I don't have any personal experience on your specific subjects to contribute, but I can point out a few things.
In 2004 there was testimony on Capitol Hill (Wash., D.C./USA) against ECT. It was by a patient and the testimony hinged on ECT doing nothing more than creating a closed head injury. I recall it well and it was damning testimony.
From my readings, it seems that bilateral ECT is downright dangerous.
Carrie Fisher, the actress, has received repeated ECT and states that it wrecks short-term memory, however I assume she accepts this trade-off to improve her overall well-being.
My personal thoughts are:
Don't do anything you are not 100% comfortable doing. If in doubt, don't hesitate to seek a second opinion.
There's a recent study in the US which finds that it often takes 5-10 tries for a patient to find a therapist who is the right "fit". Considering we are all individuals I really don't find this too surprising. But when it comes to the healthcare industry patients/consumers expect if they go to a medical or mental health practitioner then that person should help them -- no questions asked. Many times (more than people realize) this isn't the case. Ask tons of questions and if they don't like questions then this is a red flag to find another doctor.
I realize that your wife has a serious condition of major depressive disorder and the complexities are intricate and personal, but I can say that my time in Germany felt somewhat depressing, which I thought was odd because I tend to be a cheerful and optimistic person and generally enjoy life. But it seemed that there so much there was cold and negative. I can't really explain it, but after I left I honestly chocked my feelings up to one thing: the lack of sunshine. (Even this past winter when we had -13 Fahrenheit / -25 Celsius -- and that's without factoring in the wind, it was still sunny.) In Germany it was dreary, rainy, snowy in October, the clouds were relentless and the people seemed as glum as the weather. It was so strange to feel this mood of the place and (seemingly) the people creep over me. I have to say, I really didn't like this mood at all and I very much noticed it and the difference in myself. After leaving I specifically recall the plane touching down in Philadelphia and it was sunny and bright. It was 80 degrees and by the time I made it west over the mountains the autumn leaves were in their full glory -- the Vermont Sugar Maple Trees are my favorite. I realize telling you this is only my personal experience (and in no way is a general brushstroke statement) and it is indeed trite compared to your wife's ongoing battles, but it amazed me at how a little differences in life such as sunshine can make as to how one feels and one's general outlook on life.
I hope other people respond to your thread. You honestly sound like a caring husband who is doing your absolute best for your wife.
If you can somehow speak with your husband, get 15 minutes of his time where he can let down his "lawyer wall" (a wall I know very well) -- if you can, then in my opinion the only way you can save your marriage is to stop focusing on saving it as a specific goal. Instead search your heart, and if you know you want to spend the rest of your life with this man then you must try to open the doors of communication again by telling him that you're sorry, from the bottom of your heart, and mean it. Many people apologize in a way that is really just a form of self-motivation -- it's about saying they're sorry for what has happened to their own circumstance and because of what they have lost. But that's not a real apology. A genuine apology comes of understanding, compassion and empathy of the other person's perspective and of their loss, without regard to how any outcome effects you, that is to say whether they accept or reject your apology. In other words a real apology comes from sincere altruism and is not for the person apologizing to get something that they want. To do this, to apologize and ask for forgiveness will probably be very hard to do because right now your focus and mindset is on your loss and what he has done to you -- and very likely his mindset is on his own loss and what you have done to him. There's probably plenty of pain and hurt that has been spread around to everyone. If you are able to talk with him, to go this last mile and speak from your heart, and he's willing to listen and and understand, then with communication, slowly, over time, things will get better..., but there needs to be a first step towards healing.
And I realize that my reply may very possibly be unpopular with the other people here. That many might even think that it's groveling and a risk and puts you in a weakened position. To this I can only say that I have never, in my lifetime, found that speaking sincerely from the heart to someone I love and care about has been weakening. On the contrary, it can take mountains of courage and strength, while at the same time is humbling to your very core.
Again, my reply isn't a sure-fire way to save your marriage. It's about taking a first step towards understanding that you're both people with feelings and a family together and then going from there...
I wish you luck. Please let us know how things go.
I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, but also read it online when looking for a specific topic. Here are two links related to Bitcoin.
from 4 days ago (Mar. 21, 2013). "Web Money Gets Laundering Rules"
Note: the readers comments are always informative, if not entertaining to read.
from Aug. 2011
I hope these links work. I don't ever sign in to access WSJ articles, so I hope they are free to all.
As for Bitcoin, it sounds very highly speculative, not even close to a traditional blue-haired lady stock. With the US starting to regulate Bitcoin there may be a gain in momentum and acceptance, but that will take years. It may be a bubble. Or may be the next big thing. Who can say?? Crystal ball, anyone...?
There's a lot of interesting statements in this thread, many of which I've had the completely opposite experience. In any case, if you decide to take the unspoken approach rather than dragging this small misunderstanding under the interrogation lights with a full-blown discussion (seriously, what would the point of that be?), I suggest this subtle and I think more elegant approach. Since you do like this couple and would perhaps like to develop a friendship then next time invite them to your home for a casual get-together. Make it relaxed, yet nicely planned. Arrange the snacks such as fruit, cheese varieties, crackers, nuts and little chocolates etc. on a table and next to it place the number of small sandwich/dessert plates as there are people. After the guests arrive and you offer them their beverages and prepare the drinks everyone should settle in and with the cue of the plates get the idea that the snacks are for all. This will also resolve the situation of everyone either having to dig their hand into a communal snack bowl or use one of those charming, albeit impractical shell-shaped spoons and scoop out just enough that they can hold in their hand, munch it down, then fiddle around to get another scoop. The approach I've described allows each person to select what they want to eat, relax and find a chair so they can enjoy the company of the other people, which after all is what visiting is all about.
Also for what it's worth, rodisi, I don't think I would have known that the bowl of snacks on the table would be for sharing or not. I would assume that it would be, but then that assumption is based on my culture and what you're asking about is another culture and their practices, which is a very wise and thoughtful approach to the situation. We do sound similar in our upbringing. On a very first visit to someone's home I would wait for the host to offer the snacks or make mention of them in any number of subtle ways that have already been said in this thread. I would never think of digging my hand into food without being asked any more than I would just walk into someone's house as a guest and sit down in the most comfortable chair and put up my feet. At least not until we've known each other for a while. :rolleyes:
I never said whether the argument was logical or not. Oh, how I would love to live in a logical world, but then we'd all be Mr. Spock and have funny ears. In fact, it's not logical. Gitmo still is open and functioning and President Obama will remain the president for the next four years. What do you bet that Gitmo will still be open 4 years from now when he leaves office even though he said he would close it during his first term. So yes, it is indeed non-sequitur. However it still remains.
Here's the way it is for guns in the eyes of many, many Americans, and I'm talking about law-abiding, tax-paying, voting Americans. They view their firearms ownership as a right, not a privilege. Now to many degrees this legally is not true at all, but this doesn't change the way people feel about it. Note: I said "feel", not "think". People are weirdly emotional about their guns. It's right up there with apple pie, the waving stars and stripes and chanting U! S! A! To control weapons would be one hell of a job, if not an impossible task. They would first have to cross-reference new gun sales, with used guns sales, then with guns that just randomly change hands. Some distant relative dies, the house is cleaned out, they owned guns, guns are not seen again. It happens every day. Then throw into the mix all the stolen and illegal firearms. The black market firearms. Now keep in mind that gun owners are not just violent fanatics, they are collectors of fine antiques. To these people guns are an investment, an heirloom. Now don't forget about all the hunters. Gotta love the first day of buck season when there's always a news story about some guy and his wife who go out hunting at 4 am and the wife is accidentally shot and killed. As the saying goes: "Two go out. One comes back." Just to add the ultimate wild card to the mix there is the situation of cross-referencing all the mentally ill people who to whatever degree shouldn't be near a firearm, either due to their diagnosed condition or due to the medication they're prescribed and may or may not be taking. Now you have to remember that this would only take into account those people who have already received a psychiatric diagnosis. Who knows how many other people out there are walking around un-diagnosed and un-treated just teetering on the edge. This is what is coming out in this horrific killing in Newtown. The mother, who was the school teacher, legally owned the guns, but the mentally ill son went on the shooting rampage. Sure you could lock up the guns, but unless you own a bank vault in your house, if someone really wanted to get to a gun they could do it. Ok, so now all you have to do is to track all of these records for 315 million legally counted citizens in the nation. This does not take into account illegal immigrants and people who live under the radar. There are many more of those people out there than anyone would ever imagine.
Now add the icing on the cake that the NRA is the most powerful lobbying organization on Capitol Hill.
Oh, and don't forget about tracking the ammo. There was a real run on ammo, almost a shortage, when Obama was elected president the first time. There are also certain ammos that are illegal, but don't worry they are still out there to be had if the will finds a way.
To all those folks who think people will run out and register their weapons if there's a stiff penalty or fine involved for failing to do so, well that just makes me laugh. They can't even get people to register their dog for a $5 license per year to avoid a fine. They go door-to-door on occasion and ask people to produce their dogs county registration papers, but if there's no dog evident and no obvious evidence of a canine (toys, food bowl), you say it died, what are they going to do? Call the county judge and get a warrant to search private property? How long do you think there will be manpower to do this or before the ACLU gets involved and files a lawsuit on behalf on the people vs. the local-yokel government. Now imagine that scenario in tracking all the guns in the nation. You have to remember that the US has the "castle doctrine", which basically states that you can use deadly force to protect your private home. This is fairly specific though, the intruder must be shot inside your home, not outside in the garden. This is a perfectly legal defense and exhibits how strongly people feel about their guns and the deadly force they can produce by pulling a trigger.
So Sneffels, yay you! You absolutely win the debate based on logic. Although the harsh reality of the situation is altogether and completely different.
And 20 children in a smalltown, USA postcard perfect community were gunned down today in cold blood.
The gun control debate is a moot argument. Americans, as a general rule, don't like the constitution messed with, even if they've never read it for themselves, and would rather you pry their firearms out of their cold, dead hands as opposed to having them limited or removed by legislative powers. It would make no difference at this point anyway. The genie is already out of the bottle, millions of guns are out there and everything about this country would have to change. Everything from the so-called pioneer spirit mentality to the dude on dope in the hood who wants your new sneakers and will blow a hole in you to get them, or the jackass who drives a Hummer who thinks you stole his parking space -- which happened locally about a month ago, so he kills a man in a grocery store parking lot. It's insanity. People are cranked up, amped up, self-absorbed, looking for their 15 damn minutes of fame, strung out on legally addictive stimulants, lack compassion and empathy and value materialism over human life. The art of listening to one another, really hearing and understanding what another person has to say, is a lost art. Everyone is 'connected' and the gulf between people and their real humanity has never been wider. So many people have the short-term perspective that reaches no further than their most recent facebook message updates or their next text message. To put it bluntly the world is fucked up.
When will this stop? The sad part is I don't think it will. They are already predicting more copycat killings.
May the innocent children and all the victims of this yet another act of senseless violence rest in peace.
So the crux of your argument is that alcoholism is by and large caused by lack of personally owned transport by young men in their 30s (who look like they're in their 50s). Hence, in a magical world, if privately owned transportation were to be provided to these young men they would put down the booze and become productive members of society. Ayn, I beg to differ with you. What society would get would be a lot of drunks behind the wheel.
This is how it works. First the alcoholic or person with a drinking problem take the initiative step and admits they have a problem, they seek help and then through will, strength and determination that could fill the oceans, the desire for a better life, with perhaps the help of social programs as provided and needed the alcoholic gets sober, gets training, gets a job, saves money and then can pay for the driver's license and then is able to buy a car. There are no easy ways to solve this personal and societal problem of alcoholism, but I will say that it's largely the desire and will of the person who is suffering to want to make a change and to be their own diligent force behind a change that ultimately will better their own life, and if you follow this down the line the lives of family members who love them would also be improved. Worrying about an alcoholic who has no desire to do anything about the situation will rob even a sober person of years of their life.
As an added note: I will say that of the two alcoholics I have known personally one is poor as a church mouse and kicked the habit out of sheer will and determination. No outside help at all. He tried AA, but discovered that ironically he didn't much like hanging out with other alcoholics and he didn't want to take up smoking. For some bizarre reason people in AA seem to smoke a lot of cigarettes.
The second person who was an alcoholic isn't any longer since he's dead. He died at age 54 of alcohol-related diseases. He had every opportunity in the world. He was brilliant, held a Ph.D. in Philosophy from an Ivy League school, his doctoral thesis is still on record there as a stellar example of proof of the existence of God. He spoke in Latin because it was fun for him and he held several esoteric patents that still are highly regarded in the classical music world to this day. He was from a family of generations of wealth and esteem and is buried in his family's private cemetery under a huge obelisk. I was to his grave last Saturday before the storms arrived and I find it to be utterly sad that such a brilliant and decent man was taken so early by the power of drink.
Ayn, what you're trying to do is find one easy reason for alcoholism when in fact nothing about alcoholism or the people who suffer from it is easy. It's all complicated. The one thing I do know is that whatever is wrong with anyone's life alcohol will make it worse. It won't solve anything. Money and material possessions won't solve anything either, and you're doing a disservice to people who suffer from alcoholism by thinking this one-trick pony concept will help them. The change must first happen from within.
I'm what I would self-describe as a hiker. Not an aggressive, rabid hiker, but one who likes nature, trails, life away from concrete, electronics and day-to-day life to varying degrees. I am not a mountain climber. Well, last summer I hiked the Grand Canyon, specifically I was on the Hermit Trail, an un-maintained and very rocky and steep trail. It's about a 7 mile walk down and a 7 mile walk back up. Seems logical, yes? Well, sort of, since I didn't really think of it that way -- I just thought of it as a 'hike'. You see, the problem was that how I needed to think of this endeavor to make it more accurate would have been to consider it as climbing an inverted mountain, because that's exactly what the Grand Canyon is. People die there, even though you're not entirely removed from civilization and you are in a National Park. Usually it's lack of preparation for a crisis situation, lack of water, over-estimating skill level, and not taking into account the fact that the Grand Canyon is a place of micro-climates with a wide swing of temperatures. In June it was 100+ Fahrenheit at the rim and down at the bottom it was in the 70 Fahrenheit zone. Mostly though people get into trouble because it's a lack of being in very good to excellent physical condition, muscle training, endurance that sort of thing.
Once it was all done I asked a very experienced Grand Canyon hiker how one correctly prepares to for this hike/climb. He told me to climb steps, the more the better. He suggested the Empire State building. I can see now why he said that.
Looking back on it I very much enjoyed the experience, but it wasn't easy and next time I'll find a local skyscraper and start working those stairs. All my previous hikes were peanuts compared to the Canyon. And I have a feeling that hiking the Matterhorn would put it all to shame.
Tell your friend if he really wants to do this to start preparing and getting into condition now. To change his diet, work on developing lean muscle mass, cardio and lung endurance, hauling a loaded backpack around and to find the tallest building in his town and start climbing those steps while carrying the pack. If there's avalanche conditions to be wary of then that adds another wrinkle to the scenario. The avalanche beeper system is a great idea, but remember to put it either correctly on "send" or "receive". People die because they screw that one up. An even better tool to surviving an avalanche is this:
This is a sort airbag/backpack that keeps the person to the top of the snow as they're tumbling and being thrown within the avalanche. Similar to auto airbags. Brilliant invention. Click onto the television news stories about a woman named Elyse who survived an avalanche in Washington state/US, while the body of her friend was a mere 3 feet away from her buried alive.
For what it's worth, from my experience, there's no real correlation between the superlatives of a hike (highest, longest, etc.) and the enjoyment gotten out of it. The tallest mountain/biggest inverted hole in the ground won't necessarily be the best experience. Conversely a short little day hike in the autumn walking on crunching fallen leaves can be the best thing ever.
If your friend does decide to go ahead with the mountain climb he seriously should have a Living Will and a Last Will and Testament on file. Or on the lighter side of mortality just take El Jeffo's advice and ask if you can have his stuff, or I say just get to his place early and call first dibs.
ETA: Whoopsy, I see this post is over 2 years old. I'll leave my message here anyway in case it might benefit someone else on down the line.
>> "I tried to suggest counselling today when she came round and was just laughed and screamed at."
>> "I even suggested making a date to decide on how to proceed, say Christmas, after some counselling. Howls of laughter."
Forgive me for saying this, but she sounds like a big meanie. At least that what she's being right now. Or as my adult self is wont to describe it, she's being unkind. Kindness in a person is one of the few things that truly matters in life. It ranks right up there with empathy and compassion. I'm sorry to know that she doesn't understand this, or if she did that she's losing her way from this as a philosophy of life and as a way to treat people.
Glad to hear making coleslaw was good therapy. I'm making salsa today with the end of summer garden bounty. Tasty, yummy snack to enjoy over the dreary winter months during Sunday afternoon sports.