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mental health mondays :: more health benefits of special k

no, not the breakfast cereal. i'm talking really special k here. the dissociative anesthetic that's become a recreational hallucinogen and sometime date rape drug may have some pretty important uses, according to a new study that's been published in the u.k.

taken at doses significantly lower than surgical or recreational ones, the drug has shown startling effectiveness in relieving treatment-resistant depression. what do they mean by that term? it means a form of depression that shows little to no improvement, or only very short term improvement, when treated with therapy and/ or standard antidepressant medications. you know what other drugs work on treatment-resistant depression? none of them.

it might come as a shock to find out that the go-to treatment for depression that just won't quit is still electroshock therapy [or electroconvulsive therapy as it's now known]. as barbaric as the practice is perceived to be [patients are now sedated while it is performed, so there's no "one flew over the cuckoo's nest" sort of scene], there is a lot of evidence that it's more effective than any other treatment for severe depression. the problem is that the effect doesn't tend to last that long- about half of treated patients remit within six months- and there is a significant controversy within the scientific community as to whether or not it's safe to keep zapping someone's brain twice a year for the rest of their life. [controversy doesn't mean it's necessarily dangerous, just that there's no consensus. electroconvulsive therapy is safe enough that it is sometimes recommended for women during pregnancy, whereas antidepressant drugs are supposed to be discontinued prior to even becoming pregnant, if possible.]

the promising aspect of ketamine treatment is that it does not have the nasty short-term effects of ect [memory loss and cognitive difficulties] and that it is effective in a much shorter time than other antidepressant drugs like ssri's. although there are studies that show that continued recreational use of ketamine is linked to health problems, that data is based on usage that is more frequent and at higher doses. the effects do not appear to be as long-lasting as they are with ect, but ketamine does seem to bring relief for up two a couple of months per treatment.

and this isn't the first time that a study has shown ketamine's positive effects in fighting depression. it isn't even the first time that i've written about it on the blog. this is just one piece of evidence that points to one

so it seems that ketamine may be taking its place alongside drugs like lsd and crystal meth as a drug whose medicinal value has been grossly underestimated.

[ahem. i am aware that it is tuesday. i got wrapped up watching the provincial election results last night and didn't get around to posting this. but i do know it is tuesday, in case you were wondering.]


as long as you're here, why not read more?

making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rĂªve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [winter edition]

it seems oddly canadian to have two posts in a row about winter/ cold/ snow, but they're obviously unrelated. after all, for most people winter is a season, but in colour analysis terms, winter is part of what you are, an effect of the different wavelengths that comprise the physical part of the thing known as "you". this might be getting a little heady for a post about lipstick. moving on...

if you've perused the other entries in this series without finding something that really spoke to you [figuratively- lipsticks shouldn't actually speak to you- get help], you may belong in one of the winter seasons. winter, like summer, is cool in tone; like spring, it is saturated; like autumn, it is dark. that combination of elements creates a colour palette [or three] that reads as very "strong" to most. and on people who aren't part of the winter group, such a palette would look severe. the point of finding a palette that reads "correctly" on you…