August 17th, 2014

red panda eating bamboo

About that parallel you're drawing...

I have seen multiple posts about depression recently that compare it to diabetes and say something like "You wouldn't expect a diabetic to go without their insulin, right? Well you shouldn't expect a depressed person to 'just cheer up.'"

Here's the thing. There is lots of shaming of diabetics for being on meds or insulin. A lot of people think diabetes is a "lifestyle disease" and that one can choose whether to have it and how to treat it. There is probably considerable overlap between people with that view and the ones who think depression is a bad mood or a selfish play for attention.

I appreciate the attempt to educate people about depression and I'm not criticizing any particular person or post, but I'm thinking some other comparison would probably work better to get the point across that depression is a very difficult condition to manage.

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red panda eating bamboo

linkspammity spam

I've read a lot of thoughtful, knowledgeable, compassionate stuff about depression and suicide in the past week. These are two of the best public pieces of writing I've seen about it.
http://theshadowsanctuary.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/on-suicide-shaming/
http://xiphias.livejournal.com/744129.html

It's about time some folks began to question the pressure-cooker metaphor of emotion management. Absolutely, stress can cause illness, but expressing your anger doesn't necessarily relieve that stress. The article eventually gets around to pointing this out, but first it gets all tangled up in claiming that expressing anger constructively or "clearly and firmly" helps your health and in suggesting that you might want to avoid getting angry more than occasionally. Most people I know don't have a lot of control over how much they get angry, although they have some control over how they express it.
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140729-is-it-bad-to-bottle-up-anger

A woman spends a weekend being a "slouch-and-spreader" on public transit. I have uncomfortable reactions to the tumblrs about men who do this (e.g. http://savingroomforcats.tumblr.com/). On the one hand I think they're funny, and men do sometimes seem to aggressively take up space in public. On the other hand, I don't like it when people are judgemental about how much space others are taking, as if all humans are supposed to fit inside the same sorts of boxes you have to prove your airplane carry-on baggage fits into.
http://www.bustle.com/articles/34279-why-do-guys-spread-their-legs-when-sitting-on-the-subway-my-weekend-of-sitting-like

A doctor writes about becoming a patient after sustaining an injury. Part 1 of 4.
http://laurietobyedison.com/discuss/2014/06/at-the-will-of-the-body-part-i-pain/
"It is not clear to me whether it is a side effect of having gone to medical school or an inborn personality trait, but I have always had a rather distant relationship with my body. This, I believe, is not completely uncommon. David Sedaris, in an essay called “A Shiner Like A Diamond” (in Me Talk Pretty One Day) says that he and his brother thought of their bodies as “mere vehicles . . . machines designed to transport our thoughts from one place to another.” (p. 133)"

"In Praise of Idleness" by Bertrand Russell (1932): I tried really hard to find some choice quotes for this essay but everything was irretrievably attached to everything else (which is the way really good essays work).
http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html

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red panda eating bamboo

Square dancing

The OH is learning to be a square dance caller and he sent out an email promoting square dancing that include some YouTube videos. I'm sufficiently mobility impaired that I don't do any kind of partner dancing that involves standing up ;) but this one made me wish I could:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs8j4AezAUQ (Kilt tip at a Chicago Gay Square Dance Convention)

And this one helped me better understand some of the skills involved in calling:

http://youtu.be/qBe_fBmURcI (Teen square at convention)

Here are some videos for Bay Area square dance groups:

http://youtu.be/Je2bchbUJiw (Stanford Quads graduation dance)
http://youtu.be/w46EBHyvXAc (Ad for easy square dancing)

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