Depression, Anxiety, and Poop? …Yes

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So my roommate is doing an internship at Harvard Med and we got talking about fecal transplants.  Long story short, there is a place here in Cambridge that pays you 40 bucks to shit into a container so they can take bacteria from your poop and use it for fecal transplants.

Fecal transplants are used for a lot of things, most notably, they are a life-saver for treating Clostridium Difficile Colitis, which is a horrible bacterial infection that causes chronic diarrhea, nausea, and cramps.

Anyways, so I applied to be a “donor” of my poop and I was rejected.  I noticed that on the application it asked if I had any issues of depression or anxiety.  Obviously I said yes because I’m not a liar, and my roommate who is working in medicine told me that’s why I was rejected.   She was telling me that scientists are starting to find a correlation between depression/anxiety and the bacteria in your gut!

 

So remember that old figure of speech You are what you eat? …Well, it’s literally true.

 

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Alright so let’s talk science.   This is a blurb from a study recently conducted:

The vagus nerve forms a direct connection between the brain and stomach. Hormonal, neuronal and bacterial changes in the bowel are transmitted to the brain via the vagus nerve. The gut microbiota affects brain development and plasticity by secreting various neurotrophins and proteins, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), synaptophysin and postsynaptic density (PSD).

So, in easier language, what this is saying is that bacteria in your gut interacts with the neurons in your guts.  The neurons in your gut send signals to the brain through the vagus nerve…my roommate wants me to tell everyone it’s pronounced as VAY-GUS.   I have been saying VAJ-US and it’s been making her mad.  Anyways, the signals sent to the brain through the vagus then prompt the brain to perform certain tasks.  In the context of handling depression and anxiety, the signal sent from the vagus prompts brain development and increase plasticity.
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A fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) is a procedure in which fecal matter, or stool, is collected from a tested donor, mixed with a saline or other solution, strained, and placed in a patient, by colonoscopy, endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or enema.  What this does is implant a small amount of “superior” bacteria into your microbiome (your gut).   This good bacteria then continues to breed, feed and grow, which helps your body reap the benefits by increasing neuronal plasticity, supporting metabolic function, and promoting proper and healthy endocrine function.
Until the day when FMT’s are routinely used to treat depression, what can you do?
Well, eating a healthy diet and exercising is the best you can do.  Fruits, vegetables, and yogurt all contain the good bacteria your micorbiome needs to maintain healthy and stable function.  This stability will help boost your immune system, improve brain function, and boost energy!
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Future studies may show that FTM’s will be more beneficial than healthy diets alone, or they may show where these increased amounts of good bacterias come from.  In any event, in the meantime it is important to be healthy, not just for your body, but for your brain and mental well-being!
~ The Dark Horse
Below are some links for further readings!

My Sexual Assault Story

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Alright, so, this is Mackinac Island.  A small resort island in the Great Lakes.  I’m going to share with everyone a story about what happened to me there.

But first let me say, this isn’t a memory I’ve thought about recently.  I was reading a book yesterday called Suicide Notes.  In the book something happens to the main character that was very similar to something that has happened to me.  He wakes up in the suicide wing of mental ward.  He is there with about 5 other teens who are in extreme mental distress.  One night, the big football jock (who never discloses the reason why he is there) named Renken comes into his room while he’s sleeping and… you know.

After reading that scene, the memory of Mackinac came flooding back into my head.

Here’s what happened:

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Although it seems like a sleepy little resort island, behind the scenes is a whole different story.  When you work on the island you stay up in the middle of the island.  The part where nobody goes.  Most of the hotels put you up in “dorms” which is basically 2 old houses that have been connected together.  I was staying in one of the dorms for the hotel called The Island House during the summer of 2014.

My roommate was this kind of machismo guy who’s dad was in the military.   He didn’t go to college and he smoked and drank and did drugs like a fuckin’ crazy person.   But then again, everyone on Mackinac Island did drugs.  Drugs were everywhere.  For me, someone who doesn’t drink or do drugs, it was a horrible experience already.  The dorms were separated by gender.  There were guy dorms and girl dorms.   So you can image, a building filled with a bunch of guys between 20 and 28 who drank, fucked, and did drugs like crazy…it was kind of like living the worst frat-house nightmare imaginable.

 

So, one night about a month into my stay there, I’m sleeping and suddenly I start having this horrible dream.   In my dream I woke up and saw a shadowy figure standing in the room staring at me.  I remember it was making this weird kind of incoherent noise.  I felt so scared.  I remember in the dream I was saying “No…please go away….go away…please go away…”  and I felt so cold. I just remember this intense feeling of being exposed and cold and scared.

Then, I actually opened my eyes and saw that there was something in my room staring at me.  It was a person. But it was so dark I couldn’t really make out who it was.  I remember having this feeling like my stomach was in knots but at the same time it felt like my stomach was also clumped in my throat.  It was so difficult to process because I was still only half-awake.  I put the covers over me and tried hiding. I was so scared because I didn’t know what was going on, I just knew there was someone in my room.

Suddenly I could hear the sounds of someone climbing up the bunk bed and into my bed.  I was so scared I couldn’t breathe.  Then it laid down next to me.  At this point I kind of woke up a little more and was confused… If someone had come into my room to kill or rob me or something, they wouldn’t just lay down.   I took the blanket off from over my head and looked to see that it was my roommate.

I became a little less stressed knowing that I was safe and that it was just my roommate.  I figured he just got super drunk or high and had no idea where he was and came into my bed by accident.  I started to fall back asleep until suddenly he grabbed my hand and put it on his penis.  At that point I suddenly realized my roommate wasn’t wearing pants and was erect.  I quickly moved my hand away but he grabbed it again and put it back on his penis.     I moved my hand away again, and then he put his hands in my underwear and grabbed my penis.

I said, “What are you doing…dude stop”.   But then he started this weird incoherent low-level mumbling….the same that I heard from the shadowy figure in my dream before I woke up.    Suddenly I was terrified again, knowing that he must have been standing over my bed watching me as he mumbled whatever the fuck he was saying.   That must have been why I was so scared in my dream and why I felt so exposed.  My body must have known that someone was standing and watching me.

He grabbed my head and tried pushing me down to suck his dick.   I pulled away again and said, “Dude stop it, seriously.  what the hell is going on?”.    It was so weird because he kept his eyes closed.  Like he didn’t want to mentally be part of the moment.   Then the mumbling became more audible.  He was calling me “fag” and “slut” and was saying things like “Suck it you fuckin bitch”.

I was pretty much awake at this point, and I was scared.  This guy wasn’t the most stable I had ever met to begin with, plus I didn’t what kind of drugs he was on that night so I had no idea what he would be capable of doing”.  I tried playing stupid and so I did one of those koala cuddles to him, where you put your leg and your arm around the other person.  I tried doing it in an ‘Oh lets cuddle’ type way, but what I was actually doing was trying to hold his arms down so he couldn’t grab me.

He kept pushing my arms off and kept trying to push my head down to his crotch.   When he saw that wasn’t working he grabbed my penis again, and obviously it was limp because…how the fuck am I supposed to be aroused in a moment like that?   Then in his weird mumbling he said, “why aren’t you hard you fuckin fag?”.

I was now pretty pumped up with adrenaline and so I sat up and I said, “You need to get the fuck out of my bed right now”.   He tried grabbing me again but I swatted his hand away.  Then, silently, he got up and left the room.  I could hear that he walked into the bathroom which was the door next to ours and I heard him get in the shower.  I locked the bedroom door and tried to get back to sleep.

 

The next day when I saw him I asked what had happened last night.  He of course was like, “What do you mean?”   So I told him that I was talking about him coming into my bed.  Then he responded with something like, “Oh man I was so drunk I probably had no idea which bed was mine..”  Which you know what, I wouldn’t have cared if that was the case.  Had he been drunk and passed out in my bed I wouldn’t have cared.  But that wasn’t all that happened…

So then I said…”dude, you didn’t pass out in my bed…did you not realize that you didn’t wake up in our room this morning?”   And he was like… “Oh ya I crashed in my friends room”.    kept pushing him.  I said, “Do you know why you had to do that?”  And he was like… “No man, why?”  So I straight up told him.  I told him that he came into my bed and tried making me suck his dick.   To which he responded with, “Oh dude, I was so high I probably thought I was crawling in a girl’s bed or something….”

….SERIOUSLY?   

So then I mentioned that that doesn’t make any sense considering that he he grabbed my dick, which isn’t something you would normally do to a girl…

Then he got all quiet and was like… “well that wasn’t me man, must have been someone else…”

 

I knew it was him.  I wasn’t the drunk and high one in that bed.  I clearly remember who was in that bed with me and I remember what he did.

We never really spoke after that.  However, 2 days later he switched rooms.  Then he told all the guys in the dorm that the reason he left our room was because I was a fag and would stare at him when he was naked.

Furthermore, anytime I would pass him in the building or on the lawn he would always call me a fag as I walked by.  He of course was always sitting with about 5 other guys at all times so it wasn’t exactly like I could have fought him or anything.

 

People would say things to me like, “Oh man I don’t know what you did to him but he’s always talking about how he wants to beat you up” and “You really shouldn’t have come on to him….it’s kind of your fault”.

 

But you know what people, I’m gay and from Ohio.  Sadly, I know how the world treats gay people.  From experience I know that adding flame to the fire is the worst thing you can do.  Going around and telling everyone what really happened was only going to make him even more mad.  And a closeted drug addict son of a military father is not the kind of guy you want to question the sexuality of.   That would just be me asking to get beat to death one night.

 

So I justified it to myself.  I told myself this is just how the world treats me.  Nobody ever cared about me before, so why would they now?  I remember thinking that, after all, he was the hottest guy who has ever wanted to have sex with me…so maybe I should have been grateful?   I just did what I had to do to make it through the rest of that summer.

 

But now, after reading that book all these years later I’m fucking pissed.   Present-day me would have beat the shit out of him.  Present-day me would have raised the kind of hell most people could only imagine the devil himself could conjure.

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO HAVE THAT HAPPEN

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO LISTEN TO HIM CALL ME A FAG AS HE TRIED TO FORCE ME TO SUCK HIS DICK

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO HEAR HIM CALL ME A FAG EVERYDAY AFTER THAT

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT HE COULD TELL EVERYONE A FAKE STORY BECAUSE HE KNEW THEY WOULD BELIEVE HIM OVER ME

IT WASN’T FAIR THAT I HAD TO LIVE BEING AFRAID OF GETTING BEAT UP THE REST OF THE SUMMER

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT IT WASN’T FAIR.  IT WASN’T RIGHT, AND IT ISN’T JUSTIFIABLE

I called the sexual assault hotline and spoke to a consoler on the phone last night.  I told her the story and asked if I had a right to be mad.  I was wondering if I was being a drama queen, or if I was correct in my new recognition of this event.  I told her that when I think of rape I think of some girl who gets jumped in the woods and is gang-banged or something….but this event also felt like it was so wrong.   She told me over the phone that I had every right to be angry.  She said this was a violation and that I wasn’t being a drama queen.

It felt good.  It felt really really good actually.  After having everyone tell me it was my fault the entire summer.  After having myself believe that it wasn’t a big deal and that it’s just something you have to go through as a gay person… it just felt amazing for someone to actually sit there and say, NO.  BE MAD.  You’re allowed to be mad.   There was such relief and such power in it.

So to anyone out there who has had something bad happen to them, BE MAD.  YOU ARE ALLOWED.  I don’t care if it was sexual assault, physical violence, emotional abuse, or anything else.  If someone has treated you like you’re sub-human, you can be mad.  It is your right to be mad.

And if anyone is dealing with a similar issue, please call a sexual assault hotline and just talk about it.  The woman who spoke to me was insanely nice.  They don’t judge or get mad at you.  You are free to talk about anything you want.

And furthermore if anyone is hurting for any reason remember that there are crisis lines all across the world.

Below is a link to all the crisis lines across the globe ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS talk about it with people.  It helps so much:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines

 

I sincerely thank you for reading this post,

~ The Dark Horse

… sorry it wasn’t proofread well

INFJ Struggles With The Modern World

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So, I was doing some INFJ reading today and I came across a site that talked about how INFJ’s will struggle with the modern workplace.  The quote that really got me was:

“INFJ women and men don’t perform well in modern corporate settings. They are sensitive and often altruistic. Such attributes don’t get rewarded in the rat race.”

And then it went on to give a list of some careers that INFJ’s would hate.  Some of them were things like:

1. Marketing
2. Sales
3. Advertising

And this makes sense.  These kinds of careers are all about helping large companies convince the masses that they need the products the large companies are selling.  You’re literally helping large companies fuck over the world.  And as INFJ’s, with our natural altruism, this is literally our hell.

 

Furthermore, the modern workplace just isn’t right for INFJ’s in general.  The ideals of getting promoted because you simply want more money, or “playing politics” to get ahead,  and just the drama of office culture in general.   We INFJ’s literally couldn’t give less of a fuck about getting ahead at the office.   

 

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As INFJ’s, we seek purpose and meaning, and our goal in life is to change the world for the better.  This also makes office life very hard because the trend in business is to give people repetitive tasks with the sole purpose of helping to increase profits for the company…  INFJ people out there, I can literally hear you sighing with dread right now.  And trust me, I’m right there with you.  This is our hell.  jobs that mean nothing.

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Most INFJ’s crave creativity and meaning.  They say some good job choices for INFJ’s are:

Actor

Visual Artist

Writer

Musician

Teacher

Philosopher

Non-Profit Work

Psychologist / psychiatrist 

Designer

Advocate Work 

 

You can see a common trend in all of these:  They allow the INFJ to be their own person.  Most of these jobs involve a good dose of creativity, whether it be artistic creativity, or the kind of creativity that allows psychologists to embrace the new challenges and demands that each new patient has.

They also don’t require the INFJ to work in some office setting under the watchful eye of their boss, and that boss’ boss’s and so on.  It allows the INFJ to retain a good level of independence.

 

And most importantly people, remember:  INFJ’s are vulnerable to things like burnout, depression, and anxiety when they don’t live the lives they want to.   So, unfortunately we were not gifted with being able to live an easy life.  Our choices are to fight our way through and change the world, or to slowly rot and die in misery.

Look, I know that isn’t the happiest news…but sadly it’s the truth.  And always remember;

“For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the sheltered will never know”

 

~ Fight on people!

The Dark Horse

 

America, It’s Time To Leave Kathy Griffin Alone

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Dear America,

You have bought right into the relentless, manipulative, and hateful zeitgeist of present-day America.  And I’m sorry to tell all of you, but it pisses me the fuck off that you’re that stupid.

 

So what is this image that has shocked, horrified, and nauseated America?  It’s been called vile, disgusting, and many say it has apparently “crossed the line”.    So here it is:

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Yes people, that’s right.  A cheap Halloween mask and corn syrup.  This is apparently what has horrified all of you?

 

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

 

Are you people 10 years old?   If these kinds of cheap theatrics terrify you then how do you sit through any PG-13 movie these days without hopping on twitter to talk about how realistic and vile it was?

Now I know what you’re all saying: some kind of “blah blah blah but it’s about our President…” or “It was a call to assassinate Trump” or whatever cheap excuse you people have.

But we all know that isn’t true.  You saw that it was trending in the media to bash Kathy Griffin, so you all did it so your feed could trend too.   Donald Trump is the one always bitching about a “witch hunt” and congrats America, he started one and you all bought into it.  You focused your hatred of the world into one woman for no reason other than some mild form of mass hysteria.

And where is everyone now?  Hmmmm?  All you people who were so concerned that this image was a call to violence…suddenly, now that Kathy Griffin has held a press conference stating that she is getting detailed, in-depth death threats…  Suddenly Twitter has gone silent.  It seems America doesn’t seem so outraged by violence 3 days later.

And furthermore America, 2 main point here:

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First.  Art is art.  Free speech is free speech.  And artists are artists.   What this was by Trump wasn’t a sudden ideological stance on violence and gore.  He was pissed that it was an image of him.  And then a message was sent to the world through him and conservative media:  Don’t fuck with Trump or we will tear you to shreds

And somehow the liberal media jumped on the bandwagon as well.  CNN, Anderson Cooper, Huffington Post, New York Post, Chelsea Clinton.  Everyone seemingly JUST HAD TO MAKE THEIR VOICE HEARD that they condoned violence…and they all used Kathy Griffin as the punching bag to convey this message, which obviously only made the Trump team oh-too-happy.

Silencing people who make offensive art against our current administration will not make this country better or more peaceful.  What it will do however, is spread a message not dissent against the way things are.   We are teaching people to be silent and not stand up against an administration that NEEDS TO BE STOOD UP TO.

 

Secondly, let’s talk about Trump and conservatives.

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Does anyone remember when a black church in the south was set on fire and the words “VOTE TRUMP” was spray painted on it?   Were all of you just at work that day? Were you all too busy to tweet up a storm about that?  I mean if were going to talk about a vile and disgusting act…

 

Or how about the 2 FUCKING MURDERS THAT HAPPENED IN PORTLAND LAST WEEK?

Kathy Griffin was a more worthy target to bash?  Are you people insane?

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Or how about the hate crime where a man ran his truck over someone and killed him because of his race?  This news story went largely under the radar because it happened so soon after the Portland murders

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/young-father-killed-truck-driver-hate-crime-article-1.3206515

 

Or how about the stabbing in Maryland that happened recently?

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The white man on the right, who belonged to a white supremacist group on facebook somehow believes he was superior to the man on the left because of his race.   WHERE WERE YOU TWITTER TROLLS THEN?

 

Point is, the Kathy Griffin scandal blew up because conservatives are crazy and are DESPERATE to believe that they are oppressed by liberals.  They are angry and uneducated and suffer from a severe case of cognitive dissonance.  If Trump and Fox News says there is literally anything to be outraged about, conservatives will devote their time to being outraged to it.  They are the most desperate of sheep.

 

And on that note… are any of you paying attention to the Trump administration?  Are you watching as they are removing funding for the sciences, national parks, healthcare, education, women’s rights…well civil rights off all kinds, and the insane level of hate he inspires in our country?    If you all want to take a moral high ground and be raging about something realize where the anger should go…

 

Get your head in the game people,

~ The Dark Horse

…and no, this wasn’t proofread.  This was written out of a mix of passion and anger.

Why Do People Love To Put Others Down (Or, Let’s Learn To Tell Em’ To Fuck Off)

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So, this world is full of pathetic people who desperately try to fit in, and in that quest, they literally end up getting lost in their own bullshit.   Then these people live their lives trying to be a constructed image of themselves to portray to the world.    These people….sadly…end up being a majority of the populous.  The commoner.

Take this for example, in the year 2000, it would have been deemed super lame to like superheroes.  Flash-forward to modern times…

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…And this infographic literally started at 2014… almost a good 6 years after the superhero craze began.

 

 

 

For another example, in the year 2000 liking music that used the banjo would have been seen as really stupid…

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And then suddenly bands like Mumford and Sons, and Old Crow Medicine show and shit dominated the hipster market.  The banjo became commonplace.

 

 

The point is, everything is relative.  “Cool” is literally dictated by the companies who sell you the product.   Don’t believe me?  OVERALLS are back people… fucking overalls.

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God, if you’re real, please destroy Coachella.   Also, PS people… like this fucker even knows what Ziggy Stardust is or who David Bowie is.  Which brings up another great point.  In 2000, liking artists that your parents listened to would have been extremely uncool.  However, in the present day people are buying Led Zeppelin shirts without even knowing any of their songs.

 

OK, SO WHAT IS MY POINT RIGHT?

My point is, be yourself.  Anyone who wants to put you down for dressing the way you dress, liking the music you like, or the way you act, or whatever the case… they’re all just posers.  They only like what is popular right now because they lack personality.  If you like bubble pop and miss bands like Aqua, then whatever, blast that music all you want.  In 20 years it will probably be cool again and suddenly the commoners will love you.

 

And secondly, don’t even let the common man’s opinions bring you down.  Once you know how easily the commoner is bought and sold, then their opinion should mean nothing.

Sure, they will love telling you not to chase your dreams, or to be more normal, or whatever-the-fuck.  But all you gotta is put a bitch in their place.

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OF COURSE THIS IS A METAPHOR.. Don’t actually smack a ho.   But trust me, by being yourself and not caring about what they say, then they lose all their power.  So in a way, you’re still giving em a good….

 

 

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…and you’re giving it to em’ right where it hurts!

 

Alright people, stay strong and stay yourselves!

~The Dark Horse

 

 

I’m Actually Feeling Stronger, And So Can You!

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There is a surprisingly large number of muscular duck drawings online…

Im not sure why and I’m not going to ask.  I feel it’s just safer to live in ignorance.

 

Hopefully it caught your attention,  but the big news is that I’m actually feeling really good about myself right now!  HOW FUCKING AWESOME IS THAT?

 

My first semester at Harvard just finished and I got straight A’s.     I wrote a big thesis paper on the Heaven’s Gate group.  And to write the paper I interviewed multiple scholars who studied the group and some members who left the group before the mass suicide.  It was amazing!  I felt like an investigative reporter!   (Finals were the reason why I wasn’t blogging….it got intense).  But i absolutely loved every moment of it!

 

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On top of that, I got involved in one of the groups on campus and have been helping with putting together events and stuff, which is awesome.   I mean, if you were to ask me how satisfied I was with my life a year ago…the answer would have been dismal.   Very very dismal.  But after a lot of hard work and some should searching I feel like i’m coming more into myself.   I’m growing to be as strong and courageous as I always believed I could be.  Like some massive spark has been lit.

But let me hammer this point in….It takes work.  LOTS AND LOTS OF WORK.

For those of us out there with depression, anxiety, panic, and any other type of mental illness, TRYING IS FUCKING HARD.  

 

Like, seriously fucking almost impossible.

So, then what do we do?   Well for me, I just envision the life I want to live.   I want to change the world.  I want life to be amazing.  And how I see it, there are two options… give up and kill myself or try my fucking hardest to rock the shit out of this world!  And I think it’s worth it to try.

 

We only have one life.  We have to try.  And you know what, maybe we can end up changing the world!

 

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~ The Dark Horse