bigotry and stigma supposed to be their job?  Oh, wait.  They’re totally into perpetuating the myth that mental illness = violence.  No, really.  Killing lots of people is just something crazy people do.  They just keep using the same press release, with a different town, shooter and body count.  They don’t expect any better of us.  We’re now nothing more to them than a reason for their existence as a professional fundraising organization.

Guess us crazies has to get all uppity about our civil rights by our own selfs.  Else we all gonna haf’ ta pass as not crazy by not goin’ to no doctors and takin’ no medicines that’ll git us in a big FBI list the whole wide world kin read.

 

Edited 14 June 2014 to add -

Slate article from May 2014 that expands upon the point I made in my essay from December of 2012.

From the Slate article How to Stop Violence by Laura L. Hayes

We are a culture awash in anger.

Violence is not a product of mental illness. Nor is violence generally the action of ordinary, stable individuals who suddenly “break” and commit crimes of passion. Violent crimes are committed by violent people, those who do not have the skills to manage their anger. Most homicides are committed by people with a history of violence. Murderers are rarely ordinary, law-abiding citizens, and they are also rarely mentally ill. Violence is a product of compromised anger management skills.

 

From my essay  Guns and Mental Illness – No Easy Answer

Even though we are not much more violent than normal people, just perceived as such, the mentally ill are a convenient scapegoat to explain the inexplicable.  The only proof most people need that someone is crazy is the fact they killed a lot of people.  Most people can’t accept a motive that doesn’t involve voices in someone’s head.  It doesn’t matter if the shooter survived like Anders Breivik, or it was obvious from his history like Wade Page.  Racism and idiocy aren’t enough, so crazy has to be involved.  When Bruce Pardo dressed up like Santa and, on Christmas Eve 2008, killed his ex-wife and almost all of her family with a homemade flamethrower, the overwhelming rage many people feel when you combine a messy divorce with severe financial problems apparently were not motive enough.  Add shame and failure to the mix and the same can said for every family annihilator who kills a bunch of people he feels were responsible for getting him fired, his family, and himself.  Mental illness is the only acceptable explanation because people are afraid to confront the fact that humans are inherently violent creatures; that our hands evolved to use fists as weapons as well as to hold other tools.  They are afraid to confront how easy it is for the veneer of civilization to slip away; that anger and alcohol disinhibit more effectively than an abnormal psyche or neurological architecture.  They are afraid to confront how a neighbor, coworker, family member, spouse, partner, or they themselves could be just a couple more drinks or one more bad performance review away from being the next person to go on a killing spree.  It’s far better for the mentally interesting to be the sin eaters than to face that possibility.
Still, the unknown motive is the worst of all.  It’s better to have some reason, any reason to explain what happened.  Otherwise the universe is a random, uncaring place that could have already sent a gamma ray burst our way that will destroy all life on Earth just as easily as someone can send a message in the blood of the innocent while neglecting to tell anyone how to read it.

Propublica has an interview with Dr. Jeffrey Swanson, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine.  Finally, a voice of sanity and reason from the psychiatric profession makes it to something approaching the mainstream!  Here are some rock-hard numbers that the mainstream press with preconceived objectivity utterly hate:

Mass shootings are relatively rare events that account for only a tiny fraction of American gun deaths each year. But when you look specifically at mass shootings ― how big a factor is mental illness?

On the face of it, a mass shooting is the product of a disordered mental process. You don’t have to be a psychiatrist: what normal person would go out and shoot a bunch of strangers?

But the risk factors for a mass shooting are shared by a lot of people who aren’t going to do it. If you paint the picture of a young, isolated, delusional young man ― that probably describes thousands of other young men.

A 2001 study looked specifically at 34 adolescent mass murderers, all male. 70 percent were described as a loner. 61.5 percent had problems with substance abuse. 48 percent had preoccupations with weapons. 43.5 percent had been victims of bullying. Only 23 percent had a documented psychiatric history of any kind ― which means 3 out of 4 did not.

People with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, do have a slightly higher risk of committing violence than members of the general population. Yet most violence is not attributable to mental illness. Can you walk us through the numbers?

People with serious mental illness are 3 to 4 times more likely to be violent than those who aren’t. But the vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent and never will be.

Most violence in society is caused by other things.

Even if we had a perfect mental health care system, that is not going to solve our gun violence problem. If we were able to magically cure schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression, that would be wonderful, but overall violence would go down by only about 4 percent.

Updates to Crazymeds’ Wiki

Happy “Holy Fuck! Grandpa was the Toughest Badass on the Planet” day.

I’ve been doing a bunch of crap over the last month. Having my wallet stolen was a great impetus for getting work done, to the point where I was tweaking things so much that additions to some pages became articles in their own right. I’m still not completely satisfied with most of these, as if I ever am with anything I do, but it’s about time I announced them:

  • I managed to add a useful feature to the Crazymeds wiki I’ve wanted for some time. We now have a Glossary of Terms, Abbreviations, Acronyms and Initialisms.
    • I had set it up so every time you hovered your mouse’s pointer over a term, abbreviation, acronym or initialism highlighted in green the definition would pop up.
    • Like everything else on the wiki it’s more complicated than I wanted it to be. Due to performance issues (Phrasing!) I had to split the glossary into two files.
      • One file for the hovering mouse pointer, with fewer, shorter entries to pop up with definitions for things I guess are unfamiliar to many readers. These have links to …
      • The larger Glossary of Terms, etc., where the entries themselves have much greater detail. There are also definitions for things that won’t be highlighted in green.
    • More terms, etc. are being added all the time.
  • I’ve written Evaluating Research Papers: a page on how to tell if a research paper to which any random high school drop-out with a website links is itself legitimate or bogus.
  • The General Bibliography is now Crazymeds’ General Bibliography & Guide to Medical Research Sites.
  • I’m revamped the Guides to Decoding Our Med Articles & Getting Unlost.
    • I’ve updated the section on the site’s features for tablets and real computers.
    • I’ve also improved (I hope) explaining what everything on single-page drug articles and the overview (AKA first) page of multiple-page drug articles.
    • I’m plowing through the rest of the pages on the more-detailed articles. It’s kind of difficult as the more-detailed pages already explain what everything means.
      • At least, they’re supposed to. If I could make them clearer, I would do so on those pages, and wouldn’t require an article on how to decode them.
      • Except for the pharmacology pages.
      • Even through the whole point of them is to make the pharmacology your meds somewhat understandable if you don’t have a med school degree.

 

 

Crazymeds: We’ll Be online for At Least Another Year!

Crazymeds will be on the air for at least another year.

I just paid the $4,977.48 for the server and everything that goes with it.

Thanks to everyone who made a donation, almost half of which came from two people, we raised around $4,300 via the beg buttons.    I also made over $350 from Crazymeds-related merchandise so far this year, and that went right to the server.

Whether I remain fiscally solvent for the next year is a different story…

Fort Hood Redux – Another Sane Shooter

On Wednesday, 2 April, 2014 another soldier killed three and wounded 16 of his comrades.  Unlike Major Nidal Hasan, Army Specialist Ivan Lopez wasn’t a fratricidal traitor.  Spec. Lopez was frustrated and furious over paperwork and other bureaucratic roadblocks in trying to get adequate leave to attend his mother’s funeral.

Just like the events of five years ago, it was initially presumed that Spec. Lopez was crazy.  He wasn’t.   Lt. General Mark A. Milley, the commander at Fort Hood, said as much during a news conference on Friday.  Like everyone else he originally blamed some form of crazy.   Once Gen. Milley had some facts he quit doing CNN’s job of repeating rumor and speculation and said,

“His [Lopez's] underlying medical conditions are not a direct precipitating factor.  We believe that the immediate precipitating factor was more likely an escalating argument in his unit area.”

Gen. Milley still hedged his bet on crazy by saying something along the lines of (as it’s not a direct quote in the article):

Milley said Friday that he wasn’t saying Lopez’s mental health was not a factor, but just that it didn’t immediately cause the shootings.

Spec. Lopez’s actions fit the pattern of the “disgruntled employee” type of mass- or spree-killer.  He’s in the same mold as the Postal Service employees whose acts of workplace violence in the mid-1980s gave us the term “going postal.”  He wasn’t crazy, he was just fed-up and he snapped.  But will that truth get out to the world?  Of course not.  People are far more comfortable with the lie that he was crazy.  So long as your neighbors aren’t crazy you have nothing to worry about.  But if anyone can just snap and go on a killing spree, then everyone is in deep shit, and confronting that can make anyone crazy.

New, Old, and Updated Content on Crazymeds Wiki

Some things are old, some things are really old, and some things are relatively new.
Buy now! Sorry. By now most everyone has probably noticed the plethora of Amazon ads that have infested the site.   With the commission I get on these sales, and that I keep insisting people buy their books and other crap from local stores, assuming you have any, you’d wonder why I’m doing it. As do I. Every time I add them to a page I feel like Jean Genet on a Marseille wharf. But way back in 2004–2005, when traffic was less than a quarter of what it is today (and a sixth of what it was compared with the number of visitors we were getting in the Spring & Summer of 2013), it would bring in $100 some months. Granted that was probably due to someone’s mania-induced spending-spree, which I like to rationalize as one or both of

  • Filling a shopping list for some personal holiday
  • They were going to spend it all anyway; I may as well make a direct profit off of someone’s madness along with all the indirect cash-from-crazy that has been supporting me for the last five or six years.

So books and other crap that Amazon thinks you’ll like, based upon whatever cookies you may have lying around from your previous visits there, the contents of the page you’re on, and whatever keywords I feed it, or books available from Burning Mind Books, will be displayed for your retail therapy needs.

  • In case you didn’t follow the link to Burning Mind Books, it’s not the same old Amazon store. OK, It is. But it’s now embedded, for her pleasure, in the wiki. And to enhance opportunities for achieving a quality retail experience.

As for site content…

Homeless MI Vet “Bakes to Death” in Rikers

This happened a month ago, but didn’t get any press coverage until now.

Rikers Island horror story: Mentally ill veteran “basically baked to death” in NYC prison

NEW YORK (AP) — Jerome Murdough was just looking for a warm place to sleep on a chilly night last month when he curled up in an enclosed stairwell on the roof of a Harlem public housing project where he was arrested for trespassing.

A week later, the mentally ill homeless man was found dead in a Rikers Island jail cell that four city officials say had overheated to at least 100 degrees, apparently because of malfunctioning equipment.

The officials told The Associated Press that the 56-year-old former Marine was on anti-psychotic and anti-seizure medication, which may have made him more vulnerable to heat. He also apparently did not open a small vent in his cell, as other inmates did, to let in cool air.

“He basically baked to death,” said one of the officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to discuss specifics of the case.

Story continues at the above link.  He could have been on any number of antipsychotics.  My guess for the AED is Topamax, but only because it is an obvious (to me) suspect as a contributory factor to his death.  Topamax has a couple of not-quite-black-box warnings regarding oligohidrosis (decreased-to-no sweating) and hyperthermia (increased body temperature).  Messing with your body temperature is a side effect of several APs, and is a symptom of the potentially fatal neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).

While I have the same questions as most everyone else, this part raises a couple others:

Of the 12,000 inmates who make up the nation’s second-largest jail system, about 40 percent are mentally ill, and a third of them suffer from serious mental problems the department said. Advocates and others have long argued that correction officers are not sufficiently trained to deal with mentally ill inmates whose needs are complex.

Who has a larger jail system than NYC?  And they have to be counting people with, or who claim to have, substance abuse problems as crazy.  I’d really like to get the two split into only addicts and crazy, addict or not.

According to this story Mr. Murdough did complain about the heat:

The night he died, Mr. Murdough complained to a correction officer about feeling overheated, but the inmate was ignored, said Norman Seabrook, the president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, who has been briefed on the case. Mr. Murdough was left unattended in his cell for hours while a correction officer who was supposed to be monitoring the inmate sat in a chair for most of her shift, Mr. Seabrook said.

When the president of your union told the NY Times you fucked up, you know you’re in deep, deep shit.

Here’s a shorter version of the AP story, but with pictures of Mr. Murdough and his mother.

Cefaly: the Anti-Migraine Tiara that Promises Sexiness

The FDA has approved a brain-zapping device for consumers to prevent migraines.  From their press release:

FDA allows marketing of first medical device to prevent migraine headaches

Today [3-11-2014], the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed marketing of the first device as a preventative treatment for migraine headaches. This is also the first transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device specifically authorized for use prior to the onset of pain.

“Cefaly provides an alternative to medication for migraine prevention,” said Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “This may help patients who cannot tolerate current migraine medications for preventing migraines or treating attacks.”

Follow the link to read the whole thing.

The Cefaly has already been approved for use in Canada and the UK, along with Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and probably most other EU countries.  The $295 / €295 device (buy American!) looks and sounds like something out of a 1970s-era SciFi flick that functions as a replacement for sex.  Or religion.  Or both.  Take a look:

From press release
I’ll have what she’s having.
From Cefaly's Slovakian website
Beam me up, Rael.

 

I’m sure there are great reasons for hot, naked women looking all ecstatic … I could end this sentence, because you really don’t need a reason for pictures of hot, naked women looking ecstatic.  But from a marketing standpoint, for a product that is supposed to prevent migraines, a condition that affects three times as many women as men, is positioning the Cefaly as an anti-migraine tiara with the implied promise of sexiness the way to go?

I haven’t done any research on it, so for all I know the Orgasmatron, sorry, Cefaly could work as well as, if not better than Topamax as a migraine prophylactic.  It, or devices that work in a similar fashion, might be useful for mood disorders and other brain cooties.   I have no problem with the device itself, nor with how it is marketed.  I’m just fascinated by the processes that went into the design of the tiara and marketing materials.  And I think the guys at STX-Med, sorry, Cefaly Technologies (At least they believe in their product!) should be ready for complaints from the professionally offended and parodies from people better able to use photo-manipulating  than I am (i.e. 98% of the planet).

 

Brain Food for the Mentally Interesting

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