Archives for July, 2010
People who suffer from anxiety tend to worry a lot, especially those who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which is a common type of anxiety involving excessive worry on an almost daily basis. It is generally accompanied by various physical symptoms such as fatigue, restlessness, and tension. Those with GAD often seem to believe that worrying can protect them from harm--as though their worry will help them see and avoid any number of potential calamities that may lie ahead. Unfortunately, worry has a terrible cost/benefit ratio.
When I was a little kid in elementary school, my father used to take me to the impressive main branch of The Detroit Public Library to look up material for school assignments. He wouldn’t allow an encyclopedia in the house because it wasn’t a primary source. That was just the way it was at my house. Another fond memory from childhood is riding my bike about two miles (without a helmet or a parent) to the local library during the summer months and filling my bike basket with books to read during the week. No one at my house paid too much attention when I read late into the night with a bright flash light under the sheet providing just enough light to read. Our grandkids won’t ever do those things.
Driving down the freeway yesterday we were startled by a sudden loud siren. Plowing down the shoulder of the road was a large black vehicle that looked like a combination tank and space ship. The traffic slowed and moved to the right while a long line of police cars sped by. A few minutes later, we heard the first news bulletins on the radio. A man was shooting employees at a local business. The big black vehicle contained a swat team. Workplace violence has become all too familiar. The incident yesterday, like many, was an explosion of violence related to a domestic dispute. The children involved in this incident will be haunted by what happened forever. Following these events inevitably many stories will appear about how to recognize and prevent these tragedies from happening. Unfortunately domestic violence is a common occurrence that has a dark history sometimes supported by cultural norms.
Dementia is a general term referring to various types of declines in memory, concentration and judgment. Dementia has a variety of causes, but strokes, toxins, head injuries, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s are among the most common. Early signs of dementia include apathy, withdrawal, confusion, short term memory loss, problems following or maintaining conversations, disorientation (especially in unfamiliar areas), difficulty planning ahead, struggles with daily tasks such as balancing checkbooks, loss of initiative and motivation, loss of interests and a diminished ability to learn new skills. As improved healthcare and nutrition allow people to live longer, the downside has been a soaring frequency of dementia. In fact, as many as half of those aged 80 and above may suffer from some form of dementia.