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Dementia. Becoming a Stranger in an Unfamiliar Body.

18 Aug

The prettiest tree in the world, full of tuis, just down the road from the resthome.

Mum’s grandkids might think that a zombie has stolen her brain. Apparently only high functioning zombies go for the brain. They are after serotonin, the happiness hormone. Our mum hasn’t actually been near any zombies, they didn’t steal her brain, but something has partly stolen her happiness. Mum very sadly has vascular dementia, brought on by mini strokes, which now affects the way she thinks, feels, behaves and perceives things.

Dementia appears to sadly be a taboo subject. An article in psychology today says that somehow, to many of us, the idea of dementia seems more horrifying than cancer. Perhaps we fear the idea of losing who we are – becoming a stranger in an unfamiliar body. I think if we focused less on it being a mental health issue and saw it for what it really is, a most complicated brain disease that is fatal and cannot at this time be cured, it could take the ‘stigma’ out.  The most challenging part of late stage dementia, psychosis with symptoms that present a danger to the person and others, where someone is inconsolable and in persistent distress with a declining ability to function, can be helped greatly by anti-psychotics. 

Although memory loss wasn’t the main early symptom of mums dementia, she now has hardly any recollection of recent information or experiences. She can ask the same question 5 or 6 times in a loop and yet still remember her way from one town to another. She knows where her mother was born and that mushroom soup is horrible. She also knows she has never had to have anyone help bathe her before. Continue reading

Reasons Why, For Dry July.

4 Jul

Reposting from http://www.womansday.co.nz/health-diet/health/2015/6/the-benefits-of-taking-a-break-from-alcohol/

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Here’s how Dry July could benefit your own health as well as those you’re fundraising for

Dry July encourages participants to go alcohol-free for a month to raise funds for adults living with cancer, but the benefits of doing the challenge don’t stop there.

Leanne French, a relationship therapist and addictions counsellor, says taking a break from the booze could have a positive impact on your health and mental wellbeing.

“Drinking even small amounts of alcohol often can make you feel tired and depressed,” says Ms French, who has been a counsellor for over 25 years.

“One of the biggest benefits from taking a break is that people feel healthier and better in the morning, and have more energy, which naturally leads on to doing other healthy things, like eating better food and exercising.”

There’s also the ‘feel-good factor’ associated with setting yourself a goal and achieving it, and that can help improve your self-esteem. Not only that, going alcohol-free for a month could give you the opportunity to improve your relationships with the loved ones in your life.

“Drinking and recovering from drinking can be selfish. It can shut other people out and make you less physically and emotionally available to your partner,” Ms French says.

“Taking a break means you can assess whether this is happening, and may change your attitude to alcohol if it’s something that is having an impact on your relationship with a loved one.”

For more information on Dry July, visit their website.

Image: Getty

Other media releases http://www.nzwomansweekly.co.nz/health-home/health/reaping-the-benefits-of-dry-july/

http://gemsofgorgeousness.com/5-reasons-to-do-dry-july/

Who Is The Fairest Of Them All?

19 Sep

 

Snow White. (Thanks Gabrielle Laubscher for the photo of your princess.)

Snow White. (Thanks Gabrielle Laubscher  for the photo of your princess.)

 

You are of course!

I forced myself to watch an episode of “botched up bodies” to remind myself  just how rotten the consequences can be when people become repulsed with what they deem to be unacceptable about themselves.

For some, there is still such intense pressure to conform to an ideal standard of beauty. It’s everywhere. Even in the fruit aisle at the supermarket. If it’s too organic looking with a lump or a bump or a spot, out it goes. Most times it doesn’t even get to go on display even though it’s bursting with deliciousness.

It seems so villanous to banish anyone worth loving because they might have flabby arms, a jelly belly, a bald head, or a flailing bank balance.

I hope that we can all learn to be more gentle, more accommodating, and place less emphasis on beauty and begin to celebrate other important things that reside within, like talent, smartness and wisdom.

What do you think? Does there seem to be an increased demand or pressure for people and things to be more perfect and how do you feel about it?

Getting Out Of Groundhog Day.

18 Jul

fairytale ones you love

Exhaustion sucks. It can rob us of our ability to smile, to have fun, to negotiate nicely, or it can invite us into overly sensitive states, the kind where “what about me”  blaming, finger-pointing and managing our moods and responses becomes so much more difficult.

It takes courage to ask for help when things feel a little out of control, or when you’re stuck in a rut and life seems a bit hum drum or boring. It’s hard to say you’re Continue reading