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Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 166 166

I'm glad you found something that works for you.

This is a good meta-study, diving into guesswork and hypothesis on mechanisms of depression. Here's some science. TL;DR: pills, long-term (24 month), have over a 3/4 relapse rate; cognitive therapy, discontinued after 4 months, show just over 50% relapse in total after 24 months. Initially, PILLS ARE EXACTLY AS EFFECTIVE, IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, AS COGNITIVE THERAPY. Exactly as effective. You can do absolutely no worse without drug therapy than you can by just talking to depressed people to make them feel better, and you do far better by talking to them and telling them how to get over it.

In a more recent CT -ADM placebo-controlled comparison, 240 severely depressed patients were randomized to ADM (n=120), CT (n=60) or a (pill) placebo control (n=60) treatment.

Big, randomized trial of people with ungodly hell depression (monopolar).

At the end of the 16-week treatment phase of the study, there were no differences in outcome between ADM and CT, with 58% of patients in both treatment groups meeting the criteria for ‘response’. Curiously, there was no indication that the two treatments affected different symptom clusters of depression: patients treated with either ADM or CT showed comparable rates of change of both cognitive and vegetative symptoms of depression.

Cognitive therapy (therapist nicely telling you how to get over it) is about exactly as effective in exactly the same way as taking pills. YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!

In the continuation phase of the recent CT versus ADM study, patients who responded to 16 weeks of ADM were randomly assigned to either continue the treatment or change to a (pill) placebo condition. Patients who responded to 16 weeks of CT were withdrawn from treatment and allowed no more than three booster sessions (never more than one per month) during the first year of the follow-up period.

We took their meds away, and kicked all the therapy people out of therapy. Kept half the pill-heads on pills as a control, switched the other half to sugar pills, and didn't tell anyone.

As shown in FIG. 2, 76% of the ADM responders relapsed following medication withdrawal, compared with only 31% of the patients who had been treated with CT. Patients who continued ADM also fared better than patients who were assigned to the placebo treatment, with a relapse rate of 47% (which did not differ significantly from the 31% relapse rate in the CT group). After the continuation phase had ended, the patients who had not relapsed while on ADM were withdrawn from medication. Of these patients, 54% experienced a recurrence (the onset of a new depressive episode), compared with only 17% of the patients who had previously been given CT.

Like 3/4 of the pill-heads became severely depressed once we took the pills away; about 1/3 of the CT people had the same trouble. Half the people who stayed on pills relapsed, although in this study that's roughly equivalent (i.e. assume 47% == 31%): STAYING ON PILLS IS THE SAME AS QUITTING YOUR THERAPY AFTER 4 MONTHS. Of the pill users who didn't relapse, half of them relapsed after we took their meds away

Overall, just a hair under 50% of the patients who had CT for 4 months and then quit were, at 24 months, still cured. Just under 25% of patients who had drugs for 12 months came out of the 24 month period without having another depressive episode. Just under 10% of sugar pill patients were doing fine, no drugs and no therapy.

Drugs are facilitating: they provide you a baseline of feeling, which can help retrain your brain to behave in this new way by restricting its undesirable behavior. That can help; in the most extreme cases, drugs are *required*, because you simply can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if your head is six feet under the muck; knee-deep in the muck is a different story, and this shit was tried on people who were *chest*-deep in muck. What people need, by and large, are *tools*: they need mental techniques and training to reform their brains. Some of us go slack and let ourselves get back into bad habits; continued follow-up sessions can provide a sort of tune-up if you want to be lazy like that.

Notate what I said about training executive functions:

Both CT and ADM probably affect limbic and prefrontal circuitry, although their proximal mechanisms of action might differ. A primary goal of CT is to replace automatic emotional reactivity with more-controlled processing. CT might thus increase inhibitory executive control, helping to interrupt or dampen automatic limbic reactions. In fact, functions of the PFC that are impaired in depression, such as task-related direction of attention, willful regulation of emotional responses, and reappraisal, are the focus of therapeutic activity in CT.

Do this like I do: think about it introspectively. You've sat in front of the TV and ate Cheetohs, thinking about how you're gonna get fat if you keep eating junk, and about how you should really clean the house... and just continued watching TV. You know that feeling. Your self-monitoring system is working--you know you're doing it wrong--but your initiation system has failed you: you have the intellectual understanding that you should get up and do a different thing, and you ... don't. That's executive function: you need to override your feelings, your emotions, your impulses, and command execution of an impulse across your brain. You can train this into yourself; procrastination and distraction train this out.

I'm sure you can see that when you reflect on it. Take that reflection and go find science. Science talks about this a lot. It's how we treat retards, like those people with asperger's, so they can function exactly like normal human beings--you didn't think they were hopelessly broken, did you? It's how we turn mundane, poverty-stricken children into visionary geniuses and executive-management material. It's what people crudely recognize and work to improve when something so shocking happens in their lives that they must stop the pain and the damage to their self-esteem by putting their lives back together. It may be the most minor of things if you're pretty well-off mentally, but it's there, and you'll find a defect in those functions somewhere; we're all lacking a bit.

It's the same system we muck about with when we train anxiety and depression out of people. If pure cognitive therapy works for you, continuously, then it's a matter of training: you can handle relapses by putting yourself on therapy maintenance, taking booster sessions as needed, and constantly trying to ween yourself away from them. This is one of the rare cases where you can make yourself stronger; that's not common, just like we know weening yourself off Synthroid pills won't make your thyroid man the fuck up and get working properly. The fact that just over half of people relapse eventually in two years with only THREE SESSIONS between 4 and 12 months and NONE after 12 months should plainly tell you to try more therapy, since it apparently works for 90% of cases for those first 4 months (which, by the way, I dislike: I want an experiment like this where booster sessions are freely available for the full 2 years).

I guess you just like to watch people suffer, and have no high ideals. The right way, the effective way, to do things isn't important; throwing a tantrum about your feels is more important than helping people.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 166 166

Ugh, then you are the worst kind of clinical depression sufferer. You found an out and you still don't have empathy for the others who haven't.

I found a pattern, I found others following the same pattern, and I found international research showing that the pattern is known to science. I've also found that the scientific understanding of depression and its treatments are in the same class as the scientific understanding of global warming: while science has less than perfect understanding of either, it is those with a vested interest in denial who wholesale deny such things could possibly be real, in the face of all evidence and scientific consensus. They look outside and say, "See, it is cold! Climate change is not real!" and they say, "See, I feel bad! You must simply not understand how I feel!"

Bullshit. Some do, others detest feeling helpless. I think this is a mantra you tell yourself to enhance your own self worth.

It is a piece of scientifically-well-known psychiatric behavior. You will find respected medical literature at the heart of what has been called "Psychic illness in the need for attention and love"--how outdated a term, "Psychic"--to what is now explained as "Psychosomatic illness as a subconscious behavior to fill the need of self-importance". All humans require a feeling of self-worth to survive; all humans will become clinically depressed without a defining feeling of importance.

The mind can manifest physical illness, just as electromagnetic transmission antennas cause certain people to develop rashes, digestive problems, respiratory diseases, headaches, and other independently-observable symptoms of real, tangible nature, even though the transmitter is an unpowered hunk of metal producing no electromagnetic radiation. We have long studied this as a manifestation of the human need for attention, and refined that, eventually, into a need for an individual sense of importance; yet it becomes an opaque leap of logic to say a person may feel bad due to anxiety over a need for attention, a need to feel important.

It seems more logical to assume that a person may develop mental illnesses in response to a great injury of the psyche, damaging their sense of self-importance. Psychiatric literature has notated many defects in the operating brain when dealing with insanity; yet still observes that a great bulk of the insane show no physical trauma--that their mental state is wholly self-inflicted, a concoction of the mind causing changes in the brain's production of neurotransmitters purely by function of the brain, not by damage. The greatest proportion of the patently insane have developed delusions to comfort themselves in the face of extreme emotional trauma. What nonsense, then, is it to claim that such emotional issues would not cause lesser mental defects?

A human who suffers anxiety must come to terms with that anxiety. Persons with depression lash out at those around them for claiming it's all in their heads, fighting against the very idea that it may be their own fault; and why not? If it were their own fault, they would have to feel bad about it. They may not want to look helpless in the eyes of their peers, but they certainly want to feel that they've not brought this terrible suffering upon themselves by concocting an imaginative fantasy within the bosoms of their minds. They want to feel the weight of a terrible burden that was placed upon them, not of their own actions which they may remediate at any time.

you denigrate those who can't muscle their way out of depression like you did

It is simple technique, not brute force. You draw a stylized illustration in which a person's powerful brain--my great, super-genius-level intellect--hammers its way through the blockages and stands victorious upon the rubble of those things which thought laughably to impede it. The truth is the difficulties are an annoyance and nothing more: a person must first install a self-monitoring system, realizing at the point of action what they are doing--what they are thinking--and the act of thinking and feeling is so autonomous that you can easily forget to take your attention to what you are thinking and feeling. It is not strength--not intellectual greatness--but reminder at precisely the right time.

This is not conjecture; this is clear, researched, well-accepted science. The same science specifies cognitive therapies for ADHD and autism to develop social and intellectual habits which route around the mental defect, inherent or acquired. I have the force of 98% of psychiatric scientists behind me; most importantly, I have the most effective position, the one which helps remove the suffering from the most people, while you hold the opinion which helps no one out of the long journey of human suffering they have learned to call life. Stamp your foot all you want, but do it out of the way of people who can actually help.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 166 166

Yup, that's usually what people who don't suffer from clinical depression usually say...."GET OVER IT".

I'm in the 9% of people who can use SAM-e to move from a depressive state to a hypomanic state. I spent 25 years not realizing I was depressed because I never hit baseline; alcohol actually shuts off the depression hard, putting me in a normalized state. Very small quantities of alcohol.

I eventually learned, through introspection, that the trigger was simple: any small problem causing an emotional slip had a limited finite range. Once below the shallow floor, I would fall continuously: a minor negative emotion would make me feel slightly down, while a slightly-less-minor negative emotion became an infinitely major negative emotion. It ran down, down, down the rabbit hole, propelled by its own means, outside my own action and violently opposed to my own grip of enforcement. A small shot of alcohol arrested this process for days: one ounce of rum and such negative feelings produced only a finite-bound feeling of negativity, at least for the next few days.

When I realized what was happening, when I framed it as such, I put a stop to it. For a while, I would recognize when the negative emotions started rolling away on their own, when they had hit the tipping point and gone into the descent to madness; I refused to allow them to do so, swallowing a knot of vomit-inducing depression and demanding my mind function on a rational basis, being quite capable of understanding where the emotions should have stopped even when I had no control over them. The very act stalled the collapse, failing to stop it but not letting it fall so fast toward infinity, and perhaps not so far.

These days I don't have such anxieties. Constant vigilance has reprogrammed my own internal understanding of emotional events. The mechanisms moderating my emotions now eschew the amplification behavior entirely; likewise, I have trained myself to have quite advanced deep-set anxiety management, and so am resistant to general anxiety on a subconscious level. In that respect, at least, I stand head-and-shoulders above most individuals, among an elite group of persons throughout history who have trained themselves to respond well when faced with anxiety; a mere side-effect of correcting the mechanism causing my clinical neurosis.

I am now trying to re-train my executive functions, because I never functioned well at baseline. Extreme depression somehow provided a better mental working environment; hypomania was also good. Without anxiety, I feel lethargic--no drive. There was a price to pay, but I will install new habits. My pattern of procrastination is both my own fault and a matter of physical brain chemistry, and the cure to my clinical laziness is simply to get over it and force myself to build new, corrected habits; whining that I have some internal issue with my brain won't get anything done, although I recognize the root cause of non-anxiety pathological procrastination--laziness--as a similar pathology to depression.

Humans enjoy making themselves helpless. It is an ancient trick: become an invalid to make yourself feel important, so that others will sympathize with you, and so that you can criticize those who do not sympathize with you. I have always hated the attentions of others; I respond poorly to praise and sympathy, and have tended to show others how simple all things are, and to hide my own pains and upsets to draw less attention. Perhaps this made it easier for me; my peers, however, have escaped their long troubles of anxiety in much the same way, and those who have not prefer to simply ignore all their previously-depressed friends in the same way alcoholics ignore their former drinking buddies, consistently doing no more than complain that they have problems none of us can understand--claiming that, obviously, we don't have the same problems, because we got better, and they have not. They simply desire their pathos.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 166 166

Depression is so misunderstood because people with depression insist that they have an invisible disease they can't magically get over, and drug companies pander to this by hooking people on Xanax and Zoloft. In developed countries--outside of third-world United States--we routinely treat anxiety and depression with great success: drugs might handle the most serious symptoms up-front, but cognitive therapies provide the long-term changes. Essentially, a licensed psychiatrist talks to you a bunch, and trains you to GET OVER IT.

More specifically, a great deal of mood-driven and mind-driven mental disorders are caused or controllable by mental behaviors. You can improve on ADHD by training your executive functioning system to employ better self-monitoring, initiation, and inhibition, which gives you firm control over your attention system (this also makes normal people smarter); on the other hand, developing a habit of procrastination and distraction by immersing yourself in TV, video games, and Facebook will create ADHD-like behavior, which you can train out in the same way. Anxiety and depression, similarly, require training your self-monitoring and initiation systems to recognize negative thought behaviors (neurosis) and adjust them by limiting mood decay; we have also observed individuals falling into depression from high-stress, leading to anxiety, leading to depression. These major mental disorders can stem from internal issues or external pressures; in either case, the patient can only manage them by self-driven mental behavior management.

Small-business owners of course face a lot of stress. It's no surprise they become depressed and suicidal.

Comment: Re:I see the problem now (Score 1) 116 116

You still assert that inputting an encryption key into a process is massively complex. It's not like they're performing mathematical key scheduling by hand; they have to enter a fucking password, or provide a key file from a USB drive kept with the back-ups.

This is the bar you set: someone is going to be too stupid to insert USB dongle with key. Restoring back-ups with Amanda is no trivial task; it's not rocket surgery, but it's not "turn the computer on and smile". There will be instructions, tape ordering, direction of which data to restore where, etc. Bacula is a better package at least, but same deal: there's not a one-button DR. The only people who have one-button DR have pre-built warm sites ready to go at all times.

Comment: Re:This isn't as good as it sounds (Score 1) 106 106

Ah, okay. It has actual weaknesses. I had for a long time only heard of protocol weaknesses: RC4 implemented without HMAC, with the key and IV scheduled a certain way, appending a nonce instead of hashing it, has many weaknesses; such statements are ridiculous, because everything implemented poorly has weaknesses (this is why we have key exchange protocols, and VPNs which generate a random RSA key per session and are thus completely insecure). It looks like RSA has some key recovery weaknesses you can't mitigate by a proper protocol.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 1) 340 340

No, I live in a country that's based around whiners and morons being whiners and morons. This kind of shit is where that comes from; unlike in the UK, where someone puts "Ramadan" next to a stack of bacon, and a Muslim goes, "Oh, that's funny," and nobody gets their panties in a twist. Here someone says fucking "eenie meenie minie moe" and gets sued for $3.5M.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 1) 340 340

How is this not their fault? They clearly didn't test their software properly.

They may have tested it with hundreds or thousands of photos available on Picasa and not had it tag anyone "Canus Lupus Homus Sapius Chimpanzeeus", and then released it and in a week had someone take a picture at their wedding and get tagged "Chimpanzees". If your face is hard, deeply-wrinkled, and sporting a bolt-on pair of enormous, leathery ears, it might tag you as a monkey; I think I've encountered exactly one person in my life who looked like that, so it's not surprising it'd miss him in testing. Maybe they're not Aerosmith or International prison fans.

You sound like the kid who demands a trophy for participation.

You mean like someone who found a software do something unexpected and demanded it get bandied about the news while a multi-billion-dollar company makes an apology? "I took a picture with my phone and it went OOK! OOK! at me lol I should be famous now!"

Cat detected. Stop being such a pussy.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 2) 340 340

Hm, so, you're saying if you wrote some software that has undesired, incorrect behavior that could easily be considered deeply insulting and someone told you about it or even-gasp-complained,

I would assume they're ridiculous. There's a difference between, "Oh, that's not quite right" and "OMG LOOK AT THIS HORRID! YOU MUST APOLERGIZE!" This is an unremarkable bug, not a sleight against anyone; an apology has no context, aside from patting someone on the head and placating them for being retards.

I'm sure that when a bad outcome comes about, despite your behavior and decision-making clearly having been perfect, your response will be polite and professional.

It might be, but it won't be an apology. When people start rallying and screaming on my Facebook page because 85% of people who watched Planet of the Apes also watched a Martin Luther King documentary and my auto-recommender paired "Martin Luther King: I Have a Dream" with "Planet of the Apes", I'm of course going to tell them they're all idiots.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 3, Insightful) 340 340

This is kind of like being hit in the arm by a baseball as you are walking by your neighbor's yard.

It's kind of like being hit in the arm by a baseball THAT YOU IMAGINED, BUT WHICH DOESN'T ACTUALLY EXIST, as you are walking by your neighbor's yard.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 5, Insightful) 340 340


Let's see, we'll do this completely-innocent thing, which is hard, but helps society. Suddenly, hard thing does some harmless,amusing, not-entirely-predicted thing, and people whine about it. OMG, LET'S LEGITIMIZE THEIR STUPIDITY AS A VALID OPINION!

No, you're admitting fault here for something that is NOT YOUR FAULT. You're admitting bad behavior and bad decisions for something that was good behavior and good decision-making, but produced a bad outcome.

THIS IS WHY WE HAVE SHIT SCHOOL SYSTEMS!!! If we have 60% success rate and improve the school system by broad, visible measures to give a better education and improve to an 85% success rate, 15% OF PEOPLE WILL CRY THAT OUR NEW EDUCATION SYSTEM FUCKED OVER THEIR KIDS! Someone will point to all the failures, create a collage, and claim we're totally incompetent!

The appropriate response to bitchwhining about this non-issue is to tell people to stop fucking whining.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955