“Sticks and Stones may Break my Bones….But Words will Never Hurt Me”

I was 11 or 12 in high school and I remember the vice-head saying this aloud in assembly.

Sticks and stones may break my bones….but words will never hurt me.”

This message stuck in my head because, a couple of days earlier I had received a scrunched up note from someone in my class, with quite nasty remarks, and it was something that stuck in my head. (Up until today!!)

Being of such a naive and young age, it was exactly what I needed at that time, and I was impressed. Yes. That’s right. I was impressed. I wasn’t bullied physically in school. No. But at phases in high school I have had nasty words been said to me. And this quote actually grew on me…. I mean anything is better then physical pain and bruises?! Right?….Right?

But how true is this really?

Emotional pain is usually disregarded because it cannot be seen. If a person is suffering from a ‘broken heart’ for example, we advise a person to get over it, over a couple of days, we may even get fed up of the person dealing with it. Yet with a ‘broken leg’ we are likely to sympathise until the cast is off, and the person is walking again.

So the same can be said of Verbal abuse. We have a tendency to tell people to forget it, and ignore it without thinking of the consequence, the actual emotional and mental frustration the person could potentially be going through. I myself have been told on numerous occasion not to say anything back, because its not good to ‘stoop’ to the levels of others. But as I grow older i’m realising that it is not good to push this aside, especially when it comes to children.

With the younger generation being more cognitively, and emotionally sophisticated than was understood before. Warning signs have to be looked into earlier. Studies have shown that children who have been bullied in school are more likely to struggle later on in life, whether that be in relationships, in the workplace, or mentally within themselves.

The concept of Bullying has been around for years, its nothing new, and in all honesty unfortunately it will be around forever. However bullying for the younger generation is a completely different culture to that of my age. With the uprising of social media emotional bullying is more evident. It’s called ‘Cyber Bullying’. And the worst part of cyber bullying is… That it’s permanent and it has a wide reach. There is a scar that can be found on the internet, and usually accessed by loads of people.

With Social media it is so much more easier to spread a rumour, to share a embarrassing or humiliating picture or video, to ‘tag’, ‘share’ or even comment on a common page- for the WORLD to see. And the worse part is, it can all be done Anonymously. And a child or adult cannot get away from it, they cannot run away home or a safe place. The internet is something we have access to everywhere and is always with us.

Bullying can make a person feel lonely and worthless, they may develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, lack of appetite, or even go into substance abuse all of which has impact on the health of the individual.

So Sticks and Stones can break Bones, but Words can actually be detrimental to mental health. And both forms of bullying should be looked into.

Signs a person is being bullied include :

Random bruises, withdrawal symptoms (wanting to be alone or not talking much), loss of appetite, changes in behaviour (getting more angry at home for no reason), constant stomach aches or headaches. Loss of confidence, missing personal belongings, Mood swings.

A person who goes through bullying tends to shy away to talk to loved ones on most occasions. If you do notice signs that you may think a loved one is experiencing bullying here’s a few helplines that may be useful for yourself and the loved one:

Youngminds Crisis Messenger:

Text YM to 85258

A 24 hour text service for individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Text are free from most service providers.

Childline: http://www.childline.org.uk or 24 hour helpline 0800 1111

If you are 19 or under, then either call in or email the above helpline. Online chatting is also available on the website.

The Mix: http://www.themix.org.uk or 0808 808 4994

For 25 and under, once again can either call or email, or go online for online chat service with specialised staff

Always look out for signs in friends, family or children, if they become reserved, obtrusive, angry, irritable. Sometimes it’s a sign of mental health issues.

And more importantly #saynotobullying.

Love and regards

M11bna

Are we all just Drug Addicts?

Years ago I remember looking at my mother in law’s kitchen cupboard- a whole shelf dedicated to medicine.

My mother in law suffers from mild depression, has varicose veins, has high BP and has suffered a tumour in the brain. My father in- law is a diabetic and has suffered a heart attack, and also has high blood pressure. Both of them together take probably up to 30 tablets a day between them, and most of the tablets are their to counter off the side attacks that the first tablet gives.

A viscious cycle.

I couldn’t understand it. It was beyond my naive mind of reasoning .I would see them both take these medications, up to 3 times a day for years on end, and yet although they are up and about- they have not had any improvements? What is the porpose then? Has their body become immune to the medication? Is it all in the brain? Could the body not function without it? Would they really get worse if they slowely- stopped taking some of the medication?

At my house all I had was a small box and that had Calpol for the Boi, A Paracetamol packet, a Nurofen packet, a Bongela and Cough medicine. And that’s how it had been for years. We use to renew our cough medicine and Paracetamol and Nurofen every time it went out of date because we weren’t using it. Ever.

That was then.

Fast forward a couple of years- I opened the medicine cabinet in my own house. I have 2 shelves full of medication, and yes with my constant suffering of tooth pain- I’m a pill popper.

How and when did this happen?

Well, firstly . The damn tooth, so we have got Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Amoxicillin, Oragel, Pain out, Clove oil. Then I suffer from menorrhagia – so I have Transexamic acid on standby along with naproxen. I’m also anaemic….and then the hubby has a heart condition- and let’s not get into the details of the medication there.

Not to forget the standard cough medication, for dry cough, for wet cough, night nurse, and every other cough medicine you can think of. Eye drops, milk of magnesia, Iron supplements, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and now ….. (Breathes heavily) I’ve emptied my whole cupboard out, so I’m going to have to clean up and put it all away.

When did we become these pill popping drug addictive humans? Are we all conditioned to turn into this?

Alternative medicine is becoming popular, and I’m noticing that even doctors are willing to talk about this alongside medicine. I am a big fan of it, but in all reality on most cases it only offers an temporary solution. For example- clove oil for my tooth. It gives me relief for a couple of hours but then I’m back in pain, and the ‘over the counter’ medications work longer and better.

So how do we get away from this drug culture? What Evan is a Drug? Medication is a drug, toxic drugs is a drug. Do alcohol, nicotine and caffeine come into drugs? They are all addictive?

With my condition, how do I Evan get away from the medication that’s prescribed to me?

A Lifestyle change would probably be the best answer, but with our world’s being so fast, it’s so much more easier to have the fizzy drink, than buy a health bar- and cost wise aswell, the foods that are bad for you are cheaper than the healthy food. Also in this fast paced world there’s no real time to cook the healthy stuff, it’s easier to chuck a burger in the oven, and frozen chips in the fryer- then to start chopping up vegetables. Not to say I won’t try. I will and I must.

Also how can a lifestyle change help my menorrhagia? I don’t think it can. So how do I overcome that?

So all in all, can we really get away from medication? With all the health condition we can get as we grow older -it seems impossible.

I’m just a drug addict like my inlaws. And the other millions in the world. Our bodies really cannot function without it.

The funniest thing is, as I was popping yet another nurofen and 2 paracetamol into my mouth for my toothpain , my Boy just said “Mum you have more pills than food!” . My Boy I replied. “Karma is a very funny thing!”

Love and regards

M11bna