May 28th, 2013

House religion psychosis

QotD: Crazy

We are all, to some extent, crazy. If you come to know any human being well enough, you eventually gain access to the basement where the traumas and wounds and deprivations are stored; rummage in there for a while, and you begin to understand the neuroses and fixations that shape his or her personality. The successful, reasonably happy people I've known are nuts in a way that works for them. Those who struggle and suffer fail to turn their preoccupations to some meaningful use. Next week, the American Psychiatric Association release the latest version of its bible of mental illnesses, the DSM-5, which catalogs about 300 categories of crazy. Critics of all kinds have lined up to assail this dictionary of disorders as subjective and lacking in scientific validity--assembled primarily to justify the prescribing of pills of dubious value.

About 50 percent of the population, the APA admits, will have one of its listed disorders at some point in their lives. Shy, like Emily Dickinson? You have "avoidant personality disorder." Obsessed with abstractions and numbers? You have "autistic spectrum disorder," like Isaac Newton. Suffer form "narcissistic personality disorder," with some hypersexuality thrown in? You must be a politician. To be skeptical of these neat categories isn't to deny that minds get broken, stuck, or lost, and need help finding their way out of misery. But psychotherapy remains an art, not a science; there is no bright line between nuts or not. If you're an old lady who lives amid piles of newspapers and personal treasures, you have "hoarding disorder." If you're a CEO who exploits sweatshop labor to pile up countless billions, you're on the cover of Forbes.


--William Faulk (editor-in-chief) in The Week, May 24, 2013 issue.
part of the solution

Biochemistry of Boozin'

absorption iz stomach (25%)
metabolized to acetaldehyde by stomach and LI
rate limiting enzyme: gastric alcohol dehydrogenase
men have more of it than women, per pound body wt
metabolism of ethanol-->acetaldehyde-->acetate
one NAD+-->NADH with each of above oxidation rxns
drinking binge w/o food intake-->high NADH relative to NAD
and of course you remember that NADH is made from niacin, vitamin B3
alcohol abuse is the most common cause of thiamine deficiency, B1

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