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Trump mission to destroy US government continues to make progress: USDA researchers quit in droves as Trump administration plans relocation

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Is he doing all this to curry favor with Putin?

Ben Guarino reports in the Washington Post:

A plan to move Agriculture Department researchers out of Washington has thrown two small but influential science agencies into upheaval. Federal employees at the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) have quit in unusually large numbers since August, when Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced he would relocate the offices.

ERS leadership has been conducting final site visits this week of candidate locations, and an “announcement Friday is very likely,” said Peter Winch, an organizer for the American Federation of Government Employees, a union that represents ERS workers.

USDA declined to say when it will announce the new location for the agencies. “We don’t undertake these relocations lightly, and we are doing it to improve performance and the services these agencies provide,” Perdue told The Washington Post in a statement.

Perdue presented his idea as a money-saving plan that will move scientists closer to “stakeholders” and “customers” such as farmers. ERS is a statistical agency that provides research for lawmakers; NIFA funds hundreds of millions of dollars in agricultural research each year. Each office employs between 200 and 250 people, based on employee estimates. During the Obama administration, NIFA had about 400 workers and ERS had 300.

Former Agriculture Department officials, members of Congress and leaders in the agricultural community have warned that the relocation will weaken the agencies and reduce their influence.

The plan faces several obstacles. The USDA’s inspector general is investigating whether Perdue has the legal authority to relocate the agencies. The House Appropriations Committee’s draft bill of agricultural appropriations for fiscal year 2020, released Wednesday, prohibits the department from using funds for relocations outside the capital area.

A USDA document known as the “stay-go” list, acquired by The Washington Post, describes 76 positions at ERS that would remain in Washington. All other employees would be assigned to the new site, though the document mentions “planned attrition.” The USDA declined to explain this phrase, and a USDA spokesman said in March that the department has “no assumptions at all about attrition.”

“Morale is pretty poor,” said an ERS economist who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The economist recently calculated resignation rates at the agency: ERS averaged about one non-retirement departure per month during fiscal years 2016 through 2018. Since October, that rate has doubled, the employee said. On a single day at the end of April, six people quit ERS.

Economist Brian Stacy left ERS in February for a job at the World Bank. Stacy, an economist who studied the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, popularly known as food stamps, wrote in his resignation letter that moving out of the the D.C. area for work would be “extraordinarily difficult for my family.”

The recent political pressure on ERS “seemed to fit a pattern,” Stacy told The Post, citing President Trump’s 2019 budget request that would have cut the agency’s funding by half. “Right after that, along came the relocation and this reorganization . . . I couldn’t help in the back of my mind to think that we were somehow being singled out.”

Trump’s budget for 2020 would also slash funds for ERS research, particularly in nutrition and rural health. ERS is part of the Research, Education and Economics division, which is the USDA’s science arm and is overseen by a chief scientist. Perdue has said he would like to move ERS into the office of the chief economist, a political branch of the Agriculture Department.

More than 130 sites across the country sent proposals to USDA to host the agencies. Candidate sites were evaluated based on distance from the capital and other criteria, such as whether they have direct daily flights to the D.C. area.

In March, Perdue announced 68 “middle list” candidates. On May 3, he said that Kansas City, the Research Triangle in North Carolina, and the state of Indiana were the final contenders, with St. Louis and Madison, Wis. as alternates.

Scientific and agricultural organizations, including the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the American Statistical Association, the National Sustainable Agriculture CoalitionAssociation of Public and Land-grant Universitiesand the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, criticized the decision to move the two organizations hundreds of miles.

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) expressed disappointment that none of the finalist locations were within the National Capital Region, where the USDA already owns office buildings. A more distant relocation “will disrupt the important work carried out by the ERS and NIFA and undermine morale,” Hoyer said in a statement.

On May 9, employees at ERS voted 138 to 4 to unionize. Workers at NIFA will hold a vote in June. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 May 2019 at 11:34 am

Regarding cardio exercise and brain function

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Also from How Not to Die, by Michael Greger MD:

In a 2010 study published in the Archives of Neurology, researchers took a group of people with mild cognitive impairment—those who are starting to forget things, for example, or regularly repeating themselves—and had them engage in aerobic exercise for forty-five to sixty minutes a day, four days a week, for six months. The control group was instructed to simply stretch for the same time periods.

Memory tests were performed before and after the study. Researchers found that in the control (stretching) group, cognitive function continued to decline. But the exercising group not only didn’t get worse, they got better. The exercisers got more test answers correct after six months, indicating their memory had improved.

Subsequent studies using MRI scans found that aerobic exercise can actually reverse age-related shrinkage in the memory centers of the brain. No such effect was found in the stretching and toning control groups or a nonaerobic strength-training group. Aerobic exercise can help improve cerebral blood flow, improve memory performance, and help preserve brain tissue.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 May 2019 at 2:32 pm

The Gray Rock Method for dealing with narcissists

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If you’ve not encountered a narcissist, count yourself lucky. If you have had some sort of relationship with a narcissist (student, teacher, co-worker, boss, subordinate, friend, relative, spouse), then you probably know the difficulties attendant on such a relationship—for example, gaslighting is a typical narcissist practice. This post lists some telltale signs that mark someone as a narcissist. Dave Murray on Quora points out an excellent summary of an effective way of dealing with a narcissist: the Gray Rock Method:

There is a narcissist in your life. It’s unfortunate and you no doubt wish it were not the case, but it is. There is a narcissist in your life and you have little choice but to interact with them.

Are you doomed to live the rest of your life as a pawn in their never-ending game? Do you have to endure their abuse? Will they always have a hold over you?

No. No. Most definitely no.

The narcissist may be in your life, but they do NOT have to be in your head. The method below requires practice and you won’t get it right first time, but, when used consistently, it will put distance (mostly emotional, but also physical to some degree) between you and your abuser.

It is known as the Gray Rock Method. The basic idea is that you embody all the thrill and excitement of exactly that: a gray rock. The type of rock that you wouldn’t look twice at. The type of rock that remains ignored and unnoticed as you walk on by.

The phrase “Gray Rock Method” was first coined by blogger Skylar in this article on her website: after a fateful conversation she had with a complete stranger. You should definitely go and read that article after you’ve finished here.

Who Should Use The Gray Rock Method?

The most effective way to deal with a narcissist is to go no contact. Cut them out for good and prevent any form of contact whatsoever. Change your number, your email, block them on social media, and even move home if you have to.

Unfortunately, things aren’t always that simple. There are times when cutting the narcissist out altogether just isn’t practical.

If you find yourself in any of the following predicaments, Gray Rock is likely to be your best option:

  • you have a child or children with a narcissistic ex
  • you have a narcissist colleague or boss in a job that you feel unwilling or unable to leave at the present moment in time (although you should make it your long term goal to find work in a different company or department)
  • you have narcissist parents or family members who you will have to see occasionally at family events

Why Does Going Gray Rock Work?

Your narcissist is an actor; one who wears many masks and plays many roles. The people in their life – including YOU – are the supporting cast in their own, personal soap opera.

It’s part romance, part drama, part action, part thriller, part comedy (the joke’s always on you), and even part horror (in which they are the scary monster and you are their terrified victim).

Every scene in this live action soap opera must keep the narcissist interested and engaged. They will write the storylines and direct the other actors via manipulation and coercion so that they are thoroughly entertained.

They will ensure that they – the star of the show – receive their fix of attention, adoration, or praise from the other characters.

Whether you play a big role such as a partner or family member, or a smaller part such as an occasional acquaintance, adopting the Gray Rock method is an effective way to get yourself written out of the series altogether.

Just imagine watching a scene from a show or film in which one character gives nothing in the way of emotion or interesting dialogue. How boring would that be? You’d probably switch over to something else, right?

Well, the narcissist is the same. If your scenes together can’t provide them with that level of excitement, they will be forced to look elsewhere for it.

By remaining emotionally unresponsive to the narcissist’s bait and prompts, you reduce your worth in their eyes. They want Oscar-winning performances while your scenes end up on the cutting room floor.

Eventually, they will feel the need to turn you into nothing more than an extra; someone who flits in and out of the background with barely a speaking part at all.

They may still try to engage with you from time to time in order to see if you have what it takes to become one of their co-stars again, but as long as you remain boring and rock-like, you’ll never make it past the audition stage.

This is just another way to frame the concept of narcissistic supply. Paraphrasing from the article linked above:

…you and the attention you provide are addictive; they have to receive a “fix” every now and then in order to satiate their ego. […] If you continue to give them what they want, they will continue to subjugate you to their needs and wishes.

To relate this to our soap opera analogy: a narcissist wants you to be a character who brings drama and excitement into their life, and if you continue to play this role, they will continue to write storylines for you.

How Do You Go Gray Rock?

There’s an old saying that is quite relevant here: you can’t get blood from a stone.

In this case, you are the stone (or rock) and the blood is any behavior that provides the narcissist with the supply they crave.

Keep dialogue to an absolute minimum. If you don’t have to talk to them, don’t. Stay in the car when you drop your kids off at their house. Sit at the other end of the table for family meals. Ask to move desk away from them at work. Avoid interacting with them as much as possible. But don’t make a big thing out of it as this will just give them ammunition.

When you do have to talk to them, stick to tedious subjects like the weather. If they ask questions, give short, uninspiring answers that can’t possibly lead to further conversation.

They ask, “how are you?” and you respond “fine, thanks.”

They ask, “what did you do at the weekend?” and you respond “I did my laundry and mowed the lawn.”

If they respond with “you’ve become boring,” just nod and smile in agreement (they don’t have to know that you disagree wholeheartedly with that statement).

A simple yes and no will suffice where appropriate, but sometimes you won’t want to commit to an answer if it means giving an opinion. In these cases a non-binding “hmmmm,” “maybe,” or “we’ll see” will do.

Never talk about your personal life, even the smallest details. They will hook their claws into any morsel of information you provide and use it to try and further the conversation and extract narcissistic supply from you. They want to know what you value in your life now. They envy what you have (regardless of what it is), and if they can’t have it, they will seek to take it from you somehow. Don’t give them the chance; remain secretive about your new life without them.

Never tell them how well you are doing (as much as it might please you to rub their noses in it). Remember, they are driven by their egos, and any suggestion that you are better off without them or that they are in some way inferior to you will be seen as an affront to their identity. They see themselves as above everyone else in every regard, and if you imply that you are doing better than they are, it will enrage them.

Do not ask them questions. Even if it seems like harmless small talk, as soon as you engage with them and ask them about their life, it gives them the green light to reel off a list of their recent accomplishments (whether true or fabricated) to belittle you. Or they might rant about a mutual acquaintance to see if you’ll react in any way. Don’t give them a platform. Don’t pander to their need for attention.

Try to stick to facts wherever possible. Parents’ evening is at 7pm on Wednesday. The doctor has given them (your son/daughter) antibiotics to take every 8 hours. We have 5 new clients this month. Statements that the narcissist will struggle to challenge because they are not subject to interpretation. The last thing you want to do is get into a debate with them.

Avoid mention of the past at all costs. You don’t want to revisit those dark times even if they do. By bringing up your history, you risk the resurfacing of old wounds and arguments. You’ll also be faced with the blame game which is never a game you can win.

If this should happen, one tactic which can help to diffuse the situation is to publicly accept responsibility for the problems you faced together (even if you don’t accept it on the inside). Any attempt to apportion some of the blame on them will only be met with denial, defensiveness, and attacks on you.

The Gray Rock Method is not always easy, but it is often effective. You might want to scream at them at times, but by biting your tongue and not flinching when they try to get a response, you will starve them of the drama they feed off. Rather than go without it (which is simply not an option for them), a narcissist will look elsewhere for a new source of supply.

Other essential narcissist reading (article continues below):

Going Gray Rock In Appearance

In addition to your interactions with the narcissist, you can also try to mimic a gray rock in terms of what you look like and what parts of your lifestyle are visible to them.

If the narcissist is an ex-partner, try to appear as plain as possible when you have to see them. Narcissists have a very superficial eye, so by making yourself less physically attractive, you will fly under their radar more easily. . .

Continue reading.

I suggest you also read the comments to the Quora post of the article.

Written by LeisureGuy

14 May 2019 at 2:33 pm

Measles and the Limits of Facts

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James Hamblin writes in the Atlantic:

Students are currently being quarantined in Los Angeles. Mandatory-vaccination policies have been implemented in Brooklyn. Even President Donald Trump, contrary to prior assertions, today urged people to get children vaccinated.

All for a disease that was declared eliminated in the United States two decades ago.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that measles outbreaks have led to the highest number of cases reported in the country since that declaration in 2000.

The overall number of cases—695 so far—is not a significant portion of the millions annually around the world. But it’s the pattern and direction that are striking to global officials, as well as America’s unpreparedness to address the actual source. Among wealthy countries, the United States has, by far, the highest number of children who did not receive the first two measles vaccination doses over the past several years. The American outbreaks are described by officials as multiple and “unrelated,” stretched across 22 states, meaning that each has potential to spread further. But the unifying forces behind them are clear.

As the number of cases has risen in the United States—which has historically been at the fore of global-health campaigns—it has also risen around the world. By 2017, the disease that killed half a million people annually at the turn of the century was down to 110,000 cases. Now, the first three months of the year saw a 300 percent increase from the same period a year ago, according to a report from UNICEF.

The global-health organization Gavi ties the issue together, citing a storm of seemingly disparate factors: disinformation campaigns in Europe, a collapsing health system in Venezuela, and pockets of low immunization in Africa. In South Sudan, where hundreds of measles cases have been reported in recent months, efforts to vaccinate people after the country’s civil war appear to have been thwarted because of the difficulty of keeping vaccines cool—not because people are refusing them.

Though the United States’ own outbreaks are unrelated to one another in a physical sense, they are linked to a growing online disinformation movement. In a statement on Thursday, the CDC said the outbreak in New York is significant in part due to “misinformation in the communities about the safety of the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine. Some organizations are deliberately targeting these communities with inaccurate and misleading information about vaccines.”

The overall effect is a single, global dilemma. There is no opting out. The death toll will go up or down; the choice is between doing what’s possible to contain the virus and enabling its spread. The ways media ecosystems have evolved and siloed people are familiar in political discourse, but they are less addressed in conversations about public health.

In a statement this week, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar reiterated a tactic that has proven ineffective at reaching skeptical populations in recent years: telling them what to do. “Vaccines are a safe, highly effective public-health solution that can prevent this disease,” he said. “The measles vaccines are among the most extensively studied medical products we have, and their safety has been firmly established over many years in some of the largest vaccine studies ever undertaken.”

Earlier this month, CNN asked 10 current and former liaison members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices about the agency’s plans for countering anti-vaccination disinformation online. The response of the senior director of infection control at the Children’s Minnesota Hospital, Patricia Stinchfield, was emblematic: “I feel like on social media, the anti-vaxxers are very sophisticated and active and way ahead of us.” Another official, who declined an interview with CNN, issued a statement that included: “It is critical that parents and anyone seeking information about vaccines have access to credible information.”

Research suggests that the reason informed people fall into conspiracy-theory mind-sets often has less to do with a lack of information than with social and emotional alignment.  . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 April 2019 at 1:39 pm

The personal trauma that lies behind Edvard Munch’s unnerving art

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James Waddell writes in The Economist 1843:

At the start of the 20th century Sigmund Freud observed the psychological phenomenon of “repetition compulsion”, the pathological desire to repeat a pattern of behaviour over and over again. He no doubt would have diagnosed the painter Edvard Munch with such an affliction. As the British Museum’s new exhibition of his work demonstrates, Munch returned obsessively to certain visual motifs: uncanny sunsets, zombie-like faces, threateningly sexualised female bodies.

Freud might have looked to Munch’s biography for the roots of his mental anguish. There is much to unpick. His mother died from tuberculosis in 1868 when he was five. Nine years later, his sister died of the same disease. At a time of rapid industrialisation and grinding urban poverty, tuberculosis was tragically common. Munch had to watch as his father, a doctor, desperately tried to save the lives of consumptive patients, often resorting to prayer when all else had failed. This, and the Lutheran strictures of Munch’s adolescence in conservative Kristiana (now Oslo), did little to encourage the healthy processing of Munch’s trauma. By the time he reached adulthood he longed to escape, and managed to do so by falling in with a bohemian set of radical artists and writers, including Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg. He soon developed a visual style that cast aside the Scandinavian traditions of formal portraiture and stately landscapes, resulting in vivid and unnerving prints.

Printmaking is by its very nature a process of repetition. There is also something almost violent about its technical vocabulary of acid bites, drypoint scratches and woodcut gouges. Possibly this appealed to Munch, as he printed, scraped, clawed and re-printed, the resulting image darkening with each new impression. The process enabled him to express his innermost thoughts. Many Symbolist artists of the fin-de-siècle were interested in depicting emotion, but few did so as compellingly and knowingly as Munch, who was both fascinated by the new science of psychology and haunted by the spectre of mental collapse. The picture that emerges from this exhibition is of a highly innovative craftsman and a deeply troubled human being.

“Self-portrait” (1895)

In this strikingly confident early print, Munch depicts himself leaning casually against the frame, his pallid face hovering preternaturally amid a dense thicket of black cross-hatch. His forearm, glowing as if irradiated, is nothing but bare bone. The name and date at the top of the heavy slab is reminiscent of a tombstone. This unsettling memento mori is an early instance of Munch’s lifelong preoccupation with the iconography of death. As much as they stem from his early traumas, these images find their roots in similar prints from the German Renaissance. “Skull Within an Ornamental Frame” (1510) by Hans Wechtlin hangs nearby, another chiaroscuro print that places a grim reminder of death within a tomb-like frame. . .

Continue reading. More prints in the article. I particularly like “Madonna.”

Written by LeisureGuy

25 April 2019 at 10:18 am

Posted in Art, Mental Health

F.B.I. Was Told That Militia in New Mexico Planned to Kill Obama and Clinton

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The US seems to be in a state that in a person is called a “nervous breakdown.” Simon Romero reports in the NY Times:

The imprisoned leader of a right-wing militia that detained migrant families in New Mexico first came under the scrutiny of federal authorities in 2017, after the F.B.I. received reports that his group was “training” to assassinate Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros, according to documents unsealed Monday in federal court.

The militia leader, Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, appeared in Federal District Court on Monday after his arrest over the weekend on a charge of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

The arrest followed a series of videos posted by Mr. Hopkins’s group, which calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, showing men in camouflage circling and detaining hundreds of migrants in the desert near Sunland Park, N.M., and then handing the migrants over to Border Patrol.

The heavily armed militia’s actions have ignited debate over whether its members broke kidnapping laws and effectively acted as a paramilitary force supporting the Border Patrol. Militia members argue that they were assisting the authorities to patrol remote areas of the border and carrying out “verbal citizen’s arrests.”

In an affidavit, David S. Gabriel, an F.B.I. special agent, said the bureau was made aware of the activities of Mr. Hopkins after receiving reports in October 2017 of “alleged militia extremist activity” in northwestern New Mexico.

Mr. Gabriel said that the following month, two F.B.I. agents went to a trailer park in Flora Vista, N.M., where Mr. Hopkins was living at the time. With Mr. Hopkins’s consent, the agents entered the home and saw about 10 firearms in plain view, in what Mr. Hopkins referred to as his office.

Mr. Hopkins, who has also used the name Johnny Horton Jr., told the agents that the guns belonged to Fay Sanders Murphy, whom he described to agents as his common-law wife, according to the affidavit. The agents collected at least nine firearms from the home as evidence, including a 12-gauge shotgun and various handguns.

The court affidavit gave few details about the report the F.B.I. received stating that the United Constitutional Patriots “were training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama because of these individuals’ support of Antifa.” The term Antifa refers to left-wing activists who have clashed with right-wing groups in cities across the country.

Mr. Hopkins’s lawyer, Kelly O’Connell, disputed the reports about assassination plans. “My client told me that is not true,” Mr. O’Connell said.

He also questioned the timing of the arrest. “My question is, why now?” Mr. O’Connell said, noting that the weapons were found in his home in 2017. He suggested that pressure from prominent Democrats in New Mexico may have prompted the F.B.I. to take action.

Mr. Hopkins has faced weapons-related charges before, according to court documents. He was convicted of two felonies in Oregon in 2006: criminal impersonation of a peace officer and felony possession of a firearm. And he pleaded guilty in 1996 in Michigan to possession of a loaded firearm, and was sentenced to 16 months to two years in prison.

Mr. O’Connell said Mr. Hopkins planned to plead not guilty to the latest charge.

After the 2017 search of Mr. Hopkins’s residence in New Mexico, F.B.I. agents contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and determined that none of the firearms collected from the home was manufactured in New Mexico, opening the door to possible additional charges of transporting the weapons in interstate commerce, a federal offense.

Mr. O’Connell, who was the host of a conservative radio talk show program in New Mexico until 2017, declined to say who was paying Mr. Hopkins’s legal fees. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 April 2019 at 4:06 pm

“I Work With Suicidal Farmers. It’s Becoming Too Much to Bear.”

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Mike Rosman left seminary to become a clinical psychologist for farmers. Now, as historic flooding ravages the Midwest, he’s never been more overwhelmed. He talked with Emily Atkin and the New Republic has her report of the conversation:

I’m wearing out. Again.

The first time was around Christmas. For several weeks, I just couldn’t write my weekly column for the newspaper. Eventually I published an explanation, and pointed out to readers that I had just exceeded my capacity to deal with things. I had worn myself out, and misjudged what I could handle.

Gradually I recouped. And I’ve been doing pretty well up until maybe in the last week or so. Because things have just mounted on to the point that it’s become harder. So I need to pay attention to what I preach, and that is to manage my own compassion fatigue.

I serve as a counselor for farmers and ranchers. I’m probably on the phone or on email anywhere from 15 to 25 hours a week, seven days a week, trying to respond to requests for help from all around the country. I only take on the most difficult and unresolvable problems that you could ever see among farm people, where depression has not been successfully treated by any kind of medication or psychiatric help. I try to figure out what to do about them, because—well, I don’t know how else to say this, except that I have a lot of experience doing this. It gets me going.

But the two calls I got today—those just wore me out emotionally.

The first came from a lady whose lover—and I say lover, because both he and she are divorced—is a large farmer. And he’s been told by creditors that he has to negotiate the sale or disposal of some of his farm assets, or they’ll shut him down. He said, I will not go to mediation or court, I’ll kill myself before I have to do that. I will lose. I can’t do this. So she called me in desperation. And we conferred several times to figure out what she can do.

The second call came from another farmer. She told me she was desperate, because she didn’t know how to deal with uncertainty in her farming operation. Her email said—I’ll read it to you:

Thank you Dr. Rossman for getting back to me. I am desperate. The financial strains of the farm are hard to take. Everything is compounded by my emotions….

I experienced a trauma two and a half years ago and I can’t get past it. My brother, with whom I worked on our family farm, committed suicide while I was visiting him in front of me. My husband says I’m changing, and I know I am. It also affects how we interact.

So this woman is looking to me about how to continue, and maybe even gauging whether she needs to join her brother. There is, unfortunately, a contagious effect of suicide.

So that one has taken a lot of time. I responded several times yesterday and tried to call her and did speak for a little bit. She’s pretty brittle. So I contacted another person who lost her husband to suicide, and this woman is willing to talk with the person whose brother ended his life, and to try to offer some hope and options. So I’m hoping we have stopped her from doing something drastic. We just don’t know.

We have a propensity for depression among farm people. We think it is for partly genetic reasons. It stems back to a specific gene on the human genome that predisposes people to overreact to a threat. That gene becomes activated when there is a threat to operating the land, or any threat to losing the assets involved in farming. Other things can cause it too, like the loss of a family member.

The reason I do this job is because, when I was in high school, my classmate whose father was a farmer took his own life. I’m also fourth-generation family farmer, and the second of four boys. I started milking cows by hand in the evenings when I was five years old. The suicide, though, was the one event that made me sit up and think, we’ve got to take a look at this.

I didn’t know anything much about psychology back then. It was a new field. So when I eventually went to the Catholic seminary to become a priest, I took all the psychology courses that were available. Eventually, I dropped out of seminary to become a psychologist.

Mom and Dad were angry. Their dream of having a son become a priest was going to disappear. When I graduated, Dad came, but Mom didn’t. She really only came around entirely after I met Marilyn. Marilyn makes everybody feel good.

Marilyn and I moved to Iowa in 1979, and bought a farm in 1980. We lost it eventually, but the times looked pretty good. I started my psychology practice, and whenever I wasn’t farming, I was taking calls. Eventually I had so many people wanting to see me that I started seeing them in the afternoons and evenings in my office in the Methodist Church in Harlan, Iowa.

Calls and emails to me have always been common. That’s been my life for decades. I usually get anywhere from three to a dozen per a week, and the intensity and need of course varies. About . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 April 2019 at 10:12 am

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