Mental Health – Part 2

Today is World Mental Health Day
10 October 2019

World Mental Health Day has been going since 1992

In 1996 the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) introduced a theme for each year and this year it is Suicide Prevention.

The following is from the official WFMH website –

The World Health Organization says 800,000 people die by suicide each year, making it the principal cause of death among people age 15 – 29.

It is often believed that only adults exhibit suicidal behaviors but it should be made known that many children and young people engage in this kind of behavior as a result of violence, sexual abuse, bullying and cyberbullying.

There are numerous complex factors that contribute to a suicide but what is most important is that all of our actions must be geared toward prevention.

The theme of making Suicide Prevention for 2019 is to attract the attention of governments so that the issue might be given priority in public health agendas around the world. (1)

Dear World

Have we stopped and asked WHY are our teenagers and the younger generations of today experience abuse in any form?

Have we dropped our own standards at home?
Have we dropped our standards with the kids?
Have we been Honest about how we are raising our children?

Have we just accepted bullying as part of growing up?

Have we allowed cyberbullying by not ever speaking up?

Have we ignored the subject of sexual abuse as it’s way too painfull?

Have we in anyway contributed to the violence we have today in society?

Have we as elders in the community done our bit and shared our wisdom with the younger people around us?

Have we exhausted the Questions of WHY WHY so that we do not Blame others but instead look at our part in all of this?

Have we looked at every area of our life where we are living irresponsibly and not being a true real role model for the younger generations?

Next

Are our governments ready and are they united to give Mental Health a priority on the public health agenda OR do we need to take Responsibility and do our bit while we wait for them or the funding or whatever else …

How do we make a big difference all over the world to this very important issue, as the World Federation for Mental Health is inviting us to join the campaign?

With due respect – does campaigning actually work?

Is there something missing if Mental Health issues continue to rise each year, to the point where we have Suicide today among the younger generations – something that was rare back in the old days?

Should we all be asking some serious Questions

How are we living in daily life that gives rise to any form of ill mental health?

Would this Question be something we ALL need to start talking about in every conversation today and every day until we get some answers?

Do we need to add a big dose of Honesty before we answer?

Next – what substances are we using to alter our natural state of being that affects our mental health?

Can we get really Honest and consider everything that the following forensic articles are presenting

Next – how can we get to the root cause of WHY we have a mental health issue in the first place?

If we continue with the Honesty as the medicine needed to get to the root cause with the How and Why Questions – would that help us get the answers we are seeking?

What if we then continue to keep asking questions until we get back to the start of when we deviated and went off track in life?

  • What on earth happened back then?
  • What hurt us and why did we not talk?
  • What happened to our behavior after?
  • How did we seek protection from those hurts?
  • What was our way of coping with those hurts?

WHAT WAS OUR DRUG OF CHOICE –

Next  

Can we be really Honest and ask – what exactly is there to truly celebrate when our world has Mental Health problems in every country?

While we wait for our national health authorities to craft policies and directives aimed at establishing strategies to prevent suicide and promote the public’s mental health can we consider everything that is being presented in the following articles on this website –

This is Real education to bring awareness about the topics relating to our mental health and wellbeing.

What if we put all the above on the school, college and university agenda and then ADD the following forensic articles –

Alcohol
Caffeine
Chocolate
E-Cigarettes
Eating Disorders
Fast Food | Junk Food
Internet
Social Media
Tobacco3
TV
Video Gaming
Youth1
Youth2

What if we then find a way to share these with the community so that more people would get an understanding and have the facts and stats to get talking until every conversation is about how and why we have got to this point in our world today?

What if we then used this website as a library to go to for true health and wellbeing as there are now 185 articles published about human life presenting Another Way to live.

Could this be of support to us when we have lack of access to mental health services or because there are no services in the community as stated on the WFMH official website? (1)

What would happen if the World Federation for Mental Health used this website as a form of adding documents that aim to provide tools not only to professionals but also to the community as a whole

For the record –
this article will be forwarded to Dr. Alberto Trimboli
President of World Federation for Mental Health

Next

World Health Organization official website

Every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide (2)

Simple Living Global are here to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world

READ THIS NOW https://simplelivingglobal.com/world-suicide-prevention-day/

Next

On a final note

Despite hundreds of millions of people around the world living with mental disorders, mental health has remained in the shadows. This is not just a public health issue – it’s a development issue. We need to act now because the lost productivity is something the global economy simply cannot afford.
Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group (3)

Mental health needs to be a global humanitarian and developmental priority – and a priority in every country. We need to provide treatment, now, to those who need it most, and in the communities where they live. Until we do, mental illness will continue to eclipse the potential of people and economies.
Arthur Kleinman, Expert on Global Mental Health and Professor of Medical Anthropology and Psychiatry at Harvard University (3)

We know that millions of people are living with mental health disorders but have we looked beyond this being just a Public Health issue?

The knock on effect is that all of us are affected.

The loss of productivity because of ill Mental Health is costing us and our global economy cannot continue if the resources are not there.

We need to make mental health needs a Priority but our systems tell us there are not enough resources, so how can we bring about real change so that we can turn the tides?

Dear World

When it comes to our Mental Health we could all start with saying SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.

We then need to at least consider if there is Another Way as we were not born with mental health issues.

That means something happened to us and we need to find out the when, what, how and why…

Without Honesty as a starting point, we can be certain there will not be any real true change or understanding. 

We then need to get Real and know that celebrities endorsing or discussing their own mental health issues does not make it normal in any way whatsoever.

We need to get wise and listen up – if the masses are circulating this and that about mental health problems, could that be a form of reductionism?

In other words, are we reducing mental health problems to something minor or ok to have as so many are endorsing it in some way?

Media is not the answer when we need to get help as we may not have the mindset needed to discern what is true and what is not.

AND finally – talking about what is really going on for us is good medicine and these blogs are well worth reading –

JUST TALK

HOT TALK

REAL TALKING


If you are feeling suicidal, contact your GP for support or the Suicide Helplines.

In a crisis contact your emergency services.

UK – Samaritans available 24 hours
Tel: 116 123

Childline – for children and young people
Tel: 0800 1111

USA – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Tel:  1-800-273-8255

Other Countries
Check International Association for Suicide Prevention Resources on Crisis Centers
https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres 


References

(1) Trimboli, A. (2019). World Mental Health Day 2019. World Foundation for Mental Health. Retrieved October 8, 2019 from  https://wfmh.global/world-mental-health-day-2019/

(2) (2019, September 9). Suicide: One Person Dies Every 40 Seconds. World Health Organization. Retrieved October 8, 2019 from
https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/09-09-2019-suicide-one-person-dies-every-40-seconds

(3) (2016, April 13). Investing in Treatment for Depression and Anxiety Leads to Fourfold Return. World Health Organization. Retrieved October 8, 2019 from 
https://www.who.int/en/news-room/detail/13-04-2016-investing-in-treatment-for-depression-and-anxiety-leads-to-fourfold-return

 

 

 

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Comments 9

  1. The Telegraph – 9 May 2019

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/05/09/meditation-retreats-bad-mental-health-study-suggests/

    A new study suggests that Meditation retreats are bad for our mental health.

    3 in 10 people who attended residential meditation programmes suffered “unpleasant” episodes, including feelings of anxiety or fear.

    The study by University College London (UCL) found that overall, more than a quarter of people who regularly meditate experience such feelings.

    Those more likely to be affected were engaging in currently fashionable “deconstructive” forms of meditation, which encourage insight through questioning permanence of the self and the reality of sensations.

    These can take the form of days’ long silent retreats with highly regulated sleep and diet regiments and restricted access to the outside world.

    A co-founder of a very famous social media networking service attended a highly publicized 10 day meditation in Burma and was encouraging his 4 million followers to try it for themselves.

    We could say that this is how things become viral and the masses jump on the bandwagon and forget to discern or ask questions to find out more.

    Our world is not designed to stop or police this kind of stuff and it is only when we hear about the post cause effect – in other words, what happens to people AFTER the event has taken place, that we are informed about the dangers.

    But does it really stop us if all we want is to escape from that eternal unrest and un-settlement we feel inside our head and body on a continuous daily basis?

    Is a meditation retreat supposedly the new buzz thing to help us detox from the digital world and put those screens away for a few days or weeks and zip up our mouths, sleep and sleep and eat foods we really don’t want or can’t imagine having once we leave this place?

    One point worth considering is what actually drives us to book onto these retreats?

    In other words, what is it that makes us want to get away from it all?

    It is serious to note that something happens when we subscribe and align to this type of meditation residential programme.

    If it was really the truth, then our body would communicate that back to us with the internal settlement, vitality levels that can be seen and felt and a deeper connection to ourselves.

    The fact that some are left with episodes of fear and anxiety tells us SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.

  2. Thank you for this hugely important blog.

    I feel that when one talks about mental health and suicide, one of the key things that needs to be given immense importance and scrutiny is the phenomenon of people giving up on life.

    My brother committed suicide earlier this year.

    A number of factors contributed to his suicidal thinking and motivation. But, ultimately, when I consider his path to suicide, I feel that the point of no return was the moment that he gave up on life.

  3. The Guardian – 8 February 2020

    An MP has called for workers to be given the right to ignore work emails and messages outside working hours to end the “24/7 work culture and protect mental health.

    Most of us would champion that and agree with what is being asked.

    Did we sign up at the job interview to accept the mobile phone and know it means on call 24/7, late nights and weekends?

    Did we realise that to have the job security we have to play ball or we could end up not being able to keep up with the lifestyle we want?

    Did we clock it that the 24/7 work culture is everywhere now and it seems to be the norm?

    Are any of us aware that we are going to work but dreaming of the next holiday or the day when we can switch the alarm off and just sleep and sleep?

    Are we so caught up in our position at work that we would do anything to keep the job and that means 24/7 thinking and breathing work, work, work?

    Does our job mean we have to check emails as there is always something to get on with?

    Does our working week lead to so many incomplete things, that we are left with no option but to deal with work emails and messages outside our working hours?

    Did we sign up for a part time post offering big bucks but in truth its really a full time job, as we work 16 hours a day for 3 days and the rest of the week from home checking work emails non stop, but we somehow think its part time as we are physically not in the office?

    Are any of us making choices on our days off to prepare for the work days ahead by getting some extra rest and sleep and doing our laundry and preparing food, so we are not living on take away and fast foods that we call junk foods?

    How can we protect our mental health and is that easy, doable and realistic?

    This website is full of articles about true health and well being.
    The author claims to walk the talk and that means live what is being presented.
    The author is known to work long hours, but equally knows how to rest and take care of themselves when it comes to sleep, exercise and food – the basic stuff.

    The author claims she is not aligned to the 24/7 work culture and yet her productivity speaks volumes and any scholar who studies this website alone would be asking how on earth is this possible and even more so – how is this achievable consistently?

    ADD to that all the other work that is done which is not all disclosed to the public, one is left to question the obvious – is there is another way to work?

    Back to the headlines of this news story.
    We want to be given the right to ignore work emails and messages outside working hours so we can bring an end to this 24/7 work culture. We also want a 4 day week.

    Have we bothered to ask HOW is our work output and what production do we have during work hours?

    Are we spending time in meetings that go nowhere, are we busy gossiping or catching up on last night’s reality TV show or football results?

    Are we doing things on our computer that has nothing to do with work?

    Are we being truly and deeply honest about every single moment we spend at work and how much are we giving in the commitment department?

    Are we half hearted when it comes to work emails as we walk in with an underlying tension, lack of sleep and feeling edgy before the day even begins?

    Are we pushing and forcing ourselves to do things and motivate others when inside we feel so exhausted and just want to switch off and hide under the duvet for a week?

    Are we banging on to staff to action emails outside work as we are caught up in this and expect this of others?

    Do we have a position of power where we bully our staff because we can – our job title gives us that false authority and we seem to get away with it?

    What if dear world – we make sure we work at work and not distract ourselves or stimulate ourselves with heaps of caffeine but instead, Focus and up that Focus and this leads to a steady increase in productivity and we feel like we have completed a days work and that is it – nothing more needs to be checked post working hours?

    What if our seniors and those who need to know can feel if we are pulling our weight and doing a proper consistent days work and not messing about or avoiding getting on with the job or task in hand?

    What if we went to bed early every night and that meant we could get into work half hour earlier, without payment and just committed to getting on with it?

    What if we could inspire other work colleagues that hard work is not the issue and work full stop is not the problem, but it is our lifestyle choices outside of work that is causing the lack of productivity when we are supposedly working in any job?

    The blog comment is worth considering as much has been presented to the reader.

  4. It is interesting how a stranger can open up and speak about their personal life.

    I just let him talk and listened. It is not my business to offer advice as he was not asking.

    What I did do was ask more questions so I could join the dots and find out WHY and HOW it has got to this point.

    Taxi driver today was sharing about what is going on for his family.

    5 children and each of them has a mental health problem.

    Two are currently at university and they both take anti-depressants.

    His youngest suffers from high level of anxiety and cannot sleep at night.

    There is more but enough said for the purpose of this comment.

    So this is one family and how on earth has it got to this?

    The mother of the children suffers from serious mental health but has been in denial for a very long time and eventually started medication, by which time it sounds like a lot of harm had already been done.

    Without any judgement, as we do not have the whole story or all the facts, I sense that being of asian background, there is such a stigma that it would be difficult for any woman to be seen or known as having a mental health issue of any kind.

    The only reason she started medication was because her violent behaviour got out of control and the police had to be involved. Until then it remained the family secret and it was business as usual to the outside world and that means no one needs to know.

    We always hear of domestic violence and most of us think it’s the woman who is the victim, but this is the opposite. The husband tells me the abuse went on for decades and the personality would change and after the attack, it would end in tears and then there would be normality as if nothing even happened.

    I cannot imagine what that must be like for children growing up in that environment but what is clear is it sure did have an impact, if all of them currently have some mental health condition.

    This is a microcosm case of one family and there are billions of us.

    Does it give us a tiny indication of what is going on under our nose in our world?

    This statistic will probably not make it to news headlines but it is well worth reporting.

    It is telling us something about our World Mental Health and what I do know is this is not the only family. There are more and we all need to be asking questions.

    Back to the taxi driver – he parked up when I reached my destination and asked if I could let him talk a bit longer. Of course I said yes and he told me a lot more.

    What if we all just offer the time and space and allow another to talk freely without having any agenda, answer or judgement – would that support our World Mental Health while we wait for answers or more research?

  5. The Guardian – 17 May 2020

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/16/uk-lockdown-causing-serious-mental-illness-in-first-time-patients

    This story appeared on page 2 today of The Guardian newspaper and could easily have been missed by any reader.

    What an important message to bring to our attention so that we are all aware of what is actually going on.

    UK lockdown is causing serious mental illness in first time patients.

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) have disclosed that those with no history of mental illness are developing serious psychological problems amid growing stress because of isolation, job insecurity, relationship breakdown and bereavement.

    Adults and children are having psychotic episodes, mania and depression and some are being admitted into hospital.

    Men aged 18-25 are reported to have been badly affected by first-time mental health issues. Previous research suggested that this age group feel the worst affected by restrictions on their movement.

    8 weeks into lockdown, RCP are warning that services could be overwhelmed by “a tsunami of mental illness”.

    A survey by RCP across the UK has revealed that families were experiencing significant tension as a result of staying at home together all the time.

    Are we ready to take note of what these medical professionals are sharing:

    Many people are extremely unwell with symptoms of severe mental illness: serious changes in their moods, belief system and hallucinations. Life events associated with the virus pandemic triggered this or led to a relapse for almost all of them. Relationships are now all feeling lockdown pressures. Routines have disappeared. Dr. Lovett, community psychiatrist | Dean of RCP

    We are definitely seeing people not known to services who are acutely unwell. They are mainly young men – age 18 to 25 who require admission. Misuse of alcohol and drugs is a factor – people who normally smoke a bit of weed, smoking more than usual in their rooms. People not working is also an issue.
    Chief Executive of One Mental Health Trust

    Seeing people with a set of symptoms calling it “corona-psychosis”. Such patients have typically lost their job and are having trouble sleeping, becoming anxious from watching the news on TV and no longer getting social support through their normal networks.
    Mental Health Nurse

    Demand for mental healthcare would increase “significantly” once the lockdown ended and would see people needing treatment for trauma for years to come.
    Claire Murdoch – NHS England National Clinical Director for Mental Health

    More under-18s with autism having to be admitted for inpatient care because they were “not coping with changes re virus” and “others with deteriorating mental health state and increase in significant self-harm and increase in completed suicide.
    Specialist in the Psychiatric Care of Children and Young People

    Dear World

    This is a snapshot of one small country and what is going on. What is this telling us about our World Mental Health?

    This microcosm reporting tells us that we need to multiply this over and over again as we will have similar or even worse cases in other countries, as we have all been affected by this current pandemic and the lockdown which restricts our movements to go out and socialise, work or do what we want, when we want.

    Reporting that children are also having psychotic episodes, mania and depression is of great concern. They cannot possibly have job insecurity or relationship breakdown but have we considered they may be sensing the tension, stress, anxiety or worry that their parents may be experiencing. What if these kids never had a decent routine or rhythm beforehand and now this has just brought it all to a head as there is no entertaining ‘out there’ or going out to relieve or relax the constant tension they feel or their parents feel. Before lockdown we all had a licence to eat out, find as many distractions as we could, book our holidays to escape and do whatever we liked on our terms. Suddenly all of that has been taken away from us, so we are left to face our lifestyle choices.

    It would be wise at this point for the reader to go to our Children’s Mental Health blog and feel what is being presented, as we have a global crisis on our hands and it is not going to just go away. These children are soon to be our future adult population and that in itself is worth deeply pondering on.
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/childrens-mental-health/

    Next – Young men taking drugs and alcohol and misusing. Are we going to act surprised or do parents and others in the neighbourhood already know?
    Are we choosing to look the other way and turn a blind eye to what is going on under our noses?
    For those who genuinely do not know – the stench and smell that comes from smoking cannabis, weed or pot (all the same thing) cannot be missed if it was going on in your house in the bedroom of a young male adult.

    Were these youth already doing the booze and they just upped the consuming as the restrictions made them feel trapped?
    What is going on for them pre and post lockdown?
    What is going to happen and where is all this going?

    Are they not feeling the numb effects of alcohol and so mixing it with drugs helps them to cope?

    Is the cocktail of alcohol and drugs a way of dealing with issues they do not want to face or take responsibility for?
    Is lockdown showing them their lifestyle choices are failing and not giving them the life they truly want?

    And finally, are we ready for the tsunami that we are being warned about?

    How can we ensure we are not going to add to the burden of our health systems?

    What if we started to live another way that supports us daily in life?
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/is-there-another-way/
    What if there was another way to live human life and this website is presenting this?
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/another-way-to-live/

    What if our behaviour, call it our movements do matter and so that means everything is significant?

    What if our movements affect our mental health and well-being so it would be wise to get fit mentally and that does not mean mind games and filling the mind with more knowledge but having a sensible, common sense approach with a daily routine and rhythm.

    On that note this website has over 200+ articles on health and well-being including lifestyle choices.
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/blog/
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/category/life-choices/

  6. Insider.com – 8th June 2020

    Negative Thinking Linked to Dementia Later in Life
    https://www.insider.com/negative-thinking-linked-to-dementia-later-in-life-study-finds-2020-6

    A study found a link between repetitive negative thinking and dementia

    The study, conducted on 360 people, found negative thinkers had increased deposits of two proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

    One of the authors said the results suggest meditation could hold more clinical benefits than we realise.

    The study had limitations: the majority of participants were white and female.

    According to a new study from University College London (UCL), obsessively worrying about the future or fixating on your problems could have serious ramifications for your future health.

    The study, involving brain scans and behaviour monitoring found a link between negative thinking and cognitive decline, as well as an increased amount of two proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

    One of the study’s authors, who is a psychiatrist and senior research fellow in the department of mental health at UCL said: “A better understanding of risks for dementia is vital for improved therapeutic interventions. The findings from this study lend further support for the importance of mental health to be considered in screening for dementia.”

    Currently, doctors use brain scans and cognitive exams to test for dementia, but screening for mental health issues may be part of future clinical treatments for patients in the early stages of the disease.

    Study Details:
    For two years, the participants, all over the age of 55, with a relative who had past or current dementia, were monitored for negative thinking behaviours.

    Those negative thinking behaviours included continued worrying about the future and continual thinking about their problems or emotions. Participants filled out surveys on depression and anxiety symptoms and had their cognitive functions assessed. Those functions included memory, language and attention span.

    Just over a third of the participants underwent PET brain scans, which revealed deposits of tau and beta amyloid proteins, warning signs doctors look for to detect Alzheimer’s in its early stages.

    They found that people with more repetitive negative thinking patterns were more likely to have protein build-ups in their brain. Those same people also had higher rates of cognitive decline.

    Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a disease that causes brain cells to waste away, and is characterised by a decline in cognitive and social skills as well as a loss of independent functioning.

    I am asking – Why do we get mental health issues in the first place?

    We could blame the way our life has turned out and our circumstances. We could say it is just bad luck or the background we had growing up, our families, the school, our job or where we live. In other words, everything out there but not anything to do with how we may be choosing to live.

    Is it possible that like all other illness and disease, mental health issues come from us and Not to us from the outside?

    Questioning this, I am left with asking – are we having ill mental health because how we pictured our life and what we wanted is not how it is turning out?

    Or could the mental health issue have something to do with us not connecting to our body and being present with ourselves?

    Do we have the signs of dementia for instance because life is getting tough and our negative thinking and checking out from daily life is dis-connecting us from committing to life?

    Could there be a giving up-ness going on when things get bad and so we literally sign out of taking part in life and all that is there to get on with?

    How many more studies will it take for us to consider the possibility that how we live and the choices we make in everyday life, could give us an indication about the state of our mental health?

  7. Dear World

    Ketamine is a class B drug in the UK and it has been announced that it will be used to treat depression and addiction in a clinic setting with the hope to expand treatments to include MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.

    As the media tell us – using ketamine to help mental health problems might not sound sensible when it is commonly known as a horse tranquilliser and possession can carry a prison sentence.

    However, there is ‘excitement’ to use ketamine as a medical psychedelic treatment to aid depression.

    What if our innovative approaches are not the answer, knowing that psychedelics have the risk of addiction as do all mind altering drugs?

    What if the strong evidence that is being claimed has counter evidence out there but we, the public are not fully informed or aware of this?

    What if we need Independent research studies funded from the public purse to confirm if psychedelic drugs really and truly can help to treat depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and addiction?

    What if we need to take into account that in 2014, this drug was upgraded from class C to B as some users had their bladders removed due to heavy consumption?

    What if we realise that whilst ketamine is not a ‘significant public health concern’ as stated by a professional doctor, it does end up being a ‘significant public health concern when we treat those attending a clinic where this drug is used to treat mental health problems?

    In other words, we could end up with a far greater problem than we currently have because we are using a class B drug to treat an illness and that tells us something is not right.

    Before we all champion and jump on the bandwagon of this new way of treating our addictions, can we be absolutely certain that a drug for horses, an effective anaesthetic that is claimed as being ‘incredibly safe’ because it causes ‘minimal damage to any organs’ is the way forward to treat something like depression or PTSD?

    A very important note – Ketamine has not been licensed as a recommended drug for psychiatric work, meaning for now it is being used “off label”. Is this something we need to stop and pause to consider as something does not feel right here?

    In 2019, following a research study, a ketamine based nasal spray was licensed for psychiatric use. However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has NOT recommended it for use on the NHS due to the high cost and “uncertainty about whether improvement in symptoms and quality of life can be sustained”.

    We are left with the question – is psychedelic psychotherapy the new future that we create, or is there another way where we get to the root cause of WHY and HOW anyone takes drugs in the first place?

    And finally, will our world all unite to agree and accept that a class B drug is not a danger and can be safe to administer in the treatment of mental health?

    How we as individuals respond will be evident in the years to come.

    What we do know is that mental health problems and drug use are both rapidly on the rise.

  8. The Conversation – 18th March 2021
    Why Don’t We Have a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease?

    A researcher and neurologist who studies and cares for people with Alzheimer’s disease shares his anger and frustration at not being able to offer a cure to the families of those that suffer with Alzheimer’s.

    He writes that over the past year, scientists have tackled COVID-19, a previously unknown disease and within months developed effective new vaccines. Over the same time frame, the list of Alzheimer’s treatment failures got longer. Currently, the only approved drugs for Alzheimer’s merely alleviate some of the symptoms – partially and temporarily – but do not stop the disease from progressing.

    Although it was first officially described 115 years ago, and of course existed long before that, we still do not have a cure for this devastating disease. Why?

    For years, patient advocates have pointed to the escalating toll and ballooning costs of Alzheimer’s as the world’s population ages. Alzheimer’s is severely underfunded in comparison to Cancer, Heart Disease, HIV/AIDS and even COVID-19.

    Sadly, the mistaken belief that Alzheimer’s only affects older people is a contributing factor to this underfunding. However, five to ten per cent of people with Alzheimer’s are under 65 years of age; some are even in their 40’s. Alzheimer’s is also a disease of the entire family, causing anxiety, depression and exhaustion in caregivers and loved ones.

    Funding is not the only issue here. The human brain is extremely complex, and Alzheimer’s disease is the most complex disease of the brain. The challenges that arise from this collision of complexities are reflected by the many competing theories of Alzheimer’s.

    The most time honoured theory is that Alzheimer’s is caused by misfolded proteins that aggregate or clump, killing brain cells and giving rise to the symptoms of memory loss and reduced cognition. Initially, the culprit in this misfolding story was a protein called beta-amyloid. More recently, another protein, tau, has emerged as a possible contributor.

    Although a wealth of research data have supported this protein misfolding theory, referred to as the amyloid hypothesis, multiple drugs designed to block the brain’s toxic protein misfolding processes have failed in human trials. In fact, in the past two years, several major clinical trials based on the field’s leading hypothesis – that reducing the level of aggregated beta-amyloid that riddles the brain of Alzheimer’s patients would halt disease progression – have dramatically failed.

    And so there are many other theories. A new contender is the neuroinflammation theory of Alzheimer’s which suggests that the disease arises from an excessive release of toxic inflammatory chemicals from immune cells in the brain called microglia.

    A different story claims that Alzheimer’s is a disease of synapses, which are the junctions between brain cells, and yet another suggests that Alzheimer’s is a disease of mitochondria, a structure central to energy production in every brain cell.

    The path towards a cure is not going to be easy, and even if these theories do lead to to the development of drugs, these drugs may fail for a host of other reasons.

    Alzheimer’s is a very long, chronic disease, probably present 20 to 30 years before the first symptoms become obvious. Giving the drug when a person becomes symptomatic may be too late for it to make any difference.

    One final problem is that Alzheimer’s may not simply be one disease. It may in fact be a collection of similar diseases. A 52 year-old with early onset Alzheimer’s certainly has a clinical course distinct and different from an 82 year-old with late onset Alzheimer’s. Will a drug that works in an 82 year-old also work in a 52 year-old persons disease?

    It is obvious that all research so far, over 100 years, into this disease has produced no certain results.

    Why have all of this time, money and resources been spent on researching this disease?

    How much longer are researchers going to research this without looking at the root cause?

    Why do we have all these theories?

    Why cant we just say we don’t know?

    If Alzheimer’s is actually caused by the mis-folding of proteins as is being suggested, what causes this mis-folding to happen in the first place?

    Or the theory of excessive release of toxic inflammatory chemicals from immune cells in the brain called microglia?

    Or the theory that Alzheimer’s being a disease of synapses?

    Or the theory that Alzheimer’s is a disease of mitochondria?

    Or any other theory that we will come up with?

    What causes these possible processes to happen in the first place?

    Is it any surprise that the drugs designed to block the brain’s toxic protein mis-folding processes have failed in human trials?

    Is it possible that a ‘cure’ will never be found because the right questions are Not being asked?

    What if the answer to this disease is a much more simpler one?

    Is it possible that we get this disease because we just want to check out in life?

    Is it possible that we get this disease because we have given up on life?

    Is it possible that life has simply got too hard to cope with so we give up?

    Is it possible that there is too much pain and misery in this world so we give up?

    Is it possible that it is easier to give up on life rather than take responsibility for ourselves?

    Is it possible we have given up because life doesn’t fit our perceived ideals and pictures of how it should be?

    Is it possible that, because we are looking for a CURE for this disease, or any other disease come to that, we will never find one?

    Is it possible that looking to cure a disease is not the answer, but instead, we need to be looking at how to heal a disease?

    Is it possible that, instead of looking for a cure, we need to start to look at the root cause of this disease?

    Is it possible, that, if we look at the root cause of this or any other disease, we may actually find a way to HEAL it?

  9. Science Daily – 3 May 2022

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/05/220503201650.htm

    A new study from the University of South Australia draws a link between mental illness and widely fluctuating blood pressure and heart rate variations.

    The researchers say there is clear evidence that mental illness interferes with the body’s autonomic functions, including blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and breathing.

    “We reviewed 12 studies on people with anxiety, depression and panic disorders and found that, regardless of age, mental illness is significantly associated with greater blood pressure variations during the day.
    We also found that for people who are mentally ill, their heart rate does not adapt to external stressors as it should. Dr. Renly Lim

    Reduced heart rate variation (HRV) is common in people with mental illness and indicates that the body’s stress response is poor, exacerbating the negative effects of chronic stress.

    Low HRV occurs when a person’s body is in fight or flight mode, easily stressed and common in people with chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and mental health problems.

    The researchers found that in people with mental health issues, their blood pressure does not drop sufficiently at night.

    “The take out from this study is that we need to pay more attention to the physical impacts of mental illness. It is a major global burden, affecting 1 billion people worldwide.”

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