jenk: Faye (NotSaneBehindTheMask)
From a New Yorker article on suicides and attempted suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge:

Every two weeks, on average, someone jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge. It is the world’s leading suicide location. [...] At least twelve hundred people have been seen jumping or have been found in the water since the bridge opened, in 1937, including Roy Raymond, the founder of Victoria’s Secret, in 1993, and Duane Garrett, a Democratic fund-raiser and a friend of Al Gore’s, in 1995. The actual toll is probably considerably higher, swelled by legions of the stealthy, who sneak onto the bridge after the walkway closes at sundown and are carried to sea with the neap tide.
[...]
In centuries past, suicides were buried at night at a crossroads, under piles of stones, or had stakes driven through their hearts to prevent their unquiet spirits from troubling the rest of us. In the United States today, someone takes his own life every eighteen minutes, and suicide is much more common than homicide.
[...]
Dr. Seiden’s study, “Where Are They Now?,” (PDF) published in 1978, followed up on five hundred and fifteen people who were prevented from attempting suicide at the bridge between 1937 and 1971. After, on average, more than twenty-six years, ninety-four per cent of the would-be suicides were either still alive or had died of natural causes. “The findings confirm previous observations that suicidal behavior is crisis-oriented and acute in nature,” Seiden concluded; if you can get a suicidal person through his crisis—Seiden put the high-risk period at ninety days—chances are extremely good that he won’t kill himself later.

In the Seattle area, the iconic place to jump is the Aurora Avenue Bridge. The group Seattle FRIENDS is working to erect a suicide barrier.



And on a completely different note: PuppyCam :)

(I got the links to The New Yorker & Puppycam from Slog.)
jenk: Faye (RainInSeattle)
Don't Jump! The Northwest Winter Blues Survival Guide Happens every year: The Earth has tilted its north away from the sun. Oz's sunlight per day is growing, ours is decreasing.

Sunday morning we ended "summer time" and reset our clocks back. Once again Seattle's sunset is before 5pm. It'll stay that way until next year.

We also hit less than 10hrs between sunrise & sunset this week, but it's the "dark before 5" that's been bugging me the last few years. I don't remember noticing it when I was younger...1

Some people aren't affected by the swingin' circadian rythym. So what if it's dark when you go to work and dark when you head home? Others of us plan our days so we get actual daylight even in December, stock up on caffeine, bake, or generally hibernate and laugh at the book on the right.

The "less than 10 hours of dark" bugs me in June (and May and July) too, but between
  • My sleep mask ([livejournal.com profile] dianthus' suggestion)
  • Dark drapes
  • Watching caffeine before dinner
  • Taking melatonin a couple hours before I intend to sleep
... I actually GOT enough sleep this year. Even in June. :)

Other than making sure I get outside during daylight for a walk and maybe installing more outdoor lights2, I'm not sure I've got a solution for The Big Dark. Maybe getting outside more on weekends? Hitting the library for funny mysteries? More sex?

1I think it did affect me, but that I wasn't consciously aware that it was tied to the changing sunlight patterns. School was always easier in spring or early fall than in winter - and once I was on a quarter system, I definitely got better grades in spring & summer than fall & winter. Before that - I remember going to bed at 8 and being asleep by 9 with no problem in winter, but come June I could not get to sleep until after it was dark.
2One of my frustrations with how soon it gets dark is that it's always dark when I get home - increased visibility might help me avoid stupid things like slipping in my own damn driveway.
jenk: Faye (sleepy Cecilia)
So some researchers found correlations between high blood pressure & lack of sleep in teens. Toss in with other sleep deprivation issues in teens and you'd think high schools would start later.

If you're wondering, yes, a different study found that poor sleep is associated with hypertension in adult women, and associated with "higher levels of biomarkers associated with elevated risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes". (Correlations of correlations is indirect, but it's what I found.)

Of course, less sleep is also correlated with mood swings and depression....

stress

Jun. 30th, 2008 02:55 pm
jenk: Faye (FayeAtComputer)
Reading an article about how "Oh, you should de-stress" is given as a cure-all. Yes, less stress can make it easier to get enough sleep, which has good effects. Yes, being stressed all the time can raise blood pressure. But when cancer or infertility is blamed on stress, I can't help but wonder if it's just blaming the victim and offering the "reassurance" that "cancer only happens to stressed people (and I'm not one so I'm safe)".

But it was this quote that gave me a chuckle ...
Susan Sontag noted that a culture’s maladies are apparent in the emotional causes it attributes to illness. In the Victorian period, cancer was “caused” by excessive family obligations or hyper-emotionalism. In the 1970s it was “caused” by isolation and suppressed anger. So the assertion that stress underlies 99 percent of illness may indicate more about the healthy than the sick. Stress is our burden, our bogyman, and reducing it is the latest all-purpose talisman against adversity’s randomness.
Peggy Orenstein, in the NY Times
Not that stress is our only bogyman ...
jenk: Faye (read)
From [livejournal.com profile] psychologytoday:
The most important attitudinal approach to dealing with recurrent depression is to work on not getting depressed about getting depressed. This meta-level approach tends to limit the depressive spiral. It makes things more manageable. But how do you not get depressed about getting depressed? By accepting that your current condition is a frustration, but not a horror. If you look hard enough, and work at it, you'll find that you can still enjoy life in spite of the recurring depression. Also, do not blame yourself for having what might be an inherited tendency—you can look for ways to overcome it. - full article
At the moment I'm not depressed. I'm aware of SAD and its attempts to get me down, but I'm getting outside each morning for whatever light there is, I'm being active, and so on.

Is it a sign of grown-up-ness when you deal with what you've got without letting it get you down?

(Semi-related: Being too optimistic can be bad for you.)
jenk: Faye (DontKnowSoResearch)
Joining exercise as a alternative depression treatment: having a friend to talk to. Also being studied: meditation.

On a lighter note:

British construction company specializes in treehouses. For instance: Ewok-style.

The cell number you don't want to get. :)

Scary recipe: "Semi-Homemade" PB&J Dino Bites. First, talk about gratuitous product placement. Second, chocolate chip eyes are not going to be visible after you've painted the cookies with melted chocolate chips. Third, the chocolate is going to melt right off the cookies onto the hands of everyone eating them, which is probably going to be kids, which is going to be messy, especially once the sugar hits their bloodstream. Fourth, "semi-homemade"?
jenk: Faye (Meditation)
More quotes from the Seven Habits daily calendar.
Samuel Johnson observed, "The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove."


I would say there's a definite truth here. But it also assumes you've already met the lower-level needs of Maslow's hierarchy.
How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and, keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.

-o-


If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective when we begin with the end in mind.

-o-


Efficient management without effective leadership is, as one individual has phrased it, "like straightening deck chairs on the Titanic." No management success can compensate for failure in leadership.


These three all speak to the difference between doing things right, and doing the right thing. Which also reminds me of Dorothy Sayers writing on the need to do good work, not just good works...
jenk: Faye (SleepyCana)
I have come to the conclusion that one of the things that separates the grown-ups from the kids is that grown-ups can realize, "Hey, I'm overreacting to this, I need to step away and calm down."

A variation of this is being able to step away from the lurking anxieties that are so good at fueling insomnia. Whether it's distracting yourself with solitaire, or training your mind to focus on something else, or talking it over with a friend or partner, relaxing the body with stretching, or a sleeping pill, or a warm bath and a good book.... how you move on from the anxiety depends on the individual. The key thing is to realize "Hm, worrying about this isn't getting me anywhere," and move on.

And I am heading off to bed, m'self.
jenk: Faye (Meditation)
Yesterday a conversation touched briefly on perfectionism: how being hyperaware of one's faults can hamstring all action.

Today I noticed a book I haven't looked at in years. And I found the following piece:

Forgive
You did the best you could with who you were and what you knew at the time. As soon as you learned something better, you did that.

So why can't you forgive yourself and others for past mistakes?

For some people, punishment is not enough, atonement insufficient, retribution never satisfying. They wallow in guilt. They refuse to forgive themselves or others. They lose the future because they are trapped in the past.

Search out the painful mistakes in your past and prepare a certificate of forgiveness, complete with a gold seal for each one. ... ) Give one to yourself: "I'm not perfect.... I made a mistake..."

Create your certificates, forgive yourself. Then, sit down, relax, breathe deeply.

Let go of the guilt, let go of the past, breathe in the present and stay open to your future.

~ From Windows, by Jennifer James.
jenk: Faye (hunterStoic)
Most people associate death by gunfire with urban areas. According to this article, the rate of shooting deaths (as a % of the population) is at least as high in rural areas.

There is one difference: in rural areas, the victim is more likely to also be the killer.

full article )

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