Day: January 11, 2016

Correlation is Not Causation

I ran across yet another article that confuses correlation with causation. This time it is KSL saying Why You Should Rethink Your Netflix Binge There was a study done that noticed a strong correlation between people who watched a lot of television and those who had less cognitive function later in life. The trouble is the study has no way to show that the television watching caused the lower cognitive function. It could just as easily be true that people who have lower cognitive function are more likely to watch lots of television. I know that for me one of the biggest signs of depression is that I binge watch Netflix. When the depression backs off, I’m just not interested in watching that much. I’d rather be doing other things. For me it is definitely the depression that causes the binge watching not the other way around. One anecdotal example is not proof of anything, yet it may lead to a line of inquiry. What if we treated habitual binge watching television as a symptom? What if when we saw it in a person’s life and sought out where else they might need help or healing? Symptoms vanish without any work if the core condition is healed.

Riding the Currents in My Brain

It was a great week, full of productivity and success, so I didn’t know why I woke up discouraged on Sunday morning, but I did. The feelings of discouragement were followed by significant grouchiness. I don’t think the grouchiness spilled outside my head much. I was pretty good at containing it, but it colored my whole day.

This morning the discouragement has ebbed because I’ve figured out what was causing it, and the grouchiness, and the dizziness which has been a plague since the middle of last week. These are all symptoms of discontinuing the medicine sertraline. I had been blaming the new medicine buprorion, and that may also be having an effect, but discontinuation is the more likely issue, even though I followed doctor’s instructions about tapering off.

This means my best course of action is to proceed as if everything is normal. I take my doctor prescribed meds on the schedule I’ve been given, and wait for my body to adapt to the new balance. Having to wait makes me feel a bit grouchy. I can’t tell if the grouchy is mine or just the result of out-of-balance brain chemicals. That makes me angry. It forces me to face the fact that so much of what I think of as me and my emotions are influenced by chemicals that I don’t really have control over. Thinking about all of that leads to more angry. In fact I’m angry with all mental illness, anxiety, depression, OCD for existing and making my life more complicated.

On the other hand, I had a great week last week, which seems to indicate that the medicine switch is likely to be beneficial in the long run. I just need to hang on until I stop feeling mad about it. So my job for today is to look at the dizziness and angry that are residing in my head and to tell them “I’ll attend to you later if you haven’t gone away. For right now, I have other things I need to do.”