Monday, July 26, 2010

#ALOHA Mahalo Black Women, Eating Disorders & Racism

Thanks to Miss @Jazzzyone sharing this SURVEY on her blog of a research study whose purpose to recognize the experiences of this population, so as to inform theory which influences psychological counseling services and the training of clinicians.

I have been trained for Clinical Trials, so I know a few things on how they are done. My research in the past has been focused on human chronic disease, such as cardiovascular, aging, diabetes and cancer. When my paper that found that premature aging mice developed diet induced diabetes and was told that no one will read my paper by my lead professor and just a general Google search yielded EIGHT researchers have published papers citing my paper, I think I do have something significant to say on any research study...

Why? Because my paper was published in a 3rd tier journal--NO ONE CITES a 3rd tier paper EIGHT times... That means I ought to have gone for 2nd tier if I had more support.

BREATHE!!! I left research for that reason, alone... I got sick of my ideas, efforts and abilities being squashed. My entire graduate school career was fraught with blood, sweat and tears and I was no longer having any more fun!

So after Jazzzy's blog she asks some really good questions and my answers are mixed there in and my comments are on her blog, also.

Thanks for the link to the online survey. I have taken the survey and shared it on my FB groups and will be encouraging others to take it.

What do you think of the idea of this research study?: My initial review is I hope they get relevant data for the power number they seek in this clinical evaluation. I do not think they will without a huge marketing support system and people understanding why it is important to determine some things.

Do you plan on participating?: Like I said, I participated because I support all research in understanding why it is what we do and know that it is not solely due to bigotry and racism. That is not enough to define a social determinant to health.

What do you expect to be in the findings?: There will be outliers, how significant I do not know. Regionally there will be differences, especially if they are collecting IP addresses as a current locale to triangulate differences. That is a hint to them because some of the questions - like stating "skin complexion" there will be misnomer effects depending on region.

Is there a connection between racism & Black women’s eating habits and body image? Yes and no. Yes, because of socialization. No because of survival. A nurture, nature thing. Most of the Black Women I know do try to eat healthy. Probably because I am older. Teenagers and young adults under 25 generally do not know what healthy eating looks like if they have not be reared to understand it. So of course they are going to engage in unhealthy eating habits like eating potato chips for the entire week, even though they know salad is healthy to make. Is that due to bigotry for Black women? I think the impact of this study is the misnomer that Black Women do not have eating disorders when it is clinical apparent they do. There is huge amounts of data from the ER of Black Women coming in after a binging and purging cycle and there is organ failure or heart damage. And when asked how come they did not seek mental health care for their problem, it usually the off-putting they are getting from the clinician because the clinician fails to see the signs in Black Women. So...what are the signs of a eating disorder in black women and is it due to racism?

If you’re a Black woman, have you noticed a connection between your feelings of stress, anxiety, anger and loneliness and your eating habits?: Most definitely!

Can this research shed some light on the chasm between Black women and between Black women and Black men?: No. I found those questions on the survey too broad to find any medians that can be drawn from the study. Besides based on those studies that is a "sociological question" than a "psychological question".

What’s the one misconception about you or Black women in general that you would like to eliminate or clarify?: On eating disorders--Black women have them just like any other woman that has them. To what extent remains to be determined. I know personally a few binge/purgers more than I know anorexics. I know a few Black Women anorexics that do not look like ones. There is also the predispositions to several chronic illnesses, such a cancer, heart disease and diabetes that Black women are a high risk group. Is it due to the social determinants of health or is it due to a more organic biological issue - i.e. a shift in the body to use insulin in the case of diabetes? I don't know? Either way, I think that needs to be determined.

If you’ve completed the survey, wanna share some of your responses/reactions?: It is a good start. I have not seen the kinds of publicity for this clinical study compared to others. I have seen openness in the trial and the willingness to share. And when I see some of the questions, while I can recognized the overall intent, there is still a cultural incompetency to the question design. Who is the demographic they are trying to reach? Educated or all African Americans? I did not see a clear demarcation between psychological questions and sociological questions? The issue is called data "bias" and "equipose"- once the data is obtained and tabulated will the results be skewed to fit the original hypothesis? We know the purpose of the study, but the general public will not know what the hypothesis is until a "brief synopsis" is published. I can tell you what they are attempting though based on the cursory information - basically telling clinicians what to look for in Black Women Eating Disorders. I wish them the best of luck on that, but I think they will have to use some multivariate statistics to "fit" the hypothesis.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Humbled: Okey 1 reason why I kinna like #Seattle

Volunteerism is a BIG thing in Seattle. I have received so much training in VARIOUS areas that needed volunteer.

University of Washington Future Faculty Fellow
United Way Project LEAD Board Leadership Training Program
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and African American Women Breast Health Collaborative
Organizing for America - Western Washington Division
Evergreen Hospice
Group Health Cooperative

The ones I paid for are through:

Washington Business Center and Black Dollar Days Task Force
Ladies Who Launch - Seattle
Count Me In

I have done ALL of these training programs just out of my own interest and business knowledge.

I do not think a wealth of resources would be available in any other city. Of course, I am a very resourceful person so I pretty much find what accepts me to receive the information.

But then nothing has panned out or flipped to a monetary aspect for something I would really want to do for a livelihood. There were issues of getting accurate information which causes me anxiety. Part of the reason I started my business, The Ariafya Universe is because I got sick of complaining why mental health and wellness resources failed to be found or do not exist for African American females. And in the guise of injustice and racism that do affect African American women...

But today, I attended an event for one of the groups I volunteer for and it HUMBLED me from my mental health issues.

It had to do with "death"...

I have always had a problem with understanding dying and death. At 3 years old I attended a funeral. Just images these days. It was for an Uncle. I did not understand what happened. My mother could not explain it to me because it did not make sense to her, too. OF COURSE THIS IS NOT ABOUT MY MOTHER!!! It is about me and how I have a problem understanding the concept of dying and death.

As a teenager, when my mental illness kicked in, I wanted to kill myself--yes, commit suicide and I actually attempted many times in my teen and early 20's. Being resourceful though, I found a way to get my mental health back for me... I taught myself that I needed more than medication, I also needed therapy and therapy was better for me one on one. Then I had to learn how to choose a therapist, which is a bad thing to do. After wanting to die, I still had a problem understanding the concept of dying and death even after two close family members died.

Life changes during its course and as it so happened, I became a volunteer for the group that directly deals with this. In their training there was an exercise they had us go through where we right all the important things, peoples, places, dreams in our lives. Then through no fault on our own, a heinous disease snuffs everything and we had to choose which of those sheets we would remove. Slowly as we threw away our important snippets of our lives, I realized we have NO choice in death. Death just comes and it is what we do to make that difference in birth to death. Spiritual beliefs are a good thing, but fact is death is inevitable and there is a world that deals with the bereavement.

The event today showed me how much a lost loved one's life means to people. They had their loved one's pictures posted...All these people that we once loved in real life!!! Makes one wish they could have loved them, too. And it was all different ages, types, males and females, happy times, sad times and the clothing many casual, some formally dressed. Many had smiles. But these people LIVED!

As a research scientist I have to ask: How does a body die, naturally at the molecular level? That is my thoughts these days...

But sharing with the bereaved whose loved ones have died is a grieving natural process to and everyone will go through it at sometime in their lives and everything will die.

I guess anywhere to learn that lesson is Seattle and maybe that is the point of why I am here...Maybe it could be one of the reasons why I stay and could like it...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why Black Women Don't Get Out & Exercise! #TJ sux #Mental #Health


Upon some cursory research for this article because most people who read my blog posts like pictures, I have to see this:

There is a problem with the "search keyword context" that Google uses...

I need to see this:

But when I exercise like the above where I live, I feel this:

See I live in a less diverse community where there is a lot of privilege and no exposure to various types of people. There is a wealth of many things, but a dearth of compassion for those less fortunate.

This was obvious to me when I decided to get out on a relatively nice day and WALK to buy my groceries versus drive. I was SO looking forward to it. I made my grocery list with health food options, such as lettuce, portabella mushrooms, carrot shreads and my vegetarian options--oh yeah, I'm a vegetarian for over 15 years!!!

I had calculated what I can spend in our household bank account. The internet was friendly for me today! And I budgeted the maximum I could spend on essential healthy items. I chose the store...a small chain of organics, diverse foods with the initials "TJ"... Yeah...It is like that. And I dressed in a nice workout outfit with earrings on so I avoid being accosted by law enforcement because there is such a thing as "Walking while Black"...

It was a busy day everywhere. Traffic was bad, the workers were re-striping the roads. And the traffic officer was doing his job. Nevertheless I was walking, so it did not matter! I even passed by another pedestrian who was so joyful that she could get out an walk! That brightened my day!

I got to TJ a bit harried, but in short time and it is like folks do not shop with a list problem! Going every which way, hogging up the aisles, not watching their kids, clueless. But I take that as a lesson in mindfulness these days and started to let that idiocy go and be about what I need.

Then TJ has the audacity to charge lunacy for the food they sale...Mind you 6 months ago, their pastries had fungus and I did not outright bust their assets by alerting Public Health. I should have but then what would that make me... Sales is not their thing. Gourmet-ness is. I do not see the better deal. But who cares? Right?

I choose not to use a cart or a basket because I have my "reusable" bags:

When I get out to the checkout like

  1. The cashier BARELY acknowledges my existence and is running her mouth to her other person about a situation irrelevant to me, the customer... Her focus LACKS me. I am only there to give her company money, because I DOUBT that what I pay, the hard earned money barely goes to her paycheck. So really, TJ is taking a loss on a piss-poor employee that leaves customers unhappy...Basically FUX CRM...

  2. They consolidate my groceries into 1 bag. Yes, I needed to say something, but I did not in the essence of time and I really did not feel like rationalizing with idiots who did not acknowledge me. No, what I do I broadcast that on all Social Media let folks know this lunacy goes on, this lunacy happens and that this is the piss poor customer service that his particular store provides as a "placeholder" because I doubt I am the first customer who has experienced this...

How can I prove this? My nearly $50 grocery bill on 13 items says so...and I have all the information I need...The receipt has everything and I will show redacted parts here:

This situation is the usual for me when I shop for groceries in where I live. I am treated like the obese woman eating the chicken wings in the first picture. When I pretty much look like the women jogging in the second picture. Internally, my soul feels like my ancestors who faced lynching in the third picture. All of that makes me agoraphobic. Why get out there and take care of myself when I am going to be berated in the manner I was by this company and its insensitive human resource and hiring practices?

Who wants to shop where they are not wanted, put down when the only color that needs to be concerned about is "green". Now I like the brands of food I buy from that company, but it takes a very long time for me to recover from ignorance like that. What makes it hard is when I run out of those brands, more often than not, they have not re-stocked them and I am unable to purchase them. It is a total lack and disregard for the customer. It is as if this company thinks that people will purchase our food and we can treat them shitty because we are unique. Meanwhile other grocers are getting "hip" to the idea and to compete, they offer another option. But the level of service is piss poor in where I live overall. No pride in the jobs that they do...

Once there was when they grocers had remodeled and the "top brass" was watching and boy were they helpful! But that has been my ONLY experience!

Where I live wants to proclaim all this "liberalism" but really it is a "long wolf in sheep's clothing". I oddly had an interesting conversation with a State Senatorial Candidate who is a Republican and I might just vote for him because he stopped by and talked to me. But needless to say I have strange-bedfellows where I live and it is really hard to know who is an idiot bigot or not.

Here are the facts though: In my area, Black women have the worse health outcomes for the populations to be so small and they are similar to the health outcomes of Black women in somewhere like Atlanta, Georgia.

Obesity is one factor...

Exercise options are diverse here. So "getting exercise" is not the issue. Laziness is as a significant issue as one would initially think. But a social determinant of health with racial injustice combined with a mental health issue--IS THE ISSUE!

Why go out when I am being harassed, where I am labeled, could be arrested, essentially lynched and suffer humiliation and imprisonment just on the basis of my looks? And response is everything...Given what happens to Black Women in Seattle does not matter what we say...

Another reason why I hate Seattle...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I HATE #SEATTLE Order 66 - Did I think yurugu give me anything? LOL!

I might just add my PayPal donation coffer to help my husband and I move out of this place because I feel unsafe living here in Seattle, Washington as a Black Woman...

Especially when you read this article: No 3rd Trial for Officer that Beat Down a Mailaka Calhoun...

No matter how insolence my behavior can be, in general, Seattle makes people crazy due to the inability to have an accurate weather forcast, it does not MERIT these 2 incidents perpetuated by those who made an oath to uphold the laws of the local government!


In the movie, Sankofa, by the Director Haile Germima, the first time I saw it was with a friend who was part of the PAAA... Here is a preview:

Here is OUR story to the new world...Our history does NOT start there...OUR history starts 10,000 years and before the ~1500 ADY...

It is sad that when history is literally erased, intentionally, our genetic memory--REMEMBERS!

That is why I am crazy in this place called Seattle--the water tastes funny, the smells are wrong...Really, to put it bluntly, the original caretakers of this land as much as they tried to keep theirs, still have problems for what was stolen from them.

We can say post-racial, beyond race, overlook history as much as we want and the artist that made Sankofa only gives the horrific images and stories left for our own interpretation.

LIBERATION must first start in our minds.

What Seattle, Washington has done is convinced women like me, specifically Black Women, specifically one who wants Sankofa, Osun, Oya, Yemaja, AST livelihood beyond the MAAFA, Universal - ONE devoid of Yurug-ism - A Shakti life...Living under the rules of MA'AT...ONE who wants ARI'AFYA...

Seattle is not it...

I get more of a genetic calling from distantly remote cousins of Kama'aina origin than that in the Southern districts of my blood relatives, who live discordantly...

I miss my ABIBMAN...

I know that I left it in order to be my family due to fear, but look at all that I have lost and I am the one called crazy... *smiles*

The thing is, I am

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

#Depression: Why Antidepressants don't work--DAYUM IRRESPONSIBLE!

Depression is a very serious mental illness that can lead to thoughts of suicide and kill 30% of teens and young adults each year. Moreover, left untreated, it can cause undue stress and harm on the suffering individual and impact their familial relations.

There are numerous drugs, anti-depressants available commercially as there are complimentary homeopathic alternatives available. Fact is Depression is NOT an illness where medication works alone. OTHER tactics MUST be used as prescribed by a professionally licensed health care provider.


So when they ceremoniously proclaim that "POOF" we no longer need this, they have missed a huge social determinant to health! One of them mainly injustice.

The other issue is the review study was published in 2008 in New England Journal Of Medicine. PLENTY CAN CHANGE in 2 years. This was a post-processed meta-study with bias clinical trial. Which means they took all the published papers, combined the data with some key parameters they were looking for, which inherently causes bias to a favorable or statistically significant result... That is like saying all roses are red because when I see this ONE rose garden, the roses are red...

Biology rarely works that way...

What gets me is the website it is published. I find it distasteful when you have a "PHYSICIAN" hocking his books that have not been FDA reviewed as "try this you will live" on an alternative health website. Basically telling folks to go off their medications prescribed by their personal physician who has been keeping up with the latest public health directives under the Joint Commission.

He says "over the years he has seen patients" - clue! That is NOT a clinical trial, under the rules and dictates of a University Medical School, Human Subjects Division, College of Health Association and National Institutes of Health program! Sure many doctors can say "over the years", but drawing indiscriminately based markers without some complicity is malfeasance.

I put something out there like that riding off my education, and I get booed off the stage. Not only that, I get sued and arrested. But I have the sense enough to know that if someone is having a mental health problem it is best to make them see their professionally licensed health care provider and tell them to do so.

With many of our veterans returning from these wars, possibly having PTSD and not enough providers, should any of us telling them, oh take more vitamins that are unregulated in the US, and exercise rigorously for 5 days a week? Oh wait! You lost both your legs in an IED attack and now due to your PTSD, you have reached your depression stage...Sorry you have been sobbing for 12 hours! But Antidepressants do not work!


I am here to tell you: If your professionally licensed provider has good enough sense and reason to prescribe these kinds of medications to you, then recommend extra assistance through group therapeutics, and exercise regimen, and another class, do not take crap from the web, even from a verified source and stop taking your medications without telling your provider...


Because really, that is not right or healthy...

Why do I say that? Been there, done that, got a T-shirt... Why make yourself have to go back to square one everyday when you do that?

Prayer helps, finding your faith helps, but these meds allow you to function in this society without feeling like you want to put holes in places and people that do not need holes...

If you don't have your health, what do you have? Really?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Near episodes: Frustration in "saving face" in #MentalIllness #Bipolar

Well can't say I did not know this day was NOT coming, because I knew it was. And I feel let down because I thought I could do something, achieve something, make something happen and I feel I have failed...

Wah wah wah!

Poor me...Some would say. But to say that to someone like me pushes me over the edge, it pushes someone like me with a bipolar diagnosis makes a difference in my life. I know I treat others as best as I can with as much fairness and kindness as possible. I also do not take a bunch of crap. There is a reason for that. After PhD grad school Hell, I will not or cannot take it again. It cuts years off my life.

Then again, I am in a cycle here and what I feel is going to pass...

I have lost too much for my decision to "save face", humbling myself = selling myself out. Devaluing myself. Opening myself toward abuse by less than sanctimonious people. No. I cannot do it anymore. I cannot prove who I am to people anymore. All I can be is me. All I can do is be the BEST me I can be.

Reality check: I am a pretty good person! I love my husband who loves me. I have a nice home. My physical health is excellent. I lost 25 lbs. I am just enthusiastic for my future!

All I have to do is make my business move. Keep it moving forward...

Stay blessed.