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How do I stop my breath smelling A little positive thinking can
22 MARCH 27, 2005  Life health SUNDAY Depression affects more and more of us on a daily basis - KERRYANNE CLANCY speaks to a dad who found a way out to live a happier life Small steps to beat the blues When his marriage broke down father-of-two ALAN MAYER, aged 49, from Downey Street in Hanley, The truth about depression found it tough to cope. Diagnosed with depression, he decided to seek help for ● Work related stress affects affected. Up to 670,000 billion a year in medication, himself and discovered a about one in five workers. people in the UK have some benefits and lost working days. positive thinking course which ● Stress-related conditions form of dementia. ● The most common has changed his life. are now the commonest ● Up to one in four symptoms include: feelings of reported cause of sickness consultations with a GP helplessness, feeling useless, absence. concern mental health issues. constant questioning of “ I STARTED the ● One in 10 children under As many as 630,000 people thoughts and actions, a loss of STEPS (steps to the age of 16 have a mental are in contact with specialised energy and the ability to excellence for health problem. Among 11- mental health services at any concentrate, harming oneself, personal success) 15-year-olds 13 per cent of one time. sudden loss or gain in weight, course on May 10 boys and 10 per cent of girls ● Depression is a common sleep disruption and agitation last year. It was a have a mental health problem. mental illness which is and restlessness. six-week course I found out ● One in six adults at any one estimated to affect up to one ● Treatments include about through the Media time has a mental health in five Britons at some point in psychotherapy, anti- Action Group for Mental problem. Maybe as many as their lifetime. depressants, self help groups Health in Hanley, where I’ve nine million people are ● It costs the UK about £8 or electro-convulsive therapy. been a volunteer for 18 months. A circular came to the office and the group put me forward for it. keep myself going too. I gave up When my mother died that happiness either, yet I was a It’s aimed at people who have work to look after my children acted as a trigger. person who had always loved had mental health problems in but found myself alone in the When I was diagnosed I was life. their life and it helps you begin house day after day and it on medication which I was So I took a decision to stop thinking positively . becomes a very lonely place. very, very grateful for, but I taking it, but I needed to I had been through a divorce I was diagnosed as clinically came off it as it wasn’t for me. It replace it which is when I and no divorce is good really I . depressed. helped me to relax, but I found began looking towards support was the one left with the chil- When I realised it was becom- it hard to think and I found I groups. dren, a boy and a girl, and I was ing a problem I sought help. couldn’t function. While I never really lost my really struggling. You cope with life and you Medication is designed to self confidence, I had lost my My wife leaving me was very think you’re well, but I was five keep you on a certain level, self esteem, but before the upsetting, but I had to keep the years depressed and didn’t which meant while there was STEPS course I never realised house running and try and know it. no sadness, there was also no self esteem was the most important thing. You can blag your way through life with self confid- ence, but when you go through a trauma your self esteem goes. I think completing the course helped me gain that back. It consisted of a series of lec- tures, which sounds boring but you did have to take part in different activities. There are 12 units, and one of them looked at your thought processes, how you arrive at your decisions and what you think about. ● Brighter future: Alan Mayer is hoping to get back to work and enjoy life Picture by Jon Bartholomew We also looked at self talk, which is all those little voices in your head about yourself and I think the most useful thing I But through the mental love education and I’ve done I feel I can talk about any- the messages they are giving learned is that you’ve got to health groups I’ve been several courses, including an thing now and I don’t think I’ve you. stay on track with a mental involved with it has been a big introduction to counselling got anything to be ashamed of. I We had a saying, ‘if you think health problem. It’s not help to realise it is happening course. Now I want to get back had a break down and I’m part you can or if you think you something you’re really ever to so many others. to work. way through it. Taking the chil- can’t, you’re right’. Another cured of, so you need to be There’s a fine line between My problem before was that I dren on is a very tough job, and phrase is, ‘when you want what aware of it, manage it, and being cynical and realistic and tended to take too much on if you’re not mentally well it’s you’ve never had you must do watch for problems creeping up I like to think I’m more of a board because I cared too much almost impossible and I don’t what you’ve never done’ — it’s on you. realist now. for people, and if I had prob- know how I came ” all about stretching your com- Before I used to get up and It’s easy to get angry about lems I tended to push them to through it. Now I fort zones. think everything was wrong. things when they’re really not one side but they were always can look forward The course made me look in You think what’s happening to important. Learning is import- on the back burner. to the day I see my different ways at where I was you isn’t happening to anyone ant to me now. I still feel I’ve got a bit further daughter get mar- going in my life. else. I’m 50 next birthday and I to go as it’s a difficult process. ried. A little positive thinking can work wonders POSITIVE thinking is year on anti-depressants. But you being able to do things. If courses have been delivered in- “One of the tips I find most something we all need a little Sharon Taaffe, programme dir- you believe you can’t do house to staff at Health Pro- useful if I’m feeling angry or bit more of — and now a course ector for mental health at something then you can’t do it. motion, and the course has stressed, is knowing that you aims to teach us how to put it Health Promotion, which is I’ll give you an example: sup- been tried with people with can’t hold two conflicting emo- into practice. running the STEPS course, pose, you’re on a bike and you experience of mental distress. tions in your head at the same As Mental Health Action believes we could all benefit see a stone in the road ahead. A survey of the people who time. ★ Week begins, the Mental from learning how to manage “You start looking at that have taken the course reveals “Therefore, if you’re angry New Consultant Health Foundation is encour- our own mental well being. stone in order to avoid it but, that, in almost all cases, people you need to have something ★ aging us all to exercise our way Usually run over three days because of the way our minds reported an improvement in which makes you feel calm and ★ LONGPORT to good mental health. with a maximum of 12 people, work, you’ll often end up going their confidence. makes you go ‘ahh’. I have a John Baskeyfield The STEPS (Steps to Excel- STEPS has already been used towards the stone. But Sharon is keen to stress picture of my dog going up a hill School ★ lence in Personal Success) within Stoke-on-Trent among “However, when you learn to that the course is not therapy . which does that for me and ★ Thursday 7pm course hopes to get mental parents and teachers to help drive a car you don’t look at the “We also look at goal setting helps to break the angry cycle. Tel Wendyann health service users to get raise the aspirations of young wall or the pedestrians. and motivation. “When you’re angry your 01782 680158 their minds in shape with the people. Instead, you look at a spot fur- “We look at a balance wheel body releases damaging hor- ★ ★ help of some practical exer- “We became involved ther in the distance to help which is divided up into areas mones into the bloodstream, so cises of a very different kind. because we recognised the keep the car on course. That of your life such as personal it’s good for your health to com- Common experiences, such importance or giving people happens in other things in life relationships, work and so on, bat them and breaking the cycle as relationship break-ups, the skills to manage their emo- too. If you visualise things the then people are asked to put helps you return to the thing bereavement, financial wor- tional well being,” says way you want them to be, men- themselves on a scale of one to which is making you stressed ries, and stressful jobs, can all Sharon. tally you start moving towards five for each, working out in a calmer frame of mind.” MONDAY Bradwell Tel. Dawn 714586 act as triggers for depression “We look at the way people that picture.” where they are now and where May Bank Madeley Tel. Jenny 680685 and anxiety . think and the way they talk to The STEPS course was they want to be. It helps you set Tel. Dawn 740074 Kidsgrove (am & pm) So, all things considered, it’s themselves — the course developed in America and goals for yourself in those areas Information: contact Sarah Talke Pits Tel. Claire 787705 no surprise that in the UK we teaches you to challenge those began being used by Health where you have most work to Walker about the STEPS course Tel. Alison 868252 Meir Park (am & pm) spend a total of £570 million a negative thoughts which stop Promotion last year. So far two do. on 01782 400565. Dresden Tel. Mandy 315660 Tel. Mandie 316487 Westlands Tel. Debbie 627924 Weston Coyney Bucknall Tel. Justeen 328256 Tel. Melissa 315455 Basford (male only) Fenton Tel. Jeff 819159 Tel. Angie 284977 Eccleshall Tel. Steph 750652 Stockton Brook Cheadle Tel. Ena 269034 Oakhill / Trent Vale Tel. Sam 719982 How do I stop my Tel. Sue 625025 Clayton Tel. Dawn 714586 Knutton Tel. Anny 870853 THURSDAY Newcastle (am & pm) Tel. Claire 787705 Barlaston breath smelling? TUESDAY Tel. Mandi 643931 Dear Doctor, Audley Tel. Dawn 714586 Basford (ladies) I have a problem with bleeding Burslem Tel. Alison 868252 Chell (am & pm) Tel. Cher 634892 Sneyd Green The 3rd Annual North gums and bad breath. I use an electric toothbrush and dental Tel. Nicki 01270 650602 Tel. Eve 874263 Hartshill Tel. Debbie 627924 Cellarhead Midlands Headache Lecture tape, and have been referred to a hygienist. What else can I do? Hanley Tel. Kelly 373553 Tel. Eve 874263 Abbey Hulton Blythe Bridge Migraine and Womens Issues: Hormones, One of the most effective approaches is using a treatment Sarah Brewer Tel. Paula 774260 Tel. Louise 314562 Fenton Tel. Ena 269034 Menstruation, Pregnancy and the Menopause? known as Gengigel (from Sandford Hill Chesterton pharmacies), which contains Second Opinion Tel. Melissa 315455 FIND OUR MORE REGARDING MIGRAINE IN WOMEN: hyaluronic acid. This hydrates Stone Tel. Dawn 714586 the gums and stimulates Tel. Kay 250880 Trentham ● Preventative medication production of collagen to a lot and is hard to settle. Cheddleton Tel. Steph 750652 ● Evidence based Effective Treatments promote new gum formation. Could this be linked? Longport When used after dental treatment A ventouse or suction delivery is Tel. Eve 874263 Tel. Wendyann call 680158 ● Self-help measures to remove plaque, Gengigel a more gentle form of assisted Forsbrook significantly reduces gum delivery than obstetric forceps, WEDNESDAY Longton Tel. Melissa 315455 Wednesday, March 30th 2005 • 7.30 to 9.00 p.m. redness and inflammation. Use a and involves applying a suction tongue scraper to remove device similar to a sink plunger Tel. Mandy 316487 at The Wade Hall, North Staffordshire Medical Institute bacterial accumulations on the to the baby's head. This helps the Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. ST4 7NY tongue which can contribute to doctor pull the baby out as the bad odours. mother pushes down. As you are Speakers: Dr Brendan Davies, Consultant Neurologist from the Drinking green tea or taking worried, talk to your health North Midlands Headache Clinic, University Hospital of extracts of an edible mushroom, visitor who will have a wealth of North Staffordshire and The local Migraine Action Association Agaricus bisporus, can help to advice to offer regarding crying support group neutralise bad breath by and colic, which may be the breaking down malodorous problem. Cranial osteopathy is a Light refreshments will be served bacterial chemicals. It is also gentle complementary technique important to drink at least 2 that is often helpful for crying For more details, please contact: the Neurosciences Department on litres of fluid per day. babies, and involves gentle 01782 554689 manipulation of the head to Admission is free but booking is advisable to ensure a place Dear Doctor, correct distortions caused by a My baby was delivered three prolonged or difficult birth, and is held for you (Tel. 01782 554689) months ago in distress, using to relieve irritability and colic ventouse suction. He now cries which may occur as a result.
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