Hey Passengers we need to visit with our LifeTrain resident Lawyer Attorney Ewing Carter III (www.ecarterlaw.com)! And just what train do you know of that has its own legal car! Boy I tell you, I just love being the conductor of this here Train! Today we find out what Attorney EC III advice is on driving this Labor Day holiday weekend! All Aboard!
In the North Carolina Piedmont Triad area: www.EcarterLaw.com
Well, the long weekend of rest for us laborers is upon us. For many folks that means driving to cook-outs, family get-togethers, social outings, etc. So, let’s not ignore that white elephant in the legal car, Drinking and driving! This is especially high during this weekend, thus the reason for this discussion.
Chuckie: Attorney Ewing Carter III, good day my good man.
EC III: You trippin…as usual.
Chuckie: What for-uth does thine sayth thine kind and knowledgeable sir?
Ewing: Guess you want one of these snickers huh? [passing me a snickers from the bowl on his desk]
Chuckie: Well, it will transform me back to the athlete you wish you could’ve been!
EC III: In your dreams dude, now what’s the question?
Chuckie: Well this weekend when you are in the Lexus driving home after “The Law office of Ewing Carter III annual labor day cook-out, how will the law know you’ve had too much to drink before you drive?
EC III: Well first of all I will be glad when that snickers kicks in Dumb Dumb! I can assure you I will be the last person on earth caught drinking and driving. Trust me, as part of my job I see the repercussions up close and in person. Anyway, in most all fifty states, if a person is operating a motor vehicle and their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher, they can be charged with
driving while impaired (DWI) / driving under the influence (DUI). A key consideration is that you can be impaired by any substance you ingest (alcohol, illegal drugs, and even prescription drugs). Generally, the “Officer of the Peace ,“ (policeman, Sheriff, DMV officer, Park Ranger, etc.) can make the decision to stop and investigate a person, if he/she has a “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the person is driving while subject to an impairing substance. Tell-tale signs are: weaving, speeding, driving too slowly, making too wide of a turn, just to name a few.
Chuckie: What should I do or say if I am stopped for DWI?
EC III: Well do what you did the last time, start crying and call me.
EC III: Seriously though, be as cooperative as possible. The officer will ask for your driver’s license and vehicle registration. He will be developing an opinion about “you”
Not worth the chance….
to determine to whether further investigation is warranted. Noted signs of impairment are: slurred speech, obvious odor of alcohol, disheveled clothing, and bloodshot eyes.
Chuckie: If the officer asks me to take a breathalyzer test, should I comply, or refuse?
EC III: The decision is totally yours to make. However, there are some facts you should consider:
Driving is a privilege, and not a constitutional right.
Because driving is a privilege, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determines under what circumstance a person can operate a motor vehicle along the road and highways of their state.
If you decide to refuse to take the breath test, the DMV will revoke your privilege to drive for a certain period of time. This revocation is generally for one (1) year. However, obtaining a Driving Privilege in order to drive back and forth to work can be obtained from the Court. In North Carolina, if you refuse the breath test, there is a 6-month waiting period before becoming eligible for the Driving Privilege. Conversely, if you take the test, and your BAC in not excessive (.14 or lower), then there is no waiting period for the Driving Privilege.
Chuckie: Whew, I guess the best thing is just not go there in the first place.
EC III: Let me record this time and date. The first time you ever said something that made sense.
Chuckie: I’m about to roll the credits on this interview. We taking this to the Racket ball court!
EC III: I’ll drive, you’ve obviously been drinking!
ALL ABOARD! Welcome Passengers! As I help you off the platform and onto the train I remind you that you can listen to some great music as you ride the LifeTrain today, (SEE BOADCAST BUTTON UPPER RIGHT). The next thign i do is hand you a white business card with lack lettering. It reads:
How to Experience the Kind of Love You See in the Movies
1. Save the cat.
In his definitive guide to screenwriting, the late Blake Snyder instructs writers to introduce their movie hero with a “save the cat” moment—meaning the hero does something kind, which makes
Save The Cat….
the audience like and sympathize with him or her.
While there’s no one whose sympathies we need to earn, because we’re (hopefully) not being watched, we can all create a better, more loving world by looking for these “save the cat” moments.
It’s when you step in to defend someone who’s being bullied, or grab an extra sandwich for the homeless person sitting outside, or take a little time out of your busy day to help someone who’s struggling—with anything; homework, a heavy bag, or a heavy heart.
The best way to experience love is to be willing to give it. We can do this every day—no field of flowers required.
2. See the good in people.
In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with bad news, it’s easy to become jaded. It’s tempting to assume the worst in people and live behind a metaphorical suit of armor, ever ready for someone to do something that justifies our cynicism.
But when we constantly look for the worst in others, we miss out on the best.
You can certainly find your fair share of cynics in the movies, but for most Scrooges, there’s a transformation—a shift in their fundamental beliefs that changes how they engage with the world, thereby changing the world they experience.
If we want to see a world of beauty, hope, and kindness, we need to be willing to look for these things.
This doesn’t mean we should ignore the harsh realities of life; to create positive change, we need to first acknowledge what needs changing.
It just means we open our eyes to see those “save the cat” moments when they happen. People do good things every day. If we want to nurture a loving heart, we have to recognize and appreciate them.
3. Inspire the best in others.
My goal here on the Train…
We’re more likely to see the best in others if we proactively aim to inspire it. It’s not always easy to do this; unlike in the movies, the Jerry Maguires of the world don’t always get the business and the girl in the end.
But we’re all drawn to people with visions—people who put other people before profits, people for whom integrity is more important than notoriety.
When someone stands for something good—something that benefits not just that person individually, but the world at large—it touches something inside us, and motivates us to devote ourselves to a purpose that can help create a better world.
Choose a purpose—maybe not for your lifetime, but for this time in your life. Write your “mission statement.” Wrap your love around a cause. Aspire to make a difference, no matter how big or small, and you will.
4. Check your ego.
I’ve noticed that in the best movies, the protagonist starts with an ego-based desire—to get the job, or revenge, or adoration and admiration—and ultimately reevaluates their goal to better serve and connect with others.
It’s when Bruce Almighty stops obsessing on being a successful news anchor and instead, becomes a loving, attentive partner to his fiancé, and someone who actually appreciates reporting on good people doing good things.
We all have goals and ambitions, even those of us who consider ourselves spiritual. For some of us, those ambitions might be more about making a living or making ends meet than making a name for ourselves.
But many of us are chasing a feeling, whether we hope to feel worthy, valued, or important. Ironically, the things we chase, when caught, often leave us feeling emptier than when we started.
To truly feel fulfilled, we need to set goals that reflect not only what we want to gain, but what we want to give.
I used to think “you get what you give” referred to reciprocity, but I now know this means that the giving itself is the getting. If you’ve ever experienced profound joy after helping someone else, you know this too.
5. Believe in love (and love yourself).
In the movies, a protagonist might not believe in love from the get-go, but if not, that’s his or her journey—to open to the possibility of love again, despite having been hurt or betrayed.
Believe in Love…
Then there are those heroes who start their journey obsessed with finding love, much like my former self, only to realize they first need to heal and learn to love themselves.
We’ve all been wounded in some way, and most of us have learned to either push people away or cling to them in attempt to lessen our pain.
Real love is neither fearful nor needy. It’s not about broken people completing each other. It’s about coming to each other healed and whole, ready to complement each other.
To experience this kind of love, we need to let go of how we’ve been hurt in the past, and believe that there are people out there who will treat us with care, kindness, and respect, if only we give them the chance.
And we need to show ourselves we’re worthy of this kind of love by treating ourselves the same way, and letting go of people who don’t.
Real love isn’t a fairy tale, but it’s so worth it, and possible if we work for it.
I still like to think of my life like a movie, but not because I’m waiting for someone to ride off into the sunset with me.
I think of my life like a movie because I want to be inspired. I want to be kind, I want to see the best in people, and I want to do my part to create the kind a world where we all inspire the best in each other.
The goal isn’t a happy ending. It’s to live a happier story. And that starts with how well we give and receive love.
ALL ABOARD!!! As you board today, as usual I hand you a white business card with black lettering. It reads:
“Whenever something negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it.”
REMEMBER: You can listen to LifeTrain radio (see above right) AS YOU RIDE (READ)….
Two years ago, reading this quote, I would smirk and think, “What a cliché.” In the last two years, I would read this quote and be in utter disbelief that anything can be learned when one is in the
depths of hell. Today, I read this quote and resonate confidently, that yes, even though tragic events occurred, loss of my Mother being the major major,, good has come out of my negative experiences, and I have learned the lesson to take care of myself and listen to my body, albeit the hard way.
“It’s a challenge and test, to make you stronger,” I’d say. I would give myself examples of all these great leaders of the world who had to go through trials and tribulations to get to where they were. There was something in store for me, and it would end up a positive life changing experience, that reassured me.
I fleshed out my negative thoughts, amidst pain and dissappointment as I recounted my worst days of major losses. I searched within my soul. I asked myself again those fundamental questions on what I wanted in life, what would make me happy, and what my passions were.
Through my self-reflection and bloging, I finally learned, painstakingly, in no particular order:
Don’t ignore warning signals in your body. Frequent petty colds, stomach aches, and headaches may all be a sign of stress.
There is no need to be strong all the time, and even less of a need to maintain an image of strength in front of others.
Achievements and titles mean nothing if they’re not something you’re passionate about.
Creativity is therapeutic, and it’s in everyone, just sometimes suppressed.
We need to matter the most to ourselves—over any job promotion, meeting, excel spreadsheet.
Not replying to emails immediately is not the end of the world.
We all need spare time for ourselves—time for solitude and reflection.
It doesn’t matter what everybody else thinks, if we know in our hearts something isn’t right.
Most petty worries aren’t serious. So save some energy.
Sharing mirror moments…
Everything will be okay in time.
Health is the most important thing in the world.
Sometimes it’s best to stop doing so many things, and instead spend more time enjoying what we have.
There is no point in being afraid of the uncertainty because it doesn’t change that the future is uncertain. Leap.
We don’t have to worry about being a disappointment to anyone, because we do not need to live according to anyone else’s expectations of us.
We will all hurt. Embrace the pain, and know that suffering is a choice.
I do not purport to have learned everything there is to learn about adversity. Yet, my mind has opened welcoming experiences that might seem negative, now and in years to come.
Whatever befalls, positive or negative, embrace it with open arms, experience it, and learn from it.
We’ve all had our fair shares of struggles, and we’ll all have more—which means we’ll have new opportunities to learn, grow, and share it.
What are some of the wisdom you’ve reaped in your challenging times?
All Aboard!!! Welcome aboard the LifeTrain. As I help you up into the train I give you a black on white business card. It reads:
“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” -Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)
Share this post with someone you know that might need it…
As much as we love smooth waters, as much as I would like for you to think I am immune from hard times, there is an old proverb that states smooth waters do not make skillful sailors. In this journey called life, the question is not, “Will storms arise?” Rather, the question is, “When will the next storm arise?” And even more important than that question is, “What type of person will I be when the next storm arises?” Advanced life skills are needed to navigate these sometimes treacherous waters.
As I was pondering the topic of skillful sailing through this thing called life, I thought about a book I read a while ago. The name of the book is The Resilient Self: How Survivor’s of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity (Villard, 1993). For too long, an impression that many have had of psychologists is that they tell people to ruminate on their past, blame others, and live as victims, without ever rising above adversity.
Sharing mirror moments…
Unfortunately, the argument of insanity or of an abusive background would be used to condone criminal acts. This is an extreme perception, but the truth is that the study of people who have come through adversity with key strengths has given us insight into some important life skills we can harness as we face adversity on a daily basis.
The study of resilience has identified us to some of these advanced life skills that I’m going to introduce to you. Think on these resilience factors so that we can be ready to successfully navigate the next storm in our liives.
The life skills here involve learning to ask tough questions and to give honest answers. It’s about asking yourself hard questions — about your strengths and weaknesses, for example, or about the role you play in your own problems — and giving yourself honest answers. When going through hard times, the questions you choose to ask yourself are key to how what you will focus on and how you will handle the storm. Passenger’s this is not a sermon…Just some thoughts.
At the next storm ask yourself (as I do):
“How did I manage to get up this morning and get through the day?”
“What’s kept me going day after day despite feelings of hopelessness?”
“How is it (“What have I done so) that things are not worse?”
“What’s kept me from completely giving up?”
“How did you learn to cope with such an awful situation?”
In Part II we will look at some additional coping skills…so come back soon!
ALL ABOARD!!! MERRY MONDAY!!!
As you board the LifeTrain I give you the standard black and White busines card with today’s quote on it. It reads
“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” ~Tony Robbins
***Just reminder before you get rolling. You can click on the radio broadcast button in the upper right hand corner to listen as you read ***
Do you ever have to deal with negative people?
Do you ever have days where everybody seems to want to bark at you all day long?
Under those circumstances, we struggle to keep your spirits up, don’t we?
Well, I know the feeling—all too well, unfortunately.
I worked in a department where part of my employees and my duties included collecting unpaid debts of tenant renters. Trying to obtain debt was like pulling teeth. But both the customer and I equally felt the pain for one undeniable reason …
People hate debt collectors, period.
Representing the company, I politely answered calls from those who questioned their outstanding balances. No matter how or what I said to appease the masses, they would retaliate. They’d yell my ear off and curse at me. And boy, did it take its toll on me.
And unfortunately this was only part of the stress. But I’ll just use that one as 1/10 of the daily equation. By evening, I was mentally exhausted and drained and repeatedly asked myself, “How do I cope with the stress but more importantly the negativity?”
It was like clockwork; my mind was battered and bruised daily. I’d arrive home feeling the ill effects from the entire workweek. I didn’t go out or do anything on the weekends. Depression would engulf me, and I would hit a record low once Sunday afternoon arose.
Anticipating work was like approaching the apex of a roller coaster. You know there’s no going back and there’s only one way out … and it’s down this big drop whether I liked it or not.
No turning back…
Back then, my plan still was to move up the company’s career ladder, so as much as I loathed the job, leaving it to find something more fulfilling never even occurred to me. Instead, I tried to find ways to cope with all the negativity.
Eventually, I succeeded. I developed a safeguard. And even though the work experience wasn’t the best, it did have one positive effect.
I developed a shield against negativity, and to this day, I feel much better equipped to deal with negative people in my life without letting them get me down. Here’s how you can do the same:
1. Arm yourself with positives.
Prime yourself before walking out the door. Load up with whatever positives you can get before you tackle a new week. Watch inspirational or funny movies, laugh at jokes, read enriching and influential books, listen to uplifting music, or learn from motivational speakers and teachers.
Stock up as much positivity as you can, because everyday life can sap you of your precious energy. Your commute, job, unexpected challenges, personal problems, and friend and family issues can take their toll if you’re not prepared.
2. Choose not to mirror others.
Sometimes, others’ negative vibes subconsciously influence us. It’s not our fault we’re human. If someone is rude toward us, our defenses go up, and we’ll dish out the same in return. We’ll unknowingly become trapped and mirror their negative energy exactly.
If someone’s being negative toward you, and you realize it’s influencing you for the worst, make a conscious effort to get back in the driver’s seat and be in control.
Don’t rent head space to bad tenants…
Instead of mirroring their energy, try to help them mirror yours. Be glad that you’re in a more positive state, and reflect the desired positive outcome back at them.
If they raise their voice, you speak calmly. If they’re rude, you act politely. That’s the name of the game. Now it’s just a matter of who caves in first.
Maintain your energy, and stay the course no matter what. You’ll know you’ve got them when they start matching your tone.
3. Allow others to talk your ear off without ruffling your feathers.
Let me first preface this by saying it is not healthy to always listen to someone vent.
You’ll need to set boundaries and not let people treat you like a punching bag, but when you’re dealing with clients or customers, you can’t exactly ignore them. In those cases, just let them vent their frustrations without taking it personally.
Realize their problems are probably not with you specifically but with other issues that caused them torment.
Perhaps they need to vent their frustrations about the company you work for.
Whatever it is, taking it personally would be fruitless. Don’t stand in their way and take the brunt of the onslaught. Just step aside and let them attack the problem head-on to redirect the negativity away from you. That’s how you should visualize it in your head.
Remember, they’re not really attacking you. They’re attacking the problem. The problem itself is not a part of you; it’s a separate entity.
If they’re angry with you personally because you made an error, put your ego away, be honest about it, apologize, and move forward. Never hide anything. It’ll just make the situation and your feelings worse off than before.
Create the least amount of friction as possible by shifting the negativity away from you.
4. Kindly compliment others whom you dislike.
If you do find yourself disagreeing with someone, make the best of it by trying to find a point they thought of that you actually agree with. Then genuinely take the time to compliment them for their idea.
Doing so will subconsciously create a small bond. Believe it or not, this micro-connection is a tiny foundation that you can build upon for a better relationship in the future.
It’s always best to come out of a conversation on a good note rather than leave any potential seed of negativity.
Positive over negative!
5. Treat yourself when you feel the negativity getting to you.
A gift to yourself (it doesn’t necessarily have to be material) is the perfect distraction to help shift your mindset and lift your spirits when you’re down.
You should give yourself a reward, even a small one, at the end of the day or week. For example, it could be as simple as pre-ordering a book that’s piqued your curiosity or perhaps scheduling a dinner with someone you’ve wanted to be closer to.
Whatever it is, it gives you something mentally positive to hold onto and think about to make it through a tough day.
Your Positive Actions Make You Your Own Leader, Not a Follower
You’ll have to deal with a certain amount of negativity in your life. You can’t really change that. Negative people exist, and even the positive ones can succumb to negativity on a bad day.
But you can change how you deal with it … if you allow yourself to. You can change how you react. Is it easy? It can be. Is it challenging? It can be. The real answer is actually up to you. At its very core, negativity is how you perceive it.
You can choose to keep your spirits up no matter what negative people throw at you. And maybe you can even change their moods while you’re at it.
Is it worth the effort? Unequivocally yes. I gained this valuable life skill that I undoubtedly couldn’t get anywhere else, and I use this skill to this day.
Take control of your life, and lead it where we want to go. Don’t allow others to dictate how you should feel. That’s something you can do for yourself.
First a reminder. You can listen and read by clicking the radio button see upper right
When I first started this blog I had intended for the focus to be on the “Baby Boomer” generation since I just barely slide into that category…All heck, …ok, I’m a baby…”baby Boomer” …ok? Much to my surprise I was chastised by non-boomers (some young folk friends of mine) that the LiFeTrain should be for everyone, i.e. people of all ages. For the most part I have tried to stick to that maxim.
Today however, I would like to focus the microscope on those of us who are aging and the possible signs of depression. But first, I am not a doctor nor a psychologist. As a matter of fact I am not the most intelligent of lads. However, as I have said in the past, I know smart people, I read, think and have opinions (that I like to share here on the train).
Now, on to this week’s topic as part of Mental Health Awareness week. [Depression] is not a normal part of aging, although many older people and their caregivers think the two go hand in hand. As we age, we might encounter many familiar sources of depression, including losing loved ones and facing health problems. Still, depression can and should be treated in people of ALL ages.
I recently read that about 15% of adults over age 65 have significant depressive symptoms, and about 3% have major depression. Note, the risk of suicide increases with age: The National Institute of Mental Health reports that older Americans are disproportionately likely to die by suicide, and that white men over age 85 have the highest suicide rates in the United States. Two studies further underscore why older people with even minor depressive symptoms need treatment: One, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, found that older adults with signs of depression had diminished immune responses, which may affect their ability to fight off infections or disease. Another, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that more depressive symptoms in older adults meant more limitations on daily activity and a greater need for care. People with no depressive symptoms received three hours a week of care on average, those with one to three depressive symptoms had about four hours of care a week, and those with four to eight depressive symptoms needed six hours of care a week.
As we age, so are our parents, grand-parents, aunts, uncles…you get the thread. Keep an eye on them. Check in on them and while you are at it…Check in on you! None of us are super-humans.
Checking in on you…This is what I mean. All over the world, depression is much more common in women than in men. In the United States, the ratio is two to one, and depression is the main cause of disability in women. One out of eight women will have an episode of major depression at some time in her life. Women also have higher rates of seasonal affective disorder, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder, and dysthymia.
Why are women so disproportionately affected? Many theories have been advanced to explain this difference. Some experts (and myself) believe that depression is underreported in men. But of course there certainly other, more complex reasons for womenâ€™s greater vulnerability to depression.
Before I close out this part of our focus. Just let me close by explaining why I chose such an unpleasant topic this week. Let’s admit it – emotions can be hard to talk about for everyone. The best I can convey is because it [depression] is real, depression is very real. I have seen the effects on many folks close to me. I’ve seen it manifest it self through drug abuse, alcohol abuse, food addiction and if I can keep it real here…even sexual addiction. And as much as I hate to admit it…well refer back to part I for my disclaimer.
Some people can find it “uncomfortable” to be around a person who is upset. It embarrasses them because they don’t know what to say, or do, or how to help. It can even be hard to hear or accept “I Love You” for some people and they barely acknowledge you have said it. Lots of us are just not emotionally confident and even our own feelings make us sometime feel uncomfortable.
So how are we going to react to or help a son or daughter, sibling, or parent (or ourselves) with depression…? Simple actually, very simple. Don’t be embarrassed,…”GET HELP”.
Don’t die of embarrassment, guilt or shame. Listen, biology isn’t personal. Biology isn’t our fault. Our biochemistry isn’t a character flaw or personal weakness.
There is no shame in having diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s ALS, EMS, MS, Alzheimer’s, appendicitis, or being hit by car !!
As passengers here on the train we must learn this, know this & believe this:
Depression is truly an innocent, shameless, blameless, physical disorder that makes you believe that something is wrong with YOU instead of your biochemistry. It is not a mystery anymore. When I was a child growing up we didn’t even utter the word. Most men I know just drank the pain away. It isn’t your fault. It could simply just be a physical disorder, imbalance or deficiency.
The more we know and learn about our own biochemistry, the more often we will be able to see ourselves as separate from ourselves a split second at a time. Think about it…
Over the years, Just like JOB I lost some things (well…almost everything, all at once) precious and dear. The pain of loss was sometimes unimaginable. Had it not been for Jesus in my life, my
In the middle of the madness, Hold on …SADE
understanding parents (Mom was still alive), friends and family, I could have very well checked out. I wondered what I did wrong…I couldn’t help but feel that I could have avoided it. If I had only examined every detail of the situation (totally impractical if not impossible). But these are the thoughts
we think when painful things happen.
Internal bargaining (the woulda, shoulda, couldas) is part of our grieving process, and without going through it, we can’t move on with our lives. This whole circle of life thing (yes, I saw “The Lion King”) is, at once, beautiful and horrible. Learning to ride the waves, sometimes a gentle ripple and sometimes a tsunami, is much harder than it seems from a distance.
Throughout our lives there are opportunities to make up for losses and give ourselves, as well as those we care for, second chances. Even if you think that you could never replace what was lost, life has a way of giving back what was taken away. It may come as a surprise, or it you might develop over time; in either case, what we think has been lost may someday and somehow return.
I am privileged to share in this experience called life…Here on the LifeTrain…So I write…
All aboard for Therapy Thursday on the LifeTrain. Today we mosey on back to the clinic car and sit for a spell with my good friend, Dr. Emily Hath PhD. (Dr. E). Today’s topic of discussion…”Anxiety”. In this interview, we hope to give you some understanding about the nature of anxiety and what you might do to help yourself.
Reminder: You can listen to LifeTrain Radio while you surf our site…see button upper right…
Chuckie: Dr. E! Dr. E: Chuckie!
Chuckie: We’ve missed you! I thought you had forgotten about us. Dr. E: No my dear friend, I’ve had an extremely high case load lately but, no…I look forward to my rides with you on the Train, having some anxiety?
Chuckie: Well I did start a new position but, overall I’m not ready for meds yet.
Chuckie: Dr. E, give us a little initial insight on Anxiety.
The only shame is not getting help…
Dr.E: Well Chuckie, the chances are fairly high that either you or a loved one has had a history of anxiety. In any given year about 17% of us will have an anxiety disorder—and over our lives, about 28 % of us will have an anxiety disorder. And, if you have one anxiety disorder, then you probably have two or three anxiety disorders—and, possibly, depression. The most common anxiety disorders are panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and specific phobia. 49% of the general population has a history of anxiety, depression, substance abuse or some of all three major problems.
Chuckie: In doing my homework for today I found that Anxiety disorders have effects on your health. Your thoughts?
Dr E: People with panic disorder are more likely to have mitral valve prolapse, hypertension, peptic ulcer, diabetes, angina or thyroid disease. In fact, men who have anxiety disorders are also at greater risk for cardiac disorders, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory illness, asthma, and back pain. Women with anxiety disorders are more likely to have a history of cardiac problems, hypertension, metabolic, gastrointestinal, dermatological, respiratory disorders and arthritis.
Chuckie: I also read that anxiety has been increasing. Dr.E: Yes…The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s. We are getting more anxious every decade.
Psychologists have speculated about the possible reasons for this increase in both anxiety and depression over the last fifty years. Some of the reasons may be a decrease in “social connectedness”—we tend to move more, change jobs, participate less in civic organizations, and we are less likely to participate in religious communities. People are far less likely to get married, more likely to delay getting married, and more likely to live alone. All of these factors can contribute to worry, uncertainty, anxiety and depression.
Chuckie: I was thinking, with all of technology and societal pressures do you think tha our “life” expectations have changed over the years? Dr.E: Yes, excellent observation. We expect to have a more affluent life-style now then in say the 50s and 60s. We are driven by unrealistic ideas of what we need (“I need the latest ipod!!”), and we have unrealistic ideas about relationships and appearance. In the 1950’s sociologists would write about “The Organization Man” who worked for the corporation for his or her entire career. Today many people would love to have a job that had that kind of stability. And our expectations about retirement also lead us to feel anxious. We now have to rely on our own savings—rather than a company pension plan—to help us survive during retirement.
There is help…
And anxiety isn’t helped by the fact that we have all the bad news all the time. Turn on your cable stations and you can immediately see the latest catastrophe—sometimes as it is actually happening in “real time”. Bad news sells—and reminds us— that we can all be in danger. Even though we live longer, have better health care, travel is safer, we are richer, and we have safer cars— we now think that there is a disaster on the horizon. Because we are constantly bombarded with bad news, we think that we are in greater danger. We may not be in greater danger—but it’s what we think that counts in the way we feel. No wonder we are nervous wrecks. Chuckie: Dr. E that’s about enough for this session although we could go much longer on this topic. When you return can we talk about some remedies? Dr.E: Sounds like a plan my good man.
Well Fellow passengers, another therapy session in the can. Hope this helps.