New Addition: Thoughtful Thursdays

Announcing a new addition to The Rancher’s Daughter: Thoughtful Thursdays! Basically I have taken my love (obsession) with psychology and intermeshed it with my love (obsession) for agriculture. Since I decided that moving back to Boise was the best idea for me at the time, I have had this intense feeling of loss because Boise State doesn’t have an agriculture program. So, naturally I went with my other natural instinct: psychology. But, living a life were one is non-existent makes me sick to my stomach, I am set to figure out a way to have the best of both worlds. It then occurred to me that I have an incredible gift that can channel and explain things about agriculture and our perceptions of them, as well as the opposing side’s own viewpoints. So, I hereby declare every Thursday (okay, not EVERY Thursday, but most) Thoughtful Thursday in which we will dive into the depths of the agriculture brain and try and play connect the dots. There is a good chance that I am the only one fascinated by this idea, but it’ll be here and you can take what you want and leave the rest.

 

Shelby

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Mental Health Aspects to Eating Meat

Admitting I am young in this industry would be the understatement of the year. I have a body that was made for an early-twentysomthin’ gal who wasn’t going to beat it up too badly, whoops. My mind has outrun my body by a long shot, leaving my thoughts to be those of a much wiser and much more traveled soul. I’m not chalked full of wise words to live by, but saying that “nutrition is everything” wouldn’t be too far fetched. Day after day I read a different version of the same discussion that is crucial to us AGvocates. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the different perspectives that both parties bring to the table for expert opinions or research projects. However, there is one voice that seems to stay quiet in this ethics dispute and that is psychology.

The theory that the study of psychology strictly focuses on the unstable and insane, is simply a myth. Psychology is the study of any kind of cognitive choice that your mind makes or that you make with your mind. However, psychology gets a bad rep due to the bad rep that mental disorders get. When was the last time that you met someone and the first thing they said was, “Hi I am Pam, and I have depression.” The rarity of that occurring is extremely unlikely because of the bad reputation that mental disorders have been tagged with. People with mental disorders rarely are ready to tattoo their disorder to their foreheads and put on a superhero costume called “The Hyperactive Hero” that knocks out all those supervillains in a child with ADHD’s life called, well, everything. Individuals affected with a mood disorder more often than not spend huge chunks of time trying to stifle that huge piece of their life.

With all that being said, I ask for your respect during this post because I will be sharing bits and pieces of my own story. This is a huge leap of bravery and you are reading the result of hands that were trembling, so please show the respect that would be expected of you for any of my other posts, and feel free to ask questions, make polite comments, or close the page.

April of 2011 I was diagnosed with moderate-severe bipolar disorder type 2. If you were to ask my opinion on being diagnosed, it would be full of anger and resentment that is tethered back to nowhere. Ask me today what my opinions about bipolar are and you will hear an answer that is full of sincerity and truth, decorated with lessons that truly have been learned. The road that’s led me here has not been easy by any means, my mind doesn’t ever want to wander down the simple paths, so this was only characteristic of my hard-headedness. There are two dark sides to bipolar- mania and depression. However, those are just vague name tags for all of the symptoms that are the true deviants. Depression a much deeper and scarier kind of sadness and loneliness. Feeling worthless, skipping meals due to no appetite, isolating oneself, sleeping too much, feeling fatigued, and loss of self-esteem make up a recipe for depression that is nastier than a week old dead possum in southern Texas over Labor Day. I find the mania much harder on my body seeing as it’s ingredients consist of reckless behavior and poor judgement, little need for sleep (hmm… wonder why this is getting done at 8:30 am), increased energy that can push you to work out harder and in turn get hurt, skipping meals, taking too much on, talking too much or too fast, and going on spending sprees all make up for a pretty exhausting sentence, let alone a life.

Those things carry negative qualities, this is true, but without them I would never have been able to reach the full potential of my creativity, gained the ability to see emotion in almost everything I see, and my true desire to give back and sheer instinct to know that my life could be worse. For example, I have never had to face the awful reality of nutrient deficiency (more information can be found here). For my entirety, I have been blessed to have red meat on hand daily. That streamlined my brain in the right direction and I started researching meat’s impact on mood disorders. The results were interesting to say the least, but I also felt my own trial and errors would add a new perspective as well.

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