We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, February 24. 2021
Friday, February 5. 2021
Why do people with any fat stores ever feel hungry, or eat anything at all, considering they may have 1-5 month's worth of energy stored as fat? (We term the hunger experienced by overweight people "False Hunger," because it is.) Except in the truly malnourished or extremely fit, low body-fat athletes, hunger is rarely a signal of an energy deficit or of any nutritional need.
Think about it. Even normal-weight (neither overweight nor underweight) people carry 8-10 weeks of energy stored in fat if they can only access it.
You can consider appetite in the pudgy or overweight, not to mention the obese, to be a design flaw based on the hunting and gathering, and, earlier, just plain gathering condition of human existence, same as the other great apes who only become overweight in captivity. Agriculture and food abundance, along with sedentary life, exposed the design flaw for people who overnourish themselves. Of course, physical inadequacy is another side effect.
Here are a few issues (below) -
Continue reading "Why do overweight people ever feel hunger? (re-posted)"
Tuesday, February 2. 2021
Many sorts of mammals use sex recreationally. Monkeys (and apes like us), especially. A blast of oxytocin and various endorphins is a nice thing regardless of whether it is a part of bonding or just for fun. For non-humans - and most humans now, it is not purposeful reproduction but a simple biological urge like thirst. Hence masturbation in various forms in mammals including dogs.
It's a shame that so many female humans find orgasm so elusive or difficult to reach whether in an exciting new relationship or an old one. I have spoken with many women of all ages about this. (Yes, women in their 80s like sex.) While a lucky few are able to orgasm at the touch of a penis, most not. It depends on level of attraction and arousal - the psychological component; and stimulation - the biological component. Re the latter, I sometimes recommend vibrators. Why not?
However, this is not a sex therapy post. I am skeptical about this theory: Why do women orgasm?
Tuesday, January 26. 2021
Sunday, January 10. 2021
Changing Psychiatry’s Mind - Two books investigate the science and pseudoscience of diagnosing mental illness.
As a colleague once said to me, "I've never seen a patient who fit into the DSM." That is hyperbole, but it's true that everybody is an individual and not a diagnosis. Humans are complicated.
Thursday, January 7. 2021
My main point is that many are not equipped to launch out into the big world to become world-beaters, or even to become well-adapted to current economic-psycho-social expectations. In my view, it is remarkable that so many are equipped and willing. It is a social expectation now but not a useful one.
Humans are tribal, family- and extended-family-oriented creatures. Every human has some gifts, and many shortcomings. Luck matters in life of course, but I do believe that "we make our own luck" if we have the temperament to do so. In my career, I have seen many flawed but talented flounder on the rocks because wealth, privilege, and family enablement made it possible.
A bit more than a century ago, and forever before that, most people worked on farms. Family farms. Life was hard before machines, but there was work for everybody in the family for generations. Occasionally, an ambitious kid would leave for the city for work or further education. With the industrial revolution, there was work for all (including kids) off the farm, at whatever level one sought to achieve. Not pleasant work in the mills until skills were achieved, but still work, contributing to the family...
Continue reading "Farms, factories, and "Failure to Launch""
Tuesday, December 15. 2020
Tucker Carlson attributes it to "status anxiety." Is that a thing? Perhaps it is, for some more insecure people, whether about attractiveness, wealth, profession, education, or other. Of course, in the US physicians are given the honorific Dr. in formal settings. It is pleasant. In the UK, physicians are given the honorific "Mr." or whatever their pronoun preference is nowadays.
Tuesday, November 24. 2020
Children of Quarantine: What does a year of isolation and anxiety do to a developing brain?
Friday, October 16. 2020
This Stanford undergrad is a good writer and has a fine future. I do not view her as autistic in the usual sense, but she does have "issues" as she discusses. She has been through the entire Psychiatric gauntlet without much apparent result. Nevertheless, she is at Stanford, is obviously talented and perceptive: My Brief Spell as an (autism) Activist.
Without trying to diagnose somebody I have ever met, I think this young lady could use some basic life counseling, or life coaching if you want to call it that. There is plenty of room in the world for "outsiders."
Wednesday, September 23. 2020
Tuesday, September 22. 2020
Friday, September 11. 2020
Young women tend to have little problem with sexual delights as long as their partner is not a dud or a selfish jerk.
Middle-aged women (40-65) tend to be more readily orgasmic. It is hormonal, in part. Women in good health remain capable of sexual delight and orgasm until death, but the climaxes are not the same. Still satisfying, but not the screaming or moaning ones of a 35 year-old.
Healthy men over 60 tend to have a decline in sex drive and performance, but not in sexual/romantic interest. It's complicated. It is age, hormonal issues, and other things. Men are, biologically, more excited by fertile females of course, but bonding with the wife is important. She's right there, and willing. With age (say, over 70 or 75) things are not what they were at 40 but men are still capable of, and needful of, romantic and sexual pleasure.
It is a component of life happiness.
Yes, you can have better sex in midlife and in the years beyond. If sustaining intimacy is becoming more difficult, there are many approaches that can help.
Tuesday, September 8. 2020
Why Women Lose Interest in Sex. Loss of sexual desire is women's biggest sexual problem, and it's not all in their heads.
Sex drive, which doctors prefer to term "libido," refers to a biological urge to mate, or to find sexual stimulation or release in non-relational ways.
Sex drive, if not sexual interest, declines with age in men and women but I joke that a "dirty old man" is just an ordinary young man trapped in an older body and that there is no comparable term for women.
I do not consider it to be a "disorder" when some post-menopausal women lose their youthful needs and desires because it is all variance of normal based on hormonal changes, relational issues, physical issues, fitness issues, etc etc.
My ideal, though, is for women and men to maintain a fun sex life of some sort for a lifetime.
PS: When in med school one time they showed us a video of elder porn. It was a couple in their 80s having fun with eachother and laughing in bed. It was eye-opening to us kids. A good thing.
Friday, September 4. 2020
Not with psychotherapy, not with meds, but with a determination to overcome his weaknesses: How to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird & Wonderful Ways to Build a Strong, Resilient Mindset
Friday, July 31. 2020
Sexual issues, financial issues, disagreements, emotional issues and frailties, etc etc all beset the basically unnatural notion of lifetime monogamous bonding. In Western cultures, committment is important cement, but how often is it, really?
Good friendships can easily last a lifetime, thank God. That's partly because you do not live with them and have to deal with their flaws every day. Friendships are essential in life, I believe. No one partner can meet all of our relational wants, supports, comraderie, and enjoyments.
A relationship study: A landmark study shows what makes a successful relationship
Wednesday, July 29. 2020
Theophrastus (370-285 BC), a student of Aristotle and a botanist among other things, made a list of the types which have been used in drama ever since. They are of course one-dimensional character types (we could term them stereotypes) but I think we all use phrases similar to those to describe people: The Flatterer and the Chatterer
Sunday, July 26. 2020
A friend told me about the Karpman Drama Triangle.
It's a model for (dysfunctional) family dynamics. One aspect of the model is that the Victim is not necessarily a literal victim, but one who assumes the victim role.
Wednesday, July 22. 2020
Furthermore, many patients do not like to take medicine. You can't force them to, under ordinary conditions.
The other category of severe mental illness, Bipolar Disorder, is thankfully readily medically and psychotherapeutically managed now in people who are willing to follow a treatment program.
Monday, July 20. 2020
Thursday, July 2. 2020
Friday, June 26. 2020
Thursday, June 25. 2020
Tuesday, June 9. 2020
Wednesday, June 3. 2020
It's coming to a DSM near you one of these days: Orthorexia nervosa. You may find many victims of this disorder in the socially-distanced lines at Whole Foods. It's a harmless preoccupation other than the risk of annoying or boring your friends.
Another one is Binge Eating, aka Binge Eating Disorder. These are people who will ask for seconds, or eat ravenously until the food is gone. Historically it was just called the sin of gluttony, but now it's a diagnosis. It is interesting to me how various behaviors, maybe once attributed to demons, later to sins, are now DSM diagnoses.
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