1 in 3 Adults in the U.S. Takes Medications Linked to Depression

1 IN 3 ADULTS IN THE U.S. TAKES MEDICATIONS LINKED TO DEPRESSION (Source NPR)

If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression.

More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.

The list includes a wide range of commonly taken medications. Among them are certain types of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (used to treat acid reflux), beta blockers, anxiety drugs, painkillers including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure), and anti-convulsant drugs.

“The more of these medications you’re taking, the more likely you are to report depression,” says study author Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.

The study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, included 26,192 adults who participated in a federal survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All of the participants listed the medications they were taking at the time of the survey. In addition, they each completed a depression screening, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), which asks about sleep, mood and appetite.

More than a third of the people who took the survey were taking medications known to have depression or suicidal thoughts as potential side effects. Olfson and his collaborators wanted to determine whether those participants were more or less likely to be depressed, compared to participants who didn’t take any of these medications.

“What we found is that, in fact, they’re more likely,” Olfson says. And they found that people who took three or more of the medications were three times as likely to be depressed.

About 15 percent of participants who simultaneously used three or more of these drugs were depressed. By comparison, among participants who didn’t use any of the medications, just 5 percent were depressed. Even those who used just one of these medications were at slightly higher risk of depression: About 7 percent were depressed.

Olfson says the study does not prove that the medications caused the depression. “We’re just showing that if you’re already taking them, you are more likely to be depressed,” he says. To determine causation, he says, researchers would need to follow people over time — beginning at the time they start taking the medications — to see if they’re more likely to develop depression.

Nonetheless, Olfson says, he was surprised by the “strength of the association between the number of medications and the likelihood of being depressed.”

These findings may motivate people to ask their health care providers more questions. “People should always be ready to ask, ‘What are the risks and the benefits of me taking this medication?’ ” says Don Mordecai, a psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, Calif. And he says doctors should be ready to have these conversations, too.

Mordecai says, if you start a new medicine it can be helpful to keep track of changes in how you feel.

“People who don’t have a history of depression and then, suddenly, start to have symptoms of depression should be concerned that it’s potentially due to a side effect, or potentially, an interaction,” Mordecai says.

It’s also worth having a conversation with your doctor about whether you might be able to stop a medication, Mordecai says. For instance, it may be possible to go off — or reduce — a medication for high blood pressure if you make other changes “such as changing your diet, limiting salt intake, or increasing exercise.”

Use of medications with depression or suicidal thoughts as potential side effects has been on the rise, according to the study’s lead author, Dima Mazen Qato, an assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy of the University of Illinois, Chicago.

“People are not only increasingly using these medicines alone, but are increasingly using them simultaneously, yet very few of these drugs have warning labels, so until we have public or system-level solutions, it is left up to patients and health care professionals to be aware of the risks,” Qato wrote in a release about the study findings.

The ‘Real’ America: 21.5% Unemployment, 10% Inflation, and Negative Economic

The ‘Real’ America: 21.5% Unemployment, 10% Inflation, And Negative Economic Growth (Source Zero Hedge)

Every time the mainstream media touts some “wonderful new economic numbers” I just want to cringe.  Yes, it is true that the economic numbers have gotten slightly better since Donald Trump entered the White House, but the rosy economic picture that the mainstream media is constantly painting for all of us is completely absurd.

If honest numbers were being used all of our major economic numbers would be absolutely terrible.  

We are being told that the unemployment rate in the United States is currently “3.8 percent”, which would be the lowest that it has been “in nearly 50 years”. To support this claim, the mainstream media endlessly runs articles declaring how wonderful everything is.  For example, the following is from a recent New York Times article entitled “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are”

The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for “good” in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately. So, for example, “splendid” and “excellent” fit the bill. Those are the kinds of terms that are appropriate when the United States economy adds 223,000 jobs in a month, despite being nine years into an expansion, and when the unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent, a new 18-year low. Doesn’t that sound great? It would be great, if the numbers that they were using were honest. The truth, of course, is that the percentage of the population that is employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession.  According to John Williams, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would actually be 21.5 percent today.

The ‘Real’ America: 21.5% Unemployment, 10% Inflation

The ‘Real’ America: 21.5% Unemployment, 10% Inflation, And Negative Economic Growth (Source Zero Hedge)

Every time the mainstream media touts some “wonderful new economic numbers” I just want to cringe.  Yes, it is true that the economic numbers have gotten slightly better since Donald Trump entered the White House, but the rosy economic picture that the mainstream media is constantly painting for all of us is completely absurd.

If honest numbers were being used all of our major economic numbers would be absolutely terrible.  

We are being told that the unemployment rate in the United States is currently “3.8 percent”, which would be the lowest that it has been “in nearly 50 years”. To support this claim, the mainstream media endlessly runs articles declaring how wonderful everything is.  For example, the following is from a recent New York Times article entitled “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are”

The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for “good” in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately. So, for example, “splendid” and “excellent” fit the bill. Those are the kinds of terms that are appropriate when the United States economy adds 223,000 jobs in a month, despite being nine years into an expansion, and when the unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent, a new 18-year low. Doesn’t that sound great? It would be great, if the numbers that they were using were honest. The truth, of course, is that the percentage of the population that is employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession.  According to John Williams, if honest numbers were being used the unemployment rate would actually be 21.5 percent today.

Financial Crisis: “Mother of All Credit Bubbles”: Who’s Listening?

Financial Crisis: “Mother of All Credit Bubbles”: Who’s Listening? (Source globalresearch.ca) An extraordinary article by regular financial columnist Steven Pearlstein in the June 10 Washington Post warned that a surge in corporate debt has created “the mother of all credit bubbles,” and put the U.S. and world financial systems on the road to a new crash worse than that of 2007-8. The full-page spread featured charts showing that corporate debt, much of which is being used for stock buybacks, is increasingly risky, and that it is at record highs. Pearlstein adds that one in five companies have debt obligations exceeding their cash flow—i.e., they are zombies just waiting to die. Pearlstein also does not stress, for example, the link between the new shaky mountain of debt, and the major banks, which are intimately connected to the so-called “non-bank lenders” involved in the current bubbles. But Pearlstein’s summary of the current problem is sharp, and ironically, points implicitly at the solution. He writes: “Today’s economic boom is driven not by any great burst of innovation or growth in productivity. Rather, it is driven by another round of financial engineering that converts equity into debt… Rather than using record profits, and record amounts of borrowed money, to invest in new plants and equipment, develop new products, improve service, lower prices or raise the wages and skills of their employees, they are `returning’ that money to shareholders. Corporate America, in effect, has transformed itself into one giant leveraged buyout.”

 

Report on the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

REPORT ON THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANISATION QINGDAO MEETING (Source blacklistednews.com),

On June 9-10 2018, Quindao, China hosted a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The meeting was attended by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Kyrgyzstan Republic, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Member States consistently advocate the settlement of crises in Afghanistan, Syria, the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula, as well as other regional conflicts within the framework of generally accepted norms and principles of international law. They noted the importance of the steady implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme. The Member States reaffirm their resolute support for UN efforts to ensure international peace and security. They noted the need for reaching a consensus on adopting the UN Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism and supported the Republic of Kazakhstan’s initiative at the UN to promote the Code of Conduct to Achieve a World Free of Terrorism.

The SCO continues to contribute to broad-based and mutually beneficial cooperation in the area of information security and to the development of universal international rules, standards and principles for the responsible conduct of states in the information space.

The SCO Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the central role of the United Nations in implementing the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. They stressed the importance of improving global economic governance architecture and of consistently strengthening and developing the multilateral trade system with a nucleus in the World Trade Organisation in order to form an open world economy.

Vatican contribution to Bilderberg meeting remains secret

VATICAN CONTRIBUTION TO BILDERBERG MEETING REMAINS SECRET (Source churchmilitant.com)

For the first time in history, the Vatican took part in the secretive Bilderberg meeting, a gathering of political and social elites to discuss issues affecting the world.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin made news last week because of his participation as the only religious member in the 2018 meeting, which took place from June 7–10 in Turin, Italy, a city historically known for its tolerance of anti-Catholic spirituality.

The cardinal’s attendance wasn’t announced by the Vatican, though sources have confirmed his presence.

Parolin is one of the most powerful curial officials, second only to the Holy Father himself, and has been regarded by some Vatican insiders as the possible successor to Pope Francis. Oil companies such as BP, Total and Shell were present in force at this year’s Bilderberg meeting. Those who weren’t in Turin were in Rome for a conference promoted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the University of Notre Dame on June 8–9. The meeting, called “Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home,” took place in closed doors in the Vatican and was attended by top oil executives and investors.

Ernest Moniz, former secretary of Energy under the Obama administration was also present, as well as Larry Fink, chairman of BlackRock. BlackRock is the largest investment fund on the planet and was described by Corriere della Sera as “the invisible rock that governs the world.”

Pennsylvania finally looks at science approves use of Marijuana

PENNSYLVANIA FINALLY LOOKS AT SCIENCE, APPROVES USE OF MARIJUANA TO TREAT OPIOID ADDICTION (Source blacklistednews.com) Making illegal or banning arbitrary substances does nothing to curb their use. In fact, as the increasingly deadly opioid crisis illustrates, it makes matters far worse. What does help to foster improvement, however, is when the state reverses prohibition. The most recent state to figure this out is Pennsylvania, who just added opioid addiction to the list of conditions for which it will allow people to obtain marijuana. Of course, total legalization would be ideal. However, this move by Pennsylvania lawmakers shows that the science can no longer be denied and bureaucrats have to finally admit it. “We have expanded the number of serious medical conditions to include neurodegenerative diseases, terminal illness, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and opioid-use disorder,” Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, wrote Marijuana.com in an email.

As Marijuana.com reports, Levine said that while medical cannabis won’t necessarily be the first or only substitute for other more established treatments in opioid recovery, marijuana may prove to be a viable option for some.

“We’re making medical marijuana available to patients if all other treatments fail, or if a physician recommends that it can used in conjunction with other traditional therapies,” Levine said. Although this is a very limited beginning, as attorney and director of the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Patrick Nightingale points out, this action is going to save lives. “Dr. Levine chose not to subject the additional four medical conditions to a 90-day comment period,” he told Marijuana.com. “No one expected it to happen with such speed, but this is all the better for patients who are suffering. Indeed, the real game-changer here is the decision to add opioid-use disorder to the list of qualifying conditions.”

On top of the immediate benefit to those addicted to opioids, adding marijuana to the list of approved drugs for opioid addiction also “enables research to be carried out on medical marijuana’s effectiveness in treatment opioid-use disorder because only approved conditions can be studied through our research program,” according to Levine.

Microsoft just put a data center on the bottom of the ocean

MICROSOFT JUST PUT A DATA CENTER ON THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN (Source motherboard.vice.com) Microsoft just sent its first self-sufficient, waterproof data center to the bottom of the ocean floor near the Orkney Islands in Scotland, the company announced. About the size of a shipping container, the tubular data center holds 12 racks loaded with 864 servers and is attached to a large triangular weight that anchors it to the seabed over 100 feet beneath the ocean surface. The deployment of the data center represents the culmination of a nearly four year research effort code-named Project Natick, which aimed to develop rapidly deployable data centers that can support cloud computing services near major cities. In addition to cutting down the amount of time needed to create a data center on land from about 2 years to around 90 days, the submarine data center has the added benefit of natural cooling from the ocean, eliminating one of the biggest costs of running a data center on land. The bottom of the ocean is also isolated from many disasters that could affect land based data centers, such as war or hurricanes, although Microsoft did not mention how difficult it would be to make repairs to the servers inside the container should they malfunction. The Orkney Islands was a strategic choice for the first data center since the islands are also testing experimental renewable energy projects. The islands are home of the European Marine Energy Center, which takes advantage of the naturally turbulent water to harvest tidal energy in addition to a substantial amount of wind energy generated on land to create 100 percent renewable energy for the island.

America’s Food Supply-Vulnerable

America’s Food Supply—Vulnerable (Source thetrumpet.com) It’s easy to take food for granted in the developed world. You go to the shops, and it’s always there. But that constant availability of food is not as secure as we’d like to think.

“Cutting off international and national food supply chains is, in fact, the easiest way to bring us to our knees,” wrote Elisabeth Braw, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, in Defense One last week. The United States produces a lot of its food at home—but far from all. Half of its fresh fruit and fruit juice comes from abroad. So does 95 percent of its fish, coffee and cocoa. Braw quoted British geographer Sir Nigel Thrift, who warned, “Our food is transported via increasingly long and complex supply chains that often involve ships; at any given time there are some 100,000 ships at sea transporting food and other commodities. Most of the ships pass through a small number of choke points, which are very easy to attack.” Braw also warned that: Our adversaries might seek to interdict naval choke points such as the straits of Gibraltar and Hormuz, disrupt the delivery hubs that feed major cities, or hack supermarkets’ logistics networks. The British grocery giant Tesco, for example, tracks its products using no less than 100 million data points. That’s challenging enough, but today most retailers operate on a just-in-time system that reduces stocks but requires constant deliveries. That makes the U.S. even more vulnerable: in case of an emergency, the apples from Chile, beef from Brazil, and milk from Austria won’t arrive in time, or at all. With U.S. enemies looking to disrupt computer systems and fuel delivery networks, “we urgently need to talk about food,” wrote Braw. Sir Nigel noted that “people talk about the consequences of the Internet being attacked, but we can live without the Internet. We can’t live without food.”

 

 

Putin: WWIII may be end of civilization, and that should restrain conflicts

Putin: WWIII may be end of civilization, and that should restrain conflicts (Source RT) A new world war could become “an end of civilization,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live televised call-in show. Awareness of this should restrain international powers from engaging in global conflict, he added. While giving his take on the risks of a new global conflict, Putin recalled Albert Einstein. “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones,” he quoted the world renowned physicist and a Nobel Prize winner.

He went on to say that “understating of the fact that World War III could be an end of the modern civilization” should deter the world “from any radical and highly dangerous actions that could [threaten] the modern civilization.”

In a reference to the Cold War era, Putin said that “it was a fear of mutual destruction” that has always prevented the international actors from any radical moves and forced them to respect each other. The Russian leader then pointed out that recent US actions – in particular its unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty signed with the Soviet Union – are nothing but an apparent “attempt to disrupt this strategic parity.” He argued that Russia needs to develop its own state-of-the-art weapons systems to retain this condition.