Friday, December 02, 2005

all's fair in …

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

side effects

I saw an ad for Wellbutrin XL, an antidepressant. When I suffered from depression, I took it for only about a month, as the side effects were troubling — it made me feel worse. Not long after that, the media was full of stories about extremely bad side effects in children and adolescents.

So, I saw this ad. Happy people frolicked in bright meadows and other such bullshit, as per normal. What struck me was the list of side effects. In it, the announcer plainly said that Wellbutrin XL sometimes increases suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adolescents. I checked their Web site, and the following is now at the beginning of the prescribing information:

Suicidality in Children and Adolescents

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of WELLBUTRIN XL or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. WELLBUTRIN XL is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use.)

Pooled analyses of short-term (4 to 16 weeks) placebo-controlled trials of 9 antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders (a total of 24 trials involving over 4,400 patients) have revealed a greater risk of adverse events representing suicidal thinking or behavior (suicidality) during the first few months of treatment in those receiving antidepressants. The average risk of such events in patients receiving antidepressants was 4%, twice the placebo risk of 2%. No suicides occurred in these trials.

I'm glad that other people will know about it now. It's pretty shitty for your medicine to make you sicker.

Monday, November 28, 2005

we're a misunderstood bunch

"Researchers using brain scans have found introverts have more brain activity in general, and specifically in the frontal lobes. When these areas are activated, introverts are energized by retrieving long-term memories, problem solving, introspection, complex thinking and planning." — Experts: Introverted youth have deep roots for behavior

"How many people are introverts? … 'a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population.'" — Caring for Your Introvert: The habits and needs of a little-understood group

And finally, a joke: How you can tell an extrovert from an introvert at the NSA? In the elevators, the extroverts look at the other guy's shoes.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

the look on his face

This year, one boy will receive under his tree the ARC-170 Starfighter from Episode III. There's a dial on the back of the ship that opens the wings into attack position, and it comes with three stormtroopers and an R2 droid.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 18, 2005

much ado about a do

The last time I had my hair cut was almost a year ago for my co-op interviews. I've been mulling what to do with my hair now. I will have interviews for my next co-op job — I hope — in December and January. So, on the one hand, I want it to be clear to potential employers that I am brilliant and responsible and all things good and wonderful.

On the other hand, I've got a girlfriend who loves my hair. As a matter of fact, she said she can't even remember me without long hair. Everytime I mention the possibility of a haircut, she begs me not to do so.

This brings us to today. With a rubber band and patience, I managed to put my hair up into a very small ponytail. Actually, because it's so small and curly, I think it more closely resembles the topknot of a samurai.

I'd like to know what you all think. I wish I could show you a picture of my hair right now, but I don't have a digital camera, which would be a great Christmas idea. Just try to imagine really hard.