Archive for August, 2009

bad study

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 21, 2009 by gypsygies

Depression and Gaming


There is one MAJOR flaw in this study: “The study, which was carried out in the Seattle-Tacoma area,…”

Now, I can say nothing as to the actual eventual conclusions of the thesis at all. What I can say is that the researchers involved are complete idiots for conducting a study on Depression in the Northwest and trying to conclusively link it to anything other than *being in the Northwest*. I’m not trying to be totally slamming and rude… I strongly maintain Washington is the most beautiful state (hands-down) in the U. S. But the constant absolute downpoor and overcast conditions are extremely condusive to natural depression in human beings. People are deprived of natural sun light most of the time, damp and chilly most of the time, and addicted to caffeine by necessity. Trying to pull some other factor in to point to depression in an area with such a high suicide rate is simply “unwise”. Do more, and wider, studies outside that region first… before Publishing such a conclusion.

As for my own thoughts, I would suspect that that theory is true for computer gamers, and does not hold true for console gamers. However, the idea of trying to state something like that based on a study in the Seattle-Tacoma area, is simply a farse.


Study: Games are depressing…or are they?

by Mike Smith

// Buzz up!

August 20 10:42 A.M.


The average gamer is 35, overweight, and more likely to be depressed, says a new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, which was carried out in the Seattle-Tacoma area, found that gamers reported “lower extraversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video-game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns.”

It also indicated a curious difference between male and female gamers: the former proved more overweight and reported more Internet usage than non-gamer men, while female gamers reported more depression and lower general health than non-gamer women.

But which comes first, the games or the poor health? The researchers hypothesized that depressed individuals might be turning to games as a means of self-medication, immersing themselves in a game’s world as a way of forgetting about real-life troubles.

“Habitual use of video games as a coping response may [provide] a genesis for obsessive-compulsive video-game playing, if not video-game addiction,” one researcher told MSNBC. The study calls for “further research among adults to clarify how to use digital opportunities more effectively to promote health and prevent disease.”

As luck would have it, a study at East Carolina University funded by Bejeweled maker Popcap Games is also investigating the possible mental health benefits of game playing. Having already discovered that Bejeweled can improve mood and heart rhythms, the Carolina group is about to embark on an investigation in an attempt to determine whether games like Bejeweled can also deliver clinically significant improvements to depression sufferers.

“The research is part of a broad array of unconventional efforts that video game companies are devising to find new markets for their products,” says Shankar Vedantam, writing this week for the Washington Post. “Many of these steps are based on the idea that depression and other disorders — as well as everyday stress and worry — involve systematic patterns of thought and self-doubt, and that games can distract people and put them in a different mental zone.”


The Morning Bus

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized on August 11, 2009 by gypsygies

I am sitting here late at night for some reason thinking about one moment years ago in Minneapolis. It was shortly after I had moved there, winter had set in and I had stood waiting outside in the cold for the bus. Snow, wind, freezing. Not wanting to be awake. Miserable.
Then I got on the bus. Immediately after I sat down some man, maybe late 40’s, turned to me, looked me in the eye and asked me to tell him about some nice moment in my life. “Share a nice memory with me”. So I did. He listened intently as I described one night years before …when on a camping trip with some friends, I had slipped out in the middle of the night and through the woods and down to this area where there was a small play area …swings. It was a still, clear, quiet night and I got on a swing and it was as if the Universe and I were the only things existant at the moment. Just me swinging against, and with, the Universe at large. It was brilliant and beautiful and most of all …so, so peaceful.

When I was finished with my story, this man simply got up and got off the bus …leaving me in my nice moment. I was still there –cold, wet, tired and miserable on the morning bus …but I was also back there –swinging on that swingset in the woods, under the stars … and I thought: “What a nice man!” That was so nice of him … so very kind … to pick at random a person seeming unhappy and simply by listening transport them back to a better moment. What a nice way to start a day.

And now I have two moments, tied together in a way. That miserable morning on the bus, because of one quick simple action by a stranger, is now a nice memory to look back to. People like that make me hope for the Race.

Diabetes is not a medical problem. . .

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2009 by gypsygies

Got your attention? You say *of course* it’s a medical problem! It’s a medical condition!

Well yes, it is. Diabetics need medical monitoring and often prescriptions to stay alive and healthy. Sure, often lifestyle and diet changes as well. But the fact remains there *is* a valid medical condition.

How about cancer? That’s not a medical condition! Surely if you just changed your negative mind you would not have cancer anymore! Just go an talk to someone and it’ll be ALRIGHT.

Why do I sound pissed and irritated?

I hate that people, even “doctors”, think it’s *wrong* that more people are seeking help for their depression. They automatically assume that Depression is *not* a medical condition. Therapy Solves All – it’s all just about how you’re thinking…

Guess what? Chemicals in the brain not present or not being processed correctly *affect* how someone thinks… a therapist can talk all they want – if the brain isn’t doing what it’s Supposed to be doing biologically, the problems will persist. The person will be no more able to control their anguish than a diabetic can simply say “I’m not having trouble at this time” while they collapse  on the floor. The brain not correctly processing a needed chemical is a biological condition – a medical condition. I’m all for therapy – if I had my way everybody in the world would have a therapist just to “catch” the people not seeking help who really need it. However, I hate the fear-mongering associated with these types of  articles. More depressed people are taking prescriptions to help ease their suffering? *gasp!* Diabetics take Insulin? *gasp!* Surely that’s not right!!

It just pisses me off that people cannot see that when the body, including the brain, is not doing what it is *supposed* to be doing – that affects the person. Yes, therapy is needed for people to try to undo the psychological and emotional damage of whatever their condition has done to them. However, the brain still will not be able to process or produce those chemicals…resulting in the person being biologically depressed, regardless of how much talking is done. Both parts need treating.

I have thanked God many a time that I do not suffer the disorder “Bi-Polar”. But I have had up close and deeply involved contact with someone who does. Someone who suffers a very serious case of it. I caught a glimpse of the nightmarish world she lives in. To me, it’s like staring into the face of Hell itself. The woman has absolutely no control over her biological swings without her medication. Her mind and emotions are simply dragged along screaming through whatever door her brain’s chemistry pushes. She can talk about all she wants. But the way her brain is handling chemicals will still respond with Chaos. Through the de-stigmatizing of mental health and emotional well being issues, it is slowly coming out that more people than previously guessed suffer from this horrific condition. Perhaps not as bad as she suffers, but none the less they are now seeking the help they were too stigmatized to seek before. So honestly I don’t care if everyone in the nation starts seeking mental health and that makes big headlines. So long as it allows the people who *really* need it, like her, to get that help. There’s so much craziness and suffering in this world that could be avoided if people just learned to take their own emotional and mental health more seriously.

at home (day)

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2009 by gypsygies

at Home – day – 080109_01

recorded from my bedroom window, a few moments ago.

have a horrible time trying to figure out how to post an mp3 to this blog. can’t quite get it to work, but I think if you click the link above several times you’ll eventually get to hear it. they couldn’t just make it simple….

What I Remember

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized on August 1, 2009 by gypsygies

11 23 00
6:15 PM

Waking up on Saturday, July 21st, 1984. The hour of 6 am is approaching fast and I know that when it arrives, I must add my person to the stuff in a car, and leave my homeland forever. There is an airplane somewhere dropping off different passengers and being refueled, preparing for the trip with my mother & I. I’m lying in bed trying to imagine what such a drastic change on my life will be like …trying to put myself mentally in just one ordinary day of my life, say two weeks in the future from now. Those habits of the people I’m used to are gone. Nearly everything I have ever known, will be gone. I try to remember what Lincoln, NE is like, what my grandparents house is like, try to think what my life will be like in a day there.
I can not. I was 8 last time I was there, now I am 12. I have vague memories of the trip, the house, the state, and I know that I do not like any of them. I think about the desert and the mountains surrounding me now, and I know that I love them.
I giggle with curiosity as to whether or not the neighbor boy, David,  will actually get up to wave goodbye to me. I have broken David’s 15-year old heart just so recently, and now I break it more by going away. When I said my goodbye’s last night, David pulled me aside and told me he’d be there in the morning to wave at me as we drove down the street. I told him he’s crazy, don’t even, didn’t I tell you we’re leaving at 6 a.m. ? You don’t have to do that. He insists. I believe his intentions, but this is a boy who sleeps ’til noon every day. I told him “thank you –even though you’ll probably accidentally oversleep and wake up at noon, ..know I thank you anyway”. I smiled, gave him a hug, and left. This morning, what’s more real to me than any of the change about to happen in my life, is the wonderment at whether David will actually be able to get up to wave to me. I half hope he does, I half hope he doesn’t. We’ve made our last unconscious bet.
Mother is screaming at me to get up already, we can’t be late, but I do not want to. I want to lay here, in my bed, holding onto the things I know in my life. I want to get up and go over to a friend’s house to hang out, like every other summer day. I think of the neighbor boys, my closest friends ..David and his year-older brother Junior, and the boy down the street Jesse close friend of 5 years. I think of their happy reactions at the news that I didn’t have to leave. Then I think about why I am. I know I have to get up and do this, and mom is still hollering at me every time she passes the room.
Getting ready to leave that morning is a blur, acting in a sleepy automatic coma. Our stuff is in the car, 6 o’clock approaches. I kneel to say my devastated goodbye to our longtime family dog, Sammy, whom my mother will not take. A last pat for her, and I am loaded into the back seat of the car. Now it is happening, we are Leaving.
As the car rolls down the street and past David’s house I turn to look, but he is not there. I have won –he must have overslept like I told him he would. But I am sad. Junior is out front leaning on a post and he smiles wide and waves. I wave back. Before we are all the way down the street, me turned fully around in the backseat of the car to watch it all drift away, trying desperately to imprint it in my mind  ….David comes running out of the front door of his house and starts waving. I can tell he has been crying. At first he is not smiling, just waving, but I grin a you-were-right at him, and wave vigorously back. David is smiling and waving all the way to the corner. Our last unconscious bet is decided. He did wake up to see me off.
Mom had been trying to ask me something, highly irritated now and demanding my attention as I watch David get farther away, waving. Whatever she is saying is automatically more important than me just watching David wave.
But you know …it is not. Had I listened to whatever she was saying, instead of making her wait a few moments more, I would not be remembering it here, 17 years later. I would still have no idea what minor detail she was insisting on getting straight right at that moment. But David waking up to wave to me was important enough for me to remember, not only now but for all of my life.
I think that sometimes parents need to realize that they are not always the automatic most important thing for their kid to be paying attention to. I’m not saying that they should never be paid attention to. But I’m saying they need to realize that sometimes they can wait 5 minutes. A child’s memory can last a lifetime. And sometimes there are other important things for us to remember.