The Cycle of Mental Illness

Dementia and dealing with it, for better or worse.

Cellulite Looks Better Tan

It starts again.  The cycle.  The never ending punch in the gut, jolt to the heart, baffling cycle.

The first stage:

Denial

“Have you talked to mom?”  The question I hate to hear when one of my four brothers calls.

“Yes.”  I close my eyes before I ask, “Why?”

“She just seems,” Sigh, “Out of it.”

“No. I haven’t noticed.”  I lie.

Then I end the call and pretend it never happened.  I go about my day.  I play with my children.  We do homework.  I cook dinner for my family, a mediocre, limp mess that we call a meal.  I sit in my chair at the kitchen table, fork some food into my mouth, chew, and swallow, all the while trying to push her illness away from my reality.  I smile at my son as he tells me something really important about one of his Lego Star Wars characters…

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Book Review: “Flourish” by Martin Seligman

Excellent book. It changes how you look at life and makes you begin to appreciate small things in life matter too.

Variety as Life Spice

Recommended by my friend who is a social worker, this self-help book about Flourish is an extension of Seligman’s bestseller “Authentic Happiness”.  Gone were the days when Psychology was merely established to heal succumbed mental illness and sufferings.  In this recent decade, with the advent of “Positive Psychology” introduced by Seligman, living a satisfactory life is also equally advocated. Five crucial pillars (PERMA) are at the top of the agenda when accounting for one’s overall well-being and life fulfillment:

  1. Positive emotion (= happiness & life satisfaction)
  2. Engagement (= much time concentrated on that activity)
  3. Positive Relationships
  4. Meaning (= serving something you believe is bigger than yourself)
  5. Accomplishment ( = people pursue success and achievement free of coerce)

For happiness and flourish to be fostered, a blessing diary comprising 3 good things can be written each day and a gratitude visit to our friends be tried, so that we can…

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My Dirty Little Secret: I Ride the Rails to Read

Stealing time to read. I actually got a Kindle Paper White instead of a Fire because it reduces distractions.

Corey Robin

Like most academics, I read articles and books. Unlike most academics (maybe, I don’t really know), reading has become harder and harder for me. Not simply because of the distractions that come with department politics, administrative duties (come July 1, I’m chair of my department), advising grad students, and teaching. I wish it were as noble as that. No, the reason I find it so difficult to read these days, now years, is the internet.

Which is why I was so relieved to read this wonderful post by Tim Parks about how difficult it is now to read.

Every reader will have his or her own sense of how reading conditions have changed, but here is my own experience. Arriving in the small village of Quinzano, just outside Verona, Italy, thirty-three years ago, aged twenty-six, leaving friends and family behind in the UK, unpublished and unemployed, always anxious to…

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Dating tips from the animal kingdom

Dating tips from the animal kingdom

Anyone needs dating tips? No? Still read this anyway. It should give your brain a break from more serious things… Not that I think dating is a trivial thing, especially for spiders.

The Raptor Lab

Got a hot date?

If it’s with a human, you’ll probably have to rely on the classic wooing strategies: flowers, chocolates, dinner and dancing, smelling good, etc.

But in the animal kingdom, courtship often has a different flavor. I combed back through the archives of New Scientist’s Zoologger, a weekly column about extraordinary animals, and turned up some unusual techniques that other creatures use to seduce their chosen mate.

Bugs stab their sweethearts in the stomach.

Male bed bugs and bat bugs use sharp penises to stab their partners in the abdomen and deliver sperm directly into the blood. Bean weevils, who have huge and spiny penises, also lacerate their mates during sex.

Koalas use a sexy voice.

Koalas bellow to attractive females in an unusually deep voice. Their mating song, which sounds “more like a series of burps and snores,” is 20 times lower than scientists would expect the little…

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