Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tempus Fugit

I am seemingly forever behind schedule for all the new things I am about to launch. Then I realised it is only me who sets such time constraints and I'm not good with schedules because my concept of time is not the norm. My website will be the last to be addressed as it is the hub for all the other projects.

So what is time? Time is fluid, individual perception varies considerably. For an example to illustrate significant difference in perception we have to compare species. A pigeon sees us coming in what we would call slow-motion, probably why they don't move until the last second. So if you see a pigeon at the same time it sees you and approach it, the same amount of time has passed but your perceived passage of time will differ to that of the pigeon.

Sticking to our own species, a child's day is longer than that of an elderly person. Of course this is nonsense as with the pigeon analogy. In another instance, time flies when you're having fun but drags when you're not. Again it's simply your mind setting it's own chronometer. This beggars the question of whether we can manipulate time. The concept of time travel has always fascinated me but I can't see it being anything other than a one-way trip.

Yes, I've seen and studied the theories concerning possibilities of present to past travel but it's nonsense in my opinion. Trust me, cannot be done. However, present to future is not only possible it can and is done.

The proof is with satellite chronometers. Time supposedly passes at a different rate in space, I'm not sure that is an accurate way to describe it though. It's the fact travelling at high speed will make time pass more slowly, location is irrelevant. If we could travel through space at near the speed of light and return to Earth, significantly more time will have passed on Earth than in space.

In effect this in some way validates stories of 'alien abductees', or even the longevity of 'Gods'. I tend to regard both with a little suspicion yet cannot completely rule them out. All I know is that to travel in time is pointless (unless you are waiting for a species to evolve) due to the one-way nature and the uncertainty the planet will still be habitable in the future.

However if you want to leap into the future just a little way, you will see all the blogs are up and running and the website is fully up to date. Tempus Fugit as the Romans would say.

Monday, 14 August 2017


A while back I took up a challenge to write a short essay based on a random picture I was given. For me it was a test of creativity. Below is the picture and what I wrote.

Can I be creative? Can I write to order or am I only able to reiterate hazy recollections from bygone days. Days when I was fleet of foot and the sky was my ceiling, the world my oyster, and the Bible my guide. At the summit of my youth I would cast disdainful glances at the flotsam spewed out of the sewers of the unscrupulous. These, the dregs of humanity why do they live like that, have they no pride?

The simple answer is no! They have been stripped of any remaining pride by an uncaring government. Youth is wasted on the young and the years brief. Time and experience educate us and I look back at the youth I was with shame. It is too easy to judge others but everybody has a story. See that man over there? He was a war hero. The only thing he has to show for it is the scar of the bullet hole, his medal for gallantry long-since pawned for a bottle of cheap cider to temporarily blot out the nightmares. See that bag-lady there? Her husband drank himself to death after their only son committed suicide. Her husband racked up a lot of debt before he died and unable to cope, she was on the streets in six months. That was seven years ago.

That bloody kid over there as well. The one with the hoodie, smoking and shouting abuse at that man. Yeah that's the one. He was born a heroin addict because of his mother's use of it. His father could be any of the dirty old men kerb crawling in their posh cars, telling their wives they are working late. He will be dead next week when the car he steals crashes into a ditch. Everybody has a story.

The picture that was meant to inspire me and a magnificent sight it is, but all I saw was a cavernous hole and a giant tear-drop. It made me think about so many things and now I realise I can't be creative. I can only say what I have seen.

Rambling's Road

All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All..... well you get the idea.

In life we all want to choose a path and stick to it - well most of us anyway. It will be okay just as long as we stick to the yellow brick road. Unfortunately for all but a very few, that is not quite so simple. Obstacles and distractions blind us and whether by our own decisions or by circumstances beyond our control, we will stray from that path. Life is far more complex than Dorothy's dream sequence (what do you mean spoiler? If you haven't read or seen The Wizard of Oz yet it's your problem).

There are many paths, some paved with gold, others with a succession of pitfalls. There are the yellow brick roads, the paths laid out before us by the powers that be, to get us through life without scraping a knee, or bumping our heads. Dorothy may have realised 'there's no place like home' but for others it is more a case of 'there's no place for home'. Life can be pretty crappy but Darwin had it right in one way. He didn't hold with this 'survival of the fittest' nonsense. Nor did he believe it is the most intelligent who have the upper hand. The key to survival is adaptability.

No matter how good our intentions life will throw us a curve-ball or deliver a googly (nothing to do with Google, Google it). The path we perceive as the correct one is not necessarily so. We have to be adaptable and stray from the path, out of our comfort zone. That path has merely brought us to where we are currently, it's irrelevant, life will not let us regress. Suddenly our plans are derelict and we need to improvise. Rough country ahead is fraught with hidden dangers, but there are also hidden gems along the way. Suddenly the paved road we left behind is mundane, an existential necessity for a quiet life. We are blessed with life, just one. Do we really want to ramble along some imaginary preordained path eking out an existence? Even if we do there is no guaranteed safe route, and ultimately que sera, sera. Or would you rather abandon the mind-numbing monotony and explore.

I have never had any real direction. Every time I think I have found the correct path I find it leading down another route I never expected to go. People can spend their whole life looking for their path, their goal, their destiny. Do they even have one? Now I tend to go with the flow and if it takes me to the wilderness, so be it. I've trodden rough ground before and no doubt will again but destiny has taken me this far and I'm still here where many wouldn't be.

So here I am rambling again. I don't know what lies ahead, but in the grand scheme of things it is inconsequential anyway. So goodbye yellow brick road, I'm off cross country looking for gems and trying to avoid the bear traps. One day I will find my nirvana, I hope you find yours.

Troubled Waters

The storm had raged unabated for days as the Atlantic Ocean tossed the 12,000 tonne ship around effortlessly. It bobbed like a cork as it rose high on the 100 foot swells and seemingly teetered on a precipice, looking for all the world as if about to plummet into an abyss. In a matter of moments the swell became a trough. The wall of water rose so high I had to stoop down and look up out of the wheelhouse windows to see where sea and sky jostled for dominance.

Nerves were jangling, sleep was fitful at best, and the mood was foreboding. We were light ship, on our way to pick up cargo. With little ballast and heavy lifting machinery on deck, the top-heavy ship floundered. This was a new experience for me. I had seen bad weather before but nothing on this scale. The crew were quiet and I could see fear on the faces of most. Someone told me there were no atheists on a sinking ship and I imagined many prayers being said over the past couple of days.

On such a passage automatic steering would normally be used to guide the ship, but it was impossible in this weather. On automatic pilot, if the ship strayed more than ten degrees off course the alarms would sound. Each wave swung the ship's head around by 15 or 20 degrees and it simply couldn't cope. The ship had to be steered by hand.

I took over from the haggard seaman more than willing to hand over the reins. He scuttled off as I tried to balance myself. As the ship rolled I adjusted my legs, stretching one and bending the other to maintain equilibrium. I rocked from side to side rhythmically, as if dancing with Poseidon himself. The Chief Officer gave me some funny looks as I whispered in soothing tones, trying to calm the beast.

Now I'm not suggesting for a moment my urgings had the slightest effect on the ocean but coincidentally the storm began to abate.

In life we will face many difficulties over which we have no control. Although we may not be able to affect the outcome we can still control our reaction and the manner in which we conduct ourselves during such tribulations. Never is sunshine so bright as it is after a storm.

Old Wives' Tales

Some old wives tales handed down over the generations are not all that reliable. So whilst it is true that rubbing a nettle sting with 'doc' leaves works, there are many others that should be readily disregarded.

Ever heard someone say 'We only use 10 per cent of our brains'?

Although you might think you can nominate several pertinent examples, scans show that all of the brain is active and playing a part in our thinking. Even small amounts of damage to the brain will cause mental impairment.

What about 'Sweets and other sugary treats make children hyperactive'?

Repeated studies have shown that children's behaviour is not affected by the amount of sugar they've eaten - although parents rate their children as being more hyperactive if they think they have given them a sugary drink, even if it is, in fact, just water!

Or 'We should drink 8 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration'

There is no scientific evidence to support this widely believed and often followed myth. Tea, coffee, fruit juice - even the food we eat - all provide us with fluid. In fact excessive intake of fluid can damage the body and can even be fatal.

And we all know 'Spinach is high in iron'

Spinach is not at all that rich in iron. Apparently, when it was first measured the decimal point was written in the wrong place, overstating the iron content of spinach by a factor of 10. Spinach contains about 1mg of iron per 100g, whereas dried figs have 4.25mg, roast beef 2.5mg and courgettes 2.4mg.

Every mother knows 'Warm milk helps you get to sleep at night'

Milk contains the enzyme tryptophan which has been linked to the initial stages of sleep - but the amount in a glass of milk probably isn't enough to make us drowsy. However the psychological effect of warm milk at bedtime may be strong enough to put us in the mood for sleep.

One I've never personally believed 'Sick people should rest in bed'

An analysis of studies on the use of bed rest in treatment found that for many ailments staying in bed had no beneficial effect. In some cases it was actually harmful. Sorry, but going back to work/college/school is sometimes the best treatment.

One my mother used to overstate 'You should wear a hat because we lose most of our body heat through our heads'

Our heads don't give off any more heat than any other part of our body. If you are fully clothed then of course most of the heat will leave through your head because it is uncovered, but the same would be true for any other similarly sized body part.

Another one of yours mum 'Too much stress can give you ulcers'

Actually, over 90 per cent of ulcers are caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori.

And my favourite 'If you are stung by a jellyfish you should pee on the sting'

Before you start approaching people on the beach asking them to do the deed, you should know this is not true. There is nothing in urine that can counteract the effects of a jellyfish sting - in fact some stings will be further activated by it. But washing out the sting with warm water may alleviate the pain and prevent further skin damage, so this may be the source of the myth.

So in future before you take to heart some of these myths a little research may save embarrassing situations like your friends trying to piss on you.

Do We Give A Damn?

An Alien Perspective

Why should we give a damn? It is difficult to make a case for mankind in light of thousands of years of barbarianism. Whether the aggressors hide behind the guise of religion, territorial dispute, or sun exposure based pigmentation grouping, there is no doubt current ape-descendants like yourselves do not deserve our help.

Okay, I admit we have a certain soft spot for you after all our interference - albeit with the best intentions - so a certain amount of tolerance is due.

When we gave you the technological advances enabling you to use fossil fuels it was as a stop-gap to enable you to develop other more sustainable energy. We never thought for a moment you would feel the need to completely exhaust the fossil fuel reserves. You have water and wind, not to mention that huge ball of fire in the sky whose power you can now harness on a basic level. Fossil fuels won't last forever and are poisoning the air that you breathe but you continue to use them at an alarming rate. It seems you prefer to amass the shiny yellow metal to living long and healthy lives. Apart from all that it is the fossil fuels that are causing such worldwide unrest!

Stop using fossil fuels!

So what is the alternative? Wind-farms? Hydropower? Geo-thermal Energy? Solar Energy? All possible but unlikely due to your ineptitude at grasping a few basic concepts and the corrupt oil and arms companies that feed off this human misery by stifling any threat to their industry.

Electro-magnetic Energy, as we're so knowledgeably told by the bleeding hearts and artists, causes Leukaemia and Lymphoma among other things.

This is indeed the case!

What they have failed to take into account is that you monkey-men are evolving all the time and whilst there will be casualties you will, in a few generations, be impervious to what is currently deemed harmful in electro-magnetic radiation. So do we give a damn? In the short-term, no, but we are currently in talks with the dolphins as to the fate of Earth once you monkeys have all killed each other.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

I Would Have To Kill You

Accidental Heroes

Now I can't tell you too much or I'd have to kill you. Let's just say.......

Joel was enjoying his latest work detail. He had to paint the ship's funnel with another lad 'Gormless' George. I say 'lad', at nineteen George was a year older than Joel. In all fairness though he made two short planks look like the latest Apple-Mac. The other seamen thought it was an act at first but were quick to lose patience and tag him Gormless. It wasn't that he was dim, far from it when conversation swung to a particular interest of his, he was just...... slow. It's like he was using Google translate. Joel felt sorry for him and if somebody tried to tease George he would chime in and make the person look silly.

It helped George a little in that Joel became part of the joke. Deemed a double act they were referred to as Dumb and Dumber. Now they shared the flak. 'Right if that's what they think, so be it' thought Joel.
"They say we're slow then that's what we will be" Joel said under his breath.
"Huh?" George asked diligently.
"I was just thinking if...." Joel saw the blank look on George's face "never mind"

There was no point trying to explain and it was probably best George didn't know. There was only so slow you could go. George needed no instruction when it came to slow, it was almost like he was going behind Joel and somehow taking the paint off. The bosun hadn't put a time limit on the job. Joel sized it up. It should take a couple of hours, even with two coats they would be finished by lunch.

The clear blue skies complimented the glass-like surface of the Mediterranean. It was too nice to be working inside and Joel thought he could perhaps stretch the job out all day. What he didn't realise was the bosun had allowed all day for the job or Joel might have gone for a second day. The job was easy apart from the very top which couldn't be reached. Joel opened the door to the funnel and squeezed through the narrow gap to the rear where a ladder led to a hatch above.

On top of the funnel was a flat area where Joel sat basking in the sunshine. Taking his time Joel leaned over and added the last touches to the paintwork. It was almost a shame when the lads finished and took the surplus paint down to the store.

The next day the crew were informed they would be taking part in an exercise with the US Navy Seals. There was a buzz of excitement on board. Not because of the exercise but because of the time off it afforded. The idea was for the crew to hide when the Seals boarded the ship. Joel rubbed his hands and pulled George to one side.
"We've got the perfect place" Joel whispered.
"Remember what we were doing yesterday?" Joel hinted.
"Yeah, but where we going to hide?"
"Never mind"

It was probably best Joel didn't tell George until the last minute or he might give it away. Joel sloped off to his cabin and filled a bag with cans of beer. He went up to the funnel deck making sure nobody was watching. Inside the funnel Joel climbed the ladder and opened the hatch-lid. He put the bag of beer on top ready for later.

When the ship's alarms went off signalling the beginning of the exercise Joel grabbed George and led him away. They made their way to the top of the funnel, sat down and opened a beer each. 'This is the life' thought Joel. His joy lasted all of ten minutes. The tannoy crackled.
'Thank you for taking part in the exercise gentlemen. Report to the crew mess for debriefing"

Joel was upset. He had barely finished his first beer. George went to the hatch.
"Let's have at least one more beer before we go down" Joel told him.

As they leisurely drank another beer the tannoy crackled again.
"The exercise is over. Repeat, the exercise is over. All crew members report to the crew mess for debriefing" the voice sounded more authoritative.

George made to move again but Joel had an idea.
"We're on top of the funnel and can't hear the tannoy from up here" Joel said grinning.
"We can, I just heard them say we-"
"You don't do yourself any favours George" Joel said in exasperation.
"Oh I get it" George said when the penny finally dropped.

For the next three hours increasingly agitated calls were made over the tannoy but the lads ignored them. In the end Joel looked at his watch. They had drunk all the beers and it was lunch time.
"Come on then, let's go eat" Joel slurred.

They walked into the crew mess to a hero's welcome. The captain and the Navy Seals were there all eager to shake their hands.

Unknown to Joel and George, the Navy Seals hadn't even bothered looking for the crew. They went straight to the bridge and tannoyed the announcement. When the unsuspecting crew members went to the crew mess they were suddenly confronted by machine guns. The Navy Seals had then spent the best part of four hours scouring the ship for the Joel and George without success.
"So where did you hide" asked one of the Seals.
"I would tell you but I'd have to kill you" Joel responded and everyone laughed.

The US of A

First posted 1st August 2015.....

Ok, no bullshit, I've got to get this off my chest. On Twitter 58% of my followers are American. I'm not one to blow smoke up your arse and say "Have a nice day" if I don't mean it, part of being a Brit I suppose. So what's this all about? I feel uneasy that people like me when I know if I express my thoughts on their nation, they would probably revise their opinion. This is what I feel about America......

First off let's deal with the emotional tie. My thoughts before ever meeting an American. My father was a WWII child. At 14 years old he was man of the house and the bread-winner working down the coal mines while the men were fighting the Nazis. The one thing about us Brits from these generations is no matter how we fight, bitch, moan, and squabble amongst ourselves, in times of crisis we all pull together.

As a child my somewhat blinkered view of WWII led me to believe it was us Brits and our extended family of English speaking nations that saved the world. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and of course America. This naturally endeared me to these countries. Obviously this was a short-sighted view but I'm merely explaining how the 'relationship' developed.

I suppose I first came into contact with Americans as a young teen and just the odd tourist. We made jokes about them. Before PC killed humour we mocked the Irish for being dumb, the Scots for being mean (tight-fisted), the Welsh for their affiliation with sheep, Australians for being convicts, etc. The jokes we told about Americans centred around them being self-obsessed braggarts.

For example, an American was on a tour and kept drawing comparisons "Call that a river, we have bigger puddles in America". He kept going on about how much bigger the cars were, bridges, everything was bigger in America. Fed up he took the tourist into a cafe for a burger. "Our burgers are 10 times that size" he said and the guide replied: "Yeah, over here we make them to fit in our mouths as well"

Ok, not very funny but you get the idea. I didn't mind that too much it was only a trifling thing.

Then when I left school I joined the merchant navy and was fortunate to visit America many times. Florida, New York, Virginia, Hawaii and of course California. Without exception I had a terrific time. I found Americans very warm and welcoming. They were interested in what I had to say (I think they may have thought I was from another planet) and it was easy to build a rapport.

There were only two downsides to my visits, and again they were just trivial. One was the television and in particular the ads that seemed to come on every 5 minutes. It was the nature of the ads I found irritating, they insulted the intelligence. I questioned how people could be so gullible to believe the crap they were being fed. The type of ad I saw would have ensured I would never buy that product.

Then there were all these bloody evangelists, 'give me your money, God needs your money'. Go fuck yourselves, my God ain't short of a few bob. Sorry, still makes me a little angry. So anyway I came away from America with more positives than negatives.

Americans outside of America caused some concern though. It then took me back to my teens when the overall opinion of self-obsession. Although I thought they were generally harmless we did have a mass brawl in Fiji with the crew of a US Coastguard ship. They were clearly used to having their own way and thought they could be disrespectful to a bunch of British seamen, stupid mistake.

Since then, things have steadily deteriorated. I began to hate the way we were being 'Americanised'. It seemed our culture was picking up bad habits from America. Trick or Treat replaced Mischief Night, all of a sudden Easter had some stupid bunny. Again trivia but there were other things. Health & Safety for one. At work I was taken to hospital stitched up and went back to finish the job. Now we are suddenly embroiled in a blame and sue culture. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time but the system was too easy to abuse and people with minor injuries they would shrug off at home were suddenly hospitalised with fake or grossly exaggerated injuries.

[Trick or Treat actually began in Scotland]

Companies are so worried about being sued for an accident, because some moron tripped over a mop that shouldn't be there, we now have Health and Safety gone mad. Kids can't even play conkers any more. A tradition that stood for centuries suddenly banned in schools by H&S idiots simply because one kid in a million was blinded in one eye. We're building a generation of wimps. Then perhaps the thing I hate even more, Political Correctness. Banter is a large part of true Brit humour and thanks to America, PC is killing it. Ok so how come I'm blaming America for PC?

We call each other some horrible names, and we can because we know we're just trying to offend in a non-malicious way. As kids every one of us had a derogatory nickname, including 'Choc-Ice' who was a mixed race kid and one of a group of five of us best-friends. To call him that name today would have people up in arms calling us racist which is simply ridiculous.

It's not always what you say to a person that's offensive it is the way you say it. I hear this 'accidental racism' bollocks. There is no such thing. You're racist or you're not, no middle ground, no selective racism, this is one of the few things in life that is quite ironically, black or white.

Anyway I'm starting to ramble again, the point is I was naive about racism in America and perhaps still am a little. I studied the American Civil War objectively and although slavery was a major issue I became of the opinion that there was a lot more to it than that, and as with most things in life greed was the true issue. I knew about the KKK but dismissed them as a small minority of extremists that every country has similar problems with. As far as I knew racism in America was negligible - or at least at a comparable level to our own - since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

For a long time I kept hearing incidents of racist attacks, but they were sporadic and not well reported over here. In a population of nearly 300m(? Guess) they were unfortunately expected. More recently though since using Twitter I'm seeing more and more of this type of thing and I started looking deeper. The first thing I saw was old footage from WWII where there was racial segregration imposed by the Americans on their own troops.

Of course that grated with the Brits. These guys are putting their lives on the line for you and you want to treat them as second class citizens. WTF?! Are you mental? It made me proud the Brits weren't having any of that crap and invited the coloured guys into their homes.

Some reports and video clips I've seen about racist incidents are deeply disturbing, not only by their nature but also their regularity. For example an unarmed, unresisting, pregnant coloured woman hit and wrestled to the ground by a police officer. In a land where just about everybody has access to a gun, I'd be paranoid as a cop, but this was just barbaric. It is just one of many clips I've seen recently.

There you have it, I've aimed for brevity and only skirted around things or I could have written at least another half a dozen posts on this highly complex topic. People who know me by now will know I'm not one for stereotyping, I don't hate a nation, colour or creed simply because of the actions of a few morons. America is an enigma for me. There is this hypersensitive paranoia, and it's fuelling suspicion and hatred.

For the most powerful nation on Earth you're doing it wrong. A few hundred have stockpiled billions whilst the nation is $18 trillion in debt. You have the power to make a difference if you put aside your greed. We can't do it, the vast majority of England is owned by foreign investment, we're just tenants now. Anyway I'm rambling again, just had to get that off my chest.


Getting things out in the open does alleviate the horrible isolated feeling when a burden is borne alone. I remember my father teaching me a tactical card game (quite odd in itself) and I knew him to be intelligent even though he didn't have the privilege of an education. In the game there are set patterns and rules to follow just as there are in life. The one expression which sticks in memory was the most used 'Circumstances alters cases'. In other words sometimes the situation calls for a different kind of resolution. All I'm saying is I've found that although getting things in the open would be beneficial to many it cannot be universally applied.

I have often written about some of the root causes of depression (bullying, abuse, isolation, etc.) but never really looked at the animal itself. Looking at it, I probably suffered acute depression as a teen but the only known cure to my father was a kick up the arse (it actually worked quite well, but that's me). Thankfully my kids didn't appear to suffer from depression, although I sometimes I wish they could just be a little less happy (joke.... sort of). To those ends my thoughts on depression may not be the same as others, so instead of ramming my beliefs down your throats, I thought I would seek 'professional' help. What I found when searching the internet disturbed me a little in some respects. The article is from a 'teen advice' section of a site purportedly run by professionals.

Below is the article and some of my thoughts.......

Have you been feeling tired, lazy, lonely and sad? Does staying in bed all day seem preferable to going out into the world? Do the things that once made you smile now just seem to annoy you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, and these symptoms have been occurring consistently for a few weeks, then you might be depressed [no shit Sherlock]. Depression is no laughing matter (pardon the bad pun) [forgiven], so make sure you get the help you deserve by visiting your GP immediately.

The first question could have been termed 'Are you a teen?'. The second question could have been termed 'Are you a teen?'. The third question could have been termed 'Are you a teen?'. Now I'm not saying don't go see a GP because 'Circumstances alters cases' but as I remember it I suffered many of these symptoms that could persist for many weeks. The difference is I, like many others, were expected to deal with what was deemed a part of growing up.

What Is Depression?

A lot of people say they are depressed if they've received some bad news, had a bad day, or are feeling so tired that they can't seem to get started. While none of these things are fun, they are not clinical depression either. Clinical depression can be described as a mood so low, and so consistent, that it interferes with your daily life. Doing poorly on a test or having a bad day at work / college is not very nice but it's not depression.

What Are Common Symptoms of Depression?

There are many common symptoms of depression, though those suffering from depression may not exhibit them all. These symptoms include:

  • Unsettled or lack of sleep.
  • An overwhelming feeling of tiredness.
  • An increase in "sleeping in" or afternoon naps.
  • Difficulty concentrating throughout the day.
  • Loss of interest in favourite or previously entertaining activities.
  • Avoidance of classes, clubs, sports teams or social events.
  • Decrease in school / college work and performance.
  • Constant anxiety or frustration.
  • Feeling unable to become motivated or enthusiastic about anything.
  • Loss of, or excessive increase in, appetite.
  • Rapid weight loss or gain.
  • Inability to picture the future.
  • General loss of hope or feeling like giving up.
  • Little effort put into personal hygiene or appearance.
  • Believing that life isn't worth living or having suicidal thoughts.

How is Clinical Depression Diagnosed?

Visiting your GP is the first step towards diagnosing and alleviating depression. During your appointment you will need to be honest with your GP about your behaviour and emotions, and he / she will most likely ask you questions about how you are feeling, your life and any major events that have occurred recently. Your GP may suggest a course of counselling or therapy and refer you to a psychologist or other specialist. [hmm]

How is Depression Treated?

The good news about depression is that there are many options for treatment and all of them have good results. Depending on your circumstances, your doctor may recommend:-

  • A prescription for anti-depressant tablets (often Prozac) to treat your symptoms. [WTF! STOP DRUGGING KIDS FFS!]
  • Counselling to treat any underlying issues.
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy, or "talk therapy" that can help you change the way you think and react to situations.
  • More exercise and a better diet to give you a firm foundation for health.
  • Holistic therapies such as massage or aromatherapy for a natural boost.

Depression is a serious condition that is on the rise among teenagers internationally. Sometimes teenagers are embarrassed about depression and avoid their feelings rather than seek the help that they deserve. If you think that you may be depressed, don't be afraid to confront your feelings head on so that you can get treatment and move on. Don't let depression run, or ruin, your life.

As stated I'm not a doctor, psychologist, therapist, whatever, and  can't dissuade people from visiting a GP because I simply don't know the circumstances. Before you do run out and see your GP to get a course of zombie inducing drugs, try the good old fashioned remedy first.

'Stop wallowing in self-pity and grow a pair' is what my dad would have told me and I suspect it would have been my initial reaction to my sons. I can't say it's right for all, but it worked for me. Depression is just a state of mind, albeit a very difficult one to deal with sometimes. I still get depressed occasionally but that is just a by-product of modern life. Without the lows you cannot fully appreciate the highs. I generally deal with it by becoming angry with myself for allowing it to happen. It passes quickly.

Seriously guys genuine clinical depression is not funny so if you have any doubts it is better to be safe than sorry and seek help. I lost a friend to suicide and failed to see the signs. They were there in hindsight but it was of course too late then. Don't you make the same mistake.

A friendly smile can change a life forever, think about that!