Men’s Changing Roles and Mental Health Resources

–By Coralie Darsey-Malloy

This is a previously published article from a column I had in the Aquarium newspaper. Perspectives on Balanced Living featured a variety of articles on healthy, dynamic living, self-health and whole-person healing methods and all rights are reserved.

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

The lack of resources for men make it challenging for them to seek help when most needed

The lack of resources for men make it challenging for them to seek help when most needed

                 Michel De Montaigne

The number of men who feel hopeless and helpless is a growing problem in North American society. Mental health professionals accept the growing need to support men and their changing roles, needs and way of life.Medical and non-medical mental health resources report that men on the  ‘edge of brokenness’  do not access support systems for a variety of reasons.

A document released in September of 2004 (Patterns of Regional Mental Health Illness Disorder Diagnoses and service Use in Manitoba: A Population Based  Study) revealed  men commit suicide more than three times as often (two per 10,000) to females (0.6 per 10,000).The ratio is approximately 102 men to every 22 women. The study does not  reveal why  more men commit suicide only that they do.

According to Constance Eagle from the Anxiety Disorder Association of Manitoba, women may attempt suicide but  men carry it through…and in ways that are more violent. Although  the reasons behind higher suicides rates in men are unclear, professionals theorize it is their unwillingness or inability to access mental health services that puts them at higher risk. Barriers such as peer pressure and gender socialization  can make it difficult for men to open up to their  wives, partners, family members and even their  churches. The harsh and often shocking reality of their situation only hits when  men run away from home or take their own lives.

Men’s tendency to  internalize feelings may lead to addictions, financial problems,  and violence, spousal and family abuse. When this occurs, there is often a fear of  the justice system and create resistance to seeking help. The inability to access  mental health resources can lead to suicidal thoughts and acting upon them.

While researching this topic a media contact added her experiences. She published an article on depression. Afterwards, numerous men from her readership called and admitted to living in quiet desperation with  nowhere to turn. Police records in Manitoba confirm that growing numbers of men struggle in similar despair. There are 105 missing Manitobans and 95 of them are male and known to have health and psychological problems. On a larger scale, FBI databases in the United States contain the names of approximately 8,000 missing adults within the last year. Statistically, these men reveal how many are struggling with a variety of personal problems.

During interviews wtih mental health professionals they raised concern that Canada is one of the few countries that does not have  standardized mental health policies. In Manitoba there is up to a six-month waiting period for those seeking psychiatric help unless patients are a considered a danger to themselves or others. Couple that with the stigma associated with mental health issues and the stereotypical conditioning about “real men not showing vulnerability” many struggle with nowhere to turn. One individual who left home in the midst of his crisis summarized the broader male perspective in this way,

Society is beginning to address the growing need for more resources for men.

Society is beginning to address the growing need for more resources for men.

“When faced with challenging situations men do not think to look in the yellow pages. It is hard for us to disclose what we think and feel at the best of times. Men rarely ask peers what they did (or do) because most of them do not know where to turn either. He added, “In conversations with other males  I found there is a general view that it would be easier to seek help if Manitoba had a centralized intake process with a 24 hour crises line strictly geared to men and their personal challenges. The lack of services for men is a growing problem in society today. Interviews with men for this article underscored their concern about privacy even if they did seek counseling. Frequently men have difficulty in relating to their peers on a personal level. Sharing feelings is something the male gender is comfortable in doing. Terminology about “manning up or sucking it up” from a young age lead to masking hurt, disappointment and frustration out of a fear of being “weak.” Things often remain the same until they become intolerable…then we act and often in ways that are not in our best interest.”  

He and other interviewees’ agree that access to  toll-free crisis lines  ‘for men by men’ could provide support and confidentiality. During interviews, men admit to being  apprehensive about their health and well-being but resist going to doctors, healers or therapists because of their up bringing or conditioning. Some of their health related concerns include; high blood pressure, heart disease, impotence, memory loss and prostate cancer. They admitted that outside influences at work, marriage, divorce, weight, appearance, retirement and financial security impacts self-perception and increases stress levels.

When these affairs become more than they can handle some men leave home as a coping mechanism. At times men  return to untenable situations because there is no other place for them to go. Men who have gone through this process say they did not have a sense of equality within our social system. One man put it this way, “When men do cave, leave home and contact family housing and services…some workers don’t  know what to do with him. For example, a friend of mine ended out on the street for two days before making it to the Salvation Army. He said one  worker told him to ‘get his act together and go back to his family where he belonged.’ Therefore, he did. His circumstances did not change and he ended up killing himself two months later.

Comparatively, when women are in crisis/danger existing safety nets kick and provide housing, direction and a sense of support. Men understand that women’s socialization conditions them with a higher comfort level in ‘sharing and caring’. This provides support systems than many men do not have. However, men who commented on this topic said they are completely lost when it comes to taking a proactive approach to resolving their problems. They view themselves and each other as pragmatic, problem solvers and have a low comfort level when life’s circumstances overwhelm them and alter their ability to cope in a ‘manly’ way…whatever that is.”

The social conditioning many men grow up with often inhibts their ability to access and express their feelings.

The social conditioning many men grow up with often inhibts their ability to access and express their feelings.

In another interview the contact summerized it for some of the ohers.  “I believe men do not want to contact whatever resources are out there because of  a genuine concern about being put when  feeling weak or vulnerable.” He continued with a face washed in emotion, “Most women I’ve talked to keep towing the party line and say men need to take anger management classes and maybe we do. However, what they do not  understand  is that our anger is  outer expression  of other deeper feelings that we do not know how to handle.

Anger is the one emotion men are able to demonstrate as a ‘gender societal norm.’ Males display that in the sports arena and the crowds cheer. Nevertheless, how many men, women or children are  equipped to handle a sobbing male who is overwhelmed with life? From childhood, men  soldier on regardless of how they are feeling or what they are going through. Unfortunately most  men I know have never been shown another way  to do it…so we stay in our comfort zones of familiarity and when that doesn’t work…we end it. I have had a couple of close friends admit to being physically and emotionally abused by the women in their lives but they are unwilling to seek help much less discuss their problems with anyone…especially other men. There is a tendency for men to diminish each other if and when we take the risk to reveal painful, troubling emotions. Then there are still others who were molested in youth and they walk around as wounded warriors hiding their shame rather than finding ways to heal and release it.

Men who are abused often repress the lasting effects due to gender bias and stereotypical conditional.

Men who are abused often repress the lasting effects due to gender bias and stereotypical conditional.

Men thrive if they have  a project to manage, re-build or construct…that we can do. Comparatively, ask us to organize a system that would support our physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being and fell lost. That is why many modern men are floundering or leaving the life they had in whatever form, they do it. “ As my fingers clicked the keys on this article, I understood the differences in how men and women approach self-health needs. The women ’s movement fostered change, continues to provide resources and supports to assist them in healing, independence, and empowered living. It is time to address offer men equal opportunities.

Social stigma

Dr. Sig Heibert and Randy Hildebrand from Eden Mental Health Centre suggested there are a number of reasons why both men and women may be reluctant to seek psychological help. One of the main factors is the social stigma associated with mental health problems. Gender socialization can make it difficult for men to admit they are having difficulty coping, so they continue to suffer in silence. That pattern can lead to addictions, violence or spousal and family abuse. When this occurs, there is a fear of  the justice system. These concerns about openly confronting personal problems interfere with their ability to make proactive decisions. Courses in anger management and partner abuse,  provide coping skills and healthy self-management techniques.

Counselors in the field of men and mental health indicate that mature men from all occupations, up to that point,  have no role models to assist them in discovering alternative ways to think and behave. A central crisis line or service directed to men and their issues could provide what is currently missing. As men and women, address the lack of resources for men there is greater potential for both genders to implement services that meet men at their point of need.

Men and Women hand and hand can lead to the creation of resources to assist men in their self-health needs.

Men and Women hand and hand can lead to the creation of resources to assist men in their self-health needs.

 

 

Excerpt from What Your Mother Couldn’t Tell You & Your Father Didn’t Know by John Gray

P. 56, 1994, Harper Collins 427 pages,

Silently Sitting on a Rock

It is crucial to remember that one of the most significant differences between men and women is that while women cope with stress through sharing in nurturing relationships, men cope through solving problems. Traditionally, men assess options and when there do not appear to be any they look for alternatives. Ancient hunters would sit on a rock and silently search the horizon, looking and listening for their prey, or looking across the plains at their target, studying its movements and planning the attack.

This process of sitting, waiting, scheming, and planning allowed him to relax and conserve energy for the inevitable chase. Focusing keep  his mind away from the fear of being attacked or of missing his target. When he achieved the goal, he returns home a happy, stress-free man.

Why Men Watch TV

When a modern man comes home, quite commonly, he sits in his favorite chair and either reads the  newspaper or watches TV. Like the ancient hunter who needed to recover from the stress of his day, he instinctively finds his rock to sit on and begins gazing off into the horizon. Through reading or listening to the news he is, in effect, looking out over the world or scanning the horizon. As he picks up the remote control and begins searching through the stations, or turns the pages of his paper, he is once more in control: he silently and swiftly continues his hunt. As he assumes this ancient posture, deep and reassuring feelings of security begin to emerge. Feeling in control, he is able to cope with the stress of not having immediate solutions to the problems of his life. Through this instinctive ritual, he is able to temporarily forget his problems at work and is eventually ready for the relationship.

 

 

 

Perspectives on Life Extension

By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

This blog is a combination of personal experience with some information from Wikipedia.

This blog post explores some of the research and information about  life extension  and biological regeneration. There are many in the new age movement who  believe that the energetic aspect of one’s innate spiritual nature has the potential to transform one’s biology and promote the changes needed to live well and strong  into advanced years.

My birthday is on New Year’s Eve and at the beginning of the next   journey around the sun adds to a belief that it is possible to remain youthful and strong into advanced years. Whatever it is there is a burgeoning interest and scientific study in life extension, immortality and youthful aging. I wrote this article to present some of the perspectives, ideas, beliefs and answered questions about the possibility and/or probability within some of this issues and concerns. One thing is inarguable is that humanity has already extended their lifespan over those of our ancestors. Whether we will continue to be able to do so will remain to be seen…and experienced. If extended longevity does not occur in our lifetime, there is a very real possibility that it will for future lifetimes.

Youth is generally the time of life between childhood and adulthood (maturity). Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual’s actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals can exist at all ages. Youth is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit characteristic of one who is young.” Youth is a term used for people of both genders, male and female, of young age. The term “youth” usually refers to individuals between the ages of 16-24. Around the world, the terms “youth”, “adolescent”, “teenager”, “kid”, and “young person” are interchanged, often meaning the same thing, occasionally differentiated. Youth generally refers to a time of life that is neither childhood nor adulthood, but rather somewhere in-between. Youth is an alternative word to the scientifically oriented adolescent and the common terms of teen and teenager. Another common title for youth is young person or young people.

The term youth also identifies a particular mindset of attitude, as in “he/she is very youthful”. The term youth is also related to looking, feeling and BE-ING young or in a state of “youthfulness.” It is aptly interpreted in a quotation by Robert Kennedy. “This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease.”

With more people living into advanced years there is a growing interest in the idea of “youthing while aging. This view involves new constructs within self-concepts. The self-perception of youth is influenced by several variables such as peers, lifestyle, gender and culture. Within this context, aging involves attitude and life choices to sustain “youthfulness.” Those who are genuinely interested in aging well and life extension science involves a number of co-factors.

Life extension science is an umbrella term that is also referred to as anti-aging medicine, experimental gerontology, and biomedical gerontology, is the study of slowing down or reversing the processes of aging to extend both the maximum and average lifespan. Some researchers in this area, and “life extensionists” or “longevists” (those who wish to achieve longer lives themselves), believe that future breakthroughs in tissue rejuvenation with stem cells, molecular repair, and organ replacement (such as with artificial organs or xenotransplantations will eventually enable humans to have an indefinite lifespan (agerasia) with   rejuvenation in healthy, strong youthful conditions.

The sale of putative anti-aging products such as nutrition, physical fitness, skin care, hormone replacements, vitamins, supplements and herbs is a lucrative global industry, with the US market generating about $50 billion of revenue each year. Medical experts state that the use of such products has not been shown to affect the aging process, and many claims of anti-aging medicine advocates have been roundly criticized by medical experts, including the American Medical Association. However, it has not been shown that the goal of indefinite human life spans itself is necessarily unfeasible; some animals such as lobsters and certain jellyfish do not die of old age, and an award was offered to anyone who could prove life extensionist Aubrey de Grey’s hopes were ‘unworthy of learned debate’; nobody won the prize. The whole question of life extension has branched out and Bioethicists question the ethical ramifications of life extension.

There has been and continues to be extensive research on how diet, lifestyle, nutrition and supplements and how they may or may not extend life or add to the quality of it during the aging process. The many diets promoted by anti-aging advocates are often contradictory. A dietary pattern with some support from scientific research is caloric restriction. The free-radical theory of aging suggests that antioxidant supplements, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Q10, lipoic acid, carnosine, and N-acetylcysteine, might extend human life. However, combined evidence from several clinical trials suggests that β-Carotene supplements and high doses of Vitamin E increase mortality rates. Other substances proposed to extend lifespan include oxytocin, insulin, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and erythropoietin (EPO). Resveratrol is a sirtuin stimulant that appears to extend lifespan in simple organisms such as nematodes and short-lived fish.

Some supplements, including minerals selenium or zinc] have been reported to extend one’s lifespan in rats and mice. However, the results have not been replicated in humans. There is concern for toxicity in high concentrations. Metformin is another supplement that may extend lifespan but the studies are only in preliminary stages. Interestingly there is a tea called Jiaogulan that has been dubbed China’s “Immortality Herb” but more studies need to be done to confirm any of the above findings. The discussion whether aging should be viewed as a disease or not has important implications. It would stimulate pharmaceutical companies to develop life extension therapies and in the United States of America, it would increase the regulation of the anti-aging market by the FDA. Anti-aging falls under the regulations for cosmetic medicine which and are less regulated than drug therapy.

The anti-aging industry offers several hormone therapies. Some of these have been criticized for possible dangers to the patient and a lack of proven effect. For example, the American Medical Association has been critical of some anti-aging hormone therapies. Even if some recent clinical studies have shown that low-dose GH treatment for adults with GH deficiency changes the body composition by increasing muscle mass, decreasing fat mass, increasing bone density and muscle strength, improves cardiovascular parameters (i.e. decrease of LDL cholesterol), and affects the quality of life without significant side effects.

The evidence for use of growth hormone as an anti-aging therapy is mixed and based on animal studies. An early study suggested that supplementation of mice with growth hormone increased average life expectancy. Additional animal experiments have suggested that growth hormone may generally act to shorten maximum lifespan; knockout mice lacking the receptor for growth hormone live especially long. Furthermore, mouse models lacking the insulin-like growth factor also live especially long and have low levels of growth hormone

People suffering from rare condition known as Laron syndrome have mutation in the gene that makes the receptor for growth hormone. It’s theorized that that mutation may hold a key to life extension. Dr. Longo said that some level of IGF-1 was necessary to protect against heart disease, but that lowering the level might be beneficial. A drug that does this is already on the market for treatment of acromegaly, a thickening of the bones caused by excessive growth hormone. “Our underlying hypothesis is that this drug would prolong life span,” Dr. Longo said. He said he was not taking the drug, called pegvisomant or Somavert, which is very hard to obtain. There is a considerable amount of scientific controversy regarding anti-aging nutritional supplementation and medicine and it is important that consumers educate themselves and make informed choices before looking for a magic bullet with their anti-aging and longevity goals.

Some experts categorize aging as a disease. While others   dispute that diagnosis and label. Many critics dispute the portrayal of aging as a disease and scientist Leonard Hayflick, determined that fibroblasts are limited to around 50 cell divisions, reasons that aging is an unavoidable consequence of entropy. Hayflick and fellow biogerontologists Jay Olshansky and Bruce Carnes have strongly criticized the anti-aging industry in response to what they see as unscrupulous profiteering from the sale of unproven anti-aging supplements.

In the United States, product claims on food and drug labels are strictly regulated. The First Amendment (freedom of speech) protects third-party publishers’ rights to distribute fact, opinion and speculation on life extension practices. Manufacturers and suppliers also provide informational publications, but because they market the substances, they are subject to monitoring and enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which polices claims by marketers. What constitutes the difference between truthful and false claims is hotly debated and is a central controversy in this arena.

Research by Sobh and Martin (2011) suggests that consumers on the anti-aging bandwagon are driven to purchase products that will provide hoped-for results (e.g., keeping a youthful skin) or to avoid a feared-self (e.g., looking old). The research shows that when consumers pursue with this in mind their expectations for success drive their motivation. Even when their purchases do not provide the desired outcome, they continue to search and buy similar items in a driving desire to avoid what they fear within their aging process. In this rapidly advancing aspect of consumerism, it is good to maintain a “buyers beware” mindset. Anything that sounds too good to be true may be. This emerging branch of science and medicine is bringing interesting possibilities for healthy aging and life extension but it still has a long way to go for anyone to “know for sure” that ageless living is truly possible.

Nanotechnology is a branch of medicine that could give rise to life extension through the repair of many processes thought to be responsible for aging. K. Eric Drexler, one of the founders of nanotechnology, postulated cell repair machines, including ones operating within cells and utilizing yet hypothetical molecular computers, in his 1986 book Engines of Creation. Raymond Kurzweil, a futurist and transhumanist, stated in his book The Singularity Is Near that he believes that advanced medical nanorobotics could completely remedy the effects of aging by 2030.

Some life extensionists suggest that therapeutic cloning and stem cell research could one day provide a way to generate cells, body parts, or even entire bodies (generally referred to as reproductive cloning) that would be genetically identical to a prospective patient. Recently, the US Department of Defense initiated a program to research the possibility of growing human body parts on mice. Complex biological structures, such as mammalian joints and limbs, have not yet been replicated. Experiments with dogs and primates and transmutation experiments failed when they were unable to restore nerve connections. As of 2006, the implantation of bio-engineered bladders grown from patients’ own cells has proven to be a viable treatment for bladder disease. Proponents of body part replacement and cloning contend that the required biotechnologies are likely to appear earlier than other life-extension technologies.

The use of human stem cells, particularly embryonic stem cells, is controversial. Opponents’ objections generally are based on interpretations of religious teachings or ethical considerations. Proponents of stem cell research point out those cells are routinely formed and destroyed in a variety of contexts. Use of stem cells taken from the umbilical cord or parts of the adult body may not provoke controversy. The controversies over cloning are similar, except general public opinion in most countries stands in opposition to reproductive cloning. Some proponents of therapeutic cloning predict the production of whole bodies, lacking consciousness, for eventual brain transplantation.

For cryonicists (advocates of cryopreservation), storing the body at low temperatures after death may provide an “ambulance” into a future in which advanced medical technologies may allow resuscitation and repair. They speculate cryogenic temperatures will minimize changes in biological tissue for many years, giving the medical community ample time to cure all disease, rejuvenate the aged and repair any damage that is caused by the cryopreservation process. Many cryonicists do not believe that legal death is “real death” because stoppage of heartbeat and breathing—the usual medical criteria for legal death—occur before biological death of cells and tissues of the body. Even at room temperature, cells may take hours to die and days to decompose.

Although neurological damage occurs within 4–6 minutes of cardiac arrest, the irreversible neurodegenerative processes do not manifest for hours. Cryonicists’ state that rapid cooling and cardio-pulmonary support applied immediately after certification of death can preserve cells and tissues for long-term preservation at cryogenic temperatures. People, particularly children, have survived up to an hour without heartbeat after submersion in ice water. In one case, full recovery was reported after 45 minutes underwater. To facilitate rapid preservation of cells and tissue, cryonics “standby teams” wait by the bedside of patients who are to be cryopreserved. They apply cooling and cardio-pulmonary support as soon as possible after declaration of death. No mammal has been successfully cryopreserved and brought back to life, and resuscitation from cryonics is not possible with current science. Some scientists still support the idea based on their expectations of the capabilities of future science.

Another proposed life extension technology combines existing and predicted future biochemical and genetic techniques. SENS proposes that rejuvenation may be obtained by removing aging damage via the use of stem cells and tissue engineering, removal of telomere-lengthening machinery, allotopic expression of mitochondrial proteins, targeted ablation of cells, immunotherapeutic clearance, and novel lysosomal hydrolases. There is no scientific evidence that supports this strategy, and Robin Holliday called SENS “overly ambitious”.

Some of the other strategies being considered for future are gene therapy. This is a process where artificial genes are integrated with an organism to replace mutated or otherwise deficient genes. Targeting catalase to the mitochondria resulted in a 20% lifespan increase in transgenic mice, and improved performance in AAV therapeutically infected mice. In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins describes an approach to life-extension that involves “fooling genes” into thinking the body is young. Dawkins attributes inspiration for this idea to Peter Medawar. The basic idea is that our bodies are composed of genes that activate throughout our lifetimes, some when we are young, and others when we are older. Presumably, these genes are activated by environmental factors, and the changes caused by these genes activating can be lethal. It is a statistical certainty that we possess more lethal genes that activate in later life than in early life. Therefore, to extend life, we should be able to prevent these genes from switching on, and we should be able to do so by “identifying changes in the internal chemical environment of a body that take place during aging… and by simulating the superficial chemical properties of a young body”.

History of life extension and the life extension movement

In 1970, the American Aging Association was formed under the impetus of Denham Harman, originator of the free radical theory of aging. Harman wanted an organization of biogerontologists that was devoted to research and to the sharing of information among scientists interested in extending human lifespan. In 1976, futurists Joel Kurtzman and Philip Gordon wrote No More Dying. The Conquest Of Aging And The Extension Of Human Life, (ISBN 0-440-36247-4) was the first popularized book on research to extend human lifespan. Subsequently, Kurtzman was invited to testify before the House Select Committee on Aging, chaired by Claude Pepper of Florida, to discuss the impact of life extension on the Social Security system.

Saul Kent published The Life Extension Revolution (ISBN 0-688-03580-9) in 1980 and created a nutraceutical firm called the Life Extension Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes dietary supplements. The Life Extension Foundation publishes a periodical called Life Extension Magazine. The 1982 bestselling book Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach (ISBN 0-446-51229-X) by Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw further popularized the phrase “life extension”. In 1983, Roy Walford, a life-extensionist and gerontologist, published a popular book called Maximum Lifespan.

In 1988, Walford and his student Richard Weindruch summarized their research into the ability of calorie restriction to extend the lifespan of rodents in The Retardation of Aging and Disease by Dietary Restriction (ISBN 0-398-05496-7). The work of Clive McCay in the 1930s shows that calorie restriction can extend the maximum lifespan of rodents. Nevertheless, the work of Walford and Weindruch provides detailed scientific research in this field of study, [citation needed] Walford’s personal interest in life extension motivated his scientific work and he practiced calorie restriction himself. Walford died at the age of 80 from complications caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Money generated by the non-profit Life Extension Foundation allowed Saul Kent to finance the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the world’s largest cryonics organization. The cryonics movement had been launched in 1962 by Robert Ettinger’s book, The Prospect of Immortality. In the 1960s, Saul Kent had been a co-founder of the Cryonics Society of New York. Alcor gained national prominence when baseball star Ted Williams was cryonically preserved by Alcor in 2002 and a family dispute arose as to whether Williams had really wanted to be cryopreserved. Regulatory and legal struggles between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Life Extension Foundation included seizure of merchandise and court action. In 1991, Saul Kent and Bill Faloon, the principals of the Foundation, were jailed. The LEF accused the FDA of perpetrating a “Holocaust” and “seeking gestapo-like power” through its regulation of drugs and marketing claims. In 1992, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) was formed to create what it considered an anti-aging medical specialty distinct from geriatrics, and to hold trade shows for physicians interested in anti-aging medicine. The American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes neither anti-aging medicine nor the A4M’s professional standing.

Even though there are numerous scientists claiming that life extension and radical life extension are possible there aren’t any international or national programs focusing on radical life extension. There are political forces staying for and against life extension. In 2012 in Russia, and then in USA, Israel and Netherlands the Longevity political parties started. They aimed to provide political support to radical life extension research and technologies and ensure fastest possible and at the same time soft transition society to the next step – life without aging and with radical life extension and provide such the access to such technologies to the most of the currently living people.

Leon Kass (chairperson of the US President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001 to 2005) has questioned whether potential exacerbation of overpopulation problems would make life extension unethical.] He states his opposition to life extension with the words: “simply to covet a prolonged life span for ourselves is both a sign and a cause of our failure to open ourselves to procreation and to any higher purpose. The desire to prolong youthfulness is not only a childish desire to eat one’s life and keep it; it is also an expression of a childish and narcissistic wish incompatible with devotion to posterity. John Harris, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, argues that as long as life is worth living, according to the person himself, we have a powerful moral imperative to save the life and thus to develop and offer life extension therapies to those who want them.

Comparing perspectives on the subject of life extension Transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that any technological advances in life extension must be equitably distributed and not restricted to a privileged few. In an extended metaphor entitled “The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant”, Bostrom envisions death as a monstrous dragon who demands human sacrifices. In the fable, after a lengthy debate between those who believe the dragon is an unpleasant fact and those who believe the dragon can and should be destroyed, the dragon is finally killed. Bostrom argues that political inaction allowed many preventable human deaths to occur.

Fit, Fab Ageless Living

Gaining muscle strength, contour and definition keeps the body strong as we age.

Gaining muscle strength, contour and definition keeps the body strong as we age.

January 17 2014

–By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

If exercise could be put in a pill it would be the number one anti-aging medicine and the number one anti-depression medicine.— Dr. Robert N. Butler

I decided to create a blog about ageless living as I prepare to move into the 70th decade of my life. There is growing interest in life extension, aging and disease. People are living longer and many in the baby boomer generation are refusing to give into unhealthy, disabled aging. David and I are so passionate in our belief that it is possible to feel fit and fab as we age. Consequently we created another blog with that focus. prompted us to create a Fit, Fab and Ageless Blog and the link is http://feelingfitfabandageless.blogspot.ca/

This image is from the Fit, Fab and Ageless blog on Blogspot http://feelingfitfabandageless.blogspot.ca/

This image is from the Fit, Fab and Ageless blog on Blogspot http://feelingfitfabandageless.blogspot.ca/

Even though we are at an age when many of our peers are retiring we love what we do and feel a commitment to presenting diverse views and opinions about living strong and living the best possible life as we age.  My hubs David and I promote the idea that it is never too early or too late to create a “fresh beginning.”  It is more about the quality of life than the length of it that matters to us. We created and co-direct a person al development company called  Fresh Beginning Being happily married to my life and business partner  write, produce and present dynamic living seminars,  public speaking and offer life coaching services on and off line.. Our  website provides information about our focus and services the link is http://www.fresh-beginnings.com

During my late teens and early twenties I did some modeling and worked in the fashion industry. With what I perceived then as my “vertically challenged” (5’ 2″ height I resorted to starving my body down to under 80 pounds to compensateConsequently, I developed the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia at the age of 17 and struggled with the self-destructive elements within these compulsive coping patterns for 30 years. The fixation on “being skinny” led to distortions in self-perception that took me years to overcome.

After years of therapy and soul searching, I recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse. After going through therapy and adopting a whole person approach to healing my life, I eventually understood that on a subconscious level I abused my body to outwork what I thought I “deserved. At age 31, I started working as a fitness leader and that that was when I started working out and it took me down a different path.

My birthday is New Year’s Eve and I reached my 70th decade in 2013. At this age and stage of life I made a firm commitment to becoming fit and feeling fab. A year later  I am in the best shape of my life and have no intention of retiring.  When clients hear about my journey from victimhood and a host of personal and professional setbacks they encouragewd me to write a book about how I transformed my scars into stars. After some self-doubt I decided to  share what I learned along my path. My bood is titled I’ve Been There…A Testimony of Hope and the website is www.ibtbook.com

II had some knee and hip problems in 2011 and 2012 and put on 40 pounds. After trimming down my body it is time to build muscle, contour and strengthen. Now it is a pleasure to see how my body is transforming through progressive strength and resistance training. With my weight arond 100 pounds I am confidently open to replacing the old flab with fit, lean, muscle tone.

When I work out I feel fit, fab and ageless and it keeps me going. The rewards of being an exercising person pay immeasurable  dividends. I have a l goal is to continue making  fitness as a way of life into advanced years. Feeling fit and fab as I, age is empowering and rewarding.

 

 

Studies show that it is possible to increase strenth, flexibility and sustain good health as we age. Why not begin right here...right now?

Studies show that it is possible to increase strenth, flexibility and sustain good health as we age. Why not begin right here…right now?

Bucket List Living

This movie inspired the Bucket List Living Movement.

This movie inspired the Bucket List Living Movement.

–By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

For those of you who have seen the movie Bucket List you will be familiar with the term. For those of you who haven’t seen it the movie shows how two old timers decide to create what they call a “bucket list” containing 100 things they want to do and experience before they pass on.

David and I started creating our own bucket lists and have already fulfilled our first hundred and are working on our second one. Some of the past ones that we have completed include hiking in magnificent areas in Moab in Southern Utah. We loved it so much there that we have added going back there on our current bucket list. Climbing rock walls is another bucket list completed that has been added to be re-experienced again. When they are outstanding experiences they are worth repeating!

Others included being self-employed and running our companies together and leaving city life and moving to the country. Living on acreage on a lake in the Kenora area of Ontario was another one.  Writing my book was another completed bucket list goal. Having my book published and in greater circulation is a bucket list goal that I have yet to complete. Remaining healthy and strong as we age is an on-going bucket list goal.

Creating a bucket list is a great way of having “a look forward to” as my Mom always said. Writing down small and large things you want to experience before passing on keeps life fresh and enlivened. Each time we strike, one off your list add another. Having 100 on the list allows you to keep creating new ones and reminding ourselves that it is never too late to create a fresh beginning and try something new.

 

Creating and adding to bucket/anticipation lists makes life an exciting ride!

Creating and adding to bucket/anticipation lists makes life an exciting ride!

David and I focus our list around experiences new things and moving beyond our comfort zone. It is so easy to settle into comfortable groves. Having a bucket list as a tantalizing reminder to go beyond familiar comfort zones is a great to keep the inner adventurer alive and well at any age.
Bucket list or Anticipation list keep life interesting and inspiring. David and I continually revise, repeat and redefine ours. Great experiences are joyful do-over as is the satisfaction of checking off the ones we achieve.

Here are some notable quotations about the joys in keeping life fresh.

It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.
~ Jack Kerouac ~
~ The Ultimate Rebel ~

 

Bucket List motivator, stop being afraid and start living life to the fullest.

Bucket List motivator, stop being afraid and start living life to the fullest.

Respecting Diversity Within Spiritual Belief Systems

By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

There are many pathways to spiritual enlightment and it is not our place to judge the right of free will to seek and discover truth whether others agree or not.

There are many pathways to spiritual enlightment and it is not our place to judge the right of free will to seek and discover truth whether others agree or not.

CD Creative Ventures is the umbrella banner for all our other entrepreneural endeavors.

CD Creative Ventures is the umbrella banner for all our other entrepreneural endeavors.

CD Creative Ventures is the umbrella banner we use for our various projects. Together, David and co-create videos and slide shows that illustrate our spiritual perspectives in a variety of areas. We strive for unity within diversity and continue to spiritual knowledge from different sources. It assists us in remembering that the more we think we know how it highlights how little we actually “know.” Life is an ever changing fabric with changing patterns and shifting times. Many who embark on spiritual paths are motivated in different ways. Some of us want to know the unknowable, others want to know themselves; still others want to know everything. Some people want transformations, others want miracles, or to relieve suffering and leave the world a better place.

There are a variety of spiritual teachings that reveal commonalities in everything from Wicca, Buddhism, Christianity, Paganism when people look for the common threads. Einstein pointed out that the spiritual paths of the future will transcend a personal God and avoid dogma and theology. He also believed they would cover the natural and spiritual and arise from the experience of all things within a meaningful unity rather than polarizing differences.

Those who embark and seek higher knowledge are usually motivated to do so for reasons and that are personal to them. Some of want to explore energy, the cause and effect through metaphysical study. Ohers wish to know themselves; still others seek transformation, others are looking for healing, miracles, or to relieve suffering and leave the world a better place.

There are a variety of spiritual teachings that reveal commonalities in everything from Wicca, Buddhism, Christianity, Paganism when people look for the common threads. Einstein pointed out that the spiritual paths of the future will transcend a personal God and avoid dogma and theology. He also believed they would cover the natural and spiritual and arise from the experience of all things within a meaningful unity rather than polarizing differences.

Our spiritual perspective videos reflect ideas from a variety of teachings and they illustrate some of the common threads in all of them. The prevailing theme in all is the emphasis on love, unity and respect for differences. Those who pursue informtion from divergent points of view, cultures, religions and ideas are less inclined to become intrangient and intolerent. As has been said…not all those who wander are lost. They/we are among the adventurers and seekers and CD Creative Ventures spiritual videos emphasis commonalities that lead to transformation and enlightenment by seeking and moving beyond dogmatic, boxed-in thinking.

>Without the outer definers that divide we are more able to embrace the similarities within humankind. We all bleed the same colour.

Without the outer definers that divide we are more able to embrace the similarities within humankind. We all bleed the same colour. The energy within spirit interconnects us whether one is aware of it or not.

The energy within spirit interconnects us whether one is aware of it or not.

 

Sarah McLaughlan’s music mirrors some of the experiences I share in my book.

Ideas come through me from a source I honestly cannot identify.

Ideas come through me from a source I honestly cannot identify.

We need to work together to stop it. The ripple effect goes far beyond the original wound.

We need to work together to stop it. The ripple effect goes far beyond the original wound.

Sad, gloomy days before the days of hope emerged.

Sad, gloomy days before the days of hope emerged.

By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

In my book I share how I eventually recovered the memories and began to heal the root cause. Consequently, I am committed to heightening awareness about child and sexual abuse for people of any age. We cannot heal…until we feel and release the pain and shame. That is when the light of hope begins to emerge.

After years of inner dialog about whether to share my healing and spiritual journey with others I finally did it. My biggest stumbling block was a nagging uncertainty about why anyone would be interested in my path when it is akin to so many wounded warriors out there. 

My hubs David remained my encourager as did clients utilizing our personal development services through our company Fresh Beginnings.  During private life coaching sessions and facilitating groups I shared with appropriate disclosure about the daunting challenges I transformed and how becoming whole opened avenues for me to share my experiences with others. David’s encouragement about the validity of the book eventually dissolved my resistance to writing the memoir.

The muses continued to  nudge me to take a leap of faith and just do it as well.  In September 2004 clarity broke through and I announced to my hubs David that I was ready to do it and that I did.

After 7 long months of intense writing I finished the first draft…35 chapters and 500 pages later my book I’ve Been There…A Testimony of Hope emerged.   

The larger message of my story is one of hope and that is why I chose to share it. In one of my meditations I was given a significant message. Whenever anyone is tested and masters the challenges they have a moral obligation to offer the benefit of their experiences to others who may be facing similar struggles. It was, and still is the reason for making my life “an open book for others to see, possibly judge, use or reject.

When I discovered Sarah McLaughlin’s body of work the lyrics and haunting melodic compositions resonated with me then and now. The link to her playlist are visual mirrors for different chapters in my life. The song   Perfect Girl is something I tried to be in my youth. As with most young people I desperately sought love and acceptance from my parents but within their own wounded-ness they were incapable of ever meeting me at that point of need. Through my personal and spiritual growth I now accept know that perfection is an illusion and whenever we try to be something other than we are we innately are it creates an alienation of Self.

The lyrics to the Gloomy Sunday video remind us that humanity shares some basic common needs–to be loved, accepted, respected and understood. When those aspects are missing we strive for unrealistic ideals of perfection and fail.

For more information about my book check out the website at http://www.ibtbook.com

For information about our personal development company Fresh Beginnings the website link is: www.fresh-beginnings.com

 Lyrics:  Am I faithful, am I strong, am I good enough to belong  in your reverie a perfect girl  Your vision of romance is cruel and all along I played the fool  all you expectations bury me  Chorus:  Don’t worry you will find the answer if you let it go  give yourself some time to falter  But don’t forgo knowing that you’re loved no matter what  and everything will come around in time  I own my insecurities I try to own my destiny  That I can make or break it if I choose  But you take my words and twist them ’round  ’til I’m the one who brings you down  Make me feel like I’m the one to blame for all of this.

 Chorus  You need everybody with you on your side  Know that I am here for you but I hope in time  You’ll find yourself alright alone  You’ll find yourself with open arms  You’ll find yourself you’ll find yourself in time  The riot in my heart decideded to keep me open and alive  I have to take myself away from you  ’cause I can’t compete I can’t deny there’s nothing that I didn’t try. How did I go wrong in loving you.

 

Re-Post with 20 Curious Points about Cats and Dogs

Interesting bits and bites on cats.

Interesting bits and bites on cats.

Human food that is toxic to dogs.

Human food that is toxic to dogs.

Humanity is defined by the way animals are treated.

Humanity is defined by the way animals are treated.

Our pets are part of the family.

Our pets are part of the family.

My hubs David and I are animal lovers and we currently have 2 big dogs and 2 cats in our pet family. This article by Allison Ford is interesting and informative and I wanted to pass it along.

By Allison Ford, DivineCaroline

When it comes right down to it, how much do we really know about our beloved furry friends? We may know what kinds of treats they prefer, their favorite spot for an afternoon nap, and where they want us to scratch them, but many things about dogs and cats are still a mystery to their human companions. If we took just a bit more time getting to know about the bodies and minds of the pets that share our lives, we’d learn that they’re full of interesting surprises.

1. Cats are lactose intolerant. Like most mammals, cats lose the ability to digest dairy after infancy. Feeding milk to a cat can encourage stomach upset and diarrhea.

2. Dogs with “squashed” faces have more health problems. The structure of the faces of pugs, boxers, and bulldogs makes them more prone to respiratory problems, dental problems, and other health issues.

3. Cats are capable of about one hundred distinct vocalizations; dogs are capable of about ten.

4. All Dalmatians are born white. Their spots develop within the first few weeks of life.

5. Hunting is not an instinctive cat behavior. If a kitten doesn’t learn to hunt from its mother or other cats, it’s unlikely that it ever will.

6. A dog’s sense of smell is up to one hundred thousand times more sensitive than a human’s. While humans have about five million scent receptors in their noses, a bloodhound has up to three hundred million.

7. Domestic cats sleep an average of sixteen hours per day. In the wild, big cats that expend lots of energy hunting sleep even longer. Only sloths spend more of their lives asleep.

8. Dogs’ only sweat glands are between the pads of their feet. They dissipate the majority of their heat by panting, a method far more effective than allowing moisture to evaporate from the skin.

9. Cats are either lefties or righties. Psychologists at Queen’s University in Belfast discovered that female cats were more likely to favor their right paws, while male cats were more likely to favor their left. As with humans, some cats are ambidextrous, too.

10. Dogs are one of only two mammal species that have prostate glands. The other species is humans.

11. Calico cats are almost always female. The gene for coat color is sex-linked, so to express both orange and black coloring, the cat must have two copies of the X chromosome. Rarely, an abnormality produces a male cat with XXY chromosomes and calico coloring; these cats are always sterile.

12. Dogs aren’t really color-blind. They do see colors, just not as well as humans.

13. All kittens are born with blue eyes. They begin to change color about two weeks after their eyes open.

14. Dogs’ wet noses help them smell better. The mucus attracts and “catches” more chemical scent particles in the air.

15. Most blue-eyed white cats are born deaf—about 65 to 85 percent, says the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.

16. The only dog breed that doesn’t bark is the Basenji. However, Basenjis do make other noises, such as growls, whines, and even yodels.

17. Cats don’t meow at other cats. They reserve this sound for getting attention (not to mention food) from humans.

18. Dogs have no clavicles. Their disconnected shoulder blades allow them a greater range of motion for running and jumping.

19. When cats walk, their left front leg moves in tandem with their left back leg, and their right legs do the same. The only other animals that walk this way are giraffes and camels.

20. Domestic dogs can breed with wolves. The two animals are still related closely enough that they can mate, producing feral offspring.

21. The proper name for a group of cats is a clowder. A group of kittens is called a kindle.

22. It takes eighteen muscles to move a dog’s ear. This specificity of motion helps the dog pinpoint the origins of sounds much faster than a human can.

23. Both cats’ and dogs’ noses are unique, like human fingerprints. It’s becoming more and more common to take nose prints of dogs in case they’re ever lost or stolen.

If you go home to one of the seventy-seven million cats or fifty-five million dogs in the United States, take a minute to marvel at their quirks. Cats and dogs may seem uncomplicated when they’re chasing after a shoelace or stalking their own tail, but these animals are anything but simple.

 
For more information and pet tips check out the CD Creative Ventures Pinterest Board