Dr. Google

I can’t quite find the original study, which might not have been published yet.

https://www.foxnews.com/health/searching-health-symptoms-google-stressing-patients-out-survey

Here’s my opinion:

Can you blame 65% of the survey sample for consulting Dr. Google? I really think they should have dug deeper into why people are avoiding the doctor’s office.

How does Dr. Google help, really? Or doesn’t he?

Here are some things the article didn’t mention:

People actually want a diagnosis. In the short run,  diagnosis makes a person feel legitimized and validated. “No, it’s not all in your head. It’s a real disease so it’s not your fault.” They want this very badly, so badly that they’d rather cling to a false diagnosis than “We just don’t know,” which sounds too unsettling.

In my observation, one of the worst “diseases” that isn’t a disease at all is “oversensitivity.” I have known people who self-diagnosed themselves with this. The results are disastrous. Something akin to this is “empath.” That’s a baloney excuse disease, too.

Empathy is a skill that helps people relate to others. No, you can’t have an overabundance of it. In fact, most people have too little. They’re too busy, or too wrapped up in their own petty problems to care about others. Or they take the “boundary setting” hype a step too far.

Dr. Google is great at disseminating lies about “mental illness.” It’s permanent, Google says….but wait! There’s a cure. It’ll shorten your life but it’ll fix the nonexistent “chemical imbalance” you’re plagued with.

I do consult Dr. Google myself. Actually, I really should have consulted Dr. Google on July 7 of this year. I would have figured out rather quickly that the reason I was struggling to breathe was due to acidosis. I could then have quickly remedied the problem with a spoonful of baking soda. Instead, I took a trip to the ER which cost me thousands, plus nearly got me diagnosed with…not acidosis, but psychosis, which I certainly did not have. A spoonful of baking soda costs less than a penny.

Dr. Google doesn’t talk down to you. Dr. Google won’t court-order you or force you to do anything. Dr. Google leaves it all up to you. Maybe people like the freedom of being able to choose. Dr. Google doesn’t call the cops on you. Yet.

What is coming in the future? Will the government order Dr. Google to reveal what people are searching for? They already do this to people suspected of committing crimes. What if they start doing it to all of us?

Facebook has already data-mined people’s accounts for keywords that, statistically, might indicate impending suicide. We’re read accounts of this on Mad in America, horror stories where Facebook’s AI caused a unfounded police raid and trip the local nuthouse.

What if they do this to all your web activity? Or is that happening already? If I put “suicide” and “depression” too many times in a search, chances are, an ad for something like Zoloft will appear in the sidebar. Ask you doctor! Well, that’s scary enough.

And here it gets scarier: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/11/google-project-nightingale-all-your-health-data/601999/

What’s seriously funny is that I use my computer for work. Customers call me and ask about expensive items such as North Face jackets and UGGs. Sure enough, ads for whatever my customer wanted show up on any website where I don’t have ad blocking. So there.

We might know what people search for, but we don’t know the why of it. If anyone were to analyze my searches, they’d think I was a consumer of high-end products and designer clothing. Oops. Not quite. What other misinterpretations are going to happen? Yes, it’s scary.

“To go where no man has gone before.” But I think there have been plenty of times when we have gone where man should not be. We go digging in those gardens…for far too long. And sometimes, it’s too late.

Reiterating Dr. Breggin’s point about children and psychiatric drugs

On the Peter Breggin hour, late in the show, Dr. Breggin gave us an illustration of what kids conclude when they are given psych drugs. I think what he said is true.

He says that kids conclude that they are innately “bad,” and that the drugs will make the “good.” This is black and white thinking, but I think most young kids can’t conceptualize past that.

They are told they are bad, in school and maybe in the home, either on purpose or inadvertently, through a punishment-and-reward system.

There’s nothing particularly terrible about being sent to the end of the line in school, but kids learn through the shaming attitude of teachers and aides that ending up there is something horrible. You’re bad. From what I have observed, this is caused by a random whim of the teacher. She is not comfortable with your behavior, so you are banished. If you get banished enough times, your parents will receive a note. Uh oh.

So now, the school has shifted the blame and responsibility onto the parent. Not only is the child bad, but the parent is also bad.

Parents get desperate. Possibly the fear of having their kids taken from them spurs this fear on. They have to fix their kid. Drugs offer a supposed “quick fix,” not for the kids, but for the frustrated and scared parents.

To any parent out there who is considering drugging their child: You need to witness what childhood Tardive Dyskinesia looks like. Yes, I know it’s painful to know another parents’ child can’t walk properly, can’t use stairs, will never be dexterous enough to use a keyboard, needs help feeding himself, can’t use his hands properly, makes faces at other children (they’re used to it!) and because of this severe and permanent movement disorder, feels left out, singled out, and will likely drop out.

Are you really willing to risk this? I know parents who say they are. I know parents that argue “quality of life” without realizing that TD is very low quality of life even if it’s only in their child’s future.

Dr. Breggin says that it doesn’t even take long to get the child to not feel “bad” anymore. He says that often the parent has to also shake this belief. He says the child needs consistent discipline (no game playing on either end) and to be listened to.

Consistency is possible in the home, but likely not in school, where kids are exposed to numerous adult teachers and each teacher has her own teaching style. That plus invariably, there is inconsistency between the morals the school teaches and the morals taught at home, for better or worse.

Here is an example. I noticed that my classes of children loved to sing in Spanish. I went a step further and taught them a few Spanish words. One kids came up to me and said, “My parents don’t let me speak Spanish in my home.”

This was heartbreaking to hear. I can kinda liken this to not being allowed to sing Christmas Carols in my home, or not ever saying the word, “Jesus,” or discovering that my dad couldn’t bring himself to eat Japanese cuisine, since he had fought in World War II. Still, I thought it was odd to forbid speaking in Spanish. I told the boy, “You are not home now. You are in school. I’m the teacher, and I allow it.” He seemed happy about that, but I felt odd conflicting with the parents. Was he now getting a mixed message?

No matter. When he’s a teen he will be deciding these things on his own, and I doubt the parents will have much say in it after a while. That is, he’ll think for himself, unless, of course, he’s on drugs.

 

Suicide immediately after psych imprisonment: Another sad example

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/11/09/im-gonna-lose-everything/

I wonder if anyone, any of the people who knew this man, made the correlation. Looks like the mental health cops, suicide “help” teams that make MH referrals, are invading rural areas now. But it’s not help!

How I “fixed” a recent dilemma

After I got scammed, I felt depressed on and off. Sometimes I felt so hopeless that I didn’t do anything but lay in bed. I missed work a couple of times. Then, finally, I realized that the world was not really so bad. My view of it definitely was, though.

The world is bad and good. I could, of course, brainwash or drug myself into ignoring the bad, but this would go against my principles and basic duty of calling it out and trying to make the world a better place. Still, my negativity was rubbing off badly on others. Not many others. Just a few. Enough, still, for me to tell myself something has to change.

One day, I had been laying in bed more than usual and from what I recall, I suddenly leapt out of bed, came to the computer, and canceled all my upcoming subbing jobs. I realized that mostly, it’s a depressing job seeing as the schools are dreadful, oppressive places. (Later, when I felt better, I picked up a few days just to make it look like I still work that job.)

But that wasn’t enough. I still felt very negative. Especially about my upcoming book. I obsessed over how it wasn’t going to sell, and I’d be embarrassed all over again.

I realized, also, that kidney disease causes depression. It is not easy to find articles or studies on this, as most of the research is on patients on dialysis. From what I can tell, it’s the dialysis itself that causes depression. For obvious reasons!

I could find very little on how kidney disease itself can cause depression. Actually, the reason was that a lot of these studies don’t mention kidney disease or renal disease in the title, so they weren’t coming up in searches. I knew, however, that kidney disease messes up very badly with aldosterone, which is a hormone. If I recall correctly, raised aldosterone also causes insomnia, because either the melatonin receptors aren’t working, or you aren’t producing melatonin, or both.

Aldosterone has something to do with cortisol, which is known as a stress hormone. This, too, could cause insomnia. People with primary hyperaldosteronism (meaning that there’s no obvious cause as to why they have raised aldosterone) might have malfunctioning adrenals, that is, they are overproducing aldosterone.

So I started thinking. What can I do to lower aldosterone, if, indeed, this is causing depression? I started poking around in the world of natural medicine. A lot of what you can do, I was already doing. It’s just that I’d gotten lazy recently.

What changes could I make? What bad habits could I eliminate? What good habits can I adopt?

I targeted my caffeine consumption, which had gotten worse and worse over the past few months. I still have my one small cup of coffee in the morning, but I was also making a habit of taking caffeine pills. I didn’t think much of it, which was likely making it worse since sometimes, I lost track of how many I’d taken.

Uh-oh.

A little caffeine is likely good for you. It helps the kidneys excrete salt. If you normally have trouble with sodium, then a little caffeine will lower your sodium level and possibly even decrease blood pressure. Or it could raise it.

I honestly don’t know why I was chugging caffeine pills. Maybe it started while I was teaching school and then, it became habitual.

I stopped the caffeine pills cold turkey (I’m not sure when!) and nothing bad happened. I didn’t get headaches at all. After a few days, I realized I never “needed” them.

Hmm….my mood improved. My energy improved, too, not that I am lacking in that! I feel more ambitious, an area where I am generally not lacking, either. It’s just that the energy and ambition had focus again, instead of being scattered.

I still don’t quite understand the aldosterone connection and I am still studying it. By the way, it’s very easy to get aldosterone tested. I doubt this is a normal part of routine blood testing. You likely have to ask for it.

 

Boasting

When I was a kid, one of my brothers went through a “boasting” stage. He was school age at the time. I got very tired of it and approached my father on the subject.

“Why does he boast?” I asked.

“Julie, people boast when they don’t think much of themselves,” my dad explained.

Was this true?

My brother got over it. It really was a phase. I forgot about it after a while. I found other things to concern myself with.

What if an adult boasts? How do we react to such a thing? What’s the difference, if any, between boasting and self-promotion, or perhaps, promotion of one’s business or promotion of a product?

Are you guys as turned off as I am by the mass amount of boasting on people’s websites? “My product fixes everything.” And the dizzying number of over-the-top endorsements and testimonials. They really cross the line when they start boasting of moral superiority. A lot of people do this! You don’t notice it at first…and then, you do.

I recently encountered a professional who interested me. I was turned off by the testimonials, which made him look too good to be true. I finally contacted him. Although I found him likable, it seems that because I didn’t become a paying customer immediately, he started boasting. Is this a sign of desperation? After all, I don’t have a clue how many paying customers he has. Maybe he hasn’t had one for weeks and needs the income.

This has happened a lot to me. I have shown interest but then, held back. This kind of behavior shouldn’t bother a vendor who has plenty of customers. But those who are scrambling might resort to boasting, even making claims of moral superiority or “knowing better.” Which as far as I’m concerned, is a very bad sign.

Do you have Seasonal Affective Disorder?

I ask this kind of tongue-in-cheek. Do you have______ (fill in the blanks)! Pick your disorder, whatever’s convenient!

Back in the 1980s, my mom made up her mind I had SAD. I do not, not anymore than anyone else has it. I could tell, even then, back in my drugged and brainwashed state, that she was just trying to put me into a mold. She was only trying to be helpful. I knew this.

I recall thinking that other factors were at play, not just sunlight. I think mental health professionals shouldn’t be too hasty to hand out this diagnosis, and that they, too, should consider the “other factors.”

Summer is traditionally a school vacation time. So if your summer vacations were happy typically, then in adulthood, you might make the association with these happy memories during summer.

You may also have memories of not being able to afford to heat your home, or, in some cases, having no heat at all. That sounds miserable!

Never mind winter is a nuisance! I do not like putting on what amounts to war gear every time I go outside. Especially when winter gets so nasty that I have to wear very heavy winter boots. It is a nuisance changing into them and it’s an additional nuisance cleaning up the sand and salt. If you drive, you can expect even worse nuisance, cleaning the snow off your car of having it fail to start.

Now, can you see why so many people get depressed in winter? Unless these “other factors” are taken into account, what business do these so-called “professionals” have to proclaim you have one more disorder? Maybe it’s okay to hate the slush and the heating bills. Maybe it’s okay to find the whole season to be inconvenient. Maybe those haughty professionals need to realize that this is part of life, like it or not.

The alkaline diet: Debunked? Or not?

I know from first-hand experience what acidosis feels like. Most people are not at risk for it, but if your kidneys are compromised, or if you have diabetes, it’s something worth thinking about.

I have read in so many publications that the “alkaline diet” is hogwash. But then, these articles will go on to say it won’t help with weight loss. This is true.  But just because it’s called a diet doesn’t mean it’s a weight-loss diet.

It is very true that eating too much meat, for some people, will indeed cause acidosis. This is also caused by too much aspirin or certain other drugs. If you follow a vegan diet, or at least reduce your meat consumption, you will likely solve the acidosis. If it is severe, take a small amount of baking soda and that will fix it fast.

The “alkaline diet” isn’t hogwash if you use it for the right purpose. I suspect that it’s only called hogwash because it’s touted to do more than it really does. I don’t think it’s useful unless you’re at risk for acidosis, which means some of us, not all of us.

Once I saw first-hand what too much meat would do to me, I never wanted to eat it again! It’s really true that diet does change your various blood levels. I wish I hadn’t found out the hard way.

Hmmm…..Is it even possible to contradict your doctor?

On Friday I went to see the nephrologist. This was my second time seeing him, and likely will be the last. This is why:

Last July I ended up in the ER because of acidosis, which came from eating too much meat. I had too much carbon dioxide in my blood, which caused me to have breathing problems. The breathing problems, unfortunately, mimicked a panic attack. I knew I was not having a panic attack, though. My body was desperately trying to lower the CO2 in my blood.

There are a number of ways to solve acidosis. One way is to take baking soda. It comes in tablets you can buy in the drugstore, or you can use the kitchen variety. The other way is to stop eating meat. I stopped eating meat and I invented a salad dressing that I use daily to combat acidosis.

As a result, my carbon dioxide level, as last measured, was in the normal range, but on the low end. I have no worries about acidosis now.

The doctor must have been very tired on Friday, or just not paying attention. He saw my level and demanded that I take baking soda. If I do, my carbon dioxide will drop under the normal range.

I think I won’t see him again.