Skip to main content

mental health mondays :: i'm sick and my cats will never be schizophrenic

i've somehow managed to come down with a horrific cold/ flu/ cough/ end times plague, which means that my brain isn't functioning well enough to think about brain function. i thought of running a repeat mhm today, but then i found this fabulous article: 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-don-t-animals-get-schizophrenia-and-how-come-we-do/

[in case you were wondering how sick i am, i'm too sick to sit in front of the computer where i could have put that in a nice embedded link like a human being in this century.] 

basically, i got to wondering about animals and mental illness. it's been established that many animals feel undue anxiety. animals in captivity exhibit all sorts of anxiety spectrum disorders. and they can become depressed as well. they can develop addictions [we study them to learn about our own addictions]. but i didn't ever recall seeing a study  about animals and schizophrenia. 

so i did what any first-worlder would do and googled "do animals get schizophrenia?"

it turns out that, no, they don't. and the fact that they don't might tell us something about how schizophrenia works. we know that it's a heritable condition, which means that its secrets are buried in our genes. in fact, it seems linked to all the other genes that make us the very special kind of animals we are. the things that make us human- speech, for instance- seem closely linked to the things that make us schizophrenic. 

so if you've ever wished that your furry [or scaly] companion could speak to you, you've really been wishing that they could develop paranoid schizophrenia, you monster. 


p.s. :: he sat on me for hours like that, despite the fact that my coughing must have felt like an earthquake. that's the sweetest kind of crazy ever. 

Comments

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

jihadvertising?

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 :: the war at home

what's worse than being sent off to war when you're barely old enough to order a drink in a bar? making it home only to get poisoned by the government that sent you there. 
although it's certainly not a secret, i don't find that the opiate/ opioid crisis happening in america gets nearly the attention it deserves. at least, what attention it gets just seems to repeat "thousands of people are dying, it's terrible", without ever explaining how things got to the state they are now. there's mention of heroin becoming cheaper, of shameful over-prescriptions and dumping of pills in poorly regulated states/ counties, etc. but too much of the media coverage seems content to say that there's a problem and leave it at that.

one of the things that might be hindering debate is that a very big problem likely has a lot of different causes, which means that it's important to break it down into smaller problems to deal with it. and one of those problems conne…

digging for [audio] treasure

my computer tells me that i need to cut down the amount of music stored on my overstuffed hard drive. my ears tell me that that would deprive me of some wonderful listening experiences. 
halifax, nova scotia was not the easiest place to find out about music with limited appeal. it was a very music-centred city, to be sure, but, being smaller, things like noise, industrial, and experimental music struggled to gain a foothold, even as the alternative rock scene exploded in the early nineties. i was lucky enough to have some friends who were happy to share music that they loved, but i knew that there were lots of things that i was missing out on.

with the dawn of the internet, and various types of music sharing, i found myself able to discover bands that i'd heard about, but never managed to track down, from the days of underground cassette culture. and, to my surprise and elation, many of them do very much live up to what i'd imagined from reading descriptions of them in catalo…