Unfortunate results when commuter loses his temper

underground _m

An interesting story appeared online this week, telling of  an interviewee getting  the shock of his life, when he was confronted by a man that he had an altercation with, earlier that day, on the London Underground. The story tells of how the angry commuter was confronted with HR executive Matt Buckland at the job interview. Needless to say, the man did not get the job.

This amusing story shows just how one reacts when one feels, or perceives to be threatened. The story elaborates that the man was on a crowded underground train and as he pushed past. Mr Buckland he issued a string of profanities.

Of course, this is an amusing story, and we can all laugh, but often when we ourselves feel or perceived threatened, we react uncharacteristically the reason for this is a primal area in the brain called the amygdala, which is in the limbic system. Fundamentally, when one feels threatened this primal instinct kicks in. As part of the brain. Is responsible perceived threat; it’s part of our fight, flight or freeze mechanism.

Unfortunately for this commuter his primal brain got the better of him and the area of the brain where logic and reason is processed, the prefrontal cortex, was momentarily overruled, and disastrous consequences Insured; not only the embarrassment of been placed on social media, but also the loss of a potential job.


One of the ways this angry commuter could have learnt to outsmart anger is to learn to use his prefrontal cortex. Understanding what triggers some of these primal instincts is one of the ways one can learn to manage one’s anger.  Anger is only an emotion, and it can be mastered. One of the ways in doing this is learning to engage, empathy, putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes is one of the ways to quell one’s anger.

The best way to learn to do this is learning to empathise with others at a young age. Eleos counselling will be launching an anger management program for young people in the spring of 2015. If you would like to know more, please go to the website by clicking the link below.



Research confirms the mental health effects of skunk marijuana

A long-term study,(six years)which is  due to be published in the Lancet psychiatry confirmsjointjpg that long-term use of skunk marijuana can have lasting effects on mental health. The study addressed what is described as first episode psychosis and concluded that this is strongly reliant on the type of cannabis used. The research investigators established there was little or no harm to mental health, if low potency hash or block, cannabis is used, even if the use is daily.

The report concluded that the risk increased significantly, if the skunk marijuana is used. These findings confirm what is already thought that there is a strong association with the frequent use skunk marijuana and psychosis.

For those who are not in the know, skunk marijuana is a term applied to select plants which are high levels of THC; the active ingredient in Skunk marijuana. Skunk marijuana, which normally grown in legally, using hydroponic cultivation, and matured, under artificial lights.

Researchers have concluded that a THC level in skunk marijuana is 15% percent higher than normal block hash or cannabis.

The research showed that those who smoke skunk marijuana every day are up to 5 times more likely to suffer with psychosis ,compared to those who do not use the recreational drug.

It is estimated that some 60,000 people in Britain are living with a mental health condition. This can be greatly worsened by smoking skunk marijuana.  The report concluded that the smoking of this potent strain of marijuana could possibly be accountable for up to quarter of new cases psychosis, paranoia and schizophrenia.

This research backs up a study carried out in Switzerland using functional magnetic resonance imaging machines, concluded that skunk marijuana alters the size of  a vital area of the brain, the amygdala; thought to be the centre of all emotions.

This research goes alongside the fact that some states in America have deregulated skunk marijuana, making it legal.

The true effect of this potent form of marijuana will only be really realised in maybe two or three generations time, when there is a notable is Spike in the levels of psychosis schizophrenia paranoia in the younger generation.

Diogenes syndrome : a symptom of dementia or loneliness?

hoarding_eleoscounsellingA  recent article in the Daily Express spoke of a lady who had lived for three decades in a battered car, in a South London residential street. The lady in question Anne  Naysmith, recently died after being hit by a car, close to her home. It transpired that Anne Naysmith had been a talented concert pianist who had been suffering from Diogenes syndrome. This is mental illness, named after the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, who cast off material things in favour of  living  in a large jar in Athens.

A person with Diogenes syndrome has many idiosyncratic characteristics, one of which can be hoarding. As with Anne Naysmith, Diogenes syndrome is often associated with extreme self-neglect, causing the person to become socially withdrawn, furthermore, sufferers of Diogenes Syndrome, will also have a compulsion to hoard rubbish, which can add to the social isolation.

It is thought that long periods of social isolation, which causes lack of cognitive stimulation, or a genetic precondition may be the cause of this syndrome. An additional factor which is also thought to cause the syndrome is a traumatic life event. In the case of Anne Naysmith, it was thought that the breakup of her relationship with a handsome choral singer induced some of the behaviours which she had to her death.

For the family members of someone suffering with Diogenes syndrome, it can be difficult seeing someone living in extreme squalor. Furthermore, for those who are left to sort through years of squalid living.

With the biggest charity in Britain today announcing three centres of medical research, one in, Oxford, one in Cambridge and one at Kings College London. These three centres will be dedicated in trying to find a medical solution for dementia.  It is well known that Early-onset dementia will become more prevalent , in Great Britain as the  population becomes older.

Increasingly, people are becoming more and lonelier and social stimulation, is something that people crave for.  One can only wonder whether , if Anne  Naysmith had received the right amount of support, in the form of psychotherapy, after the break of the relationship, whether the outcome for her would of been different.

Anger in children and young adults : knowing anger

angry teenager_Eleos counselling


It would be right to say that most adults have angry feelings, these are normal reactions to when things which frustrate us when things go wrong, or people feel an injustice has been done to them. Children, young people express these feelings in different ways.

In a young toddler or young child, frustration and anger is often expressed by  tantrums, when they don’t get what they feel they should or get their own way. They can hit, scream, throw things and often destroy possessions. This is their way of saying they don’t like the emotions or feelings they have, and struggling to express these words. Consequently, their behaviours express their anger and frustration.

In teenagers anger can be expressed by being defiant and refusing to keep house rules. A teenager will often push against boundaries to increase their own independence or sense of self.

Young adults and children can often convey their anger by shouting, refusing to do what they’re told. Furthermore,  a disturbing behaviour, Parents often witnessed or objects of is  when a child starts to hit them or hurt them, often using spiteful words, which  often cuts to the quick.

Young person or child could have many reasons for express their anger inappropriately, including the following:

  • Struggling to come to terms with hormonal changes during puberty.
  • Divorce or separation in parents.
  • Sibling rivalry or jealousy towards a brother or sister.
  • The feeling of rejection by parents or close family.
  • Witnessing domestic violence.
  • Being  accepted into  a friendship group or having problems, relationship  difficulties within that group.
  • Feeling powerless through being bullied or hurt.
  • Struggling to cope with schoolwork, academic workload.
  • Having to be a carer will look after parents or relatives.
  • Breakup in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend

Anger is a normal part of being human, but for some children, or young adult’s  anger is often expressed inappropriately.  Parents, grandparents, or adults close to the  young people, young adults, often feel walking on egg shells and will often placate behaviours, rather than deal with them head-on.

At Eleos counselling is   developing an anger management program for young people. Unlike most programs  the Eleos counselling program is educational and fun for the young person to engage with. This course will be run groups, and rather seeing this as a punishment the young person, see this as an opportunity to find out how to express his or her anger. If you would like to know more, please go is the homepage and from there you will find our contact details,or click the link below annual be taken to the Eleos counselling website



Fixed odds betting terminals: The crack cocaine of gambling?

Fixed odds betting machines or FOBT are again back in the news. Often called the crack of cocaine of gambling fix odds betting terminals, is back under scrutiny.

The coalition government is urged to  impose a ban on the use of these machines in high Street bookies. This campaign has been ignited by Derby businessman Mr Derek Webb, who is funding a campaign to ban FOBTs, Mr Webb  a millionaire made his fortune who, though gambling; Mr Webb is also noted as inventing  Three Card Poker.FOBT_machine-21.2

Fixed odds betting machines have been known to take hundred pounds every 10 seconds.

FOBT vastly different from normal fruit machines, such as those in clubs, bars, in which stakes are set to £2, using a FOBT a gambler can gamble up to £100 every 20 seconds – better than four times quicker than the rate of play in a genuine casino, with a maximum payout of £500, the popularity of these machines has spread to most high streets and betting shops throughout the country.

In one report in the Guardian Newspaper interviewed one gambler commenting that he had gambled away his monthly income in a few hours.

Figures released by the gambling commission, stated that the gross profit on fixed odds betting machines in 2012 was estimated to be £1.4 billion.

The British Association for bookmakers stated that there is no evidence to suggest that fixed odds betting machines are causing gambling addictions. The industry is reluctant to adjust these machines to allow for smaller stakes and smaller prizes commenting that the impact on the gambling industry would be a loss of 40,000 jobs and the  closure of a possibly 8,000 high Street bookies shops. One notable fact is that in UK the gambling industry pays over £1 billion in tax each year.


With more accessible gambling, such as fixed odds betting machines, and online gambling. One has to ask the net effect on gambling addiction in the UK. The in the past, one could gamble was a bookies shop, now  is available 24 seven online.

As with all psychological addictions, gambling plays into the pleasure centers of the brain stimulating endorphins, giving what is often called a “gambler’s high”.

As with all addictions, and addicted gambler needs support in withdrawing from his or habit or behaviour.

Eleos counselling, has had many years helping clients with addictive behaviours. If you would like to know more, please click on the link below.