Is there a Doctor in the House?

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
Post Reply
James Pratt
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:10 pm

Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by James Pratt » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:34 am

Has anybody hereabouts experience of hypnagogia? Apparently chess people are prone.

Gordon Cadden
Posts: 484
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:57 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by Gordon Cadden » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:32 pm

Not in my Concise Oxford Dictionary. Possibly a medical dictionary ?

John McKenna
Posts: 3722
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:06 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia

I wonder if 'dozy' is the colloquial equivalent - are chessplayers dozy?

Edit (with respect to the post immediately below): Perhaps I have been reading the Metro too much and its all-too-frequent use of words to make double entendres has influenced what I write and how I interpret what I read. James used the word 'prone' - disposed to/prostrate - in his original post. I used the word 'dozy' - drowsy, sleepy/stupid & slow-witted - in mine, for which I make no apology. Now I know that medical advice is being sought and not humour I have removed my introductory quote of a certain comedy-cartoon rabbit.
Last edited by John McKenna on Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

James Pratt
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by James Pratt » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:52 am

my enquiry is important, to me, at least. Maybe a GP is reading this or I could be put in contact with a chessplaying medico?

James Pratt
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by James Pratt » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:05 pm

John, that's fine. I have been to the doc and the optician, looked at Google and similar, and drawn a blank. In frustration I turn to Caissa's Community hereabouts.

John McKenna
Posts: 3722
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by John McKenna » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:05 pm

James Pratt wrote:John, that's fine. I have been to the doc and the optician, looked at Google and similar, and drawn a blank. In frustration I turn to Caissa's Community hereabouts.
James, I hope that there is a medic who visits this forum and that you get a genuine reply to your enquiry.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Colin S Crouch
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:37 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by Colin S Crouch » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:58 pm

Wasn't there a recent chess administrator, who “believes he was abducted by aliens in yellow suits and taken to their spaceship”?
This sounds very much like what is described as hypnagogia, or perhaps the twilight zone.
Still, why should a medic decide that chess-players are prone to hypnagogia? Googling it up, the second most common answer is, yes you guesed it, English Chess Form. Back to where we started!
The top response notes that “Chess players claim to see the checkered black-and-white chess board”. Do they really? A black-and-white board, plus black-and-white pieces can of course be visually extremely disconcerting, which is why in tournament chess have dark and light squares, not black and white.
Somewhere along the line, an unproven assertion has become, it seems, an established myth. And fortunately for James, it is unlikely that anyone has suggested that he has encountered spacemen in yellow suits.

John McKenna
Posts: 3722
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by John McKenna » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:16 am

I take what Colin has written above to be the advice that James should not be too ready to accept a (self?) diagnosis of a condition that may not be the complaint called hypnagogia because a link between that complaint and playing chess is not well defined and established in the medical world? In my limited experience of matters medical I've usually come across some place on the internet, a group/society website or a forum for example, where sufferers and their relatives and friends discuss such conditions/complaints. I quickly found the Wikipedia entry (that seems quite thorough and informative), which I gave above, and left it at that. One would hope that might lead to another trail, but from the sound of it, it is a barren & circular one. James seems to have followed such a trail, himself, before coming to this forum for advice. All I can say is that perhaps playing chess is not without its mental and physical side effects for most if not all people - Einstein is quoted as saying, "Chess grips its exponent, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom and independence of even the strongest character cannot remain unaffected." Make of that what you will.

(Now I'm off to check the new grades - Dave Gilbert says they're out. Gripping! Just like Christmas morn used to be.)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Colin S Crouch
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:37 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by Colin S Crouch » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:27 pm

Getting back to James's query, the problem here seems to be, apart from his problems with his eyesight, that A. Doctor uses a long word, which seems to have two only vaguely related meanings. One is bizarre (we can perhaps dub it “kirsanitis”, the belief of men in yellow suits transported by space, and all that. The other, and one has to look hard in the less lurid case, is that people can get tired and dizzy after spending too much time on the chessboard or the computer.

It would help if the doctor could have said something clearer and less ambiguous.

For myself, I am having problems dealing with the ladies and gentlemen of the medical profession. For the last three or four years, I have been having increased problems with my physical mobility, sometimes making it very difficult for me to get up and down the stairs. I have at times been forced to haul myself up and down the stairs with my arms and hands, my torso and legs being, for the moment, being dead weight. One of the lady doctors at the local surgery, and the hospital were totally unsympathetic, even complaining that I should stop wasting her time. No doubt there is a posh way of saying “time-waster” in medical terminology.


There is a recent update to made, but basically, one suspects that the doctors at hospital and GP surgery level have no interest about swelling of my feet, and that what I have said over the last few years will have been weeded out of the system, and that consequently things will get misdiagnosed.
Patzers!

By the way, if someone wants something more directly connected to chess matters, after round three of the 2012 London Open, I was already in pain but overnight it was impossible for me to travel to the tournament venue.

John McKenna
Posts: 3722
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by John McKenna » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:43 pm

Thought I'd just put up the link below -

http://www.worldchesschampionship2013.c ... brede.html

Not much help to James or Colin (unless perhaps they are paired against him - he has played in Eng.) It could indicate that if they tried foreign chess sites they might find such doctors. There does not seem to be a English chessplayer who is an MD - at least not on this forum. (But, I bet there are lots of psychiatrists visiting anon.)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

David Robertson
Posts: 2158
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by David Robertson » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:20 pm

James Pratt wrote:Has anybody hereabouts experience of hypnagogia? Apparently chess people are prone.
By complete chance, I came across a reference to hypnagogia while reading yesterday. The reference cropped up in a book on neuroscience, by Dick Swaab, head of the Dutch Brain Research Institute. The reference, with case study, is given on pp. 131-132, within a chapter on narcolepsy and related disorders of the brain. The book is academic science (not 'pop' science), but readable nevertheless :)

Hypnagogic hallucinations are a variety of narcolepsy caused by disorders and abnormalities within the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates our circadian rhythms, so disorders cause disturbed patterns of sleeping and waking. The abnormalities are mainly genetic; and rare. Treatments are available, but no cure.

You say chess players are prone. I can think of absolutely no reason why this would be the case. If indeed it could be shown to be the case, I imagine some neurologists would be very interested.

This is all I have.

AustinElliott
Posts: 645
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:01 pm
Location: North of England
Contact:

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by AustinElliott » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:29 pm

David Robertson wrote:
James Pratt wrote:Has anybody hereabouts experience of hypnagogia? Apparently chess people are prone.
....
Hypnagogic hallucinations are a variety of narcolepsy caused by disorders and abnormalities within the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates our circadian rhythms, so disorders cause disturbed patterns of sleeping and waking. The abnormalities are mainly genetic; and rare. Treatments are available, but no cure.

You say chess players are prone. I can think of absolutely no reason why this would be the case. If indeed it could be shown to be the case, I imagine some neurologists would be very interested.

This is all I have.
The Professor of Circadian Neuroscience in Oxford, Russell Foster, is an expert in circadian physiology and is interested in the relationship of circadian rhythms to sleep patterns. Plenty of chess players to study in the Oxford area, I should think... perhaps one of them should email him and suggest a study!

David Gilbert
Posts: 733
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:03 am

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by David Gilbert » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:35 am

A quick aside on Colin’s post, “a posh way of saying “time-waster” in medical terminology” is probably Munchausen’s Syndrome, coined by Dr Richard Asher (father of Jane Asher, she of cake notoriety, and ex-girlfriend of Paul McCartney) and published in the Lancet on 10 February 1951. He committed suicide you know - and to this day no one really knows why.

I’m no doctor, but I'd be surprised if most GPs knew too much about hypnagogia, actually I’m surprised this one even gave it a name. Maybe he/she had a good medical encyclopedia? There is a specialist sleep clinic at Guys/St Thomas’ and James could ask for a referral there to have his condition investigated further. If the GP is a bit dodgy about this - I imagine it's expensive - quote the Principles and Rules for Co-operation and Competition that should enable you to exercise choice and control over your healthcare. Although that might still be bounced if your GP's clinical judgement is that further follow-up is unnecessary.

Both hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are common in people with narcolepsy, these events can be visual or auditory and usually occur before or at the end of a sleep period. However, a UK study (Ohayon MM, Priest RG, Caulet M, Guilleminault C; Hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations: pathological phenomena? Br J Psychiatry. 1996 Oct;169(4):459-67.) found the prevalence of these hallucinations are more common in the general population than had been expected, not just affecting people with narcolepsy. So James is not alone.

In a telephone survey of nearly 5000 people, representing a general population group, 37 per cent reported experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations and 12.5 per cent reported hypnopompic hallucinations. Whereas prevalence of narcolepsy is far lower, with about four people in a thousand affected. Rather than chess being a factor, the common threads among these people were symptoms of insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness or mental disorders.

AustinElliott
Posts: 645
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:01 pm
Location: North of England
Contact:

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by AustinElliott » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:21 am


James Pratt
Posts: 412
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Post by James Pratt » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:32 am

Thanks everybody. Thank you.

Post Reply