FDA Approves Zerbaxa (ceftolozane/tazobactam) for Complicated Intra-Abdominal/Urinary Tract Infections


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Zerbaxa (ceftolozane/tazobactam), a new antibacterial drug product, to treat adults with complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI) and complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI).
Zerbaxa is a combination product containing ceftolozane, a cephalosporin antibacterial drug, and tazobactam, a beta-lactamase inhibitor. Zerbaxa is used to treat cUTI, including kidney infection (pyelonephritis). It is used in combination with metronidazole to treat cIAI.

Zerbaxa is the fourth new antibacterial drug approved by the FDA this year. The agency approved Dalvance (dalbavancin) in May, Sivextro (tedizolid) in June and Orbactiv (oritavancin) in August.

“The FDA approval of several new antibacterial drugs this year demonstrates the agency’s commitment to increasing the availability of treatment options for patients and physicians,” said Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We must continue to help foster the development of new antibacterial drugs and encourage prudent use of existing treatments to conserve their utility.”

Zerbaxa is the fourth new antibacterial drug product designated as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) to receive FDA approval. Under the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) title of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act, Zerbaxa was granted QIDP designation because it is an antibacterial or antifungal human drug intended to treat a serious or life-threatening infection.

As part of its QIDP designation, Zerbaxa was given priority review, which provides an expedited review of the drug’s application. The QIDP designation also qualifies Zerbaxa for an additional five years of marketing exclusivity to be added to certain exclusivity periods already provided by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Zerbaxa’s efficacy to treat cIAI in combination with metronidazole was established in a clinical trial with a total of 979 adults. Participants were randomly assigned to receive Zerbaxa plus metronidazole or meropenem, an FDA-approved antibacterial drug. Results showed Zerbaxa plus metronidazole was effective for the treatment of cIAI.

The efficacy of Zerbaxa to treat cUTI was established in a clinical trial where 1,068 adults were randomly assigned to receive Zerbaxa or levofloxacin, an antibacterial drug approved by the FDA to treat cUTI. Zerbaxa demonstrated it was effective in treating cUTI.

The Zerbaxa label includes a warning about decreased efficacy seen in patients with renal impairment. The most common side effects identified in the clinical trials were nausea, diarrhea, headache and fever (pyrexia).

Zerbaxa and Sivextro are marketed by Cubist Pharmaceuticals, based in Lexington, Massachusetts. Dalvance is marketed by Chicago-based Durata Therapeutics, and Orbactiv is marketed by Parsippany, New Jersey-based The Medicines Company.

Source: FDA

Lime Juice and 8 Other Natural Ways To Quit Smoking


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Compelling reasons to stop smoking far outnumber effective ways to do so. Even with recent revelations that tobacco is contaminated with the highly carcinogenic radioisotope polonium-210, the addictive hold it maintains on millions of smokers worldwide who already know it causes premature death and cancer is far more powerful than the desire for self-preservation, it would seem.

This is why effective, natural interventions for smoking cessation are so needed today and why we are excited to report on a new study involving a solution that can be found not at your local pharmacy, but at your local grocer’s fruit stand.

In a new study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand titled, “Efficacy of fresh lime for smoking cessation,”[i] researchers from the Department of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand tested the effectiveness of fresh lime as a smoking cessation aid compared with nicotine gum.

100 regular smokers aged 18 or older who were willing to quit were entered into a six-month long randomized, controlled trial, receiving either fresh lime (47) or nicotine gum (53) over the course of the study. Smoking reduction was confirmed through measuring exhaled carbon monoxide (CO), with measurements at weeks 9-12 being the primary outcome. Severity of craving was also measured using a visual analogue scale.The results of the trial showed that there was no significant difference in abstinence rates between the groups during weeks 9-12, although they did observe that “7-day point prevalence abstinence at week 4 of the fresh lime users was statistically significant lower than those using nicotine gum (38.3% vs. 58.5%; p = 0.04). They also found fresh lime users tended to report more intense cravings than the nicotine gum group, but the number of cravings were found not to differ significantly between the groups.

The report concluded, “Fresh lime can be used effectively as a smoking cessation aid, although not as good as nicotine gum in reducing cravings.”‘

lime

Lime, of course, is an easily accessible and non-toxic alternative to nicotine gum, and physiologically has a number of ‘side benefits,’ including alkalinizing the tissues, which are normally more acidic in tobacco users to begin with.  It is also an anti-infective agent, having been demonstrated to have significant antimicrobial activity against multiple strains of drug resistant E. coli,[ii] and inhibiting the survival of Vibrio cholera, the pathogen that contributes to cholera, in foods;[iii] another nice ‘side benefit’ considering smokers often have compromised immunity.

Men Still Drive STD Increases.


Overall picture mixed in CDC report on sexually transmitted diseases.

 

The CDC’s annual snapshot of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) has both good news and bad news for 2013.

On the positive side, the rate of reported cases of chlamydia fell for the first time since national reporting of the disease began, the agency said in the report, “Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2013.”

On the down side, the 2013 rate of reported primary and secondary syphilis cases rose nearly 11% over 2012 — the highest rate since 1995.

The third of the nationally notifiable STDs for which there are federal control programs is gonorrhea, where the incidence rate was slightly down in 2013, after several years of increases.

For all three infections, the agency found, rates among men were increasing, while those for women were falling or stable.

That continues the pattern the CDC reported in last year’s snapshot in which men were driving increased STD rates.

The data come from notifiable disease reporting by state and local STD programs, as well as projects that monitor STDs in various settings, and other national surveys by federal and private organizations, the agency said.

But incomplete diagnosis and reporting means the numbers are an underestimate even for the notifiable diseases, the CDC said, adding that for other STDs, such as human papillomavirus, national estimates aren’t available.

Data on chlamydia show 1,401,906 reported infections from 50 states and the District of Columbia, the report said, corresponding to a rate of 446.6 cases per 100,000 population.

From 1993 through 2011, the rate rose from 178.0 to 453.4 cases per 100,000 population and then was stable in 2012 at 453.3 cases per 100,000. The 1.5% decrease in 2013 represents the first drop since national reporting began.

Women continue to have the most reported infections — some 993,348 cases in 2013 for a rate of 623.1 per 100,000 — at least partly because they are more likely to be screened for the disease, the report said. The rate was a 2.4% decline from 2012.

On the other hand, there were 408,558 cases among males for a rate of 262.6 cases per 100,000 males, up 0.8% from 2012.

The report notes that reported figures for chlamydia, which is mostly asymptomatic, can be affected by changes in the actual incidence, as well as by variation in diagnostic, screening, and reporting practices.

For syphilis, the driving factor is men — and mainly men who have sex with men — the report said.

The annual rate of reported primary and secondary syphilis in the U.S. reached an all-time low in 2000, and rose in the following decade, before decreasing slightly in 2010 and stabilizing in 2011.

But the rate rose in 2012 and again in 2013, when the number of reported syphilis cases increased from 15,667 in 2012 to 17,535 in 2013, an increase of 10.9%. The rate from 5.0 to 5.5 cases per 100,000 population, making both the 2013 case count and rate the highest since 1995.

Among men, the rate of primary and secondary syphilis rose 12% in 2013, compared with 2013 — from 9.2 to 10.3 cases per 100,000 men — while the rate among women remained unchanged at 0.9 cases per 100,000 women.

Men accounted for 91% of all reported primary and secondary disease cases; in the 49 states and the District of Columbia that reported the sex of partners of patients, men who have sex with men accounted for 75% of cases.

In jurisdictions where information for both sex of partner and HIV status was relatively complete — defined as 70% or greater for all cases — 52% of men who have sex with men with syphilis also had HIV. The co-infection rates for men who have sex with women and for women were 9.9% and 5.2%, respectively.

For gonorrhea, there were 333,004 reported cases yielding a rate of 106.1 cases per 100,000 population, which was down 0.6% over 2012. On the other hand, the rate still represented an 8.2% increase over 2009.

Compared with 2012, the 2013 gonorrhea rate among men increased 4.3%, and the rate among women decreased 5.1% — a difference that suggests either increased transmission or increased case ascertainment among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.

Where There Is Smoke…There Is Sleep Apnea: Exploring the Relationship Between Smoking and Sleep Apnea


Smoking and OSA are widely prevalent and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It has been hypothesized that each of these conditions adversely affects the other, leading to increased comorbidity while altering the efficacy of existing therapies. However, while the association between smoking and OSA is plausible, the evidence is less than conclusive. Cigarette smoking may increase the severity of OSA through alterations in sleep architecture, upper airway neuromuscular function, arousal mechanisms, and upper airway inflammation. Conversely, some evidence links untreated OSA with smoking addiction. Smoking cessation should improve OSA, but the evidence to support this is also limited. This article reviews the current evidence linking both conditions and the efficacy of various treatments. Limitations of the current evidence and areas in need of future investigation are also addressed.

The Importance of Lung Cancer Screening With Low-Dose Computed Tomography for Medicare BeneficiariesLung Cancer Screening for Medicare PatientsLung Cancer Screening for Medicare Patients


The National Lung Screening Trial has provided convincing evidence of a substantial mortality benefit of lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) for current and former smokers at high risk. The United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended screening, triggering coverage of low-dose CT by private health insurers under provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are currently evaluating coverage of lung cancer screening for Medicare beneficiaries. Since 70% of lung cancer occurs in patients 65 years or older, CMS should cover low-dose CT, thus avoiding the situation of at-risk patients being screened up to age 64 through private insurers and then abruptly ceasing screening at exactly the ages when their risk for developing lung cancer is increasing. Legitimate concerns include false-positive findings that lead to further testing and invasive procedures, overdiagnosis (detection of clinically unimportant cancers), the morbidity and mortality of surgery, and the overall costs of follow-up tests and procedures. These concerns can be mitigated by clear criteria for screening high-risk patients, disciplined management of abnormalities based on algorithms, and high-quality multidisciplinary care. Lung cancer screening with low-dose CT can lead to early diagnosis and cure for thousands of patients each year. Professional societies can help CMS responsibly implement a program that is patient-centered and minimizes unintended harms and costs.

FDA Finally Admits Chicken Meat Contains Cancer-Causing Arsenic


fda-finally-admits-chicken-meat-contains-cancer-causing-arsenic

For years, the issue of arsenic in chicken has been swept under the rug, hoping and praying no one would notice, the FDA has now admitted that chicken meat sold in The United States contains arsenic, a cancer- causing toxic chemical that is fatal in high doses.

The arsenic is added to the chicken feed, and then the arsenic added to the feed ends up in the meat where it is then consumed by people for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For the last sixty years, We consumers have been swallowing arsenic, a known carcinogenic!

Until recently the FDA and the poultry industry has denied that the arsenic fed to the chickens ended up in the meat. They have said, “the arsenic is excreted in the chicken feces.” There is not one trace of scientific evidence to support this claim; it is just what you were wanted to believe!

Now, the evidence is so undeniable that the manufacturer of the chicken feed known as Roxarsone has decided to pull the product off of the shelves. The manufacturer that has been putting the arsenic into the feed is the same company that makes the vaccines containing chemical adjuvants that are injected into children, Pfizer.

The toxic feed will be pulled from the shelves in the United States.

“Scott Brown of Pfizer Animal Health’s Veterinary Medicine Research and Development division said the company also sells the ingredient in about a dozen other countries. He said Pfizer is reaching out to regulatory authorities in those countries and will decide whether to sell it on an individual basis.”

What about the FDA? They continue their claim that arsenic in chickens consumed in such low levels is still safe to eat. Even, as they say, that the arsenic is a carcinogen, meaning it increases the risk of cancer.

What is even more disturbing is the fact that the chicken litter containing arsenic is then fed to the dairy cows in factory beef operations. I guess if they don’t get it in one way, it will go in another!

“Arsenic in chicken production poses a risk not only to human health, but to the environment,” Consumer’s Union senior scientist Michael Hansen, Ph.D., says in a news release. “Arsenic can end up in the manure from chicken coops and this is spread on agricultural land as fertilizer. Chicken coop floor waste is also routinely swept up and recycled as feed to cows on large-scale feedlots. We need to get arsenic out of food production altogether.”

The F.D.A. spokesman said the agency “continues to investigate all uses of arsenic-based drugs in food-producing animals and will take the appropriate action to protect public health.”

Sources:

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/31/business/fi-feed31

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/news/20110608/fda-arsenic-drug-in-chicken-feed-suspended?page=2

http://www.usatoday.com/search/National%20Chicken%20Council/

The Anticoagulation of Calf Thrombosis (ACT) Project: Results From the Randomized Controlled External Pilot Trial


BACKGROUND:  There is currently little evidence defining the clinical importance of detecting and treating isolated distal DVT (IDDVT). International guidelines vary regarding diagnostic and therapeutic advice. The potential benefits of anticoagulation are unquantified. We sought to evaluate the feasibility of a randomized controlled study within a modern framework and provide a primary outcome point estimate.

METHODS:  In this open-label, external pilot randomized controlled trial, consecutive, symptomatic, ambulatory patients with IDDVT were approached for inclusion. Participants were allocated to receive either therapeutic anticoagulation or conservative management. Patients underwent blinded color-duplex imaging at 7 and 21 days and follow-up at 3 months. Principal feasibility outcomes included recruitment rate and attrition. The principal clinical outcome was a composite including proximal propagation, pulmonary embolism, death attributable to VTE disease, or major bleeding. Analysis was by intention to treat.

RESULTS:  In total, 93 patients with IDDVT were screened, and 70 of those eligible (88.6%) were recruited. All patients but one were followed-up by direct contact after 90 days. Allocation crossover occurred in 15 patients (21.4%). The principal clinical outcome occurred in four of 35 of those conservatively treated (11.4%) and zero of 35 in the anticoagulated group (absolute risk reduction, 11.4%; 95% CI, −1.5 to 26.7, P = .11, number needed to treat of nine). There were no major bleeding episodes.

CONCLUSIONS:  We have established the feasibility of definitive study regarding the value of therapeutic anticoagulation in IDDVT and provide an approximate point estimate for serious complications with a contemporary conservative strategy.

Rhabdomyosarcomas And Other Heart Cancers Are So Extremely Rare It’s As If They Didn’t Exist.


your heart
Your heart is virtually impervious to cancer due to its muscular, non-fatty nature along with substantial assistance from the pericardium. 

Food for thought: there are cancers of the brain, blood, lymph nodes, lungs, bone, and every other bodily organ, part, or system imaginable. Why, then, do we never hear about heartcancer — could it be our hearts, long symbolized as the root of loving emotion, are somehow immune to the dreaded disease? Unfortunately, the reason no one ever talks about heart cancer is much more mundane.

“We do have tumors that occur in the heart,” Dr. Jacqueline Barrientos, assistant professor, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, told Medical Daily in an email, “but these are not as common, so you don’t hear about them.”

Indeed, malignant heart tumors, known as rhabdomyosarcomas, are extremely rare. A sarcoma is a type of tumor that originates in the soft tissues of the body; a rhabdomyosarcoma occurs in the muscle tissue of the heart. Their incidence is estimated at less than 0.1 percent, based on a study of more than 12,000 autopsies, which identified only seven cases of any kind of primary cardiac tumor. (Primary tumors are those that have originated where they are found, and have not spread from some other part of the body.)

That said, “most cancers found in the heart have come from elsewhere in the body,” according to Dr. Timothy J. Moynihan of the Mayo Institute, meaning they are secondary tumors. To understand exactly what he means, it might be necessary to review the fundamentals.

Back to (Cancer) Basics

Our bodies have an astronomical number of cells — uncountable, really — though one estimate places the number at 37.2 trillion. When we are healthy, our many cells cooperate and share the vast work of our body, all while they go about their separate business of growing, dividing (to provide a replacement for themselves), and then efficiently dying. Cancer, then, is simply an aberration of these cellular processes.

Cancer begins when cells start to grow out of control. This is due to damaged DNA, the genetic material carried in the nucleus of each and every cell. Normally, a cell repairs any damaged DNA, or simply dies, but cancer cells do not repair or die. Instead, they divide and make many more abnormal cells with damaged DNA. Another unusual property possessed by cancer cells is they are able to grow into —invade, really — other tissues. Normal cells cannot do the same.

So, when Moynihan says cancers in the heart have come from “elsewhere in the body,” he is talking about just such an invasion — the cancer began somewhere else in the body, but now it has infiltrated the heart.

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, clinical assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, toldMedical Daily the most common secondary tumors spreading to the heart “come from the lung, from the esophagus, and you can also see them from the liver, and the stomach. Even nests of leukemia cells form tumors in the heart.” More importantly, all of these different types of tumors “usually go to the right side of the heart,” Gaynor explained. “That’s where the blood enters the heart — on the right side.”

But a tumor is a tumor is a tumor, you say. How do doctors know where a tumor originates — especially when a new tumor may appear years later in a part of the body far from the original cancer site? When a new tumor appears, its cells are identical to those of the original tumor. So if a person had pancreatic cancer, say, and it spread to the brain, the tumor appearing in their brain, when viewed through a microscope, would look nothing like the tumor of a person with brain cancer — the cells of this brain tumor would look identical to pancreatic tumor cells.

If secondary tumors invade the heart, why is it so rare for primary tumors to develop there? According to Gaynor, the explanation begins and ends with our genes.

The Reason We Don’t Get Heart Cancer

As you likely know, we receive half our genes from our mothers, half from our fathers. While it would seem our genetic fate is sealed, “nothing could be further from the truth,” said Gaynor, whose new book on the subject, The Gene Therapy Plan, will be available in 2015. “We understand now how gene expression can be modified throughout your life… and that can create cancer,” he said.

In fact, our environment affects which genes become expressed (activated) as well as how frequently they become activated. And carcinogens coming from our food and environment are one of the many factors that influence which genes are activated or not.

“A lot of toxins are found in breast tissue, because there are a lot of fat cells there,” Gaynor explained. “And toxins are found wherever there is the most fat.”

While our bodies have some defenses against these contaminants, in the form of detoxifying enzymes, and while our bodies are supported by micronutrients which turn on tumor suppressor genes, dangerous toxins found in our fat tissue still modify our genes, which can result in cancers forming in the organs of our bodies, especially those containing fatty tissue.

This, then, is why the heart is so exceptional:

“There’s not a lot of fatty tissue [in the heart],” Gaynor said. Even more, “the heart’s enclosed in a membrane,” he explained. Known as the pericardium, this fluid-filled sac may itself become engulfed by cancer, with tumors metastasizing to the outside of it, but still it does its job of protecting our precious hearts.

So, even though cancer can happen anywhere there are cells, your heart remains virtually immune due to its muscular nature and the assistance of the pericardium. Smart heart.

Cell Phones are Killing Bees


 

bees, cell phones, Daniel Favre, Bee decline, Lausanne, cell phone signals

Scientists may have found the cause of the world’s sudden dwindling population of bees – and cell phones may be to blame. Research conducted in Lausanne, Switzerland has shown that the signal from cell phones not only confuses bees, but also may lead to their death. Over 83 experiments have yielded the same results. With virtually most of the population of the United States (and the rest of the world) owning cell phones, the impact has been greatly noticeable.

bees, cell phones, Daniel Favre, Bee decline, Lausanne, cell phone signalsLed by researcher Daniel Favre, the alarming study found that bees reacted significantly to cell phones that were placed near or in hives in call-making mode. The bees sensed the signals transmitted when the phones rang, and emitted heavy buzzing noise during the calls.  The calls act as an instinctive warning to leave the hive, but the frequency confuses the bees, causing them to fly erratically. The study found that the bees’ buzzing noise increases ten times when a cell phone is ringing or making a call – aka when signals are being transmitted, but remained normal when not in use.

The signals cause the bees to become lost and disoriented.  The impact has already been felt the world over, as the population of bees in the U.S. and the U.K. has decreased by almost half in the last thirty years – which coincides with the popularization and acceptance of cell phones as a personal device.  Studies as far back as 2008 have found that bees are repelled by cell phone signals.

Bees are an integral and necessary part of our agricultural and ecological systems, producing honey, and more importantly pollinating our crops.  As it is unlikely that the world will learn to forgo the convenience of cell phones, it is unclear how much they will contribute to the decline of bees, and their impact on the environment.

 

The Santa Claus Syndrome.


santacharade 580x388 881x499 The Santa Claus Syndrome

 

The Santa Clause: Lying is OK, so long as everyone else is doing it.

The Santa Claus Syndrome is the effect of societal complicity in, and/or complacency to, lies and the belief that’s ok.

Take a moment to imagine yourself an outsider and visitor to a new culture. Imagine if you will an annual global celebration so fantastic that people excitedly await it all year long. Imagine the celebration correlates the winter solstice. Imagine the celebration is so spectacular and grandiose that it spurs the sales of products worldwide and some businesses exist solely because of it. Imagine that nearly all businesses profit from it and promote it. Imagine that the main part of the celebration, for most people, aside from sparkling decorations and elaborate gift giving, is openly lying to young children!

Most everyone celebrates the holiday, but those who do not celebrate it are expected to go along with the tradition of broadly lying to children and accepting the excessive materialism out of consideration for cultural tradition.

Conjuring, Consumerism and Conditioning

Although some call Christmas today a ‘Pagan’ holiday, in reality it is nothing of the kind. The pagans I know want nothing to do with it.

Christmas is a children’s consumption holiday. They look forward to it the most. Well, children and the profiting corporations, of course. Children receive countless presents, rewarded for accepting as truth impossible fictions about a fat man from the North Pole, an omnipotence external being who “sees you when you’re sleeping”, who judges children, and who withholds or grants material incentives accordingly. 

It is better to give than to receive, they are told.

Celebration and happiness is in the receiving, they observe.

Reward is earned by modelling behavior and suspending critical thinking, they learn.

Generally speaking, telling children fiction as fact is counter-productive to their developing minds. But children do of course eventually inquire of their parents and strangers alike about the phenomenon of the holiday and the fat man. For a period of time after that first enquiry, many children are lied to further – to prolong the “magic”. Finally, they get their answer and find that majority of adults are in on the lie. Even institutions like schools lie, and local and national news. And now they will lie, too. And it’s all okay… so long as everyone else is doing it.

The Santa Clause Syndrome The Magic Of Christmas 225x300 The Santa Claus Syndrome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that, kids, is the magic of Christmas!

Other celebration rituals involve cutting down young trees for indoor decorations, wrapping gifts in paper from other trees and putting them under the dying, decorated tree on the last night of the celebration and saying the fat man did it. The children are told the fat man traverses the world on an inadequately sized sled powered by flying reindeer (the lead one featuring an inexplicable glowing nose) and stops by the homes of children, entering through chimneys yet staying crispy clean, having cookies at each house as he drops off plastic weapons and impossibly thin dolls.

And the fat man, old Santa Claus, he isn’t just generous, he’s mysterious. He doesn’t simply give because it’s better than receiving. He and his elf workers in the North Pole watch all the children of Earth all year long. He decides which children receive the promise of abundance based on who’s been naughty and nice.

Sounds a bit like the other Big Guy, who decides who receives the promise of abundance in the ‘afterlife’, based on who’s been naughty and nice.

First Lies

The Santa Claus story is an unnecessary social conjuration of a blatantly un-sacred holiday. Those of us who grew up in in ‘Christmas’ homes were all influenced by it in one way or another; even the ‘not Christmas’ kids were openly encouraged to withhold the truth from the ‘Christmas’ kids – to prolong the magic.

Abstract and nuanced, it is the first load of garbage young humans in Christian-influenced societies have to mentally digest. For many kids, it is the first time they come to doubt their parents on a point of truth, and the first time they are knowingly lied to if their suspicions are deflected. Then, once entrusted with continuing the Santa Claus myth with younger children, it is the first time they learn that the caveat to the long held ‘no lying’ rule is … ‘so long as everyone else is doing it’.

Just play along kids, and you’ll still get the gifts.

b3ta  christmas card challenge by dafter punk d34zb5n 300x209 The Santa Claus Syndrome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amid all the Christmas hoopla, which starts to build in stores as early as October, children are normally so occupied with shiny lights and the prospect of gifts that there really is no impetus to question it. Eventually, despite the enticements on offer, the lie is realized of course, for some kids much sooner than others, and the specifics and nuances come undone as a natural function of their maturing minds.

Tradition or Parody?

Regardless of any magical intention, the blunt reality is that parents, teachers, strangers, radio hosts, and local weathermen are deceiving children in perfect synchronization, steering them into immense emotional and material attachment to a collective (unnecessary) illusory figure that withholds from the ‘naughty’ and rewards the ‘nice’.

The holiday in its current formation gives us all practice at complicity, passing on cultural fictions because they were passed onto us, and because that’s what adults do. It is effectively a child-friendly celebration of the doctrines — It’s better to receive than to give, and you’re expected to lie so long as everyone else is doing it — proudly brought to you by your favorite sugary drink, Coca-Cola.

The worst part of the celebration of this vile conjuration is not the lie itself, but the results of it. Lying to kids in this way creates a parody of genuine human tradition, substituting meaningful ritual with an illusory commercial mockery. But that’s only stage one of the Santa Claus Syndrome

Learning the Santa Clause is the the first test of adulthood. Left unresolved, the experience can manifest to varying degrees, in a number of ways.

The Santa Claus Syndrome

The Santa Clause: Lying is OK, so long as everyone else is doing it.

If you don’t question what you’ve been told, accept incomplete information, and don’t proceed with your natural impulse, you quite likely have the Santa Claus Syndrome to some degree. Quite simply, it makes people ignore serious issues.

Merry total apathy The Santa Claus Syndrome

The Santa Claus Syndrome manifests in a number of stages:

Stage One:

It manifests as insistence on celebrating lies posing as tradition, elaborate intent on the deception of youth including distraction with sparkling decoration and gifts, and instilling ‘the Santa Clause’ in children.

Beyond that, ;the Santa Clause’ teaches us to conform to widely-accepted untruths.

Stage Two:

Stage two is the acceptance of adult lies, servitude to authority and unquestioning belief in whatever the ‘proper authority’ states. The childhood belief in Santa Claus and trust of authority leads to an adulthood belief that the government, corporate and religious institutions they trust do not lie.

Just like a kid sees the local weather reporter tracking Santa’s flight path, an adult with stage twoSanta Claus Syndrome will see as real other fictions in the news and media (such as chemically treated food is just as healthy as organic, or nuclear is a safe energy system).

The Santa Clause Syndrome Holidays 300x197 The Santa Claus Syndrome
Stage Three:

Telling adult lies. Stage Three Santa Claus Syndrome is also indicated by people who continue adult likes, such as nuclear is safe… or cannabis has no medicinal value… or insert any number of lies here _____ that many people perpetuate on behalf of our corrupted institutions.

Stage Four:

In Stage Four, one has all the symptoms of stages One through Three. Further, those in Stage Four are likely to lash out at those who question the status quo or expose lies (and forcing change) in anyway. Stage Four can involved the conjuration of adult lies, instituting great and broad fictions for trifle and temporary gains, often as a way to psychologically rationalize not just with others but themselves, to believe what they are doing – and who they are – is ok.

Trading why for what

It is no coincidence that around the time when young children begin to ask the eternal why, a series of ‘whys’ in regard to every subject, they are taught ‘the Santa Clause’, which teaches them, teaches us, to replace the endless series of why into an endless series of what. Where the Santa Claus fiction is concerned, knowing is less important than obtaining. It is the first true test of our ‘adulthood’; once you are entrusted with the truth of the lie, adults check that you repeat the lie to those younger than you; those who aren’t to know.

Then in adulthood, we are exposed to big and sometimes seriously dark and disturbing lies. And adult lies – lies told by authorities – are often backed up by the local news reporters and retailers, just like Santa Claus. And just like the children we were, and the children we raise, we adults too stop asking why in exchange for what.

Santa Clause is Dead 300x199 The Santa Claus Syndrome

 

 

 

 

 

 

The materialistic enticement of ‘the Santa Clause’ has contributed to a culture where understanding is inhibited, and truth undervalued. We teach our children not to tell the truth so as not to make the babies cry. We reward materialistic impulses, confusing gratification with what is right and wrong. But worst of all, we teach little people to accept that we are lied to, and to contribute to broadly accepted lies — as long as we have bright shiny things.

Evidence of the Santa Clause Syndrome is everywhere in our society. Many personal and societal problems can be theoretically traced to it, but also many institutions can be rationally broken down as disturbingly negative or outright useless when considering it. Most evidently, Santa Claus Syndromedoes not promote individuation, but conformity – at a very impressionable stage of childhood development.

Santa Claus is Dead

Christmas today doesn’t celebrate the humanity nor the amazing world around us – in other words, anything real – and that is a direct reflection of our sick society. Although I risk being accused of some ridiculous thinking here, I believe we need to heal and re-create our culture through sacred, nutritious traditions grounded in love, simplicity and gratitude.

In contrast, the fiction of Santa doesn’t encourage a sense of gratitude in children. Children “earn” gifts from Santa Claus by adhering to social norms – naughty or nice – and any innate sense of gratitude a child may feel for this annual abundance is intentionally misdirected at a magical, fictional patriarch, until a comprehensive deception is finally realized. Sadly, that realization is where, for most kids, their broader sense of magic is hindered a learned distrust of their developing senses.

Arguably the most underestimated and psychologically disturbing rites of passage for children in Christian-based cultures today, ‘the Santa Clause’ is another failing institutionalization, much like the religions that spawned it. And so, many of us are now facing the decision to keep perpetuating ‘the Santa Clause’ within our family circles, or begin the process of transforming this ritualized nonsense into a genuinely sacred, annual celebration of peace, renewal and gratitude.

This year Santa is dead to me. There will be no false idol. This year, children will learn the truth if they come around here. And with that, healing from the Santa Clause Syndrome can begin.

This holiday season, be sure to not tell your kids a pack of lies and cater only to their material desires – no matter the tradition.

Let’s create a new holiday.

Peace on Earth… only for real.

Merry Christmas!

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