The Edmond Sun

Features

November 9, 2012

Coping with bad electoral memories

EDMOND — A friend of mine, let’s call him “Twitchy,” is having a hard time coping with the outcome of the presidential election. He keeps going over the pre-election polls trying to figure out how he could be so wrong. He relives the debates in a futile effort to figure out how the outcome might have changed if different or better points were scored. And don’t start him talking about Hurricane Sandy.

He is caught in an almost schizophrenic love/hate relationship with the news. He can’t stand to watch post-election coverage, but he can’t go 20 minutes without checking his smart phone to see if the headlines are refreshed.

Twitchy obviously needs help but since I’m no mental health expert, the only advice I have is this: Take a vacation, go someplace peaceful, leave the smart phone home, don’t turn on the TV, enjoy a cool drink with an umbrella in it (or two), and “chill.” For some reason, this year, the always reliable, all purpose, advice of “wait till next time” just isn’t working. He simply can’t see a silver lining.

Twitchy is cursed with a formidable emotional double whammy; he’s an uncontrolled news junky and his addiction is complicated by the fact he’s a sore loser.

Since the election, he hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep or a decent meal. Dark circles are forming under his eyes and he thinks he’s losing his hair.

Several of us were considering an intervention when I got an excited late night call from my friend Twitchy. “Hey Hink, there may be a treatment for my post-election disappointment syndrome and it doesn’t have anything to do with brain transplants, parallel universes or time travel.”

“Twitchy, I’m all ears.”

He took a deep breath and launched into a summary of an article appearing in the Nov. 17 issue of Science News. Evidently, Dr. Asya Rolls, a postdoctoral research fellow in psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University, just released a study suggesting there may be a way — chemically — to control the negative effects of bad memories.

Dr. Rolls and her colleagues conditioned laboratory mice to associate the smell of jasmine with painful shocks to their feet. Afterward, the researchers would waft the jasmine smell into the mice’s cages as they slept on the assumption this would strengthen the scary link between the jasmine smell and the pain. The next day, the subject mice often froze with fear when they detected the jasmine odor — even though their surroundings were completely different.

At this point, I interrupted, “So these mice exhibited the rodent equivalent to your post-election disappointment syndrome.”

“Right, except they didn’t lose their hair.”

“Go on.”

The researchers selected some of these sick mice and shot anisomycin into their tiny amygdalas before exposing them to the jasmine smell in their sleep.

“Two questions: What’s anisomycin and what’s a tiny amygdala?”

“I was getting to that. Anisomycin is an antifungal antibiotic and the amygdala is part of the brain that has something to do with memory storage. Mice have tiny amygdalas because — well, they have tiny brains.

“Anyway, these mice that got anisomycin injected into their amygdalas before they slept didn’t freeze in terror as often as the other mice. Dr. Asya and her colleagues think this might lead to a treatment in humans that would reduce — or even eliminate — the negative emotional consequences of bad memories.”

I caught his drift. “So you’re saying, if we squirt some anti-fungal medicine into your brain after this bad election outcome, it might make it easier for you to deal with the fact Romney lost?”

“Nope, too late. The treatment has to be administered before you sleep and I’ve nodded off a time or two since Tuesday.”

“You’ve lost me. How is this going to help?”

“It won’t this time, but in 2014, for the mid-terms, I’ll be ready. We’ll have some asinomycin in a syringe ready while we watch the returns. If the Republicans don’t re-take the Senate or (perish the thought) we lose ground in the House, you just shoot this antifungal into my amygdala before I go to sleep and ‘presto,’ I’ll be fine. What do you think?”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him what I really thought. “Sounds great, Twitchy. But how will you handle your post-election disappointment syndrome between now and 2014?”

“I’ll find someone to put me into suspended animation until then. They’ll wake me up just in time to vote in the mid-terms. I’ll be fine. Thank God for wonders of modern medicine.”

Good plan, Twitchy. Maybe you’ll get a better night’s sleep tonight. I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.

MIKE HINKLE is an Edmond resident and retired attorney.

1
Text Only
Features
  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • jc_Earp Marlin 2 - photo credit Noel Winters.jpg Shootout of a sale

    An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
    Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
    Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How to care for your pet without breaking the bank

    It’s a shame furry friends can’t pay for themselves. Though wagging tails after a long day at work may make pet ownership seem worthwhile, a happy pup won’t stop those bills from rolling in at the end of the month. Thankfully, quick and easy ways exist for dog owners to cut down on costs.

    July 28, 2014

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • MS_Andy Billups.jpg Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency

    Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
    The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
    And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
    Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo