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Monthly Archives: July 2013

JeremySorry I haven’t updated for a while. Things have not been well for me. I won’t go through all the gory details, but the main problem is that, at the age of 43, I am deep in the throes of menopause. The hormone crashes are making me mental.  I can barely sleep, I get hot flashes, I’m tired all the time and this post is the first thing I’ve been able to write in days.  The only good is that I’ve seemed to almost totally lost my appetite and am now losing weight.

The really embarrassing thing is that my sex drive has returned. My libido went totally bye-bye for more than two years.  I really didn’t mind at the time.  I got a lot of work done.  I read a lot of good books.  My days were full.  Any sexual feelings I had went entirely into my dreams.  As soon as I’d wake up, the libido was gone.  It actually simplified my life quite a bit.

And now I can’t get sex with Sherlock Holmes out of my head. Specifically, sex with Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes.  (Sadly, Brett himself died at the age of 59 in 1995.) Sherlock Holmes can find anything — including my libido, apparently  I try to do something else and somehow wind up on YouTube watching old episodes of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

3c7d7ebd05ad4ea3It’s not really sex with him that I can’t stop thinking about, but a sort of merging with him.  Wouldn’t it be nice to one day wake up, look in the mirror and see Jeremy Brett’s Holmes looking back at me?  It would be great to be Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes.  I already have an addiction (although to Brett’s Holmes and not cocaine). I’m also mentally ill.  I, too, have given up romance for a life of stimulating the mind.

Today I cut off my long hair (it’s too hot for it, anyway) and slicked it back with gel like in the photo of Brett’s Holmes here.  I actually look better.  Maybe I’m on to something here.

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Character with Cotard’s syndrome from Hannibal

In April of this year, New Scientist website started a new column about funky brain problems called Mindscapes. The first article deals with a patient from the UK suffering from Cotard’s syndrome — the persistent belief that your body or parts of your body are dead.

Cotard’s syndrome (also called Cotard’s delusion or walking corpse syndrome) was featured in a couple of memorable Hannibal episodes. (Picture from Episode 9) I originally thought it was a fictional diagnosis like “pure empathy” (the problem with protagonist Will Graham) but Cotard’s really exists.  Whenever you feel as if you are having a sucky life, look at someone suffering with Cotard’s syndrome and suddenly you’ll feel better about yourself.

The patient interviewed, known only as Graham (nothing to do with fictional character Will Graham) woke up one day and was convinced his brain had died.  He saw no point in doing anything.  Food had no taste.  He lost the ability to smell.  He stopped brushing his teeth and they all turned black.  He led a “joyless existence.”  The good news is that he quit smoking because he could not longer get any relief from tobacco.

It took years of treatments, but now Graham is able to do chores about the house and has found some interests again.

Things you need to know about Cotard’s syndrome:

  • It’s extremely rare
  • No one knows what causes it
  • It tends to appear in conjunction with other mental illnesses such as major depression
  • This is often fatal because patients will no longer eat or will drench themselves in boric acid
  • There is no cure
  • Current treatments include electroconvulsive therapy, psychotherapy and anti-psychotic medications

The most famous mentally ill artist in history was arguably Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890.) At the age of 37, Vincent staggered into the hotel he was staying over a café with a bullet wound in his abdomen. He was examined by a doctor.  The bullet could not  be removed without killing Vincent.  He lingered for two days and died. He claimed he harmed himself and urged no one other than himself to be blamed for his death.  It is possible that he was shot by a teenaged boy, but Vincent apparently wanted to die anyway.

Although the historical details in this very short independent film are debatable, I’m not highlighting it here for it’s accuracy.  It is a very good portrayal of someone who has decided to die.  If you or someone you know has trouble understanding why anyone would want to kill themselves or want to die while relatively young, watch this.  It gives a good view of why suicide can seem like a perfect solution and why preventing suicide can be so difficult.

St. John’s Wort

One reason people persist in using marijuana is because it can help you relax even in extremely stressful situations.  Although I support legalizing marijuana, I do realize that I cannot use it for relaxation because it is illegal.  So I wrote this article about legal drugs that can help you relax or at least help your muscles to relax.  These include chamomile, mint, St. John’s Wort and velarin.  It’s always best to check with your doctor before taking herbs or herbal products.  For example, if you are allergic to ragweed, avoid chamomile.  If you are on antidepressants, avoid St. John’s Wort.

Please read my article about legal herbs at Yahoo.  Thanks!

Leave it to the Brits to keep tabs on how many people who are mentally ill become homicidal and then compare these figures to the number of suicides.  In the UK, if you try to kill yourself, you are considered mentally ill.

There were only 33 homicides caused by mentally ill patients in 2010, the lowest number in a decade.  However, suicides rose to 1,333.  Suicide numbers also rose in Scotland and Northern Ireland.  The most popular method of suicide was hanging.  The rise in suicide numbers is attributed to two things:

  • rise in England’s overall population
  • worsening economic situation after worldwide recession of 2008

The report was put together by the University of Manchester and published in the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCI).  This report is done every year.

Schizophrenics were the main murderers in the report, being responsible for 22 of the 33 confirmed murders by mentally ill patients.

The report also estimates that around 200 to 300 mentally ill patients did not commit suicide because they got help or were forced to get help from concerned loved ones.

Suicide in this case is considered separate from euthanasia.

I tried to find similar numbers of homicides caused by the mentally ill for America, but could not.  I did find out that, according to The Atlantic, anyway, that the mentally ill are five times more likely to be homicide victims.  Man, mentally ill patients just can’t get a break.

Vicodin is a powerful opioid painkiller which, in a perfect world, is only prescribed for short-term pain. The big problem with Vicodin is that over time the body gets used to it and it becomes less powerful. You eventually need to take more Vicodin to get rid of the same amount of pain.

But Vicodin also brings along other side effects other than pain relief and these can be very attractive to some people. Vicodin can make one sleepy, tranquil, relaxed, euphoric and not bothered the stresses all around them. However, Vicodin addicts find that they also need to take more and more Vicodin to get the same effects. They may need to add something else to the Vicodin – like another painkiller, an anti-anxiety drug like Xanax or alcohol – in order to get the desired sensations…

Please read the rest of my article at Yahoo.  Thanks!