Friday, June 23, 2017

Overcome your anxiety

Anxiety disorder is one of the mental illnesses we encounter most frequently. It resembles depression because most depressive patients often feel anxious. But its dominant symptom is not a depressive mood but anxiety.

Anxiety is one of the human emotions we have to get along with since the ancient era. As we feel anxious, we can examine a plan to carry out the project. Anxiety makes you distant from potential dangers. Thus, this annoying emotion is essential for survival.

However, excessive anxiety is not only useless for your life but also harmful. Some patients cannot take a train because of the fear they encounter an accident. Hypochondriac patients check their physical status repeatedly, unnecessarily, and it leads them rather more anxious.

Researchers suggest anxiety disorder is also a serious disorder as well as depression. It lowers our productivity and even reduces life expectancy.

Then, how can we overcome anxiety?

Cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as medication, is said to effective to reduce your anxiety level. But there are not so many therapists available in the clinical setting. In Japan, few patients meet a specialist for proper treatment.

One simple but effective option against anxiety is not to address it. “Do it badly” is a strong strategy if you suffer from anxiety. Perfectionism is a common obstacle to keep you from relaxation.

The Conversation: Surprising ways to beat anxiety and become mentally strong – according to science

In this article above, you are recommended to “wait to worry,” as well as doing badly. Indeed, it is said that 90% of your worries are not realized. The rest 10% is to be addressed seriously. But it is not too late to treat it when you notice that they are real challenges.

It is also a good solution to worry about others instead of yourself. When you are in the cloud of anxiety, you cannot see other persons. When you think of others, you may be free from unreal fears of your surroundings.

In Japan, Morita therapy was born to overcome anxiety. Morita said that you have to let your anxiety as it is. His idea is consistent with the concept of mindfulness. I believe Morita therapy is one of the strongest option of treatment strategy of anxiety disorder.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Logan, impressive but destructive as well as intrusive

I saw "Logan" in cinema. It is the last movie of Wolverine acted by Hugh Jackman.

It describes the US in 2025. For a couple of decades, there have been no mutants born. Thus, mutants are in the peril of extinction. And Wolverine is also suffering from aging. For unknown reasons, his healing factor is no more effective.

Furthermore, to be surprised, Professor X has dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. He misconducted the telepathy to damage large people one year ago. Since then, he has been forced to take tranquilizers regularly by Wolverine.

What a dystopia it is! Logan begins with such a miserable opening.

And, he finds Laura, a mysterious girl with mutant power. Her ability is quite similar to Wolverine's. And her guardian begs Wolverine to bring her to Eden, a utopia for mutants.

Professor X has expected that she would be hope for all mutants. But Wolverine is skeptical to the existence of Eden. And they are attacked by Donald Pierce, a cyborg, and his troop.

In the middle of the movie, Wolverine notices that Eden is merely an image in the comic book of X-MEN. He feels desperate. But, after reaching the place of Eden, he is astonished to know the true meaning of it.

Eden itself does not exist. But, there are some guys who believe it. And they can build Eden.

The atmosphere of this movie is quite dark. Most fans of X-MEN do not want to see old Wolverine and fool Professor, I guess. And I believe that the director deliberately wanted to terminate the X-MEN series with launching this work.

Laura is a charming girl. But she does not know most rules of the community because no one told her. Her rude and merciless behaviors are often annoying. In addition, she is frequently involved in gore scenes. I do not like making a young actress play such bloody actions.

The history of X-MEN is ended by Logan. I hope to see a new series some day. And it would have been better if I had been able to see Ian McCarran in this film.

Personal Rating: 3 (fair)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

American student arrested to be dead in North Korea

Very recently, an American student was victimized by North Korean force.

Otto Warmbier was a 21-year-old student at the University of Virginia. He was arrested by the police in North Korea for "hostile acts against the state," according to the North Korean authority. Actually, he was said to have attempted to pilfer a propaganda poster. He was sentenced to 15 years forced labor.

And recently, the North Korea released him to the US because he became unconscious. At the time he was moved to the US hospital, he was in the coma state. North Korea said it was due to contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill. Finally, he died without recovering the consciousness.

The Washington Post: North Korea’s outrageous mistreatment of a U.S. student must not go unpunished

It is not surprising that the US media condemn North Korea. But, there are multiple points of view to be considered.

First of all, the report of North Korea is far from trustworthy. Many people, including me, suspect he was tortured to be dead in North Korea. It is rare botulism toxin and a sleeping pill takes a life of a healthy young man.

Second, even if he committed a crime in North Korea, I never believe his act deserves to 15 years imprisonment. But, there are considerable variations in the penal legislation among nations. We have to respect each country's culture unless it is insulting other people's right. And the human right is a concept more complicated than it looks.

And finally, I wonder why he was released. I do not believe the official report of North Korea that it was decided according to a humanitarian point of view. I would have been not surprised if North Korea had concealed the full facts and had reported that he was missing. Therefore, North Korea considered that it would be advantageous to release him. His fatal damage was not planned for North Korea, perhaps.

Anyway, I pray for Otto. And I hope there will never be next victims.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Grenfell Tower fire accident

In London, there was a fire accident on June 14th, 2017.

Grenfell Tower, an official apartment with 24 levels located in West London was surrounded by the firestorm. At least 79 people were dead in this incident.

The Telegraph: Grenfell Tower: 79 people now presumed dead in London fire, police confirm

Grenfell Tower was built in 1974. It is suspected that this building did not meet the standard of protection from fire. The residents had expressed a worry about fire. But the administrating company might ignore their complaint.

It seems that the fire was immediately spread to the full range of the building. It means that normal precaution was not equipped in this building. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said that it was a preventable accident caused by years of neglect by the local council and successive governments. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, announced the necessity of the entire investigation.

BBC News: Latest updates as fire recovery continues

London City has several old buildings. Aged infrastructure may be a risk for disaster. Two years ago, I saw a fire accident at Holborn. It might be caused by crippled electric hoses.

My past entry: Fire accident at Holborn, London

In Japan, the building standard was amended after some accidents. I expect London will be safer with detailed investigation of this sad event.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Macron's party won the general election

Recently, a general election of Parliament was conducted in France. As expected, Macron's party grabbed the victory.

In France, Parliament vote is carried out twice in each term. As a result, La République en Marche (LREM) which Macron belongs to got a total of 360 seats in the 577. Gaining the majority, Macron will administer the government with ease.

However, it does not mean most French people is on the side of Macron. His political ideology is rather central. Thus, his supporters are widely distributed from right to left. People who love nationalism but do not trust Le Pin also voted to LREM. As well, a part of supporters of Hollande, the ex-President, seems to have joined to LREM for the victory of this poll.

In addition, the turnout of this election was lowest ever before since the Fifth Republic was established. The voting rate was less than a half.

Aljazeera: France's Macron wins strong parliamentary majority Macron completes electoral grand slam amid record-low turnout

Some people suggested it means indifference of the citizens to the election. But, I believe one of the reasons was the high likelihood Macron's winning. People would not vote if noticing that their vote would have no impact on the outcome.

France is often subjected to a terror attack by ISIS and other extremists. The fact Macron won has multiple meanings. French citizens are rational and willing to seek a solution other than excluding immigrants. At the same time, they may have no panacea to fix the current situation. Macron's LREM will be facing a great challenge.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Healthy obesity is an illusion

Metabolic syndrome is one of the most important concepts for promoting your physical health. High blood pressure, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and visceral fat are called as "the death quartet," meaning significant risk factors for sudden death.

However, there are many people who are obese but not having unhealthy symptoms or abnormality. Are they need to lose the body weight?

The answer according to the clinical evidence is "yes." So far, some data have suggested that obesity is an independent factor of premature death.

And now, a result of a longitudinal study with a large sample size was published. The outcome shows that obese people have 50% higher risk of heart failure. Thus, there is no "healthy obesity."

The Guardian: No such thing as 'fat but fit', major study finds

However, only 50% increase of the risk is not so impressive. There are many other risk factors other than obesity. And genetic characteristics are also highly likely to influence the risk. It is unsure you should reduce the weight with accepting serious suffer.

In Japan, there is no word meaning "healthy obesity." Recently, "Pocchari" is used to suggest fat but pretty girls. But it does not include any meaning of health. Japanese are relatively difficult to become obese, perhaps due to genetic issues and diet style. Therefore, obese Japanese are seldom deemed as healthy.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Harm of social media: a study

In every era, a novel thing is subjected to criticism. And social media are not an exception.

A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Sheffield was published recently. According to them, social media such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are harmful to youth's mental health.

The Guardian: Facebook and Twitter 'harm young people's mental health'

They examined several measures in thousands of participants. The result showed that social media users had less sleep and were more anxious. Girls also tended to have negative body image. They created a model formula to estimate the relationship between the time spent at social media and their life satisfaction. As a conclusion, some social media were harmful to the youth.

SSRN: Social Media Use and Children's Wellbeing

This paper is too difficult for me to examine its validity. Some economists were involved in this survey. On the other hand, psychiatric professionals were less engaged in this study. I think it is doubtful they could measure the participants' life satisfaction exactly.

In addition, there is a possibility of reverse causality. People who are indulged in social media tend to suffer from some kind of mental illness or dissatisfaction. Participants who use social media extremely much time can be addictive.

Indeed, some other researchers are doubtful to the validity of this study.

Furthermore, if social media is rather harmful to us, it is almost impossible to ban them from our daily life. Early exposure and education about how to treat them are essential.