Neuroticism: Negative Personality Trait, or Mental Illness?

Neuroticism is defined by psychology as a personality trait in which a person experiences the world, or rather the external environments around them that triggers Anxiousness, emotional instability, impulsiveness, self-pitying, being very touchy, feeling vulnerable, and over worrying. As one of the “Big Five Personality Model Factors”, it appears to also be the most negative and “self-defeating” of the five personality traits.

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Now we’ve all displayed one, more or all of the “Defining Descriptors” of the big five personality model factors, so does that mean we are all crazy?

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No. However “Each individual can be positioned somewhere on this personality dimension between extreme poles: perfect emotional stability versus complete emotional chaos. Highly neurotic individuals tend to be labile (that is, subject to frequently changing emotions), anxious, tense, and withdrawn. Individuals who are low in neuroticism tend to be content, confident, and stable. The latter report fewer physical and psychological problems and less stress than do highly neurotic individuals.”

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(“German psychologist Hans Eysenck popularized the term neuroticism in the 1950’s by including it as a key scale in his popular personality inventory.”)

“The initial model of the big five traits was advanced by Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal in 1961,but failed to reach an academic audience until the 1980’s. In 1990, J.M. Digman advanced his five-factor model of personality, which Lewis Goldberg extended to the highest level of organization. These five overarching domains have been found to contain and subsume most known personality traits and are assumed to represent the basic structure behind all personality traits.

In the most recent studies of psychopathology on personality neurotiscism is usually the first variable in considering individual differences in many types of mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive, and hysteria.

Biological Studies:

“Current research data show persuasively that individual differences in neuroticism are substantially heritable (which means they are passed from parent to child). Heritability estimates based on twin studies generally fall in the 40–60 percent range. The remaining individual differences in neuroticism are attributed primarily to unique (nonfamilial) environmental differences; the shared familial environment appears to exert virtually no reliable influence on individual differences in neuroticism. Researchers speculate that an overreactive limbic system in the brain is associated with high levels of neuroticism, but specific neurochemical mechanisms or locations within the brain and nervous system have not yet been identified.”

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A extreme level of neuroticism in individuals produce persons who are defensive pessimists. “They experience the world as unsafe and use fundamentally different strategies in dealing with distress than non-neurotic people do. They are vigilant against potential harm in their environment and constantly scan the environment for evidence of potential harm. They may withdraw from reality and engage in protective behaviors when they detect danger, real or perceived.”

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“Because of their tendency to withdraw, highly neurotic individuals tend to possess an impoverished repertoire of behavioral alternatives for addressing the demands of reality. Consequently, they tend to engage in mental role-play (rumination and fantasy) instead of constructive problem-solving behaviors. In contrast to their impoverished behavioral repertoires, however, they may possess a rich inner world. Introspective and apt to analyze their thoughts and feelings, they are highly invested in seeking the true nature of their intra-psychic experiences.”

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“Very attuned to their inner experiences, those high in neuroticism are also attentive to their physical discomforts. Their health maintenance behaviors (that is, consultations with a physician) are more frequent than those of individuals with less neuroticism. Although their complaints regarding health are more frequent, their objectively assessed health is not poorer than those low in neuroticism.” According to Eysenck’s personality dimension model, emotional-stability/interoversion-extraversion combine in varying degrees to produce predictable personality trait patterns. Eysenck’s third and less popular dimension model, “psychoticism”, which would describe people who presents traits such as coldness, cruelty, hostility and the rejection of social customs. Ironically, neuronic people tend to be more creative, especially if they have an artistic outlet.

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Alfred Adler’s Theories on Individual Psychology: On Feelings of Inferiority and the Striving for Superiority.

Alfred W. Adler (1870-1937) was an Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology.

Alfred W. Adler’s theory’s on individual Psychology is a model of personality and a theory of psychopathology which forms the foundation of a method for mind development and personal growth. Adler observed that people who had organ defects tried to compensate their short comings with intense training, which Adler theorized that it was the attitude and not the defect which produced the exaggerated striving. Adler’s theory on organ inferiority in men says that feelings of unmanliness causes exaggerated strivings in men.

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Adler also stated that superiority is equated with masculine behavior and assertiveness as well as independence and dominance while inferiority is equated with female behavior and passivity, submissiveness and dependence. It is interesting that Adler was very egalitarian in his views while proposing these archetypical theories, and believed that gender bias should be eliminated. Adler also stated that society was the blame for woman being for being placed in an inferior position, and that woman often tried to overcome this inadequacy by mimicking male behavior such as cussing, acting tough and swaggering in a form of masculine protest, with lesbianism being an extreme form of this.

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Psychological types:

“Adler identified a handful of personality “types” that he distinguished based on the different levels of energy he felt they manifested. These types to Adler were by no means absolutes, it should be noted; Adler, the devout individualist, saw them only as heuristic devices.”

The first type is the ruling type: These people are characterized early on by a tendency to be generally aggressive and dominant over others, possessing an intense energy that overwhelms anything or anybody who gets in their way. These people are not always bullies or sadists, however; some turn the energy inward and harm themselves, such as is the case with alcoholics, drug addicts, and those who commit suicide.

The second type is the leaning type: Individuals of this type are sensitive, and while they may put a shell up around themselves to protect themselves, they end up relying on others to carry them through life’s challenges. They lack energy, in essence, and depend on the energy of others. They are also prone to phobias, anxieties, obsessions and compulsions, general anxiety, dissociation, etc.

The third type is the avoiding type: People of this type have such low energy they recoil within themselves to conserve it, avoiding life as a whole, and other people in particular. In extreme cases, these people develop psychosis—the end result of entirely retreating into one’s self.

Adler also believed in a fourth type.

The socially useful type: People of this type are basically healthy individuals, possessed of adequate, but not overbearing, social interest and energy. They are able to give to others effectively as they are not so consumed by a sense of inferiority that they cannot look properly outside of themselves.

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Later Adler expanded on the concept of “organ inferiority” and thought that all of us at one time or another have feeling of social and psychological inferiority, which he theorized that began with our early participation in family life.  Adler wrote that if we acknowledge that we all inferior in different areas and points in our lives can serve as a catalyst for asking for help when needed, and giving help asked by others. In conclusion one of Adler’s quotes seems appropriate,

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“Every individual represents a unity of personality and the individual than fashions that unity. The individual is thus both the picture and the artist. Therefore if one can change one’s concept of self, they can change the picture being painted.”

 

The Consequences in the Shift of Medical Care: from Individual Medical Practitioners to Health Care Organizations.

 The consequences in the shift of medical care from individual medical practitioners to health care organizations, and how it relates to the view of health care professional is a very complex concept to relate.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2004, (“15 percent of the population or 45 million people in the United States were without health insurance coverage during 2003.”) This fact can be one of the “consequences”, a health care provider might consider. Another important “consequence” might be the quality and care patients receive under new mandates.

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According to the NASW for Social Work Practice in Health Care Settings and the Health Standards Working Group, “The health care system in the United States is complex and multidisciplinary in nature, and may include a network of services such as diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, health maintenance, and prevention provided to individuals of all ages and with a range of needs. Multiple sources of financing, ranging from Medicare and Medicaid to private insurance, provide further challenges. Many consumers lack health insurance or have inadequate coverage, which causes financial stress on consumers and providers.”

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How is this shifting from individual care to macro-organizational care benefiting the people who do not have health coverage, while any informed person knows that the fee’s and penalties for not signing up for “Obama Care” are much less than the monthly and yearly premiums for the health care plan itself. “Accessibility to preventive, palliative, and curative health care depends largely on the client’s ability to pay, and often, people cannot afford existing fees.” (Social Work Practice in Health Care Settings. 2005). How much more damage will be done to our flawed U.S. health care system under the new white house administration?

Quality of patient care is another factor that must be considered switching to a more macro health care system.  How does this affect the quality of care that the patient receives under such an organizational frame work? “Traditionally, hospitals have been structured along departmental lines organized by skill area and professional scopes of practice. For example, the respiratory therapy aide and the respiratory therapist can be found in the Pulmonary Medicine Department and report to the Director of Pulmonary Medicine.

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When a hospital patient requires respiratory therapy or tests of pulmonary function, such services are “ordered” from the Pulmonary Medicine Department. When, with work restructuring, such services are provided by a member of a patient care team on a hospital unit, departmental barriers may be blurred or broken because the respiratory aide on the care team now reports to the nurse who heads the team instead of, or in addition to, the Director of Pulmonary Medicine. If, as a member of the care team, the respiratory therapy aide is now trained to perform other patient care functions as well, or if nurses or nurse’s aides are also trained to perform some activities previously only performed by respiratory therapy aides, the clear alliance to one profession or discipline is challenged.” (The effects of health care industry changes on health care workers and quality of patient care Urban Institute 2013).

 Although there are many other consequences a health care provider might consider regarding this topic, these two mentioned above have a direct and immediate profound effect on the people and patients dealing with a new and yet constantly changing “Universal Health Care System”.

 

Bipolar Disorder: Exploring the Cause, Symptoms and Treatment of Manic-Depression

Exploring the concepts of Bipolar Disorder/Manic-Depression, and its causes, symptoms, treatment, and symptoms. What are the causes of Manic-depression (Bipolar Disorder).What are the many symptoms of this Disorder and what are the various treatments for Bipolar Disorder. How does Manic-Depression affect the lives of those who have this Disorder?

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What is Bipolar-Disorder?

Bipolar-Disorder which is also known as manic depression is a brain disorder illness that can cause alternating periods of elation and depression. This mental disorder is marked as causing unusual fluctuations in energy, mood, and ability to think clearly and affects the ability to function in day to day activities which can result in hurting job or school performance as well as damage family and social relationships. Some people develop bipolar disorder in childhood, but it usually presents in people predisposed to this mental disorder in late adolescence and as early adults and some present symptoms later in life. “More than 2 million American adults, (Narrow WE.: NIMH ECA prospective data July 1 1998) or about 1 percent of the population from the age of 18 and older present bipolar disorder yearly.” (Regler DA, Narrow WE., Rae et al. 1993).

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Manic Depression is not always seen as a mental illness, and many people have it for many years before it is recognized and diagnosed before they can get treated for it.  When this mental illness presents in a person they can go from one emotional extreme to another is a very short period of time, i.e. from hypomania to mania (emotional highs) to a deep depression (lows).Manic Depression is not always seen as a mental illness, and many people have it for many years before it is recognized and diagnosed before they can get treated for it.  When this mental illness presents in a person they can go from one emotional extreme to another is a very short period of time, i.e. from hypomania to mania (emotional highs) to a deep depression (lows).

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The emotional highs can present as feeling of euphoria (high state of happiness) with an increased boost of energy. Then an acute bout of depression (emotional lows) which gives feelings of hopelessness and a loss of interest in activities that once gave pleasure. These symptoms may last from a few times a week to several times a year, each person and case varies.

 

What are the Causes of Bipolar Disorder?

Much research have been done to find out what exactly are the causes of the mental illness, and many studies have been done, however there seems to be no single one cause for manic depression, but rather many internal and environmental factors presenting at once to manifest this disorder. Research studies have shown that this illness can be genetic or triggered in one’s external environment, as well as a combination of both. Genetically no one gene is responsible for bipolar disorder, but could be many genes acting at once to present the disorder. (NIMH Genetics Workgroup, 1998). Also a chemical imbalance of bio-chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters can play a significant role in mental disorders, but the truth is that which actually causes bipolar disorder in still unknown.

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The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

The symptoms of bipolar disorder are manifold but are classified in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association, and lists the criteria for diagnosing bipolar and related disorders. According to the DSM-5 classification and criteria for the diagnosis of manic and hypomanic episodes, the criteria for the diagnosing based on the particular “type” or related disorder is as follows.

Bipolar I disorder:  At least one or more manic episode. The manic episodes may be preceded by or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. Mania symptoms cause significant impairment in a person’s life and may trigger a sense from reality called psychosis.

Bipolar II disorder: At least one major depressive episode lasting at least two weeks and at least one hypomanic episode lasting at least four days, but did not have a manic episode. Extreme depressive episodes or the unpredictable changes in mood and behaviors that cause distress and difficulty in areas of your life.

Cyclothymic disorder: At least a two year period of hypomania symptoms (milder than a hypomanic episode or bipolar 2 disorder) and periods of depressive symptoms (less severe than a major depressive episode). Symptoms can cause significant distributions in many important areas of your daily life.

The DSM-5 has a specific classification and criteria for the diagnosis of manic and hypomanic episodes:

 

Manic Episode:  is a marked period of abnormally high and persisting irritable mood that lasts at least one week. The episode presents increased goal-driven activity and or energy.

Hypomanic episode: is a distinct period of an abnormally burst of energy and very extreme, overbearing or irritable mood that lasts at least four continuing days.

 

The Symptoms and or Signs of a manic episode or Mania:

  •   A sudden increase in activity or energy and marked restlessness.
  •   Ballooned self esteem
  •   Very highly irritable
  •   Overly high euphoric mood
  •   Thoughts racing and moving from one thought to the next very rapidly
  •   Lack of need to sleep
  •   Elevated sex drive and sexual indiscretions
  •   Overly talkative
  •   Self-denial

(If three or more of the other symptoms are present along with euphoric mood for a large portion of the day, almost every day for a seven days or more than it is diagnosed as a manic episode. There must be at least four more symptoms present with an irritated mood)

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Symptoms and or Signs of Depression:

(The DSM-5 Criteria for a major depressive episode are as follows):

  •   Chronic anxious or sad mood (feeling empty)
  •   High reduction of feeling joy or pleasure in activities most days almost all of the day
  •   Marked reduction of energy (feeling slow, fatigue)
  •   Sleeping to much or marked insomnia
  •   Contemplating suicide, or attempts
  •   Abnormal appetite (gaining or losing weight)
  •   Increased lack of concentration
  •   (If five or more of these symptoms are present almost all day every day for two weeks or more the diagnosis is a depressive episode.)Symptoms and or Signs of Depression:(The DSM-5 Criteria for a major depressive episode are as follows):
    •   Chronic anxious or sad mood (feeling empty)
    •   High reduction of feeling joy or pleasure in activities most days almost all of the day
    •   Marked reduction of energy (feeling slow, fatigue)
    •   Sleeping to much or marked insomnia
    •   Contemplating suicide, or attempts
    •   Abnormal appetite (gaining or losing weight)
    •   Increased lack of concentration
    •   (If five or more of these symptoms are present almost all day every day for two weeks or more the diagnosis is a depressive episode.

 

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Disorder Treatments

The treatments available for patients with Bipolar disorder are assessed by a psychiatrist and can include mood balancing medications like mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and or anti-anxiety in tandem with psychotherapy depending on the needs of patient. Psychotherapy is a most important part of treatment and can be done in different settings such as family, group or individual setting to fit the needs of the client. A few type of psychotherapy are, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, art therapy and psycho-education. Bipolar disorder is a chronic and lifelong disorder so it is important to seek ongoing treatment, trying different methods recommended by your doctors to achieve the best results, overall management and care over the course of your life

 

References:

Bipolar and related disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Dec. 13, 2013

Narrow, WE. One-year prevalence of depressive disorders among adults 18 and over in the U.S.; NHMH ECA prospective data. Population estimates based on U.S. Census estimated residential population age 18 and over on July 1, 1998. Unpublished.

Bipolar and related disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Dec. 17, 2015.

Culpepper L. The diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder: Decision-making in primary care. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4195640/. Accessed Dec. 14, 2016.

NIMH Genetics Workgroup. Genetics and mental disorders. NIH Publication No. 98-4268, MD: National Institute of mental Health, 1998.

Hypertension:The causes, stages, complications and prevention

Hypertension which is also known as “High Blood Pressure” is the degree of measurement of the force or “pressure” of the blood against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. Hypertension readings are usually given as two numbers such as 120/80 or 120 over 80.

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The numbers should be written as follows: 120/80 mmHg. The first/top number is called the systolic blood pressure: (a measurement of the pressure inside your arteries when your heart beats) and the bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure: (which indicates the pressure between beats, when your heart is resting). the first example above: 120/80 is considered normal blood pressure while 140/90 mmHg is a indication of hypertension. But if your blood pressure is “120/80 or higher, but below 140/90, it is called pre-hypertension.” People with pre-hypertension, are more prone to developing high blood pressure.

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The Stages of Hypertension:   

  • Pre-hypertension: This stage indicates a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 or a diastolic pressure between 80 and 89. Adults who enter this pre-stage are at high risk for developing hypertension.
  • Hypertension Stage 1: A systolic blood pressure that is between 140 and 159 or your diastolic pressure is between 90 and 99, which is considered to be in hypertension stage 1.
  • Hypertension Stage 2 :A systolic pressure of 160 or higher or a diastolic pressure that is 100 or higher, is hypertension stage 2.

The Causes of Hypertension:

There are many factors that may lead to hypertension, such as being very over weight, smoking, unhealthy diet,  being over stressed, Drinking heavily, also African Americans seem to be at a higher risk. But factors other than lifestyle may cause high blood pressure, like genetics, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Cushing syndrome. And aside from medical conditions, medications may induce a secondary cause of hypertension, examples are: birth control pills, diet and cold medications, etc.  There are complications if untreated since there are no symptoms much of the time; people can develop chronic heart disease, stroke and severe kidney problems if not treated. If you have nosebleeds, extreme headaches, vertigo, and blurred vision you might have what is known as malignant hypertension which can be fatal.

Some preventions as mentioned before are eating a well rounded diet and getting plenty of exercise can reduce your chances of suffering from hypertension, also by limiting the amount of salt intake and drinking in moderation can also go along way help reduce your risk. Also by avoiding stress whenever possible and maintaining a healthy body weight.

 

TheTriclosan Factor: International Health Hazard or FDA/EPA Cover Up?

For 40 years antibacterial soap and products have been on the market in the U.S. and abroad. However research has now shown that the active ingredient: Triclosan in antibacterial body washes and soaps that we have been using for decades is harmful to the human immune system, alters hormonal balance and may be the genesis of antibiotic resistant pathogens.  (FDA)

Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent which is a polycholorol phenoxy phenol.  So far there is no evidence that triclosan provides any extra benefit to human health beyond the anti-gingivitis factor in toothpaste. (FDA)

“Triclosan is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the European Union.”

“The use of triclosan as an additive for plastic production for use in food packages has not been approved by the European Commission.” (EC)

“Triclosan has also been employed as an selective agent in molecular cloning.  Bacteria host transformed by plasmids harboring a triclosan resistant mutant FabI gene (mFabI) as a selectable marker can grow in the presence of high dose of triclosan in the culture media.”

“Triclosan safety is currently under review by the FDA and Health Canada.”

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Now that we are all aware that (2, 4, 4’-trichloro-2’-hydroxydiphenyl ether) Triclosan which is a chlorinated aromatic compound and is used as an antimicrobial agent, Triclosan was first registered as a pesticide in 1969 by the EPA. “At the EPA, because of nomenclature procedure a bacterium is considered a “pest” implying (wrongly) that bacteria which causes disease in human and animals, should be viewed the same way as actual pest like rodents and boll weevils.”

(Paul Alexander, Huffington Post).

“Colgate now uses a chemical pesticide called triclosan in its Colgate Total toothpaste.” (Beth Greer: best- selling author of “Super Natural Home.”)

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We are engaged in a comprehensive scientific and regulatory review of all the available safety and effectiveness data.

This includes data relevant to the emerging safety issues of bacterial resistance and endocrine disruption due to triclosan in FDA-regulated products.

(FDA, Aug 29 2012.)

“The FDA is working to incorporate the most up-to-date-data and information into the regulations that govern the use of triclosan in consumer products. FDA anticipates communicating the findings of our review to the public in winter 2012 through our rulemaking process.” (FDA)

“In the1960s, hexachlorophene, a synthetic compound contained in over-the-counter products, was taken of the market after researchers determined that it caused brain damage when bath washes containing it were used on newborn babies.

To replace it, industry developed triclosan, a chlorinated aromatic compound that was initially added to soap to increase its ability to kill germs and control the spread of contamination. It was so effective at eradicating bacteria that companies began adding it to an array of products ranging from hand soaps to merchandise like kitchen utensils.”

(Paul Alexander: The Huffington Post 05/03/2013).

“Meanwhile, back when triclosan was first created, it was determined that the substance also fell under the jurisdiction of the FDA, which began its own investigation. In 1974, because of the hexachlorophene debacle, the FDA instituted a review process of all over-the-counter products. At that time, an investigation of triclosan commenced; four years later, the substance was placed in the antimicrobial category. Soon, the FDA found that triclosan was safe, but the agency needed additional information to determine if it is effective — just the opposite of what the EPA found. By 1978, public and industry sources submitted relevant research. Sixteen years passed. Finally, in 1994, the FDA issued a decision — sort of. The agency needed additional information to make a final determination. Two decades later, still no decision. One was promised in 2012. But that deadline came and went too.

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The FDA’s inability to reach a final decision is the subject of ongoing litigation in the Southern District Court in Manhattan, as a public advocacy group is suing the FDA over its inability to conclude its examination of triclosan. But the litigation has developed its own complicated history, with a lower court throwing out the case only to have that move overruled by a higher court. Any decision will be subject to years of appeals.”

(Paul Alexander: The Huffington Post 05/03/2013).

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“Back in 1978, the FDA considering banning triclosan from soaps because it was no more effective at fighting germs than traditional soap, and it was linked to problems with the brain, liver, and spleen. And yet the agency did nothing to limit its use. Over than 30 years later, more science has emerged that triclosan interferes with hormones essential for development of the brain and reproductive systems. It has become so widespread that has been found in 75 percent of Americans over the age of six. The agency says that in light of safety concerns, it is reviewing all available evidence and will share its triclosan findings in the winter of 2012. This was after it missed its summer of 2011 deadline. 2013 must be the year the agency issues its new findings–more than three decades after it released its original findings. But that is not enough. It must act on those findings and ban the use of this ineffective and hazardous additive in consumer products.”  (Peter Lehner: (NRDC) Natural Resources Defense Council).

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THE FINDINGS:

  • “Triclosan is used in a variety of common household products, including soaps, mouthwashes, dish detergents, toothpastes, deodorants, and hand sanitizers.
  • In the United States, manufacturers of products containing triclosan must indicate it on the label. Triclosan is sold under several trade names, including Ultra Fresh, Amicor, and BioFresh. Triclosan is also a component in some pesticides, mattresses, insulation, and underlayment’s that install under various types of flooring, including laminate, wood, glued down, and engineered wood, and carpeting for the purpose of slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mildew. For example, some high density sound-suppressing underlayment’s are treated with triclosan. Triclosan penetrates the skin on contact and enters the bloodstream.”
  • In August 2009, the Canadian Medical Association asked the Canadian government to ban triclosan use in household products under concerns of creating bacterial resistance and producing dangerous side products such as chloroform and dioxins.
  • Triclosan is toxic to aquatic bacteria at levels found in the environment. Triclosan inhibits photosynthesis in diatom algae which are responsible for a large part of the photosynthesis on Earth.
  • Endocrine disruption:
  • A 2006 study concluded that low doses of triclosan act as an endocrine disrupter in the North American bullfrog. The hypothesis proposed is that triclosan blocks the metabolism of thyroid hormone because it chemically mimics thyroid hormone and binds to the hormone receptor sites, blocking them, so that normal hormones cannot be used.
  • A study between 2003 and 2006 concluded that triclosan (as an endocrine disruptor) affects the immune system and showed a positive association with allergy or hay fever diagnosis. Another study in 2000 offered the result that low amount of triclosan can be absorbed through skin and can enter the bloodstream, has also been found in both the bile of fish living downstream from waste-water-processing plants and in human milk.
  • The negative effects of triclosan on the environment and its questionable benefits in toothpastes have led to the Swedish to recommend not using triclosan in toothpaste.
  • Another 2009 study demonstrated that triclosan exposure significantly impacts thyroid hormone concentrations in the male juvenile rats.
  • Triclosan is also showing up in dolphins near South Carolina and Florida in concentrations known to disrupt hormones, growth, and development in other animals.
  • Muscle contraction: Triclosan has been reported to impair excitation-contraction coupling in cardiac and skeletal muscle function in mice.
  • Two reports by the same authors suggest that triclosan can combine with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform which the United States Environmental Protection Agency classifies as a probable human carcinogen, meaning it likely causes cancer.
  • These intermediates can be cleaved to form chlorophenols, which can react with free chlorine to form trihalomethanes, such as chloroform. As a result, triclosan was the target of a UK cancer alert; even though the study showed that the amount of chloroform generated was less than amounts often present, in chlorinated drinking water.

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Stop the Use of Triclosan:

“A really effective way to absorb chemicals is through the mouth. For example, when a drug like nitroglycerine is administered for a heart condition it is given under the tongue for fast absorption. So are natural homeopathic remedies. So what happens when you brush with toothpaste containing triclosan? You get a dose of the chemical. Colgate is aware that Triclosan shouldn’t be ingested in large amounts. But what about small amounts ingested twice a day over years? According to scientists, triclosan (also found in deodorant, acne cream and antibacterial soaps) is proven to be an endocrine disruptor in laboratory animals. It decreases thyroxine levels in the thyroid (Crofton, 2007), interferes with testosterone and decreases sperm counts (Kumar, 2009); and interferes with estrogen, bringing on early puberty (Stoker, 2010).”

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Soap: Dial® Liquid handsoap and body wash; Tea Tree Therapy™ Liquid Soap; Clearasil® Daily Face Wash; Dermalogica® Skin Purifying Wipes; DermaKleen™ Antibacterial Lotion Soap; CVS Antibacterial Soap, Ajax Antibacterial Dish soap, Ultra Concentrated Dawn Antibacterial Dish soap, Kim care Antibacterial Clear Soap, Bath and Body Works Antibacterial Hand Soaps, Gels and Foaming Sanitizers.

Dental Care: Colgate Total®; Breeze™ Daily Mouthwash; Reach® Antibacterial Toothbrush

Cosmetics: Garden Botanika® Powder Foundation; Mavala Lip Base; Movate® Skin Litening Cream HQ; Paul Mitchell Detangler Comb, Revlon Color Stay LipSHINE Lip color Plus Gloss, Babor Volume Mascara, Phytomer Perfect Visage Gentle Cleansing Milk, Phytomer Hydra continue Instant Moisture Cream, Bath and Body Works Antibacterial Moisturizing Lotions.

Deodorant: Arm and Hammer® Essentials Natural Deodorant; Queen Helene® Tea Trea Oil Deodorant and Aloe Deodorant; DeCleor Deodorant Stick; Epoch® Deodorant with Citrisomes.

First Aid: SyDERMA® Skin Protectant plus First Aid Antiseptic; Heal well Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint; Solarcaine® First Aid Medicated Spray; Nexcare™ First Aid, Skin Crack Care; : Universal Cervical Collar with Microban.

Kitchenware: Farberware® Microban Cutting Boards; Franklin Machine Products FMP Ice Cream Scoop SZ 20 Microban; Hobart Semi-Automatic Slicer; Chix® Food Service Wipes with Microban; Compact Web Foot® Wet Mop Heads.

Source:  Beyond Pesticides.

Some antibacterial soaps use Triclosan’s cousin, triclocarban in place of Triclosan.

Other Personal Care Products: Murad Acne Complex® Kit, ®; Diabet-x™ Cream; Scunci Microban Comb, Sport slick Pocket Slick.

Clothes: Bio fresh® socks, undergarments, tops and bottoms.

Office and School Products: Ticonderoga® Pencils with Microbar Protection, Avery® Touchgaurd View Binders, C-line® products, Clauss® cutting instruments, Costco® products, Sharp® printing calculators. Westcott® scissors

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Some antibacterial soaps use Triclosan’s cousin, triclocarban in place of Triclosan.(Source: Beyond Pesticides.)

T-cell lymphoid leukemia.

T-cell leukemia is classified, as a type of  lymphoid leukemia that interact with T cells. Four main types exist in this nomenclature, along with sub-types. Acute myeloid leukemia, Acute lymphocytic leukemia, Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and Chronic myeloid leukemia. T-cell lymphoma and T-cell leukemia are difficult to distinguish from each other and often classified or grouped together.

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Some of the sub-types of T-cells are: Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) which also has four sub-types and fast growing, Lymphoma being the most common blood cancer is sub-classified as: Adult T-cell lymphoma (lymph system cancer), acute, chronic and smoldering, caused by the human T-cell leukemia virus or (HTLV1) a retrovirus.

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Large granular lymphocytic leukemia, the cause which is unknown, (LGLL) is much more common in woman. T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), which is most common in older men, however woman may also develop this carcinogenic condition. Sezary syndrome, a type of mycosis fungoides, which takes years to develop and, is slow growing that occurs in the skin. This T-cell lymphoma is only located on the skin and large amounts of lymphoma cells is present in the blood.

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Patients who contract T-cell leukemia can encounter some of the following symptoms: Swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and itching of the skin, but sometimes none of these symptoms are seen in patients. While leukemia may be caused by an inherited genetic mutation, it can also be caused by environmental effects such as radiation and chemical exposure as well as smoking, which are some of the risk factors, but in most cases patients who contract leukemia the cause is unknown.

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Night Blindness and Xerophthalmia: It’s Causes and Treatment.

Night Blindness is a certain type of vision impairment also known as “Nyctaiopia”. People with nyctaiopia develop an inability to see or drive in darkness. The name “Night Blindness” however implies that you are unable to see at night, which is not the case, you simply just can’t see so well in dim lit environments due to poor vision in darkness.

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Xerophthalmia is defined as a medical condition in which the eye in unable to make tears, also often called “dryness of the eye”. This is a condition which is found in patients with immune disorders. Xerophthalmia can be caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin A, which is thought to be the most common cause. This condition is described as a “pathological dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea.”

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The conjunctiva then becomes wrinkled dry and thick. The only true symptom of night blindness is trouble seeing in the dark and people are more likely to suffer this condition while shifting from a bright room to one that is dark, or while driving experience poor vision; with the first symptom being a deficiency of vitamin A which causes one to be unable to see objects in dim light or in the evening.

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The earliest onset of symptoms from xerophthalmia include hot discomfort, corneal xerosis, bitot’s spots and keratomlacia. The most common causes of disease is a lack of vitamin A and or lupus. Certain medications also may cause this disease such as antihistamines, drugs chemical burns and X-linked factors.

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Night blindness can only be diagnosed by a battery of tests by an eye doctor. Night blindness can only be properly treated by determining the cause, hence the various test and eye exams. Treating night blindness may be as mild as a new pair of corrective lens or surgery to changing your medication for glaucoma.

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Xerophthalmia treatment can be done in one of two ways. Treating the deficiency or treating the symptoms. If the deficiency, vitamin A supplements or eating foods rich in vitamin A. The treatment of the symptom can be done by eye drops or artificial tears.

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Causes of Heart Failure Due to Heart Disease.

 

Heart disease is described as “any pathological condition of the coronary arteries, heart valves, myocardium, or electrical conduction system of the heart.” Heart failure can occur in a many number of ways, it frequently happens after one or more conditions have weakened and or damaged the heart. When the heart can, no longer pump blood to the body in a normal fashion, the ventricles (chambers) do not fill up with enough blood to supply the lungs and the body system with oxygenated blood between heart beats.

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Heart failure most commonly starts in the left ventricle (which is the main pumping chamber) but it can also begin in the right or both sides.  When the blood flow’s retrograde back into the lungs, liver or abdomen it is called congestive heart failure.

Coronary artery disease which is the most common form of heart failure and disease, over a period of time the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscles become clogged with fatty deposits or “Plaque” that restricts the flow of blood a condition called atherosclerosis, a myocardial infarction occurs when plaque causes a rupture in the arteries.

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Hypertension: (High blood pressure), the force of blood pumped through the arteries by the heart, if the pressure is to high the heart has to work harder to carry blood to the body, in time your heart can become so weak that it can no longer carry blood to the entire body. Myocarditis, which is a inflammation can be caused by a virus and lead to left-sided heart failure.

 

Heart arrhythmia: which are abnormalities of the hearts beating rhythms that can cause the heart to beat fast and work too hard resulting in the weakening of heart and in time causing heart failure.  Myocardial infarction (heart failure) results in about 10%-20% of deaths from people suffering from this disease out of 400,000 diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone.

 

Coronary Pulmonale: a type of pulmonary blood flow obstruction, which is caused by lung disorders, is a type of right-sided heart failure that overloads the right side of the heart. My paternal aunt died from this form of heart disease many years ago, so I feel that everyone should be made aware of the causes and prevention of heart disease.

 

The ejection fraction which is the blood proportion in the hearts ventricles, that’s pumped from the heart occurring in each contraction. This ejection fraction is about between 55%-78% in healthy patients. The blood is ejected from the lower ventricles into the aorta and pulmonary artery to supply blood to the lungs and systemic circulation to the human body. The blood must travel to the lungs to become re-oxygenated.

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Various conditions can damage the heart’s conduction system such as heart attack or Endocarditis, and interrupt the electrical impulses, or signals that coordinate the heart’s muscle rhythmic beating. In essence the heart pumps blood through the body by means of the four chambers within the heart itself called the atrium and ventricles.

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By contracting using the bio-electro impulses created by structures located in the heart’s wall known as the sinoatrial node, also known as the “pacemaker”, the atrioventricular node, the bundle of his and Purkinje fibers. Any abnormalities of the heart rhythm, is called dysrhythmia.

Heart block is a form of dysrhythmia, in which the electrical impulses are blocked from getting to the ventricular myocardium (ventricle heart muscles) that results in AV node block, causing the ventricle chambers to contract a very slow rate, this condition is known as bradycardia.

“The American Heart Association reports that between 1999 and 2009, the rate of deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) declined 32.7 percent. However, CVD still accounts for about one in three deaths in the U.S. And the biggest barriers to continued reduction in CVD deaths appear to be the growing prevalence of obesity and diabetes.”

 

However there are ways to guard against heart disease. “Leslie Cho, MD, Director of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic, and Editor-in-Chief of Heart Advisor” say’s: “The value of exercise and fitness can’t be overstated when it comes to heart health. And even if you’ve lived a rather sedentary life, your body will respond if you increase the amount of physical activity in your daily routine.”     

There are many factors that may lead to heart disease, such as being very over weight, smoking, unhealthy diet, being over stressed.  African Americans seem to be at a higher risk, other preventions include eating a well rounded diet and getting plenty of exercise which can reduce your chances of suffering from heart disease.

Also by limiting the amount of salt intake and drinking in moderation can also go along way help reduce your risk. Also by avoiding stress whenever possible and maintaining a healthy body weight.

It is important that everyone that’s good care of their heart and health so that they can live a long and productive life for many years to come. Dr. Leslie Cho, also states that “the details of the diet are less important than it be one that is low in saturated fats, low in sodium and small in portion size.”

“A lot of people eat healthy food but sometimes just too much food,” she says. “It’s important to have moderation in your diet.”

She also states that “it’s important to know what your goal weight is and try to reach that weight and maintain it throughout the year.”

Carl Jung: His Views on Spiritual Psychology.

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Carl Jung is one of the most important figures in psychology. His unique approach as a psychiatrist, as well as being the founder of analytical psychology has made his body of work very influential. Carl Gustav Jung spend most of his life investigating many spiritual aspects, including astrology and alchemy, Western and Eastern philosophical thought and Occultism. Because of this many regarded him as a mystic.

An attempt to depict the creative activities of Prajapati; a steel engraving from the 1850's, with modern hand coloring

Jung put forth the idea that “Art Therapy” can be used as a tool to treat anxiety, trauma and fear. Believing art can heal and restore someone who suffers from emotional stress and trauma.

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His theory of collective unconscious, synchronicity is just some of his major contributions to psychology. The very popular “psychometric indicator”, “The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or (MBTI) has been developed by Jung’s theories. Jung had a strong affinity to the spiritual realms and reflected much of it in is work and practice.

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“Jung emphasized the importance of balance and he cautioned that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit from intergrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm.” Jung believed that humans should set upon a quest for “wholeness” (the merging of the conscious and unconscious of our psyche). This process which he referred to as “individuation”, Jung felt very strongly that the spiritual experience was crucial to our overall well being. Jung focused his work in 1940 and after mainly on alchemy. Jung held that “life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals.” Or rather we must discover and fulfill our deep innate and unique potential.

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Psychology and Alchemy was published by Jung in 1944. In this work Jung analyzed the symbols of the alchemical process and pointed out the relationship in synch with the psychoanalysis process.
“He argued that the alchemical process was the transformation of the impure soul (lead) to perfected soul (gold), and a metaphor for the individuation process.”

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Carl Jung throughout his life as a clinical and therapist, he always considered himself a scientist. But due to his tangential ideas and thinking, many tried to discredit him and others that because of his ideas and thoughts as “paranormal” in nature. As a child Carl Jung “Claimed that one night he saw a faintly luminous and indefinite figure coming  from his mother’s room, with a head detached from the neck and floating in the air in front of the body.”

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One of Carl Jung’s quotes reflects his theories and thoughts on the collective unconscious. “We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life”. Another one of his quotes points out his views on Individuation, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
In conclusion, Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, brilliant thinker and father of analytical psychology. His extensive study of Buddhism, Christianity, Gnosticism, Hinduism, Taoism, as well as many other spiritual traditions, led him to believe that we must all embark on a journey of transformation (individuation), which he stated that is the mystical heart of all religions. “It is a journey to meet the self and at the same time to meet the Divine. Unlike Sigmund Freud, Jung thought spiritual experience was essential to our well being.”