My bulldog is exhibiting signs of regression, and I’m wondering how much of this has to do with me. She chewed up KP’s ultra-marathon hat this week and ate a package of Post-It notes that were sitting next to my psychiatry study books. Usually stoic, Izzy has been whimpering and licking my face like a needy child. Is she sick? Or does she just miss me? Am I bad parent to my bully? As one should never get in the habit of doing with their own family members, but mostly to study for my upcoming psych shelf exam, I went through the exercise of determining what Izzy’s psychiatric diagnoses would be were I making a clinical assessment as her bulldog shrink.
Axis I: Adjustment disorder NOS, double depression (MDE overlaid upon longstanding dysthymic disorder)
Axis II: Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (object fixation: Food—egosyntonic)
Axis III: obstructive sleep apnea, intractable flatulence refractory to diet modification and Beano, otherwise healthy
Axis IV: Current situational stressors: 1) parental neglect since her mother re-entered medical school clerkships, and since her father began his second Masters degree in ophthalmology for blind students 2) spayed late and now sexually frustrated. 3) Major lifelong regret—never caught a squirrel or rabbit in a chase.
Axis V: baseline GAF—50-60, now in the 30s due to few friends, having mostly conflicts with peers (alright, wild, face-first aggression with any non-human), flat affect, and frequent panic attacks.
Dysthymia, if you ask other bulldog shrinks, is most clinically challenging to assess in bulldogs due to their natural affect. Look at this face. Even when Izzy says she feels great, her affect is restricted and dysphoric, which suggests inappropriate mood-affect incongruity.
Besides Izzy’s regressive fugue, this bread I recently made also caused me significant dysthymia. While I thought cooking bread in a crockpot would be easy and different—not great results. It’s a little too close to a “bread machine” in procedure and taste. I would not recommend it, but for all you Axis II Debbie Downers out there who are more at ease in dysphoria—this one’s for you. All others be warned.
Slow Cooker Bread
Adapted from Hyvee
1 c. warm water, about 110 to 115 degrees
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup sourdough starter
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp Select olive oil
1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
In a large bowl combine water, sugar and starter. Let sit 10 minutes to proof. Stir in salt, rosemary, oregano, herbes de Provence, black pepper, olive oil and both flours. Form a ball and knead on a clean floured surface, adding more flour if needed to prevent sticking. Once a smooth ball is formed, place in a lightly greased bowl, covered to rise for 1 hour.
Punch down dough and reshape into a ball. Place on parchment paper and put in 4-quart slow-cooker. Turn machine to HIGH; allow to cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from slow-cooker and cool on wire rack. Here’s an affect that is mood congruent.
I would give this bread a GAF of 30. It definitely had a flat affect with a restricted range, incongruous with all of the spices that went in. Side effects of this loaf: blunted taste buds, decreased appetite, and dry mouth. Eating it was like a bad trip on the psychopharm formulary. This post is my blackbox warning against this recipe, lest y’all are tempted to think I’m getting paid by King Arthur’s Flour or The Village Baker to glow on every recipe I make. I consider myself a mandatory reporter of dud recipes. And this is definitely that.