invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

happy post September 9, 2008

Filed under: happiness — clementine @ 12:51 am
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i love pandas. especially baby pandas.
and i thought i needed to lighten things up around here.

They are one of the most endangered animals in the world, but these giant panda cubs are in safe hands.

The babies are being specially cared for by a team of workers at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, in Sichuan Province, China. Scientists at the research base aim to increase the captive population of giant pandas and ultimately reintroduce the distinctive black and white animals to the wild, with the help of artificial breeding.

Some of the panda cubs’ mothers had to transferred to the research base after the devastating earthquake which hit the Sichuan Province on May 12, killing 70,000 people.

Researchers carried out psychological comfort on the pregnant mothers who were traumatised by the quake, which also destroyed vast swathes of their habitat.

There are only around 1,590 pandas living in China, mostly in the Sichuan area and the northwestern provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu. Last year, the number of captive bred giant pandas was 239.

Giant pandas are known for being sexually inactive. Their numbers have been dwindling because of of their shrinking habitat.

Click here for more pictures!

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scary September 5, 2008

Filed under: antipsychotics,big pharma — clementine @ 12:26 pm
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from WebMD:

Seroquel XR, an antipsychotic drug approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, may ease generalized anxiety disorder, new research shows.

Seroquel XR (the “XR” stands for “extended-release”) is approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Its maker, the drug company AstraZeneca, is seeking FDA approval for Seroquel XR as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment.

In the new study, 854 generalized anxiety disorder patients were given either Seroquel XR, Lexapro (a prescription drug approved to treat generalized anxiety disorder and depression), or a placebo without knowing which pill they were receiving.

For eight weeks, the patients took their assigned pills daily. During that time, Seroquel XR and Lexapro beat the placebo at reducing anxiety, according to surveys completed by the patients.

Those improvements started on the fourth day of taking Seroquel XR. Lexapro was “also effective, but improvement was not seen by Day 4,” write the researchers. They included Charles Merideth, MD, of the Affiliated Research Institute Inc., a San Diego company that conducts medication studies for drug companies.

The most common side effects reported in the study were dry mouth, sleepiness, sedation, nausea, dizziness, and headache (with all pills). Constipation and insomnia were also on the list for Seroquel XR; fatigue and diarrhea were common side effects in the Lexapro group.

click here to read the full story.

 

good for you, joe!

Filed under: depression,entertainment news,mental illness,stigma — clementine @ 12:17 pm
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from WENN:

The Sopranos actor Joe Pantoliano headed to the Republican National Convention in Minnesota this week to lobby politicians on behalf of the mentally ill.

The star, who suffers from clinical depression, runs the No Kidding charity, an organization which aims to remove the stigma surrounding brain disease.

Pantoliano campaigned outside the U.S. Republican Party’s annual event – during which Senator John McCain formally accepted his party’s nomination to run for presidency – in a bid to raise awareness and defend sufferers of the illness.

He tells the New York Post’s PageSix, “My mum was bi-polar, and it runs in my family.

“We want to take the sting out of mental illness, so it’s like having diabetes or asthma, so the all-American brain gets the same constitutional privileges as our gallbladder.”

 

a message to sarah palin September 2, 2008

Filed under: 2008 election,life,pain,politics — clementine @ 4:34 pm
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In November 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped. Granting exceptions only if the mother’s life was in danger, Palin said that when it came to her daughter, “I would choose life.”

This is my message to Ms. Palin:

I was brutally raped at 15. It was such a traumatic experience that I completely blocked it from my memory for nearly 4 years. Suddenly (and something did trigger it) moments of that night flooded my mind. I spent years and years in therapy, very little of which was covered by my insurance company.

Oddly enough I wanted to remember the entire evening, I didn’t want the bits and pieces. A therapist told me, “your mind will only remember what you can handle” and I have lived with that reality. I floated through life struggling with that reality for the next 15 years. During those years I was lost and never in a relationship. However, I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I found a great career after much sadness and struggle. And recently, almost 20 years after the rape, I found a man who loves me…a good man.

However, I cannot imagine adding a child to my equation. It was difficult enough living with the memories of that brutal night. It was extremely difficult going through the very long healing phase. If I had become pregnant from that experience, that child would certainly be a reminder of a horrible evening that ended with me in a bathtub, wearing nothing but a bloody t-shirt. That night changed me. A soccer star who quit the team. A smart girl who couldn’t finish college. A girl afraid to sleep at night unless she kept a knife under her mattress. A trusting girl who suddenly trusted no one. If I was forced to raise a child from that experience-I don’t think I would have made it. Suicide would have most definitely been an option. I know some might say that child could have healed me. I beg you to put yourself in my shoes, in any raped girl’s shoes…what if that child had his nose? his mouth? his eyes? those eyes that still haunt my dreams. The fear and pain would never subside. I don’t wish that pain on anyone.

Think about that, Ms. Palin.

p.s. I’m sure your answer would be, your friends, family and your local church would have surrounded you with support and love. I beg to differ. My church-going parents and sister will not talk about my rape. Most of my friends remain silent when I mention it. I feel like the bad guy, imagine how that child would feel??? This is not your choice or the government’s choice. This is a woman’s choice.