Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘mental-health

Rethinking mental illness? Any waiting time for mental health?

Nick Clegg urges Lib Dems to ‘hold heads high’

Big win for mental health campaigners as Gov. pledges to introduce maximum waiting times for mental health.

The Liberal Democrats will go to the next election with their “heads held high”, Nick Clegg has said.

He told his party conference in Glasgow he would not “seek to distance” the Lib Dems from the coalition’s record.

Nick Clegg says those taking the blame include Europe, Brussels, foreigners, immigrants the English and onshore wind farms

The deputy prime minister attacked the “bitter tribalism” of British politics and told activists in Glasgow the party had to “make our voice heard”.

Nick Clegg also announced the first national waiting time targets for people with mental health problems.

People with depression should begin “talking therapy” treatments within 18 weeks, from April.

Young people with psychosis for the first time will be seen within 14 days – the same target as cancer patients.

Also at the Lib Dem conference:

  • Clegg said the Lib Dems would cut income tax for 29 million people if they were in government after the election
  • Care Minister Norman Lamb said he had not “ruled out standing for the leadership” of the party – when Nick Clegg is no longer in the role
  • Business Secretary Vince Cable called for a “rebalance” of tax and spending cuts in order to eliminate the deficit
  • Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said further devolution of powers to Scotland would “unlock the progress to federalism across the whole of the United Kingdom”

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Clegg had presented himself in the speech as the man to take on what he sees as “increasingly extreme” rival parties, while attempting to “break through the anger” people feel at the Lib Dems – and to get voters to think again.

Opening his speech, the deputy prime minister said Britain would not be intimidated by Islamic State, paid tribute to murdered hostages Alan Henning and David Haines, and declared his “immense gratitude” for Britain’s Armed Forces.

Turning to the domestic scene, he said Labour leader Ed Miliband and Chancellor George Osborne’s conference speeches “could not have been more helpful if they had tried” to the Lib Dems’ cause, with one forgetting the deficit and the other unveiling tax cuts for the wealthy.

Nick Cleggand Miriam
Nick Clegg arriving for his speech with wife Miriam
Nick Clegg

The Liberal Democrats would borrow less than Labour, and cut less than the Tories, he said.

“If the Liberal Democrat voice is marginalised in British politics our country will be meaner, poorer and weaker as a result,” he predicted.

“We must not and cannot let that happen. We must make our voice heard.”

Lib Dems applaudFront bench ministers – and Nick Clegg’s wife Miriam second left – applaud
Lib Dem hall
There were few spare seats for the big speech at the end of the Lib dem conference

He outlined a string of coalition government measures which he said were “designed and delivered by Lib Dems”, including raising the income tax allowance, parental leave reforms and same-sex marriage.

Mr Clegg said he “may no longer be the fresh faced outsider”, and the Lib Dems no longer “untainted… by the freedom of opposition”.

But the party still stood for “a different kind of politics”.

He said the “politics of fear” was “seductive and beguiling”, but was in fact “a counsel of despair”.

He said he had chosen to debate on television against UKIP leader Nigel Farage – whose name he pronounced with a French lilt – because “someone has to stand up for the liberal Britain in which we and millions of decent, reasonable people believe”.

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Analysis by BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins

Nick Clegg addresses the Lib Dem conference

Nick Clegg has delivered his final conference speech before the general election. What do the Liberal Democrats do next?

Nick Clegg focused on opportunity: for voters – and the Lib Dems.

You might have expected a party languishing in the polls, months from an election, to panic.

Not here.line

He directly criticised Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May, who had accused him of jeopardising public safety by blocking new data-monitoring powers.

Mr Clegg accused her of “playing party politics with national security”.

He added: “Stop playing on people’s fears simply to try and get your own way. Your Communications Data Bill was disproportionate, disempowering – we blocked it once and we’d do it again.”

A Lib Dem government would introduce “five green laws”, on carbon reduction, green space and energy efficiency, Mr Clegg pledged.

Nick Clegg says the issue of mental health should be “smack bang on the front page of our next manifesto”

He would not set out “red lines” in the event of a hung Parliament, but said “people do have a right to know what our priorities are”.

He pointed to the rise in the income tax threshold to £10,500, saying Labour “would never have made the change” and the Conservatives were “explicit” that it was not their priority.

Harman agrees

Mr Clegg said he thought Britain would have more coalitions in the future, and rounded off his speech by saying the Lib Dems were “the only party who says ‘no matter who you are, no matter where you are from, we will do everything in our power to help you shine'”.

Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman said: “Nick Clegg’s speech was that of a man trying desperately to justify the decision he and his party took to back the Tories all the way.

“Nick Clegg was right about one thing in his speech: the Lib Dems should be judged on their record. It is a record of broken promises and weakness.”

The mental health pledge, which will be funded by reallocating money from other parts of the health budget, is coalition government policy, rather than a Lib Dem aspiration.

But Mr Clegg also pledged to extra money in the next Parliament if the Lib Dems are in government, to introduce similar targets for conditions such as bipolar disorder and eating disorders.

Under the plan, suicidal patients get the same priority as those with suspected heart attacks.

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Analysis by BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle

Anguished women in silhouette

Playing devil’s advocate, you could say the government has set its mental health targets in the areas and at the levels it knows the NHS can achieve.

Already nearly two-thirds of patients get access to talking therapies within 28 days. So asking the NHS to ensure 95% are seen within 18 weeks does not seem a big ask.

A similar thing could be said for the two-week wait for help for people experiencing psychosis for the first time.

Nonetheless, those working in the sector are still delighted.

Why? To understand that, you have to consider where mental health stands in the pecking order of the NHS.

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Half of the £1bn Mr Clegg announced for the NHS at the start of his party conference conference would be spent this way.

Mr Clegg said the commitment would go “smack bang on the front page of our next manifesto”.

He said: “Labour introduced waiting times in physical health – we will do the same for the many people struggling with conditions that you often can’t see, that we often don’t talk about, but which are just as serious.”

Nick Clegg visits the Scottish Association for Mental HealthNick Clegg visited the Scottish Association for Mental Health in Glasgow during his party conference

He added: “These are big, big changes. And in government again the Liberal Democrats will commit to completing this overhaul of our mental health services – ending the discrimination against mental health for good.

Mental health problems are estimated to cost the economy around £100bn a year and around 70 million working days are also lost annually.

The announcement was welcomed by mental health charities.

Mark Winstanley, chief executive officer at Rethink Mental Illness, said it had “the potential to improve the lives of millions”, while Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sean Duggan said it would “help to overcome the current postcode lottery” accessing essential services.

Sue Baker, from the Time to Change charity, which campaigns to end the stigma around mental health, said there should be no “discrimination” between different types of health spending.

Walking in Nature Changes the Brain: Explain why

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago.

City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.

Various studies have found that urban dwellers with little access to green spaces have a higher incidence of psychological problems than people living near parks and that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside.

But just how a visit to a park or other green space might alter mood has been unclear.

Does experiencing nature actually change our brains in some way that affects our emotional health?

That possibility intrigued Gregory Bratman, a graduate student at the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, who has been studying the psychological effects of urban living.

In an earlier study published last month, he and his colleagues found that volunteers who walked briefly through a lush, green portion of the Stanford campus were more attentive and happier afterward than volunteers who strolled for the same amount of time near heavy traffic.

But that study did not examine the neurological mechanisms that might underlie the effects of being outside in nature.

So for the new study, which was published last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Mr. Bratman and his collaborators decided to closely scrutinize what effect a walk might have on a person’s tendency to brood.

Brooding, which is known among cognitive scientists as morbid rumination, is a mental state familiar to most of us, in which we can’t seem to stop chewing over the ways in which things are wrong with ourselves and our lives.

This broken-record fretting is not healthy or helpful. It can be a precursor to depression and is disproportionately common among city dwellers compared with people living outside urban areas, studies show.

Perhaps most interesting for the purposes of Mr. Bratman and his colleagues, such rumination also is strongly associated with increased activity in a portion of the brain known as the sub-genual prefrontal cortex.

If the researchers could track activity in that part of the brain before and after people visited nature, Mr. Bratman realized, they would have a better idea about whether and to what extent nature changes people’s minds.

Mr. Bratman and his colleagues first gathered 38 healthy, adult city dwellers and asked them to complete a questionnaire to determine their normal level of morbid rumination.

The researchers also checked for brain activity in each volunteer’s subgenual prefrontal cortex, using scans that track blood flow through the brain.

Greater blood flow to parts of the brain usually signals more activity in those areas. (Not in a relaxed state)

Then the scientists randomly assigned half of the volunteers to walk for 90 minutes through a leafy, quiet, parklike portion of the Stanford campus or next to a loud, hectic, multi-lane highway in Palo Alto.

The volunteers were not allowed to have companions or listen to music. They were allowed to walk at their own pace.

Immediately after completing their walks, the volunteers returned to the lab and repeated both the questionnaire and the brain scan.

As might have been expected, walking along the highway had not soothed people’s minds. Blood flow to their subgenual prefrontal cortex was still high and their broodiness scores were unchanged.

But the volunteers who had strolled along the quiet, tree-lined paths showed slight but meaningful improvements in their mental health, according to their scores on the questionnaire. They were not dwelling on the negative aspects of their lives as much as they had been before the walk.

They also had less blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex. That portion of their brains were quieter.

These results “strongly suggest that getting out into natural environments” could be an easy and almost immediate way to improve moods for city dwellers, Mr. Bratman

Many questions remain, including how much time in nature is sufficient or ideal for our mental health, as well as what aspects of the natural world are most soothing. (Performance issues)

Is it the greenery, quiet, sunniness, loamy smells, all of those, or something else that lifts our moods?

Do we need to be walking or otherwise physically active outside to gain the fullest psychological benefits? Should we be alone or could companionship amplify mood enhancements?

“There’s a tremendous amount of study that still needs to be done,” Mr. Bratman said.

But in the meantime, he pointed out, there is little downside to strolling through the nearest park, and some chance that you might beneficially muffle, at least for awhile, your subgenual prefrontal cortex.

Andrew Bossone shared this link on Jyly 23, 2015

An explanation for people in Beirut:

Urban dwellers with little access to green spaces have a higher incidence of psychological problems than people living near parks and that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside.”

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health.
well.blogs.nytimes.com|By Gretchen Reynolds

Old Dad mixing evening with morning: And performing morning routines twice a day

Usually, the confusion takes place after a long and deep sleep, particularly after siesta time. The confusion as to the time of the day is common place to mother too, after a long siesta, among a varieties of other confusing matters.

Being confused on the day of the week is pretty common among jobless people, worse than being in jail.  As to which day of the month… You better stop asking: Totally irrelevant. We have adopted the weekly calendar when we can’t see the moon.

It is urgent that we rent a military watch and get used to the 24-hour vocabulary.

Dad has been practically “bed ridden” since winter due to lung deficiency: Dad was unable to exhale properly the noxious gazes and the CO2 and other gazes accumulated in his system

This summer, and the warmer seasons, dad was mustering enough energy to get up of bed and use his “Walker” to the nearest WC. Actually, he visit this toilet no less than 48 times a day: He stands for 5 minutes just to urinate a few drops.

Each time I want to use this WC to wash my hands or shave or… dad is there, standing or washing his hands...

A week ago, dad had fever and mother spent most of the night changing cold compresses over his front head.

Dad was not coughing or had diarrhea, otherwise we would suspected pneumonia and would have called the Red Cross to move him to emergency: We are getting quite used to that procedure…

Dad was feeling much better in the morning, though mother insisted that he wears a “couche” because he is weak to move around to the WC.

Dad had a long nap this afternoon and woke up around 6 pm. He felt confused and refused dinner: He wanted his breakfast, coffee and all. Mother obeyed and served him coffee and toast…

Dad enjoyed this situation and over played the game: He wanted to shave one more time…

My brother-in-law came from work and dad blurted out “Why are you going to work in the evening?”

Lately, mother was visiting her sister, our closest neighbor. While there, mother felt the start of diarrhea. She hurried back home, fast walked, ran, and even dabbed into this “unseemly” act of jogging…

She barely made it to the WC. And here dad comes and said:

“Are you in for long?”

“Yes, for a long while”

We have another WC at home, but dad felt that he won’t make it if he makes a move.

But I am about to shit in my pajama…”

Dad was leaning his head on the door, and most probably, the notion “This is a shitty life” was on his mind.

A cavernous sound came from the WC and Mother replied:

“Go ahead a shit in your pajamas…” (Rou7, shekh tahtak)

Mother claimed that this is the first time in her life that she felt half of her remaining life was robbed out from her: Dirtying herself

In the last couple of years I have been preferring the colder seasons: No mosquitoes and I enjoy my sleeping time, tucked tightly in my blankets, and have wider choices of cloths to wear…

Until dad suffered acute lung problems, and cold seasons means that dad is not to leave his bed until the warmer seasons point their noses.

THE PSYCHIATRIC DRUG CRISIS

 
It’s been just over 25 years since Prozac came to market, and more than 20% of Americans now regularly take mind-altering drugs prescribed by their doctors.
Almost as familiar as brands like Zoloft and Lexapro is the worry about what it means that the daily routine in many households, for parents and children alike, includes a dose of medications that are poorly understood and whose long-term effects on the body are unknown.
 posted this Sept. 3, 2013:
Despite our ambivalence, sales of psychiatric drugs amounted to more than 7 billion dollars in 2010. They have become yet another commodity that consumers have learned to live with or even enjoy, like S.U.V.s or Cheetos.

Yet the psychiatric-drug industry is in trouble.

“We are facing a crisis,” the Cornell psychiatrist and New York Times contributor Richard Friedman warned last week. In the past few years, one pharmaceutical giant after another—GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi—has shrunk or shuttered its neuroscience research facilities. Clinical trials have been halted, lines of research abandoned, and the new drug pipeline has been allowed to run dry.

Why would an industry beat a hasty retreat from a market that continues to boom?

(Recent surveys indicate that mental illness is the leading cause of impairment and disability worldwide.)

The answer lies in the history of psychopharmacology, which is more deeply indebted to serendipity than most branches of medicine—in particular, to a remarkable series of accidental discoveries made in the fifteen or so years following the end of the Second World War.

In 1949, John Cade published an article in the Medical Journal of Australia describing his discovery that lithium sedated people who experienced mania. Cade had been testing his theory that manic people were suffering from an excess of uric acid by injecting patients’ urine into guinea pigs, who subsequently died.

When Cade diluted the uric acid by adding lithium, the guinea pigs fared better; when he injected them with lithium alone, they became sedated. He noticed the same effect when he tested lithium on himself, and then on his patients. Nearly twenty years after he first recommended lithium to treat manic depression, it became the standard treatment for the disorder.

In the 1940’sand 50’s,, schizophrenic patients in some asylums were treated with cold-induced “hibernation”—a state from which they often emerged lucid and calm.

In one French hospital, the protocol also called for chlorpromazine, a new drug thought to increase the hibernation effect. One day, some nurses ran out of ice and administered the drug on its own. When it calmed the patients, chlorpromazine, later named Thorazine, was recognized in 1952 as the first drug treatment for schizophrenia—a development that encouraged doctors to believe that they could use drugs to manage patients outside the asylum, and thus shutter their institutions.

In 1956, the Swiss firm Geigy wanted to be in the antipsychotics market, and it asked a researcher and asylum doctor, Roland Kuhn, to test out a drug that, like Thorazine, was an antihistamine—and thus was expected to have a sedating effect. The results were not what Kuhn desired: when the schizophrenic patients took the drug, imipramine, they became more agitated, and one of them, according to a member of the research team, “rode, in his nightshirt, to a nearby village, singing lustily.” He added, “This was not really a very good PR exercise for the hospital.”

But it was the inspiration for Kuhn and his team to reason that “if the flat mood of schizophrenia could be lifted by the drug, then could not a depressed mood be elevated also?” Under the brand name Tofranil, imipramine went on to become the first antidepressant—and one of the first blockbuster psychiatric drugs.

American researchers were also interested in antihistamines.

In 1957, Leo Sternbach, a chemist for Hoffmann-La Roche who had spent his career researching them, was about to throw away the last of a series of compounds he had been testing that had proven to be pharmacologically inert. But in the interest of completeness, he was convinced to test the last sample. “We thought the expected negative pharmacological results would cap our work on this series of compounds,” one of his colleagues later recounted. But the drug turned out to have muscle-relaxing and sedative properties.

Instead of becoming the last in a list of failures, it became the first in a series of spectacular successes—the benzodiazepenes, of which Sternbach’s Librium and Valium were the flagships.

By 1960, the major classes of psychiatric drugs—among them, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety drugs, known as anxiolytics—had been discovered and were on their way to becoming a 70-billion-dollar market.

Having been discovered by accident, however, they lacked one important element: a theory that accounted for why they worked (or, in many cases, did not).

That didn’t stop drug makers and doctors from claiming that they knew.

Drawing on another mostly serendipitous discovery of the fifties—that the brain did not conduct its business by sending sparks from neuron to neuron, as scientists previously thought, but rather by sending chemical messengers across synapses—they fashioned an explanation: mental illness was the result of imbalances among these neurotransmitters, which the drugs treated in the same way that insulin treats diabetes.

The appeal of this account is obvious: it combines ancient notions of illness (specifically, the idea that sickness resulted from imbalanced humors) with the modern understanding of the molecular culprits that make us suffer—germs.

It held out the hope that mental illness could be treated in the same way as pneumonia or hypertension: with a single pill.

Drug companies wasted no time in promulgating it. Merck, the manufacturer of Elavil, commissioned the psychiatrist Frank Ayd to write a book called Recognizing the Depressed Patient, in which he extolled the “chemical revolution in psychiatry” and urged doctors to reassure patients they weren’t losing their minds, but rather suffering a “common illness” with a “physical basis” and a pharmacological cure.

Merck sent Ayd’s book to 50,000 doctors around the country.

In 1965, Joseph Schildkraut, a psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health, reverse-engineered antidepressants and offered an actual theory: at least when it came to depression, the imbalances were to be found in the neurotransmitters he thought were affected by the drugs, dopamine and norepinephrine.

Seven years after antidepressants were invented, and five years after Ayd asserted that depression was a chemical problem, psychiatrists finally had a precise, scientific explanation for why they worked. The paper quickly became one of the most cited articles in the medical literature.

But Schildkraut was wrong.

Within a few years, as technology expanded our ability to peer into the brain, it became clear that antidepressants act mostly by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin—rather than dopamine and norepinephrine, as previously thought.

A new generation of antidepressants—the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (S.S.R.I.s), including Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil—was developed to target it. The ability to claim that the drugs targeted a specific chemical imbalance was a marketing boon as well, assuring consumers that the drugs had a scientific basis. By the mid-nineties, antidepressants were the best-selling class of prescription medications in the country.

Psychiatry appeared to have found magic bullets of its own.

The serotonin-imbalance theory, however, has turned out to be just as inaccurate as Schildkraut’s. While S.S.R.I.s surely alter serotonin metabolism, those changes do not explain why the drugs work, nor do they explain why they have proven to be no more effective than placebos in clinical trials.

In 1987, within a decade of Prozac’s approval by the F.D.A,, scientists had concluded that serotonin was only a finger pointing at one’s mood—that the causes of depression and the effects of the drugs were far more complex than the chemical-imbalance theory implied.

The ensuing research has mostly yielded more evidence that the brain, which has more neurons than the Milky Way has stars and is perhaps one of the most complex objects in the universe, is an elusive target for drugs.

Despite their continued failure to understand how psychiatric drugs work, doctors continue to tell patients that their troubles are the result of chemical imbalances in their brains. As Frank Ayd pointed out, this explanation helps reassure patients even as it encourages them to take their medicine, and it fits in perfectly with our expectation that doctors will seek out and destroy the chemical villains responsible for all of our suffering, both physical and mental. The theory may not work as science, but it is a devastatingly effective myth.

Whether or not truthiness, as one might call it, is good medicine remains to be seen. No one knows how important placebo effects are to successful treatment, or how exactly to implement them, a topic Michael Specter wrote about in the magazine in 2011.

But the dry pipeline of new drugs bemoaned by Friedman is an indication that the drug industry has begun to lose faith in the myth it did so much to create. As Steven Hyman, the former head of the National Institute of Mental Health, wrote last year, the notion that “disease mechanisms could … be inferred from drug action” has succeeded mostly in “capturing the imagination of researchers” and has become “something of a scientific curse.”

Bedazzled by the prospect of unraveling the mysteries of psychic suffering, researchers have spent recent decades on a fool’s errand—chasing down chemical imbalances that don’t exist. And the result, as Friedman put it, is that “it is hard to think of a single truly novel psychotropic drug that has emerged in the last thirty years.”

Despite the BRAIN initiative recently announced by the Obama Administration, and the N.I.M.H.’s renewed efforts to stimulate research on the neurocircuitry of mental disorder, there is nothing on the horizon with which to replace the old story. Without a new explanatory framework, drug-company scientists don’t even know where to begin, so it makes no sense for the industry to stay in the psychiatric-drug business.

And if loyalists like Hyman and Friedman continue to say out loud what they have been saying to each other for many years—that, as Friedman told Times readers, “just because an S.S.R.I. antidepressant increases serotonin in the brain and improves mood, that does not mean that serotonin deficiency is the cause of the disease”—then consumers might also lose faith in the myth of the chemical imbalance.

Gary Greenberg is a practicing psychotherapist and the author of “The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry.”

Correction: Due to an editing error, the antidepressant Tofranil was originally identified as Elavil.

Photograph by Paul Skelcher/Science Faction/Corbis.

He lived in fear. He died in Fear...

Is feeling Cold, an idea first?

Before we shiver

Before we feel our bones brittle

Before we feel our inside going to mush

Is feeling scared, an idea first?

Before our palms drip sweat

Before our deafening pounding heart drive us crazy

Before our lungs aches for holding breath…

Is mental turmoil, an idea first?

Before our dreams turn an unending nightmare

Before our days rush amid hallucinating monsters

Before we scream in horror …

Is physical pain, also an idea first?

Another one of the string of illusions?

Hardly

Hardly, hardly, hardly

Pain is more powerful than death

And empathy is irrelevant in this case

Only active remedies to alleviate pain count

And bring back Death

To the forefront…

Tips on: Reducing stress at work

Do you think that High workloads, physically and emotionally demanding work, uncertainty about the future, the temporary nature of jobs, lack of talents, growing older, competition with new graduate students with versatile abilities and technical expertise…. can lead to stress and therefore to poor mental wellbeing?

Joanna and Toby’s of  posted their Point of View on Nov.22, 2012 under “Reducing stress at work: A few simple tips

We’re all likely to experience job-related stress at some point in our lives.

But wellbeing is fundamental to everything: how we think, feel and function through the courses of our lives.

It is a precious individual and collective resource that needs to be protected and enhanced.

Around the world, a growing body of evidence is showing that people with lower levels of stress and higher levels of mental wellbeing are more creative, more productive and take less time off work.

They have better resistance to colds, feel pain less acutely and even live longer.

Additionally, there’s a compelling organisational case for better mental health: Annual costs of mental ill-health to a UK organisation with 1,000 employees are £835,355 (NICE, 2009).

However, the Department of Health’s mental health strategy highlights that each pound spent on mental health promotion at work generates net savings of £10 within one year.

Each single pound spent on early intervention for depression at work generates net savings of £5.

The 7th of November was the National Stress Awareness Day.

This inspired us to think about and share a little bit of what we learned on a project we carried out in London, where we shadowed nurses and admin staff to examine the issues that impact on their stress levels and ultimately, their mental wellbeing.

We found out that there are some practical, low-cost measures that managers can take that could have a significant impact on the team’s wellbeing. Here are a few:

1. Acknowledge that sadness is not a weakness: those we spoke to tended to suppress their emotions. However, allowing yourself the release of crying or talking about stressful moments increases your ability to deal with them

2. Recognize your team’s achievements: many felt that they rarely received praise or thanks for work done well or delivered in the face of difficult circumstances

3. Link rewards to emotional needs rather than organisational targets: for example, you could encourage your team to monthly nominate a colleague who has been particularly supportive or has dealt well with a difficult incident – let them decide the metrics. The person with the most votes could win a reward linked to wellbeing, such as a fitness class

4. Facilitate informal peer-to-peer support: opportunities to get together and chat with colleagues following a stressful or difficult event or day were valued more than compulsory supervision

5. Protect time for training and development and share opportunities with your team: most of those we spoke to wanted to develop their skills and progress their careers, but felt that opportunities were not communicated and continuing personal development time often slipped

6. Create opportunities for your team to get to know colleagues from other teams, specialisms and bands: ‘meet and greets’ were felt to be good for morale, making staff, particularly in frontline and junior positions, more likely to be treated as human beings, rather than just functionaries

7. Assess the physical ability of each member of staff individually: physical resilience varies, with some members of staff able to withstand long periods on their feet or physically demanding work better than others; but injuries and fatigue are detrimental to wellbeing (end of article)

So far so good. The wellness attributes in workplaces are what Human Factors in Engineering are concerned with: The safety and health of workers, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Who are those joggers? This presumptuous class of “would-like” to be unbridled liberal capitalists.

I am acquainted with a few joggers, those people who run for about 45 minutes or more, every day, rain or shine, working days and on vacation days…

Some of them jog in the morning before going to work, some in the evening after work, and some even at lunch time.

Lunch time? Why? What’s the purpose? More crowd to exhibit our prowess in overcrowded downtown?

Those “addicted” joggers feel that it is important that they should run everyday to clear-up their muddled brain and sort out the best methods to plan and activate mischief, at work, on family members, and to awe the community…

There is no doubt that starting to run is no easy start, and it is Not the same as “the 1,000-mile journey begins with the first hopping steps…”: It is a conscious decision of “Am I the stuff for huge successes and cover stories…?”

For what is worth, the kind of joggers whom I knew had “high” positions in private companies or are into the financial business, juggling around fictitious money, from the pocket of unknown wealthy people to unknown board members…

And they are running, increasing speed (called accelerating) and falling back into rhythmic cadences for sustainability reason. I

n the paced phase, the “capitalist” joggers are ruminating on day-dream success stories, and as they accelerate and adrenaline is pumped into their “gorgeous vein”, you can bet that people and clients are being trampled, at work and on the street…

Those implicit “would-like” to be “liberal capitalists”, and most of them don’t even know it yet, have taken jogging as a symbol: If you want to maintain the bottom-line, you have got to keep waging battles of increased micro-management confrontations (opportunities), whatever it takes to staying in the position of power, resisting, by-passing, swirling, zig zagging, avoiding to be an easy target…

Those jogging before going to work are visualizing the battlefield of the day.

Those jogging in the evening are preparing their mind for tomorrow combat

And those jogging around lunch time are trying to figure out how to finish the day with a victory, sorting out the many micro battles still ahead in the day…

I keep wondering why people who studied and worked in the US for a few years, mainly in major cities, return home “jogger-jokers“, wearing red bonnet in winter and backward cap in summertime…

Those who return for a short visit, they stubbornly run everyday, kind of keeping the tempo and waving their hands wildly to whomever they see on the way.

Those who returned for longer duration, they occasionally jog, for the show, reminding the community that they have been abroad…

There are differences between runners and fast walkers:

1. Fast walkers learn to practice warm-up exercises before hitting the streets and parks. Joggers do all these stretching, and far more arduous joint stretches, after the run: They want to avoid the residual aches and pains in the morning…And they know that they’ll be almost invalid within a decade…

2. Fast walkers check their pulses at intervals. Joggers are too engrossed in shaking their tight behind: They simply faint and die, like horses.

3. Fast walkers want to stay healthy while venting out all the rage, the wide spectrum of angers and emotions bottled up and accumulated since last walk. Joggers want to be seen as above the crowd, nimble, agile, bird-like about to fly, and inhaling deeper and faster the polluted air than the simple crowd. Jogger wants to show-off that they are in a position of power, and they can speed…

You cannot think properly when you jog, but you can visualize “how bad you can be” and eventually be a bad boy, and proud to be bad…as long as you keep jogging.

If I was not a smoker, if I had a proper running pair of shoes, had stable large feet that point straight (instead of diverging a la Charlie Chaplin), had a round tight ass…I could start a “jogging program“, running occasionally, for less than ten minutes max, learning to bomb my chest, keeping my head up, my shoulder blades spread wide, and dreaming of plenty of money coming my way…

It is this last dream of plenty of money coming true that is preventing  me from initiating the jogging trip.

I dread the memories of the various ways of manipulating money, depositing, withdrawing, transferring, writing checks, be stolen far more frequently, becoming a renowned sucker victim, taken to court for embezzlement, facing the terrible stigma of “uncovered” expenses, credit cards cut-off at counters…but never applying for debit cards, reserved for naive, simpleton capitalists by procuration…

As a kid, my biggest mystery was the “sitting on” chair, until I attended my first classroom, and the mystery thickened. Chairs? What for?

I kept running all day long, chasing nothing in particular, as far as I can recollect…

I am waiting, before I contemplate jogging, for my behind to re-establish its youthful fleshy and roundish look, otherwise, who would care for this puny exhibition?

I am seriously considering switching to the more dynamic mobility method: from slow walking and clicking my worry beads, to hopping, slowly, around my room carpet.

Away with pondering reflective moods. I ‘ll be vigorously jumping into the arena of tuning up, “capitalizing on”, and activating my mischief tendencies


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2020
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