Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bipolar & Chile: Fry, Fisher & Nanking!

Stephen Fry has disclosed that he attempted suicide last year and only survived the “close run thing” when a colleague found him unconscious after he had taken “huge” quantities of pills and vodka.

Fry suffered a nervous breakdown in 1995 while he was appearing in the West End play Cell Mates and disappeared for several days, coming close to suicide.

In 2006 he made a two-part television documentary called Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, in which he spoke to other celebrities including Carrie Fisher and Tony Slattery about their own problems with the illness. In the programme he also disclosed that he had first attempted suicide aged 17 by taking an overdose.

In 2011 he said of his illness: “The fact that I am lucky enough not to have it so seriously doesn’t mean that I won’t one day kill myself, I may well.”

I hope he is on lithium!  
Unless he is doing a Carrle FisherTODAY

 Atacama Desert of Chile.

As one of the firm advocates of Lithium, he thought he needed to be where much of the world's Lithium could be cheaply produced.

As a lover of wild life he soon finds himself in a difficult position especially as much of the Lithium would be used in batteries for cars such as the $100,000 plus Tesla and your iPhones and Tablets.

Chile could produce lithium cheaply by using water and in a desert where the water is scarce this creates a problem: especially for the Flamingos. A third of the lake water is now used for extracting the Lithium.

All photos © Am Ang Zhang 2015

There is a view that the water will run out and with that the Flamingos will perish. Just a worry especially as The Cockroach Catcher was not sure if any Lithium will be left for Manic Depressives (Sorry: Bipolars!)

A reprint:

Chile: Salar de Atacama & Bipolar Disorder.

Santiago, Chile was the starting point of our recent cruise round Cape Horn. We had a wonderful guide who took us from Santiago city to the Valparaiso port, where we boarded our cruise liner. She was infectiously enthusiastic. She told us that apart from copper, agricultural products and wine, Chile produced something that was very important for her brother.  He suffers from Trastorno Afectivo Bipolar (Bipolar Disorder) and Chile is the world’s largest producer of lithium.

Some of the world’s most important deserts are around the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and here in Chile the desert called Salar de Atacama is no exception. 
Our guide told us that as the snow melts in the Andes the water went underground and dissolves the lithium salt to form lithium brine. It is pumped to the surface where the sun did the rest of the work in evaporating the water content. Lithium could then be extracted from the salt. According to Forbes, the solar energy keeps lithium extraction costs to an estimated $1,260 per ton of lithium carbonate. It sells that ton for up to $12,000.

Amazing what a desert can yield!

Please spare some lithium for Bipolar Disorder though.

Lithium Bipolar and Nanking

77 years ago, the people of NankingChina's ancient capital city, were in the midst of one of the worst atrocities in history, the infamous Rape of Nanking. The truth of what actually happened is at the center of a bitter dispute between China and Japan that continues to play out in present-day relations. Many Chinese see Japan's election last month of ultraconservative nationalist Shinzo Abe as prime minister as just the latest in a string of insults. And it was recently reported that Japan is considering rolling back its 1993 apology regarding "comfort women," the thousands of women the Japanese army sexually enslaved during World War II.

In 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army, captured Nanking on Dec. 13. No one knows the exact toll the Japanese soldiers exacted on its citizens, but a postwar Allied investigation put the numbers at more than 200,000 killed and at least 20,000 women and girls raped in the six weeks after the city fell.
It was the mass rapes in Nanking and the brutalization of an entire populace that eventually convinced Japanese military leaders that they needed to contain the chaos. Japanese soldiers began rounding up women and forcing them to serve as sex slaves in so-called comfort stations.

This is what most historians believe. But not in Japan, where a large faction of conservatives, led by Abe, denies that the Japanese military forced women into sexual slavery. They maintain that any suggestion to the contrary is simply anti-Japanese propaganda and probably spread by China. At the furthest end of the spectrum, the minimizing turns to flat-out denial; one professor we interviewed at a top Japanese university adamantly insisted there were no killings or rapes in Nanking.

Not surprisingly, all this minimizing and denial enrages the Chinese and others in Asia. But this is a familiar pattern.

On November 9, 2004, Iris Chang (張純如), who was propelled into the limelight by her 1997 best-selling account of the Nanking Massacre “The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II”, committed suicide. Earlier she had a nervous breakdown and was said to be at the risk of developing Bipolar illness. She was on the mood stabilizer divalproex and Risperidone, an antipsychotic drug commonly used to control mania. There was a detailed report in San Francisco Chronicle.

Lithium for Manic-Depressive Disorder (Bipolar Disorder):

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