Another Side Of “Depression”

AKITA–The recent fraud case involving five people from Sapporo who allegedly cheated social insurance offices of disability allowances apparently has shown that doctors who examined them were easily tricked into believing the suspects were suffering from depression.

Despite the need for a diagnosis from a psychiatrist when applying for sickness benefit payments, two men, who earlier were questioned by police in connection with the scam, told The Yomiuri Shimbun that “it was extremely easy to get hold of [the money].”

At a clinic in downtown Sapporo, a young man, is said to have told a psychiatrist: “I’m on leave from work. I can’t sleep and I don’t want to go back to work.”

“That’s terrible,” the doctor reportedly said as he recorded the symptoms in the patient’s clinical record card. “Take some medicine and see how things go.”

The doctor prescribed tranquilizers and sleeping pills for the man and the whole consultation took less than 15 minutes.

Two weeks later, the same man returned and asked the doctor to fill in a sickness benefit payment application form for him. The psychiatrist wrote on the application form: “The patient displays symptoms of depression that make it difficult for him to go to work.”

About one month later, the Hokkaido Regional Social Insurance Bureau transferred sickness benefit payments worth about 200,000 yen to the man’s bank account.

During the summer of 2006, this man had been solicited by the leader of the scam group, Tsuyoshi Sano, 41, who headed Aqua, a Sapporo-based company that imports and sells precious metals. At the time, the young man had no stable job and had trouble making ends meet.

“Big hospitals don’t want to fill in the [sickness benefit payment] application forms,” Sano, who has been indicted on charges of fraud, reportedly told the man. “Go to private hospitals instead.”

The young man targeted a clinic he found in a telephone directory. He visited the clinic for more than six months and exhibited gloomy behavior, reportedly saying there was no change in his condition. He also reportedly asked the doctor to fill in application forms for sickness benefit payments every other month. Sano pocketed half of the 5 million yen he received, he said.

The young man received more than 10 pages of documentation, written by Sano, detailing the cases and experiences of depression suffers who had received sickness benefit payments.

“Pretend to have depression. It’s fine to say nothing when you don’t know how to answer,” Sano reportedly instructed the man. “As psychological problems can only really be understood by the individual, doctors can’t contradict [the patient].”

Meanwhile, the other man questioned by the police told The Yomiuri Shimbun he cheated a regional social insurance bureau of 450,000 yen by pretending to have depression.

He said he told the doctor that he could not sleep due to anxiety and his body always felt sluggish.

“I looked like all the other patients at the clinic. Pretending was easy,” the man said.

According to the prefectural police and other sources, Sano hired about 20 part-timers, known as “freeters,” via acquaintances and Hello Work job centers. He then installed them in various positions, one of which was head of Aqua’s branch offices.

Between February 2006 and December 2008, Sano and the others allegedly swindled regional social insurance bureaus in seven prefectures, including Aomori, Akita and Tochigi, out of a total of about 55 million yen. The company was not involved in any kind of business activity, police said.

It also has been ascertained that four suspects who were appointed “branch office heads,” visited different doctors in Sapporo separately, in order not to arouse suspicion, and duped the doctors by pretending to suffer from depression.

Why were these doctors not able to see through the swindlers’ plot?

According to a doctor who runs a private practice in Sapporo: “Emotional disorders are hard to quantify. As such, it’s difficult to see through a feigned illness during a medical diagnosis.”

An official at a regional social insurance bureau also said, “We trust doctors’ diagnoses completely.”

Meanwhile, one of the two men interviewed said he had feared arrest.

“Halfway through [the crime], it became very difficult to cheat the doctor,” he said. “I felt very guilty.”

(Mar. 23, 2009)

Government Website- Getting Through Tough Economic Times

The controversial Matt Drudge.

The controversial Matt Drudge.

I came across this banner headline on Drudge today.

Mon Mar 30 2009 18:43:56 ET

The U.S. government is set to offer an online emotional rescue kit!

“Getting Through Tough Economic Times” will launch Tuesday with a media push across all platforms.

The site is meant to help people identify health concerns related to financial worries.

The feds will warn of depression, suicidal thinking and other serious mental illnesses. It will raise warning flags for: Persistent sadness/crying; Excessive anxiety; Lack of sleep/constant fatigue; Excessive irritability/anger.

The guide will be available starting at midnight at


I then followed the link to the government site that is seeking to address the ramifications of what people in our nation may be experiencing as a result of all of the economic turmoil taking place.

I don’t like how Drudge seems to be minimizing the topic being addressed by describing the web site he’s linking to as a website to warn of sadness/crying. I believe this is another form of minimizing mental health issues that the site seeks to address as shown below.

Possible Health Risks

“Economic turmoil (e.g., increased unemployment, foreclosures, loss of investments and other financial distress) can result in a whole host of negative health effects – both physical and mental. It can be particularly devastating to your emotional and mental well-being. Although each of us is affected differently by economic troubles, these problems can add tremendous stress, which in turn can substantially increase the risk for developing such problems as:”

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Compulsive Behaviors (over-eating, excessive gambling, spending, etc.)
  • Substance Abuse

Along with a ton of other information relating to financial assistance and many other important topics my goal is to make you aware of possible help when anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts are yours or a loved ones reality.

There is a ton of information to check out and maybe you might find something that might help you in another area of your life.


Happy Birthday Dad

Dad,  Today you would have been 73 years old.  You would have been looking after mom right now as she faces more surgery to get blood flowing in her leg.  Mom never was sick to speak of when you were here and that makes me wonder how you would have done being at the hospital all day as you waited the outcome of her surgery.

You were always so stoic.  A man who took one third the time to express the same things I seek to share.  You had a way of getting to your point quickly and effectively.  Reading things I write would surely have tested you!

I wonder what I might have gotten you this year for your birthday?  You were so difficult to buy a present for as you began a trend in the family that includes me and our oldest son Andrew.  We are all three minimalists.  Andrew would have made a great hippie in the 60’s!  He lives in Oakland and went to Berkeley.  If he has a roof over his head and books to read his life is full.  He’s not like us as we could get through life with a smile on our face if all we wore were levis and some sort of t-shirt!  Makes gift giving difficult for everybody.

You had such a huge impact on my life.  I’ve been able to see you differently through the years.  That comes with growing older and gaining the benefit of time passing to realize you were more than a drunk who scared the hell out of me.  You were the obvious choice as to the roots of the problems I had up to this point in my life.

Doing that relieved me of any responsibility for my poor choices and their results in my life.  You were such an easy target.  I began to get it in the last several years of your life.  You were such a quiet man around me.  When we would see each other during the holidays you were more comfortable talking with my wife instead of me.  I figured you didn’t care for me even though we had mended our fences.

I have learned through the years what your life was like in your youth and realize you were the product of a pretty messed up family yourself.  Alcohol had done its damage to Grandpa and you were one of its victims as a boy and then when you turned to it yourself in your teens after he died.

I came along when you were 18 and by the time you were 21 there were three of us.  You weren’t prepared to be a father and your drinking made sure you would make mistakes.  Some of those mistakes impacted all of your children and I know now you realized it but were powerless to change.

Do you recall that night back in 1978 when I picked you up so you could attend a home Bible study I hosted at our place?  On the way there you told me that you were aware I believed in one way but you believed in many ways.  Yet you kept coming back.  My brother-in-law Mike led those studies.  We were young folks who wanted to learn about Jesus.  It turns out you did too.

You were very much a private man and at those studies it so happened there was a couple who attended who were about your age.  You would talk a lot with Rick and he impacted you more than I realized.

He attended Melodyland back in those days.  Evidently that peeked your interest as one Sunday he and his wife saw you respond to an altar call and while on your knees, you became a new creation in Christ.  Looking back, I think God set that whole Bible study at our home just for you.

In retrospect I see your life so much differently than I did during the years that followed.  You had gotten emphysema a few years prior to coming to the studies at our house.  You made the transition from a brick layer to an electrical engineer.  No small feat for a man in his 30’s!  That was your vocation until your illness got the best of you and forced you to quit your job and eventually took your life thirteen years ago.

Towards the end of your life you and I finally “connected.”  That was when you learned I was having panic attacks.  You were surprised that I was having them and you shared how you had them as well.  The thing is our panic attacks were quite different.

Yours resulted from your illness.  There were times your breathing was so bad you thought you were suffocating and that caused you to panic.  But just like with your illness, you never complained or blamed God when those attacks struck you.  You took everything in stride but if I was honest I would say part of your silence was because you never really learned to communicate your deepest thoughts a whole lot.  I understand why now. At least I would like to think so.

At the end of your life we finally got to talk but it was most easy for you on the telephone.  I get that.  I’m glad my panic disorder opened that door for us.  Those conversations made up for a whole lot of garbage and I realize you understand all of that perfectly now.  I wonder how God addressed the pain and guilt you carried through all those years?  Maybe He didn’t need to.

Two memories I have about you are among the most important things I have ever experienced.  The first is when Danny and I visited you for the last time before you died.  Somehow you managed to get out of bed and get to your chair in the front room.  Your illness had taken its toll on you.  As we were about to leave Danny asked if we could pray and you said yes.  He and I each took a knee and then you did the most remarkable thing I have ever experienced.  You held out a hand to each of us to hold as we prayed.  I don’t think we had ever shared a hug before that day.  What a gigantic thing you did for us that day.  It made up for so much pain.

The other thing happened on the day you died.  I had called mom to see how you were and you answered the phone.  You weren’t going to quit fighting.  You asked me about your tax return as our company was preparing them.  That threw me for a loop.  How in the world you made it to the phone I have no clue!

As that morning went on I knew your time was near.  I was terrified of the time when you actually would die.  I was scared I was going to have a panic attack of epic proportions.  You know what I did?  I got out our photo albums and looked at pictures with you in them.

Looking at them made me cry and as I cried the anxiety left me.  Neither of us were criers but when I did cry it released my anxiety so that when the call came letting me know you were gone I didn’t fall apart as I had feared.

I was home alone not quite knowing what to do.  Erin came home and I told her that you had died.  We hugged and I cried some more.

God granted me my wish and I was allowed to speak at your funeral along with Uncle Ronnie.  I’ll never forget the anxiety I was experiencing that day. As Uncle Ronnie spoke God allowed my anxiety to leave me and I was able to share in a calm manner.  I wonder if God let you see that?

You died 12 days after your 60th birthday on April 10th and your funeral was on the 13th.

Life can be messy dad.  But God has a way of bringing us through.  I wrote in my journal shortly after your funeral that I looked forward to seeing you in Heaven so we could finally share a hug.

Happy birthday dad.  I love you.  Allan

Facts vs. Feelings- Streams In The Desert, March 29th

“for we walk by faith, not by sight”.  (2 Cor. 5:7, ESV).

By faith, not appearance; God never wants us to look at our feelings. Self may want us to; and Satan may want us to. But God wants us to face facts, not feelings; the facts of Christ and of His finished and perfect work for us.

When we face these precious facts, and believe
them because God says they are facts, God will
take care of our feelings.

God never gives feeling to enable us to trust
Him; God never gives feeling to encourage us to
trust Him; God never gives feeling to show that
we have already and utterly trusted Him.

God gives feeling only when He sees that we trust Him apart from all feeling, resting on His own Word, and on His own faithfulness to His promise.

Never until then can the feeling (which is from God) possibly come; and God will give the feeling in such a measure and at such a time as His love sees best for the individual case.

We must choose between facing toward our feelings and facing toward God’s facts. Our feelings may be as uncertain as the sea or the shifting sands. God’s facts are as certain as the Rock of Ages, even Christ Himself, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

“When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.”


Saturday Night Live- Beautiful Christian Songs- Praise & Worship

Play List

1.  In Christ Alone-  Adrienne Liesching & Geoff Moore

2.  Praise Is Rising (Hosanna)-  Brenton Brown

3.  Amazing Love-  Lou Fellingham

4.  Shout To The North-  Delirious

5.  Famous One-  Chris Tomlin

6.  God Of Wonders-  Rebecca St. James

7.  Revelation Song-  Kari Jobe

8.  Everlasting God-  Lincoln Brewster

9.  With All I Am-  Hillsong

10.  Healing Rain-  Michael W. Smith

11.  Song To My Parents-  Keith Green

12.  How Great Is Our God-  Misty Edwards and other random stuff is a way to attract readers.  They say if I put them in a post more folks will come.  “If you say it they will come!”

Walked for about an hour today.  Would love to keep it up.

Made a shake with 10 cubes ice, 1 banana, maybe 8 strawberries, 1 packet splenda, and some vanilla soy milk.  Awesome and healthy.

I am sleeping way too much.

Saw my brother for a few hours yesterday and had a good visit.  He’s headed back to Idaho tomorrow and needs a job.

Slumdog Millionaire was a great movie.  I love happy endings.

Can’t believe I’ll be 55 this summer.

Would you like to share your testimony?  Contact me and we’ll set it up.

The movie “The Soloist” is coming in April.  There’s a link to the right under media and I’ll run an article right before it comes out.

How responsible is a mentally ill person when they commit a brutal crime?  I wonder about that.

I love cold cereal. Always have.  Now I don’t eat Trix, Cocoa Krispies, Captain Crunch, and Frosted Flakes.  I’d love to though.

Our son bought a 42 inch high tech television for a great price.  Yes, it’s cool watching high definition television on a 42 inch screen.

Funny how the healthiest yogurt for a diabetic is the cheapest on the market. It’s the Kroger’s/Ralph’s brand of low carb yogurt and they’re 50 cents each and taste great.

I’m reading through the Book of Genesis.  Enoch walked with God and God took him.  Where did God take him?  It doesn’t seem as if Heaven is the place? I’ll ask on Phoenix Preacher.

Noah walked with God and he built an ark.  A really big ark!  🙂

I tested my brothers blood sugar.  It was 105.  Very impressive!

I like being around Christians of all stripes.

I picked up the 7-10 split in league play when I was a bowler.  All on my team were yakking and didn’t see.  I got a patch.

My dream was to complete a marathon years ago.  I was training and had been up to 17 miles at an 8 minute pace and then my foot blew out.  I was bummed out.  I had run a half marathon prior and was quite excited.  I have to admit it’s still a dream of mine although I’m heavy and not running at all.

I loved how Bruce Lee would scream when he was kicking butt!

I loved Kung Fu with David Carradine.

I attended the California Jam in 1973.  Maybe I’ll post a few songs from it one Saturday.  Been wanting to do a classic rock night.

I met Karen Carpenter and got her autograph in the very early 70’s.

I attended an Amway meeting at Pat Boone’s home.  I had no idea that was why we were going.

Okay, I’m a name dropper!

Major League Baseball is in bad shape.  I don’t even recognize the Dodgers or Angels these days.  Players move around too much.  Give me the days of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, and Bill Russell.

Have you ever really understood how fast world class marathoners run during their 26 mile races.  99% of us couldn’t run one mile at their pace.

This marathon session is done!  God bless!!