Friday, May 29, 2015

Hip hop and mental health--not what you'd expect

There is a group in Britain called Hip-Hop Psych, which tackles mental health issues through the music of hip hop. They published a paper in Lancet Psychiatry. (Medical News Today, written by David McNamee)

Kendrick Lamar is a rapper from Compton, CA, who has released three albums since 2011. His "To Pimp a Butterfly" is the number one album of 2015 so far.

The group contends that hip hop lyrics go beyond swearing, money lust, and exploitation of women.

Instead, the music is rich with mental health references to addiction, psychosis, conduct disorder, borderline personality disorder, bipolarity, and other ailments.

They cite a Lamar song called "Swimming Pools," about Lamar's hard-drinking grandfather--citing genetic and environmental risk factors for alcoholism.

Another song, called "i," addresses Lamar's belief in God and how this has helped him overcome traumatic circumstances.

So maybe "the kids" won't see a psychiatrist or pick up a psych book, but they might get a different viewpoint from a song.

We have a lot of hip hop playing around here--some of it is very unimaginative in the cursing and dumbed-down words, but it is also catchy...and there may be a message in there someplace.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wow--just realized I am a shut-in

 I used to run a group for people who worked at home--I ironically called it The Shut-Ins. Now, I realize, I am not so ironically, a real shut-in. We have no car, my mobility is limited, the cabs are those stupid Prius things you can't get in.

I am a grease spot on the sidewalk of life. And I am not alone.

A recent study from Johns Hopkins, published in the J of American Medical Assn, said shut-ins are nearly invisible.

The homebound population is 50% larger than the population in nursing homes. Only 11% get medical care at home--the rest receive next to none or none.

I HAVE been wondering how I can get to the doctor in Sept to get my meds renewed.

Completely homebound people tend to be older, female, non-white and have less education that non-homebound people. Usually they have been hospitalized in the last year.  

Medicare defines homebound by a number of criteria. The Hopkins people are behind an intervention called CAPABLE--for Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living fro Elders.

I am not quite to that point-my daughter lives here. But things can change. If you know someone living alone, check  in sometimes.

There was a terrible story on the news about a man released from cancer treatment in the hospital who called the police and said could someone bring me a sandwich--I can't get out of this "damned chair." The dispatcher brought him a bag of groceries on her own dime and now he has visiting nurse checkins. Still--awful story.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Can it be--not all women love the skinny models

I think there may be a gradual sea change happening as we become more well upholstered, shall we say?

Some men want to date models, with their coathanger ranginess, but others are more into the Kardashian backporch and curves.

Baylor did a study--A marketing professor there, James Robertsm, PhD, did a study with his daughter, Chloe, a freshman at the Univ of Alabama. It's called "Does Thin Always Sell?"

Advertisers, Roberts says, buy into the thin thing without really looking at other options.

The women in the study were polled as to whether they considered thin to be the "ideal."

Twenty-five percent disagreed with the thin ideal concept, and 45% did not fully subscribe to it.

Then they were shown purse ads--with thin and fleshier models. To those who did not consider thin to be the fallback, model size did not affect the effectiveness of the ad.

They concluded in many cases and with many products an "average size" model might be more effective.

Uh-oh--what is average size? I do look at models in say, Marie Claire, and think, those stork legs, really? Almost deformed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Most dog bites come from family pets

I am actively thinking about getting another dog. I fear tripping, vet bills, trying to get rides to vets, paying the vet who comes to you, etc.

I was not really thinking of getting bitten--although my daughter was once savaged by a pitbull--19 stitches (don't bother writing me that it was the owner, not the dog).

Study in the J of Pediatric Surgery showed that more than 50% of dog bites at Phoenix Children's Hospital were from dogs owned by an immediate family member.

They looked at a 74-mo period between 2007 and 2013--670 dog bites at the hospital. Of this, 282 were severe enough to require a look by a trauma team. Sixty percent required an operation.

Both genders were bitten--but males slightly more often (55%).

The most common patient age was five--but as young as 2.5 years.

28 dog breeds wered involved--most common, pits.

The most common injuries were lacerations on the face, but there were also fractures and injuries to private parts.

They think familiarity with the animal confers a false sense of safety.

--Never leave infants or young children alone with a dog.

--Make sure all dogs in the home are spayed or neutered.

--Train and socialize your pets.

--Keep dogs mentally stimulated--play with them and walk them.

--Teach children appropriate ways to play--not grabbing the dog's food, for instance, or teasing it with food or pulling fur.

My daughter was in her twenties when a friend's pitbull did not want her to nuzzle it and tried to tear off her upper lip.

I am going on Craigs a lot--you would be surprised how many listings say, not good with cats, has to be only pet, not for young children, very energetic, and so on.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Want to look laser sharp this summer?

It's almost bikini time--or maybe tank top time anyway. This means laser treatments for permanent hair removal for some, says Jayme Bashian, director of Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa.

She says laser is more effective, less time-consuming, and less painful than creams, shaving, waxing, and tweezing.

Here is how it works. A low-energy laser directs light to the target area. The heat is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the bulb of each hair follicle. This damages the follicle so it can't grow.  Since dark colors of hair, brown or black, absorb laser light better, this works better on darker hair.

Supposedly this is permanent, although some ligher, finer hair may find its way back. Between three and eight treatments several weeks apart may be needed to get hairs in all stages of growth.

You need to avoid plucking, waxing, and electrolysis as well as sun exposure a few weeks before and after treatment.

During the treatment, a cooling gel may be applied. You may not feel anything but that. The laser is applied several minutes to the upper lip and larger areas.

There may be some redness or swelling for a few hours--apply more lotion. In a couple of weeks, the treated hairs fall out.

Of course, this might not go so smoothly if done by some amateur--you need to be sure it's under the supervision of a properly trained and experienced doctor.

Read that last sentence again. Thank you.