"Pass the F*cking Kale." Food Additives, Allergies and Anxiety

Friday, February 27, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

Do you have anxiety? It might be what you’re eating. You might even have allergies. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “DUH, Meg, I’d KNOW if I was allergic to something! What the hell are you wasting our time for?”

Well, because you might not know that contrary to popular belief, allergies are not just indicated by hives or trouble breathing. Allergies might also show up as anxiety, depression, panic disorders or even behavioral conditions such as ADHD.  

Now, I am not saying that all anxiety or mood disorders are related to allergies. That simply isn’t true. But they can be and that’s a problem because the general population has no idea that this is the case. We aren’t taught to look at anxiety as a mental health issue; the first line of defense is generally anti-anxiety drugs or cognitive behavioral therapy. While both may have merit in some populations, we must also consider that what we put into our bodies has the ability to trigger mood issues. You never know what you will uncover when you look at the whole person as opposed to just one isolated symptom, such as “I feel nervous.”

But it isn’t just new-agey bullshit. Let’s look at the research on food, anxiety and allergies....  continue reading

10 Reasons People Who Don't Understand Depression are Annoying to be Around

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

The National Report has been accused of all kinds of shady reporting, even going so far as to publish blatantly false stories on the Ebola epidemic. This week, they published an article titled “10 Reasons Why People With Depression Are Annoying To Be Around.” 

Unfortunately, the list was a little backwards. So I kept the headings but corrected the information. Now without further ado, here are ten reasons that people who don’t understand depression are annoying to be around. When you fuck with my people, you fuck with me....  continue reading

Cramps, Bloating and...Suicidal Thoughts? Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Ways to Combat PMDD

Monday, February 23, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under General

PMS doesn’t have an official definition, so anyone can attribute anything to it. Cramping. Bloating. Irritability. Tearfulness over cat videos or commercials. The incessant craving for ice cream. The incessant eating of ice cream. (More here in 5 Ways Your Hormones are Affecting Your Brain).

But Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a completely different beast. And it is a beast. It disrupts the daily lives of women, decreases their ability to function and at worst can tear families apart. I know. It happened to mine. But we’ll get into that in a minute. 

Despite the seriousness of the issue, the drug companies kinda fucked us up and made everyone and their mother pretty sure they have it through clever drug marketing. This has led to a great deal of potentially dangerous misconceptions. 

So let’s clear this up shall we?...  continue reading

Living With Dying

Thursday, February 19, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

A cancer diagnosis changes everything. 

"Emotional roller coaster" is a phrase that does little justice to the upheaval one feels after diagnosis with a major illness, terminal or not. And the fear. So much fear. While many have thoughts about whether there will be pain or how long they have, worry about the loved ones left behind is a huge source of worry, particularly for parents. So I have invited a friend to share her experience with metastatic breast cancer. Cancer is messy, but there are ways to cope. For more insight on dealing with a cancer diagnosis, check out Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person, A Breast Cancer Alphabet and My Cancer Mommy....  continue reading

"F*ck This Shit": Female Veterans, Trauma, Informed Consent and Working Towards Something Better

Monday, February 16, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under General

War comes at a great cost to the people who fight. 

We are great at programming people to be soldiers. At this point, we can adjust the brain at will in order to make sure that the people we send to fight our battles will do what we need them to, to protect American interests. 

But we suck terribly at reintegrating people. I’ve seen men hang on desperately to the notion that, “All Commies are the devil,” because they needed to believe it lest they recognize that they murdered women and children who could have been theirs. I have also seen the ones who recognized that these things were not true reduced to such horrendous guilt that they were never able to function again. 

This is the real cost of war. Sure it’s about money and about political interests and a whole lot of other shit, but the price we pay is too high to justify it unless we assume that the “greater good” outweighs the lives of the people who volunteer to protect these interests. Which for the most part, we do as a nation. And, for the most part, veterans assume that their ultimate sacrifice is  for something greater than themselves, and they face this with trepidation but ultimately nobility. 

But this post isn’t about whether it’s worth it to us as a nation. It’s about informed consent. Because while these men and women go in with the knowledge that they might die, they are not often informed that the emotional issues acquired during their stints may persist throughout the rest of their lives....  continue reading

Why Doesn't He Want Me? When Your Drive Is Higher Than His

Thursday, February 12, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

Anyone who has ever been turned down for sex has some feelings around it. Women who are denied feel rejected and unattractive. We get frustrated, sexually and otherwise. We may also feel anxious, as if the relationship is threatened. This is based on an evolutionarily relevant drive to have sex as a way to increase attachment and reaffirm bonds (and if you want to learn more about that, check out The Evolution of Desire, The Anatomy of Love or Mothers and Others).

In short, we don’t always want to high-tail it to the closet for some solo fun with the magic bullet or rascally rabbit (and if you don’t know what those are, you should). Sometimes, we want the connection, the closeness. We want a partner. This whole reaffirming bond thing may be why couples who have more sex have more marital satisfaction even when they have less than ideal communication skills otherwise1.

But it’s a bigger issue than immediate hurt feelings and a little argument over him not being in the mood. Conflicts over intimacy tend to be recurrent and ongoing2 which does not lead to happier relationships overall. And this issue is heightened, with more anger and aggression, when one or both partners is depressed, especially if it’s the husband2

And when it’s the wife who has a higher drive, we have a few other issues to contend with....  continue reading