Conflict of interest

How refreshing it was to watch the two part BBC programme ‘The Doctor who gave up drugs’ it certainly was thought provoking and revealed such blatent clash of interest between the medical profession, drug companies and producers of non-cow’s milk! Dr Chris Van Tulleken showed just how our children can be helped with alternatives to drugs for such issues as AHD and teenager depression including mindfulness.

Friends know that I am anti-drugs so it comes as no surprise I would agree with his findings. However, it does disappoint and alarm me that GP’s seemingly dish out anti-depressants to children and the bereaved when counselling and emotional support is the safer bet. I know some parents will scream and say unless you are living with a child with these challenges you have no idea..but I would rather not put a child’s life and well-being at risk. The second part showed how some teens were suicidal after their dosage of certain anti-depressants being increased and that is not just coincidental.

It was extremely worrying to see Dr Tulleken’s visual presentations in terms of the sheer volume of drugs our children are taking as well as the horrendous amount of Calpol we are administering to babies and young children.

Today I am not ranting just concerned but maybe more so that the documentary revealed how drug companies and babymilk manufacturers fund Doctors’ educational conferences where their products are certainly marketed well…if that isn’t a conflict of interest then my name isn’t Manning!

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Facing our fears…the talking cure

Everybody has their own personal fears and phobias and it can be a hard decision to face them. This can be a personal challenge that we know we need to learn to overcome but it may take some time before we feel that we are ready to do so.

So many problems we have as adults stem from childhood experiences and sadly can prevent us from trying new things and from leading a full life. CBT and NLP Life Coaching of course are very successful and once a client understands his relationship to and/or the cause of a stumbling block towards his/her own particular issue they go forward with far more confidence.

I am always mindful that everything is relative to the individual and time and patience can do wonders… not forgetting bring great rewards to the counsellor/life coach working through their journey.

I always admire those that make the decision to seek help it’s a brave step but shows great determination. Being in an environment of trust brings comfort in itself and talking things through really does cure as Freud knew and reported only too well.

Something to offer

In my time of working with students of all ages and counselling I am constantly reminded that we are of course all different but we all have something good to offer. As students are put under pressure not just by their schools but often parents too I try to re-adjust the balance whenever I get an opportunity to say that we cannot all be academics or A* students but please do not write us off!

Similarly a fellow life coach and I acknowledge on a regular basis that anyone who is dyslexic is not ‘stupid’ as previously labelled as this challenge is in no way an indication of a person’s level of intelligence.  Personally speaking I really enjoy the challenge of helping those who are considered ‘different’ by society and often unkindly judged and misunderstood.

I was encourged as a child to ‘not mock the afflicted’ that may be considered now as non pc but the message behind came from my mentor and one who accepted and saw the good in everyone. If you look for the good in somebody you will find it…some hide it better than others of course. Remember what some perceive as being naughty is infact somebody with a brilliant mind who may be bored and/or has a personal challenge they may be in fear of revealing.

If you come across say somebody with a speech issue such as stammering, be patient, be kind and try to avoid finishing their sentences or words it just makes them more anxious. Bear in mind they may be recovering from a stroke and re-learning to speak all over again.

Let’s celebrate who we are and be more accepting of others around us.

Helping the bereaved not ignoring them

Earlier this week during a visit with a bereaved lady we both agreed how we put on a brave face with those around who are also struggling in coming to terms with a loss of a loved one. Why is that? Over the past few years I have read many books on the beravement journey of others and have my own experiences to recollect too and what is blatently obvious is that to deny somebody’s right to grieve openly is of no use.

I am certain I would have said this before -my own mother said people crossed the road to avoid having to speak to her after my father died suddenly. It made me cross and upset then as a child and still does. However, shall we just be angry with the person that does that or should we feel sorry that they cannot find the words…any words?  As I have written in various articles just a hand on the arm or shoulder and ‘i’m thinking of you’ will suffice nobody who is recently bereaved expects you to say something profound honestly!

What we need as a bereaved person is for people to acknowledge our pain and the existence of those we have loved and lost. We have such a long way to go still in this country in dealing with how we approach the subject of death and it is something all of us will have to encounter and deal with at some stage of our life.

In a world where people post so many private things about their life (which frankly I would rather not see) I find it hard to believe that talking about death leaves them dumb struck.

As always I am sending a little reminder that it is after the funeral people need you to to phone or visit and let them know their loved one is not forgotten.  For anybody who is feeling alone in their grief then please talk to somebody, your loved one would not want you to suffer in silence and most of all celebrate their life.

Oesophageal Cancer Awareness

Regular followers will know one of the cancers I like to raise awareness for is Oesophageal Cancer which is so readily mis-diagnosed or left undiagnosed. Too readily people reach for indigestion remedies which as we know often just mask symptoms rather than cure them.

If you are having repeatedly problems do not self-diagnose but go and see your GP and where necessary insist on being referred to a G.I. expert. There are so many treatments and procedures that specialists can offer before your problem perhaps turns into something more sinister.

Please visit the Oesophageal Patients Association’s website:- http://www.opa.org.uk

Cherishing those we love

The pace of life for most is fast, often too fast and so easily we neglect friendships and loved ones. We all need to slow it down at times and remember to tell those we love just how important they are to us.

I know I have said this many times before on my blog but in life we meet many people and some leave their imprint on our hearts forever. It is never a case of how long the friendship lasts but the depth of that relationship and that is what hurts the most when they leave our lives.

The journey of bereavement is a difficult one, sadly, for many without a quick exit route. Anniversaries can be extremely painful but in their own way they are good for us as it gives us the opportunity to release some of our grief. Only yesterday talking to a recently widowed friend I reminded her how it is good to cry. However, we silly English people think it inappropriate to cry; whereas many other countries openly grieve -the latter being far more beneficial.

If we are missing somebody we have lost then there is no shame in saying so. I was personally touched yesterday learning of how a young girl continued to send her grandad text messages after he had died – talking to him in heaven. For us writers we do that constantly, and I am told that my own honest rantings help others too.

Celebrate the relationships you have with those that are with you and continue to do that when they are no longer around as I am certain that is what they would want.

Sending a spiritual hug to those that really need it today.

Remember the tallest poppies are often picked first and that they were beautiful and loved.

Student wellbeing -The RVC

Our Prime Minister spoke this morning in support of awareness and assistance in terms of mental wellbeing within education. The move to train teachers to spot signs of mental health may be seen as a step in the right direction -however what we actually need is more funding within schools to employ more trained counsellors/pastoral staff to deal with the growing stress factors that face today’s students.

I sadly often hear how schools fail children in respect of not adhering to the anti-bullying processes they are meant to follow and/or taking individual cases as seriously as they should – much to the distress and frustration of both students and parents.

However, I must take this opportunity to congratulate The Royal Veterinary College who do take the wellbeing of their students seriously. This starts from day one aiding students considerately in preparation of their interview for a place. During a recent visit to the RVC’s Hawkshead Campus it was also good to see their new sports centre named as ‘The Sport and Wellbeing Centre’ which is free to all students.  I think this speaks volumes of how valued their students are and how the RVC recognise both education and preventing student stress need focus and investment.

Here’s hoping some of the stress can be reduced if our government address and implement some of the financial improvements being muted for students persuing a university education.