Society and culture can often place extreme burdens on the first-born child in a family. Being the eldest child in the family often entails additional responsibilities, expectations, and demands. Different cultures exhibit this tendency in varying degrees, though the added pressure and importance of the first-born has sometimes been seen as a universal trait. However, given the right psychological conditions, a first-born child can mentally collapse under such responsibilities, with effects ranging from developing an anxiety disorder to severe case of performance anxiety.Parents from different countries and cultures usually expect the first-born child to be the one to carry on the family name, as well as help maintain the family's reputation. In the modern environment, this tends to include the expectation of performing well in the academic, personal, and professional realm. Children are oftentimes expected to perform as well if not exceed the performance and achievements of their parents. In some lower class families, the expectation also includes bringing in the extra money needed by the family for its daily survival. The eldest son or daughter is also expected to help with the bills in the house as well to send the younger siblings to school. These pressures generate resentment, frustration, and a deeply-rooted sense of status anxiety and social anxiety.For first-born children in the higher classes of a particular society, the more prevalent problem is a combination of "status anxiety" and "performance anxiety" . The problem here stems not from the desire to better one's status, but to maintain the current status and preserve the family's collective social reputation. As such, first-born children are groomed to either be mirror images of their parents, or a reflection of the hopes and dreams the parents had when the child was born. The personal identity becomes blurred with concepts such as filial duty and social status, essentially fostering an individuality only when it is in accordance with social and familial values and demands. While they have little concern over "social anxiety" , the psychological need to maintain the family's position often results in a form of performance anxiety, as the performance of the child is inevitably compared to anything and everything possible. In some cases, the child is compared to his parents, though parents are more likely to compare the child to his peers.For members of royalty or long, noble bloodlines, there is an even greater pressure. Those who are from so-called noble or aristocratic families sometimes grow up with a social anxiety that drives them to live up to the reputation of their forebears. People with famous ancestors also feel the pressure of having the same achievements as those of their well-known predecessors. The problem comes when people inevitably compare the ancestor to the descendant; a comparison that typically shows favor towards the ancestor. This can sometimes cause a child to feel performance anxiety, rendering them unable or unwilling to even attempt to achieve anything on their own, fearing the unfair comparisons that they expect to come.All of these demands and pressures can sometimes come together to snap the first-born and make them lash out in a variety of ways. Some reject the responsibilities altogether and actively endeavor to be the exact opposite of what is expected of them. Others develop an "anxiety disorder" that effectively cripples their ability to fulfill their duties, despite their willingness to do so. A few decide to isolate themselves not only from society, but from their own families. In some instances, people have observed that the first-born exhibits what can only be described as a fear of success, resulting from the inability to cope with the high expectation that he was raised with and has blown out of proportion. In rare cases, the pressure builds to the point that the only way to relieve it is to embrace ---- madness.
Copyright 2006 Jeremy CockerillMany seniors who have signed up for the Medicare Prescription Drug plan are shocked to find out that they are already hitting the dreaded gap in coverage known as the doughnut hole. During this gap in coverage, between $2250 and $5100 in prescription drug spending, Medicare Part D participants lose coverage, must continue to pay their monthly premiums and are 100% responsible for paying for their medications themselves. Once they hit the "doughnut hole" , this massive jump in monthly medication expenditures makes it very difficult for some Plan D participants to cope financially.In a recent Business Week article, Bruce Stuart, director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy & Aging at the University of Maryland, estimated that about 38% of Medicare beneficiaries are at risk of hitting the doughnut hole this year. This estimation means that 7 million to 10 million participants could hit the doughnut hole and lose coverage for part of this year.Seniors were expecting to receive a benefit that would help them save money all year long and now they are getting slapped with massive monthly medication bills part way through the year. says Jeff Uhl, president of Universal Drugstore, a Canadian mail-order pharmacy. Our customers are really angry about having to pay full U.S. retail price once they hit the doughnut hole and they are rushing back. People are realizing that they can save much more filling their prescription with our pharmacy once they hit the doughnut hole.At an average savings of 42% less than U.S. retail prices, individuals can find substantial savings filling their prescriptions at a licensed Canadian Pharmacy once they reach the doughnut hole. The $2850 worth of medications that individuals have to pay for personally while in the coverage gap would cost an average of 42% less in Canada. That means that instead of paying $2850 for their medications while in the doughnut hole, an individual could purchase the exact same medications, in Canada, for about $1650.As an example, someone ordering Lipitor 20mg through their Medicare Part D plan while in the doughnut hole would have to shell out $348 dollars for a 90 day supply. The same 90 day supply of Lipitor 20mg is a much more reasonable $195 at Universal Drugstore. That is a savings of $153 dollars or 44% less.U.S. seniors need to be told about this option, Uhl urges. Seniors who hit the donut hole but are not going spend enough to come out on the other side of the "donut hole" are being duped if they buy their drugs through their Medicare plan while experiencing this gap in coverage. By purchasing their medications from Canada while they are in the donut hole these individuals can truly maximize their savings.A recent Los Angeles Times article reported that the gap in coverage could change next year to between $2400 and $5,451. This would mean an even bigger gap in coverage next year and therefore more money out of Part D participants pockets. How big the coverage gap will grow in future years can only be speculated.Although purchases at Canadian pharmacies do not count towards an individuals out-of-pocket expenses Medicare Part D participants may want to consider using a Canadian pharmacy. Using a Canadian Pharmacy in the right situations can provide substantial savings to seniors. Some people suggest that seniors use a Canadian pharmacy when a drug is not covered by their plan or when they reach the $2850 gap in coverage but will not reach the other side of the donut hole where they can take advantage of the catastrophic coverage portion of Part D.With all the confusion with Medicare Part D plans it is difficult for seniors to know what is their best course of action. For many Medicare-eligible individuals using a Canadian pharmacy as a part of their annual prescription drug purchasing game plan is something they should seriously consider.
How about those fabulous bike rides in the park! What about grilling barbeque on the deck? Are you down for a little surfing and tanning on the beach? Summer will be upon us in less than six weeks. Not only do we want to enjoy the warm months that are rapidly approaching, we want to look like we are enjoying them.It doesnt matter if it is ten, twenty, forty, or seventy pounds, just get started!Weight loss should be slow and steady, while focusing on cutting calories and increasing exercise. It is important to refrain from overexerting yourself. Weight loss takes time.I have never been one to acknowledge or accept the idea of dieting. The true meaning of dieting is counting and managing your calories for a specific amount of time in order to reach a target weight goal. This concerns me because it is temporary. What happens when you resume your normal eating habits? You gain weight!I believe in making a complete paradigm in the way we think about food. You can do this by establishing good eating habits. Why not establish a habit of consuming 500-600 calories for breakfast instead of 1,500? If you replace muffins, bagels, pancakes, sausage, grits and bacon with fruit, turkey bacon, cottage cheese, grain cereal, or yogurt, you will probably find yourself 10 pounds lighter on breakfast alone. Do the same for lunch and dinner and lose an additional 10-20 pounds. Wait until you add exercise into the equation.Exercise for thirty minutes per day, four to five times a week and watch additional pounds drop.Of course, this takes determination and discipline. Yet, habits are habits. Once you get used to a routine of eating certain foods, it becomes second nature. Weight management not only helps you look better, but helps you feel better. You will begin to notice an increase in energy and an improvement in health.It is important to monitor the amount of cholesterol you consume. Diets high in cholesterol can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. Be sure to get a cholesterol screening on a regular basis. Eat fish at least twice a week, preferably those with darker flesh, such as, salmon, herring mackerel, and lake trout. They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which lower blood cholesterol.It is also important to eat foods that will not contribute to high blood pressure. Limit your alcohol intake to less than two drinks per day, limit your salt intake, and reduce the saturated fat in your diet. Saturated fat can be found in animal products like milk, cheese, and meat. Let go of the cigarettes or tobacco products! Smoking increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.Try nonfat yogurt, salsa, or nonfat sour cream instead of sour cream or butter on baked potatoes. Try substituting fresh vegetables and tomatoes sauce for creamy sauces, when eating pasta.Substitute basic breads and cereal grains for bagels, muffins, and croissants.A diet high in fruits and vegetables will help you ward off cancer and other diseases because of the cancer-fighting agents contained in them. They contain a lot of fiber and a diet high in fiber decreases your risk of developing colon cancer and other types of cancer. Fruits and vegetables also contain Vitamin A (beta carotene) and C, both of which contain cartenoids and antioxidants. Cartenoids can also be found in dark leafy vegetables, carrots, cantaloupe, papaya, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Additional sources of Vitamin C are strawberries, oranges, broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes. It is always best to lightly steam your vegetables. The closer they are to being raw, the higher their nutritional value.People have asked me how exercise can give you energy. It seems as though it takes your energy away because you utilize so much energy when you exercise. This is the farthest thing from the truth. The more you exercise and lose weight, the more energy you get and keep because you are carrying less weight, which takes less energy. The more you exercise, the more you are able to exercise.After you get your weight to a manageable level, monitor or keep a close eye on it. Weigh yourself everyday. That way, you can take measures or do things to nip sudden weight gain. If you find yourself five or ten pounds heavier than your target weight, you should cut back immediately. It becomes a problem when we wait until we are 30, 60, or 100 pounds overweight. It can feel like youre fighting a losing battle when your weight gain has become too extreme.It is a good idea to make a list of different ways to incorporate walking into your daily life. If you live near a metro transit station, drive there, park your car and ride the train and walk to work. If you are a new mother, get a stroller that will enable you to burn calories while you are walking your baby. Why not take the stairs, instead of the elevator? You would be surprised at how many calories you can burn by gardening, swimming, skating, hiking, and dancing. Believe it or not, you can have fun while losing weight. Exercise, along with a positive attitude, and a healthy diet will help you to manage your weight and improve your health. Exercise does not have to be rigorous to be valuable. You will probably do yourself a disservice by exercising too hard. Take it easy. Just gradually build up your resistance to a manageable level. Always remember that if you can not talk and walk at the same time, then you are walking too fast.If you have any of the following health problems, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Heart trouble Dizziness or faintness Chest pains Diabetes High blood pressure ArthritisHow to prepare food for a good diet and low calories: Eat Fish at least twice a week, preferable baked, broiled, or grilled. Reduce serving size to 2-3 ounces. To reduce fat, use lean poultry and fish, as well as, lean cuts of meat such as top and bottom round and tenderloin. Avoid second servings. Feel free to replace some meats with beans or grains. Eat at least three to five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Fruit like kiwi, figs, apples, raspberries, and blueberries are high in fiber and nutrition. Vegetables such as, broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, chili peppers, red bell peppers, squash, sweet potatoes and tomatoes have high nutritional value and are great anti-oxidants (contain cancer-fighting agents). Eat whole-grain, whole-wheat bread, pasta, tortillas, and cereals daily Eat cooked dry beans, peas, and lentils regularly Eat popcorn with no added oil, salt, or butter. Drink skim milk or 1% milk You should drink at least 24 ounces of water per day, especially since you will be exercising. Limit the oil you use for cooking Steam your vegetables or saut using wine or a half teaspoon of oil Use herbs and spices for seasoning, instead of sauces and butter Salads should be eaten with fat-free dressing or a combination of red wine vinegar and oil Drink a glass of water in the morning when you wake Limit your consumption of lean, red meat to no more than four times per monthCopyright 2006 by Pamela Jewell, M.Ed., Ed.S.
Fear is a natural human response. It is as natural as breathing air or eating food to live. In fact, fear is a part of survival instinct.But in some parts of the world, fear is simply not acceptable. Anxiety and fear are seen as a weaknesses that cannot be allowed. In some cultures, ruthlessness is tempered by honor, and the rise to power is determined by one's dedication to duty. To attain honor and power, one must live by a strict code wherein fear and anxiety are treated as grave offenses, and as powerful tools. For the Yakuza, a Japanese secret society that has existed for centuries, signs of weakness among its members is not tolerable. On the other hand, their organization thrives and rules based on the weakness of people outside the confines of the ancient fraternity. The Yakuza is reputedly behind almost every illegal activity in Japan from prostitution, game-fixing, and smuggling, to illicit drugs and protection rackets. For the Oyabun or masters of the Japanese underworld, anxiety can be compared to a sword with no handle. To grasp the blade and strike is to invite harm upon yourself. But a sword with a fine handle can be held and used to cut through anything that goes against the plans and desires of the Boryukudan, which is comparable to the power, influence, and violence associated with the Italian Mafia or the Chinese Triads.Japanese organized crime is different from all other criminal organizations in the sense that their activities are carried out in the open, often in the direct line of sight of the police. The Yakuza clans flaunt their power and influence by running operations that go around the technical restrictions of Japan's rigid legal system. For example, pachinko parlors that feature Japanese-style pinball and slot machines is are actually gambling joints allegedly run by organized crime. Despite strict anti-gambling laws, these parlors were able to operate by using balls as the winnings. The pachinko player can use these balls to play more games or to exchange them for prizes. By eliminating money from the gambling process, the pachinko parlors can continue to rake in millions every single day for organized criminal organizations.The existence of the Yakuza is actually allowed in Japan despite its alleged links to criminal activities. This organization has an incomparable level of freedom to operate. The different Yakuza clans or families even have their own office buildings that are regarded as corporate headquarters. It may be unusual in other parts of the globe but the Boryukudan is actually accepted as part of Japanese society. With its high level of social acceptance, manifestations of anxiety or fear among Yakuza members is seen as a dishonor not only to the person concerned but also for his organization. Failure to accomplish a task or actions that are thought to have brought dishonor to the clan have corresponding consequences. A Yakuza member who has failed his master and organization may be asked to cut his own finger as a sign of regret and penance. In more serious cases, a member may be expected to commit seppuku, an act of suicide using a short sword. The Yakuza member will thrust the sword and cut it across his stomach, after which, another member will use another sword to cut the head of the one who committed the ritual suicide. Aside from its code against the demonstration of fear, the Yakuza deliberately threatens people to create anxiety. Intimidation is actually one of the most effective weapons in the Yakuza's arsenal. The Japanese underworld understands the Machiavellian concept that a single act of brutality can be more effective in controlling the masses than a number of attacks with less atrocity. To this end, the Japanese employ subtle methods and cultivate anxiety when they deal with ordinary citizens. Using their brand of psychological warfare, the Yakuza is able to inflict nightmarish terror among helpless civilians, and at the same time, use lethal violence on anyone who dared get in their way. The power of the Yakuza clans is legendary in Japan, and allows even a new Yakuza operative to elicit anxiety and fear by their mere presence.However, it is a misconception to think of the Yakuza as a group of bullies or thugs in the traditional sense. Most people simply give in to the demands of the syndicates after hearing rumors of just how dangerous the Boryukudan members can be if a person refuses to pay protection money, or if they cheated out of a business deal. For those who have made deals with them, the Yakuza is often found willing to fulfill their end of the bargain.The Yakuza is a phenomenon is crime history that continuous to fascinate people even as it hounds their adversaries in law enforcement. Based on how it operates today in and outside of Japan, it is possible that it would continue to expand its criminal empire through its rigid code of honor, and tools of fear, intimidation, and violence.
Smoking is a very hard habit to quit. When smoking, it makes the person feel relaxed, and in some way makes one feel less stressed. Especially during work breaks, or going out with friends for a drink, smoking always comes as some sort of necessity. It can calm down the throbbing nerves of a drunk person, or it may take away the stress and adrenaline from all the stressful situations in a person's everyday life. Either way, smoking can temporarily relieve the stress of one person, but that one stick of cigarette can actually lead to a dreaded disease or even a fatal illness. Quitting smoking can be easy to say and a frequently heard advice given to smokers. But in reality, quitting is complicated, hard, and not very amusing to smokers. This could mean the end of the world to others (a little exaggeration won't hurt), or having a drastic change in their lifestyle. Moreover, quitting is all about the self, and if the person is wholeheartedly open to quitting smoking, then they will become successful. Otherwise, it could be a waste of time for them, since they are not open to the possibility of a healthier life after quitting smoking. The effects of smoking can vary from physical appearance to risky health conditions. Tar in cigarettes can coat the lungs and eventually lead to lung and throat cancer. Nicotine is also responsible for the yellow brown stains on the smoker's fingers and teeth. The carbon monoxide in cigarettes robs the muscles, brain, and blood of oxygen, thus making the body (especially the heart) work much harder. Over time, this can cause the airways to narrow, and the blood pressure to rise, leading to heart attacks and strokes. High levels of carbon momoxide and nicotine can also increase the risk of heart disease, hardening of the arteries, and other circulatory problems. Moreover, research has shown that there is a small difference between the amount of chemicals inhaled by those people who smoke light or low tar cigarettes and those who smoke regular cigarettes. People who smoke light cigarettes have the same risk of developing smoking-related diseases as people who smoke regular cigarettes. so either way, whatever brand of cigarette one smokes, the "effects of smoking" would still be the same. The effects of smoking can be seen immediately, and can be experienced as soon as one puffs that cigarette. First, there is an initial stimulation, followed by a reduction in the brain and nervous system activity. Enhanced alertness and concentration is also felt, together with a feeling of mild euphoria, feelings of relaxation, increase in blood pressure and heart rate. However, the negative effects of smoking will be immediately experienced. The smoker will suffer from a decrease in blood flow to body extremities like the fingers and toes, dizziness, nausea, watery eyes, and high acidity in the stomach, and a decrease in appetite, taste, and smell. Long term effects of smoking leads to more than 140,000 hospital episodes and 19,000 deaths, with principal diagnoses such as cancer, heart diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Passive smoking can also cause a number of health problems including heart disease, lung cancer, and irritation of the eyes and nose. When one sees this from a bird's eye view, everyone is at risk for smoking cigarettes, be it a smoker or a nonsmoker.