Archive for June, 2007

h1

Friday madness

June 15, 2007

Although it probably won’t be an issue, I thought I’d post an advisory to readers that, should I not post this weekend, don’t be surprised. I’ve gone digging around in my computer and rediscovered a game I haven’t played in ages (so long, in fact, that the server wouldn’t even let me log in or update my game – I had to download a completely new one). The game is called Eternal Lands (EL for short) and is a free-to-use, massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) … you basically wander around with your character, hunt stuff, make stuff, sell stuff, harvest stuff, dodge or kill monsters and spiffy stuff like that. The maps are huge, the ‘world’ extensive, and there are people from all over the world in there to chat with. It can be quite addictive, quite fun, and sometimes also quite boring.

It had been so long since I last played, I was surprised to see that my old character (Gorm) still existed. Unfortunately, my character has no cool weapons, armor or even very much money, since I gave all that stuff away the last time I played (I thought I’d be gone long enough that my character would get dropped, and I figured it would be a shame to see all my gear go to waste). So now I’m stuck with the dilemma of whether or not I want to just start a new character over from scratch, or try to rebuild money and gear with my old character. It’s pretty tough – my Gorm character can kill wolves without weapons or armor, and it takes a while to develop a character to that point (basically lower intermediate, if I’m judging correctly).

Anyway, I know all of this has nothing to do with bipolar disorder – at least not directly. Lately, especially after my post yesterday about how my mind works, I’ve been pretty unfocused and scattered. I’ve had plenty of energy, at times, but no motivation to use it. Hanging out in a game for a while, although it achieves little in the way of productivity, is still a compromise. I know that probably makes no sense at all, but like I said, I’ve been pretty unfocused and scattered ….

h1

Frankentree and Marian

June 15, 2007

Ever put together a 7-foot cat tree? As I was building the thing up today, I found myself growing more and more amazed with each level. I mean, when you read on eBay how tall it is (in my case, in centimeters, which I still haven’t really developed a feel for), it’s one thing – having the thing loom over you as you put it together is quite another. However, now that Frankentree is assembled, there are some really happy kitties (now they can take turns throwing each other off much higher perches than the single 3-foot perch we had on our old cat tree).

As for right now, I’m plugged back into my headphones yet again – this time it’s Sisters of Mercy I’m listening to. I’ve got “First and Last and Always” plugged into the CD-ROM drive, and am alternating between this and Sisters videos I’m finding on YouTube (yes, I’m still addicted). The album I’m listening to has one of my favorites from this band, called “Marian,” a favorite I don’t allow myself to listen to very often because it has a powerful effect on me; while YouTube has been kind enough to provide me with a shortened version of another favorite, “Temple of Love,” a video I didn’t even know existed until tonight (I didn’t get to watch a lot of Mtv when I was a kid)!

h1

“How bi-polar folks think”

June 14, 2007

One of the things I enjoy about blogging is reading through the terms people plug into search engines, in order to arrive at my blog. Sometimes the terms a bit bizarre, but mostly I use it as a guide to where I should be focusing my writing – at the very least, it sometimes gives me ideas of things to blog about. The title for this post, “how bi-polar folks think,” was just such a search term – and it sent me along an interesting path of research and introspection. So, whoever you were, thank you – I hope you were able to get some idea of what you were looking for and, in case you didn’t, I’ll add my thoughts to your search topic here :-) Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Dim the lights, turn on the music and pour …

June 13, 2007

… a glass of soda pop. The music is AC / DC, blaring through my headphones since it’s just after one in the morning. This post won’t have anything to do with bipolar disorder, but rather with a couple tips for formatting comments in blogs (an earlier comment in here expressed some degree of difficulty with links) hosted by WordPress or Blogger. Since these services don’t offer buttons for making links, italics, etc, but do allow HTML tags in comment fields, the formatting is achieved through typing in the tags. I’m not an expert on this, but a few tricks I do know, and I won’t bore you with hours of HTML history or standards, either. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

State-sanctioned suicide, Switzerland

June 13, 2007

I read this article today, from LifeSite, about how assisted suicide is a legal right in Switzerland, one that extends to people who have a chronic mental illness. My first thought about this is that it’s a pretty evolved perspective for a government and community to take: if die we must, why shouldn’t people have the right to determine when and how death comes to us? Many would praise a heroic sacrifice and at the same time condemn the assisted death of someone suffering from cancer, or an incurable depression; then advocate euthanasia for animals as a ‘humane’ practice. I’m not criticizing one way or the other – I have my own beliefs, based on my own experiences, and think everyone else is entitled to their own thoughts on the matter – I’m simply pointing out that just sorting out the seeming contradictions involved in something like this, let alone making a concrete determination on the morality of it, is a pretty complicated endeavor; and I find Switzerland’s position in the matter, essentially allowing this decision to rest with the individual rather than with the State, to be a bold measure.

The article I read pointed out something from the counter-perspective, though, that I feel is worth considering: the evaluation of <inserting my own label here> death-clients, determining whether or not the wish to die is a genuine wish from a lucid and balanced perspective, or a function of a depressed state, is something that should probably take longer than half a day’s time. The article cites cases where a death-client would show up to the clinic in the morning and be dead before dinner – I think that’s a bit hasty. At a going rate of €3500, this is also a potentially lucrative field … and that kind of money could easily motivate some to push the threshold of judgment in the evaluation process, or simply bypass it.

Societal pressures, and how these pressures might eventually encourage a person to end life as a matter of social convenience is also brought up in this article. In theory, I can see where this could come to pass, and I think it’s something that would have to be more closely legislated, along with the evaluation procedures, to protect those people whom society may deem inconvenient. In the end, though, this kind of pressure can exist without a state-sanctioned suicide and the result is teenagers committing suicide because they don’t look enough like what they see in movies, don’t live up to their own parents’ expectations, or because they <gasp> dare to be individuals: the real legislation needs to be applied to the mainstream approach to what the article refers to as ‘weaker’ or inconvenient people.

h1

Random question …

June 13, 2007

If you have a community of, say, a hundred bipolar people (of the same type) living together for a year or longer, would there be a tendency for this community to experience a synchronization of mood swings?

h1

Don’t go into the light!

June 12, 2007

I finished reading this article, from PsychEducation.org, about how dark therapy might actually supplement (if not actually supplant) medication for managing bipolar disorder. The author of this article falls back on a few different studies that were done, each demonstrating a link between enforced periods of darkness and a reduction in swinging moods. The suggested reason for why this happens, why people with bipolar disorder might benefit from dark therapy, rather than the light therapy given to people with SAD, has to do with our biological clocks. It was a theorized faulty biological clock that researchers were hoping to treat with dark therapy in the first study, as shown by this quote:

“They knew that the a specific part of the hypothalamus, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), has direct nerve connections from the eyes. It gets direct signals about how much light is out there. And it has been shown to be the main location of the ‘”biological clock”‘ in many animals, including humans. They thought that the SCN might get ‘”desensitized”‘ in some susceptible people by too much light, namely too much artificial light at night.” Read the rest of this entry ?