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A Sobering Thought - Stress!


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The hidden dangers of burning the candle at both ends, a disturbing but true story.

 

John was a plumber who also ran a property management company round here and two years ago, he let alcohol step into the breach that work related stress had left in his life. He spent all the customers deposits on wine, prostitutes, drugs etc I believe and ran up a 60K debt on credit cards paying for his drug and gambling habits. He was a furiously heavy smoker of all kinds of tobacco.

 

Banned from driving but still drove, causing several accidents, one in which a child died, now burdened with guilt that he could never lose, he sank deeper and deeper into depression and crime. He had been in prison three times this year for his driving offences and was currently up on 4 counts of burglary. Stealing to buy booze.

 

I saw him last week and stopped for a chat, guiltily I stopped with great reluctance and given his past you have no idea how close I came to crossing the street when I saw this social outcast on the horizon, he was a skinny as a rabbit and was in town hanging out with the drunks, it was a dreadful sight. Yet just 2 years ago he was a clever and successful businessman, with a big house and a family - he had it all, but he also had a diary.....a diary which was just too full.

 

He died yesterday, alone and on the streets, after he contracted pneumonia and his lungs were in such a bad state that he couldn't respond to ventilation. A single cardiac arrest and it was all over. He was 57.

 

I remember the beginning of this....he had several jobs all on the go and all of them were for the type of customer who takes ownership of all of our time, you know, the type who keeps changing their minds. He was making promises that logistically one person could never keep and was getting double booked where he was expected to be in two places at the same time. Those 14 hour days, and 7 day weeks caught up with him - too much work and no play, no time with his family, no time for holidays, just work work work with no time out. There are 24 hours in a day, and he needed 40 hours to keep afloat the lifestyle that was enveloping him, something had to give eventually, and unfortunately it was his mental state, his family slipped away from him, followed by his business and his home. His downward spiral was frighteningly quick, and its always far faster to lose everthing you've worked hard for, than it was to build them from scratch.

 

Christmas approaches...and most of us are already in the busiest time of year. The candle is burning at both ends and in the middle. Guess what? after hearing about John, I blew that candle out last night, and decided that, its time to take a booking break in the new year.

 

Its too late for John, but his legacy is clear, if your own schedule is starting to head towards the kind of schedule which he was taking on two years ago, then hopefully you'll heed the warning that he missed and take some time out, even if its only a few weeks.

 

Life is too short, we work to live, not live to work.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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Can't believe it would happen to a DJ.

 

Can't get that busy.

.....but what do I know ?

 

 

 

Your Big Event

Office:01803 813540

Direct: 0797 0717 448

e.mail:info@yourbigevent.co.uk

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I dunno Andy! I know an agent whose 1st wife left him due to his other 'interest' - DJ'ing, and if he carries on without learning from his mistakes, he'll lose the current one!

As for health, it's not difficult to fall into the trap of burning the candle at both ends and ending up way over your head.

A good read McCardle.

More importantly, thought provoking.

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I only too well know.. I have had 2 marriages fail because of the job. Now on number 3 and have lightened my workload to every other weekend.

This occupation is a great one but has got its anti social pitfalls.

A wife or partner will only take so much.........

Life is for living not working so enjoy it

Professional DJ Since 1983 - Having worked in Clubs, Pubs, Mobile and Radio in the UK and Europe

29 Years Experience and still learning.

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Last xmas for me. Way too many hours and not enough sleep

 

I have had a booking every night for the last 35 days and on avaerage I have been getting in about 4am.

 

Plus the fact that I am also trying to complete a Masters Degree at the same time plus look after my 2 year old daughter 3 days a week as well.

 

Thats why enough is enough and I am giving it up next year.

 

 

By the way I am writing this in a very cold tv room in a hotel in Yorkshire still waiting for the company director to stop giving out awards and making boring speeches before I start.

 

Then on till 1am, tales an hour to pack up completely and then a 3-4 hour drive home. Got to be in University in the morning at 9.30am which again is an hours drive away.

 

And you wonder why I am giving up soon???????

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All this talk of marriages breaking up etc...remember..IT'S ONLY A JOB!!

 

If the stress is that bad in any vocation you should be out, your health is much more important.

 

Take note you guys who can not eat through nerves before a gig.

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Take note you guys who can not eat through nerves before a gig.

 

Certainly not me or you Kingy !

.....but what do I know ?

 

 

 

Your Big Event

Office:01803 813540

Direct: 0797 0717 448

e.mail:info@yourbigevent.co.uk

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I consider mental stress to be MUCH more dangerous than working long hours is on its own, I think working long hours is often a result of other factors. For example, being under pressure due to debt is more dangerous to health, than working long hours to pay it off is. Frequently, people will bury themselves in their work to avoid facing relationship problems at home, the list is endless. Stress can show itself in many ways but anyone experiencing anxiety, inability to focus on the task in hand, sleeplessness, panic attacks, racing heart beats, chest pains or jaw ache in times of stress should get themselves checked out without delay, especially if you're the wrong side of forty.

Four years ago I ignored similar symptoms expecting them to go away, (as men do), till I found myself in a cardiac ward having had a heart attack. Cardiac units are scary places and best avoided, during the 10 days I spent in a small 8 bed side ward, 3 bodies were taken out, 50% of heart attack victims don't make it, I was one of the lucky ones. My advice to anyone is avoid excessive stress, stop smoking and go see the doc if you think something is wrong. Four years ago, I didn't even know who my doctor was, I never went to see him, I'd had my head buried in the sand for years, it nearly cost me my life.

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From www.heartstats.org.uk

British Heart

Foundation

Statistics Database

www.heartstats.org

12

1. Mortality

Total mortality

Diseases of the heart and circulatory system (cardiovascular disease or CVD) are the main cause

of death in the UK and account for almost 198,000 deaths each year. More than one in three

deaths (35%) are from CVD each year. The main forms of CVD are coronary heart disease

(CHD) and stroke. About half (48%) of all deaths from CVD are from CHD and more than a

quarter (28%) are from stroke (Table 1.2).

CHD by itself is the most common cause of death in the UK. Around one in five men and one

in seven women die from the disease. CHD causes around 94,000 deaths in the UK each year

(Table 1.3 and Figures 1.3a and 1.3b).

Other forms of heart disease cause over 31,000 deaths in the UK each year so in total there were

just under 126,000 deaths from heart disease in the UK in 2006 (Table 1.3).

Premature mortality

CVD is one of the main causes of premature death in the UK (death before the age of 75). 30%

of premature deaths in men and 22% of premature deaths in women were from CVD in 2006

(Figures 1.3c and 1.3d). CVD caused just over 53,000 premature deaths in the UK in 2006

(Table 1.3).

CHD, by itself, is the most common cause of premature death in the UK (Figures 1.3c and 1.3d).

About one fifth (19%) of premature deaths in men and one in ten (10%) premature deaths in

women were from CHD (Figures 1.3c and 1.3d). CHD caused almost 31,000 premature deaths

in the UK in 2006 (Table 1.3).

Other forms of heart disease cause more than 7,500 premature deaths in the UK each year. In

total there were over 38,000 premature deaths from heart disease in the UK in 2006 – around

one fifth of all premature deaths.

Recent trends in death rates in the UK

Death rates from CVD have been falling in the UK since the early 1970s. For people under 75

years, they have fallen by 40% in the last ten years (Figure 1.1a).

Death rates from CHD have been falling in the UK since the late 1970s (Figures 1.1c and 1.1d).

For people under 65 years, they have fallen by 45% in the last ten years (Figure 1.1c).

In recent years, CHD death rates have been falling slower in younger age groups and fastest in

those aged 55 and over. For example, between 1997 and 2006 there was a 46% fall in the CHD

death rate for men aged 55 to 64 in the UK, compared to a 22% fall in men aged 35 to 44 years.

In women there was a 53% fall in those aged 55 to 64 years and a 20% fall in those aged 35

to 44 years (Table 1.4 and Figures 1.4a and 1.4b). There is some evidence that these rates are

beginning to plateau in younger age groups1.

British Heart

Foundation

Statistics Database

www.heartstats.org

13

Death rates from stroke fell throughout the latter part of the twentieth century2. For people under

65 they have fallen by 30% in the last ten years (Figure 1.1e). Recently rates have declined at a

slower rate than previously, particularly in the younger age groups (Figures 1.1e and 1.1f).

A recent study aimed to explain the decline in mortality from CHD over the last two decades

of the twentieth century in Britain. Combining and analysing data on uptake and effectiveness

of cardiological treatments and risk factor trends, the authors examined how much of the

decline in CHD mortality in England and Wales between 1981 and 2000 could be attributed to

medical and surgical treatments and how much to changes in cardiovascular risk factors. They

concluded that more than half (58%) of the CHD mortality decline in Britain during the 1980s

and 1990s was attributable to reductions in major risk factors, principally smoking. Treatments

to individuals, including secondary prevention, explained the remaining two-fifths (42%) of the

mortality decline3.

International differences

Despite recent improvements, internationally the death rate from CHD in the UK is relatively

high (Table 1.5 and Figure 1.5a). In countries of Eastern and Central Europe - where death

rates have been rising rapidly recently - the death rates are generally higher than in the UK but

among developed European countries only Ireland and Finland have a higher rate than the UK

(Figure 1.5a).

While the death rate from CHD has been falling in the UK it has not been falling as fast as in

some other countries. For example, the death rate for men aged 35 to 74 fell by 42% between

1990 and 2000 in the UK, but it fell by 48% in Australia and 54% in Norway. For women the

death rate fell by 44% in the UK but in Australia and New Zealand the rate fell by 51% and

48% respectively (Figure 1.5b).

Over the same period, the death rates from CHD in countries of Eastern and Central Europe

(most notably countries of the former USSR) have experienced substantial increases. In the

Ukraine, for example, between 1990 and 2000 death rates rose by over 60% in both men and

women (Figure 1.5b).

National and regional differences

Death rates from CHD are highest in Scotland, and the North of England, lowest in the South

of England, and intermediate in Wales and Northern Ireland. The premature death rate for men

living in Scotland is 65% higher than in the South West of England and 112% higher for women.

For more than 25 years these rates have been consistently highest in Scotland (Table 1.6).

Maps of CHD mortality by local authority in the UK demonstrate this North-South gradient

and show that the highest mortality rates are also concentrated in urban areas (Table 1.7 and

Figures 1.7a and 1.7b).

Socio-economic differences

Since the 1970s the premature death rate has fallen across all social groups for both men and

women. However for men the death rate has fallen faster in non-manual workers than in manual

workers, that is the difference in death rates increased between these groups (Figure 1.8). At the

end of the 1980s the premature death rate from CHD for male manual workers was 58% higher

British Heart

Foundation

Statistics Database

www.heartstats.org

14

than for male non-manual workers. The premature death rate from CHD for female manual

workers was more than twice as high as that for female non-manual workers. Towards the end

of the 1990s the premature death rate was 50% higher for manual male workers compared with

their non-manual counterparts. During the same period the premature death rate for female

manual workers was 73% higher than their non-manual counterparts (Table 1.8).

In 1997 it was estimated that each year 5,000 lives and 47,000 working years are lost in men

aged 20 to 64 years due to social class inequalities in CHD death rates. Just under one in three

of all deaths under 65 years resulting from social class inequalities are due to CHD. In England

and Wales there is a strong positive relationship between deaths from circulatory diseases and

levels of deprivation (Table 1.9). This pattern is clear in CHD and stroke for both men and

women (Figure 1.9).

To help reduce these socio-economic inequalities, CVD inequalities targets have been introduced

in England, Scotland and Wales (Table 1.1). Data from the Central Health Monitoring Unit

show that in England there has been clear progress towards this target: the absolute gap in CVD

mortality between the fifth most deprived areas and the population as a whole, in people aged

under 75, has fallen by just over 20% since the mid-1990s (Figure 1.1b).

Ethnic differences

Among men living in the UK but born in South Asia and Eastern Europe and among women

living in the UK but born in South Asia there is a higher premature death rate from CHD than

average. Data from 2003 show that the death rate among Bangladeshi men is 112% higher and

the death rate among Pakistani women living in England is 146% higher than the average for

England and Wales (Table 1.10 and Figure 1.10a). Premature death rates from CHD for men

born in the Caribbean and West Africa and for women born in Italy but living in the UK were

lower than average (Table 1.10 and Figure 1.10a).

Men living in England but born in Bangladesh had more than twice the chance of suffering

premature death from stroke than those born in England and Wales.

The difference in the death rates between those born in South Asia and the general population

increased in the 1970s and 1980s. This is because the death rate from CHD was not falling as fast

in South Asian groups as it was in the rest of the population. From 1971 to 1991 the mortality

rate for 20 to 69 year olds for the whole population fell by 29% for men and 17% for women

whereas in people born in South Asia it fell by 20% for men and 7% for women4.

Women born in Jamaica and living in England were 76% more likely to die prematurely from

stroke than those born in England and Wales (Table 1.10 and Figure 1.10b).

Excess winter mortality

In the UK more people die of CHD in the winter months. In 2004/05, just under 7,000 people

died from CHD in England and Wales each month in June and July, compared to around 9,000

in December and January (Table 1.11 and Figure 1.11).

Excess winter mortality is the mortality that occurs in winter above that which occurs in the rest

of the year5. In 2004/05, in England and Wales, during the winter months there were around

British Heart

Foundation

Statistics Database

www.heartstats.org

15

19% more deaths than would be expected on the basis of the underlying mortality throughout

the year. This percentage is higher in older age groups, with excess winter mortality more than

twice as high in the over 85s compared to the under 65s (Table 1.12).

The amount of excess winter mortality varies considerably by region – it is highest in the West

Midlands and lowest in the North East of England. Excess winter mortality also varies from year

to year. In 1999/2000, there were nearly twice as many excess winter deaths from CHD than in

2004/05 (8,960 compared to 5,450 deaths)6.

Public health targets

Recent trends indicate that the Our Healthier Nation target to reduce the death rate from CHD,

stroke and related diseases in people under 75 years by at least two fifths by 2010 will be met

(Figure 1.1a).

Progress towards the CVD inequalities target in England is also steady. If this continues, the

target to reduce the inequalities gap in premature death rates from CVD between the areas with

the worst health and deprivation indicators and the population as a whole by 40% by 2010 will

also be met (Figure 1.1b).

1. Allender S, Scarborough P, O’Flaherty M, Capewell S. (2008) 20th century CHD morality in England and Wales: population trends

in CHD risk factors and coronary death. BMC Public Health (in press).

2. Office for National Statistics (1997) The Health of Adult Britain. The Stationery Office: London.

3. Unal B, Critchley JA, Capewell S (2004) Explaining the decline in coronary heart disease mortality in England and Wales between

1981 and 2000. Circulation 109: 1101-1107.

4. Wild S, McKeigue P (1997) Cross sectional analysis of mortality by country of birth in England and Wales, 1970-92. BMJ 314:

705-710.

5. Excess winter deaths are calculated by subtracting the actual number of deaths in winter (usually December to March), from the

number of deaths which would have been expected for this period, calculated on the basis of the actual number of deaths occurring

in the surrounding non-winter months. It is postulated that excess winter mortality is partially preventable through improvements

to cold damp housing – see Olsen N (2001) Prescribing warmer, healthier homes. BMJ 322: 748-749.

6. Office for National Statistics (2006), personal communication.

British Heart

Foundation

Statistics Database

www.heartstats.org

16

1. Department of Health (1999) Our Healthier Nation. DH: London.

2. Department of Health (2004) National Standards, Local Action: Health and Social Care Standards and Planning Framework

2005/06 and 2007/08. DH: London.

3. Welsh Assembly Government (2005) See Chief Medical Officer Wales website www.cmo.wales.gov.uk/content/work/health-gain-

targets/the-targets-e.htm#chd

4. Welsh Assembly Government (2005) See Chief Medical Officer Wales website www.cmo.wales.gov.uk/content/work/health-gain-

targets/the-targets-e.htm#olderpeople

5. Scottish Executive (2008). Spending Review 2007, Scottish Government. The Scottish Executive: (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/

Publications/2007/11/30090722/34) and http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2007/12/11103453/6.

6. New strategies for CVD in Northern Ireland are currently being developed by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public

Safety.

Table 1.1 CVD mortality targets for the United Kingdom

England1,2

CVD - Target To reduce the death rate from CHD, stroke and related diseases

in people under 75 years by at least two fifths by 2010 – saving

up to 200,000 lives in total

CVD - Milestone To reduce the death rate from CHD, stroke and related diseases

in people under 75 years by at least one quarter by 2005

CVD - Inequalities To reduce the inequalities gap in death rates from CHD, stroke

target and related diseases between the fifth of areas with the worst

health and deprivation indicators and the population as a whole

in people under 75 years by 40% by 2010

Wales3,4

CHD – Health outcome To reduce CHD mortality in 65-74 year olds from 600 per

target 100,000 in 2002 to 400 per 100,000 in 2012

CHD – Health To improve CHD mortality in all groups and at the same time aim

inequality target for a more rapid improvement in the most deprived groups

Stroke To reduce stroke mortality in 65-74 year olds by 20% by

2012

Scotland5

CHD - Target To reduce mortality rates from CHD among people under 75

years by 60% between 1995 and 2010, from the 1995 baseline

of 124.6 to 49.8 per 100,000 population (standardised to the

European Standard Population)

CHD - Inequalities To reduce the death rate from coronary heart disease (CHD)

target of those aged under 75 years living in the most deprived 15%

of areas in Scotland. Reduce mortality from CHD among the

under 75s in deprived areas.

Stroke – Target To reduce mortality rates from stroke among people under 75

years by 50% between 1995 and 2010, from the 1995 baseline

of 37.5 to 18.8 per 100,000 population (standardised to the

European Standard Population)

Northern Ireland6 No target set

British Heart

Foundation

Statistics Database

www.heartstats.org

 

.....but what do I know ?

 

 

 

Your Big Event

Office:01803 813540

Direct: 0797 0717 448

e.mail:info@yourbigevent.co.uk

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A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.

 

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

 

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

 

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

 

He then asked once more if the jar was full. This time the students were sure and they responded with a unanimous "YES!"

 

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar -- effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

 

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children, things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car".

 

The sand is everything else. The small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued "there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you".

 

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. Do something for the community. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.

 

"Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

 

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers."

 

I'm a DJ based in Northern Ireland with nearly 10 years' experience offering a range of services. Including club residencies, karaoke, pub quizzes, specialised wedding service, Master of Ceremonies, Compere, Night at the Races and much more.

 

 

 

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