Thomas Benjamin Wild “Well, This Is Shit”

Thomas Benjamin Wild “Well, This Is Shit”

Thomas Benjamin Wild “Well This Is Shit”

I’m not sure how you feel, but everyone here at Calamity Politics pretty much shares the same sentiment as Thomas Benjamin Wild, Esq. Some of us show it in unexpected rages, others by isolation, others by denial, others by thoughts of self-harm.  Hopefully, if Joe is right we should be able to celebrate the 4th of July with friends and family, until then, “Well This Is Shit.” This is a serious matter. If you are feeling suicidal call for help.  The National Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255.

COVID-19 Is Taking A Mental Toll

 

COVID-19 Is Taking A Mental Toll,

But We Can Fight Back

By Wes and Anna Hessel

 Coronavirus Cuts Deep

As we move into summer, we leave Mental Health Awareness Month (May) behind. We are now looking forward to longer, warmer days, and the associated activities. But, the cold chill of COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions are creating problems well beyond the physical illness.  Researchers are now documenting emotional and psychological issues related to the coronavirus. An article in psychologytoday.com looked at the mental and the physical effects of the illness. Studies in China found lingering physical symptoms such as myalgia and dizziness. On a self-rated health status questionnaire patients also noted significant mental disturbances related to the pandemic.  People described increased occurrence of anxiety, stress, and depression.  In a study group of over 1250 individuals exposed to the coronavirus, more than 33%  exhibited insomnia, 45% had anxiety, 50% reported depression, and almost 72% described distress.

Long Term Effects

The SARS-CoV epidemic in 2003 showed the emotional cost is unlikely to be a passing problem.  Researchers in Hong Kong looked at 90 survivors of that virus.  The study group was considered well-educated with a mean age of 41. Thirty percent of them were health care professionals. One in ten in that study had at least one family member die of SARS-CoV. Overall, close to 60% had some form of mental disorder – over 6% a type of agoraphobia, 13% had a panic issue, more than 44% suffered from major depression, and nearly 48% suffered from PTSD.  When re-examined 2½ years after recovery, 3% still suffered from agoraphobia, almost 8% still suffered from a panic disorder, 13% major depression, and 25% displayed PTSD.

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The Dangers Of Sugar

The Dangers Of Sugar

The dangers of sugar are not obvious. The danger comes with the amount and daily intake

The dangers of sugar are compounded by repeated use. Sugar works slowly, its devastating results often taking years to manifest themselves in measurable ways, such as diabetes.

The Dangers Of Sugar

By D. S. Mitchell

When I started writing this article, my intention was to write a quick easy read, nothing in-depth, certainly nothing scientific. Something along the lines of, “Ten Reasons To Kick The Sugar Habit”. That plan was quickly dashed as I read one scary article after another explaining the dangers of sugar consumption. If you are suffering from any of the diseases highlighted in this article, remember, you are not alone. If you want a better, longer life, it is time to take a look at your relationship with sugar in all of its malevolent forms. 

THE DANGERS OF SUGAR: PART ONE

Sixty-Five Pounds Annually

The average American consumes 65 pounds of sugar annually without even being aware of it. That information alone should be a heart stopper. The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of added sugar per day and women no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams). On average each of us ingests 19.5 teaspoons or 78 grams a day. Research on the dangers of sugar on health are ongoing, and new information is being constantly being uncovered.

Dangerous And Addictive

If there was ever any doubt about the dangers of sugar they are being put to rest by a series of scientific studies. Research is proving sugar is both dangerous and extremely addictive. A person who drinks one 20 oz sugary beverage every day will cut their life expectancy by nearly five years. That is,  comparable to being a regular smoker. If that fact doesn’t get your attention, read on, it gets worse, a whole lot worse.

Just As Bad

Sugar does a lot of damage to our bodies.  With all the negative news about sugar is there an alternative?  Some people say, “just use a sugar replacement.” Whoa.  Evidence is mounting that sucralose, saccharin and aspartame are just as dangerous as sugar.  Research shows that sugar replacements injure and destroy the essential microbiome in the gut.  Microbiome are the millions of microorganisms inside our bodies that help us stay alive.  These microbes protect us against germs, they also break down food to release energy, and produce vitamins.

Find A Garbage Can

To make it clear, sugar substitutes are just as bad as the real thing.  In addition to the physical damage products like sucralose do, they are also associated with weight gain and glucose intolerence-the very things people use them to prevent.  Those folks trying to cut down on sugar may be drawn to advertised benefits such as “maple syrup’s antioxidant benefits” or “honey’s healing power”.  Forget such misinformation.  Sugar is sugar, no matter what form it takes. I suggest that no one consume them.  Keep them out of the house.  If you have any of these sugar substitutes in your cupboard toss them in the closest garbage can.

Highs And Lows

The body’s reaction to sugar is like taking a roller coaster ride; an unending ride to extreme highs, followed by extreme lows, sending the body into a spiral of endless cravings. People report being “hungry all the time”. Descriptions include “being obsessed with food”, and literally feeling “addicted” to food. It makes perfect sense, because everything they eat and drink is loaded with sugar.

Addictive Cycle

High sugar intake sends the body into a crazy, roller coaster ride of ups and downs.

The danger of sugar is easy to describe, it is addictive, sharing all the highs and lows of  any other addictive drug.

The danger of sugar is easy to describe.  As the addictive cycle begins, say after you eat a piece of cake, a predictable pattern begins.  Blood glucose begins to rise.  Then, Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers is released, messaging that everything is “great”.  Meanwhile, if you are not a diabetic, your pancreas is busy releasing insulin into your blood stream to help lower the threat of rising blood sugar.  High insulin levels signal the body to store fat throughout the body, including the liver.  With the release of insulin, blood glucose drops.

Another Piece Of Cake

As the sugar high subsides, your brain begins sending signals that you are ‘hungry’.  The ‘false hunger’ signals kick cravings into high gear, demanding another piece of cake. Predictably, as you consume that second piece or cake, or cookie, the sugar driven roller coaster takes the body on another crazy, dizzying ride.

Mood Swings

The ups and downs of unstable blood sugar will cause a person to experience mood swings, fatigue, and headaches.  As described in the “addictive cycle” unstable blood glucose contributes to cravings, which begins the cycle of “false hunger”.  When the body is under stress, it immediately kicks into fight-or-flight mode, releasing large amounts of stimulating hormones.  Interestingly, the body has the same chemical response when it detects low blood sugar, created by the insulin response.  After eating a sweet snack, stress hormones begin to compensate for the crash, by raising your blood sugar.  Unexplained anxiousness, irritability, and even tremors often result.  By contrast, those who avoid sugar have fewer cravings, and feel emotionally balanced and energized.

Sleeplessness

Can’t sleep?  Thirty percent of Americans complain of insomnia, or interrupted sleep.  Sugar may be keeping you up at night.  Researchers have found that eating more sugar, along with less fiber and more saturated fat, is associated with lighter, more disrupted and less restorative sleep.  Insomnia has been connected to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.  This deadly trio of health conditions, is now being directly tied to sugar consumption.

Sugar And Mental Health

Consuming high-sugar products like cookies, candy and sugary drinks, are associated with a higher risk of depression.  Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysfunction, and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s detrimental impact on mental health.  Sugar in fact, could be making you sad and depressed.  Capping off a bad day with a comforting sugar laden snack may make you feel worse in the long run.

Increased Depression

A recent Columbia University study found that post-menopausal women whose diets were high in added sugar and refined grains were at a high risk for depression. Study participants, that ate more dietary fiber, whole grains, vegetables, and unprocessed fruits had a decreased risk of depression. In another study, men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day.

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10 Ideas To Help Relieve Depression

10 Ideas To Help Relieve Depression

By David L. Jones

Depression Has Taken Over My Life

It’s Dave, here. I have for the last month been living at the bottom of a black hole. I have spent all day in bed with the comforter pulled tight over my head.  I won’t lie to you, depression has taken over my life.  Feelings of immeasurable sadness, hopelessness and utter emptiness are consuming me. This time of year is always a struggle for me, but this winter has been excruciatingly painful.

A Dark and Windowless Room

The only reason I have found the strength to pull the comforter off my head and pull up a chair to my computer and start writing, is that hopefully sharing my story, can help someone else that has found themselves trapped in a dark, door-less, window-less room.

Four Generations of Suffering

A friend of mine who also suffers from depression offered me some advice recently. She reports at least four generations of depression, alcoholism and suicide in her family. She told me that when she begins to experience depression she refuses to give herself permission to suffer.

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The Last Goodbye

The Last Goodbye

By D.S. Mitchell

As we hurry through life, we meet many people. Some are just a touch on the sleeve, quickly forgotten, while others become part of the fabric of our lives. Becoming enmeshed in the life of another person can be a good thing, but just as often it can be a bad thing.

When a once healthy relationship sours, whether after five years or forty, we are often left confused about what happened. In other cases, we know exactly what happened and wonder why we let ourselves continue a relationship that was not only unhealthy, but harmful to us, for as long as we did.

With the holidays coming at us like Richard Petty heading into a straight away, I am cleaning out my relationship closet. Sometimes the holidays magnify everything that you know is wrong with that broken friendship.

But for a thousand reasons, you keep fussing with it, nurturing it, feeding it; hoping it will surge back to life. Sometimes it does fire back to life, but usually the relationship is on life support by this time and is sputtering toward extinction. The end-time; being the only unknown.

Let me explain. I am a rescuer,  I mean, a rescuer on steroids. The worse the situation; the bigger my cape. I have spent most of my life working as an RN. Most of my nurse buddies have the same affliction.

I guess when I think about it, it makes sense. Nurses want to make everything and everybody better.  We’ll fluff and buff, arranging everything just so. That personality quirk might be okay in the hospital, but when carried into life it can be painfully unsuccessful.

In my case, the end came last weekend. After knowing Dave for 35 years I am finally done.  I have severed all communication. I cannot and will not resume the relationship. His illness has reached a point that I can no longer be of any help. In fact, my involvement may be contributing to his worsening symptoms.

I finally recognize he is worse for me than pneumonia. No tears, no anger, just acceptance and relief. When the burden of another person’s mental illness becomes too heavy to drag another inch you have to put the burden down. There should be no guilt. At this point, your only goal should be to preserve your own mental well-being.

The only reason I am sharing this with the world is that I thought it might help someone else who is struggling with mental illness in a relationship.  I know you hear it repeated, but there is a great deal of truth in being able to put yourself first.

Maybe not always, but at some point if you can’t be number one, you won’t be able to help him, or you. No matter that it is Christmas, somethings can’t wait to end. Sometimes the last goodbye is the sweetest, the most honest, and the most necessary.

**I have no safety concerns with Dave. He is  a non-violent person. That is not always the case with those suffering from a mental disorder. The assumption in my article is that the person you are separating from is under the care of a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner and has made no recent suicide threats, or threatened your life.

If the person in question has made recent threatening statements, please let the person’s mental health providers know about the situation and involve them immediately. And, yes, in some extreme circumstances the police may become involved. Don’t under any circumstances put your safety at risk.* *

Prepared For Disaster

Disasters are a frequent thing. Over the last twelve  months the need to be ready for a disaster has become ever more obvious, as headlines of school shootings, fires, category 5 hurricanes and earthquakes send terrified, often unprepared citizens, running for their lives. No one is immune to disaster, but being prepared can be the difference between death and survival. Do you have a disaster preparedness plan?

Mental preparation. Reality check time. It is important to acknowledge that disasters happen and that you and everyone you love is also at potential risk. Once that knowledge is accepted, making preparations becomes the only reasonable action. Find out what happens in your community. Know where the emergency shelters are. If there are obvious hazards about your home remove them or make needed repairs. Check your smoke detectors and be sure to change batteries at least once a year.

Be ready for an emergency.  You never know when such events will occur. The recent hurricane evacuations highlight our need to be ready for such events, day or night. Over the last year we have seen the devastation and chaos caused by Michael, Florence, Irma and Maria.  It can happen anytime, anywhere.  In my little corner of the world, the North Oregon coast, we are often subject to evacuation orders because of tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, floods and even a rare tornado.

Prepare emergency supplies. No matter where you live there is always the possibility that you will be forced to move quickly out of harm’s way. Not all incidents of danger are natural in cause, often these tragedies are man-made disasters, such as terrorist attacks and toxic spills. At such time, power, water, phone and transportation services will most likely be out of service. If you own a car keep the tank at least half full.

Keep phone numbers. You will need to have numbers of friends and family close by and far away. You will need emergency phone numbers. Did you know that text messaging may be more reliable than telephone voice service.

Others may need help. Is there an elderly neighbor or an infirm family member that might need extra assistance? Be sure that you also have a local map. Planning for such an event is the first step to survival.

Rehearse your escape. Be aware of your buildings exits, as well as the emergency plan of your children’s school. Set up family meeting places-the school or the library-one inside your neighborhood and one outside your neighborhood. Walk the distance making sure that each family member is physically capable of making the trek.

Don’t Delay.In many cases when confronted with an emergency people don’t panic, in fact they will often be in denial and will intentionally delay evacuation. If authorities order evacuation, do not dally, leave immediately. Let friends know where you are, you don’t want anyone risking their life trying to find you.

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Please Stay, Suicide Is Permanent

Please Stay, Suicide Is Permanent

Please Stay, Suicide Is Permanent

D. S. Mitchell

Just The Facts

If you are between 15-35, suicide is the second leading cause of death for your age group.  For all age groups, suicide is responsible for more deaths than murder and natural disasters, combined.  Men take their own lives four times as often as women. Many men sadly would rather be dead than seem ‘weak.’

Those Left Behind

As you can see, suicide is not a rare, or isolated event. It is very real and definitely permanent, and it leaves those who are left behind, in utter despair. For them the suicide event is plagued by stigma, guilt and self-recrimination. The most common question from those left behind is, “what could I have done differently?”

A Societal Contract

Suicide is like the tentacles of an octopus wrapping itself around all of us, casting doubt on hope, and future.  It tears at our social fabric and brings into question society’s compact with the individual.  Whether spoken or unspoken, we as people, are part of a greater society.  As a society, we have agreed to a collective future, a means to provide for our children, to continue our culture, to sustain our existence at all cost. Jennifer Michael Hecht wrote,  Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against it. And in her words,  “Either the universe is a cold dead place with solitary sentient beings, or we are all alive together, committed to persevere.”

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A Neighbor’s Nazi Experience

A Neighbor’s Nazi Experience

D. S. Mitchell

Martin Hartman, a tall slender man, his thinning white brushed back leans against his cane for support. There is a sadness in his eyes and a soberness in his demeanor. You can tell he has a story, and he wants to tell it.

He was born in Holland in 1924. He looks to the ground, before looking back into the reporters eyes. His family had owned a prosperous construction business, until the Depression he tells us. His family like many others had suffered during those economically depressed times, but by 1940, things he explains slowly as memories cloud his 93-year-old face, the economy “had begun to turn around”.

The turnaround was slow, but things had been looking up.  Within just a few days his life, and the life of friends and family were inexorably changed forever.

“I was 16. It was May 10, 1940. We heard bombing and saw planes. It was the German invasion, and the blitz was over in three days.” The squashing of Holland’s defenses was quick, but far from painless.

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