Posted in Psychology & Medicine

Berry Aneurysm

Stroke is a disease often associated with the elderly, but this is not necessarily true. As much as 5% of the population carry a ticking time bomb in their brain, known as a berry aneurysm. An aneurysm is a weakening of the arterial wall, causing a localised ballooning of the vessel. A berry aneurysm is a common type of aneurysm where the ballooning resembles a berry. What is most troubling is that a large proportion of these aneurysms can present very early (usually congenital, meaning you are born with it), with one research suggesting that 1.3% of the population in the age group of 20 to 39 has a berry aneurysm. If this berry aneurysm was to burst, no matter how young and fit you are, you will bleed into the area around your brain (subarachnoid haemorrhage), suddenly develop a severe, crippling headache (“thunderclap headache”), become confused, show signs of stroke such as speech or movement problems, or simply drop dead.


Fortunately, only 10% of people carrying a berry aneurysm suffer a ruptured aneurysm and subsequent brain bleed. The other 90% will carry on living their lives, without ever knowing that they had a time bomb in their brain.

Certain factors make the risk of the aneurysm bursting go up, such as high blood pressure, which can be caused by a stressful lifestyle or smoking. But in some cases, as explained above, even a healthy teenager could suddenly drop to the ground with a massive brain haemorrhage.

Berry aneurysms are only one of many ways death could strike unnoticed, no matter how young you may be. You could live a long and healthy life and die peacefully in your sleep when you are 90 years old, or you may have a stroke and drop dead in a few minutes’ time. For all you know, a bus might run you over tomorrow, with no warning whatsoever. Ergo, youth is not an excuse to waste the day you are given. You do not have to achieve something great, or be productive, but at least spend your day knowing that you are doing everything in your power to make yourself happy, without harming your health, your future or other people.

Carpe diem. Seize the day.

Posted in Philosophy

Carpe Diem

Countless teenagers claim that “you only live once” and use that as an excuse to live a reckless, risky life. Although most adults have the sense to recognise how idiotic and juvenile that sounds, it seems that they live their life as if there is only one chance as well. Too many people give up everything after a big failure messes up their lives, thinking that their life is “over”. For example, if a person has trained to become a mechanical engineer and one day has an accident that prevents them from ever working as an engineer again, the most common response is to fall into a pit of despair. They believe that they are only trained to do the one thing, and not doing it contradicts their life entirely. They are afraid that their life is over – that they are “dead”.

According to a certain statistic, we are capable of learning and mastering something new in 7 years. This means that between the ages of 11 and 88, you have no less than 11 opportunities to be great at something. Ergo, even if one “life” is over, you still have 10 opportunities to start a new life. Some people are too afraid to let one of their lives die and cling to the past, never moving forward to live on. But you have many lives. You do not live once.

Spend a life writing poems, spend a life building things. Spend a life looking for facts, spend a life looking for truth. Be a doctor, a musician, a detective, a chef, a businessman or a wanderer. No life is wasted as long as you are doing what you truly want, while not hurting yourself or others. Never forget that you have numerous lifetimes that are waiting to be seized by you. There will be times in life when you are hit with misfortune, when your life seems to crumbling around you. But that is just life. Realise that you still have the chance to start anew. And in the meantime, enjoy the lifetime you are living. Seize the day, and all the other lifetimes that are lying ahead of you.

Carpe diem.

(Idea and image from