Skip to main content

mental health mondays :: walking the line

dom sent me this article earlier today. it's from pitchfork of all places, but it does bring up some interesting questions of the effect of illicit versus prescription drugs on music and musicians. of course, being the savvy readers you are, you're already aware that these lines have become increasingly blurry in the last decades, in particular where psychiatric meds are concerned.

after all, the line between drugs that people take for enjoyment and drugs that people take to make their brains work and feel better is particularly thin. cholesterol medications aren't likely to inspire the next "purple haze", but crazy meds well might, because, of course, they play with the parts of your brain that control things like pleasure, sensory perception and learning. in fact, many psychedelics and psychiatric meds have similar effects on the brain. club kid favourite mdma produces its fabled euphoria by encouraging the production of neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine and by inhibiting their reuptake [a fancy way of saying that it makes them stick around longer in the brain]. antidepressants like zoloft, prozac, effexor and wellbutrin do exactly the same thing to keep people with depression from wanting to die, because euphoria is relative to your starting point. that's also why people with mental disorders seem to experience drugs very differently from those who don't. [also, this is why you want to be extremely careful taking any kind of drugs if you're already taking something for any kind of mental disorder. seriously, i know someone who shot his serotonin levels dangerously high by taking cold medication while on wellbutrin.]

increasingly, the biggest difference between drugs we take for fun and drugs we take for medicine is the quality of the supply. street-level crystal meth is usually made in highly unsanitary conditions, using fillers that are more likely to damage your internal organs than the drug itself. desoxyn is made in a pristine pharmaceutical laboratory under highly controlled conditions. [sorry kids, walter white isn't real.]

so if the drugs we get from doctors and the drugs we get from that slightly twitchy guy with greasy skin are really the same thing, who's to say that the next great period of psychedelic inspiration we get won't come with a prescription?

Comments

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

a probably incomplete list of truly awesome place names in newfoundland

the very first part of my family [as far as i know] to arrive in canada washed up on the shores of newfoundland. both of my grandmothers' families have been in the province for a long time, as far back as the late seventeenth century. like many of the early settlers of the area, they started out as seasonal residents. fishermen from the southern part of england would travel across the atlantic every year because the fishing was just that damn good. eventually, of course, they decided that sailing across the atlantic ocean and back every year sucked and so they decided to set up permanent homes. at that point, they discovered that winter in newfoundland really sucked but having lived through the first one, they figured they'd dealt with the worst the place could offer and remained. [note :: not all of the people who settled there remained. even those who survived didn't all remain. i just happen to be descended from the stubborn ones who decided that they weren't going…

please stop telling me i'm pregnant

i took myself to the doctor this week in order to address a group of symptoms that have been dogging me. they have to do with my lady bits, which do have a tendency to turn grumpy or murderous with age, so i wanted to make sure there wasn't anything seriously wrong.

i went to my family doctor but, as i expected, he had to refer me for tests at a hospital. this requires him to give me an official referral but in order to do so, he needed me to confirm one thing:

"is there any chance that you're pregnant?"

no. there is no chance that i am pregnant. my husband has severe multiple sclerosis and is confined to bed and a wheelchair, so while intimacy is very much part of our lives, penetrative sex is an impossibility. there is absolutely no chance that i am pregnant.

he noted my response and the explanation i gave him and said he would make the referral. but first, they had to give me a pregnancy test.

say what?

it turns out that i could have said i'd been standing on …

making faces :: written in the stars, in lipstick [part two]

it's the middle of september already? i'm not prepared for that? i mean, i am prepared for it because the heat this summer has been murder on me and i've been begging for a reprieve for months but i'm still bowled over by the speed at which time passes. this year, i've been measuring time through the launches of bite beauty's astrology collection, which arrives like the full moon once a month. [the full moon arrives every four weeks, which is less than any month except february -ed.] earlier this year, i took a look at the first four launches of the collection and already it's time to catch up with four more.

the most important thing for you to know is that after several months of problems, bite and sephora appear to have sorted out their inventory planning. for the last several releases, information has been clear and reliable as to when and where each lipstick will be available [pre-orders taken for a couple of days on bite's own website and a general…