“My confidence has taken a hit during lockdown – how can I get it back?”

Written by Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s junior digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.

Could the isolation of lockdown be the reason why so many of us are feeling less confident in ourselves? We asked an expert to explain. 

It’s no secret that the pandemic has taken a toll on our collective mental health. Whether you’ve struggled with health anxiety surrounding the virus itself, dealt with feelings of loneliness as a result of lockdown restrictions or experienced increased stress due to blurred work/life boundaries while working from home, the last 14 months have placed a strain on us all.

In my case, this has meant a decrease in my self-esteem and confidence as a result of spending time away from people during lockdown.

It’s a fact I’ve noticed particularly as lockdown restrictions have eased and I’ve been able to see friends again; whereas before I might have gone into a social situation without a second thought, I’m now doubting everything I say, worrying about what other people think of me and generally feeling unsure about myself and the way I present to the world.  It feels weird to admit, but spending time alone – and not being able to see myself through the eyes of other people – has messed with my sense of self.

Before the pandemic, I’d never quite released how important those regular interactions with my friends, work colleagues and peers were to how I see myself.Perhaps I didn’t want to admit it – when modern discourse frowns upon the idea that we might ‘need’ others to feel good about ourselves, it felt weirdly shameful to acknowledge how integral the presence of others is to how I see myself. Did I really need other people to feel happy and content in my own skin?

The answer, as it turns out, is yes – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You see while relying purely on external validation isn’t good for you, it’s completely normal to need some sense of feedback from those around you – in fact, it’s part of who we are as humans. 

“We are social creatures – we almost see ourselves through others – so not having that continual feedback can leave us feeling quite insecure,” explains chartered psychologist and author Dr Meg Arroll. “If we think of confidence as on one end of the spectrum and insecurity on the other, without that feedback loop, we’re kind of being nudged into that place of insecurity and feeling quite uncertain in ourselves.”

While, Dr Arroll acknowledges, some people prefer to spend time alone, and may not need as much feedback from others to feel confident, most people will need some kind of reassurance from others. Indeed, it’s actually normal to have different social groups which give you confidence in different areas – all of which add up to give you a certain sense of ‘you’.

“For instance, I feel like a slightly different person with different groups of friends, and it brings different parts of my personality out,” Dr Arroll says. “So, without that, we can almost kind of forget who we are – we need that reflection from others to show us.”

What Dr Arroll is saying makes a lot of sense. For example, I feel completely comfortable chatting to my colleagues at the moment, because I’ve spoken to them day-in-day-out via Zoom throughout the pandemic. However, when I see friends IRL who I haven’t spoken to much (except over text) for the last year, that side of my personality is a little out of practice, so it’s only normal to feel a little uncomfortable and rusty as I slip back into it. 

Getting back to socialising after a year of lockdown restrictions can feel jarring at first.

With this in mind, Dr Arroll suggests that, if you’ve found yourself struggling with your self-esteem and confidence as restrictions ease, one of the best things you can do is to practise a little bit of self-compassion and take ‘baby steps’ to get yourself used to socialising again.

“In different situations there will be different social norms, and because we haven’t been doing them every day, it’s going to take a little bit of time to build up that confidence of really knowing those norms and for them to become automatic again,” Dr Arroll explains.  

“Try to understand and acknowledge that we are our own worst critics,” she adds. “In the instances where we’re doubting ourselves, 99.9% of the time other people won’t have noticed.”

To try and address the amount of self-criticism you’re feeding yourself and practise being more self-compassionate, one of the best things you can do is to deal with your inner critic.

“When I work with patients, I encourage them to replace their inner critic with an inner coach, because we need to really focus on replacing thought patterns, not just trying to extinguish them” Dr Arroll explains.

“A way to do this is to think about someone who makes you feel really positive – it could be a real person, a celebrity, an imagined character – but someone who makes you feel really good about yourself. Try to imagine their tone and the pitch of their voice, and then bring that voice to life in your head.” 

She continues: “Now, whenever that inner critic is starting to say something negative, or questioning something you’ve done, replace it with this coach – you can even imagine a conversation between the critic and the coach, if you want. By doing this, you’re actively engaging in a more positive inner narrative.”

Finally, Dr Arroll suggests, one way to make yourself feel more secure in the moment is to use a have a ‘comfort item’ – something that can help you to feel more grounded when you’re feeling overwhelmed. This could be anything, from a comfy scarf to a good luck charm or even a picture on your phone.

“Whatever it is, have it so that, when you’re starting to feel uncomfortable or insecure, you have that visual reminder that you’re good enough and you’ve got this,” she adds.  

So, there we have it. If like me, you’ve been feeling a little low on confidence since restrictions started easing, you’re certainly not the only one – and there are things you can do in the meantime to make that transition back to ‘normal’ that little bit easier.

The last 14 months have been a rollercoaster ride – and as we start to get back to the things we love, it’s important that we cut ourselves some slack for getting through it all. 

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental health, you can find support and resources on the mental health charity Mind’s website and NHS Every Mind Matters or access the NHS list of mental health helplines and organisations here.

If you are struggling with your mental health, you can also ask your GP for a referral to NHS Talking Therapies, or you can self-refer.

You can also call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email [email protected] for confidential support.

Images: Getty

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Thailand says COVID-19 has peaked, but adds restrictions

Thailand says COVID-19 has peaked, but adds restrictions

Health authorities said Thailand’s recent COVID-19 wave has peaked after setting record daily highs of new cases and deaths, but they are still implementing new restrictions starting Saturday to curb the spread of the virus.

The country on Thursday reported 1,871 new cases for 63,570 total, and 10 virus-related deaths for a total of 188. It was the first time the number of new cases has dropped below 2,000 since April 23.

One major change approved Thursday by the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration is that people arriving from abroad must spend 14 days in quarantine regardless of where they are coming from or whether they have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Quarantine periods had recently been shortened to 7-10 days from 14 days to help revive the country’s massive tourist industry.

Other new restrictions inside Thailand will be applied depending on how provinces rank on a three-tier system of zones according to their number of new COVID-19 cases.

The new rules will be reviewed after two weeks, said Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the center’s spokesperson.

In Bangkok, Chiang Mai and four other provinces in the worst tier, restaurants are only allowed to provide takeout service and must close by 9 p.m. All gyms, fitness centers and other indoor sports venues must close. No spectators are allowed at sporting competitions and residents are strongly discouraged, though not banned, from traveling outside the zone.


Earlier this week, Bangkok city authorities already ordered the closing of more than 30 types of businesses and services including cinemas, parks, zoos, bars, pools and massage parlors. Gatherings of more than 20 people were banned. Shopping malls and department stores can open with shorter hours.

In middle-tier provinces, restaurants can stay open until 11 p.m. but dining in is only allowed until 9 p.m. In the small number of provinces qualifying for the best tier, restaurants can serve customers inside until 11 p.m., but in all three zones, serving alcohol is not allowed.

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Brazil has S.Hemisphere’s highest overall COVID-19 death rate

death

Brazil, the country with the world’s second-highest COVID-19 death toll after the United States, also leads the Americas and the entire southern hemisphere in terms of its overall recorded death rate.

With 176 deaths per 100,000 since the beginning of the outbreak, the country of 212 million has recently overtaken Peru (174 per 100,000), the United States (172 per 100,000) and Mexico (165 per 100,000) according to data gathered by AFP from official country reports.

Overall, the country has had nearly 375,000 deaths, after the United States’ nearly 568,000.

Hit hard by a more infectious new strain dubbed P1, Brazil may surpass Britain (187 per 100,000) and Italy (194 per 100,000)—two of the countries hit hardest at the start of the outbreak—in less than a month, said demographer Jose Eustaquio Alves.

“Brazil broke all the death records in March and April and made a leap in the rankings… to reach the worst mortality rate in the Americas and the Southern Hemisphere,” he told AFP.

Last week, Brazil’s averaged about 3,000 deaths per day.

Things could get worse still, said Alves, as Brazil enters the Southern Hemisphere winter “and with the relaxation of restriction measures” by mayors and state governors.

The two countries in the world with the highest overall death rates are the Czech Republic (267 per 100,000) and Hungary (265 per 100,000).

Belgium and several Eastern and Central European countries also exceed 200 deaths per 100,000 of their populations.

Many of these are cold-climate countries with aging populations thought more vulnerable to the virus, contrary to warm Brazil, with less than 10 percent of its population over the age of 65, said Alves.

Yet, a recent study showed that more than half of Brazilians in intensive care this March were younger than 40, compared to 14.6 percent at the start of the epidemic a year ago.

Brazil’s vaccination campaign has had a slow start, and 13 percent of the population have so far received a first dose, five percent two shots.

A parliamentary commission will next week start examining possible “omissions” by the government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in its handling of the crisis.

The P1 virus variant has also started hammering Brazil’s neighbors.

Uruguay, with its population of 3.5 million, in the last two weeks recorded the world’s highest infection rate per 100,000 and surpassed Brazil’s two-week death rate per 100,000.

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Australia has 2nd likely AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine clot case

AstraZeneca US chief lauds new vaccine, dismisses blood clot concerns

AZ US President Ruud Dobber tells ‘Your World’ studies showed no significant clotting side effects

CANBERRA, Australia – Australian authorities have identified a second case of a rare blot clot likely linked to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

Officials said Tuesday the woman is in her 40s and is in a stable condition. A 44-year-old man developed the same condition following an AstraZeneca injection March 22.

SHOULD PEOPLE VACCINATED AGAINST CORONAVIRUS STILL GET TESTED?

Australia has administered 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine since early March. That equates to a clotting frequency of 1-in-350,000 cases. British authorities say the risk of such blood clots has been 1-in-250,000 in that country.

Australia had planned to rely on Australian-manufactured AstraZeneca for delivering at least one dose of a vaccine to all eligible adults among its population of 26 million by October. But it said last week the Pfizer vaccine is now the preferred option for people under 50 because of the potential risk from AstraZeneca.

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How Covid Has Changed Our Movement, as Revealed by Your Cellphone

For all of our grousing about covid fatigue, a few novel trends are clear one year into the pandemic.

In the early weeks of 2021, Californians are staying home way more than we did in our pre-pandemic life. Even so, we’re heading out to shop, dine and work far more now than in March 2020, when state officials issued the first sweeping stay-at-home order, or the dark period that followed the winter holidays, when we hunkered down as covid-19 caseloads exploded.

And to the extent we are venturing out, we are using cars rather than resuming pre-covid commute patterns on buses and trains, a trend with troubling implications for transit services and the environment should it become long-standing.

The findings come from a Google compilation of vast troves of cellphone location tracking data, part of an ongoing effort the tech giant says it initiated to help leaders around the globe gauge the impact of covid-related closures and travel restrictions. The mobility logs, drawn from phones with location trackers enabled, show patterns of trip frequency — broken out at country, state and regional levels — in daily snapshots from early 2020 through early March 2021. The baseline for comparison in terms of trip frequency is the first five weeks of 2020, before California and the U.S. initiated broad covid-related restrictions.

Google groups its trip frequency data into categories based on the nature of the destination: for example, grocery and pharmacy; retail and restaurants; and work-related. In California, the fever lines for those categories in many ways trace the state’s yo-yoing response to covid’s spread, a series of shutdowns and reopenings that have grown more targeted and less restrictive as the pandemic has worn on.

On March 19, 2020, after declaring covid an emergency, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state’s first hard shutdown order, telling Californians to stay home except for essential needs and shuttering wide swaths of the service and retail sectors. The tracking data indicates residents took the order to heart: After an initial surge in trips to groceries and pharmacies in the days before the order took effect — presumably as people stocked up on provisions — outings plummeted across the board. By early April, trips to stores and restaurants, as well as work, had fallen more than 50% below the baseline. Grocery and pharmacy outings were off by more than 20%.

The mobility trend lines rebounded in May, when the state moved — some say too quickly — toward reopening the economy. By July, retail and restaurant outings had resurged to 27% below the pre-covid baseline; grocery outings were just 4% below baseline.

With small ebbs and flows, these activity levels continued through summer and fall, before dipping sharply but briefly in late December through early February as covid flourished, hospitals reeled and the state paid the price for a recklessly social holiday season. As of early March, travel for retail and restaurants was back to 26% below the baseline, while grocery and pharmacy trips were 11% below.

Work-related travel showed the most sustained disruption, at 33% below the baseline.

While this prolonged stasis has been trying, staying home has saved lives, said Serina Chang, a graduate student in computer science at Stanford University who co-authored a paper in the journal Nature on mobility and covid spread. The research team created a model that looked at 10 U.S. metropolitan areas, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, and simulated a scenario in which residents didn’t cut travel in March and April.

“We saw sometimes 10 times the number of actual infections,” she said. “And that’s just by the beginning of May.”

Chang’s research also found that trips to tight, crowded spaces where people stay a long time cause more disease transmission than quick trips to large, nearly empty places. California leaders incorporated that thinking into new guidelines released in December and January that let more businesses stay open than in the March 2020 shutdown, but with limits on capacity.

As Californians get out of the house more, auto use is rebounding. In April 2020, California gasoline sales were down nearly 45% compared with April 2019, according to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. By November, gasoline sales were down just 16% compared with 2019, indicating residents were once again liberally filling up.

But, for now, the nature of that car travel has shifted. A couple of years ago, traffic peaked during the morning and evening commutes. Lately, car travel is distributed more evenly through the day, said Giovanni Circella, a researcher at the University of California-Davis Institute of Transportation Studies.

At the same time, daily visits to California transit stations were down an average of 51% in the first five weeks of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020. Mass transit systems in the U.S. rely heavily on fares to generate revenue. The decline in use is fueling worries that ridership won’t recover fast enough to stave off deep service cuts.

Chang and Circella said there is strong evidence that Californians with low incomes continue to face more challenges in cutting down on trips outside the home. The pandemic has underscored the array of white-collar jobs that can be done readily from home with the aid of the internet. By contrast, many lower-paid service sector jobs must be carried out in person, requiring a commute.

“Lower-income neighborhoods always ended up with a higher level of infection, and so did less white neighborhoods,” said Chang, describing findings modeled in her study. “That tells you that mobility is encoding these disparities in some way.”

All those trends play out in high relief in the California region that has seen the biggest sustained decline in travel: the San Francisco Bay Area. The tracking data shows visits to stores and restaurants were down 62% in San Francisco during the first five weeks of 2021 compared with the baseline. Visits to workplaces were down 57%.

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute recently released a study showing that up to 45% of jobs in the region are eligible for remote work, a higher proportion than in other parts of the state. Staying in place can mean fewer infections. As of early March, San Francisco had the lowest covid infection rate among California counties with more than 500,000 residents, followed by Alameda, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Santa Clara, all in the Bay Area.

In the Bay Area, as elsewhere, car traffic is starting to pick up — but not transit ridership. Jeff Bellisario, executive director of the institute, estimated that ridership on Bay Area Rapid Transit trains was down about 85% in mid-February compared with pre-pandemic levels. In contrast, he pointed to data showing vehicle crossings on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge down by just 13% on a Wednesday in mid-February.

Researchers like Circella and Bellisario are turning their attention to what comes next, when fears of covid infection fade. Will commuters get used to driving and take fewer transit trips? Will Californians who can work remotely leave high-priced urban areas, transferring traffic headaches to less developed communities? The answers aren’t clear.

“The longer the disruption is [and] the bigger the magnitude of the disruption, the higher the likelihood is that we might have bigger longer-term impacts,” Circella said.

Phillip Reese is a data reporting specialist and an assistant professor of journalism at California State University-Sacramento.

This story was produced by KHN, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.

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Newly discovered brain pattern has implications for treating paralyzed, Parkinson’s patients

Researchers discover hidden brain pattern

When reaching for a cup of coffee or catching or throwing a ball, our brain manages to coordinate the movement of no less than 27 joint angles in our arms and fingers. Exactly how the brain is able to do this is a topic of much debate among researchers.

Now, led by Maryam Shanechi, USC Viterbi assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and Andrew and Erna Viterbi Early Career Chair, researchers discovered a signature dynamic brain pattern that predicts naturalistic reach and grasp movements. The discovery, which is now published in Nature Communications, could become a catalyst for the development of better brain-machine interfaces and improving treatment for paralyzed patients.

In this study, the goal was to compare both the small and large spatiotemporal scales of brain activity. Small-scale activity refers to the spiking of individual neurons or brain cells; large-scale activity refers to Local Field Potential (LFP) brain waves that instead measure the aggregate activity of thousands of interacting individual neurons. Both may contribute to performing reach and grasp movements, but how?

To answer this question, Shanechi and Hamidreza Abbaspourazad, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, created a new machine-learning algorithm to extract dynamic neural patterns that co-exist in spiking and LFP activity at the same time and to identify how these patterns relate to each other and to movements. The study was done in collaboration with Bijan Pesaran, professor of neural science at NYU, who performed experiments to collect spiking and LFP brain activity during naturalistic reach and grasp movements using neurophysiology techniques in the field.

By applying the new algorithm to the collected data, they identified commonalities and differences between spiking and LFP activities. From there, they were able to ultimately discover a common pattern between them that was highly predictive of movements.

“When looking closer, we discovered that this common multiscale pattern actually happened to dominantly predict movement compared to all other existing patterns,” Shanechi said. In other words, the team identified a previously undetected pattern of brain activity associated with reach and grasp movements which provides a possible neural signature for them.

Shanechi, who recently received the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and the ASEE Curtis W. McGraw Research Award, focuses on neurotechnology research; she studies the brain through modeling, decoding, and control of neural dynamics. This publication is just one of many recent projects Shanechi has led to better understand complex neural patterns and neural dysfunctions to develop therapies relating to both physical and mental disabilities. In fact, she has been on a bit of a streak lately, with multiple major Nature publications in the last few months.

“Interestingly,” Shanechi explains, “we found that this neural signature pattern was not only shared between spiking and LFP signals, but also between our different subjects who were making movements.”

This means that the shared pattern can help researchers understand how an individual’s brain controls reach and grasp movements. More importantly, it also suggests that different people may have a similar neural signature when making reach and grasp movements.

Of course, understanding what the brain is doing is only half the battle. Translating brain activity into action is another thing altogether. But Shanechi’s model can do just that. She and her team are able to translate brain activity into movement.

Abbaspourazad adds, “Our model not only discovers the signature patterns in neural activity but also predicts arm and finger movements quite accurately from these patterns.” This is especially promising in the development of brain-machine interfaces to restore movement in paralyzed patients.

In addition to helping paralyzed patients, Shanechi hopes this research can also help better understand the neural mechanisms of movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease to guide future therapies.

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Pregnant Brittany Cartwright Has ’10 Weeks to Go’: Baby Bump Pics

Prepping for parenthood! Brittany Cartwright has been giving fans glimpses of her pregnancy journey since her and husband Jax Taylor’s September 2020 announcement.

“Mom & Dad,” the Kentucky native captioned an Instagram slideshow at the time, showing off her baby bump as well as ultrasound photos. “The love of our lives is coming soon.”

The former Sur bartender shared the same shots on his account, writing, “Sooooo I am gonna be Dad.”

Prior to the couple’s reveal, the Michigan native hinted that he and his wife will welcome a baby girl.

“We’re very similar kind of guys and I just don’t think it’s in the cards for us to have boys,” Taylor told Randall Emmett during his and pregnant Lala Kent’s sex reveal. “I think it’s gonna be a girl.”

Sure enough, a pink parachute proved the reality star right. When Emmett, who shares two daughters with ex-wife Ambyr Childers, joked that he had “a house full of girls,” Taylor said that it was “a curse and also a blessing.”

The dad-to-be previously spoke to Men’s Health about his plans to be “the best” father possible. “I really want to be at every PTA meeting, every soccer practice, every ballerina class,” Taylor said in December 2018. “My dad was there.”

He went on to say that it was “time to start the next stage” of his life, explaining, “I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do, partied my brains out, traveled the world.”

While the Vanderpump Rules stars were engaged at the time, the couple tied the knot in June 2019 in Kentucky. Ten months later, Taylor shared their plans to conceive their first child during a E! News’ Just the Sip appearance.

“We’re hoping to get a quarantine baby out of this,” he said in April 2020. “We’re ready to go.”

Keep scrolling to see Cartwright’s baby bump photos over the course of her pregnancy, from mirror selfies to maternity fashion.

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Now that psychiatric care has gone online, many patients want it to stay there

Now that psychiatric care has gone online, many patients want it to stay there

Only a year ago, Michigan Medicine psychiatrists were trying to recruit patients to give telepsychiatry a try, with very little success.

The psychiatrists worked with people by video only 26 times in six months, while 30,000 visits happened in person. But that changed quickly when the coronavirus pandemic forced closures in the area in late March.

Now, not only have patients seeking help with mental health issues been working through their emotions and experiences by video and phone for months—many would like to keep those options, a new study shows.

“Telepsychiatry is an interesting tool for various reasons in terms of providing early access to care, connecting patients in rural areas or who live far away from clinics to be able to get good evidence-based care,” said study author Dr. Jennifer Severe, a psychiatrist who helped launch a test of telehealth initiatives at the University of Michigan’s outpatient psychiatry clinic.

“Even patients who are closer, based on life burden and expectation, they might not be able to keep up with their appointments, so telehealth actually offers a way to remain connected with care, regardless of how busy people’s lives might be,” Severe said.

For the study, published recently in the journal JMIR Formative Research, researchers surveyed 244 patients or parents of minor patients in summer 2020. The patients had mental health appointments in the first weeks of the pandemic shutdown.

Most of the survey participants had their own or their child’s first pandemic-time appointment through a video call. A minority of patients, 13.5%, started telepsychiatry with phone visits. That group was more likely to be older than 45.

Nearly all of the study participants who had a telepsychiatry visit said it went as well as expected or better.

About half (46.7%) said they were likely to continue with telepsychiatry even after in-person visits were available again. Those who had appointments by phone instead of video were much less likely to want to continue remote mental health care in the future.

“The excitement is there, but we need to make sure that we have a way to keep up with the demand,” Severe said.

This data could help inform the decisions of health insurers and government agencies who will make decisions about whether and how to pay mental health care providers for future virtual care, Severe said.

To improve access, while the survey was ongoing, senior study author Dr. Mary Carol Blazek led development of a program called Geriatric Education for Telehealth Access, or GET Access, to help older patients.

The study didn’t cover the issue of no-shows and appointment cancelations, but those have been reduced substantially, according to Michigan Medicine.

Phone and video visits within established patient-mental health provider relationships are equally effective, Severe said.

However, for first visits, the therapists typically try to avoid using the phone because it can reduce communication cues and limits observing facial expressions, interaction and movement, which can help evaluate mental health status. Sometimes physical exams can be required to assess a patient’s balance and mobility, as well as check for medication side effects.

“Sometimes communication might be difficult. Sometimes you might need to do a physical exam. There might be a lack of important physical exam approaches and communication techniques that might be missing,” Severe said. “So, that’s one reason I will say telehealth might not be for everyone.”

Severe hopes to see more of a blended approach after the pandemic, where a patient may do a face-to-face visit, followed by a couple of telehealth visits, and then return for another face-to-face visit.

During the pandemic, telehealth has been responsible for saving small mental health practices while also continuing to help patients, said Vaile Wright, senior director of health care innovation for the American Psychological Association.

“The evidence is pretty strong. People are having mental health difficulties, much more so than in the past and, thankfully, they are seeking out treatment,” Wright added. “I think telehealth makes it possible for them to do so safely.”

For some people, it may be harder to connect in a virtual environment. For others, it may make it easier because they don’t have to get time off work, figure out child care or travel to the office.

Issues to consider are ensuring that patients understand the online platform, have adequate internet accessibility and have adequate privacy in their homes to have a mental health appointment. Backup safety plans also need to be considered, Wright said.

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The Surprising Number Of Bathrooms Queen Elizabeth’s Main Home Has

That Queen Elizabeth leads a lavish life will not surprise a single soul on Earth. According to Architectural Digest, the monarch calls Buckingham Palace home, spending most of her time in the 775-room castle. Of course, if those quarters get cramped — as if! — there’s always Windsor Castle, with an impressive 1,000 rooms, or Balmoral Castle in Scotland, which boasts 150 buildings spread out over 50,000 acres (via Vogue).

Of course, Buckingham Palace’s royal residence ought to be more than sufficient for Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip. It’s been spacious enough for royalty since 1837, per Royal.uk. The 52 royal and guest bedrooms are enough to accommodate, well, pretty much anyone — it’s worth noting the palace also boasts 188 staff bedrooms. But you won’t believe how many bathrooms Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s home, actually has. Let’s just say it is way more than anyone should ever need — and we can’t imagine what goes into keeping them all clean!

How many bathrooms Queen Elizabeth actually uses among the many, many options

There are a whooping 78 bathrooms in Queen Elizabeth’s main home. But, consider that according to The Latch, of the hundreds and hundreds of rooms at Buckingham Palace — and its nearly 80 bathrooms — the Queen is said to spend the majority of her time in just six. Those rooms include her personal bedroom, sitting room, dressing room, and bathroom. In other words, it’s unlikely the 94-year-old uses all 78 bathrooms at her expansive residence.

Interestingly, Cheat Sheet notes members of the royal family do not refer to a bathroom as, well, a bathroom — unless there is an actual bath in there. Instead, the Queen would call this room a “loo.” However, when the royal uses the loo, no one can know, with rumor having it she likes her privacy and doesn’t allow staff members to be nearby when she excuses herself for personal reasons.

Ironically, reports have surfaced that when visitors come to Buckingham Palace, there are no public toilets to use — instead they have to wait until after a tour of the property to use portable toilets in the garden (via BBC).

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One in four women with ADHD has attempted suicide

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) can have negative consequences on mental health into adulthood. A nationally representative Canadian study reported that the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts was much higher for women who had ADHD (24%) compared to women who had not (3%). Men with ADHD were also more likely to have attempted suicide compared to men without ADHD (9% vs. 2%).

“ADHD casts a very long shadow. Even when we took into account history of mental illness, and the higher levels of poverty and early adversities that adults with ADHD often experience, those with ADHD still had 56% higher odds of having attempted suicide than their peers without ADHD” reported lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson, Professor at University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Director of the Institute for Life Course and Aging.

Because ADHD is more common among men than among women, little research or clinical attention has focused on women with the disorder. In this study, women with ADHD had more than twice the odds of suicide attempts compared to men with ADHD.

“Our finding that one in four Canadian women with ADHD had attempted suicide highlights the urgency of providing adequate mental health supports across the life course to this vulnerable and neglected group,” said Lauren Carrique, a recent graduate of University of Toronto’s Masters in Social Work (MSW) program who is a social worker at Toronto General Hospital.

Adults with ADHD who had been exposed to chronic parental domestic violence had triple the odds of suicide attempts compared to their peers with ADHD who had not experienced that childhood adversity. Parental domestic violence was defined as “chronic” if it had occurred more than 10 times before the respondent was age 16.

“The cross-sectional nature of this study prohibits our ability to determine possible causality; the relationship between chronic parental domestic violence and suicide attempts could flow in either direction,” stated co-author Raphaël Nahar Rivière, a medical resident in anesthesiology at the University of Toronto.

“We speculate that violent parental conflict may cause extreme stress for the child with ADHD and predispose these individuals to mental illness and suicidal thoughts. In addition, the challenges of raising a child with ADHD who is struggling with severe mental health issues may cause parental conflict, which may escalate into domestic violence.”

The study examined a nationally representative sample of 21,744 Canadians, of whom 529 reported they had been diagnosed with ADHD. Data were drawn from the Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health.

“The disturbingly high prevalence of suicide attempts among people with ADHD underline the importance of health professionals screening patients with ADHD for mental illness and suicidal thoughts,” said co-author Senyo Agbeyaka, a recent University of Toronto MSW graduate who is a social worker at University Health Network.

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