Alzheimer’s Avoidance – Blog 7: Early Identification

Similar to most illnesses and conditions in life, Early Identification can make the world of difference. AT the end of the day if we do not know that we have something, how are we meant to try and cure/treat it? Today’s blog is going to look at how early identification can be a great thing to do when it comes to Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s Avoidance.

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Today’s blog is the seventh blog in the Alzheimer’s Avoidance series and is going to be about Early Identification. Early Identification is the process of identifying if you do have Alzheimer’s/Dementia, or indeed any other medical condition, at an early stage to ensure that you can plan out your treatment plan carefully and you can take steps to try and reduce the risk of it getting worse.

To many, the concept of knowing that they have Alzheimer’s is a daunting one but is it really a bad thing? I fully understand that learning that you may have a condition such as Alzheimer’s can be absolutely horrifying news but it is still better to identify earlier rather than later. We need to try and flip the negatives we have about identifying it earlier to really see the positives.

selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones

Firstly if you do unfortunately have a condition then you will be put on the system. I know that being on the system doesn’t always help but it can make a big difference for things such as medication. If you find out that you do have Alzheimer’s then you can talk through possible medication that you can take with your doctor.

I am no medical expert but there are a lot of different types that all do different things. Some are designed to slow the speed that your mind deteriorates whereas others are designed to calm you down and relax your mind before you go into phases such as sundowning. Medication isn’t guaranteed to work or isn’t definitely going to help but isn’t it better to try and see?

As well as the medical positives, early identification can be a massive help to your family and friends. Even though it will be a massive shock for them at first, after they have processed what is happening, they will have more time to try and help you. There are things that family and friends can do to try and slow down the rate in which Alzheimer’s deteriorates and with early identification, they will have more time to try and figure out which methods work and which don’t.

people sitting on seashore while watching golden hour

In regards to what methods family and friends can use to try and reduce the rate in which Alzheimer’s deteriorates, I would advise following some of what the other blogs in this series say. Doing things such as regular exercise and puzzle games aren’t guaranteed to work but it is still better to try them in the chance that they do work.

Now briefly onto how you can identify if you have Alzheimer’s at an early stage. The one thing that I would say here is if you start noticing that you are forgetting things more than usual or your mind is going funny, go and see your doctor. The same goes with family and friends if you see someone you know start to lose their memory and forget things like their names, the date, etc, then advise them to go to the doctor. The doctor can then book them in to do a memory/Alzheimer’s test and appropriate measures can be taken from there based off of the result. If it comes back that you do not have Alzheimer’s then that is an added bonus, it is better to be safe than sorry!

That is all I want to talk about in today’s’ blog! Thank you all for reading! What do you all think? Do you think early identification is important? Do you want this series to keep going or should I end it soon? Let me know what you think to those questions and any other questions you have in the comment section below!

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great day,

Sweeney’s Blogs

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James

Alzheimer’s Avoidance – Blog 6: Short Term Memory

Short Term Memory is one of the first things that gets affected by Alzheimer’s. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, short term memory is one of the more visible signs that there is something wrong. It begins with you not being able to remember what happened yesterday, then last week, then last month and so on. It is a very important topic to look at and it is what we are going to be covering in today’s blog.

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Today’s blog is the sixth blog in the Alzheimer’s Avoidance series and is going to be about Short Term Memory. As I said in the introduction to this blog Short Term Memory is one of the more visible signs that someone has Alzheimer’s or that their condition is deteriorating. It is something that we have to pay close attention to and something that we need to try and identify sooner rather than later.

This short video introduces the topic from a professional’s point of view:

Larry Lawhorne tells us in the video that the first thing that people forget is what someone has just told them. Short Term Memory is affected first and foremost in nearly all Alzheimer’s patients. People start to forget their partner’s name, who they are, where they are and so on.

This progresses into affecting language skills, such as forgetting certain words. The example used in the video was surrounding a pen. A person with Alzheimer’s could forget what a pen is and have to explain what it is to you for you to tell them the word. As we saw in the video Larry describes the pen as something you hold in your hand to write with. Now I fully understand that if you do not know someone with Alzheimer’s then this might not sound real, but it really is.

Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

When planning this blog out I thought of two different angles that I could take. The first one was to go into great detail about what happens to short term memory when it is affected by Alzheimer’s. This was the one I was going to go with when I realised something. This series was designed to talk about how we can reduce our chances of getting Alzheimer’s, not just about how memory is affected by the cruel disease. That is why I have instead chosen to go with the second plan.

The second plan was to talk briefly about how Alzheimer’s affects short term memory and then talk about how we can use this to our advantage in trying to reduce our risk of getting Alzheimer’s. This is the plan that I am using for this blog. We have already gone over how it affects short term memory and the video goes into a little more detail by talking about how it affects the Hippocampus part of the brain.

So the question arises now, how do we try to maintain our short term memory?

Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels.com

There are a few different ways that we can try to maintain our short term memory. Firstly is by simply asking questions about what happened recently. What you could try to do is recap what has happened over the past day, then the past week, then the past month. This will help ensure that you are keeping your brain stimulated and are constantly thinking and recapping what is going on.

The second way is by keeping in touch with the recent news. News is a great way of keeping in the loop of not only what is going on in the world but what is going on in your local area and what is happening with your friends and family. These ways are just about remembering what has happened but there are a lot more ways to improve short term memory.

One of the ways is through mental stimulation games and memory tests. You only have to search memory tests on youtube and you can see millions of different results. There are youtube videos, websites and apps that are all designed with the intent to help you improve your memory. Use the resources that are available. They are there for a reason so make the most of them.

There are a lot of extra methods that I have not spoken about but if you do want to learn more you can always search online or message me and I’ll look into it and get back to you!

That’s all I wanted to talk about in today’s blog! Thank you all for reading! What do you think? Do you think short term memory is something we can improve? How would you improve your short term memory? Do you know any other techniques to reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s? Let me know what you think in the comments or on our Facebook page!

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James

Alzheimer’s Avoidance – Blog 5: Listening to Music?

Music – one of the biggest art forms in the world is, on average, listened to by people for around 5 hours per day. people who listen to music do so for a whole number of different reasons. Some people listen to music to help them relax, some to help them focus and some to just simply pass the time. People use and listen to music near;y every day but has anyone stopped to think about how listening to music can affect your chances of getting Alzheimer’s?

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Today’s blog is going to be the fifth blog in the Alzheimer’s Avoidance series and is going to be about how listening to music can help reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer’s/ Dementia. Listening to music can help trigger emotional memories and is a real help to people with Alzheimer’s but also to people who do not have the condition.

I could go into detail describing the ways that music helps people with Alzheimer’s but I have found a few videos that do a much better job. the two videos in this blog are both fairly short but add so much more value in comparison to the words that I could use.

This first video always makes me smile. The sheer difference that music makes to Carol’s confidence and memory is astounding and the emotion that you can feel from her and her husband is a great feeling. Watching how a person can go from barely speaking to singing along to a song due to the power of music is a pleasure to watch and goes to show the effect that music can have on a person with Alzheimer’s.

The reaction and recognition that the music brings is really interesting to look at and to think about. Although the video is aimed at people who do have Alzheimer’s it does also apply to people who do not have the condition. triggering old memories can be a really good thing to do and is something that I highly encourage if you are dealing with someone who is or isn’t at risk of getting Alzheimer’s!

The second video that we are going to watch goes into a bit more depth and covers more of the educational side of music and Alzheimer’s.

I found that this video was a very interesting watch and there was one part that I found was worded excellently. This part is when one of the children is speaking near the end. he says that memories make us who we are and without them, we start to lose meaning. he says that it is really nice to have the chance to bring that meaning back to the lives of the old people who they are helping.

I could go into more detail on the topic but I feel like the videos really do it justice. they show not only the logic behind music and Alzheimer’s but also show the emotional reaction that the music generates. It really is an interesting theory to look into and there are a lot more videos and posts available if it interests you.

The happiness and smiles that you can see in the elderly people when they start listening to music is a pleasure to see and helps us see that there is still something there. There is still a part of the person left and that is something worth holding on to! Watching videos on music and Alzheimer’s helps me see that even though Alzheimer’s is a terrible condition that destroys lives, we can still be happy and enjoy music through it.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! What do you all think? Did you know that there is a connection between Music and Alzheimers? Do you know any other techniques used to reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s? What sings would you have ion your playlist?

Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed the blog. See you in the next one!

Sweeney’s Blogs

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James

Alzheimer’s Avoidance – Blog 4: A Good Social Life

A good social life can have lots of different benefits but have you ever thought of what it can do for your mind? Quite a lot of people talk about how a good social group can help you with motivation and support but have you ever thought that it can help reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s? That’s what we are going to be talking about in today’s blog.

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Today’s blog is the fourth blog in the Alzheimer’s Avoidance series and is going to be about how a good social life can help reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s. One of the biggest variables when it comes to Alzheimer’s and Dementia is how much you are stimulating your mind. The first three blogs in this series have all discussed topics in relation to stimulating your mind even if they haven’t been specifically labelled as doing so.

Stimulating your mind does keep it active and that is the most important thing to do to help lower your chance of getting Alzheimer’s. An example of how the other blogs link to mental stimulation can be as simple as follows. Take last weeks blog all about puzzle games. Puzzle games are designed to test your mind and make you think of creative solutions to problems. This problem-solving skill that you have to put into practice will no doubt keep your mind active, hence stimulating your brain.

So now back to how a good social life can help stimulate your mind and reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer’s. Getting out of the house for a day or two can work wonders for your mind in a number of different ways. Firstly, the fresh air itself will do your body the world of good.

Secondly and the most important part is communicating with people. Communicating with people, as you can imagine, requires you to think about what you say and have opinions based on the topic of conversation. The process of thinking about what you are going to say or talk about next does keep your mind constantly active. It allows you to relax and speak to people while ensuring you that your mind is still working as it should.

As stated in the previous blogs in this series, I am not saying that you have to go out every day to experience the benefits of a good social life. Even if you only go out once a week then you are still getting that little bit extra time of mental stimulation compared to other people. Going out once a week is still much better for you than not going out at all.

Where you will see the most difference is if you do not go out at all and don’t communicate with people. Being stuck in the same four walls, day after day, does not help you out at all. It severely affects both your Physical and Mental Health and is simply not that good for you. If you can’t go out for one week for a specific reason that is completely fine, if you purposely isolate yourself from the world, for whatever reason, it won’t help you in the long run.

In regards to what you can do with your social life, it is completely up to you! If you like playing bingo then try and go to the bingo once a week, if you like something else then try that! The actual activity that you do doesn’t really matter, it’s getting out of the house and doing something which is important!

That’s all I want to talk about in today’s blog! What do you all think? Do you think a good social life lowers your chance of getting Alzheimer’s? Can you think fo anything else that can help lower your chance of getting Alzheimer’s? DO you have a good social life? Are you going to try and have a better one? Let me know what you think of the above questions and any other questions you have in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the blog and have a great day! See you in the next one!

We ALL Have Mental Health: Let’s Talk About It — Peace from Panic

It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week and tomorrow, October 10, is World Mental Health Day. So let’s talk about it! Yesterday I had a wonderful opportunity to speak to a group of elementary, middle school, and high school counselors about mental illness. I’m a presenter for Ending the Silence, a mental health awareness program by the […]

via We ALL Have Mental Health: Let’s Talk About It — Peace from Panic

World Mental Health Day — Seema Kataria Blog

This has been my all-time valued question. How are you? Sometimes, we have to ask this more frequently, even when we hear “I am fine.” Seriously, there is so much more to ‘I am fine.’ ‘I am good.’ ‘Leave me alone.’ Sometime back, I happen to write a one-liner observing how this person has been […]

via World Mental Health Day — Seema Kataria Blog

Alzheimer’s Avoidance – Blog 3: Puzzle Games

Puzzle Games, some people love them some people hate them but have you ever stopped and thought about how they can be good for you? It is said that if you do puzzle games regularly then you are less likely to get Alzheimer’s/Dementia and that is what we are going to be looking at in today’s blog!

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Today’s blog is going to be the third blog in the Alzheimer’s Avoidance series and is going to be about how puzzle games help lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s/ Dementia. Puzzle games, as inclined by the name, are usually challenging and do encourage you to think. They encourage you to constantly stimulate your brain to think of the right answer. To most people this is common knowledge but if we stop and think about it the links to how it reduces your chances of getting Alzheimer’s can be quite clear.

An article that I found on LittleThings, https://www.littlethings.com/alzheimers-puzzles-and-games/, helps talk us through the process. A scientific study conducted in 2012 found that people who stay “mentally engaged” through life have lower levels of a protein called beta-amyloid which is found in the brain. Beta-amyloid protein can “clump up to form hardened plaques that destroy memory and thinking skills”. These clumps of beta-amyloid are often found in people who do suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. They do also briefly mention another study which found that people who do complete regular puzzles aren’t affected by Alzheimer’s until later life.

The best thing about these studies os how easy it actually is to find puzzle games to do. If we’re doing them in real life then it is as easy as going to a local shop and picking up a puzzle book. The puzzles could be word searches, crosswords, find the difference, it doesn’t matter. The type of game is irrelevant, it is the fact that you are stimulating your brain is the important part. What I would advise however is to do something that you enjoy. Don’t just do crosswords cos you think it’ll help, do them if you enjoy them.

If you have a phone/ tablet it is even easier. You could type into google puzzle games or you can just browse through the app store.  There are millions upon millions of different puzzle games out there and they can be really easy to find. I would say to try and go for the free games but if you do want to pay for you apps that is still completely fine.

I’ll set a challenge on this page. If you don’t do many puzzle games in your free time, I want you to try at least one a day. Even if you just do the crossword in the local paper, one a day os the challenge. Give yourself five to ten minutes to really stimulate your brain. As well as helping reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s it does also help you build your mental strength and broaden your knowledge.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! What do you all think? Did you know puzzle games can reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer’s? Are you going to start doing more puzzle games? Do you know any other ways to reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer’s? Let me know what you think in the comments. All feedback is appreciated.

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great day,

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

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James

Fail. And Keep Failing — Cristian Mihai

“The secret of life…is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paulo Coelho The bitter truth is that no one who’s good at something knows much about why they’re good. The secret got lost after thousands and thousands of failures. The thing is, they subconsciously know it’s simple: you fail and […]

via Fail. And Keep Failing — Cristian Mihai

Alzheimer’s Avoidance – Blog 2: Regular Exercise

It is often said that exercise leads to a healthy mind in a healthy body but have you ever stopped to think about how that relates to Alzheimer’s/ Dementia? Did you know that regular exercise can reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer’s/ Dementia? If you know someone who already has the condition it can slow down their rate of deterioration. You could say that reducing your chances of getting Alzheimer’s is a walk and is going to be what we are talking about today.

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Today’s blog is going to be the second blog in the Alzheimer’s Avoidance series and is going to focus on exercise. Regular exercise can play a vital role when it comes to reducing your chances of getting Alzheimer’s. As well as reducing your chances of getting Alzheimer’s it also allows you to keep fit and active leading to a healthier body.

A post published on the New York Times’s website back in 2014, https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/02/can-exercise-reduce-alzheimers-risk/, discusses whether or not exercise can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. The article starts out by talking about how exercise helps keep the “brain robust” in people that are at an increased risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

The article goes on to say that even “moderate amounts of physical activity” help reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s. This point is crucial. The point of this blog is to say to do regular exercise, it doesn’t matter how much you do. Even a small walk a day can make a big difference when it comes to keeping the brain active. That is the main focus of the exercise, it is keeping the brain active and working.

I’m not saying that if you walk miles and miles every day then you are definitely not going to get Alzheimer’s as that just is not the case. What I am saying though is that if you do regular exercise each day, even if that is only a small walk, then it is going to help reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer’s whilst also helping keep fit and maintain good physical health.

Regular exercise does have a lot of benefits for your social life too which help a lot in reducing the chance of Alzheimer’s. Communicating with different people regularly requires you to keep thinking and keeping your brain active which can again reduce your chances. Regular exercise can be quick and easy and can have a lot of rewards for both your physical and mental health.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! As I mentioned last week the blogs in this series may be a bit shorter than my usual blogs but the content is still important! Exercise brings us lots of rewards even if we only do small tasks every day. Whilst being a good tool at reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s, it can also be great for your physical health and your social life!

Can you think of anything that you want to see in this series? Do you know any ways to reduce the chance of getting Alzheimer’s? Do you do regular exercise? Does this blog make you think about doing more exercise? Let me know what you think! Feedback is always appreciated on this page – be it positive or negative!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

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James

Everybody in life is writing their own book – Poem

Everybody in life is writing their own book,

Each day a new page, a new mindset and look,

Life can be like the weather, forever changing,

One day it could be bright, the next it could be raining,

The sun always comes back though to brighten up your day,

The sun makes us feel happier, taking the sad times away,

Whatever we do in life we must take with pride,

Take each opportunity with a positive mindset and try to enjoy life’s ride.

Each year of our life can be turned into an episode,

Lessons we learn, the knowledge bestowed,

Embrace every chance to meet new people and friends,

Let them be there with you as you go through life’s bends,

Move forward through life with a positive mindset,

If you’re nervous about something get help, don’t sit there and fret.

Whatever we do in life we must take with pride,

Take each opportunity with a positive mindset and try to enjoy life’s ride.

Life isn’t always easy, but we need to try and see the good from the bad,

Always aim to be positive and happy, not negative and sad,

When life throws you a curveball it’s okay to get stressed,

When you surround yourself with good people, they help you to feel blessed,

Remember that everybody in life is writing their own book,

Each day a new page, a new mindset and look,

Whatever we do in life we must take with pride,

Take each opportunity with a positive mindset and try to enjoy life’s ride.

Thanks for reading! I hope you liked the poem. Let me know what you think in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you in the next blog!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

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James

There’s always someone you can talk to!

Loneliness and isolation are two of the most dangerous aspects of Mental Health. When people suffer from Mental Health issues they often feel like they are weak and that no one would understand or even listen to them. However, this is not the case in reality. There are of course a lot of bad people in the world but it is crucial to remember that there is always someone around who you can talk too. That is what we are going to be talking about in today’s blog!

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Today’s blog is going to be about how there is always someone around who you can talk to. As mentioned above loneliness and isolation can be two of the most dangerous sides of Mental Health if not handled properly, which they are often not, and it is something that we need to take a closer look at. We as a community and society, in general, need to come to accept that there is someone who will listen to you out there, sometimes you may just have to wait a little bit to find that person/ those people.

Before I get into who I talk to about my problems it is important to understand the scale of people who can help us. If you want to talk about something you can always go to family and friends but also other role models who you might not usually think of, like teachers in school. The bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter who you actually talk to, it is the talking that is the important part.

It is very common in life that people will change and friends do sometimes part ways. It is just the way things go sometimes but it is important to still talk about your problems with someone. We often tend to focus on the more negative side saying how there are so many negative people in the world these days but there are still good people around, you just need to look for them.

I am going to do a blog in the near future about building a positive network of friends and colleagues but it still very important to this blog. If you surround yourself with people that you don’t trust and people that always bring negativity to your life then how are you going to be able to talk through your problems? The social network that we build is in our hands, surround yourself with good people, not bad people.

Personally, I tell all of my friends that if they ever need to talk to just chuck me a message but that’s down to the sort of person I am. People seem to forget how easy it is to ask someone how they’re doing, it literally takes 2 minutes and can make someone’s day. I’m not saying that you have to have a fully-fledged conversation which each person you pass in the streets but saying hello is really easy.

At the minute for me, there are two people that I talk about my problems with. One of them is my mate Aodan who I have known for around five years and the other is a mate of mine who I met at Reading University this year. An important thing here is that I haven’t known these two mates all of my life but I do still trust them with my problems. Time is not really a problem when it comes down to friends unless you make it one. If you trust someone enough to be friends with them then should you trust them enough to talk things through with? Personally, I say yes but I would like to know what you think!

As mentioned earlier in the blog surrounding yourself with a good group of friends is a great way to help you when it comes to speaking about your problems with mates. An important thing to talk about here is even though I don’t speak to Aodan or my mate from uni every day, I know that they are there if I ever need to talk something through, which is the important part.

Diving in a bit further here, we’ll take a closer look at my mate from university. I met him once in Freshers and barely spoke to him again until the end of the year. But what I know is that if I have a problem then I can message him and vice versa. The amount of times you speak to a person is only really an issue if you make it one. Like I have said a few times in this blog, surround yourself with good people and you are giving yourself the best headstart possible. You should be happy with the friends you have, not embarrassed or ashamed, that is what people need to remember.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! Talking your problems through with people you trust is a valuable asset in life. Be them friends or family talking problems through makes them easier to solve. Having people yuo can trust in life like two of the people I mentioned above, is a massive aid to you. Remeber you cannot expect someone to be there for you if you are not there for them too, it’s a two way street.

One quick thing that I wanted to mention before finishing this blog is how I work when it comes to using names and personal experiences in my blogs. If I ever use a friends name then I will always ask permission first. If they don’t agree to me using their names then their names will not appear in the blog. I always ask first.

What do you all think of today’s blog? Do you think a good friendship group helps you out in life? What else can a good group of friends do for you? LEt me know what you think about these questions or any other questions or thoughts you have about my blogs dwon below or on our Facebook page!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great weekend!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

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James

Mental Health Can be Everything and Everywhere!

People and indeed the world itself are forever evolving/changing. As times move on the way that we do things and even the way we think develops and evolves. Everything that we do has an effect on us as people and on our Mental Health as a result. As this effect happens the questions still stands: what actually is Mental Health and what actually affects it?

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Today’s blog is going to be about what Mental Health is and how we as a society need to change our approach to Mental Health. I got the idea for this blog by talking to one of my mates at work. We were catching up about the past year in university and we moved onto the topic of academic difference. Now after we finished talking I asked if I can use this for a blog and he said that he cannot see how simply the word different can make a topic link to Mental Health, this is where the idea for the blog came from. In effect, we can link anything to Mental Health which is what I will talk about in more depth later on in the blog.

Firstly we need to take a look at exactly what is Mental Health. MentalHealth.gov, https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health, describe Mental Health as “our emotional, psychological and social well-being.” They say that our Mental Health has an effect on ” how we think, feel and act” and it influences how we handle things like stress and how we make decisions. I quite like this definition as I feel like it is very close to my own.

To me, our Mental Health is who we are as people. It is how we think, how we process information, how we communicate and develop, Mental Health is us. It baffles me when people say how so many things are not related to Mental Health when in reality they are. Anything that has an effect on society, us as people and the way that we think and feel all make up what is known as our Mental Health. Nearly everything we do impacts our Mental Health and that is what we need to start thinking about. We need to get out of the loop that is Mental Health is only relevant when people are having problems as Mental Health is a constant. Even if we may not be suffering from a Mental Health condition, your Mental Health is constantly evolving and changing. The only way that change in Mental Health is actually going to happen is if we rethink what Mental health actually is and how we tackle it in day to day life.

An example that I like to refer to when talking about this ideology is the different reactions people have when they are going to work. Going to work is a topic that I don’t bring up much on the page but for this example, I think that it fits in well and is very relatable. The reaction that you give to going to work has an obvious link to whether you like your job or not. The way that you feel about your work acts as a foundation to how it impacts on your mental health, in a positive or negative way, and then it develops when we actually are going to work.

Let’s say for this example that you love the job that you are in. If you love your job then I believe it is safe to say that work makes you happy. This means that the foundation of how work impacts your Mental Health is a positive one. If you love your job then for the majority of the time you will be happy when you are leaving to go to work and you will be happy at work. This good mood that you have can correlate to a more positive Mental Health. A more positive Mental Health can link to a more positive look at work and indeed life in general. I am not saying that work determines your look on life but it does play a part.

Now we are going to look at the flip side of the coin. let’s say you hate the job you are in. Now if you hate your job then I think it is safe to say that going to work makes you unhappy. This means that the foundation of how work impacts your Mental Health is a more negative one, which is a complete opposite to the last scenario. The unhappy mood and mindset that you get going to or even thinking about work can correlate to a more negative look on life. As said above I am not saying that work determines your outlook on life but it definitely does play a part.

If going to work makes you unhappy or puts you in a bad mood then it is only natural that it is going to impact on other parts of your life. Once you get put in a bad mood it is often hard to not see everything else in that same mindset. So if you hate your job and going to work then if something else happens then you are more likely to approach it with a more negative mindset, hypothetically speaking. This is obviously the other way around if you love your job, I don’t think it is necessary to repeat the paragraph again just to flip everything.

I believe that is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! I hope that I have possibly broadened your horizons into what Mental Health actually is. Mental Health can indeed be everything and everywhere, Mental Health is us as people, it is who we are.

What do you think of today’s blog? Do you think that Mental Health can be everything or everywhere or do you have a different view? What do you define Mental Health as? Let me know what you think of the blog and your answers to the above questions in the comments on this blog or get in touch with me through the Facebook page!

Thank you all for reading!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

£5.00

James

Looking into Male Mental Health – Blog 10: The Brave Face

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is going to be the tenth blog in the Looking into Male Mental Health series and is going to be about The Brave Face. Putting on a brave face is a phrase that is commonly used in day to day life. In this blog, we are going to be taking a deeper look into this phrase and then taking a look at the real world implications that it can have.

The term “Put on a brave face” can have several different meanings. The Free Dictionary, https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/put+on+a+brave+face, defines it as “to appear or make oneself seem more courageous, resolute or dauntless than one really feels”. I quite like this definition as it is easy to interpret and I believe that it defines the phrase quite well. I do have my own definition for the phrase which I think puts it in a more relatable light h however.

I like to define “put on a brave face” as a mask that we use to hide our real feelings. Even though this definition may seem very similar to the one written by The Free Dictionary, I feel like my definition encompasses a larger demographic. Like most pieces of work, however, it is all down to your personal preference. A lot of the blogs that I write do come down to personal interpretation. If you prefer a different definition to the two that I have written here that is completely fine, the points remain the same throughout the definitions, it is just the wording that changes.

When relating this to the world in general there are lots of different avenues you can take. You can apply this term to current world problems, politics, relationships or simply too personal life. The most common adaption of this phrase is when it is used in a personal way. It is very common that people put on a brave face when dealing with Mental Health problems.

It is very common for people or even society, in general, to turn a blind eye to problems like Mental Health simply due to lack of understanding or situational awareness. People often hide their problems and hope that they will go away with time. This style of coping does simply lead to an increase in the number of problems with no solution being found as your head is buried in the sand.

Unfortunately, people nowadays do actively try to avoid solving their problems. This can be caused by a number of different causes. Some of the problems that cause people to avoid solving their problems include lack of time available, fear of not being able to solve the problem, lack of resources available to fix the problem and many more. When people do put on a brave phrase it can often lead to an increase in the number of problems they face. This then triggers the Rollercoaster Effect that I mentioned in the fifth blog of this series, https://sweeneysblog.com/2019/05/14/looking-into-male-mental-health-blog-5-the-rollercoaster-theory/.

We are now going to take a brief look into how this phrase can directly link back to Male Mental health specifically.  Put on a brave face can easily be linked to Male Mental Health. Although I do bring it up a lot in this series I think that a large proportion of that can be linked back to male stereotypes that have been created by society. Men are painted as people who do not need to share their problems, they are meant to be people who solve everyone else’s problems including their own. These stereotypes do much more harm than good.

It is very easy to think to yourself that if you leave a problem for long enough then it will fix itself, this, however, is not the case. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you have a problem or to admit that you need help but when you do it can make life so much better. Trying to find help for your problems is an entity that is undervalued in modern day society. Sourcing help for your problems is almost like you are breaking the mask that you put on when you put on a brave face. Breaking the cycle is paramount to breaking the cycle and is the start of solving Mental Health problems.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! What do you all think? Do you put on a brave face? Does it have a positive or negative effect on your life? How can we break the cycle of putting on a brave face? How do you think putting on a brave face relates to mental health? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know what you think! All feedback is appreciated – be it positive or negative! If you have a minute or two spare please leave a rating and review on our Facebook Page! I am thinking of launching a new advertising campaign soon, let me know what you think I should do!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

£5.00

James

Looking into Male Mental Health – Blog 9: Personal Experience 2

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is going to be about one of my personal experiences when it comes to Male Mental Health. The aim of these personal experience blogs is to show that even when you are at rock bottom there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I myself have gone through a number of problems when it comes to mental health and I believe that by mixing facts and personal experience help present a balanced picture on what mental health really is and how it affects us all.

The self-hate/doubt mechanism is a coping technique that I first started using when I used to get bullied a lot in school. The technique itself is a very poor one that only went on to make me feel worse about myself as you will see when I go into how the technique itself works. It is a coping technique that I used when I was desperate and it is a very bad way to go about life. If anyone reading this blog does do this to themselves then I would urge them to seek help. Even talking through your problems with a person you trust is a much better form of release rather than getting trapped in a cycle of self-hatred.

The main principle for the self-hate cycle that I created was simple. I would constantly put myself down and degrade myself before others had the chance too. Even though it didn’t make me feel better in my head at the time I was just thinking that it would be easier if I put myself down, instead of someone doing it for me. This cycle was my way of not letting others hurt me, I would break myself instead of giving someone else the chance too.

Once you put yourself in this cycle it is very hard to break after you start using it. The cycle tends to get more and more aggressive to the point where you cross-examine and doubt every action you take. It is an extremely dangerous cycle which is why I wanted to talk about it. If you know anyone who is currently, unfortunately, using this coping technique or if you use it yourself then it is key that you break the cycle. I fully comprehend that this is easy to say and to actually break the chain requires a lot more work but if the cycle isn’t broken or at least reduced then you will sadly end up in a very dark place mentally.

As I mentioned in a lot of my previous blogs Mental Health is a very complicated topic. It is very very rare that the problems people face stem from one source, it is often a mixture of several sources/problems all at once. This is where the self-hate cycle becomes even more dangerous. If you adopt this technique as a form of coping when you are already experiencing problems then it starts to become too much to handle.

The phrase that I quite like to talk about is balancing the books, and it becomes ever the more paramount here. Learning to find a way of releasing can be vital when it comes to breaking the cycle of self-hate. I can’t say one way that works for everyone as there is no one way. You need to find your release and only then will you be able to even attempt to break the cycle.

I have been experiencing the self-hate cycle for a number of years. It took me a long while to recognise what it actually is and then even longer to figure out how to manage it. To put it simply it is very very hard to completely break the cycle, however, it is manageable. Learning the manage to technique to a point where you almost never feel it is vital when it comes to beating it.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! Thank you all for reading! What do you all think? Have you ever experienced the self-hate cycle? How did you overcome it? What do you think leads a person to pick up the cycle? Do we need to learn how to identify when someone is suffering from this management technique?

Thank you all for reading! Let me know what you think via the comments or on the Facebook page! We are nearly at 2,000 total views, great work everyone!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

£5.00

James

Valleys, Mountains and the Land in between

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is going to be about an old phrase that I read in a Welsh book when I was younger. The phrase translates into English as The Valleys, The Mountains and The Land in between. I cannot remember the name of the book that the phrase was used in but I want to take a deeper look into how the phrase can relate to life in general.

I believe that this phrase has a lot of connections to life in general and think that if we can truly understand it then it can help us find peace in our daily lives. My take on the phrase is simple, I think that the phrase relates to how we live our lives. When we are having a good day then it can feel like we’re on top of the world (or a mountain?) and then when we have bad days it can feel like our mood has slumped, like we’ve gone down a valley.

river near mountains

The phrase helps portray life in a very positive way, which is crucial in modern day society. The way that I understand the phrase is that as the world has it’s mountains and valleys, we can have good and bad days. It makes the whole prospect of having different moods seem like it is part of nature, not a thing for us to worry about, a thing for us to accept.

I really like this phrase as when you are having a bad day, or at the bottom of a valley in this phrase, you know that your mood can become lighter and increase until you feel good about yourself and about life in general.

Now the one part of this phrase that I haven’t talked about yet is the land in between part. I interpret this as when you are feeling calm and relaxed, you’re not exactly super positive or happy but you are content. I think it is when you are feeling neutral and ok with life like you are the land in between a mountain and a valley.

That is all I want to talk about in today’s blog! I do have some smaller things to say before the post is finished however but these act more like announcements rather than part of the blog. Firstly I would like to apologise for the blog being later today than it usually is. This week has been my last week of exams at university and I had two really big exams to prepare for. Due to the time needed to prepare for my exams, I have not had the time to write a post as long as I usually do.

Also, I think it’s a good time to update everyone on how the blogs doing. If you are following the Facebook page for the blogs then you will be familiar with the fact that we are smashing through the milestones I set for the age initially. I am very pleased to announce that we are nearly at 2,000 total views. This is a massive milestone for the page as we have only been going for around 4/5 months! After we pass this milestone I’m aiming to hit as close to 5,000 total views by the end of the year as I can!

thanks! paper and black pen on wood surface

The last point that I want to bring up in this post is about promoting the page. I am aiming to launch another set of Facebook ads soon to try and get more people to the page. I am wondering if everyone who is reading this can possibly share the page on Facebook?

Sharing the page helps the page find new viewers who might really relate to the content. There are a few ways you can share the page. You can either do it via the page on Facebook or you can hit the share button at the end of this or any other of my blogs posts.

Thanks for reading today’s blog and I hope you all enjoyed! If you have a minute or two spare please leave a rating and a recommendation on the page! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Sweeney’s Blogs

Any money donated here will be put back into the business. This can be through marketing campaigns, upgrades to plans or for setting up future events!

£5.00

James Sweeney