Being aware of a Whole person. Pernicious anaemia

Until recently I was unaware of pernicious anaemia or a vitamin B 12 deficiency and its symptoms.

I took my daughter to the doctors as she was suffering from headaches, felt dizzy at times, she had trouble concentrating, was very tired despite good sleep and an excellent balanced diet.
She was told she had tension headaches. After a few weeks and doing all we were told she still felt awful and that diagnosis didn’t  ring true to either of us.
We were then told she had anxiety. Perhaps I’d like to give my 15 year old anti anxiety drugs? My daughter said no thanks and explained that was confusing as she didn’t feel anxious not particularly extraordinarily stressed. I asked for blood tests.
After a few months of pushing she was given a blood test to find that she actually had very low iron, B12 etc.
Eventually she was given B 12 jabs that she will have to have for the rest of her life as its an auto immune condition that would have made her very ill.
Since doing some research, those with a B12 deficiency can present as anxious or depressed. Also older people will often have a B 12 deficiency and benefit from jabs. In these cases diet changes will  not work as an intrinsic factor is missing.
I then met an older client presenting similar issues. While I am not qualified to, nor would I ever diagnose anyone, I encouraged him to see his GP. His result was a B12 deficiency. After jabs he felt better and we could work on his issues without the physical symptoms masking the real issue.
My point in this article is look at everything, see the whole person and trust your instincts. Get checked out always in all ways available.

Losing weight is a loss. It needs discussing!

If you have £3.70 pick up Marie Claire and turn to page 180.

Sarah Elizabeth Richards writes an excellent article in what she misses about being fat.

So often this is totally over looked yet something I always discuss with clients. Weight loss. LOSS. If you’re using the word loss, you’re losing something, someone. We deal with loss in psychotherapy. Loss of someone, of confidence of something. Why oh why isn’t this discussed at slimming clubs, diet places and before bariatric surgery as a must.

Many believe their problems will go along with their fat, or their weight.  Yet you are who you are right now. That’s your identity. To lose who you are matters and needs exploring. Your issues come from within.  They were caused in relationship and can be healed in relationship.  Not by what you look like.

There are physical, emotional and physiological implications in losing weight. Explore them.  Be ok. Be ok being you and then what you look like may or may not follow. Either way you’ll be ok.

Depression and what we eat

For the past couple of years, when people come to see me with depression I also look at their diet. I have long believed it is a contributory factor.  The age old tidy house tidy mind also has some bearing.  Healthy eating and sleep patterns matter.

As figures of depression and prescriptions soar there are longer waiting lists for counselling on the nhs.  Private therapy can’t be afforded by everyone.  There are however some dietary basics we can all look at. This post makes for very interesting reading?

Could it be chicken and egg? Which came first? Lack of dietary factors or depression.




An analysis of NHS figures, released this week  (http://www NULL.ssentif NULL.com/archive/12_oct2012 NULL.shtml)by data experts SSentif, revealed that the number of people living with depression in England has soared by nearly half a million in the last three years, with the total number standing at almost 5 million.
Inevitably, this has been accompanied by a large increase in the number of prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs. With official figures such as these likely to be merely the tip of the iceberg, just quite how much worse the actual situation is, is anyone’s guess.
Am I surprised? Not in the slightest. The writing was already on the wall and this is just more evidence of the growing burden of mental health problems society faces. As discussed recently in Nature  (http://www NULL.nature NULL.com/nature/journal/v477/n7363/full/477132a NULL.html), across 30 European countries, in a typical year, it’s estimated that around 165 million people – 38% of the population of these countries – will have a fully developed mental illness. When it comes to major depression, across these 30 countries, the estimated number of people affected was 30 million — making it the single greatest burden of all human diseases.
Certainly, mental health problems, and depression in particular, are undoubtedly complex, multi-factorial conditions. But the bit I’m interested in – and think more people should take seriously – is the extent to which our modern day diets are messing with our brains. To offer a window into this paradigm of thinking, I’m going to make reference to a particular constituent of our diet – omega-3 fish oils. Firstly (and famously), there’s a strong correlation between a nation’s fish consumption and the prevalence of depression [1], meaning countries with a high intake of fish (for example, Japan) have much lower rates of depression than countries with a low intake (such as the UK).
Whilst tantalising, this type of data is mere correlation, subject to any number of ‘confounders’. However, the fact that omega-3 fish oils (EPA and DHA) are critical for the structure and function of the brain, and play a role in how neurotransmitters work, does add biological plausibility. Then, we find that patients with depression have lower levels of omega-3 [2], and not only that, the lower the level of omega-3, the worse the depression [3].
Whilst the plot thickens, we need harder evidence, the sort that can only come from well-conducted randomised controlled trials (or RCTs), and that’s a bit of quagmire, as we find a mixture of both positive and negative studies on the role of omega-3 fish oils in depression. But to cut a long story short (for those wanting the whole story, we spell it out in The Health Delusion), when you put all these studies together into a ‘meta-analysis’, supplements containing the omega-3 fish oil EPA (rather than DHA) appear to be effective in improving symptoms of depression [4]. Whilst most of us would do well to eat more oily fish generally, for those suffering with depression, there is a persuasive, if not yet conclusive, argument for considering a supplement of 1g per day of EPA (but not DHA) as part of a comprehensive treatment approach (but always to be discussed with the doctor first).
Alongside omega-3 fish oils, we could make similar (if less strong) arguments for a potential role of other nutrients in supporting our mood and mental health, such as zinc [5] and folate [6]. We could even extend that to the removal of deleterious dietary factors, such as trans fats, which have recently been implicated in exacerbating our mental health woes (more about that here  (http://healthuncut NULL.com/2012/03/trans-fats-are-irritating-literally/)).
With burgeoning rates of depression, and our modern day diets in a pretty woeful state, is it time we started integrating nutritional strategies into the prevention and treatment of depression? It’s not as if the pharmaceutical solutions are a holy grail, given the significant numbers who either derive little or no benefit from them, or are afflicted by side effects.
Surely this is food for thought?
[1] Hibbeln JR (1998) Fish consumption and major depression Lancet 351(9110):1213
[2] Lin PY et al (2010) A meta-analytic review of polyunsaturated fatty acid compositions in patients with depression Biol Psychiatry 68(2):140-7
[3] Edwards R et al (1998) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in the diet and in red blood cell membranes of depressed patients. J Affect Disord 48(2-3):149-55
[4] Sublette ME et al (2011) Meta-analysis of the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in clinical trials in depression. J Clin Psychiatry 72(12):1577-84
[5] Cope EC, Levenson CW (2010) Role of zinc in the development and treatment of mood disorders Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 13(6):685-9
[6] Papakostas GI et al (2012) Folates and s-adenosylmethionine for major depressive disorder. Can J Psychiatry 57(7):406-13

Simply stated

Anxiety, stuck in the cycle? Make a move

Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength

It is tiring, exhausting even to live in a constant state of anxiety or fear.

To forget where you are right now, to remember what it felt like yesterday and worry that it will happen again in a few minutes.

1 in 7 people in the UK are on some kind of anti-anxiety medication.  That is without those that live with their symptoms knowing they’re not ok and those who live with their symptoms thinking that’s the way it is. None of these situations have to be, just because the enemy lives in your mind, doesn’t mean you have to live with feeling like that, scared, tired, anxious, worried and on a constant edge.



Anxiety has 4 components



The physiological component of anxiety involves physical symptoms and sensations such as:

Increased heart rate; shortness of breath; tightness in chest
  • Dizziness; weakness or tingling in your legs; feeling like you’re going to faint
  • Muscle tension; tension in the face and head; headaches
  • Lump in the throat
  • Nausea or other discomfort in the stomach
  • Feeling hot; sweating; sweaty palms; blushing
Thought processThe though process of anxiety involves thoughts and worries that often take the form of “What if …?” questions. These “What ifs” can be related to the anxiety-provoking situation:
  • What if I fail?
  • What if I embarrass myself?
  • What if something bad happens to me or my partner/spouse/child?
  • What if I don’t fit in and nobody like me?
  • What if I have a panic attack?

The “What ifs” can also be related to the the physiological symptoms you’re experiencing:

  • What if I have a heart attack?
  • What if I pass out?
  • What if I need medical attention?
  • What if I don’t fit in and nobody like me?
BehaviouralThe behavioural component of anxiety can involve reduced performance due to the anxiety. If you’re focused on your worries or physiological symptoms, you might find yourself distracted, and so concerned with what’s going on in your mind and your body that you feel removed from the outside world. As a result, things that would be simple if it weren’t for your anxiety—such as a work-related task, or socialising—become much more difficult to perform.
Another behavioural feature of anxiety is avoidance. Avoiding what you’re anxious about usually makes the anxiety subside in the short-term. If you’re anxious about socialising, or flying, or public speaking, or leaving the house, then by avoiding those situations leads you can avoid feeling anxious for the time being. However, avoidance winds up severely restricting what you can do and negatively affecting your day-to-day life. And when you do try to—or are forced to—face one of those situations, the anxiety returns stronger than ever.
EmotionalThe emotional component of anxiety consists of emotions typically associated with anxiety such as fear, dread, panic. Anxiety can also lead to other emotions such as frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness and depression.

Make a change, get in touch.  Break the cycle, learn techniques to breathe, to cope and to manage.  Gain tools to use in various scenarios through acceptance and in the longer term learn and understand why as much as is possible. Un ravel the tangles and start to re knit your life.

Talking, diet and sporting against depression

I work with clients with depression.

Some move and change some develop a different thinking, some work through. It all depends on the person. I do know however that I feel it is a privilege to be part of their journey and look at why, their life story and ways forward and or to change.

The two articles following argue that drugs don’t work and or that talking therapies are over looked.

I believe that talking to your doctor about taking medication is great, see what is right for you and also go get a therapist too, use both as an option. Reading can help, talking can help. A focused session where you have a set time concentrating on you is an opportunity. I also look at diet, exercise, social patterns and how you are as part of what I do.



  1. How to beat depression – without drugs
  • Jake Wallis Simons (http://www NULL.guardian NULL.co NULL.uk/profile/jake-wallis-simons)
  • The Guardian (http://www NULL.guardian NULL.co NULL.uk/theguardian), Monday 19 July 2010

Up to 20% of the UK population will suffer from depression – twice as many as 30 years ago, says Steve Ilardi. Photograph: Rob Lewine/Getty/Tetra

Dr Steve Ilardi is slim and enthusiastic, with intense eyes. The clinical psychologist is 4,400 miles away, in Kansas, and we are chatting about his new book via Skype, the online videophone service. “I’ve spent a lot of time pondering Skype,” he says. “On the one hand it provides a degree of social connectedness. On the other, you’re still essentially by yourself.” But, he concludes, “a large part of the human cortex is devoted to the processing of visual information, so I guess Skype is less alienating than voice calls.”

Social connectedness is important to Ilardi. In The Depression Cure, he argues that the brain mistakenly interprets the pain of depression as an infection. Thinking that isolation is needed, it sends messages to the sufferer to “crawl into a hole and wait for it all to go away”. This can be disastrous because what depressed people really need is the opposite: more human contact.

Which is why social connectedness forms one-sixth of his “lifestyle based” cure for depression. The other five elements are meaningful activity (to prevent “ruminating” on negative thoughts); regular exercise; a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids; daily exposure to sunlight; and good quality, restorative sleep.

The programme has one glaring omission: anti-depressant medication. Because according to Ilardi, the drugs simply don’t work. “Meds have only around a 50% success rate,” he says. “Moreover, of the people who do improve, half experience a relapse. This lowers the recovery rate to only 25%. To make matters worse, the side effects often include emotional numbing, sexual dysfunction and weight gain.”

As a respected clinical psychologist and university professor, Ilardi’s views are hard to dismiss. A research team at his workplace, the University of Kansas, has been testing his system – known as TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Change) – in clinical trials. The preliminary results show, he says, that every patient who put the full programme into practice got better.

Ilardi is convinced that the medical profession’s readiness to prescribe anti-depression medication is obscuring an important debate. Up to 20% of the UK population will have clinical depression at some point, he says – twice as many as 30 years ago. Where has this depression epidemic come from?

The answer, he suggests, lies in our lifestyle. “Our standard of living is better now than ever before, but technological progress comes with a dark underbelly. Human beings were not designed for this poorly nourished, sedentary, indoor, sleep-deprived, socially isolated, frenzied pace of life. So depression continues its relentless march.”

Our environment may have evolved rapidly but our physical evolution hasn’t kept up. “Our genome hasn’t moved on since 12,000 years ago, when everyone on the planet were hunter- gatherers,” he says. “Biologically, we still have Stone Age bodies. And when Stone Age body meets modern environment, the health consequences can be disastrous.”

To counteract this Ilardi focuses on the aspects of a primitive lifestyle that militate against depression. “Hunter- gatherer tribes still exist today in some parts of the world,” he says, “and their level of depression is almost zero. The reasons? They’re too busy to sit around brooding. They get lots of physical activity and sunlight. Their diet is rich in omega-3, their level of social connection is extraordinary, and they regularly have as much as 10 hours of sleep.” Ten hours? “We need eight. At the moment we average 6.7.”

So we should all burn our possessions and head out into the forest? “Of course not,” Iladi shudders. “That would be like a lifelong camping trip with 30 close relatives for company. Nobody would recommend that.”

Instead we can adapt our modern lifestyle to match our genome by harnessing modern technology, such as fish oil supplements to increase our intake of omega-3. All well and good. But I can’t escape the feeling that the six-step programme seems like common sense. Isn’t it obvious that more sleep, exercise and social connectedness are good for you?

“The devil is in the detail,” replies Ilardi. “People need to know how much sunlight is most effective, and at which time of day. And taking supplements, for example, is a complex business. You need anti-oxidants to ensure that the fish oil is effective, as well as a multivitamin. Without someone spelling it out, most people would never do it.” Ilardi practises the programme himself. He’s never been depressed, he tells me, but it increases his sense of wellbeing and reduces his absentmindedness (his college nickname was “Spaced”).

It all makes sense, but will I try it myself? I don’t suffer from depression, but wellbeing sounds nice. I’m not so sure about the fish oil, but I might just give it a go.

Enjoy the sunshine, get plenty of sleep – and be sociable

▶ Take 1,500mg of omega-3 daily (in the form of fish oil capsules), with a multivitamin and 500mg vitamin C.

▶ Don’t dwell on negative thoughts – instead of ruminating start an activity; even conversation counts.

▶ Exercise for 90 minutes a week.

▶ Get 15-30 minutes of sunlight each morning in the summer. In the winter, consider using a lightbox.

▶ Be sociable.

▶ Get eight hours of sleep



2.Psychotherapy as Treatment Option for Depression Often Overlooked

By American Psychological Association

American Psychological Association

Last modified: 2012-10-10T19:01:21Z

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As mental health advocates observe and blog about World Mental Health Day today, the American Psychological Association (APA) is drawing attention to psychotherapy as an effective treatment option for depression and other mental health issues.

“Even though countless studies show that psychotherapy helps people living with depression and anxiety, drug therapy has become the most popular course of treatment,” says Katherine C. Nordal, Ph.D., APA executive director for professional practice.

APA launched a psychotherapy awareness initiative this Fall to educate consumers about psychotherapy’s effectiveness and encourage them to talk with their physicians about treatment options. APA’s efforts include resources about psychotherapy to help people understand how it works and a video series that illustrates the value of psychotherapy as a treatment option.

“Research shows that psychotherapy works. It is an effective way to help people make positive changes in their lives,” Dr. Nordal said. “We hope people will explore their treatment options to create a plan that gives them the skills they need to manage their condition.”

Mental health problems are one of the top three reasons why Americans seek medical treatment. In the United State alone, one in ten adults report having depression, which is being treated more frequently with medication — since the 1990s, the number of prescriptions for antidepressants more than doubled from 55.9 million to 154.7 million.

SOURCE American Psychological Association
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/10/4899574/psychotherapy-as-treatment-option.html#storylink=cpy

YOLO, mindfulness in therapy

“Yolo” is a current piece of slang meaning you only live once. The question therapeutically for me is where is that once?  How do I impact right now, what is my part in right now, all great questions, yet by asking, are you taking yourself out of this moment?

Maybe it should read “timm,” this is my moment.

Eckhart Tolle states ” Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” We often believe we have done just that, yet habits are hard to break and we look for confirmation in life that our habit, be that addiction, an eating disorder, a panic attack, depression, being a workaholic, any habit in fact, is one of choice. Is it? Chemically, biologically, phenomenologically and psychologically?

Research on the brain has shown that the brain will shape path ways to avoid pain. We are scared of making the same mistake again so avoid repetition and avoid the potential in the future. That effectively takes us out of right now. We attach a bungee cord to that time when we felt x, it is familiar, safe, so we are ripped straight back to that point as if on the fairground running as fast as we can until that stretch is so uncomfortable we are pulled back.

This means we are stuck in doing, rather than being. How many human doings do you know? I’ll do it, leave it to me, of course I can, I will, I’ll sort it, let’s do something different, let’s sort this, what is the solution?


John Kabat-Zinn suggests that

“Our brains operate primarily in ‘Doing’ Mode. We actively use our minds to solve problems, make plans, anticipate obstacles, evaluate how far we are from desired goals and choose between alternatives by judging their relative value.  While “Doing” mode is extremely useful for helping us advance in our careers, be popular, lose weight, and a myriad of other life tasks, it falls short when it comes to managing emotions.  Emotions cannot be reasoned away or “solved” and evaluating how far we are from feeling as happy as we’d like to feel only makes us feel worse.  This type of thinking can actually exacerbate “sad” emotions by introducing a second layer in which we criticize or judge ourselves for being sad. “Doing” mode also doesn’t work when there is nothing we can do to change the situation. We may desperately want to be married, rich, loved, or successful, but we cannot force these outcomes to happen right away, even with the best of efforts. “Doing” mode can also lead to disheartening comparisons with people we feel are doing better than us and ruminations of why we are not where they are.


living fully in the now

“Being” as an Alternative to “Doing”


Now, nobody is suggesting that we give up “Doing” mode altogether. If this were the case, we would never even find our keys to get out the front door. However, there is another way of being that many of us are not even aware of, and that is “Being” Mode. Unlike its counterpart, “Being” mode is not action-oriented, evaluative, or future-focused. It involves slowing down our minds and deliberately grounding ourselves by focusing on what we are experiencing right now. In “Being” mode, it is okay to just be us, whatever we happen to be experiencing; we do not try to change our thoughts or emotions into more positive ones or shut out aspects of our experience. Rather, we begin to develop a different relationship with our own senses, bodily states and emotions by deliberately focusing on what they are trying to tell us and allowing ourselves to be compassionately open to these messages.

“Being” mode involves accepting what is, because it will be there anyway. We begin to release energy, relax, and let go of the struggle to mould our reality into our preconceived ideas of what it should be. We begin to let go of judgments and regrets about the past and fear of the future. Rather than berating ourselves for not achieving the status in life we think we deserve or are entitled to, we allow ourselves to look fully and open-mindedly at where we are. Eventually we realise that this may not be so bad. We learn to extend love, compassion, and kindness to ourselves, and everything around us, rather than compartmentalizing reality into “good” and “bad,” or “winners” and “losers.”  We are all infinitely more complex than what we  earn or own; we are lovable and interesting, just by being human. This moment is just this moment and not where we are stuck forever. Ironically, by accepting the present, we open up space for internal and external movement and change.


The Advantages of “Being” Where We Are

”Being” mode is a core component of mindfulness and spiritual practices. It is something that requires practice and training because we need to overcome our minds’ natural habits and fear-based biases. Experiencing “Being” mode can help us feel more whole and relaxed; we move from reacting automatically to having more choices about how we respond, based on a fuller understanding and acceptance of our own sensory, physical, and emotional experience.  It is the opposite of dissociation and avoidance that many people use to cope with negative emotions and situations.  We activate the more loving “approach” circuits of our brain and move away from the “avoidance” modes.”



Recent research also shows that with fear and anxiety, which is clearly heightened when our brain is actively searching for that,”do over” to avoid,  feeds the brain’s chemical reactance creating adrenalin and cortisol. The more afraid we are the more fear we feel, that might happen, it did once, what if, I can’t, yes but…
Embrace the fear, I’m ok, I’m frightened, I’m worried. Treat the adrenalin shot like a free can of Monster or red bull. Wow, I have this energy right now, just think of all I can do and be feeling like this.
Practice mindfulness, living in the here. The following are a few exercises on mindfulness.
Put your hands with the fingers just touching under the “bra strap line” as you breathe in; the idea is that your fingers will separate. This is breathing using the diaphragm.Once you can breathe, look at a clock and start timing 60 seconds. Focus on nothing but your breathing, if you start thinking, start again and aim for as long as you can, purely focus on breathing. Preferably with your eyes open. Some people take years to learn to do this, so be kind and don’t expect success or failure, be in the moment and breathe.


Count to ten, gently and slowly. As soon as your mind wonders and goes off on a tangent, start again, focus on the counting


Pick up anything close to you, feel it and get lost in it. Don’t think, define, analyse, critique it. Be with it and truly see what it is.


A mindfulness app on modern phones is a great reminder. While you’re at work or out, a gentle randomly timed bell goes off reminding you to be.  If you don’t have a smart phone, pick a sound you hear randomly during the day. Could be a phone, a tweet, an animal, a voice, pick anything and use it as a cue to be.


Being in the moment can affect panic attacks, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, depression, self esteem and much more.


Therapy enables many to work out what happened yesterday, that shapes tomorrow and IF that is a choice we want to make now



” Adequate coitus” what an expression!

The phrase that struck me in this article was “adequate coitus” I honestly don’t know of any one who has actually searches for adequate coitus be that either or?
Growing up we read books. Of flood gates, the earth breaking at its very core. We are either exposed to sex or not. It’s good or its dirty or very normal.  Again though “adequate”? Lots of couples do adequate but did we sign up for that?
Another question is frequency. The Kinsey institute has amazing tables on regularity, age and more.

On average  for married couples under 30 years of age; the frequency is about twice a week.  For married couples between the ages of 50-59, its about once week. These are averages.  Some couples are happy with more frequent sex, some happy with less frequent sex.  And that’s really the point:  not how much sex you’re having, but whether you and your partner are happy with the sex you’re having, regardless of the frequency.   If one, or both, of you isn’t happy then there are plenty of things that might be going on.  

Harry Fisch md says  that the “Penis is the dipstick of the bodies’ health”.  Sex gives us a clue to how healthy an individual—and a relationship really is.
If you can’t communicate how much you want let alone how, then go see someone.  Lots of relationship issues are around sex and money, based on communication.  Start talking

Article : http://www.esquire.com/women/sex/average-sex-time-0709
Thank You, Doctors: The Average Sex Time Is Not as Long as You’d Think
Everyone seems to complain that they either last way too long in bed or not nearly long enough. But what’s actually normal? What should we be shooting for?
Yes, it does seem as if everyone at the all-boys high school and the methadone clinic is complaining of little else. I know what you’re thinking: If only we had the perceptions of 34 Canadian and American sex therapists on this. Well, now we do.
According to the new study “Canadian and American Sex Therapists’ Perceptions of Normal and Abnormal Ejaculatory Latencies: How Long Should Intercourse Last?” adequate coitus lasts anywhere from three to seven minutes, not including the Pledge of Allegiance. This data, from all the normal people who see therapists for sexual problems, corresponds closely to earlier studies, which put the average at five to seven minutes. (We can safely blame the two-minute discrepancy on the Canadians.)
“Very few people have intercourse per se [Latin for by thrust] that goes longer than 12 minutes,” says sex therapist Barry W. McCarthy. Essentially, ejaculatory inhibition, which is also called “delayed orgasm” or “junkie orgasm,” has less to do with actual time than an inability to ejaculate when you’d like. And premature ejaculation, which is also called “rapid ejaculation” or “your ejaculation,” refers to intercourse that lasts less than a minute or two.
McCarthy says you can slow things down by honing your technique through what he calls “nonintercourse sex” (what the rest of us call “jerking off”). You also might want to try switching positions and varying the speed and pattern of your thrusts, and then you might attain the required 18-minute minimum no legitimately normal person ever fails to meet.

Sleep is often linked to psychological issues, how much and when is enough?

There are many links to psychological conditions and our sleep. We must get 8 hours, best before midnight etc. Whats true though?


Monday’s medical myth: You need eight hours of continuous sleep each night

Waking up in the night is perfectly normal.

We’re often told by the popular press and well-meaning family and friends that, for good health, we should fall asleep quickly and sleep solidly for about eight hours—otherwise we’re at risk of physical and psychological ill health.

 There is some evidence to suggest that those who consistently restrict their sleep to less than six hours may have increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. The biggest health risk of sleep deprivation comes from accidents, especially falling asleep while driving. Sleep need varies depending on the individual and can be anywhere from 12 hours in long-sleeping children, to six hours in short-sleeping healthy older adults. But despite the prevailing belief, normal sleep is not a long, deep valley of unconsciousness. The sleep period is made up of 90-minute cycles. Waking up between these sleep cycles is a normal part of the sleep pattern and becomes more common as we get older. It’s time to set the record straight about the myth of continuous sleep—and hopefully alleviate some of the anxiety that comes from laying in bed awake at night. So what are the alternatives to continuous sleep?

The siesta

The siesta sleep quota is made up of a one- to two-hour sleep in the early afternoon and a longer period of five to six hours late in the night. Like mammals and birds, humans tend to be most active around dawn and dusk and less active in the middle of the day. It’s thought the siesta was the dominant sleep pattern before the industrial revolution required people to be continuously awake across the day to serve the sleepless industrial machine. It’s still common in rural communities around the world, not just in Mediterranean or Latin American cultures. Our siesta tendency or post-lunch decline of alertness still occurs in those who never take afternoon naps. And this has less to do with overindulging at lunchtime and more to do with our circadian rhythms, which control our body clock, hormone production, temperature and digestive function over a 24-hour period
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-monday-medical-myth-hours-eachnight.html#jCp (http://medicalxpress NULL.com/news/2012-08-monday-medical-myth-hours-eachnight NULL.html#jCp)

On the road DNA daddy van, ethical implications?


Who’s your daddy van?

Morality and therapy aren’t bed mates. Ethics and therapy are. I was interested  to read that for £2/300 you can flag down a man in a van and ask for a DNA test in nyc right now.
What are the moral and ethical implications for this? Could  counselling and therapy be involved as the potential fall out is catastrophic for some with huge emotional and financial implications. For the person asking, the other parent and especially the child.  If the test is the easy part, what then?

http://news.sky.com/story/973246/whos-your-daddy-van-offers-dna-tests (http://news NULL.sky NULL.com/story/973246/whos-your-daddy-van-offers-dna-tests)

A ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ van is travelling around New York City, offering men the chance to find out whether they are the father of a child.
The owner and operator of the vehicle, Jared Rosenthal, is selling DNA tests, mostly to those who suspect youngsters may not actually be theirs.
Costing around £200-£300, men just have to give a cheek swab. Then there is a laboratory analysis and the paternity results are available in a couple of days.
Mr Rosenthal told CBS News: “They flag us down, they pull us over, they talk to us.
“Sometimes, because of the nature of the services, they want to be a little more discreet about it, but they do come or they’ll call the number.”
Mr Rosenthal said he deals with all kinds of strange situations in his line of work.
“We have people that want to get the specimen from their spouse without them knowing about it. We deal with a lot of drama. It’s constant drama,” he said.
One unidentified man, who was asked why he was taking the DNA test from the travelling truck, said: “I’m paying child support anyways and I would do it anyways. You just want to know.”
Mr Rosenthal went on: “There’s a lot of difficult situations and tough moments and heartbreak,” adding there are happy endings as well.
“There’s a lot of good news that we’re able to deliver and there’s a lot of happy moments.”
For example, the test helped a 44-year-old Harlem man find his long-lost 20-year-old daughter.
Mr Rosenthal maintained that his credentials are legitimate and that his business is legal.
He believes he is providing an essential service. “It’s not something people talk about, but there is a big need for it,” he said.

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