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mental health mondays :: one thing leads to another

and sadly, that's probably the good news
i've posted here before about my sleep problems, but to recap for those of you who might not have read the
previous posts: i have them. i go through periodic bouts of insomnia, although fortunately they don't tend to last quite as long as they used to. in fact now, it's more like i have a sleepless night from time to time. the problem is that those times have been occurring with alarming frequency in the last few weeks, where there are more nights that i've managed less than four hours sleep than not.

to make things worse, last night, when i was finally able to sleep, i immediately started having some pretty intense nightmares, which resulted in my measly two hours of sleep getting frequently interrupted but also in dom's sleep being interrupted [and possibly the neighbours], since i woke up screaming several times.

this, of course, made me want to know if there was a link between mental health and our dream life and, perhaps unsurprisingly, there is. this study undertaken by a nigerian professor and researder shows that the correlation between mental illness [in this case depression or schizophrenia] and nightmares is kind of shocking. turns out that people who are already troubled are three to four times as likely to suffer from recurrent nightmares as those who are not. in addition, medications that are often taken to control the most acute effects of mental illness- like benzodiazepines- can cause nightmares when patients are inevitably forced to discontinue them.

what's worse, professor mume's study references another [found here, although only the abstract is available for the unregistered], which apparently found that those who suffer nightmares more frequently are actually more likely to show symptoms of psychosis than those who have more pleasant dreams, no matter how vivid or realistic those dreams might be. it's not clear whether nightmares are visited more on those who are crazier to begin with or if having frequent nightmares is a contributing factor to pushing vulnerable people over the edge, but either way, horrifying problems in your sleep are likely to indicate a greater chance of horrible problems when you're awake.

sweet dreams.


as long as you're here, why not read more?


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …

making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rĂªve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…