firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/introverts-signs-am-i-introverted_n_3721431.html
"23 signs you're secretly an introvert" by Carolyn Gregoire

Starts out well:
Think you can spot an introvert in a crowd? Think again. Although the stereotypical introvert may be the one at the party who's hanging out alone by the food table fiddling with an iPhone, the "social butterfly" can just as easily have an introverted personality.
Then ignores all that in favor of a list of traits that introverts supposedly have.

Bold = I have it
Strikethrough = I don't have it

You find small talk incredibly cumbersome. Nope. I like small talk. I just have to be in the mood for socializing. Which happens less often than it does for most extroverts, but not never. "We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people." I don't think small talk creates a barrier between people. It lets people who don't know each other very well talk about a few things that they might have in common, and gives them the opportunity to discover more things in common.
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
(Well actually it's from 2006 so I don't know how new it is.)

http://www.nexuspub.com/articles_2006/interview_porges_06_ma.php
"How your nervous system sabotages your ability to relate: An interview with Stephen Porges about his polyvagal theory" by Ravi Dykema

The bad: The title of this article sucks, and some of the language is annoying and patronizing, and there's some sexism and heterocentrism, and there's a "Dos and don'ts" graphic that completely misses the point.

The good: Stephen Porges has come up with a theory that explains what a lot of people who have anxiety issues and difficulty with in-person socializing (because of being non-neurotypical or having PTSD or other reasons) already know: it works better if we feel safe, and a lot of us tend feel safer in quiet environments and in environments where we are not constantly pressured to engage in eye contact.

A lot of his conclusions aren't going to be news to people who have these issues, but I figure it could be a good thing that someone is trying to sort out some neurochemical reasons for this stuff, especially because Porges seems to be saying that the same mechanisms operate in people who have "diagnosable disorder" levels of difficulty and people who are anxious in some social situations but it doesn't get to the level of a disorder.

Excerpts:Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
The other day I was picking on posts that have unhelpful-to-me tips for handling depression. In this post I'll mention a helpful-to-me depression aid, and ask for some advice.

Helpful-to-me thing: http://boggletheowl.tumblr.com/
This is a depression support blog where a cartoon owl offers a lot of encouragement and a little bit of advice. Some of the people writing in say upsetting things and sometimes Boggle is a bit too sweet. But I find the high encouragement to advice ratio helpful. (When you're depressed, what are some helpful things for you?)

Advice request:
I used to e-socialize a lot via mailing lists. These days it seems all the topical activity that used to occur in mailing lists has moved to Facebook. I check Facebook once or twice a day. But I've noticed that I usually end up feeling worse afterward. Part of it is that people post so much bad news. And OK, I do belong to some groups there where the whole purpose is to post bad news. But it's not just those groups that make me feel bad. I guess I could just quit reading FB, or limit myself to reading only a few people I have no other way to connect with. But it would be nice if there were a less drastic option or some way to approach FB that doesn't get me all riled up. (Does this happen to you?)

Linkspam

24 Jan 2013 04:58 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Passing along some linkspam I got from the OH.

Assuming you think it's a good idea for abortions to be available to women who want them, even poor women, take your blood pressure medicine before reading this one.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-17/how-state-governments-are-regulating-away-abortion

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49998217
Is Women's 'Retirement Gap' Really a Pay Gap?
By: Paul O'Donnell
Much is made of women's lack of engagement in basic investing, including investing for retirement. Reasons given range from a lack of confidence to a congenital fear of risk to a simple lack of information....But here's a reason that may be too simple to get much attention: It could be that women invest less than men because they don't have as much money.
D'oh!

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/10/bigger-better-google-ngrams-brace-yourself-for-the-power-of-grammar/263487/
The Google NGram now offers text from more books, and more parameters, including the ability to search for a term in British English or American English.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15965768-a-way-out-of-the-landfill-paraguay-kids-play-mozart-with-violins-made-from-trash?lite
Musical instruments made out of trash and other recycled materials

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201212/dsm-5-is-guide-not-bible-ignore-its-ten-worst-changes
More problems with the DSM-5, e.g., "Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder: DSM 5 will turn temper tantrums into a mental disorder."
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
The DSM-IV had several different diagnoses for people who were distressed about their health (somatoform disorders). The DSM-V will have one. That seems like it might be good, but the criteria for diagnosing people with this condition might have been broadened to the point where the diagnosis might be misapplied.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/turning-straw-gold/201301/your-physical-illness-may-now-be-labeled-mental-disorder
"People can be diagnosed with Somatic Symptom Disorder if, for at least six months, they’ve had one or more symptoms that are distressing and/or disruptive to their daily life, and if they have one...of the following three reactions:

Criteria #1: disproportionate thoughts about the seriousness of their symptom(s);

Criteria #2: a high level of anxiety about their symptoms or health; or

Criteria #3: devoting excessive time and energy to their symptoms or health concerns.

Can you see how this diagnosis potentially includes everything from a stomach ache to cancer?
I'm of several minds about this.

Mind 1: I have chronic physical health issues and chronic mental health issues. When my mood disorder isn't well controlled, I absolutely fret about my health a lot more. So I think the state of mind they are describing is something real for some people.

Mind 2: But does the state of mind really need its own name and diagnosis? Can't they just include this as an aspect of mood disorders or obsessive disorders in general? Do anxiety or obsessive thoughts about your health require special treatments that are different from other anxiety and obsession treatments?

Mind 3: I'm concerned that this diagnosis will be used to deny people tests that could determine why they are having symptoms, or deny them treatments that would help them manage the symptoms of their chronic conditions. I'm concerned that it will be disproportionately applied to women and people of color.

More: http://dxrevisionwatch.com/2012/05/26/somatic-symptom-disorder-could-capture-millions-more-under-mental-health-diagnosis/
To meet requirements for Somatization Disorder (300.81) in DSM-IV, a considerably more rigorous criteria set needed to be fulfilled: a history of many medically unexplained symptoms before the age of thirty, resulting in treatment sought or psychosocial impairment. The diagnostic threshold was set high – a total of eight or more medically unexplained symptoms from four, specified symptom groups, with at least four pain and two gastrointestinal symptoms.

In DSM-5, the requirement for eight symptoms is dropped to just one.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://captainawkward.com/2013/01/05/429-430-when-depression-is-contagious/

Via [personal profile] wordweaverlynn, very interesting conversation about relationships in which one of the partners is depressed.

My comment:
Person with depression here. (Although mine is somewhat better managed than that of the people discussed by the LWs (I do the dishes without being asked. Most of the time)).

I loathe the idea of a partner limiting zirself by staying with me primarily because zie feels sorry for me or feel I can't manage on my own. If zie feels burdened by the relationship then I want zir to leave.

I haven't ended my relationships over this, because my policy is to believe my partners are capable of making their own decisions about our relationship. And because "I should dump my partner because I'm bad for them" has the suspicious resonance of depression. But it's not depression talking when I say I truly want my partners to be with me only because they want to be.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] elisem wrote a post about envy and competition and comparing oneself to others.
http://elisem.livejournal.com/1745373.html

The gist of my comment there:
For me, envious comparison is a depression symptom, so when I read analyses of why it's not a good idea, even though I agree with them, I get the same feeling that I get when people tell depressed people to just cheer up.

Competing and comparing in and of themselves aren't bad, IMO. The problem is when they aren't consensual. Either because they pop into a person's head when the person doesn't want them, or because a person -- or a group or a whole society -- is trying to force another person to participate in them.
Going to Wiscon seems to have kicked me out of depression (yay!), so I am seeing "firecat's depressed brain" and "firecat's not-so-depressed brain" pretty clearly right now. When I am not depressed, I respond to people doing cool things with "Cool!" When I am depressed, I respond "That's cool, and I want to do something cool and I can't because nothing I do is ever cool, so I suck and I'm mad that they can do it and I can't." (For me, fortunately, this no longer leads into "And I hate the person." It has done so in the past though.)

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