Two events this week remind me that we cannot believe everything we see or hear. And perhaps more pointedly how much of a news story might we not hear.
In turn the omission of information can colour our impression without anything “false” being said.
Regular readers know I have written about how we view on the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport compared to the use of ADHD medications in exams and school. The latter is not seen as a problem whereas the former is seen as a big problem.
Australian readers will be familiar with the saga of Essendon and the alleged use of peptides.
Everyone has challenges in life, but it’s how we view these challenges, how we respond or react that add or detract from the quality of our lives, and are the precursor of what happens next. We all have a certain amount of stress in our lives. Some stress is good and often necessary to help us get moving, however, an overload of stress can be extremely damaging to our health.
Not everything we have done in life evokes warm memories but some things do. We all have fond memories of times, places, people or events in our lives. When we stop and think about them it is almost as if we get transported back in time and we can feel like we are there.
In the hectic lifestyle that we have become accustomed to, occasionally you will come across someone or a group of people who seemingly have ‘all the time in the world’. It is as though they have a purpose of just to relax and enjoy. There is little evidence of stress or the pressures that the majority feel.
If only we could be that way the majority of the time!
With all the hype and paranoia about parenting and the dangers faced by children, it is really good when some facts emerge. Figures published in The Economist reveal that children in the 1950’s were five times more likely to die before age five than today. Yet as it notes, in those days parents were far more likely to let their children roam free.
American figures show that in the 1950’s most children walked or rode to school. Today less than 10% do.
The numbers would be similar in Australia.
Every once in a while issues reach a tipping point. This is when conventional wisdom actually changes. The process begins when the previous conventional wisdom is overturned. It goes through stages of no questioning of the beliefs through to a few dissenting voices through to more voices and more back up. Defenders of the status quo of course, resist this. This is especially the case when there is a vested interest either monetary or reputation at stake.
And so has gone the ideas about fats in our diet.
The most important lesson I have ever learned is that happiness is a choice, and that I am individually responsible for my own happiness. We are in control of so much more that happens in our lives than we realise, and so have the power to create change.
Even when we are unable to change an event, we can always control our reaction to it.
Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH,) in his recent blog post Are Children Overmedicated? seems to suggest that perhaps more psychiatric medication is in order. Comparing mental illness in children to food allergies, he dismisses the “usual” explanations given for the increase prescribing of medication.
Recently I was interviewed on both radio and TV about a case where a man had a severe reaction to a whooping cough vaccine. This is a dangerous area as virtually all discussions about immunisation generate lots of heat but very little light. The camps are highly polarised.
The case in question involved a previously fit and healthy man who was told that before he could visit his baby in hospital (the baby was eight weeks premature and was in the neonatal ward) that he had to have a booster shot. He initially protested on the basis of being up to date with all his immunisations. However he relented when it was put to him that he could not visit unless he had it.
Within 48 hours he was extremely unwell.