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R_P
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Posted: May 17, 2016 - 7:48am

Magic-mushroom drug lifts depression in first human trial
Researchers' long fight to test psilocybin's safety finally yields fruit.
A hallucinogenic drug derived from magic mushrooms could be useful in treating depression, the first safety study of this approach has concluded.

Researchers from Imperial College London gave 12 people psilocybin, the active component in magic mushrooms. All had been clinically depressed for a significant amount of time — on average 17.8 years. None of the patients had responded to standard medications, such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or had electroconvulsive therapy.

One week after receiving an oral dose of psilocybin, all patients experienced a marked improvement in their symptoms. Three months on, five patients were in complete remission. (...)

meower

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Posted: Apr 14, 2016 - 4:46am

This week, a student at the University of Pennsylvania committed suicide, the 10th (or 11th depending on who you speak to) suicide of a student at Penn in the last three years. It's a horrible state of affairs. Here's a post from a Penn Student from this morning:

 

*I apologize in advance for the uncharacteristic length of this post, but I feel that it is important for me to speak up.*

24 hours have passed, and the only emotion that has ebbed even slightly is my profound, cold shock. I am just as hurt, angry, and confused as when I first read the email sent out by President Gutmann at 2:22pm yesterday. My heart breaks for Olivia’s family, friends and classmates. Yet another life taken far too soon. I cannot fathom your pain. I am so sorry.

I have never met Olivia, but I feel compelled to speak out about an issue that is so obviously prevalent at Penn (as well as other universities and institutions across the nation). I feel as though remaining silent makes me culpable, as passivity does not lead to change but rather perpetuates the problem. 11 suicides in 3 years. Heartbreaking. A pattern that sheds light on a deadly phenomenon occurring on our very own campus.

In my almost 2 years at Penn, I have become quite aware of “Penn-Face”—a term that now labels the deceptive façade that students put on daily to conceal all perceived imperfections. “Everything is fine!” “I’m doing great, how about you?” “Yeah I go out and still do well in my classes. Doesn’t everyone?” We as a community are, to an extent, responsible for perpetuating this culture of apparent perfection. Showing weakness or inadequacy is shunned, even if only internally. Talking about this—acknowledging it for the problem that it is—is a step in the right direction.

But we are not entirely to blame for this culture. I am profoundly disappointed in the actions of the administration here at Penn. Why, when I read the announcement of her passing, did I immediately panic and have to search the internet to see if I personally knew this nameless junior? Why, when I read the 6abc article that identified her as Olivia Kong, did I feel immense relief followed by intense guilt and self-hatred for being happy that she wasn’t someone I knew personally? Why, in a separate email sent to Wharton, was this tragic suicide described as an “accident?” Why have 24 hours passed without any amendment to this statement? Why did my professor ask us how we were doing this morning and then, in response to the class’s stony silence, make a joke about the stormy weather affecting our moods (yet make no mention of Olivia)? Why are school activities continuing normally as though no tragedy has occurred? As though another suicide is just part of the norm here?

Why, more generally, are professors banned from teaching classes if they give out too many A’s? Why are students expected to sacrifice sleep and health for grades? Why is it no longer shocking to hear that someone hasn’t slept for more than 3 hours in a night for 2 weeks or more? Why must the waiting room in CAPS be a completely open space where eye-contact between friends and peers must actively be avoided? Why to even get an appointment do you need to empty your heart and soul to a nameless voice on the other end of a phone-call? Why do we not have access to long-term counseling on campus? Why, at CAPS, are the only psychologists available on short-term rotation so that once you’ve established a relationship with them, they leave? Why are the only long-term therapy options available located in Center City for a weekly $30 copay (assuming your health insurance even covers it)?

I have so many questions and have no idea where to go to have them answered. But I am tired. I am tired of remaining silent while I watch my friends and classmates continue to suffer. I am tired of hearing of new programs and surveys that do nothing to actually initiate positive change. I am tired of internalizing my anger and sadness and pretending that everything is fine. Everything is NOT fine and it is time that both the students and administration of Penn DO something about it. We CANNOT afford to wait until another student takes his or her life. We cannot passively wait for change to occur. We must take it into our own hands to address a systemic issue that we face every day, and the first step is speaking up and reaching out. Hug your friends. Tell them how much you care about them, how much you love them, how invaluable they are. Let this newest death be a wakeup call that will prevent another student from taking his or her own life.

To Amy Gutmann and the rest of our administration here at Penn: stop ignoring the problem. Nobody is saying that the culture we have here is the sole cause of depression and suicide, but it is certainly a contributing factor that can lead to an irrevocable tipping point. Stop glossing over it in emails, statements, and programs that are meant to placate and not to fix. The cost is too great.

Rest in peace Olivia.


PoundPuppy

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Posted: Dec 3, 2015 - 5:18pm

 Antigone wrote:
Really interesting, sad article about loneliness.

 
Interesting. Loneliness is a bitch
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Posted: Nov 30, 2015 - 8:39am

Really interesting, sad article about loneliness.
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Posted: Aug 4, 2015 - 10:14am

This is how we handle mental health in 'Merica.
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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 8:01am

 meower wrote:


it came into my mind this morning "it's just that mean old life that's got you in it's sway" when I heard about it. I'd honestly never realized the song was about depression.

 

I didn't either, huh.{#Think}
meower

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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 7:57am

 Proclivities wrote:

I think it's "that demon life", but the same meaning anyhow. I like that song; Jagger was a much better lyricist than he is often given credit for. 

 

even better
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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 7:54am

 meower wrote:


it came into my mind this morning "it's just that mean old life that's got you in it's sway" when I heard about it. I'd honestly never realized the song was about depression.

 
I think it's "that demon life", but the same meaning anyhow. I like that song; Jagger was a much better lyricist than he is often given credit for. 
meower

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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 7:48am

 sirdroseph wrote:


One of my favorite Stones tunes that and torn and frayed.  {#Bananajam}

 

it came into my mind this morning "it's just that mean old life that's got you in it's sway" when I heard about it. I'd honestly never realized the song was about depression.
sirdroseph
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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 7:47am

 meower wrote:


 

One of my favorite Stones tunes that and torn and frayed.  {#Bananajam}
meower

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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 7:44am


oldviolin
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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 7:39am

 meower wrote:
Another college friend lost his battle with depression last night. RIP DM.

 
{#Good-vibes}
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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 6:47am

 meower wrote:
Another college friend lost his battle with depression last night. RIP DM.

 
So sorry. {#Meditate}
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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 4:48am

 meower wrote:
Another college friend lost his battle with depression last night. RIP DM.

 
*hug*
meower

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Posted: Jun 3, 2015 - 4:46am

Another college friend lost his battle with depression last night. RIP DM.
meower

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Posted: Mar 10, 2015 - 5:48am

In fact, suicide is often a convergence of factors leading to a sudden, tragic event. In one study of people who survived a suicide attempt, almost half reported that the whole process, from the first suicidal thought to the final act, took 10 minutes or less.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/10/health/blocking-the-paths-to-suicide.html?_r=0

Blocking the Paths to Suicide


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Posted: Nov 3, 2014 - 10:29am

A good article, about a tragic situation:

A father’s scars: For Va.’s Creigh Deeds, tragedy brings unending questions
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Posted: Nov 3, 2014 - 10:07am

 meower wrote:         

Musings..... I work with an 11 year old who was diagnosed in utero with underdeveloped lungs (pulmonary hypoplasia,) he's had 13 surgeries now, and also has a 'messed up brain' (that's the 'clinical' term,) due to all of the anesthesia......
He has psychotic symptoms, rages and Trichotillomania (is nearly bald from pulling out his hair.) The brain stuff started about 2 years ago. he's gone after his mom with knives, and is generally a mess these days.

Parents talked at length the other night about how they're aware that they've failed as parents. Their son is suicidal and strange, doesnt relate well to peers. It's all pretty sad. They love him a lot..... So, I was sitting their listening to them and I asked "before your son had the mental health symptoms, did you question your parenting?"

They appeared shocked.... No, they actually hadn’t thought of themselves as bad parents when all he had was bad lungs and a heart condition. They saw it was medical issues. But b/c of the stigma of mental health issues, they now see themselves as bad parents b/c their son is bald, and strange, and aggressive.

No one offers to do a beef and beer for the kid with Trichotillomania and weird behaviors. No one raises money for the suicidal 11 year old. But in fact what happened to this kid is MEDICAL, a lack of oxygen to his brain made him this way. The brain is part of our whole medical system. and yet we still see it as separate.

 
So sad. Thank you for the good work you do.
Red_Dragon
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Posted: Nov 3, 2014 - 7:35am

 meower wrote:

              

Musings..... I work with an 11 year old who was diagnosed in utero with underdeveloped lungs (pulmonary hypoplasia,) he's had 13 surgeries now, and also has a 'messed up brain' (that's the 'clinical' term,) due to all of the anesthesia......
He has psychotic symptoms, rages and Trichotillomania (is nearly bald from pulling out his hair.) The brain stuff started about 2 years ago. he's gone after his mom with knives, and is generally a mess these days.

Parents talked at length the other night about how they're aware that they've failed as parents. Their son is suicidal and strange, doesnt relate well to peers. It's all pretty sad. They love him a lot..... So, I was sitting their listening to them and I asked "before your son had the mental health symptoms, did you question your parenting?"

They appeared shocked.... No, they actually hadn’t thought of themselves as bad parents when all he had was bad lungs and a heart condition. They saw it was medical issues. But b/c of the stigma of mental health issues, they now see themselves as bad parents b/c their son is bald, and strange, and aggressive.

No one offers to do a beef and beer for the kid with Trichotillomania and weird behaviors. No one raises money for the suicidal 11 year old. But in fact what happened to this kid is MEDICAL, a lack of oxygen to his brain made him this way. The brain is part of our whole medical system. and yet we still see it as separate.



 
People fear what they don't understand. Mental illness isn't a broken leg or a burst appendix or something else that can be remedied with a procedure. It's nebulous and ill-defined and yes - stigmatizing. It's something humanity has yet to grasp.
meower

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Posted: Nov 3, 2014 - 7:29am

 Coaxial wrote:

It is something that many just don't understand...I, and I'm sure you too, have many friends that to look at seem perfectly normal but each one has a devastating chronic disease they are dealing with...People just don't get it. I feel for this child and his parents. My nephew is just starting to be mainstreamed a little more in his schooling...It had just been him and a teacher for each class...He'd still get pissed and lash out...Hitting teachers and all kind of stuff...His mom was strung out and it left him with serious anger issues...He's 13 now and they are starting to see him take responsibility for his actions and behaving better in class so that he is now mainstreamed in 3 of 6 classes...It took them a long time to find the right mixture of happy pills for him and then they don't work after a while and they mess with dosage...It is a mess...Much respect for what you and those in your business that work so hard to help these parents try to make a better life for their kids. My SiL is raising this kid and it has basically put her life on hold....

 

So. Tough.  for you SiL
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