Does Altitude Exacerbate Depression?

Back in September the Missoulian ran an article about suicide in Montana & the Rocky Mountain West.  It was the same old story: the focus was on stigma and cowboy culture,  along with the problems of social isolation, easy access to firearms, and a severe shrink shortage.  There was one thing that was new and caught my eye: a correlation between altitude and suicide rate.  OK, there’s a correlation, but that doesn’t mean causation.

Until now.  Perhaps.

In the article There’s a Suicide Epidemic in Utah — And One Neuroscientist Thinks He Knows Why we see how living in the Rockies can make the neurotypical feel happier, and those with mood disorders feel crappier.  And while few things involving the brain are quite that simple, that’s the gist of the hypothesis behind why a high altitude can be hazardous for your mental health.

I can tell you from my own experience that since I moved from sea level – where I had lived my entire life – to ~3,000 feet up, some things have improved and some things haven’t, or have steadily become worse.  But there have been many other changes over the last ten years, so it’s difficult to pin down exactly what may have caused what.  Could altitude be a positive or negative contributory factor?   Sure.  It could even be a little of each.

For my daughter, though, it was a big negative.  I didn’t think 3,000 feet was high enough to make a difference as far a migraines were concerned, and I certainly didn’t think anything below 8,000 feet would have an affect on mood disorders.  Altitude sickness usually doesn’t set in for someone with normal oxygen saturation until you’re that high up, and she had spectacular oxygen saturation.  But apparently it was enough of a difference.  She’s no more than 500 feet above sea level, and her headaches and interictal moodswings are much more under control than they were up here.

 

Someone Finally Gets It Right!

The article “Dangerous Cases:  Crime and Treatment“, by in the December 1st edition of Time, is the best damn thing I’ve ever read about violent crime and the mentally interesting.  I can’t remember reading anything in the mainstream press, other than the BBC’s website, the stats I’ve been quoting for the last 12 years:

People with a serious mental illness are also nearly 12 times as likely as the average person to be the victim of a violent crime, like rape, and as much as eight times as likely to commit suicide. People with symptoms of mental illness account for as much as 30% of the chronically homeless population.

She also dug into the same studies I’ve been throwing around every time I have to write the same damn essay in response to the same over-reaction to annual tragedies.  She’s the first sane reporter to see the light:

As a total population, the millions of Americans who suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives are no more likely than anyone else to commit a crime. But narrow that population to only those with the most serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, who do not receive treatment, and it appears to be a different story. A widely cited 2005 study based on NIMH data found a violent-crime rate of 8.3% among those with a “major mental disorder,” compared with 2.1% among those without disorders. A 2008 peer-reviewed analysis that surveyed 31 academic studies found that 12% to 22% of inpatients and outpatients with serious mental illnesses “had perpetrated violence in the past six to 18 months.”

Only 3% to 5% of violent crimes in the U.S. can be attributed to mental illness, according to Duke medical sociologist Jeffrey Swanson. But such tragedies–like Cukor’s death or the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which a student with a mental illness killed 33 people–tend to have a disproportionate impact. They earn headlines, anger the public and motivate politicians to action in a way that the mundane suffering of the homeless or convicted criminals does not.

I never liked the 2008 meta analysis to which she refers, but that’s just quibbling over dueling studies.  I think she gives her readers a bit too much credit by not pointing out that such events earn more headlines than when the dangerously sane do the same thing, but that would have been beyond the scope of the article.  Which is actually about the question of broadening the rules for involuntary commitment of the severely crazy.

On the article’s core issue – it’s well worth reading for that too.  It raises important questions.  If someone is unable to tell that they are ill (anosognosia – lack of insight – a condition about half of the schizophrenic and a third of the bipolar have, I think, because stats on this are hard to come by), thinks the meds are making them worse, or are pressured by the general stigma and/or their family to stop taking their meds, should they be forced to stay in a psych hospital before they wind up dead on the streets?  As someone who has been homeless due to brain cooties and in the locked ward of a psych hospital I’d much rather be locked up in a loony bin than living in an abandoned building and eating mystery meat or oatmeal soup at a church.  And I don’t think there are that many abandoned buildings left in which it’s safe to for a lone nutjob to be living, let alone something like the palace of a condemned thrift shop that I found over 30 years ago.  Trying to get someone with anosognosia to determine if they need to check themselves into a hospital, or even if they need to take meds and other treatments, is the same as telling someone with bipolar disorder to try really hard to not have mood swings.  Which, as we all should know, is the same as asking someone with type-1 diabetes to try really hard to produce the correct amount of insulin.  It’s basically Christian Science psychiatry.

I hate to quote a bunch of hippies, but “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

Lack of insight – easier to remember than anosognosia – is a physical condition you can see on a brain scan.  It looks the same in Alzheimer’s as it does in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  If we don’t expect someone with Alzheimer’s to decide for themself if they belong somewhere they don’t want to be, should we expect the same of someone with schizophrenia or bipolar who is similarly clueless?

Like lots of things in life there is no easy, simple answer.  Who determines how crazy someone needs to be to get checked into what sort of facility for how long?  What sort of treatment options will be available?  What prevents them from being gulags where  inconvenient, but not particularly crazy people are dumped?  Does everyone get a brain scan, or do we just rely on something like the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale?  What if someone knows they’re batshit crazy but just doesn’t want to take their meds?  What if the only thing that works has really bad quality-of-life, but not health-endangering side effects?

Whatever the answers are they need to be determined by people with real experience in the world of mental illness, not politicians.  And it needs to be done before the next over-publicized killing, not immediately after.  No matter what steps are taken nothing, absolutely nothing will prevent another mass killing by someone with a mental illness.  It certainly won’t prevent the ones carried out by the dangerously sane.  Designing something with calmer, clearer minds will be like the really good meds: it will work better and suck less.

Merry RxMas Cards and Gifts

Celebrate being mentally interesting and medicated while fulfilling holiday obligations. Crazymeds Merry ℞mas Cards and Gifts.

Merry RxMas Card: The Last Xmas Tree
The Last Xmas Tree from the Xmas Tree Lot

 

Merry RxMas Card: Isolated and Unbalanced
Feeling Isolated and Unbalanced

 

Merry RxMas Card: Snowed In and Running Out of Meds
Snowed In and Running Out of Meds – the prophecy.

 

Merry RxMas mug
When you want to wash down your meds with eggnog.

Cards come in the three different covers shown above with your choice of what’s inside:

  • Blank (AKA creative negative space)
  • Wishing You a Merry ℞mas and A Mentally Interesting New Year
  • A description of the Merry ℞mas scene depicted on the card

Mugs and magnets have Merry ℞mas – spelled out in a special holiday version of the Pill Font – on a white background.

All pictures on the cards are from in and around the glorified Unabomber shack where I live. I hope my gift of schadenfreude makes you feel a little happier.

The card with the idyllic winter scene of snow on top of a well has been available since 2013.  I now call it “Snowed In and Running Out of Meds” because for nine or ten days (I kind of lost track) in late February and early March 2014 I was completely snowed in and nearly ran out of a couple meds.  Even with a week’s supply that I keep on hand for this sort of thing I had to significantly lower my dosage of topiramate for a few days.

That well is fake.  It covers the access port to the septic tank.  Like my pickup it was completely buried.  Unlike my pickup it was where it belonged.  Cabin Fever blog entries.

 

 

 

New Merchandise on New Media

Some stuff I added some time ago but forgot to post here, and some recently added crap.

First the new stuff.   For your emotional baggage:

Batshit Crazy field bag
For your extended stay in the locked ward.

 

Mentally Interesting tote
Be the most styling bag-lady around.
Medicated For Your Protection messenger bag
If you take as many meds as I do, this is your bag.

 

Next, the old crap.  For your psychological hang-ups:

Meds Help framed tile
Yes. Yes they do help.

 

Breakfast of Champions! mini poster
Too cheap to wear it? Then put it on your wall for $7.

Epilepsy Is NOT Contagious. Nor is a lot of other stuff.

I don’t know why I totally miss the obvious.

New designs at Straitjacket T-Shirts! Assorted brain cooties aren’t contagious. Bipolar, depression, epilepsy, OCD, PTSD, and schizophrenia. Shirts and mugs. Buttons, magnets, and bumperstickers coming eventually.  I may even do a generic Mental Illness.

 

Epilepsy Is NOT Contagious shirt
Unlike the rabies and lycanthropy, you can’t catch my epilepsy if I bite you.

Like the Team Schizophrenia hoardables, Schizophrenia Is NOT Contagious merchandise is sold at cost.

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.

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…

Brain Food for the Mentally Interesting

1 visitors online now
1 guests, 0 members
All time: 27 at Fri 13 June, 2014 04:31:05 America/Phoenix
Max visitors today: 8 at 06:55:10 America/Phoenix
This month: 15 at Mon 15 December, 2014 22:35:27 America/Phoenix
This year: 27 at Fri 13 June, 2014 04:31:05 America/Phoenix