1. bill ball - January 14, 2018 @ 7:42 pm

    Hello Al

    An interesting talk today.

    On keeping a diary. Sadly it is a dying art. Facebook is our modern diary. This is a shame, because historically the diary has been a significant literary form – from Samuel Pepys to Virginia Woolf. The art of letter writing is also dying with the modern technology of the smart phone & email.

    On mindfulness techniques. I was interested in your reference to panic attacks. I suffer from them. Often I will go for weeks or months without one. But when they kick in it is frightening. If you recall the old Disney film “Herbie”. Herbie was a VW Beetle with a mind of its own. If it took a notion to head off, the driver would spin the steering wheel or hit the break pedal in vain. He was not in control. That is how I feel with a panic attack. I was prescribed beta blockers. Self help techniques simply do not work when things get that bad. You needs meds. Strong meds.

    Would meditation or mindfulness work in keeping these attacks at bay? Personally, I doubt it. You are not aware of the elastic band being stretched until it snaps. I never knew how stressed my job was making me until I had a massive panic attack in the staff room one day. Next thing I knew was the green jumps suits of a couple of paramedics were pushing through the fog & asking how I felt.

    Living in the moment is fine – as long the moment is OK. There is usually a trigger [for me at least] that brings on an anxiety attack. That doesn`t mean you see it coming.

    We need to talk about mental illness. All of us. It is absurd that in the 21st century that there is a still a similar taboo about this to that which the Victorians had about sexually transmitted diseases.

    Mental health care is still the Cinderella service of the NHS . We will never defend it, unless we talk about it.

    On President Trump. Don`t worry. Most folks are not going to associate the word genius with him – even subliminally.

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