Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Choosing a niche

Posted: September 9, 2012 in Blog, health
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Choosing a niche

One of the hardest things I have found about blogging is finding a niche, finding what I want to write about and then continuously post about that subject. With so many things going on in the world I am finding it very difficult to narrow all that down into a niche.

The problem with bouncing all over the pace in your subjects means that your likely to get very little traffic and that kinda defeats the object of blogging, over the past couple of weeks I been mainly writing about politics and world current affairs but that’s a lot of doom and gloom but I know that when I move away from that I lose page views.

Despite this difficulty I do advise anyone to start blogging as it is a great to air your views and share your interests with the wider community and I do believe that once the Facebook bubble has burst people will return to these tried and tested means to share their hobbies and likes with the world.

If your new to blogging don’t worry if you are getting low page views or doing as I am doing and bouncing around the different genre’s because as time goes by you will not only narrow your blog to a specific niche but you will also get well known with that popularity will come page traffic.

Blogging Is Good For Your Health

This is not a scientific fact but something I personally believe in a fast and hectic lifestyle it is very difficult if not impossible to get time to wind down and I believe this is one of the key reasons why people in urban environments have such a poor mental health state. I think at one point or another every human has owned a diary usually in their teen years but as we get older keeping a diary seems a little silly or time consuming and therefore to be avoided but I think this is a mistake and one which can rectified by blogging not only is a type of diary but it can be very constructive and helpful to others.

But getting back to my point the importance of having a diary is that when you can not switch off your mind the diary can quickly become a great place to purge unwanted or needed thoughts to keep a clean and tidy mind and this can be an invaluable way to de-stress your self. It is this purging that can help keep your mind ticking over not to mention get your imaginative juices flowing this is also good for your mental health by stopping you from becoming stagnant cluttered.

I think that it is no accident that most people start a diary during their teen years as we all know that this the most unsettled and hormonal time in our lives and many of the things your expriencing as a teen are a mixture of exciting, new, scary and embarrassing and the diary can be nonjudgmental friend that listens to all and unless carelessly left laying around tells no one.

Blog Carefully

One piece of advice I would give to anybody is Blog Carefully just like the diary not everything you write will be digestable to others and outright upsetting for others. The biggest difference between the diary and the blog is that you write the diary for yourself as rubbish bin for unwanted thoughts and the Blog is a place to purge your thoughts for digestion of others and as anything put in the public space should you should be careful not to give the reader indigestion.

Regardless of what your blog contains always remember that the content is for people so write from your heart and make it people friendly, Your niche should be your baby and make you always keep it light and easy read.

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Earlier to to day I read Do We Have a 100years left? blog from the daily cheese blog and in this blog it talks about how close we as a species could be to extinction and as things often do it got me thinking and I was thinking whatever happened to bird flu and I found that not only did it not go away after the media stopped covering it.

A few years ago the news was asking about our impending doom with bird fluH5N1 Virus upclose on the rampage but thankfully the 2003 outbreak was contained and the number of cases per year seem to have stabilized for the time being but this does not mean we should stop being vigilant especially after the 2009 Pandemic.

I found on the World Health Organization website that this year so far there have been 30 cases reported and 19 deaths globally which means that the virus is still out there and still infecting people and killing more than half of those infected, The numbers do seem to have stabilized but I must stress that most people with this virus probably never go to the doctor or receive treatment.

Currently in Indonesia there is a H5N1 outbreak and  according to the WHO:

To date, the total number of human influenza A(H5N1) cases in Indonesia is 191 with 159 fatalities, 8 (all fatal) of which occurred in 2012 and this is despite the fact that H5N1 cannot be contracted human to human.

When it all went wrong

In 2009 we saw our first major pandemic for decades when H1N1 or more commonly swine flu swept across the world infecting hundreds of thousands and killing a total 14,286 people worldwide and this is the number we know of not to mention all of the poor people who would not have had the money to receive treatment.

The panic was successfully spread across the globe and people were running for the hills thinking this was it this was the end times but largely thanks to modern medicine and quick response this deadly disease was stopped from going viral. But then it all went wrong when people stopped panicking and instead went into super ignorance mode. The medical teams not only stopped the outbreak but also convinced the world that we are safe.

1918 the Spanish menace

Many of you will know of the the 1918 flu pandemic that was spread all over the globe killing 50-130 million and infecting millions more leaving many with afflictions that would last the rest of their lives. The Spanish Flu of 1918 was the worst pandemic to have the earth in modern times infecting an estimated 3% of the world population (1.86 Billion at the time) and lasted a staggering 2 years.corpses in a room all laid on tables

Spanish flu was able to reach every continent and even many of the remote pacific islands to infect 27% of the total global population in a time when it still took weeks to travel around the globe. The main reason this was able to happen was a mixture of poor malnourished men being drafted into the army to fight World War 1 and a lack of experience dealing with infectious diseases on a global scale.

A Hundred Years Later

Its been a hundred years and all is well the world is technologically advanced and the human race is plowing ahead to a bright future and then in a remote village in Thailand a man falls sick with flu, coughing and sneezing he infects his wife and 2 daughters. The following day the girls go to school and infect 6 of their class mates and wife goes to the market and infects 3 market vendors and 10 passers by all of this before she is even showing symptoms. One of the market vendors infects a truck driver who then transports the virus to the next town and the cycle repeats.

Three days later the man dies followed by his wife and one daughter within days many in the village follow the same pattern by the time the health officials from the city arrive a week later half of the village is dead and the other half sick, reports are coming in that outbreaks have been detected in a major city with an airport within 2 weeks the virus is spotted in other Asian countries and is gathering pace.

This very simple map of infections shows that in modern society viruses can spread very easily if they are infectious enough and unlike in 1918 when people stayed in one town or state for days before moving on today one truck driver could visit ten villages and a major city carrying more than just fruit and veg in the same amount of time.

With modern medicine the mortality rate could be vastly reduced but only if we are able to treat the problem before it becomes a full blown pandemic, a conservative estimate in a H5N1 pandemic varies from 300 to 700 million deaths globally this does not include permanent problems related to the virus infections.

Whats the Alternative

Although in this article I have picked on the Flu strain as the possible doomsday virus to wipe us out there are countless virus’s that exist which could do the same but thankfully many of not infectious but we should always be wary of new deadly strains arriving in the population one for which we have no immunity.

The sad fact about this kind of threat due to our life styles of living in such close proximity and travQuarantine Marker door signeling daily for miles for work is that we would be unlikely to stop a major outbreak of any virulent disease because although we have plenty of experience of the Flu their are just some strains the human body cannot handle.

But despite all of the worries about new virus and superbugs we are still at biggest threat from bird flu so when asked what ever happened to bird flu make sure you think long and hard about it because when it comes it plague and pandemics ignorance is not going to save you.

As we move further into the next century we need to start looking at a gradual move to lessening the world population and stopping the depletion of the world soils to keep nutrients in our food and look to reduce the stress on people so that illness doesn’t spread so easily through a populace. Here in the west with our mass transport and low nutrient high alcohol diets mixed in with high stress lifestyles we are ripe for a pandemic and it a miracle really that we have not seen one yet on the scale of the 1918 outbreak. I think that swine flu was a warning shot across our bows and we would do well to heed the warning.

Depressed Or Not Depressed that is the question, I am always surprised by statistics surrounding depression and mental illness’s in general for that matter but in this post I would like to concentrate on depression. According to statistics by 2020 depression will become the second most common illness and yet despite this shocking statement only around 10% of those suffering will get treatment.

I got looking into this after I noticed a difference in my own behavior and although I contributed manyDepressed man with head in hands. of the symptoms to tiredness I have come to realize that I myself am probably suffering from a mild depression my symptoms have included

  • Irregular sleep either to much or not enough.
  • fatigue.
  • bouts of sudden emotion such as feeling as though I want to cry.
  • Mood swings from angry to sad and happy with no apparent reason.
  • comfort eating of chocolate and other sweets even though I have rarely eaten it for most of m life.
  • Having no real interest in anything and not wanting to be sociable.

But truth is I am also unlikely to get treatment as I have been through a lot in my life and never felt the need to have outside help so why start now, But even as I write this I am thinking either I am being stubborn and or stupid I cant decide which.

Why do we avoid getting help with depression

One of the reasons I think that we do avoid getting help with depression is ignorance of our situation because to admit we might be having trouble coping is a sign of weakness but another reason I honestly believe that any sign of mental illness can be detrimental to peoples future employment chances and in this age of information no person really has a private life anymore so I do believe this to be a valid concern. I watched a documentary recently about a group of people that are set a number of tasks and some have a history of mental illness but the employers did not know which ones and in the end the employers ended up picking all three with mental illness for a job despite saying at the beginning that if they knew someone had a history of mental illness they categorically avoid employing them.

I can see why people don’t want to be tarred with the brush of mental illness and that some of their concerns are valid but I also think that most people don’t get help shows that government need to do more to reassure myself and people like me that we will not be punished through employment chances and we are protected in the same way as someone with a disability are from discrimination. As you will know from my previous blogs that I do not advocate government intervention on many subjects but public health is one valid area that I think they need to have an active imput.

Epidemic of Depression

Society is currently in the midst of a full scale epidemic of depression and it is only set to get worse but when looking at the epidemiology we have to look at the causes of the problem.

So why do we seem to have an epidemic of depression in the modern society I think that the pressures of modern life certainly have not helped many peoples mental health and the constant stress of bills and the debts that many people have built themselves into a prison and when they can no longer see a way out this causes an erosion in the mental health of people.plane dropping adverts

I know people are going to think that I blame the media for everything in society but although this is not true they do have a responsibility for the society which places it’s trust in them, here a few examples on one hand the media constantly bombards us with advertisements which through the usage of psychology break down our barriers of control and in the process leave us wide open to the other stresses that life has to offer and on the other hand we are also constantly bombarded by mixed images of unobtainable goals and bad news.

Not to mention the current global depression with this comes added stress and worries that all contribute to the modern persons stress levels and should not be discounted when looking at the reasons why people are becoming more and more unhappy to the point of becoming depressed.

Return to Nature

When as humans will we realize that we are animals and that sometimes we need to look to the animal kingdom for the obvious before you declare me insane let me explain, If you take an animal out of its natural habitat and put it into a zoo the animal becomes lethargic not wanting to eat and moping around. So in order to make the animals feel like they are in the wild we build a habitat that looks like their home.

But yet as humans we have been removed from our natural habitat largely through our own success with technology but now that life has become a prison in which we are forced to live on top of each other in sprawling cities and with it illness my reason for thinking this came when I left my city to go and visit my dad in the country and for a week I was almost in direct contact with nature and found that I was happier relaxed and slept much better and since returning to the city have dropped straight back into the lethargic loop we now  call city life.

Getting Help

The up side to the information revolution is that getting help is easier than ever not only can you get advice to help you get rid of mild depressions through the change of habit and diet but also their is bundles of information for people to educate themselves to help those close to them also get over depression and other mental illnesses. Although I will admit that I will be taking the exercise and dietary route to help get myself better this option is not for everyone and if you do feel depressed then I urge you to talk to a confidant and see about getting help over 80% of people who do receive treatment are cured.

But I would also that whether you are depressed or not depressed they key to getting healthy and staying healthy is a good diet and getting back to nature to enjoy what little natural habitat we have left on this beautiful planet.

Useful links

NHS Direct

Mental Health Foundation

Help Guide

Beyondblue