Weight Loss Surgery Connection to Suicide?

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At the bottom of the television screen, during virtually every newscast, there is now a crawling parade of headlines informing us of everything from the latest world disasters to which celebrity is hooking up with whom.

Recently, one story caught my eye: “Weight loss surgery connected to increased risk of suicide.”

One might assume this to be counterintuitive, reasoning that if someone’s lifestyle was so unhealthy that he underwent successful major surgery to change it, he would be so relieved with the outcome, that the resulting emotions would be happiness; possibly even jubilation.

Yet dig deeper.

First, the details; according to a study, troubled individuals were about 50 percent more likely to try to take their own lives after they lost a lot of weight with surgery.

“While we are clear and confident about the medical benefits of weight loss, especially through weight-loss surgery, I think we’re not as attentive to the potential psychological benefits or harms of it,”

said Dr. Amir Ghaferi, director of bariatric surgery at the Ann Arbor Veterans Administration Healthcare System in Michigan.

Some of the correlation might be obvious.

[Read more…]

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Lessons in Patience from the World’s Slowest Pedestrian

I’m impatient, tense, and in a frenzy as I pull up to the intersection to turn right.

angry driver

The light’s green but because a meandering male pedestrian is wandering unhurriedly across the crosswalk on the street to which I’m trying to turn, I’m stalled.

He’s quite the eyeful; forty and short – maybe five and a half feet tall, with a hobbit-type potbelly.

His brown hair is a bird nest of a toupee with the crown not even pretending to match the temples. He’s adorned in a garish, undersized, well-worn, striped, algae-greenish, polyester sports coat that doesn’t fit him — or the current decade. His trousers are twisted so his fly doesn’t line up with his belt buckle. Neither is aligned with the center of his body, each wrenched askew in a different direction. The waist of his pants is pulled up so high, resulting in the pant-legs being too short, exposing his calves well above his socks. (As a kid, we called those, “high waters” because if there were a flood, you wouldn’t get your pants wet.) Pants, grey; shoes, maroon; socks yellow — he obviously did not have a wife to help him choose his clothes.

Wrapped within his short arms that the sport coat’s sleeves do not cover, pressed to his chest, are too many files in too few folders. While navigating the crosswalk, he’s trying to prevent the papers from sliding out of the packets on to the ground, causing his hands to be constantly in motion, sliding hither and yon across them. Further complicating this maneuver, is his Styrofoam cup full of coffee held at a dangerously perilous angle. With each step, the brown liquid sloshes over the brim of the cup, splashing him and his documents. It’s clearly hot because when it makes contact, he winces.

To top it off, he’s slower than a sloth.

Granted, if I wasn’t so stressed, it might not have bothered me. After all, it was almost like observing the offspring of a gnome and a businessman, and how often does one see that?

[Read more…]

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National “Give a Compliment Day”

It’s national “Give a Compliment Day.”


Okay, I lied.

I am not familiar with any holiday by that name on any date but I figured it couldn’t hurt to make one, could it?

So, how do you celebrate it? [Read more…]

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Your Life Stories

In college, a good friend of mine introduced himself to others not with the rote “How are you,” but rather, “Hi, I’m Tom. What’s your story?”

man-and-woman-introduction-handshake

It threw me off, as it always seemed abrasive. I dismissed it as maybe some kind of “raised-in-Brooklyn thing.” Yet, I couldn’t overlook the responses he received.

After the usually initial reaction of shock, those that did not reply with “Huh?” opened themselves up with a sometimes startling level of intimacy, revealing not what they did for a living or reciting the social version of name, rank, and serial number; but rather where they had been, how they felt, and what made them tick.

Each of us carries with us a story waiting to be told, given the right opportunity.

Equally true is that we all ascribe storylines to people we see, which may or may not be accurate. As long as we’re into this area of metaphor, it’s the counterpart of judging a book by its cover. [Read more…]

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Leave a Note for a Friend, Family Member, or Co-Worker

Leave a surprise note for someone.

Remember how you felt the last time someone left you a surprise note?

Whether it was your spouse, your parent, or just a friend; there’s something special about finding a friendly note when you least expect it.

No matter how good your mood was before you got the note, it got better afterwards.

A few years ago, I bought some really inexpensive plastic hearts at a dollar store for Valentine’s Day (above). I put candies in them for my wife. However, I still have them and periodically, I will put short, fun notes in them and hide them in various places around the house for her. It might take weeks before she finds them – and I’m sure we’re still missing some that were never retrieved. I don’t tell her. As she stumbles upon them, it brightens her mood and mine (because I’ll hear her surprised laugh or “Aww, that’s so sweet!).

Why not try it yourself and watch what happens to your mood?  (No, it doesn’t have to be a romantic note.)

Examples of what you could do:

[Read more…]

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