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Newsletter Vol. #86 Thats How I See It!

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018!

How are you coping with the cold snap? I know Drinda and I are staying close to home these days. Apparently it will be getting better after Wed. of the coming week.

Contents: Why no Jail? Why bother memorizing phone numbers? I needed some Golf stuff; Seasonal Affective Disorder-articles on depression and suicide; Bullshittin (humour)

Any TV shows, movies, articles or books you want to share with us

Why no Jail?

After the recession of 2008 - 09 which greatly effected the US and Canadian economy, there were many articles/books/talk-show that dissected the reason for the depressed economic situation. Many solutions on how to correct the problem were bandied about. One of the most novel solutions I saw was the one where instead of bailing out the banks and companies run by crooked CEOs to the tune of billions of dollars, we give each citizen of the US and Canada a million dollars (350-420 million). With the gift came stipulations such as: the money had to be spent within the country, had to buy a house/ property, and a N. American car. This would get the economy jump-started and save millions, perhaps even billions.

In truth, I know very little about how to get national and world economies jump-started but I did understand the problem that started the whole economic decline was due to corporate greed driven by individuals with no conscience. The shame of it all is that not one person has seen a jail cell because of their shady behaviour!

Up until just recently I did not understand how these crooked money manipulators got away with doing what they did. Recently an article by Jason Kirby clued me in as to why these individuals didn't end up in jail, it has to do with the "Holder Doctrine."

The Holder Doctrine was a policy established by former attorney general Eric Holder in 1999, when he was deputy attorney general of the United States. It held that federal prosecutors had to consider the "collateral consequences" of pursuing criminal charges against companies.

Holder stated, I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with the possibility that if we do prosecute-if we do bring a criminal charge-it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.

There you have it, the individuals can't be prosecuted because the institutions they represent are so large and if brought down the financial ripples could affect the national/world economy.

I guess, "Big is Better!" No it just protects the crooks better.

Telephone: 542-6073 or was it 706-6037?

Why bother memorizing phone numbers? What's the point when they are stored in your smart phone, and that's with you wherever you go?

90 per cent of people surveyed, according to the Kaspersky report, reported they used the Internet instead of their own brain. A journal article in Science stated when people expect to have access to information online they are less likely to remember the actual facts, but are more likely to remember how to find them. We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found.

I don't suppose that's all bad seeing as there is just too much to remember. I read that the volume of information being produced equals the total amount every two years (don't quote me on this statistic-but its close). Apparently, the new way of looking at information is not how much can I know or remember but rather where can I look to access this information.


Save Our Marriage
Seems that after 30 years of marriage, the romance and love just isn't what it used to be for John and Jane. In an attempt to salvage what they can, Jane convinces her husband to see a marriage counsellor with her.
The counsellor first asks Jane what she feels the problem is. Before he can even finish his sentence, she goes into a tirade listing every single problem the couple has ever had, even before things went south. She goes on and on for nearly an hour and finishes in tears.
The counsellor gets up from his couch, walks over to Jane, embraces her and begins to kiss her passionately. The woman immediately quiets down and sits there in a daze.

The counsellor then turns to John and says, "Your wife needs this at least three times a week. For the sake of your marriage, can you do this?"

The husband ponders for a moment and then replies, "I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I play golf."

Tis the season for Manitoba's favourite malady--Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD runs the gamut from fatigue to severe depression. So I thought I would cheer you up (not) with the following two articles on depression and one on suicide to help understand what happens when depression is left unchecked, a small per cent of the time it can lead to suicide.

Are Too Many People Being Diagnosed With Depression?

Too many people are being diagnosed with depression when all they really are is unhappy, says Australian psychiatrist Professor Gordon Parker

In an article in the British Medical Journal, Parker claims that the current threshold for what is considered clinical depression is too low.

Parker conducted a study, which included 242 teachers who were followed for a period of fifteen years. During that time, more than three-quarters of them were found to meet the criteria for clinical depression. These criteria include having a "Low mood" for more than two weeks combined with appetite change, sleep disturbance, and drop in libido and fatigue.

Parker says that having such a low threshold for diagnosing clinical depression creates the risk of taking the normal ups and downs of living and treating them as an illness. He argues that treating these individuals will not be effective because there is nothing wrong with them.

I tend to agree somewhat with the professor's statement. Occasionally feeling sad in response to your circumstances is a normal part of living. Emotional pain can be a signal that we need to make some changes in our lives. If you touch a hot pan and get burned, do you take a painkiller to deaden the pain or do you learn from your mistake and use a potholder next time? By medicalizing normal emotions we take the emphasis off finding solutions for our problems and put it on taking a pill so we don't feel bad anymore. Taking a pill might be easier, but is it the most sensible approach?
This is not to say that some people some of the time, and some people all of the time need medication to deal with their depression.

Men and Depression

Today the majority of people being treated for depression are women. But 75 per cent of those who commit suicide were men. Men however, suffer silently from undiagnosed and untreated depression. Women seek help, men die.

Why are men so reluctant to accept the fact that they are depressed and in need of treatment? It's probably the North American culture where men are supposed to be strong, in control, and able to restrain their emotions. Men keep their feelings hidden and are more likely to talk about the physical symptoms of depression such as tiredness, sleeplessness and stress at work. In certain refuse to believe that depression is the reason for their lack of sexual desire. Men seek refuge in alcohol, and careers fail, marriages break down, loneliness sets in, and all too often suicide results.

If the present trends continue, according to a Harvard university study, depression will disable more working people in the world, over the next 20 years, than AIDS, cancer and heart disease combined.

There's Nothing Selfish About Suicide
I am a survivor of suicide.
I don't talk about it a lot these days, as I've reached the point where it feels like a lifetime ago. Healing was a long and grief-stricken process. There were times when I felt very alone in my grief and there were times when I felt lost and confused. The trouble with suicide is that no one knows what to say. No one knows how to react. So they smile and wave and attempt distraction... but they never ever say the word. The survivors, it seems, are often left to survive on their own.
I experienced endless waves of emotion in the days, weeks, months and even years following the loss of my father. The "what ifs" kept me up at night, causing me to float through each day in a state of perpetual exhaustion. What if I had answered the phone that night? Would the sound of my voice have changed his mind? Would he have done it at a later date, anyway? Survivor's guilt, indeed.
Sometimes, I cried. Sometimes, I sat perfectly still watching the waves crash down on Main Beach, hoping for a sign of some kind that he had reached a better place. Sometimes, I silently scolded myself for not seeing the warning signs. Sometimes, I bargained with God or anyone else who might be in charge up there. Bring him back to us. Please, just bring him back. Sometimes I felt angry. Why us? Why me? Why him?
Yes, I experienced a range of emotions before making peace with the loss. But one thought that never ever (not even for one second) crossed my mind was this ill-informed opinion that suicide is selfish. Suicide is a lot of things, but selfish isn't one of them.
Suicide is a decision made out of desperation, hopelessness, isolation and loneliness. The black hole that is clinical depression is all consuming. Feeling like a burden to loved ones, feeling like there is no way out, feeling trapped and feeling isolated are quite common feelings felt by people who suffer from depression.
People who say that suicide is selfish always reference the survivors. It's selfish to leave children, spouses and other family members behind, so they say. They're not thinking about the survivors, or so they would have us believe. What they don't know is that those very loved ones are the reason many people hang on for just one more day. They do think about the survivors, probably up until the very last moment in many cases. But the soul-crushing depression that envelops them leaves them feeling like there is no alternative. Like the only way to get out is to opt out. And that is a devastating thought to endure.
Until you've stared down that level of depression, until you've lost your soul to a sea of emptiness and darkness... you don't get to make those judgments. You might not understand it, and you are certainly entitled to your own feelings, but making those judgments and spreading that kind of negativity won't help the next person. In fact, it will only hurt others.
As the world mourns the loss of Robin Williams, people everywhere are left feeling helpless and confused. How could someone who appeared so happy in actuality be so very depressed? The truth is that many, many people face the very same struggle each and every day. Some will commit suicide. Some will attempt. And some will hang on for dear life. Most won't be able to ask for the help that they need to overcome their mental illness.
You can help.
Know the warning signs for suicide. 50-75% of people who attempt suicide will tell someone about their intention. Listen when people talk. Make eye contact. Convey empathy. And for the love of people everywhere, put down that ridiculous not so SmartPhone and be human.
Check in on friends struggling with depression. Even if they don't answer the phone or come to the door, make an effort to let them know that you are there. Friendship isn't about saving lost souls; friendship is about listening and being present.
Reach out to survivors of suicide. Practice using the words "suicide" and "depression" so that they roll off the tongue as easily as "unicorns" and "bubble gum." Listen as they tell their stories. Hold their hands. Be kind with their hearts. And hug them every single time.
Encourage help. Learn about the resources in your area so that you can help friends and loved ones in need. Don't be afraid to check in over and over again. Don't be afraid to convey your concern. One human connection can make a big difference in the life of someone struggling with mental illness and/or survivor's guilt.
It's time to raise awareness, increase empathy and kindness--It's time to talk about suicide and depression.
Article inspired by a blog in HuffPost's blog

One in four Winnipeggers was diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder over the last 5 years.

"While it is well-known that exercise improves mood, among other benefits, not as much is known about the potency of exercise's impact on emotional state and whether these positive effects endure when we're faced every day stressors once we leave the gym," explains J. Carson Smith, "We found that exercise helps to buffer the affects of emotional exposure. If you exercise, you'll not only reduce your anxiety, you'll be better able to maintain that reduced anxiety when confronted emotional events."


A young man with his pants hanging half off his bum, two gold front teeth & a half-inch thick gold chain around his neck, walked into the local welfare office to pick up his check.

He marched up to the counter and said, "Hi. You know, I just HATE drawing welfare. I'd really rather have a job. I don't like taking advantage of the System, getting something for nothing."

The social worker behind the counter said, "Your timing is excellent. We just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants a chauffeur and bodyguard for his beautiful daughter.
You'll have to drive around in his 2017 Mercedes-Benz CL & he will supply all of your clothes." "Because of the long hours, meals will be provided. You'll also be expected to escort the daughter on her overseas holiday trips.
This is rather awkward but you will also have to satisfy her sexual urges as the daughter is in her 20's and has a strong sex drive."
The guy, wide-eyed, said, "You're bullshittin' me???"

The social worker said, "Yeah, well . . . you started it."

Get 2018 started on the right foot-give someone a helping hand that needs it and give yourself some positive strokes for doing that.

Any feedback for me?