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mental health mondays :: d for depression?

one of the things that makes depression so difficult to treat is that it can be difficult to distinguish whether it's a condition in itself or a symptom of something else. you can be depressed for no reason other than being depressed, but you can also be depressed as an effect of a condition that has nothing to do with your mood, your outlook or your neurotransmitters- kinda.

because if you've ever tried to diagnose yourself on line, you've probably noticed that depression is a
symptom of just about everything- as ubiquitous as headaches or stomach upset, which means that just because you're showing all the symptoms of depression doesn't mean that it's necessarily your problem. excessive drinking causes depression. so can surgery. a lot of medications can cause depression. thyroid problems can too. chronic or long-duration illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia or diabetes are known to cause secondary depression at much higher rates than are found in the general population.

on top of that, the brain is vulnerable to imbalances in hormones, enzymes, vitamins and nutrients which can trigger depression. so if you're ever wondering why it can be difficult to find a treatment for depression, keep in mind just how fantastically complex you are.

evidence on dietary methods of controlling depression and other mood disorders is often controversial, often because it isn't conducted using the same standards as pharmaceutical testing [double-blinding, use of a placebo control]. unfortunately, that is more than likely to continue, simply because the financial incentives to conduct these sorts of tests is pretty lean. however, i was sort of interested to see the results of this new study conducted by the stritch school of medicine at loyola university in chicago.

the study is pretty specific in its scope: the effects of vitamin d on pain caused by depression in women with type 2 diabetes. but that may be the way of the future when it comes to controlling mental disorders without relying on powerful pharmaceuticals for years or even decades- rather than taking one thing to treat a broad condition like depression, it may be necessary to address the syndrome bit by bit.

after all, while it might seem obvious that vitamin d- which we get from sunlight, among other sources- might be effective against seasonal depression, research has shown that that's not necessarily true. and yet the loyola study shows that it is a very promising treatment for a specific symptom of depression within a particular sub-group.

clearly, we're only beginning to understand the complexity of the long term treatment of mental and mood disorders. but for now, especially if you're a woman with type 2 diabetes, make sure you enjoy the 5 minutes of daily sunshine we've been getting. 

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dj kali & mr. dna @ casa del popolo post-punk night

last night was a blast! a big thank you to dj tyg for letting us guest star on her monthly night, because we had a great time. my set was a little more reminiscent of the sets that i used to do at katacombes [i.e., less prone to strange meanderings than what you normally hear at the caustic lounge]. i actually invited someone to the night with the promise "don't worry, it'll be normal". which also gives you an idea of what to expect at the caustic lounge. behold my marketing genius.

mr. dna started off putting the "punk" into the night [which i think technically means i was responsible for the post, which doesn't sound quite so exciting]. i'd say that he definitely had the edge in the bouncy energy department.

many thanks to those who stopped in throughout the night to share in the tunes, the booze and the remarkably tasty nachos and a special thank you to the ska boss who stuck it out until the end of the night and gave our weary bones a ride home…

it continues... [part one]

so we're back at it with the democratic debates. last night saw cnn take their first crack at presenting ten candidates on one stage after msnbc led the charge last month. a lot of people were critical of the first debate because it seemed there were moments when moderators got such tunnel vision about keeping things moving that they stopped thinking about what was happening on stage. [the prime example being kamala harris having to insist that she be allowed to speak on the issue of racism, being the only person of colour on stage.] the other problem that many identified was that the time given to candidates wasn't even close to equal. i feel like cnn wasn't a lot better with the former, although they avoided any serious gaffes, and that they did an excellent job of fixing the latter. [that said, some of the outlying candidates might be wishing they hadn't had as much time as they did.] as with last time, i'll start off with a few general observations.

how importa…

making faces :: fall for all, part 2 [a seasonal colour analysis experiment]

well, installment one was the easy part: coming up with autumn looks for the autumn seasons. now we move into seasonal colour types that aren't as well-aligned with the typical autumn palette. first up, we deal with the winter seasons: dark, true and bright.

in colour analysis, each "parent" season- spring, summer, autumn, winter- overlap with each other season in one colour dimension- hue [warm/ cool], value [light/ dark] and chroma [saturated/ muted]. autumn is warm, dark and muted [relatively speaking], whereas winter is cool, dark and saturated. so you can see that the points of crossover in palettes, the places where you can emphasize autumn's attributes, is in the darker shades.

it's unsurprising that as fall transitions into winter, you get the darkest shades of all. we've seen the warmer equivalent in the dark autumn look from last time, so from there, as with all neutral seasons, we move from the warmer to the cooler cognate...