Essential Safety Tips for People with Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurring seizures or fits and it is proven that many people with epilepsy experience more than one seizure and the person experiences symptoms of neurological problems as well. How to determine if a person has epilepsy?  There are other medical conditions that trigger fits such as extremely low blood sugar and alcohol withdrawal, and a person who gets seizures from these conditions might not have epilepsy. Epilepsy diagnosis happens when a person experiences more than one type of seizure which does not emerge from any kind of medical condition.

A person with Epilepsy should take safety precautions to just feel safe and avoid any kind of danger. People with this condition can lead a normal life, provided you realize the risk involved in day to day life and take precautions to minimize risks. It is the seizures that puts the individual at risk of danger. During an epileptic seizure the affected person loses conscious and is unaware of surroundings. In such a case there is high chance of accidents and the person might even lose balance. What are the dangers caused from epileptic fits? It is head injuries, drowning, fracture, bruises, cuts and burns. There are also certain places that is extremely risky for an epileptic person to survive in, it is being in places of certain height, being in traffic, being in water and being in a place of electric and heat source.

Level of risk of having seizure:

It is important for an Epileptic person to study the level of risks caused from fits at various occasions. The risk of danger is higher for someone having experienced many episodes of tonic-clonic seizures and it is essential to know that there is a risk of experiencing (SUDEP) sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

In whichever place and situation, it is imperative to be aware of feeling safe and avoiding risk of an epileptic attack that can pose danger.

Safety tips at home:

Ensure to be careful about unattached wires being connected to appliances that can result in sparks. Keep any kind of wires such as cable tidies and hardware at a distance from an appliance.

Protect yourself by using guards on radiators

Make sure that appliances used for cooking such as stoves and heaters are away from you at a good distance, so that it does not come in contact with you if knocked over by accident.

Use a hairdryer that switches off when you place it down

In order to avoid risk of friction burns use carpet that has a high wool content and not the one with a high synthetic content.

Install smoke detectors that alert other people if there is something burning particularly for those with memory problems.

Precautions to take while in the bathroom:

People with seizures need to take extra care during any bath activity, mainly because there is isolation from other caretakers. Follow these tips to stay safe

It is advised to have a shower and not a bath, because while showering the water moves away from the body.

It would be safe if there is someone near the door while having a bath.

Use signs on the door and not locks, because if there is a sign of any kind of danger, people can just barge into the bathroom.

Make sure the fittings are engineered in a manner that results in minimum damage to the head and other body parts.

Use a shower screen made of safety glass

If it is convenient try to sit down while showering, it makes minimum room for slippage.

Make sure the temperature controls work well to avoid any kind of shock.

While in the kitchen:

It is advised to use microwave than an electric or gas cooker

Stay at a good distance away from cooking utensils so that the equipment does not get knocked over and fall down.

It is advised to not carry hot items, if you are carrying heated items use a thick cloth

To be on the safe side use a toaster instead of grill to prevent burning and the fumes coming in contact with skin.

While pouring hot liquid use teapot pourers and kettle tippers to avoid any hot liquid coming in contact with skin.

While being in the bedroom:

Take precaution to not put your pillow close to radiator

Ensure to protect yourself by putting pillows on the edges of the bed to prevent falling

It is advised to choose a bed designed at a low height because of the reduced distance between the bed and floor.

Make sure to never leave any kind of sharp objects on or close to the bed.

Experts advise on using anti-suffocation pillows.

While in the garden:

Avoid being in close contact with bonfires and barbecues, make sure you are with someone while a bonfire or barbecue is being used.

It is advised to not have ponds or pools in the garden, if there are water bodies, make sure it is guarded with fences.

Make sure the ground on which you are walking is safe.

Precautions to take while going out:

A person with Epilepsy will feel anxious about going out, and there are many thoughts and emotions circulating in the mind. These are the common thought processes,

Will a seizure episode happen anytime?

I will get noticed during a seizure and what will people think?

Is my seizure going to keep me pre-occupied and interfere with my work?

An epileptic person can lead a normal life and venture out into the professional world, but it is important to bear these important tips in mind about being safe.

Carry a medical card stating the numbers to contact during emergency

Carry a first-aid kit

If you have any doubt contact your family doctor

Tips to minimize risk of injury caused from bruises, head injuries, cuts and fracture:

Ensure that the flooring is filled with soft materials such as rubber, cork, linoleum and carpets. This way when you fall the risk of injury is minimized.

Place a soft material on the floor of stairs and make sure stairs are bordered with railings and use safety glass on doors and windows.

A person with Epilepsy can explore their dreams and emerge successful, provided they follow and be aware of certain precautions to just feel safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Ways to Identify Stalking Behavior

followingThere are so many people we meet in life, but yet there are few in contact with us. We however during most times don’t take notice of someone who gives more attention than needed, and it is more than normal observation. He/she could fall into the stalking category, it is a danger most people are unaware of. Stalking is a term not thought of by many individuals and that is why there is a risk of impending danger. What is the intrinsic definition of stalking. It is when a person contacts you indirectly through sending texts, making calls, sending items to residence and so on. People can’t feel stalking behavior until they experience it, because it is done secretively. Watch out for these threats:

The perpetrator will find ways to harass by

Getting your contact on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and so on

Getting to know your address and send letters

Sending gifts

Trying to steal anything that belongs to you

Creating a website about you

People are extremely busy with their lives, particularly in balancing work and family life  and also thinking about other responsibilities to handle. Being immersed in such thoughts, there is little room for being observant of surroundings and the sight of the person who looks creepy. How to identify a potential stalker or the possible event of being stalked?

Intense expression:

Stalkers exhibit intense expression, at times it cannot be noticed, they showcase a predatory expression through strong eye contact. While meeting someone for the first time, a little bit of long stare is common, but stalkers will stare, in a different way that will seem to be obviously creepy.

Trying to get information about a person:

Meeting people on a regular basis is common, most often people just forget a new person they met and carry on with their lives. However, a stalker might be around the corner and once you are their subject, they will find ways to get information about you before you even know it. They will even gather facts about what you do on a daily basis and the people you know and meet.

Being active on social media and browsing through profiles:

Social media is a habitual ground for stalkers, they will go through your profile to collect as much information as possible. They do this to get assurance that they know you well, they will check who you are with, and what you are doing on a regular basis. If it is a day you are going out for a meal after work, it is possible that the stalker might follow you.

They keep following you wherever you go:

It is impossible to predict that a stalker can follow you, they have a knack of following you and tracing your details. They will find means to get your number and browse through your details. You will find a stalker following you at most unusual places, they do it secretively sometimes, and at times they do it to get your attention.

Watch out for someone who stands close to you:

If it is a person you are not close to watch out for close inappropriate contact, it is a sign of stalking behavior. If you notice such an indication constantly call a helpline and alert family and friends.

It is essential to be aware of surroundings and watch out for stalkers, to be on the safe side, interact more only with people whom you consider to be safe. Also, don’t expose social media sites to the public, keep it private.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking Through Cannabis Use disorder

leaf-background-lines-foliageCannabis use disorder is when a person continuously inhales the drug despite any sign of significant clinical impairment experienced. There is the urge to consume cannabis even though it affects the overall well-being caused from harmful consequences. Once addicted to cannabis, the drug is given first preference from normal day to day activities. As the user continues to consume the drug he/she experiences increased tolerance and enters into a physical withdrawal state.

Problems associated with Cannabis Use Disorder:

The increased tolerance to cannabis results in significant cognitive impairment, if you are worried about a loved one being addicted to marijuana watch out for these behavioral and psychological symptoms.

Problems related to work and economic stability:

The addict will have trouble focusing on work and will not have cognition about managing finances.

Anti-social behavior:

The affected person withdraws from society, loses conscious perception and becomes suspicious.

Impulsive behavior:

The person becomes overly intoxicated and is prone to drinking and driving behavior

Due to impulsive behavior, the person engages in extreme high-energy risk taking dangerous activities and becomes irresponsible.

A person who is heavily addicted to pot loses sight of surroundings and is not even aware of family life. He/she neglects family to an extent of being charged with legal consequences.

Effect of cognitive impairment from cannabis intoxication:

The person suffers impaired motor co-ordination

The person’s refluxes is impaired and is slow in reaction time and movement.

The person suffers  with short term memory loss, becomes slow in processing and judgement and loses power of enthusiasm once he/she had.

In few cases cannabis intoxication triggers psychosis:

The person suffers paranoia or acute psychosis that could result in hallucinations and delusions.

In 4% of cases cannabis intoxication has resulted in schizophrenia

In few cases cannabis intoxication can result in delirium and the affected person loses sight of being mentally aware and mental reasoning.

Dependence on marijuana triggers a negative impact on the overall well-being of a person, to an extent that it interferes with personal growth and relationships. For a marijuana addict, cannabis is a source of comfort from day to day pressures and stress, but yet the long-term consequences of the drug is negative. It is a challenging task to quit the drug, and it is also taxing to remain in state of sobriety.

There are a great number of cases where people who quit cannabis use have experienced withdrawal symptoms. The effect of withdrawal varies for each person, according to a study conducted on 500 marijuana users, around 30% who have quit have entered into a state of relapse because it was difficult to bear the withdrawal symptoms.

Marijuana drug use is most prevalent in US and according to survey over 9% of the population have developed addiction. It has been reported that the percentage of adolescents engaging in cannabis use is 3.4% and among the older group between the 18-29 years of age the figure is 7.5%.

There are factors that determine the extent of experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as the quantity of the drug, number of times used and also other related mental health issues.

Cannabis use takes away the normal physical and mental health of the person, watch out for these symptoms caused from marijuana intoxication.

The person suffers from loss of memory

Problem with concentration and performing tasks

Vague pattern of thinking

Anxiety

Learning difficulties.

The possibility of relapse triggered when a person experiences cannabis dependence from adolescent stage is high and this is proven in 30% of individuals, compared to adults who have started developing marijuana addiction.

When a person becomes addicted to cannabis for a prolonged period of time, the brain is accustomed to the presence of the drug, to an extent that it does not recognize its very own endocannabinoids which are endogenous  lipid based retrograde neurotransmitters that combine with cannabinoid receptors that regulate cognitive and physiological processes in the body such as memory, mood, pain sensation, appetite, pregnancy and so on.

Entering into a state of marijuana withdrawal is hard, watch out for these symptoms

A regular addict who has smoked weed regularly for many months before quitting will experience

Anger, aggressive behavior and will get irritated easily

You will notice nervousness

Restlessness

Insomnia or bad dreams

Loss of appetite and decreased weight

Watch out for the presence of severe discomfort where you will notice the affected person suffering from stomach pain, headache, chills and frequent sweats.

What causes someone to get addicted to marijuana:

A person addicted to cannabis finds pleasure in the drug compared to other things in life, and in most cases he/she becomes addicted to alcohol and other drugs. The main characteristic of an addict is the non-acceptance of using the drug and their mind is filled with denial thoughts.

Being there for a person with Cannabis Use Disorder:

It is essential for the addict to seek help from a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, along with these treatments, it is imperative for the addict to gradually resort to self help methods. It is important for loved ones to offer encouragement and support for addicts, to help him/her get rid of denial emotion running through their mind and help them realize the important of self-love and self-care.

For addicts the best way to feel good is to first admit you are dependent on cannabis, and give yourself space, inspiration and care. These factors will trigger the strength to give up.

Think about the consequences cannabis use has on yourself, on the negative outcomes, slowly work on whether you want to lead this kind of life or change for the better. You can write down your ideal kind of life, on how much you want to socialize or feel loved, or whether you want to lead an introverted life, where you are within your own space. Taking this kind of life into consideration, you can ponder upon whether marijuana use is really going to make you feel content and positive.

Whenever you feel like getting back into smoking weed addiction, aim to remove the old thoughts and focus on acquiring a new lease of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Cocaine Dependence

a new pathCocaine dependence is a psychological need to constantly use cocaine drug and an increased use indicates cocaine dependence. The intense need to depend on the drug indicates increased appetite, cravings and fatigue.  People who are accustomed to regular intake of cocaine are tolerant to the euphoric effects of the drug, to an extent that there is a change in personality. The user will find comfort in cocaine than any other activity considered enjoyable. Addicts are also particular about keeping sufficient cocaine.

Increased intake of cocaine causes a person to enter into a euphoric state and it changes the emotional characteristic and thought process of a person. It takes fifteen minutes for the user to remain in a euphoric state and it results in the feeling of intense pleasure and this causes a person to become addicted. Such a reaction affects the central nervous system and brain, and the addiction results in increased social awareness and confidence and the user becomes more talkative.

Effect of withdrawal symptom:

Once addicted, what happens in the process of being less used to cocaine, the effect of less severe cocaine dependence is based on reduced euphoric effect of the drug and the person becomes depressed, tired and feels low, and this is called a cocaine crash. Once a person who is addicted to cocaine stops taking it, he/she experiences a low point caused by unexplained anger, lack of energy and anxiety. These are the physical withdrawal symptoms, and it can last for a short period of time. Users experience psychological withdrawal symptoms as well, where the brain is used to cocaine as a trigger point to experience intense pleasure. The affected person also believes cocaine is the focus to enjoy the pleasures of life such as become highly sociable or get attracted to the opposite sex.

Understanding and dealing with cravings:

It takes time for a user to come out of cocaine addiction, it is however possible to enter into complete recovery.  The urge to think of or use the drug even after stoppage of usage results in cravings and it occurs when a person relives past moments and connects to the environment where drug intake was high. The brain adapts to these memories resulting in strong urges to use the drug.

To really determine if a person is experiencing cocaine cravings, watch out for these physical and mental symptoms:

Increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, increase in sweat gland activities, increased anticipation, increased energy levels, increased awareness, mild to severe levels of euphoria, more clarity in thought process, increased mood levels, increased irritability,  insomnia, increase in body temperature, increased breathing pattern and lack of appetite.

The occurrence of cravings can occur few hours after discontinuation of the drug or after many days or weeks. An important point to remember is it is normal to experience cravings. The average high from inhaling cocaine lasts for 15 to 30 minutes, this is because the drug takes longer to enter the blood stream when inhaled.  However, in cases of smoking cocaine, the timeframe of the drug being absorbed into the blood stream is faster, and hence the euphoric feeling lasts for five to ten minutes.  After such a short span of intense pressure, the user enters a state of crashing low and craves for more cocaine in larger doses.

The transformation of cocaine use into addiction is not easy to break, it is a common case for a user to be broke after getting his/her paycheck. The following week starts with feeling of anxiety and depression due to reduced dopamine levels. The addict may consume less amounts of cocaine through the week, and once weekend starts the binge-high resumes.

Why does a person get addicted:

Cocaine is a stimulant and when consumed the brain is flooded with chemicals serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. In a brain that is not subjected to cocaine use these chemicals are produced and recycled, but in the brain of a cocaine addict these chemicals remain and this is the reason why people experience short euphoric feelings and they just crave for more finding it difficult to quit. Cocaine now becomes the main focus of everyday life and other regular activities like relationships and work take a backseat.

Risk factors that could break the cycle of recovery:

Recovery from cocaine addiction is treated through medication and psychotherapy, it is important to seek help from a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. However it is also essential for an addict to control his/her own thought process. There are factors that will compel a person who is in total recovery to get back to addiction such as

Stress: Research has proven that stress is directly related to increase in cocaine cravings. Researchers from University of Michigan have discovered that there is a drastic increase in adult brain’s sensitivity towards addictive effects of cocaine caused from stress based changes in glucocorticoid receptors during early growth and development.

Environment: Being in an environment where the person took the drug for the first time or often can result in increased cocaine cravings or relapse.

Believing that taking in a little cocaine will not lead to relapse: People are of the view that they can control cocaine addiction and will ingest only small amount of cocaine. This is a risk and little intake can lead to relapse.

Not having a proper preventive plan: Not having an effective prevention plan can urge a person to get into relapse, particularly when his/her thoughts are flooded with stress, guilt and denial emotions.

How to remain calm and stay in the complete recovery phase:

Ponder upon the circumstances that is stressful or sad and work towards finding peace and positivity and gradually work on these aspects.

Whenever you get into a blank state or feeling of boredom and worthlessness, try to do an activity that is enjoyable such as your favorite hobbies or meet up with friends and family or decorate your house.

Try to stay around people who provide you with support, positivity and happiness than negative people.

Maintain a diary and write down your prevention plan and tick the goals achieved.

Pamper yourself with a new outfit, jewelry or perfume.

Browse through positive quotes.

Find inspiration through developing a new passion or hobby.

It takes just self-worth and determination to get over cocaine addiction and live in a happy and positive world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being there for someone with stuttering

 

The feeling of expression for a person with stuttering is no easy task, mainly because of the different views of people living in a society. There is a section of the society that is unaware of what it is to have a stuttering problem. Stuttering also referred to as stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder is a kind of speech disorder that obstructs normal flow of speech. A person who stammers knows what is going on in his mind and knows what to say, but is just unable to say it. This is the kind of speech difficulty faced, the person will either prolong, repeat or even stop while trying to say a syllable, phrase or word. Such a situation is certainly not comfortable and hence it is the responsibility of people around such as family and friends to make the person feel comforted.

As part of the growing phase, young children do stutter because the part of the brain responsible for language and speech ability is still developing. With time, kids outgrow this issue, however if the condition is diagnosed as stuttering the problem will persist into adulthood. How to really know if a person has a stammering problem. Take note of these symptoms.

Trouble during the initial pick of conversation with regard to starting a phrase or sentence

The person will have an issue with continuing a conversation noticed in issues with prolonging a sound or word within the uttered word.

When faced with difficulty in moving to the next word the person will incorporate certain sounds such as um to just have control over tone.

You will notice silence in between words and sentences.

You will notice excessive tension, movement or tightness on face or upper body while uttering a word.

The person becomes anxious while speaking

Irregularities in process of communication

Notice these physical symptoms of stammering

Rapid blinking

Head jerks

shaking of upper lip or jaw

clenched fists

facial tics.

An important point to note is stammering becomes highlighted when a person gets excited and anxious. However a person who stutters is comfortable in certain situations such as while being alone and speaking to oneself or being with a close friend.

When to take appointment with doctor or speech language pathologist

Look out for these signs of stammering in order to get medical attention

If stammering appears to be a persistent problem as the child grows older

You will notice a struggle in communication visible on discomfort in speaking or muscle tightening.

The person is unable to communicate effectively in school, work or during social gatherings.

The person will avoid situations where speaking among a large crowd is necessary such as being on stage or in a corporate environment.

What really causes stuttering

Medical experts have not been able to determine the real cause of stammering, however these are the possible causes.

Defect in speech motor control- Based on few evidences research has shown stammering is caused from defects in brain responsible for speech motor control. The areas that are affected are sensory and motor coordination and timing.

Genetics- There has been evidence of stuttering being genetic and experts say the cause of it is abnormalities in regions of the brain responsible for language.

Medical conditions such as trauma, stroke or any brain related diseases increases chance of acquiring stuttering.

It is to important to understand the feelings of a person with stuttering problem, because only the person with the condition knows how it feels to stammer. These people are just differently made and they too have strengths.

Being there for a person with stuttering:

Shame is a constant feeling of a person with stammering:

Someone who is unable to express himself because of stammering will feel shame, due to stuttering he may say different words than intended. In such a case counsellors or speech therapists should aim at understanding the feeling of shame and help the person block such thoughts and feel confident and wanted.

Guilt:

A person who stutters will feel guilt when uttering a word unintended to while stuttering, this situation is common in normal speakers as well, where one will accidently misspell a word. Such a scenario makes a person feel guilty and they feel fear as well, the combination of guilt and fear is no easy task to handle. It is important for loved ones to be understanding and non-judgmental.

Situations that trigger stammering and the importance of being there for people

Young children who stammer are fearful of making friends and fear being teased and bullied. In such a case it is essential for parents and loved ones to make the child feel wanted and confident, and teachers too should help such students and help build their self-esteem by treating them equally as other students.

People who stammer fear seeking employment into the corporate world, due to the fear of lagging behind, not being understood by boss and other colleagues. In such a case it is essential for the boss and co-workers to be more understanding and give the person respect and chance to blossom.

Fear of public speaking is common with a person who stammers, because it isn’t easy to speak in front of a crowd fearing stammering. It is necessity for loved ones to build confidence in the person and make him feel comfortable.

Self-help methods for people who stammer

A person who stammers will suffer from social anxiety and will remain isolated, it is important for him to find strength to overcome anxiety and gradually work on mingling with people.

A stutterer will shy away from entering the corporate world due to fear of being in a crowd or public speaking. It is essential to gradually work towards being in a work place and have the confidence to excel.

For someone who is not comfortable being among a large crowd in a workplace, there are other alternatives such as work from home, one on one sessions of teaching young children and so on.

Pay a visit to a speech therapist who will teach you exercises to control stammering

A stutterer has the same level of intelligence and creativity as anyone else and with support towards such people, the talent and creativity network across the globe will increase two-fold. They can enter any profession they desire to and excel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ensure You Don’t Drink and Drive

Everybody enjoys partying, not just to have fun, but also celebrate joyous and celebratory moments, such as birthdays, promotions, enterprise success and so on. In some cultures, drinking is an integral part of celebration, and there is no better feeling than to just rejoice and have loads of fun and drink to good measure. However, an important point to remember is to be careful, while having fun and do not overload your system with many drinks to a point of not being aware of your surroundings. It is imperative to be conscious particularly for those people who have to drive. There have been increasing cases of drinking and driving, hence it is necessary to enjoy your party and be completely sober before you head home, to avoid any untoward incidences, which is detrimental to your life, life of passengers and the people on the road. According to a recent report around 70% of road accident cases in India is caused from drunken driving. South Africa has the highest number of drunken driving cases, the occurrence of death reported in the country is 25.1 for every 1000 people. Every 6 out of ten deaths in South Africa is from drunken driving.

The thought of going out after a week of work is fun and relaxing and enjoy it to the core, but be careful before you head home to just avoid any kind of unnecessary incident. While enjoying the outing always think about the consequences of going home after enjoying a meal with a drink. Always bear in mind the dangers of drinking and driving and in order to be safe, follow these tips.

Tips to prevent drinking and driving:

It is important to include food while drinking and eat sensibly

Drink a glass of water after each drink and drink controlled amounts no more than you can handle, keep it moderate and maintain breaks in between. Also, make sure to measure the ratio of water to alcohol. Avoid fizzy drinks, because these drinks keep pylorus (connection between stomach and duodenum) open causing alcohol to rush to bloodstream faster. Pylorus regulates food entry into duodenum.

Have a good dinner

A good dinner is essential, chose food which are packed with whole grain, healthy fat and protein, you can even try a combination of seafood, rice and vegetables. These combinations help to maintain stable blood sugar. While snacking, with a drink eat something salty and spicy and then consume sufficient water to stay hydrated. Alcohol reduces blood sugar levels, and protein stabilizes blood sugar and helps avoid feeling of nausea. The goal is to drink lots of water to keep your system hydrated and mind alert.

Start early

In order to avoid leaving a venue inebriated, it is important to start early, this way there is ample time to enjoy a drink or two along with consuming food rich in proteins and drinking water in between. If you start early there is enough time to absorb the proteins consumed and sober down and be alert when going home.

Start with drinks with low alcohol content

If it is a house party, ensure to have a stack of fruit juices and water, and these can be consumed in between drinks to ensure great amount of alcohol is removed from the system. Also, make sure there is sufficient amount of food and remember being safe is the key. People who are high late into the night can decide to sleepover and not leave until the next morning. Head home only when you feel sober.

If you are headed to a bar or restaurant make sure you consume good quantity of food, especially when you know you are high. Ensure to just relax and leave the place only when you feel sober and alert. Friends and family should protect one another and encourage each other to head home only after feeling sober.

Party with responsibility

Party with responsible people so that each one can look out for the other. Besides this way there is less likelihood of anybody losing their bearings. Keeping responsible party people around prevents the dangerous incidents of drinking and driving.

Calling a taxi is a good option

Even when calling for a taxi it is important to study the driver, whether he shows signs of heavy drinking. Ensure to tell the driver to drive you to your residence carefully, also enquire whether he has emergency contact numbers.

It is good fun to party and celebrate moments, but remember moderation is the key, it is essential to not binge on excess alcohol on a regular basis. Even when on the road while driving please be aware of your surroundings and other drivers, if you find any sign of reckless driving, steer away from the meandering vehicle. Be aware of distracted drivers and rule breakers and notice these signs

  • Vehicles that take a wide turn
  • Meandering and drifting away from the regular path of driving
  • Unsteady path of the vehicle because of drivers who are on their mobile phone and their attention is diverted from the road
  • There are drivers who throw caution to wind after 10:00 pm not following regulations and taking a chance on one ways
  • Be aware of vehicles that come to an abrupt halt.
  • Do not be belied by a slow-moving vehicle, the slow speed could be because of distraction and therefore a hazard on the road.
  • Slow response to traffic signals are also a hazard as they tend to brake suddenly as a delayed reaction to the signal.
  • Abrupt or illegal turning is also hazardous we have to be alert to notice them
  • Some people tend to drive late in the night without headlights because they forget to turn them on.

Remember drinking and driving is irresponsible behavior, and there is an impending danger for the driver, passenger and other vehicles on the road. It is essential to follow safety measures such as wearing a helmet while riding, a seatbelt when driving and ensure airbags in your car. It is best to party with a designated driver, also, heed at check points, it enables the police to do their duty and reduce the number of drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).

 

 

 

 

Stress is a likely trigger to smoking

A good quality of life is what we all strive for, and people work around the clock or ponder upon ideas that will trigger success driving enterprise. Alongside striving for a good life packed with happiness and wealth stress comes in between. The reason being unpredictability of the future or present and out of the blue unexpected situations or challenges arise.

It isn’t a great feeling to feel stressed and in order to cope with it, people resort to various behaviors and smoking is one among them along with drinking, drugs and binge eating. There are individuals who smoke for pleasure as well, just to experience the feel of having a good time. In such cases, the reason for smoking is just a way to get away from normal day to day life, but it is not necessarily a set off from stress. When normal levels of smoking turns into an addiction, then stress is one of the reasons for it. The affected person is termed to be a stress smoker. A recent study has revealed smokers, particularly heavy smokers have higher levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety compared to non-smokers.

What are the stressful circumstances that elicit smoking behavior?

Whether it is a single person who is studying or working or a working parent, there are many responsibilities to handle. A single person who is studying will have to balance between university, work and assignments and a working woman will have to balance work hours and there is the stress of being financially independent. A working parent needs to work around balancing professional and personal life and there are so many thoughts embedded in the mind simultaneously. On analyzing the lifestyle of people in different life phases what are the stressful circumstances a person encounters. It is the challenge to multitask, get ready for sudden surprises such as a work deadline, child or loved one falling sick and change in economic scenario and so on.

Smoking causes stress:

Individuals who are unable to bear stress take into smoking to feel relief and calmness, but the fact is smoking does not reduce stress, it actually causes stress. When a person smokes, the nicotine (addictive substance a psychoactive or mood altering drug) enters the bloodstream and moves to the brain where it releases a feel-good chemical called dopamine. The effect of pleasure or feeling good caused by dopamine is short lived, and as a person continues to smoke till the level of this chemical reduces making a person feel worse than the first inhalation. When a person experiences perceived feeling of relaxation from the first light up from dopamine, the craving for cigarettes increases. During this period, the body experiences low levels of oxygen, muscle tension and increased heart rate and blood pressure and these reactions increase stress levels in the body and the individual now feels more stressed than before.

According to research conducted by National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, nicotine damages the blood vessels and also has an effect on skin health causing wrinkles. Nicotine has an adverse effect on the lungs by causing oxygen starvation. Nicotine increases risk of heart problems, with increase in number of cigarette smoking, there is an increase in the level of plaque buildup in arteries. People who smoke are at a greater risk of suffering from breast and lung cancer.

Smoking affects mouth and throat health; excessive smoking causes stained teeth and bad breath. Smokers are at an increased risk of suffering from cancer in esophagus, throat and tongue. Over 93% of reported oropharyngeal cancers are due to smoking, however an important point to remember is a person who has remained smoke free for twenty years has a lower chance of suffering from neck and head cancer.

Smoking affects reproductive health and causes male impotence, it damages sperm and increases occurrence of testicular cancer. There have been reported incidences of 120,000 men in UK being impotent and the main reason for this is smoking. Based on inference from recent research men who smoke are at a higher risk of having reduced sperm count when compared to non-smokers. Smoking affects fertility in woman as well, and females who smoke are at a 72% risk of unhealthy reproductive system than non-smokers. Pregnant woman who smoke are at a higher risk of having stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage.

Stress management to fight cigarette cravings:

When succumbed to stressful situations it is difficult to fight cigarette cravings, it is however possible if we have the willpower to get over the addiction.

Tell yourself you are determined to quit smoking and set a quit date, develop will-power and you will have the courage to reduce number of cigarettes and throw away cigarettes.

Whenever you experience cravings, tell yourself it is short lived (cravings last for few seconds to one minute). Tell yourself smoking is no longer an option and remember the 5Ds which is drink water, delay, distract, deep breathing or discuss problems with loved one.

Always have a positive outlook through visualization- Surround your thought process with something beautiful. If you are someone who likes to be in calm surroundings, imagine yourself to be in a scenic place such as among greenery or on the beach. Such thoughts of being in a place that is calm will help you get into a state of relaxation with no room for anxiety.

During free time gradually work on activities you enjoy doing such as reading a book, listening to music, watching favorite shows and so on. Remember, in order to beat stress you need to make time for hobbies, and not think of it as a waste of time.

In order to make yourself feel better you can decorate your home or wear an outfit which according to you is nice.

If you are experiencing work related stress, work out your savings and work on something that will make you less stressed and happy. For example-If you are the type who prefers to have your own business, work on a business plan and get it going.

Regular exercise helps beat stress- Exercise regularly to beat stress and it need not be a complex exercise, a good regime would be brisk walking, swimming or biking. Regular physical activity boosts endorphins which are neurotransmitters that induces a feel good effect. The American Heart Association recommends a 30 minute daily exercise schedule.

Get help from doctor and counsellor

Always remember there are healthy ways of combatting stress that will make you feel good and happy with yourself.