How to prevent Alcoholic blackout

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Partying is fun and relaxing, but it should be done in a smart way. There are many alcoholic beverages to chose from, and hence it is important to think of healthy drinking and blackout. A blackout is a condition where a person’s alcohol levels are extremely high to the extent of not remembering events while being intoxicated. An important point to remember is memories created before being high is retained. Experts say blackouts happen when blood alcohol level reaches fourteen percent or more.

Symptoms of Alcoholic Blackout

Someone hit by a blackout has a loss of control, here are the symptoms to watch out for:

  • Unclear vision
  • Lack of judgment
  • Difficulty making conversation
  • Inability to stand
  • Inability to walk

A common perception is a blackout happens only when a person has consumed many drinks. The number of drinks swallowed will not necessarily add to blackout, there are factors that can trigger a blackout such as how quickly a person drinks causing a high feeling, the kind of alcohol had, gender, and body weight.

Excessive alcohol intake affects movement and critical thinking, the affected person loses control and is unable to remember the events that have happened and is not in a position to make decisions and reaction time is reduced. What happens in the brain during a blackout? The hippocampus helps in memory formation and this region of the brain is unable to tolerate too much alcohol intake.

Difference between Blackout and Passing Out:

It is important to remember that during a blackout, a person will appear to be normal, he/she can make conversation, have sex and do the regular things. However, the individual is unable to retain memories during the blackout period. For the other person, it is difficult to determine if the affected person is intoxicated or aware of what is happening. Passing out and blackout are two different terms, passing out is when a person is totally unaware and becomes unconscious and blackout happens when a person is intoxicated but is aware of surrounding events.

Types of Blackout:

There are two kinds of blackouts, complete and partial, in a complete blackout the individual will experience total memory loss. They are unable to gather even a single piece of information. In the case of a partial blackout, the person is not able to remember much of the events that have happened, but when prompted with an indication of a particular event that has happened, he/she may be able to grasp some information.

It is necessary to remember that blackouts are not only caused by enormous alcohol consumption or the amount the body cannot withstand. There are other medical conditions that can result in a blackout such as:

Medical Conditions that Cause Blackout:

  • Some medications
  • Insufficient oxygen in the body
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low blood pressure

It is a healthy practice to prevent blackouts, heavy drinking damages the frontal lobe region of the brain. This region controls cognitive function and also aids in short and long term memory. The decision making and reaction time slows down and the individual is not able to walk properly. The other symptoms from binge drinking are headache, nausea, diarrhea and dry mouth.

The healthy drinking limit is two drinks for men and one drink for women and in the case of binge drinking, it is five or more drinks within a span of two hours for men and for women it is four or more drinks in two hours.

How to prevent alcoholic blackout:

For some people, it is a struggle to avoid an alcoholic blackout, and this is the case for those who have had gastric bypass surgery, history of alcohol abuse and severe withdrawal symptoms and genetic irregularities in alcohol metabolism. In order to avoid experiencing blackouts follow these strategies:

Have a good meal:

The stomach has a small surface but the small intestine can absorb liquids in thousands of square feet. Binge on a good meal to keep the valve that connects the stomach and intestine closed for many hours. This way there is no sudden influx of alcohol resulting in an emergency where the blood alcohol content is enormously high.

Do not gulp down a drink:

Have your drink slowly and you can pace yourself with a non-alcoholic and alcoholic drink. Here there is no sudden increase in blood alcohol content and also set a timer to finish a drink within a slow period of time.

Drink a sufficient quantity of water:

Consume a good amount of water to remove thirst, when you feel thirsty, and crave alcohol, you will drink large amounts in a short span of time leading to blackouts.

Don’t combine alcohol and medicines:

There are several medications that increase the risk of having blackouts when combined with alcohol. It can even be fatal! and it is essential to consult with a doctor if you can drink while taking a certain kind of medication, but don’t mix alcohol and medication. Also, enquire from a doctor about the period of time in which you can take medication and have an alcoholic drink.

Avoid playing drinking games:

Stay away from drinking games to avoid blackouts, as well as dangers of increased alcohol consumption. Some of the dangerous games are beer bongs and this can increase the blood alcohol content to a great level.

Be careful when in an environment where you were smashed, and this time, tell yourself you are going to drink sensibly for your own benefit.

Rest well before you decide to have a drink because if you are sleep deprived there are chances of a spike in blood alcohol content.

 

 

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Awareness on cyber bullying

 

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Technology has advanced to an extraordinary level and people can’t live without it. Social media sites have emerged a marketplace to promote skill and business, electronic technology has become a boon creating self-dependence and advanced analytical and critical thought process. However it is important to note that certain amount of harm can be done via electronic means. A person will threaten, abuse, target or embarrass another individual online, and this is called cyber bullying.

It is essential to remember that cyber bullying is illegal and can result in imprisonment. There are different means of technology such as laptop, i-pad, mobile phone and desktop, and the perpetrator can harass through these platforms, and what is the mode of harassment? Let us find out

Trying to hack into an account and find out about the whereabouts of the individual also called stalking.

Negative comments on an individual with an intention to bully.

Posting messages that indicate intimidation.

Posting vulgar images of a person.

Posting hate messages with the want to insult someone.

An individual might also upload a video that was secretly taken, without the victim knowing. The perpetrator will ensure the video goes viral.

The culprit will try to blackmail the victim saying if certain things are not done, they will report the matter to higher authority.

It is not at all a pleasant experience to encounter cyber bullying, it is imperative to be aware of it and take precautionary measures for protection. How to safeguard ourselves from cyber bullying or cyber stalking or online harassment?

The most important thing to do is to identify the person who might have committed the crime:

The perpetrator might be someone the victim knows and it is important to not reply to an indecent text, social media message or email. Don’t panic and remember it is not your fault. A good strategy would be to inform the police who will trace the criminal. Remember to never reply to a text that is not decent.

Block the perpetrator:

It is first necessary to be among a trust worthy group of friends, if you feel upset about not having too many friends it is alright. It is any day safer to have a few reliable friends than to get to know a suspicious person who has the capacity to badger through online or offline means. Also don’t share your number with any and every one and don’t respond to request on social media. If you come across someone who is bullying you online, block the person and preserve the evidence, report any amount of threatening material to law enforcement. The more evidence present, the greater chances of catching the perpetrator.

Don’t wait long to ask for help:

If you spot bullying, contact law enforcement authorities immediately, also inform family members, and loyal friends. It will prevent further harassment, there should be awareness on cyber bullying. If a person is hassled, family members, friends, educational institutions and school counselors should work together with an open mind. It is extremely essential to not blame the victim, it is not his/her fault. 

Although the public generally has knowledge on cyber bullying, there should be more familiarity on this topic. The safety of citizens is extremely important, it will be beneficial to know how to identify a cyber bully, and this topic should be taught in schools and colleges.

The public should be more open-minded on the topic of cyber bullying, if a known person is harassed, speak to the victim, comfort him/her, and encourage the victim to be brave and report the matter to law enforcement. Do not blame the victim because it can affect the physical and mental well-being of a person. 

Always ensure to know a person well before sharing number or accepting invites on social media. Even if you meet someone for the first time through a common friend, you can never know if you can really trust someone completely. This applies to girls and guys.

It is good to have sound knowledge on the behavioral patterns of a creepy person and how different they are from a normal person. This way you will keep a distance from a threatening person.

It will be beneficial to never allow anyone else particularly someone who seems deceitful to use your computer where the password is saved.

Always remember to log out of email and social media sites.

It is vital to know that we are living in a world where there are many negative happenings. Hence it is highly important to take precautions and know about crimes like cyber bullying.

Advancement in technology has led to a stronger economy, and in a way it also helps citizens feel safe. It should not be misused and in the future authorities all over the globe should work on methods that can help prevent cyber crime.

 

 

Characteristics of a pathological liar and how to prevent the disease

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There are people who are compulsive liars, they lie for no apparent reason, and the lies do not seem to stop, it just goes on and on. The condition where a person is subjected to lying every now and then is called pathological lying. It is a mental disorder and the affected person lies about illness, work, position in life and so on. 

Some examples of pathological lying is the affected person will say:

They have a terminal illness when they don’t.

They claim to be related to a famous person when they are not.

They will lie about reaching a status in life, such as being a director of a company, or owning a firm that does not actually exist.

They lie about having performed extraordinary tasks such as climbing Mount Everest or participating in a conference.

Pathological lying is just a bundle of false stories about certain aspects such as career, relationships, achievements and so on. How to really identify if someone is a pathological liar?

Identifying a pathological liar:

Pathological liars are just prone to lying, and there is no meaning in what they say. They just spin a story of lies which has absolutely no logic.

Their stories is not an array of real simple events, but happenings that are complicated and well-fabricated. The liar will portray a very colorful and realistic picture which very obviously does not make sense.

They portray themselves to be superior, and will blurt out series of events where they are the hero or center of attraction. They will lie about their extraordinary achievements or they will lie about people finding them to be most attractive among a crowd.

A pathological liar is extremely engrossed in their own sequence of lies and they are determined to believe those lies. They are highly ambitious about being in their own world, and employ smart tactics to cover their tracks such as speaking in a normal tone and at a good speed and avoiding eye contact. They do not want to come to terms with reality.

White lies:

We do lie sometimes, but it is not with the intention to cause hurt, it is just to save our skin. Such a kind of lie is called white lie, some of the examples of white lies are

When a person makes up an excuse about why they are late to work by saying they are stuck in traffic.

Lying about certain matters to protect the health and stress levels of a person.

When they just want to take the day off, a person will lie saying they are unwell, when they are not.

Difference between white lies and pathological lies:

White lies will remain white lies, if excuses are made once in a while not often. If a person is not a pathological liar he/she will tell themselves that excuses are okay once in a while, but they have to be more serious about their life moving forward. They do not want to enter the guilty space of emerging with a problem or excuse often.

Pathological liars create a much bigger picture of themselves, and exaggerate much more than people who tell white lies once in a while. There is a difference between saying I have a terminal illness when I don’t than making up an excuse about being unwell probably just once or twice a year.

White lies is told to safeguard worry or feelings, while a pathological liar creates false stories to attract sympathy and attention.

It is essential for family and friends to offer support if there is someone who is a pathological liar. The condition if not treated at an early stage can lead to life long consequences affecting work, relationships and daily life.

Understanding and offering support:

Pathological liars have varied hormone levels:

The hormone level in a pathological liar is different than other people. Individuals with antisocial personality  disorder likely to be a pathological liar have lower cortisol levels and higher testosterone levels than a normal person. This causes aggressive behavior leading to frequent lying. Be patient and gradually encourage them to seek medical treatment.

Most pathological liars have a personality disorder:

When compulsive liars lie about portraying a much bigger image of themselves, they are likely to be suffering from Narcissistic Personality disorder (NPD). They will reveal false stories of their achievements such as reaching an esteemed position in a company, saving someone from danger, or walking for a long distance. People with NPD think they are extremely superior to an exaggerated level resulting in undesirable behavior filled with anger and lack of care for other people’s opinions and feelings. If you come across a liar who could have NPD, close friends and family members should spend time with them, first talk about the good things, show the person appreciation and tell them they will be more liked if they were more realistic about themselves.

Pathological liars suffer from low self-esteem:

Pathological liars get into the lying spree due to lack of self-esteem, they are not confident about themselves and want to showcase a bigger picture to feel better. Close friends and family should help the affected individual, ask him/her about what they like doing, their ambitions. Encourage them to do a task outside of their comfort zone, which they have never done. Tell them they are capable of following their dreams, and work with them on gradually reducing their lies.

They have gong through childhood trauma:

People who have suffered childhood trauma such as physical or mental abuse can turn into habitual liars. They do not want to deal with what they have gone through, have low self-esteem and get into a pattern of lying saying that they have had a rosy life when they have not. Make the affected person feel comfortable, tell him/her that everyone goes through a bad phase and it is possible to lead a good and positive life. Gradually work on telling them they will be more respected if they are honest about what they have gone through and subsequently the lies will reduce.

They are attention seekers:

Pathological liars may at some point feel neglected, because of which they lie their way through to get attention. They will lie about an excruciating pain that does not exist, and a terminal illness they don’t have. A good way to help would be to spend time with the affected person and ask him/her about how they feel, whether they are lonely and just want to be appreciated. Once sufficient care is shown their lying is likely to reduce.

If you know anyone who is a pathological liar, the first thing to do is push them to seek medical treatment with a psychiatrist and counselor. Pathological lying should not always be viewed as a negative trait, a great amount of care and understanding is needed to prevent the prevalence of the condition.

 

Drug abuse can cause HIV infection

 

 

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Drug abuse is a global concern, and the prevalence is high, according to World Health Organization there were 450,000 deaths in the year 2015 caused from drug abuse. From this figure around 167,750 cases were drug overdose and the remaining deaths were from unsafe injection practice resulting in death from hepatitis C and HIV.

The highest number of drug abuse related deaths is from opioids and this accounted for around 76% of deaths. The risk of death is higher for people who inject drugs (PWID) reported in 10.6 million people around the globe in the year 2016. Every one in eight individuals have HIV and over fifty percent have hepatitis C.

It is important to remember that individuals who abuse drugs are at a high risk of contracting hepatitis or HIV. The viruses that cause these conditions spread through body fluids or blood. The mode in which viruses can transfer is through unsafe means of sharing injections. Also when a person abuses drug there is lack of judgement and thinking, there is therefore higher chance of engaging in risky behavior which is through unprotected sex. HIV positive women can pass the virus to the baby and it can even be transmitted through breast milk.

HIV is Human Immunodeficiency virus and when infected it destroys CD4 immune cells a type of T cell that fight infection. The final stage of HIV infection is AIDS Acquired immunodeficiency Syndrome and this is a stage where the immune system is no longer able to function to its optimum. The normal T cell count that determines healthy immunity is 500 and 1,600, in a person with AIDS it is below 200.

Hepatitis is when there is inflammation of the liver and this is caused from strain of viruses such as E,D, B, C and A. It is important to remember that sharing of needles increases chance of contracting hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Drug use can result in risky sexual behavior and there is now high chance of being infected with hepatitis B virus. When a person contracts hepatitis there is a high risk of having liver cancer.

The chances of having AIDS is high in people who are injection drug users (IDU) and non-injection drug users.

Injection drug users:

There has been cases where injection drug users suffer from HIV, and according to reports every year there are ten new cases of HIV caused from injection drug use. In the year 2010 the occurrence of HIV was 38% in women and 62% in men. There have been several deaths reported from injection drug use, around 28% have died from AIDS in the year 2012.

Non-injection drug user:

The AIDS epidemic does not spread only through injection drug use, there is a chance of suffering from the disease even through non-injection drug use. Here there is no risk of transmission through body fluids or blood. Drug overdose impairs cognitive function and there is an increased chance of engaging in high-risk sexual behavior. According to reports the chance of contracting tuberculosis from non injection drug use is twice higher compared to injection drug use.

Let us browse through how certain drugs increase chance of HIV:

Cocaine:

People who use cocaine are highly prone to risky sexual behavior, they do not think of protection and therefore engage in unprotected sex. The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that the transmission of HIV is higher by three times in individuals who smoke crack cocaine.

Heroin:

There has been significant occurrence where people use heroin via injection, this increases chance of contracting HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and viral hepatitis. Heroin abusers use and even share needles often and find ways to get high by indulging in drug paraphernalia. This kind of repeated sharing of needles and finding ways to get high results in having unprotected sex with multiple partners. There is now increased risk of being infected with sexually transmitted disease.

Methamphetamine:

There is a high chance of contracting HIV, Hepatitis C and B and sexually transmitted diseases from non-injection and injection means of methamphetamine use. People who abuse methamphetamine are prone to extremely risky sexual behavior and it even increases libido. People with HIV who abuse methamphetamine are at a higher risk of having AIDS and the other risks are cognitive impairment and neuronal injury.

Club drugs:

Club drugs or recreational drugs such as GHB, ketamine and ecstasy increases risk of having unprotected sex resulting in sexually transmitted disease. An individual who abuses these drugs suffer from lack of judgement and high-end risky behavior.

There should be awareness on how drug use increases a person’s chance of acquiring HIV, this can be done by:

Promoting awareness in schools and colleges on the side effects of drug use and importance of safe sex.

It is essential to ensure those who have abused drugs should get tested for HIV.

Anyone who has had sex with someone who abuses drugs should also get tested for HIV.

It is important to get a doctor’s consultation and go for counseling.

It is crucial to know that drug abuse through injection or non-injection use can result in viral infections.

For those who abuse drugs don’t be too hard on yourself. Tell yourself you are important and you can overcome the addiction. An addiction counselor and psychiatrist will guide you on ways to stop using drugs.

 

Celebrate International Day of Happiness and Spread Joy

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It is International Day of Happiness, the feeling of happiness brings joy, and people look best when they smile and laugh. Everybody wants to be happy, but there are those who are not satisfied. It is true that life is full of challenges, and it is not possible to remain happy at all times. There is however a need to reach out and show appreciation.

Along with attaining inner peace and happiness it is important to spread joy and not hurt and criticism, because we live in a world where nobody is perfect. There are negative happenings in the world with a lot of crime, bullying and criticism. This is true even considering the fact that humans are social beings.

It is important to remember that being happy makes you a healthier person, let us explore.

Happiness gives you a good immune system:

It reduces risk of chest infections and cold, in an experiment conducted with more than three hundred healthy individuals, the result showed happier people are less likely to contract cold compared to the extremely unhappy ones. The result also showed the chances of infecting a cold in unhappy people is three times higher than happy people. Scientists have also discovered that happier people have stronger antibody response.

Improved lifestyle:

Happy people are more prone to eating healthy foods such as vegetables, whole grain and fruits, and they have more energy for regular physical activity.

Reduced stress:

When a person is extremely stressed there is an increase in hormone cortisol and it contributes to high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, weight gain and irregular sleep. An experiment was conducted in more than 200 adults on how being happy can fight stress. The result showed 32% of individuals who were happy had lesser levels of stress hormone cortisol.

Extended longevity:

If you want to live a long and productive life, find ways to be happy, studies have shown unhappier people have 14% chances of short life compared to happy people.

Good for heart health:

Being happy is good for the heart and blood pressure, in a study conducted in more than 6,500 people above 65 years of age, the result showed those who are happy had 9% reduced risk of blood pressure. Happy people are 13 to 26 percent less prone to suffer from heart disease.

There are health benefits from being happy, but yet there are many cases of depression. There are over 300 million individuals who have depression, a rise of over 18 percent between the years of 2005 and 2015. It is essential to help one another and make each other feel comfortable.

The significance of International Day of Happiness is to spread joy, kindness and laughter and this can be done by helping one another. Think about how as a society we can eliminate hurting and criticizing other people for no reason.

On International Day of Happiness let us think of spreading cheer and joy, not just on this day but on all days.

Togetherness in the classroom and beyond

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The concept of team work should be well understood from a young age, there should be a sense of inclusion. Everyone should be treated equally and there should be emphasis on understanding different kinds of people. From the school environment to work atmosphere, there is the experience of meeting various kinds of people.

A topic that needs to be discussed is how people at school and university adapt to their surroundings and school bullying is a concern. It is a kind of bullying that exists in an educational setting. It is an aggression shown by students to harm another person. It affects the mental and physical well-being of the victim, and to really understand what bullying is all about, there are categories in which it is classified, let us explore.

Physical bullying:

Here the perpetrator will use physical means such as kicking, hitting and sending out violence threats.

Cyber bullying:

This involves teasing and sending threat messages via electronic means through social media, phone, chat or email. It is not easy to identify the perpetrator because they can pose as anonymous or use other accounts to hack the victim’s account.

Relational aggression:

Here the perpetrator will resort to gossip, start a rumor or exclude someone from a group.

School bullying is a serious matter, 70.6% of young people have said that they have been bullied and 70.4% of school staff have witnessed bullying. The impact of bullying can result in the victim suffering from depression, anxiety, eating disorder, substance abuse and other mental health disorders such as social anxiety and anti-social personality disorder. The victim can also resort to self-harm, and they do not perform well in academics.

What can be done to prevent bullying?

From a young age students should be taught about inclusion about respecting and appreciating different cultures and ethnicity. They should be taught to not discriminate based on color, gender and religion.

They should be taught to understand the importance of team work from a young age and how to identify various kinds of personalities. They should be given training on how to respect one another and not differentiate based on learning abilities and physical appearance.

School teachers and counselors should educate students on understanding sexuality and they should be taught to respect the LGBT community. A topic on gender equality should be introduced as well.

Students who are newly introduced to electronic means will be intrigued and curious, and teachers  and school counselors should educate them on the harmful effects of cyber bullying and what a serious crime it is.

It is essential for teachers and school counselor to evaluate the family background of students. There is possibility that a student will have a parent who has committed a crime, and he/she is prone to bully other students. School counselors should intervene with parents and student and stress on the importance of good behavior. Such students should not be excluded.

In a classroom there are different kinds of students from various backgrounds, some will be from normal families and others from broken families. Teachers and school counselors should educate students on how to treat everyone equally, show empathy and understand each other.

Counseling sessions should be conducted for everyone and also for students who have eating disorder and who abuse drugs and alcohol.

When the concept of bullying prevention and equality is taught at an early stage, students are likely to carry morals and good behavior attitudes with them that is needed in the workplace. Most importantly there will be better quality of life.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Women’s Day and demand equality

women powerIt is International Women’s day and how does it feel to be a woman? A representation of strength and femininity. A woman is an empowering figure of the modern world, and a powerful force in many spheres such as politics, fashion, technology, social work and so on. Below is the list of some of the powerful women across the globe. 

Sheryl Sandberg the chief operating officer of Facebook and founder of Lean In Foundation.

Angela Merkel is the first female chancellor of Germany since the year 2005. 

Christine Lagarde is a politician, lawyer and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund since the 5th of July 2011.

Indra Nooyi is the Board of Director of Amazon. She is in the World’s 100 most powerful women list.

Isabelle Kocher is the COO of Engie a French multinational electric utility firm.

Miuccia Bianchi Prada is an eminent fashion designer of the well known brand Prada.

J.K Rowling is a highly acclaimed author.

Tarana Burke founded the Me Too Movement and she is a civil rights activist.

Women have been successful in multi-tasking, they are able to take care of toddlers and young children and still go to work and emerge on top of their game. Woman’s day is a day of celebration for women for being a nurturer, working professional and independent thinker. It is true that the approach towards women being successful has become positive in today’s times. However there are women related issues that need to be looked into and changes towards betterment is needed.

Difficulties faced by women even today:

Gender Inequality:

There are cases where gender inequality still exists, even in the 21st century, women are paid lesser than men. For every dollar a man earns in the U.S, women is paid only 78 cents.

Sexual and Reproductive health:

Abortion rights around the globe is an issue that needs immediate attention, Africa has the largest number of deaths caused from abortion. According to a recent study the maternal mortality rate caused from unsafe abortion worldwide is 8 to 18 percent. In the year 2014 the number of deaths from abortion is a whooping 22,500 to 44,000. There are countries where abortion is illegal and this is detrimental to the health of the mother. Also effective strategies are needed to eliminate period poverty and Female genital mutilation.

Girls’ education:

The World Bank is emphasizing on the importance of girls’ education and there are barriers preventing a female from enjoying and benefiting from the significance of education such as cultural norms and practices, violence and poor infrastructure. Women’s education will enable them to comprehend various aspects of life such as life skills and family planning resulting in healthier and well cared for children. Based on survey by UNESCO, around 130 million girls between 6 and 17 years of age drop out of school. Around 15 million primary school girls in sub Saharan Africa do not attend school.

To all women out there this is a day to celebrate and also ponder upon gender inequality and women related issues.