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The Japanese problem known as the hikikomori is a subject of much speculation and debate. There have been several theories, but none of them have ample evidence to be considered the definitive answer. In addition, the problem is now starting to be reported outside of Japan, indicating that it is likely not rooted in Japanese society and culture.

Hikikomori: Is It A Social Issue, Or A Mental Problem?

Hikikomori: Is It A Social Issue, Or A Mental Problem?In Japan, the hikikomori phenomenon is something that the country's government supposedly views with a mix of disdain and worry. The act of completely cutting oneself off from all social and human contact for an extended period is an understandable cause of alarm, particularly in a cultural and corporate environment like that of Japan. The phenomenon is still a subject of intense study, though subjects for observation can be difficult to come by simply due to the nature of the problem. A typical hikikomori can be nearly impossible to even contact, let alone be convinced to allow himself to be observed by mental health experts. Given this situation, it is not all that easy to get concrete, first-hand information on them. However, there is an ample supply of theories, covering both factors in the development of such behavior and the possible root causes of it.Most believe the problem to be rooted primarily in extreme social anxiety, as evidenced by the act of cutting oneself off from all human contact. There are conflicting reports on whether or not the person involved in this still has contact with others through the Internet, though this may or may not be a factor, depending on whether or not it is strictly "social anxiety" or if there are other factors or issues involved. Indeed, it is too easy to simply state that the hikikomori problem is rooted in social anxiety.Another potential factor, as some psychologists have suggested, is an acute form of performance anxiety, usually accompanied by a sense of depression over the state of the Japanese economy. Most reported cases of hikikomori in Japan come from middle-class families. Economically speaking, the average Japanese middle-class family can financially support a single, non-working child --- a situation that has given rise to the term parasite singles, In theory, a child who is afraid of not meeting the expectations of his family and, at the same time, the knowledge that he does not need to actually work leads to a form of "performance anxiety" . This type of anxiety has left them psychologically unable to work. This situations combined with the depression over Japan's current economic and political standing can even lead some individuals to become unwilling to work.From what evidence is available at this point, it is possible to speculate that there is more to this than one would assume, as this may be more of a "mental health" issue than a social one. Some have gone so far as to mention that the hikikomori phenomenon may be an entirely new breed of mental health issue, though most psychologists and sociologists dispute this claim. While there is very little dispute that this sort of behavior is rooted firmly in mental health problems, most would consider it radical thinking to assume that this is an entirely new disorder. There is a possibility of this, though there has not been sufficient first-hand study of the behavior to back up a claim either way.There have also been extensive claims that the hikikomori phenomenon is caused by factors inherent to current Japanese social norms. The argument that there are facets or aspects of how Japanese society expects people to behave and think is a strong one, mainly because the problem was first reported in Japan and bears a distinctly Japanese name. However, there is evidence that this sort of problem is not confined merely to Japan, as reports of similar problems are emerging in Taiwan, Singapore, and China. There are still common factors between these countries, most notably the education system, indicating that it may be a cultural factor common to the above countries. According to the BBC, however, citizens in the UK have claimed to have had personal experience with hikikomori in the UK, arguing that the problem was not an inherently Japanese or East Asian one.The difficulty in determining the root cause of the problem has also lent itself to finding ways to alleviate it. Since there is no evidence to support one cause or another, there has been difficulty in determining whether the problem can be treated with therapy, psychoactive drugs, or both. As long as there is a lack of concrete information on the hikikomori problem, effective ways and means to help hikikomori overcome their problems will remain slow to develop. The lack of awareness and information about this complex psychological disorder has left hundreds of hikikomori secluded in their own little worlds, imprisoned by self-doubt and fear about the world outside.

Female Infertility

Female Infertility

What is the essence of a woman? This is one of the questions the judges asked during the 1994 Miss Universe competition. One contestant, Sushmita Sen, gave such a wonderful answer that she won the Miss Universe title that year. According to her, the essence of a woman is being a mother to a child and teaching him (or her) about sharing, caring and loving. Indeed, one of the main and most important roles of any woman is being a good mother to her children. However, not every woman is blessed with the ability to bear a child. Pregnancy is one stage in life that almost every woman will undergo. Women, with their unique anatomy and physiology, are naturally built to be capable of producing life. For some reason, however, some women are not able to do this. This situation leads to various negative effects on a woman's relationship with her partner and her self-concept. In response to this concern, different treatments or medications are already available for women to consider. However, some, if not all, of those treatments have certain disadvantages or side effects.Based on a discussion about infertility posted at About.com, infertility can be caused by three main reasons. Those involving a woman's anatomy are classified under structural issues, which can be problems occurring in the fallopian tube, uterus or cervix caused by blockage, fibroid or insufficient opening. Another possible cause concerns the physiology of pregnancy --- a bio-mechanical issue. Scar tissues that can cause blockage within the uterus and fallopian tube can hinder a woman from getting pregnant. Finally, infertility can originate from a primary problem with ovulation and is thus called an ovulatory issue. Hormonal abnormalities, the effect of some medications and other health problems can harm the functioning of the ovary and cause ovarian failure.A woman's inability to get pregnant can be very stressful not only to herself but also to her partner. Because it is expected of her to bear children, not being able to do so is considered a failure on her part. The pressure imposed on her by her partner and other people may add up to her stress and anxiety. She may start blaming herself for this situation and develop a concept of herself as someone who is damaged. Her partner, on the other hand, may feel both disappointed and helpless faced with this problem. The stressfulness of their problem can cause negative changes in their mood and attitude. If the stress and anxiety of having this problem will not be dealt with properly, it can lead to frequent fighting between couples and possibly cause them to separate or divorce.Despite the initial feeling of helplessness, couples may still find encouragement in seeking possible solutions to a woman's infertility. Nowadays, medications like clomiphene citrate, follicle- stimulating hormone, and human menopausal gonadotropins are available in the market to stimulate ovulation in a woman. These treatments, however, have potential side effects which include multiple birth incidence, headaches or blurred vision, depression and mood swings, pelvic discomforts and ovarian cysts. Solution for structural and mechanical issues that cause infertility can be resolved mostly through surgery. Another approach based on oriental medicine is also currently recognized as an effective treatment for female infertility. Methods included under this approach include acupuncture and herbal medicine. The goal of acupuncture is to open the blocked energy that prevents fertilization. This is also believed to help restore the balance among organs especially in the endocrine system. On the other hand some herbal plants when ingested can increase the chances of pregnancy. These forms of treatment, however, can take a long time covering a period of approximately three to twelve months before it can be effective. With all available options as treatment for infertility nowadays, women may still fulfill their yearning for motherhood. Despite the disadvantages or side effects of some medications, it is through careful consideration that women or couples should decide what to undergo. If, despite all alternatives, pregnancy is still not possible for some women, this does not necessarily mean losing their essence. After all, motherhood is not just attained biologically.

Cancer Bands

Cancer Bands

In 2004, the Lance Armstrong Foundation created the Livestrong cancer band. This was when these bracelets really became popular. The bracelets are used and worn to raise support and money for cancer research.The Lance Armstrong Foundation was established in 1997 back when cyclist Lance Armstrong was able to overcome cancer. The foundations mission is to inspire as well as empower people affected with cancer together with their families and friends.Today, these cancer bands are created for almost every type of cancer. These cancer bands are definitely a great way to support the research for cancer in hopes to find a cure.Cancer Bands was created in order to inform people of these cancer bands as well as inform them about the many types of cancer. It is said that cancer is the second cause of death in the US - trailing behind heart disease.Each year, more than a million Americans get some sort of treatment for cancer. Unfortunately, 330000 of them usually die. Cancer attacks people of all ages - from newborns to the elderly. Cancer Research was created to inform, help, and provide ways for people to learn about cancer and donate to cancer research. Cancer Research hopes that spreading the news and awareness of cancer through their website and through cancer bands will help safe lives.The website provides information about all different types of cancer such as:breast cancer,prostate cancer,lung cancer,pancreatic cancer,colon cancer,skin cancer,ovarian cancer,cervical cancer,testicular cancer,liver cancer,bone cancer,thyroid cancer,stomach cancer,bladder cancer,brain cancer,throat cancer,kidney cancer,uterine cancer,and mouth cancer.With every category of cancer listed on the website, users are able to read information about each type. The website provides information such as incidence of each type of cancer, signs and symptoms, who is at the most risk, prevention, and treatment.

Tips For Buying An Affordable Hot Tub or Portable Spa

Tips For Buying An Affordable Hot Tub or Portable Spa

Most people first try a hot tub either on vacation, at a local health club or perhaps even at a friend's house. Hot tubs can be great for relaxing with friends after a hard day at work. They help the body to unwind and relax in a healthy and totally natural way.When initially enquiring about buying a "hot tub" or spa, many people get shocked when they find out that certain models can cost anywhere between $5000 and $10,000. This puts them out of the reach of a lot of people, but there is a more affordable alternative.Portable spas can cost as little as $2500 to $3500. When you take into account the sheer enjoyment and health benefits associated with a hot water spa, you begin to see that these affordable hot tubs are worth every penny.A portable hot tub or portable spa sits above ground and can be easily installed. They are normally engineered to be one-piece and are molded from highly durable and hardwearing plastic. Many weigh less than 250lbs and can be moved easily by one or two people.Certain "portable spa" s also make use of regular 110V power sockets instead of the higher 220V sockets. This means you can simply use an existing socket to power your portable spa. This is a major advantage because 110V sockets are much more common than 220V sockets. When buying a portable spa it makes sense to buy a cover for it at the same time. A cover will help keep in the heat and help keep the water clean.You should also make sure you know how to keep your hot tub clean. The hot tub should come with a filter but you should also clean the water line on a daily basis to prevent any build up of bacteria, algae or dirt.You will also need to check the sanitizer levels. The sanitizer is what will destroy the bacteria and keep algae levels down. You will need to purchase test strips to test it. You should also check the PH level of the water to prevent corrosion or scaling.On a weekly basis you will also need to oxidize the water with some good non-chlorine shock This will keep your water looking as clean and sparkling.For more information about portable " hot tubs" and portable spas please visit http://www.aah-spas.com

How Do I Lower Cholesterol Naturally?

Not everyone is conscious about how and what they eat. Because of this, many people suffer from degenerative diseases, which are caused by bad lifestyle choices. Too much fat in food can cause the bodys cholesterol levels to rise. High cholesterol is the primary reason for heart diseases, being overweight and high blood pressure etc. Considering how serious the damage that high cholesterol can be to your health, it has become important that people be mindful of what they can or cannot eat in order to maintain a lower cholesterol level in accordance with what the human body is required to have. What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is defined as a wax-like matter that is derived from the liver. Having cholesterol in the body is important. Usually, our cholesterol levels are related to the food we eat. Many of the foods we eat contain some saturated fats that influence cholesterol levels. An increase of the bodys normal cholesterol level can be detrimental to health. Thats why more often than not people with high percentages of cholesterol are advised to practice a diet that can help them lower their cholesterol levels. Lower cholesterol plays a key role in healthful living. An excess of cholesterol in the blood can cause the arteries to clot. And this clotting of the arteries may lead to a disease known as atherosclerosis. If this continues, the blood vessel becomes diminutive to the point that it could affect the flow of the blood through the veins, thereby resulting in heart attack or stroke. Furthermore, greater damage can be experienced if you have other ailments like obesity, hypertensions, and diabetes. Many alternatives for reducing high cholesterol incidents are being developed. However, there are natural approaches that can be adopted by everyone. To lower cholesterol the natural way, you are likely to be advised to follow a sensible diet and exercise scheme. A sensible diet means adhering to a low cholesterol diet. This would involve eating foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Based on medical studies foods like avocados, garlic and olive oil can help reduce cholesterol. Fiber-rich foods are also proven to reduce the risk for high cholesterol. Stay away from fried foods; grilling your food is better for your health. Keeping fit is the simplest therapy that everyone can do. Other natural options that can prevent excessive cholesterol is steering clear of cigarette smoking and drinking. Natural ways to reduce cholesterol can bring significant changes to your health changes that are vital to living a hearty and healthy life. If you suffer with high cholesterol, you should consult your primary care physician prior to making any changes in your diet or lifestyle.

Bariatric Surgery: The Quick Fix to Obesity

Overweight and obese people are constantly on the look out for new gadgets or devices they can use to shed off their unwanted pounds. Some have success stories, some fail. Some understand the concept of healthy weight-loss, some are looking for a quick fix. Some opt to do it the natural way, some choose surgery. One of the well known weight loss surgery availed by obese people is bariatric surgery.Bariatric surgeryBariatric surgery, more commonly referred to as weight loss surgery, is a combination of surgical procedures performed to treat overweight and obese people. This is best for people whove failed to reach their weight loss targets through dieting and exercise routines. Compared to other surgical procedures for obesity, bariatric surgery may help attain a more healthy body weight. Like any other available surgical options for obesity, bariatric surgery has it benefits. Although, of course, do not forget to consider the possible risk and side effects before choosing to undergo such a procedure.Doctors check the following criteria before endorsing s patient for surgery:A body mass index or bmi of 40 and above. This equates to about a hundred pounds overweight for men, and eighty pounds overweight for women.A bmi of 35 to 39.9 along with a serious obesity-related health condition like hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and obstructive sleep apnea (this occurs when breathing stops for a few seconds while sleeping).A clear understanding of the operation and the lifestyle changes that the operation would require from you after the procedure is performed.The most common procedure is the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Here, a small stomach pouch is created with a stapler device, and connected to the distal small intestine. The upper part of the small intestine is then reattached in a Y-shaped configuration.In the United States, an estimated 140,000 people have requested to have the said procedure, thus making it the most commonly performed operation for weight loss. Gastric bypass procedure has already been performed for almost 50 years, thats why surgeons have become comfortable with the full understanding of the risks and benefits of the procedure.RisksEven if bariatric surgery uses a minimally invasive surgery technique, it is still considered a major operation. And like all other major operations, you will be administered general anaesthetic, and will require a few days at the hospital and a few weeks to recuperate. And like any other major operations, there will still be risks involved. General risks:BleedingInfection in the incisionPotential heart and/or lung problemIntestinal obstructions due to adhesionsHernia through the incision; rejection of materials used for the sutureGeneral anaesthesia related risksPost Operative Early Risks:Gastric fluid leakage from the stomach or intestines through the sutures which may result to abdominal infection. This will require a second operation to drain the infection.Spleen injury. Rare as this side effect may be, spleen removal may be required if the bleeding cannot be controlled.Post Operative Late Risks:Ulcer formation on the stomach or small intestine. Defecating. Patients may produce loose stools and/or abdominal cramps immediately after eating certain foods. Obstruction of the opening of the stoma. This happens when a piece of food becomes lodged in the stoma. Vitamin and/or iron deficiency.Inaccessibility of the lower stomach and upper intestine to certain diagnostic tests.Staple disruption may occur at any time. A second operation may be required for re-stapling.Hair loss can be a temporary problem within the first six to twelve months after the operation. This is mostly attributed to vitamin deficiency. There is no specific remedy other than proper nutrition and multivitamin supplements.Now that the risks and benefits have been laid to you, think about it carefully before undergoing this treatment. Consult your physician and have them discuss this matter thoroughly. After all, this is your body and this is a big change. Just keep in mind that even if surgery is the fastest way to get over your obesity ordeal, the best way to lose weight is still through the natural process.

Summary

The Japanese problem known as the hikikomori is a subject of much speculation and debate. There have been several theories, but none of them have ample evidence to be considered the definitive answer. In addition, the problem is now starting to be reported outside of Japan, indicating that it is likely not rooted in Japanese society and culture.