Now an entire week is come and gone and I am about to break my one remaining unbroken blogging rule, putting two point of interest posts back to back with no actual original content in between. Sadly, I feel guilty about this. It’s irrational, no one is paying me. This is my online journal, where I practice a supposedly enjoying hobby of putting my thoughts in ink, well actually, in pixels, as it were. Guilt is the enemy of anyone who ever suffered depression and is not much of a gift in this sace. I know I am just being compulsive. The funny thing is, I am also compulsively drinking in other blogs, and spend more time writing their praises than anything of my own. However, the bright side is, it keeps me writing, and this week there has been so much to write about. Here are the gems I collected wandering the ethernet this week.
Regarding the Mind-
In the Scientific American, Michael Shermer takes a stab at the more interesting question posed by the autism/Vaccine controversy, namely why is it a controversy, as they look at the power of anecdotal evidence. It seems the mind is built to find patterns rather than analyze scientific data.
At Pole to Polar: the Secret Life of a Manic Depressive, our self described, “mentally interesting” friend gives a firsthand picture of how Bipolar Disorder can make one simultaneously hypersocial and terrified of socializing. It’s helpful for my social phobic self to see those who make it look easy have their own set of problems too.
I recently saw the new Batman movie and I was both enthralled and enlightened. That may sound strange to many as evidenced by this trainwreck of a post, but I found it much more a cautionary tale, albeit a brutal and frightening one, not for the faint of heart. Dr. Robin Rosenberg at Psychablog does an excellent job explaininng the realistic fear element as we enter the mind of the Joker, the archetypal psychopath. My own take on the hopeful and enlightening part is yet to come.
Regarding the Soul-
At Mormon Matters, a truly spiritual and genuine guest blogger known to the bloggernacle as Bored in Vernal, leaves the confines of her solo blog, Hieing to Kolob, and examines spiritual fear and why it is contrasted by power, love and a sound mind in one of my all time favorite scriptures.
At By Common Consent, John C. shares a personal Mea Culpa as he inspects the true seductiveness of condemnation and the all too human tendency for self righteousness in a mature and thoughtful post.
At Blacklds. Chris Kite shares some observations given years ago to his home ward (congregation) about two of the most inspirational and prophetic voices in his life, comparing Dr. Martin Luther King, jr and Joseph Smith, Jr. noting the experience of both with unjust imprisonment and how this led to some of the most powerful and inspiring truths ever put to paper by both, juxtaposed and interweaved for effect. Thanks Chris..
Regarding the Body-
At Bored Night, there are some fascinating pictures of the oddly intriguing shapes of electrical dispersions called Lichtenberg figures, including those found on the skin of Lightning strike victims. Oddly Fascinating.
Slate has an article about how living with a loss of the sense of smell, which it turns out is surprisingly difficult, a true story of not knowing what you have until its gone.
The Mind Matters section of the Scientific American has a fascinating neuroscientific explanation as to why we don’t like deciding, as they present evidence that making choices depletes the brains energy resources , and that a tired brain makes worse choices down the road, a morale boosting physical explanation for the indecisive and depressed everywhere..
Or All the Above-
Few things in life are more mind numbing and agonizing than trying to maintain your dedication and compassion in a job requiring it while working for a broken system. The Washington Post presents the story, not of medical education or residency, not of nursing and healthcare, but of social workers and the pointless throwing under the bus that ensues whenever senseless tragedy results from a broken bureaucracy. Retribution is such a cheap and easy way to sidestep actual solutions and reform.
The Art of Manliness examines a virtue that truly separates the men from the boys and yet really hasn’t been associated with men at all in today’s culture. Here is a wonderful look at sacrifice and self denial coming in the midst of the horrors of war where soldiers learn exactly what they are made of.
The Catatonic Kid, with amazing and simple eloquence, reveals the dilemma in getting help for all of us who have ever suffered from depression, the fact that it will change our status from person to condition, in a word, Crazy!
At 20 out of 10, Braden pours out his soul in a heartfelt open letter to a patient whose pride, frustration and impatience led to completely unnecessary suffering for both patient and medical staff in the case of a suspected suicide attempt that wasn’t.
And just because I Liked it-
Medgadget presents a sleek and stunning new wheelchair, specially designed for the brand of athlete that participates in wheelchair basketball. Very nice!
At Brass and Ivory, Lisa Emrich has done her home work in a magnificent series of posts, exposing for the world to see the criminal behavior of my least favorite drug company at the moment. She lays the smack down on QuestCor as she tears apart the claims of economic hardship they have used as cover for the absurd price gouging they have engaged in with ACTH. This is a story very personal to me as a child neurologist and even more personal to the families with children suffering from the catastrophic brain frying seizures that are Infantile Spasms.
In an effort to leave on a light note, I present a list of some rather silly puns I discovered at Disapearing John, RN, including the best Ghandi joke you will ever hear.
Not Quite Weekly Blog Discovery of the Week-
Depressed (But not unhappy) Mormon Mommy is a courageous blog whose author, Laura, goes about shouting the stories of those who have suffered from major depression from the rooftops in order to combat the stigma associated with depression and eliminate the stereotypes that keep people suffering unnecessarily. She recently published her story right here, and invites anyone with a history of depression write to her and do the same. Coming from one who has done it himself, it is a cathartic and healing experience. Check it out!
That’s all I got for this week. I actually feel refreshed and ready to get back on my writing horse again, so expect some good posts to come. In the meantime, Isabella Mori at Change Therapy is writing enough for the both of us and for probably a half dozen others today as she embarks on a 24hr blogathon for a very worthy cause, Check her out and give her some support. This week’s Encephalon, Change of Shift and Grand Rounds have all marched on without me in grand fashion as well. Enjoy.
Update– It turns out I did make the cut at one carnival- Brain Blogging #37 is fresh into the ether today with a host of wonderful brain and mind posts covering the biopsychosocial aspects of the mind, Including my bit about Asperger syndrome.