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2309, 2016

Anxiety and male deaths from cancer

By |September 23rd, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Anxiety is bad for us: we know that. But it is a killer - or can it save our lives? A large-scale study has found that men over 40 who suffer from significant levels of anxiety are twice as likely to die from cancer than their female counterparts. Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common mental health problem that is associated with an increased risk of suicide and other mental health problems. It affects about 5% of the population. But the male sufferers studied in the research were found to be at greater risk of dying from cancer than the females – or from other men who did not suffer from GAD. Was this because the men worried about their symptoms in silence?  Did women react differently, worrying more about theirs and consequently taking steps to gain reassurance from their doctors? Were there other differences caused by gender-related issues? Or did the anxiety itself cause cancers to develop more frequently in men, and not in women for some reason? Much more research needs to be undertaken to find out the answers. What is certain is that anxiety, like stress, is bad for our physical health [...]

209, 2016

Young girls feel the pressure to be perfect

By |September 2nd, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Girls are increasingly worried about their appearance and the pressure to be perfect, according to this year’s annual report from the Children’s Society, produced with researchers from the University of York. Among the sample of 10 to 15-year-old girls surveyed, the researchers found that 14% are unhappy with their lives as a whole, and 34% with their appearance. This is an increase on the previous year, when 11% said they were unhappy with their lives and 30% with their appearance. Some respondents cited social media as a particular influence, with girls more active than boys on sites like Facebook and other platform. But the rise of the popularity of ‘celebrities’ and their newsworthiness was also mentioned by girls, who felt they could not attain the “perfect” looks of females featuring in many TV shows and in magazines. The proportion for boys remained the same, with 11% saying they were unhappy with their lives as a whole and 20% with their appearance. The report highlighted other differences between boys and girls.  Boys aged 10 and 11 were less happy than girls with their school work and more likely to demonstrate conduct and attention/hyperactivity problems. Girls experienced [...]

3008, 2016

Girls aren’t finding life a bed of roses…

By |August 30th, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Exam results are over – but now it’s almost time for the new school year to start. This can be a stressful time for all students. But new research shows that girls are increasingly suffering higher levels of emotional and psychological distress than boys, according to a study by the Department of Health on Year 10 students in schools in England. A previous survey was undertaken in 2005 and the results of that have been compared with the most recent one. This year’s findings showed that 37% of girls were identified as “psychologically distressed” compared with 15% of boys – and the average levels of distress were more severe for girls, at four points higher. Back in 2005, girls were also displaying higher levels of psychological distress but the differences were less pronounced, and the percentage affected was lower. In the latest survey, more of them reported feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness and an inability to enjoy day to day activities, as well as trouble sleeping, and other indicators of distress. Mental health and wellbeing are now recognised as important issues for all of us, affecting our own lives and the lives of those around us. [...]

2408, 2016

Teachers get stressed too!

By |August 24th, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

GCSE results are out tomorrow and there are a lot of anxious students and parent currently holding their collective breath. But exam results time is not just nerve-racking for students – their teachers get anxious too. A recent article appeared in The Guardian written by a headteacher “sick with worry” over what the GCSE results would mean for her and her school. Changes to examination organisation means that she feels unable to predict the results, despite teachers  doing everything they can to support their students. She writes: “I’ve been suffering from anxiety since October. I’ve been lying awake in the small hours trying to figure out what else we could do. When I wake up it is often the first thing I think about. My stress-related psoriasis and irritable bowel syndrome have never been worse and I’ve had more migraines in the past 12 months than in the past 10 years.” The full story can be read here: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/aug/23/secret-headteacher-gcse-results-students-exams-worry As someone who used to teach, and who still spends a lot of time visiting schools, colleges and universities wearing a different work hat, I can understand how teachers feel. Stressed teachers are not in the [...]

2208, 2016

What are you frightened of? Itsy-bitsy spiders…and other phobias.

By |August 22nd, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Arachnophobia is common – even here in the UK where spiders are harmless.  The terror that sufferers feel is nothing to do with actual danger.  It is an irrational fear, like almost all phobias. Next month Bristol Zoo have teamed up again with a local hypnotherapist to offer a four-hour course in ‘Living with Spiders’. They did this last year and found that the course was very effective, with a considerable reduction in anxiety levels for participants, 75% of whom graded the course 8 out of 10. Read more about their course here: http://www.bristolzoo.org.uk/whats-on/living-with-spiders Of course, part of the experience they offer is actually handling “friendly” spiders in the Zoo’s collection. In a standard hypnotherapy session, we don’t usually lay on a selection of tarantulas or even house spiders as a spider-petting opportunity. But then, many people suffering from this phobia don’t even need to see a spider – it’s enough to just imagine that it might be there. I have a friend who goes with her children and husband to stay with another family they have known for years. But this family live in an old house, surrounded by countryside – and before the [...]

1808, 2016

The sugar tax – taken with a pinch of salt?

By |August 18th, 2016|Categories: General News|0 Comments

Angry criticism today from the medical profession at the Government’s perceived watering-down of the “sugar tax” promised by George Osborne, and intended to combat childhood obesity. Well over a third of British children now leave primary school overweight or obese. The latest figures, for 2014/15, show that 19.1% of children in Year 6 (aged 10-11) were obese and a further 14.2% were overweight. Of children in Reception (aged 4-5), 9.1% were obese and another 12.8% were overweight. This means a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds were overweight or obese. (Source: Public Health England.) Parents who are obese themselves are twelve times more likely to have children who are overweight.  And Britain has the highest rates of obesity in Western Europe, according to NHS choices http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/statistics-and-causes-of-the-obesity-epidemic-in-the-UK.aspx The finger is being pointed at the diet of British children, who are also now less physically active than they have ever been. Sugar is seen as the main culprit. This is  borne out to some extent by other evidence. The 2013 survey of children’s dental health (published in 2015) found that 31% of five-year-olds had signs of tooth decay – and [...]

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