Major Depression and Suicide

Suicide among those that suffer a mental illness is far more complicated than you might think.  Everyone experiences some sort of depression in their life but typically we are able to recover very quickly and return to our normal frame of mind  (within a couple of weeks).  These types of depression can be caused by everything from continued dreary weather to a major event in our lives such as a loss of a family member, divorce or even unexpected changes in lifestyle.

As for the common medical cause of depression, in many cases, there is a reduction in the amount of certain neurotransmitters found (monoamines such as serotonin and norepinephrine) in depressed people.

This chemical imbalance can cause an “episode” of depression.  Like I say, most people will suffer a short-term event and require little if any clinical treatment.

Major Depression or Major depressive order is a whole different ball game.  The onset of Major depressive order can be caused by outside influences, events or a long-term existing chemical imbalance.  In simple terms, someone who suffers from major depressive disorder will experience repeated episodes of depression and the disabling effects of the symptoms that they cause.

Some of the disabling symptoms can be described by the obvious.  Sadness, loss of hope, lack of self-worth an inability to believe there can be positive change and lack of motivation.

Some of the most significant symptoms that can contribute to thoughts and in some cases the act of suicide can be things like extreme changes in appetite; lack of meaningful sleep; lack of concentration; lack of short-term memory; lack of motivation, anxiety and several others.  In many cases, a person that suffers these symptoms can live their daily lives in a very dark place, void of normal emotions and incentive. One of the most common triggers for thoughts of suicide is the abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs.  Alcohol itself is a depressant yet it is used to numb some of the effects of depressive symptoms.  An example would be using alcohol to induce sleep.  In some cases a person can go several days without any meaningful sleep without help.  Sleep deprivation and malnutrition play a big part in a mindset that contributes to a decision to take their own life.  Suicide is not a  cowardly act.  Most who contemplate or commit suicide don’t have the capacity at the time to consider the effects on others.  The goal is to stop the pain and suffering by any means possible.

Isolation, unrealistic perception of reality and the expectation of failure don’t necessarily appear in the outward behavior of this very dangerous condition.  In other words it is very difficult to help when there are not outward signs.  People who suffer can put on a happy face and as it has been said, those who suffer have a heightened capacity to convey more practical thinking.  Also, people who commit suicide do not normally act out their plans after communicating them to someone else.

There is no cure for major depressive disorder as is the same case of many mental conditions.  Medical and psychological treatment is really the only way for most to be able to function and cope on a daily basis.  Without treatment, the statistics show a very high risk of suicide or destructive behavior.  Physical conditions such as liver damage, diabetes and neurological maladies such as seasonal affective disorder can make the situation worse.

Major depressive order does not consider a person’s lifestyle, celebrity or culture.

Unfortunately, combat soldiers are susceptible at a much larger rate than others.  Most people can not imagine having to take another person’s life just to defend yourself and your country.  Since treatment is the only way to cope, we must provide efficient access to medical and mental treatment.

At the end of the day, a person who suffers suicidal thoughts but doesn’t have a plan to carry it out, have a good chance to be treated.  The same goes for someone who has made plans to end their lives.  In this case, they would have to make a decision to seek help on their own which can be statistically improbable, this is why suicides are carried out so often.

The truth is having people like celebrities end their own life can be important in bringing the conversation to the kitchen table.

My comments are made up from many sources I have researched over the years. Being involved with a family member who suffers, I consider myself very well versed on this subject.

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Historical Overview, the US and Iran

I did a little research on the history of relations between Iran and the United States.

In World War II Iran was attacked by Russia and the UK.  The us remained friendly with Iran.

In 1953, The CIA orchestrated a coup of Prime Minister Mossadeq.  In 1957, the US helped Iran start it’s nuclear program.

In 1988, the US attacked Iran because of their secret development of nuclear weapons to help with their war against Iraq.

The 400  million dollar cash payment to Iran was to settle a claim by Iran to be paid for weapons they produced for the United States.  The payment was frozen as a result of the sanctions imposed by the US and Europe.  The reason for the payment in cash was because there really wasn’t any organized banking vehicle for Iran to accept the payment.  Many would say that the cash payment was secretly made for the release of hostages which happened on the same day as the payment.  It really doesn’t matter if Iran effected the motivation of the US to settle their dispute.  At the end of the day, the claim was satisfied and the hostages were returned.

The Iran nuclear deal allowed the participating countries to continue to verify through inspectors that Iran was not developing uranium and other ingredients to make bombs. Many people don’t understand that Iran has been allowed to produce nuclear electrical power for their people.

Trump voted for an extension of the agreement in January 2018 then violated it in May 2018.

Rather than me try to recap the history between the US and Iran, I added a couple of links that provide more detail and timelines that I, could not accurately report.

One is a really good pdf put together by M.I.T.  A second one is a pdf put together by Fortune, the third is a complete story of Iran by the Library of Congress.

Besides these reference links and in order to better familiarize myself on the topic, I researched articles and reports by Reuters, BBC, Wikipedia, MIT, Politico, the Library of Congress, the Aspen Institute, Brown University and 7 others.

M.I.T. PDF:  http://web.mit.edu/mitir/2009/online/us-iran-2.pdf

Library of Congress:  http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/cs/pdf/CS_Iran.pdf

Fortune PDF:  http://fortune.com/2016/08/05/money-america-iran/

I am sure our brilliant President doesn’t know the facts, so I might as well educate myself.  You may find it interesting as well.

A President That Can’t Stay On Task: A Monday Rant.

As we know, DACA participation is limited to children that arrived in 2007 or earlier and that the President doesn’t understand it.

We know that the free press is important to our democratic systems.  We know that they play an important role in keeping the government in check. We know that his communication through Twitter primarily reaches his base when they are reported on in the news outlets he calls fake, not directly from his phone.

We know that a Trade war will hurt our economy.  Trade with China is tricky.  One thing that the President does not seem understand (or maybe he does) is that they have purchased a huge amount of Treasury notes.  It would be a disaster for America if the Chinese sold or cashed in on the US debt that backs them up.

We know that his obstruction of continuous funding for Obama health care to teach the democrats a lesson is only hurting and jeopardizing the lives of millions of Americans.  I hope that he recognizes how important Social Security an Medicare are.  He says he does, so I hope he keeps congress in check.  For many of those living on the SSA and Medicare benefits that they and their employers contributed to, live way below the poverty line as it is.  Age cycling is part of the process.

We know that the easiest way for the Russian probe to quickly conclude is for the President to tell the truth and not attack the FBI,CIA and Special Counsel.

We know that we will never see a 2,000 mile long border wall.

I worry that when Trump meets with Putin, the conversation will be more about the bromance rather than serious international relationship issues. We know for instance, he probably won’t increase pressure on Russia to end the genocide in Syria. We may never see a productive meeting between Trump and Un.  I think that it is weird that the President claims to be good friends with every foreign leader he meets after just 30 minutes.  We know that he is really uninformed on specifics when it comes to the war on ISIS and the increasing threat of the Taliban.  We know that he does not take seriously that the use of, or threat of even one nuclear weapon attack would probably provoke an Armageddon.

We know that he does not have any practical knowledge of the US Constitution nor the Bill of Rights.

We know that the President has no clue about the regulations that are being repealed.  If he did, he would know that some of these regulations are very key to the well-being and future of Americans.

We know that by not staffing cabinet and professional positions within the Administration, he is making many of our efforts, both domestic and international ineffective or non-existent.  We know that he doesn’t have a clear understanding about what is happening in several government (almost all) departments.  The EPA, Interior, Education and Urban development departments are suffering as a result of inexperienced leadership.  Also, there is no clear agenda or mission for any of these departments.

We all know that he struggles when it comes to international affairs…he seems confused about who is an ally and who is an adversary.  I am pretty sure  that he doesn’t understand the existing conflicts that we are involved in around the world besides the most publicized ones.

We know that his tax plan will catch up to the average American.

We know that his apearant loyalty to the NRA and his disregard and dismissive actions relative to the welfare of our children, or for that matter, American’s in general is not good.

The Stormy Daniels and Apprentice women’s legal activity can be resolved if he would again, tell the truth.

We know that he doesn’t take seriously that the war on drugs is a real war.  We know that he doesn’t understand that big pharma is responsible in part, for the transition from opioids to heroin.  Also, the war includes much more than Mexican cartels and addicts.  We know that talking about the gang problem won’t fix it.  We know that he doesn’t understand that many crime issues are not the exclusive responsibility of states and municipalities.

I worry that the President does not show or express his pride in being the leader of the strongest, most prosperous country in the world.  I also hope he understands that we need our allys, especially if we get into a complicated conflict that will require our friends help.  I also hope that he understands that the democratic members of our inner circle are collectively the key to all of our growth thru shared creativity and mutual expertise.

I am of the opinion that our President will suffer the same demise as pet rocks and beanie babies after his first couple of years. I am pretty sure that even some of his base will become weary and tired of his antics.

I hope he gets to a point where he realizes he is not helping himself by counting on the likes of Sean Hannity to provide advice on all things presidential.  I personally think that Hannity among others should be compelled to run for office.  If nothing else we will see if they are truly expert or full of it. I am pretty sure it is the latter.

I dream about the President’s last day in office, I have nightmares thinking of Pence as President.

I am sure you can tell that I didn’t vote Republican.  I do hope that our government gets on track, even though I don’t see any vehicle to take it there.

Well, that’s all I have for today.  I have to get up and walk ten miles uphill to pick up some Pepsi and popcorn to get ready to watch the next episode of Rosanne.

 

 

The President’s Silence Speaks Volumes. He Has Been Digging a Hole That He Can’t Get Out Of

Why is the President being so quiet on twitter lately?  I think I know.  Since his approval rating has significantly risen, the last thing he wants to do is inject some controversial commentary on issues such as the porn star scandal.

I am sure he would really like for the whole scandal to fall off the national and cable news cycles.  In some ways, the story has become more of a tabloid sex scandal than an important matter effecting many Americans.  By deliberately being silent on the issues that can affect the perception of his morals as well as his controversial behavior, he seems to be waiting for the shit storms to pass so that he can get the message out regarding his recent accomplishments as well as getting on with governing. Interestingly, he continues to trot his press staff out to the briefings to defend him.  Unfortunatley, they have not been afraid to lie on his behalf, yet by him not personally sending out outrageous tweets, he has been able to avoid some of the blow back.

 

To me, I think his silence is serving a more personal purpose.  We have to remember that he is married with a young child. Whether he acknowledges it or not, his behavior as a father and a husband does have an effect on his day-to-day life.  I am sure that he wants to put the wreckage of his past behind him.

His wife, sons and daughters perception of him has a huge impact on his life.  Although many in the media portray him as a monster, I am sure he would like to be perceived as someone of high moral character.  The problem with family is that you can only bullshit them so long.  They will only tolerate his shenanigans until they rub off on them.  As with any family, as a group, they together make up the whole of the family culture.  As far as Melania is concerned, being humiliated and jilted as a result of his morally bankrupt actions is probably not good for their relationship.  People say that she knew what she was getting into when she married him.  I don’t care what anyone says, the truth is that she expected him to be faithful and when he wasn’t, she never expected to have her nose rubbed in it.  As far as his kids and grandkids go, I am sure he wants to have them look up to him.  Given all of that, as any member of a family, when faced with such controversy, it is probably best to be quiet.

For President Trump, he must be worried about the truths that will be unmasked regarding his behavior with Stormy.  Remember Stormy is a porn actress, not a librarian. I don’t think he can just say it didn’t happen and make the whole scandal go away. Between the affair and the cover up, he knows the whole thing won’t dissipate with his normal practice of distraction.  I also believe that whatever Putin is holding as leverage over him has forced him to be unusually supportive of him.  Otherwise I believe he would act like a bull in a china shop and treat Russia the same as he does with any other country.  Once again, if and when the truth came out it could further distress his relationship with his family.

No matter what he says, I think that his family and his real friends are more important to him than the current disaster that is his Presidency.  I almost believe that if he had his druther, he would rather be running his businesses.  At least then, he could control everything that is going on around him.  He is far more comfortable and expertly more knowledgable about the realty and hospitality businesses than the government.  Even if he fails at that in the short run, he believes that he could work through it without the constant criticism he and his family face everyday while he is the President.

If you think about it…there is so much of a mess he is making as President and as we all know, he has never been silent about anything.  Should he fess up, he will believe that he will be percieved as loser. That is not an option for him.

I think that the the walls seem to be closing in on him and he can no longer stop it.

 

Protest and Government

Whether you have been paying attention to the “March for Our Lives” movement or not, you have been affected, whether you recognize it or not.

The large and extremely well-organized protests on Saturday demonstrate the influence that young Americans have on the culture of this country.  The message and call for action at its core reflects a collective voice determined to challenge those who claim power and influence over our government, thus our citizens.

Out of control gun violence in America is something that needs to be acknowledged and addressed by all of us…now…not later after hundreds more innocent people are gunned down and murdered by individuals who have no business owning or carrying a gun.

The solutions are complicated, if not elusive.  If a group of high school students can organize and articulate specific demands in order to stop the violence, they are obligated to pursue change.

Although the protest is anchored by the events at a high school in Florida, the movement is inclusive of all those affected by the horrific and tragic killings happening all over this country.  Collectively, they can flex their muscles to further their message with far more strength than any one individual.

Interestingly, the entire subject of gun violence as well as possible solutions including specific gun controls is a part of a debate.  A debate…we can not forget this.  As American’s we have the right to be passionate and vocal regarding our beliefs, principles and points of view.  The whole definition of debate starts with two opposing points of view, followed by thoughtful conversation and hopefully an agreement based on compromise and respect.

As it stands now, when it comes to many in politics there is no thoughtful debate.  Those who have the ability to make changes are fighting tooth and nail to oppose anyone who challenges their agendas, regardless of how sound the demands and expectations may be.

It is discouraging to me to listen to many of the politicians and special interests try to say that their positions are based soley on what they perceive as being in the best interest of their constituents and for the associations, their membership.  For this, I call “foul”.  If you listen to some law makers and special interest groups including the NRA, you can plainly see that there is a common theme.  If you listen to the opposition speak, they are expressing some ridiculous examples on how possible solutions, in this case gun control are going to jeopardize the second amendment rights of responsible gun owners in this country.

Rick Santorum was on the Sunday shows saying that it is wrong for the protest group to expect government to do something,  He said that the students need to look at themselves for a solution, not try to force someone else to do it for them.  He said they would be better served by learning CPR.  His comments are ridiculous.  Who else are they going to seek out to force change?  Is he saying that the government and it’s representatives are not responsible for changing the laws in this country.  The NRA is also pushing arguments that are weak and diliberatly in opposition of anyone who questions their position on gun related issues.  For the NRA to push the narrative that these groups are trying to take the guns away from citizens is dangerous and ludicrous.  By getting some of their members to believe this message, they are undercutting their own mission.  I hear people say that the kids are trying to say that they will no longer have the right to defend themselves. This mis-information is based on the messages propagated by media connected to the NRA. As far as legislators, it is immoral to accept money from the special interests and demonstrate their willingness to be owned and influenced by the agendas of these groups.  If they take the money, they are obligated to support their contributors causes…This applies to the influence of all special interest groups such as oil companies, agriculture lobby and many other industries, not just the gun manufactures.

Nobody can or will destroy the second amendment.  This doesn’t mean that reasonable regulation isn’t important and appropriate.  Why would anyone say differently? Regulations that work to make the country safer are at debate, not the second ammendment.

You don’t have to be a constitutional scholar to understand how the second amendment works.  The framers of the constitution included the right to bear arms as a provision to allow Americans to take up weapons, organize and defend our democratic form of government from being overcome by any attempt by an authoritarian group to take over control of our country and our people.  More recently, the Supreme court added to the ammendment, the right for citizens to possess firearms to protect themselves.

By the way, the NRA was not created to be a special political interest that represents the gun industry.  The association was founded in 1872 to provide training for military and American gun owners to improve their accuracy and marksmanship.  Back then rifles had smooth barrels and were incredibly inaccurate.  Even today, Shooters, when hunting or range firing, would or do have to fire off several shots to hit their target. Today, safety and marksmanship are still the major components that benefit the association’s membership.  Most of the best ranges, safety and marksmanship facilities in the country are supported by the NRA.  Their lobby is really not related to those functions.

Today and for the last several years gun manufacturers fund the NRA and their political efforts, not the members.  The gun manufactures count on the association to help sell firearms. This is not to say that some gun marketing isn’t beneficial to gun owners.  In depth product demonstrations and reviews are good for the consumer.

For me the rub is that the NRA didn’t become overwhelmingly political until a few decades ago.  The first candidate that they endorsed was Ronald Reagan.

It is very relevent and important to consider that gun regulations are prescribed by state and local governments based on their individual principles, not the federal government. There are examples of these laws all over the country.  Where I live it is illegal to discharge a gun within the city limits (very small town).  Just outside the city is some of the best hunting in the country.

The fact is that three percent of the country owns half of the nations guns.  Basically, the NRA, even with five million members represents a small part of our population.  If the The political debate and the opposing arguments for gun regulation is good for America…What is not good, is forcing such opposition through funding and support of American politicians.

There in lies the argument for blaming the government for not enacting laws to protect the American people no matter what the issues are.  The truth is that the NRA as well as groups such as shale energy special interests spend a fortune on forcing individual politicians to support their industry through legislation. There efforts have nothing to do with what is in the best interest of the participating representative’s constituency, just their industry’s profits.

For the young American’s, opposition to the NRA’s message and their seduction of politicians serves them well in forcing their message.

At the end of the day, this new movement has big muscles to flex.  If not, why would the politicians and groups such as the NRA care?  Why would those that support the NRA and some politicians care about the student movement?  Why don’t these groups organize eight hundred thousand people to get their opposing message across?

I can tell you why.  As I have pointed out in many posts, those of us who are older will soon have to give way to the younger citizens who will dictate the culture and social environment of this great country.  Voter turnout has been the downfall of many good efforts to force change.  This movement promotes and strives to increase voter participation by getting our young to vote. Remember, many of these kids are around seventeen or eighteen years old which is the demographic of the lowest voter turn out.

As with any group protesting for change, the most important, effective component is their voices.  If I was on the other side of the issue, I would worry about the millions of people who will soon be able to vote as well as their parents who will support their causes at the voting booth.  No amount of money for influence will change the overwhelming effectiveness of millions coming together to insist on change.

Remember the woman’s march and the conversations and actions that continue today. Remember the protests of the sixties, when young americans were drafted into the military without a choice.  In this movement’s case and because the French were defeated, President Johnson elevated the conflict in Vietnam just to demonstrate America’s military power while causing hundreds of thousands of American servicemen’s lives.  This war was not won by anyone…Remember the Black American protests led by Martin Luther King and civil lberty groups?  We still today have a very serious need to force action to close the gap of inequality and oppression.  These examples have or will change the course of this great country’s history.

It is important to respect all sides of any argument made by any citizen of this country. We have a responsiblity to listen to everyone and take action when we can.

Just my two cents worth.