July 12, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009
There was a time in my life when nothing seemed to interest me anymore, when life just did not seem worthwhile. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of three years, and the pain of the separation made it hard to even get out of bed every morning. That is, until a friend forced me into getting up and jogging with her one morning. I was not at all enthusiastic at first, and went along just to avoid hurting her feelings. But, boy oh boy, a few laps around the park, and I could feel my energy levels soaring and felt as if I had wings and could fly.

Exercise does that to you; it has been proven to get you out of a blue funk, no matter how bad it is. And if you’re wondering why, read on to learn about the connection between physical and mental health:

  • Your endorphin level goes up: When you exercise, both during and after your workout, you feel good because you boost the production of endorphins in your body. Endorphins provide effects similar to that of pleasure-enhancing drugs and act as natural painkillers, and this means that you get a natural and completely healthy high after you’re done exercising.

  • You begin to lose weight and look better: And because we human beings are vain creatures who are obsessed with the way we look, weighing a few pounds less makes us feel good about ourselves. We can fit into clothes that are a size smaller, we can bask in the attention of all the compliments that come our way, and we can take pride in flaunting our new and improved look. This makes us feel immensely better and lifts our mood to new levels of happiness.

  • You become healthier: If you suffer from diseases like hypertension and diabetes, exercise can help keep them in check and make you a healthier person. When you’re physically healthy, your mental health also improves significantly.

  • Your energy levels are boosted: You feel naturally energetic after regular sessions of exercise, and when you don’t feel tired during the day, you don’t tend to nap. You also get more work done and this makes you feel good about yourself. And at the end of the day, the natural tiredness makes you fall asleep immediately and enjoy a good night’s rest, all of which are important for you to be in a good mood when you wake up.

So if you’re looking for a way to beat the blues put on your workout clothes and hit the gym – it’s the best way to get more than one benefit.

This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of pharmacist technician certification at her blog The Pharm Tech Blog. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: katsanders25@gmail.com.

© www.mentalhealthblog.com

July 2, 2009

Thursday, July 02, 2009
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada has recently put forth staggering research results revealing that 1 in 25 deaths worldwide are directly linked to alcohol consumption. Furthermore, in Europe, 1 in 10 deaths are directly related to alcohol consumption.

Europeans drink on average 13 drinks per week, North Americans tend to drink about 11 drinks per week, and Canadians drink roughly 9 drinks on any given week. The national average stands at about 7 drinks per week. In the study, 1 drink is equivalent to the alcohol content of 1 beer, 1 glass of wine, or 1 shot of spirits, each of which contain 13.6 grams of pure ethanol.

"Globally, the effect of alcohol on burden of disease is about the same size as that of smoking in 2000, but it is relatively greatest in emerging economies."

This statement begs the question; why do we not see more anti-drinking ads? Society could not be more fully aware of the devastating affects of smoking, but drinking, the socially acceptable habit, takes far less slander. Research such as this could be used to inform the public of the dangers of repeated excessive alcohol consumption.

That being said, it seems difficult to comprehend the rates of disease worsened by alcohol consumption without knowing the quality of health care among the countries being compared.

“CAMH's Dr Jürgen Rehm and his colleagues found that alcohol-attributable disorders are among the most disabling disease categories within the global burden of disease, especially for men. And in contrast to other traditional risk factors for disease, the burden attributable to alcohol lies more with younger people than with the older population.”

Clearly, knowledge gained from this research should be targeted toward the younger population since they typically make up the highest portion of drinkers. This kind of research can have powerful effects on society through various avenues that may indirectly reduce such statistics. For example, recent changes to Ontario’s drinking and driving laws ensure that a mere .05 blood alcohol level will get your licence suspended. Research, such as this, could be put to good use to help treat and prevent social and economic crises.

Personally, these statistics would be much more powerful if mental illness and concurrent substance abuse disorder had been examined separately in relation to alcohol consumption on burden of disease.

One In 25 Deaths Worldwide Attributable To Alcohol

© www.mentalhealthblog.com

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