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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:40 pm

Dear Liz!

First, an introductory HUG!  
*HUG!!!*
Thank you so much for posting your question! It was well worth the wait, clearly an award-winning question and one of the best I've heard in weeks!  <3

Regarding your question, let it be clear I don't hate wheat the plant... I fully support wheat's right to live in the grasslands and prairies of our world, even though the newer modern variants would probably wittle and die without humans to fertilize them and give them pesticides.  Razz

What I do hate is eating wheat, and more so the newer modern variants of it (older variants I'm more tolerant and respectful of, even if they do have a few range of problems).  And I do so with a passion of one cruelly betrayed... I who loved and supported it to the point of naming myself and possibly even my children based on its gruesome byproducts, and all this time it was knifing me in the back (or more accurately, the gut) even as it was smiling and filling my head with sweet thoughts of sugar rolls.  And it didn't just mess with me... I've had family and friends that have been diabetic or arthritic or demented or suffering from any number of chronic conditions or long departed before their time, and it begs the question how much suffering could have been prevented if not for this foul usurper food and its minions.  

Granted I'm being melodramatic -- wheat itself is not causing all those problems, but rather the select human beings (if we can call them that) who wish to commodtize food, and train the masses to eat like docile cows and flighty birds rather than as proud and clever humans themselves.  That's why the issue of food security is so important, and shouldn't just stop with Monsanto and it's modern GMO strains -- but that's a topic for another day.  >v>

Anyway, as for your question, I'll answer what I DON'T eat first since that's the hardest.  

====================

Wheat is a given, although few people truly understand what that means, and I've had the occasional person think that I swore off "whole wheat bread" to crawl back to "white bread", but that shows the poor level of understanding that we have for this enigmatic grain.  Whole wheat and white bread are biochemically the same thing, as are pizza crusts, cakes, pie crusts, cookies, crackers, breading, seitan, and even as additives in countless processed foods such as Campbell's tomato soup or Twizzlers.  It probably matches sugar as THE MOST PROLIFIC FOOD ADDITIVE IN THE WORLD, and it is certainly the most powerful appetite stimulant and health deteriorator (and thus, much beloved by those who want to sell more food or more healthcare).  As anyone suffering from a gluten intolerance, allergy or full-blown Celiacs will attest to, avoiding wheat in our modern society is one of the hardest things to do, and eliminating it represents the most challenging diet ever.  No one should dare underestimate wheat, else they get beaten to a bloody pulp, forced to crawl back to its bready and lethal embrace, squirming like a worm addicted to the tequila it was bottled in.

It's no surprise that media WILL draw attention to the old darling of the processed food industry, sugar -- it's a has-been that still serves its purpose, but is steadily becoming as polarized to use as tobacco.  The new kid on the block, GMO corn and its beloved byproduct, High Fructose Corn Syrup, shows potential and serves its purpose well, but it's still too "green" and lacks the grace, subtlety and history of the venerable killer grain -- it has to be forced down people's throats, whereas everyone and their doctor welcome this genetically-manipulated creation we call "wheat".  I treat sugar and corn as strawmen of the industry -- yes they deserve scorn, but they should not deflect attention from the grain behind the curtain.  Even so, I do try to avoid my consumption of these -- they are not AS BAD, but "less bad" is not necessarily good.  The occasional ice cream every week or two is fine -- per day, and you'll still inherit some problems of chronic glucose and fructose consumption.  

Then there are other grains... and I will list them out since I do actually eat these all:  rice, oats, sorghum, millet and amaranth.  Again, not as bad, and I'll still have my little 1/2 cup of millet every so often.  But they all, to far lesser degrees, still have their own subset of problems, if not due to a lectin, certainly in spiking your blood sugar, and are best enjoyed in moderation.

Finally we have processed oils... oils created in an attempt to commoditize fats back in the day when lard, butter, coconut oil, palm oil and olive oil were too expensive, exotic or perishable to really make much of a business out of.  Waste seeds of cotton manufacturing were literally squeezed of their value, and through the magic of modern chemistry, converted into a white, flavorless, fatty sludge (called Crisco) that was surprisingly good for baking, and slowly but surely gained a following over the 20th century.  Later technological developments helped create the clear liquid corn oils, soybean oils, canola oils, safflower oils and peanut oils we know today, as well as the margarines, vegetable shortenings and other trans fatty acids that we were ASSURED were safe up until about a decade ago when they finally admitted they were deadly. And no surprised that heart disease was rare before the introduction of these usurper fats, and slowly skyrocketed almost in proportion to the consumption of these processed oils.  And again, these were placed on a pedestal (and heirloom fats demonized) solely for the purpose of protecting the seed oil industry, so it can reap the profits uncontested and make the healthcare industry a little money on the side for the continued poor health of its eaters.

So wheat I eliminate, and sugar, grains and processed oils I rarely if ever eat (and when I do, its always in moderation).  That pretty much encompasses all the foods I voluntarily avoid -- other foods like coffee and shellfish I avoid due to preference or allergy, but I did so long before my diet change -- I often wonder if I got sick from those foods due to the combination of my grain-heavy diet, and if I were to eat them again they wouldn't taste nasty or make me sick anymore.  It certainly was the case with beets, olives, spinach, radishes, swiss cheese, dark chicken meat, marrow and liver -- all foods I once loathed up until last year, but now taste good to me thanks to a tongue and brain freed of the grain onslaught.

==================

As for foods I CAN eat, that is surprisingly-limitless. Freed of any discrimination against fat or cholesterol, that unlocks for me countless foods that we were once told to eliminate and or avoid due to the Lipid Hypothesis, or the literary assumption that dietary "fat" makes you fat. Whereas once I used to eat one egg a week or only the egg white, now I have anywhere between 2-6 a day -- and usually good quality, humane eggs since I now find them notably different and tastier than the factory brands.  Whereas meat for me used to only be skinless chicken breast, now I eat beef, mutton, lamb, venison, pork, chicken, turkey, duck and even fish (which I used to not like before, but have a newfound appreciation for, especially fatty fish). I'm still not brave enough to venture to deep into organ territory, but I've dabbled with marrow and liver, and probably could eat more if it was in the form of a fresh sausage.  Aside from that, very little of the meat is wasted -- if the steak has fat, I'll eat it, likewise for the skin of the chicken or the crackling of the pig. Drippings too are saved for cream gravies or for pan frying. Cured meats like bacon or ham may have some uncertainty to them due to their sodium nitrite/nitrate content, but I treat these as my "live a little" foods -- and combine them with ample vitamin C consumption as a precaution.

All of that is cooked with what I call "healthy" fats -- basically any fat that, if given the proximity to its source, you could theoretically make on your own. Lard and beef tallow, unheard of since the days of my grandmother's kitchen, are now common place in my own; butter and ghee also make great semi-vegetarian options for frying and flavour.  And if you miss vegetable oils, coconut oil is king, expensive and hydrophobic, but well-worth the price; for a more commonplace solution, cold-pressed olive oil and avocado oil are still valuable allies in this grand re-appreciation of dietary fat. The only reason you would use any of these in moderation is due to cost -- otherwise, you can eat as much as your appetite or recipe will see fit. 

But after years of being told what consitutes "healthy eating", it's no surprise if all this talk of meats and oils may sound crazy if downright suicidal.  And indeed, people who engage in ketogenic or VLC (Very Low Carbohydrate) diets may end up eating nothing but meat and fats and narry a vegetable or fruit in sight.  This can certainly lead to huge and fast weight loss, but also reckless as well, like veering too far in the opposite end of the extreme.  And given that fruits and vegetables still provide their own range of health vitamins and nutrients, given that your gut bioflora primarily digest carbohydrates themselves, and given that ancient cultures actively sought both animal and plant foods if they had the means to do so, I was not ready to go that far.  If anything, food diversity has always been a big thing for me personally, so the notion of a whole foods approached that combined both plant and animal sources of food appealed to me greatly.

And so as far as plants go, I eat lots of vegetables -- TONS of vegetables.  Doused and drizzled with delicious fat, of course, since many of their vitamins are fat-soluble (eating that steamed brocolli raw is not as healthy as eating it with a nice heap of grass-fed butter).  There really is no limit to the kind of vegetable I would eat: colourful, root-based, bulbous-based, stalky, or fatty.  Whereas before I would avoid high-carb vegetables due to weight concerns, now I embrace them as valuable contributors to bio-flora (plus, it turns out, they haven't made me gain my weight back).  Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, plantains, squash, beans, and lentils are welcomed, as are classic veggies such as avocado [actually a fruit], brocolli, spinash, tomato [actually a fruit too], lettuce, carrots, radishes, olives [wow, its a fruit!], asparagus, daikon, bok choy, and so forth. Fermented vegetables are also a big thing now as they are great probiotics, partially superior to dairy-based probiotics like yogurt.

Speaking of which, dairy I have little problem with, even if I do avoid milk due to preference (I never liked it).  Cream, butter, ghee, yoghurt, kefir and cheese are all marvelous additions to the diet -- hard cheeses and ghee in particular are possibly the healthiest since these are pure fats (or close to pure fats), and thus are removed of the casein and lactose that still cause allergies or problems in people sensitive to them.  

Nut consumption has skyrocketed too -- I still cringe to think of my old starvation-diet days when i would try to limit almond consumption to only 5 a day because it was "FULL OF FAT!!!" (but still ironically healthy, I never did figure out the paradox). Free of that nonsense (and thankfully of no allergies), I enjoy almonds, pecans and walnuts almost limitlessly, as much as my wallet can afford.  I eat them raw, as part of a dish, as part of a "nut" butter, and more recently, as the basis for imitation bread (which is rich and amazing, btw).  I also enjoy more exotic "nuts" such as peanuts, chestnuts, pine nuts, brazil nuts, tiger nuts and macademia nuts, even if not in as great a quantity as a matter of preference, availability or cost.

Fruit perhaps I don't eat as crazily as before -- although it's fructose is tied up in its fiber, it's certainly possible to OD on fructose from fruit if eaten in extreme quantities, and you would still inherit all the debilitating and dangerous health problems from excess fructose consumption.  But I still eat it in respectable quantities, and for me personally it's taken center-stage as my dessert of choice (by itself or decorating my cheesecake or ice cream, yum).  There are no hold bars... be it bananas, apples, watermelon, cherries, or even sugary figs, they all have their place and lot in my diet.  I do favour coconuts because of their amazing taste and high saturated fat content, as well as berries for being highly concentrated in vitamins and minerals, but comparatively-low on carbohydrates.

And as for pleasure foods -- I don't eat milk chocolate because of its high sugar content and becaue I never did like the stuff. But give me some ultra bitter dark chocolate and WHOO! -- I can make a good vanishing act.  Dark chocolate regularly decorates my desserts, my favourite being homemade chocolate-covered almonds.  As for alcohol, I never was much of a drinker, and that serves me well given so much alcohol has either wheat or excessive sugar.  A hard cidre or fine wine will do me good every once in a while.  Oh and herbs and spices,... are used generously.  Even salt is not as demonized as before, although my taste buds are sensitve enough again to tell me how much is too much.

So in short, there is a handful of things I can't eat, and pretty much everything else that I CAN.  Add to that limitless recipes combining all of the above, some new and amazing, others old and forgotten, as well as no restrictions on calorie intake.  I don't starve anymore with the ebb and flow of uncontrollable blood sugar, and I only eat when I'm hungry and stop eating when I'm not -- and given fat is VERY satiating, it doesn't take much to make me feel full. I'd be hard-pressed to even miss wheat and grain products.  My palate has opened itself to a much greater diversity of flavours and textures, and my health has improved accordingly -- there would be absolutely no way I would give it all up again to eat cardboard food made with deodorized seed sludge and pulverized baby grass.

Hopefully that answers your question, it certainly was a joy to talk about the food I love almost as much as I enjoy eating it.  Smile


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by a4955 on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:37 pm

Dear cia,
Halloween is 4 days away and I don't have a costume, HELP ME PLEASE!!!
I always choose creative costumes but i don't have any inspiration, last year i was a staples easy button!

(hopefully) Your friend,
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:41 pm

Dear Piggy,

*takes off slipper and smacks you on the head with it*
It's 42, silly.  Dontcha know anything?  ;P


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:42 pm

Dear A4,

When in doubt, dress up like food.  I'd advise going as a slice of pizza. ^^




--Cia


Last edited by Ciabatta on Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by a4955 on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:58 pm

Dear cia,
(I think i might get slapped for this, but...)What is cayday?
You said in the anniversary post that cayday is the server holiday, but when is it? Why was it made? When was it made? How do you celebrate it? What does it celebrate?
Thank you! (plz dont slap me for not knowing this)
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Night_Lord123 on Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:10 am

Dear Cia

Have you played or heard of the game Five Nights at Freddy's? If you haven't played it what are your thoughts on it? If you never heard of it forget i asked?
If you have heard of it don't hurt me for assuming you haven't.
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:16 am

Dear A4 (again),

Ooh!  That's not a bad question, and we can go more in-depth about it tomorrow when your next question cycle begins.  Smile

In the meantime, please look at my historical blog posts on that most glorious day:  http://ciabatta-breadalot.blogspot.com/2014/05/happy-cay-day-2014.html


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:19 am

Dear Tex,

Hehe, sorry to burst your bubble, but Super indirectly asked that a few days ago if you'll recall...

http://bigsister.forumotion.com/t419p60-dear-cia-column#6882

...even expressed my opinion about the game (or at least what little I know about the concept) at the time, though I have yet to play it and probably won't at this rate.  ^^

Still, it's fascinating from a historical perspective (if what MatPat says makes sense), and I enjoy horror films that explore the horror of humanity itself rather than just the scary thing itself.  (The Others and The Mist come to mind.)  ^^


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:09 pm

Dear Piggy,

Oh how very fascinating.  Very Happy
"Word" is indeed made up of 4 letters.
"Yet" counts 3, unless you want "Yeti" in which case its 4.
I never realized "Sometimes" was 9 letters up till now.
"Then" is a humble 4 letters again. 
"Rarely" is 6 letters in length.
And "Never" is just 5 letters.

How very educational, thank you Mr. Piggy.  ^^



--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Flammole on Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:30 pm

Dear Cia,

With the cold season coming soon, people are all preparing for the common cold as well. The sniffles, coughs... everything that makes us want to stay home and just do nothing. So, I'm a bit curious: what do you do when you're sick? Do you stay in bed, not really wanting to do much, or do you have something that helps the symptoms go away?

(Just kinda curious since I'm suffering a little bit of a cold myself...  >w<)

~Flamm

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:17 am

Dear Flamm,

Yay!  You're hopping into the bandwagon, woohoo!!
And with a very unique question to boot, wow.  Smile

This might be tricky since I don't actually get sick very often... last time I did (shortly after the wedding last month), I made such short work of it to the point I didn't even realize I was still sick.  

If it's a cold or flu, first and foremost you WILL need more sleep.  Medicine or healthy eating or not, you still need time for your body to essentially repair itself and redirect all its resources into combating the illness.  This is especially important if your immune system is already weak and compromised, such as with sleep deprivation, vitamin deficiency, or a chronic inflammatory condition.  Strive to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep during the course of your illness.  While I'm no fan of medicine, it can be useful to take some designed to help relieve annoying cold or flu symptoms (such as congestion or coughing) that would otherwise impair you from achieving a deep sleep quickly -- my favorite is a hot acetaminophen drink like Theraflu which I can drink as a tea.  But this is only if you feel you need it, of course -- back when I was sick that time, I was only mildly congested, not enough to stop me from sleeping like a log.  

As far as food to cure you, it goes without saying that fat, both saturated and monounsaturated, and especially those rich in omega 3 fatty acids (which resupply your body's anti-inflammatory defenses), will be valuable allies.  This is because your immune system is largely dependent on cholesterol for proper function, as far as fighting infections and repairing cells that have been damaged -- a fact often overlooked by anti-fat hysterics, sometimes conveniently-so if they happen to have a stake in some pharmaceutical stock.  Consume a diet low in fat, or high in inflammatory fat substitutes such as hydrogenated trans fats and processed seed oils, and you'll likely end up with a fairly poor immune system that can easily succumb to the ebbs and flows of flu season.  So if you haven't already, treat yourself to some high-quality fats found in eggs (especially omega-3 rich eggs), avocados, coconut and cold-pressed coconut oil, cold-pressed (aka, "extra virgin") olive oil, nuts, grass-fed butter or ghee, cheese, cream, yogurt, grass-fed meats, organ meats, fatty fish, shellfish, and cod liver oil.  Even low-quality cheaper fats found in regular butter, farm eggs, grain-fed meats, fish oil pills and the like are better than nothing, though they won't be nearly as effective or tasty.  If you're squeamish about so many exotic fats, coconut oil alone can be a handy option since it's delicious, has a strong health following, cooks/bakes/fries superbly, and has marvelous anti-bacterial properties.  If you're not squeamish at all, then liver (including cod liver oil) is the most nutrient-dense food you can find and would single-handedly give you everything your body needs to wage the good fight (including Vitamin C). Wink

In addition to fats you have of course the usual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant foods that assist wonderfully with immune function and relieve some of the more annoying symptoms.  Garlic, onion, anise, fennel, citrus fruits, red peppers, mushrooms, leafy green vegetables, blueberries, dark chocolate, carrots, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds are wonderful at that very task.  Don't ignore herbs and spices too... turmeric especially is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods in the world, and mixing it with my hot tea would clear up congestions in seconds (albeit at the cost of nasty-tasting tea).  XD
Speaking of which, teas are wonderfully therapeutic -- drink green, white and various herbal teas such as peppermint, hibiscus and chamomille (this one in particular is great for sleeping), and spritz it with some tasty lemon or lime.  Also check out some good-quality raw apple cider vinegar, which is especially brutal against sore throats.

Given the above, now you can probably imagine why a hearty, homemade chicken soup has been historically thought of as great to serve during periods of illness -- you have a hot liquid meal consisting of ample chicken protein, chicken fat (from the skin), essential fatty acids and nutrients (from the bones and viscera), lots of healthy vegetables to pool in their own antioxidant reinforcements, and potatoes for high potassium content.  All reasonably cheap and easy to cook.  Smile

As far as supplements are concerned, feel free to take a multivitamin during periods of illness, although I personally try to learn more towards obtaining nutrients from food as they offer safer and superior vitamin complexes.  Feel free to supplement Vitamin C if that makes you feel better, but supplement Vitamin D while you're at it since this is an oft-overlooked but mightily-important nutrient vital for just about everything in our body, and ironically we're almost always deficient in it due to poor sun exposure and diet.  And if you have trouble securing food sources of Omega-3 and don't quite like cod liver oil, a high quality omega-3 supplement will suffice for now.

And as far as foods to avoid, reduce your consumption of grains, sugar, processed grain and sugar products, and processed fats and oils.  This will reduce the intake of inflammatory agents and free up more of your body's defenses for the purpose of fighting the cold and flu.

And as for activities... even if you do end up feeling great, don't overdo it.  You still need to take it easy, so don't go on running marathons or getting overly stressed and stuff. Smile

Anyway, hope the above will help you.  Feel better!  Smile


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Night_Lord123 on Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:44 am

Dear Cia

I have an issue with my skins making. I making a new skin (Top Secret) that is a female, the problem being i've only have had experience making male skins. what should I do to make sure my skin doesn't turn out to be garbage?

-Tex
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:56 am

Dear Tex,

Oh geez, you're pulling me away from my comfort zone... do bear in mind I've never made a Minecraft skin in my life. Razz
Luckily, you're talking about a little pixelated graphic and one with no definable body portions, so I'm sure it won't be a whole lot of work.

As with all things, everything can be resolved by asking questions... otherwise known as investigative research. Download about 15-20 female skins of different kinds. Study them all. Ask yourself what they all have in common. Ask yourself what makes them distinctly feminine. You may notice that these skins do a lot of fun things with eyes and hair especially, maybe clothing can range from sleek to cute.

After you know best what makes these appealing to you, you can go ahead and try to recreate a female skin of your own based on careful observation. Smile


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Flammole on Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:30 pm

Dear Cia,

Here I am with another winter-related question, since the season is coming soon! >w<

Near the beginning of this month, I noticed at work a half-confusing, half-uplifting item on our shelves: cartons of Eggnog, decorated with snowflakes and wreaths. Me, being the jolly type of cat, instantly got into the holiday season, and I can't wait for the winter to come! >w<

My question for you is this: what gets you into the holiday spirit? Are you the one who'll say, "Winter is great; let it snow!" or, "Bah, humbug! Let it go -- away!"?

Flammole ~Flamm

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:32 pm

Dear Flamm,

Hmm, original question, albeit not food-related (although we can make it one!). XD

WIth the exception of all that snow shoveling (UGH!) and the overall lack of sun (supplement that Vitamin D!), I do very much like winter a lot! I find it a very cozy time of the year where snow can fall nice and peacefully, school or work could potentially be called off, you have an excuse to turn the heat up in the house, and snuggle up to warm comfy sheets or my big comfy slippers, sipping some nice tea or dark cocoa. ^^

But above all else, I especially look foward to the FOOD! Very Happy
Dia de los Muertos, Thanksgiving feat, Christmas feast, New Year feast, we even do a little something for Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos, on top of celebrating birthdays and Saints days which are generally pooled around the winter time in my family. And whereas in previous years this used to be a masochistic pastime (as far as stuffing one's face and inflating up like a balloon), now I know how to stuff my face and barely gain an ounce, so I can enjoy my feasts with relish. Add in some nice presents (most likely more food, especially summer sausage and cheese, yum!), and you have the recipe for an amazing time of the year. ^^


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Night_Lord123 on Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:31 am

Dear Cia

Warning personal (again)

One of my best friends at my school is going through some depression, And I thought the best way to handle it is to leave her alone and figure it out herself, but recently she pulled the I'm going to kill myself card. I'm really getting worried for her what should I do? Sad

- Tex
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:59 am

Dear Tex,

Well that can be pretty serious once the person begins to contemplate suicidal thoughts; for her own safety you would need to bring this to the attention of a school counselor.   Most times, the person exhibiting these extreme symptoms is inherently trying to call for help and attention, even if they're not fully conscious of it.  Despite any problems that may occur bringing in external parties, it is still safer at this point than complete isolation which will simply reinforce her depression. 

(Note also that girls for the most part prefer to externalize their feelings whenever appropriate,  unlike boys who may feel culturally-obliged to "suck it up" and bottle their feelings.  The latter I feel is very unhealthy for boys/young men, and definitely not good at all for girls/young women.)

So get that down ASAP,  and then after that we can talk about potential causes and solutions.  You may need to also talk with your friend about her grievances,  in which case just do it no matter how hard it may seem for you. You never know... talking, asking questions, and being sincere, honest and comforting to her can be very therapeutic. Please act fast and confidently and don't be afraid to open your heart -- remember you're doing this to help your friend and potentially save her life.

If you would like to research this further, this looks like a helpful resource:  http://m.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention


--Cia
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by HannahChi on Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:29 am

Dear Cia
My friend keeps thinking she is ugly, but she isent, she gets upset all the time and when I had a sleepover with her she kept looking in the mirror and saying "why am I so ugly" Sad I tell her she is beautiful but she doesent believe me what can I do? It's getting to the point where she doesent want to go out. ):
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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:10 pm

Dear Hannah,

Awww, well I can't say I don't partially know the feeling, I was a little self-loathing when I was younger as well -- although since I was a bit on the large side, I at least had the vanity of society to agree with me even if feature-wise I wasn't really ugly. In her case, based on what we talked in private, she's actually pretty and is on the skinny side, so the self-loathing could be purely psychological (assuming there is nothing else inculcating the belief that she is somehow hideous). This is not dissimilar to Anorexia Nervosa, an eating disorder associated with obsessive self-loathing -- although minus the eating disorder aspect, she still manifests an intense self-loathing to the point she wants to avoid social contact and considers herself unworthy of any kind of interaction. Given what I mentioned in an earlier answer about the dangers of isolation, I don't see this as healthy in the long run. Sad

Now ideally we should have her see a trained medical professional; but if she doesn't want to see a therapist (and let's be honest, there's very few doctors in the NHS that wouldn't suggest anything other than harmful anti-depressants), that puts us in a bind as far as how to diagnose and treat her condition, especially since her own condition may prevent any willingness to get help or even listen to you. This is why you should get at least some kind of support if you feel this can lead to anything more serious -- but whether you're successful or not in getting her some kind of help, never forget that you cannot be made responsible for her own well-being even if you are her best friend. Ultimately her life is her own -- you can help offer more choices to her if all she knows is the choice of self-hatred, but don't feel bad or guilty if ultimately she chooses to stay in the comforting (to her) path of self-destruction.

We can discuss more in private if you wish, but as far as offering some choices, I can certainly help a bit.

Let's begin with a little reckless self-diagnosis... not really something we SHOULD be doing since neither of us are really trained in this, but it's always good to at least have a semi-solid point of reference when doing research. Given what you describe plus its similarities to Anorexia and other perceptual disorders, it seems to match the description of Body Dysmorphic Disorder...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_dysmorphic_disorder

Please read the article and see if it matches your friend's case. And if you feel she is willing to learn about her condition, share it with her and see if that sparks something in her mind (if not, share it with someone close to her). I think communication can be helpful in addressing compulsive disorders and depression, but again everyone is different, and again we have to be mindful that we're not trained in this. On the flip side, official treatments for BDD involve drugs (especially SSRI antidepressants, which can worsen things), and cognitive behavioral therapy which we already established she wouldn't want -- official or not, I feel these treatments are designed to treat the SYMPTOMS, but not the underlying cause.

Although there's very little literature on BDD, its close association with Anorexia leads me to believe there may be a strong gut-mind connection; and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I feel there can be a strong possibility that her disorder is in response to or as a result of a sensitivity or intolerance to wheat, specifically its more harmful components to human health, such as Wheat Germ Agglutinin and the Gliadin protein. These both interfere with and disrupt the enteric nervous system (the so-called "second brain", which is located throughout the gastro-intestinal system) and the central nervous system in the brain, the affects of which range from mood swings, mild depression and attention-deficit disorders, to extreme chromic depression, anxiety, compulsive disorders, autistic spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. And this is not including other harmful effects on the body, such as endocrine disruption (which creates severe hormonal imbalance, particularly harmful at such a young age) and chronic inflammation.

Given the wide-ranging impact to mental/nervous health, and given my own success treating depression by eliminating wheat from the diet, I think this is an option that you and your friend can explore if you want to try something proactive, free, effective, and with positive ramifications for long-term health. This is also not a simple solution -- as I said many times before, wheat elimination is probably the hardest dietary change in the history of ever -- so hard, in fact, some people would rather endure the pain or the horrors of antidepressant drugs rather than even THINK about a world without bread or pizza. That's the unfortunate and powerful hold that this grain has over our bodies and minds, and why, even with emerging studies and anecdotal evidence supporting this position, we will still have many people who will continue to suffer its debilitating effects, willingly or unwillingly.

That's about more I can offer for now, but if you need more followup reading I can repost this link:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/04/can-eating-this-common-grain-cause-psychiatric-problems.aspx

Main thing you can do, both for your friend and yourself, is to research and arm yourself with facts. Remember, when in doubt, ask questions, and lots of them.


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:41 pm

Dear Piggy,

lol, what a question. XD
Well i can't answer this question fully since the best "bipolar" person to ever [dis]grace our server is now banned permanently -- the kind of person that showed one lovable face to all the people that met her, and quite another more horrific face to people she felt more familiar with.

There are other runner-ups, some banned, others still around, but not divulging their names for privacy purposes. Wink

Part of my daily job is to deal with such people both in-game and in the frontlines of the whitelist applications, trying my best to work with their conditions (and get them to change for the sake of other players' experiences), but not hesitating to get rid of them if they're beyond help. Hopefully no one envies what I do, because believe me it's not pretty, and I've had to deal with many unsavory things as well as make many tough decisions that not everyone agrees with.

I wonder if that would technically make me the best/worst double personality of all, since I kind of have to do it by force. That humble baker who tried to get along with everyone back at Gunia's is long gone. :<


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Night_Lord123 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:09 pm

Dear Cia

Out of curiosity, what was the worst thing a player has done to get themselves banned?

-Tex

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Re: Dear Cia Column

Post by Ciabatta on Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:30 pm

Dear Tex,

Of all the people that have been banned with impunity, the vast majority all have a common underlying theme.  Regardless of how well they're loved by other players or how much they build or how cool/awesome they think they are, they still feel a certain impunity about messing with me, especially in private messages or Steam. When they don't get their way, rather than take the hint and retract themselves, they develop schemes or acts of vengance -- or become more haunty, whiney or arrogant -- in the hopes of forcing the subject. If that doesn't work, then they may try to cause physical harm to the server or its players in the hopes of getting some attention or deterring more people away from here.

Sadly this has happened more times than I would like, although as time goes by I have become a little better at stopping this kind of nonsense before it gets really bad. 

So rule to the wise: if you don't want to get banned, it's probably wise not to mess with the server owner, who also happens to be a player.  Razz

For more information, please check out my Owner's Creed:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/ulzrckoedogw5eg/OwnersCreed.pdf


--Cia

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Re: Dear Cia Column

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