Author: michaelpatterson

PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/ PTSD is a serious Anxiety disorder caused by frightening, distressing or stressful events. There are many causes for PTSD such as:
• War
• Serious road accidents
• Violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
• Serious health problems
• Childbirth experiences

There are many more possible reasons an individual may develop PTSD and will be unique to the individual. For some individual’s PTSD will be an immediate response to a situation, for other individuals it can develop years after the event occurred. PTSD is thought to effect one in three people who have had a traumatic experience in their lives. The NHS website say’s it is not clear why some people develop PTSD and others do not.
Complex PTSD can develop in people who have reported severe traumatic symptoms such as neglect, violence, or abuse. People with Complex PTSD can show the same signs and symptoms as PTSD although they may take longer to develop. The earlier the trauma occurred in the individual’s life the effects can be more severe.
People who have PTSD often relives the event through flashbacks, nightmares and may feel isolation, irritability, or guilt. This guilt could occur because of one person surviving a traumatic situation, yet their friend died. This could take the form of survivor’s guilt. People with PTSD may have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life. I am sure that if PTSD was known about and understood at the time, many of the soldiers in both World Wars who were executed for desertion would have been treated for PTSD.
It is perfectly normal for people to feel upset after a traumatic experience and it is important to highlight that not every negative situation will not lead to PTSD. As mentioned earlier PTSD is believed to affect one out of three people. That means that two out of three people will not develop PTSD. If however you or somebody your care about are still struggling with a traumatic situation after roughly four weeks or if the symptoms get worse you should seek the advice of your GP and request referral to a Mental Health specialist.
PTSD can be treated with a variety of treatments such as:
• Watchful waiting – monitoring your symptoms to see whether they improve or get worse without treatment
• Antidepressants – such as paroxetine or mirtazapine
• Psychological therapies – such as trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)

The subject of PTSD is too large to give justice to in a simple blog. If you would like to know more then click on the links below.
Useful Links:
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd
http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/about-ptsd
http://www.ptsduk.org/what-is-ptsd/
http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/problems-disorders/post-traumatic-stress-disorder

VE Day 75th Anniversary

VE-day

Today is VE day, May 8th, 2020. May 8th 1945 marked the end of Europe’s involvement in World War Two. VE stands for Victory in Europe, when Germany surrendered and the full extent of what the Nazi party had inflicted on millions of people including Jew’s, Gypsies, political prisoners, and prisoners of war during the Holocaust. In normal times VE day would be celebrated with street parties and memorial services across the country however this year with the current Covid-19 lockdown measures people have had to adjust how they commemorate VE day.
I am aware that the number of people alive who lived through World War Two is continuing to fall, meaning that there is an ever-increasing number of people can not comprehend the sacrifice made during World War Two. What I will finish this post with is that for the selfish, self- entitled people who think it is funny to break the current lockdown measures, or who think that they are being victimised by the government through lockdown measures, take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. Not just today but everyday and think about the sacrifices made not just by the Armed Forces who fought on the battlefield but the civilians who went to sleep every night not knowing if they would wake up the next day yet still did their part. We are being asked to stay home to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Past the Peak

keep-calm-and-be-nice-dumb-ass

Lockdown continues in the United Kingdom the Prime Minister has returned to work after spending time in intensive care with Covid-19 and the daily statistics on lives lost now include deaths in care homes. Before May started the daily updates on lost lives were only hospital deaths as care home deaths were collected weekly. The government believe that the country has passed the peak of infection rates and after six of lockdown the government is beginning to look at how lockdown measures can begin to be lifted. This will obviously be done in stages to protect as many people as possible. The government has set out five tests that will need to be met before lockdown measures are lifted. These tests are:
1: Making sure the NHS can cope.
2: A ‘sustained and consistent’ fall in the daily death rate.
3: Rate of infection decreasing to ‘manageable levels’.
4: Ensuring supply of tests and PPE can meet future demand.
5: Being confident any adjustments would not risk a second peak.
To me these are perfectly sensible measures to take. There will always be areas that can be improved upon and sadly there will always be people who will find a reason to criticise the government. Sadly, these people would find something to complain about on their own wedding day because being miserable and complaining are the only things that make them happy.
I have also noticed a small number of people on my social media news feeds who have taken to posting messages saying that if people do not leave lockdown with a new skill such as learning a new language then they have wasted their time in lockdown. This, “Lockdown Shaming” is insensitive and cruel. They may think that they are being helpful or inspiring when in fact the opposite is true. Some people will need to use this time in lockdown to relax, reflect on the past year and work out how much of their, “Normal Life” they want to go back to. They might have a job in an environment which is toxic, highly stressful or does nothing for their self-worth. Some people might be struggling with addiction and need this time to help them over-come the addiction. I am also aware that for many people having to stay in their own homes is the worst place for them to be locked down in. Some people will be in a house with an abusive partner of both genders, children could be stuck with abusive parents or siblings so for them lockdown could not end soon enough.
Throughout February following the suicide of a female celebrity charged with domestic violence against her boyfriend, social media was flooded with people jumping on the Be Kind band waggon. Instead of sharing the message to make it look like you care how about actually doing what the message suggested and be kind to people.

Captain Tom Moore

Captain Tom Moore

Captain Tom Moore is a ninety-nine-year-old World War 2 Veteran who throughout April has been walking laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS. Initially Captain Tom Moore’s aim was to walk one-hundred laps by his one-hundredth birthday on April 30th with a target of £1000. At the time of writing Captain Tom Moore has raised £28 million. On April 16th Captain Tom Moore completed his 100th lap and Soldiers from the Army were present to Salute him and celebrate with him. Since then Captain Tom Moore has continued to walk laps of his garden, recorded a cover of, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with Michael Ball and has won the Pride of Britain Award. There is also a campaign to get Captain Tom Moore a well- deserved Knighthood.
In a time when we have millionaire celebrities posting attention seeking images on their social media, complaining about being stuck in their £12 million mansions, billionaire business owners asking the Government to bail out their airlines, homeless people with nowhere to go to protect themselves from Covid- 19 and Key Workers potentially risking their lives by doing their job, Captain Tom Moore has shown that one person really can make a difference. Captain Tom Moore truly is a Great Britain.

Probiotics

Probiotics image

Probiotics have been used to improve digestive health by increasing the number of good bacteria in the stomach. They can come in tablet form or liquid when they are added to yoghurts. When an individual is ill their levels of good bacteria can be affected by the illness itself or in some cases the treatment. When Probiotics are consumed, they compete with the bad bacteria for space and food in the stomach. Probiotics also help stimulate the immune system to help prevent illness and infection.
Probiotics are thought to be helpful in the prevention of diarrhoea when taking antibiotics as well as helping to ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome/ IBS symptoms. There are however several myths about the benefits of Probiotics. There is currently no evidence that Probiotics can treat Eczema.
For most people taking Probiotics is safe, if your immune system is healthy you should not need to worry about any negative side effects.
As they are food supplements Probiotics are classed as food not medicine. This means that they do not need to go through the rigorous testing that medicines do. This means that some of the benefits may be exaggerated by the manufacturer. It is likely that there will be a large difference in benefits between the medical grade Probiotics which have shown promise in clinical trials compared to what can be purchased in retail shops.

Useful Links:
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/probiotics/
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-are-probiotics#1
http://www.bda.uk.com/resource/probiotics.html
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-HealthProfessional/

Lockdown Week Two

Stayathomesave-lives

It is the last day of week two of the current lockdown. I hope everybody reading this is feeling well. While it has been reported that most of us are cooperating with the current guidelines there are sadly some people who still think that the rules do not apply to them, including Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer. If anybody should know that the longer people ignore the guidelines designed to slow down and eventually stop the spread of Covid-19 it should be her. How can Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer expect the public to listen to and follow the guidelines when she drives over one-hundred miles to her holiday home? Quite simply the sooner everybody follows the guidelines the sooner the restrictions will be lifted.
I fully understand the temptation to just go out and meet up with your friends, especially if like me you do not have a garden. I was not surprised when I put the news on this morning and saw images of people on Brighton beach having a BBQ or a mass gathering in London’s Richmond Park. People do not like being told what they can and can’t do, however I would not be surprised if the second these same selfish people catch Covid-19 they will complain that the Government and NHS did not do enough to help them. This is not true, every time a Government Minister or NHS staff member is being interviewed, they repeat the same message of, “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives” It could not be any clearer.
It must be noted that there are many other Key Workers from Cleaners to Delivery Drivers who are also working hard to ensure that this Pandemic is defeated as quickly as possible. I am sure that if I were to mention every single industry that are working hard to defeat Covid-19, this Blog would be longer then a PHD Dissertation. To keep this short I would simply like to say thank you to everybody who is working hard to defeat Covid-19 no matter what your profession.