Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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    Today's not a good day !! #MentalHealth #CheckInWithMe #Anxiety #Depression #Selfcare

    So today just isn't a great day ! Just can't snap out of this head space I'm in . In constant pain ,having so many issues with the catheter so hoping that this week they will do the #suprapubic catheter to see if its any easier and stops some of the problems.Struggling to get around even with the crutches, can't sleep and really anxious and worrying while waiting for the emergency ultra sound to check my lymph nodes to see if anything has came back (previous skin cancer) so just feeling constantly anxious. Just feeling really rubbish today and then silly because I know there's people way worse off than me and my issues probably seem so irrelevant 🙈but just can't get out of this negative head space today .

    Anyways hope everyone is having a good weekend would love to know what your all upto ??

    #MentalHealth #CheckInWithMe #Insomnia #Upallnight #SkinCancer #Endometriosis #COVID19 #longcovid #loveyourself #Bekind #Insomnia #Selfcare #Anxiety #Depression

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    I'm really trying , but it's such a struggle...... #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #SkinCancer #Selfcare

    So I got out of hospital I am still on long term catheter which nurses are coming in most days to check etc ,but my bladder is rejecting it so it's only draining little bits ,my stomach is still bloating as I'm retaining alot and the pain is causing more pressure on my spine,I am in constant pain, I've never felt so damaged through everything I've dealt with till now,Had my emergency app with dermatologist specialist yesterday and she's not very happy especialky with ky history of skin cancer etc so she's put through for an urgent ultra sound scan to be done on my lymph nodes to see what it is and if needs to be removed. The waiting is causing me so much anxiety and my head keeps slipping to dark places like what if it is serious and I won't be here for the kids and tunns of other crazy things .I'm trying to keep focused on little things crafty things I enjoy or organising what I can while sitting on my pressure cushions or in bed ,but dealing with the worrying while in so much physical pain ,using crutches, literally can't do anything unaided ,,trying to keep things as normal for kids as possible, teying to be the best mummy i can right now when im literally falling into pieces and waiting to see if I have to have a suprapubic catheter interested into my stomach because of these issues everything is just too much right now .

    #MentalHealth #CheckInWithMe #Insomnia #Upallnight #SkinCancer #Endometriosis #COVID19 #longcovid #loveyourself #Bekind #Selfcare #Catheter #AloneTogether #Parenting #GeneralParenting

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    Are Our Kids Experiencing Post COVID Long Anxiety?

    Part 1 of 3 Here we are, almost 3 years post the COVID-19 virus pandemic that shut down our world instantly and has kept us in a state of uncertainty about many of the parts of life that we took for granted. We lost our freedom to leave our homes, interact with others and move around our community and environment without worrying about catching a virus that had the potential to be deadly. We all experienced a large scale and collective level of feeling nervous, worried, and scared about the present, the future, our health, and the health of others. We also worried about the availability of basics such as food and toilet paper.

    Let’s start with the definition of a pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) definition is “a worldwide spread of a disease” with the COVID-19 pandemic being our 21st pandemic (Pitlik, 2020). Due to the speed of the spread of the virus, it was believed that the way to contain and confine was to shut down and create isolation. Humans are social creatures and in need of interaction with others on a consistent basis. The rise of a “virtual” world allowed for many to keep their jobs and for education to seemingly continue. However, the short-term and long-term effects of isolation have created havoc on our mental health.

    During this time, anxiety set in for many. defines anxiety as the following: “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt of one’s capacity to cope with it.” It is also defined as an “apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill.” Anxiety is at an all-time high leaving mental health providers with waitlists.

    How is Anxiety Manifesting Itself Presently?


    Many of our children, teens, and young adults are still avoiding school, social situations, or participating as members of a team for a sport or activity. What can be heartbreaking for parents is that our children may have actively participated in these arenas pre-pandemic and did not know how to “re-enter” so many didn’t. They once had interests and now they seem to have few. Many of our kids have found a strong interest in video games because they don’t require face-to-face interaction and there is escape and submersion in a virtual and highly engaging electronic world. I have heard way too often from parents in my practice that their child or teen has very few “real” friends and friends from the video game domain; however, these friends don’t live locally making their interactions exist only in the virtual world.

    Many of our kids found interest in more sedentary activities that have had the negative consequence of weight gain. Dr. Johnson, of the Johnson Center for Health, indicated that the quarantine change in lifestyle created weight gain; however, the long-term effect of the virus may have resulted in physiologically-based excessive hunger and increased appetite. This may have also created new, unhealthy habits where our kids ate due to boredom rather than due to hunger. In the long run, the change in eating habits has created a change in appearance and ease of movement that has further created avoidance for our children and teens to participate in school, socialization, sports, and activities.

    For many of our teens and young adults, their friendships changed over the pandemic as there were varying levels of comfort in attending school or socializing which created a change in the social groups and friendships. Thus, our teens have had to create new friendships; however, the problem came to be when their peer group was small to begin with, and there weren’t other children with whom to create new friendships.

    Hanging in High Mode

    Many anxious people start their day with a high residual level of anxiety that runs in the background. As the day goes on, that level of anxiety continues to peak and wane as different situations are encountered that result in a feeling of “I can’t handle this,” or “This isn’t safe.” For a student in school, thoughts such as the following can heighten anxiety over the course of the day:

    • I can’t solve these math problems.

    • Everyone must think I’m so stupid for that answer I just gave.

    • I can’t read this.

    • I don’t know the answer to this test question.

    • This is so much work – I can’t finish it.

    • I should have done better on this quiz.

    • I hope the teacher doesn’t call on me.

    • She thinks my hair looks stupid.

    And even when our children and teens have a moment or two where things in life are cruising along smoothly, they often sit with a high level of anxiety for fear of what’s to come. Many fear that if they let their guard down, they will be blind

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    Are Our Kids Experiencing Post COVID Long Anxiety?

    Part 2 of 3 sided by the next “disaster.” I’ve heard this phrase too often, “I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop” and “I need to be ready for whatever may come my way.” Anxiety can lead to anticipation of the next “bad” thing that may happen and having a moment of respite is often not enjoyed.

    Hold this mantra instead: the other shoe will drop and holding that high level of anticipatory anxiety, it won’t lessen the surprise or the hurt. Whatever it is, you will deal with it at the moment.

    Unreasonable High Self Standards

    Many children, teens, and adults often hold themselves to high self-standards at a very young age and can be intolerant of making mistakes. That may look like a meltdown when a child colors outside of the line or doesn’t know the answer to a math problem. Anxiety often comes with the standard of perfection or nothing at all, with little in between. It’s either good or bad, pass or fail. Errors and mistakes or anything lower than a high set standard is equated with shame, guilt, or feeling incompetent or unintelligent. Not achieving 100% or being 100% accurate holds the fear of letting others down and not being “perfect.”

    With education managing the pandemic as best as it could, our kids lost time and skills. Many children’s learning disabilities went unnoticed and undiagnosed as teachers could not see the student’s work directly. In my practice, I have been evaluating and diagnosing children with learning disabilities and other disabilities that likely would have been diagnosed two to three years ago. At nobody’s or no institution’s fault, our children are missing academic skills for their present age and grade level, thus certain academic classes are difficult. However, our kids aren’t necessarily aware of this reason for their struggle in reading, writing or math, and instead, are anxious about going to school and blame themselves for experiencing this struggle. I hear again and again, “I SHOULD be able to do this work, but I can’t so I’m stupid.”

    Now What?

    Relate, Engage and Move

    Our children are emotionally starved and are trying to make up for the lost time. Their self-esteem has suffered. As parents, create family time and time with friends and extended family. Many of us as parents used to have an active social calendar and the onset of the pandemic decreased that zest to reach out and set the dates on the calendar. For younger children, create playdates at least one time per week. If during the week is difficult, try to set one playdate per weekend at a minimum. If possible, create plans to do social things with other families and their children to create those bonds and memories that our children can build on. Although our children say they have friends in school, the amount of time spent socializing is minimum and friendships will be formed and strengthened outside of school, for the most part.

    Just yesterday, a 9-year-old little girl said to me, “You know, since COVID, I don’t play soccer anymore. I used to but now I don’t.” I asked her why she doesn’t play soccer anymore and she said, “I just got used to not playing soccer.” This one short sentence summed up for me how our children lost their interests during and after shut down and are struggling to return to the sports and activities they enjoyed or are struggling to find new ones.

    Parents, talk to your child about finding an activity or sport that they think they may enjoy. Find local classes or teams and join for a trial class or session. Part of the hesitation is not knowing how to be a part of a team anymore perhaps because it has become a distant memory. There may be hesitation in holding accountability as a team or group member. If your child struggles to be on a competitive team, find an activity or sport where they are competing against themselves such as track.

    Our bodies are not meant to be this sedentary and our children sat in front of a computer instead of walking through the hallways, participating in their physical education class, or playing on the playground. The natural inclination to move may have been quieted and we all need to awaken that instinct once again. Encourage your kids (of any age) to go outside (even if it’s cold) and take a walk by themselves, with a friend, or walk the dog. Take a bike ride, ride a scooter, play on the playground, go for a hike, find indoor swimming (during the winter), join a gym, or create a home gym – anything that keeps the body moving and the endorphins being pumped.

    Engage Your Child’s Teachers

    If you notice that your child is struggling in any one or more subjects, reach out to your child’s teachers and ask for a meeting with one teacher or their entire team of teachers. Ask them if they are noticing what you may be noticing in terms of struggle with anxiety, reading, writing or math. Ask the

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    Are Our Kids Experiencing Post COVID Long Anxiety?

    Part 3 of 3 questions:

    • Is my child finishing assignments in class?

    • How well is my child able to express herself in writing?

    • Do you notice significant spelling, grammatical or punctuation struggles?

    • Is my child able to understand what he has read to himself?

    • Is my child able to answer questions verbally in class?

    • Is my child a multi-sensory learner or a child who learns best through hands-on, demonstration or doing?

    • How well is my child able to make inferences and make connections between concepts?

    If there is suspicion of a learning disability, reach out to the Child Study Team or seek a private psycho-educational evaluation. If you don’t suspect a learning disability, perhaps your child needs a tutor to build the more foundational skills in math, reading, or writing. There are often students at the high school level who are available as peer tutors or are seeking service hours.

    Just as there is documentation about long-COVID, which is a physiological manifestation of the effects of the virus, we may be facing the long-term emotional and social impact of the pandemic on our children. Ask questions and seek support and resources for you and your child.

    Pitlik S.D. COVID-19 compared to other pandemic diseases. Rambam Maimonides Med J. 2020;11(3), Definition of Anxiety:

    Johnson, Barbara. Why You Gained Weight After COVID-19,


    First of all I want to thank you for this site. I am very new to all this

    but I am desperate to try anything right now. I should introduce myself. My name is Brenda I am

    about to be 66 years young. I have suffered many deep looses these past few years and have been

    struggling to just make it through the day.

    I got divorced in 2010 and moved back to my childhood home to take care of my elderly parents.

    I meet an old classmate and here we are 13 years later. He is caring and compassionate.

    His mom lived with us and I took care of her here in our home for 4 years till she passed 7 years ago.

    April will be 5 years since my mom passed. She was full on care(dementia) and I was her and Dads

    caretaker. Then lost dad 3 years later due to a terrible accident that should not have happened to him.

    That pretty much threw me under the bus. I lost all purpose and self worth. I am also helping to raise 3 of

    my grand sons along with their single moms. I have them every other weekend and every Friday. I have

    had Covid twice. the second time almost did me in. I am left short of breath having to use an inhaler

    when needed and no energy or self esteem.

    Just when I thought I was getting better, my first borne daughter was killed last year in a motorcycle accident

    on the way to spend a couple of weeks with their grandbabies. That was the last straw for me.

    All that said I have now put on almost 55 pounds and just can't seem to have any luck getting rid of it.

    I stay sad and depressed all the time. Friends don't call or check up on me anymore. Jack got me in to see

    a grief counselor but didn't help. Just cost more money. I am hoping that this support group can help me. I'm not sure I can do this on my own. Thanks for listening (reading). Bren

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    Though I have everything I need, 2023 has been a challenge this year. I got sick right after the new year for two weeks with a virus-not COVID but sicker than when I had COVID. Then just as I got better, I had a serious mental health episode. That lasted another three or four weeks until my meds were adjusted. I was being triggered by interactions with my daughter who is struggling themselves. We had to create new boundaries with each other because we had developed some maladaptive behaviors, and things I was doing to be helpful wasn't helpful. Then as I was feeling better, my psychologist of some 20-25 years was diagnosed with cancer. He is responding to treatment. I am feeling better and working on taking things one day at a time. I actually have a lot to be grateful for, but my struggles remind me that I have CPTSD. Still trying to be self-compassionate and just accept that I am part of the common humanity worthy of compassion and kindness.

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    You're Not The Only One

    Part 1 of 2 Why You? Why Me?

    “I can’t do this.”

    “I don’t feel like going to class today.”

    “I’m tired.”

    These are what a college student who battles with their mental health might feel or think. Anxiety within college students is real, and I am a student who struggles with anxiety myself. I will be sharing my story with you and what treatments have and have not worked for me as well. A lot of students just brush off these feelings and let their mental health battle go under-treated. When it comes to anxiety, it can take a toll on your daily life and can potentially take over your life.

    Everyone deserves a voice and a reason to be heard. Do not be afraid to speak up about your mental health and your battles with it. If we all speak up and share our battles with mental health, we can help each other overcome those feelings of anxiety. To help me speak up and battle my mental health, I sought out 3 out of 4 (although there are many more) types of treatments for my battle with anxiety.

    Can We Fight?

    On August 21st, 2020, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety. This was when COVID-19 had started. Although, I suspected that I had anxiety prior to the pandemic due to some events that I went through myself. When I was a sophomore in high school, my older sister went to the hospital; she was there from October 2018 to December 2018. It was such a difficult time for me because she is my best friend and has always helped me with my schoolwork or anything that I needed help with. I spent most of my time with her in the hospital. Despite all of that, I felt alone and helpless, but I always kept quiet about it.

    As I mentioned before, anxiety can be underrated, under-treated, and left undiagnosed. In my culture, mental health doesn’t really exist. I never believed that I could have anxiety until it affected my life, physically and mentally. SAMHSA states, “One in five adults struggle with mental illness.” This shows how important mental health is. Students who struggle with anxiety can experience restlessness, feeling weak/tired, and hyperventilation. This becomes difficult for students to complete simple tasks such as getting out of bed in the morning, attending class, and even more. For some students, therapy can be difficult to make time for and for others, to seek out.

    My battle with anxiety has impacted my education and my daily life tremendously. It has reduced my chances of achieving academically. I am not proud of what my college transcript looks like, which has caused me to lose motivation to keep going with my classes that I get to the point where I am too afraid or too anxious to attend. I fell behind in school. My grades started to drop. I used to be a straight A student, then I went from A’s to B’s, and then C’s to F’s. Once I reached college, those F’s turned into W’s. I was so afraid of my GPA dropping that I withdrew from courses to avoid a failing grade.

    Anxiety comes with many different types of symptoms that all vary from person to person, for example, one may feel either weak or restless. Another may feel insomnia and even have small panic attacks. Approx. 44% of college students have reported to have symptoms with anxiety, so if you ever are feeling anxious, that is okay! It is natural to feel that way. You’re not the only one.

    The good part about all of this is that all of these symptoms can be treated. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can be used to treat those with anxiety. Discovery Mood defines CBT as, “ a combination of interventions such as worry exposure, applied-relaxation, psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring and problem-solving skills to educate the individual about their triggers and symptoms and then uses behavioral modifications in order to release their irrational thoughts and anxiety triggers.” Personally, I tried out therapy but it did not work out for me; I did not feel comfortable so I decided to try out something different and at home. Bullet Journaling is a coping mechanism that I tried out that has helped me. I am not exactly the best at drawing but bullet journaling helps me create a safe space for my thoughts and feelings. (Insert Photo!) Now, it may not be for everyone but it is definitely a technique that can be tried out.

    As generations go by, the pressure on these student’s mental health has become more and more intense. Julie, from the NY Times has stated that, “young adults are increasingly faced with negotiating ‘America’s culture of hyper achievement’ and ‘the pressure to be effortlessly perfect.” My parents have always put that pressure into my mind saying, “You need to come out on top. You have to be better.” Everything seemed like a competition to me, because of the pressure, I started to feel alone and “locked up.” Luckily, I got my first job at Tommy Hilfiger to help fight th

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    Is Art Therapy Successful?

    Is Art Therapy Successful?

    Does Art Therapy help anxiety? I believe art therapy does help reduce anxiety and can help relieve the nervous system. Approximately 29% of people are touched with an Anxiety disorder. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) defines generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) “as the persistent and excessive worry about things that otherwise don’t appear to have a reason for concern”. Art therapy is founded on the belief that for those who heal for those who are healing or seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and their behaviors. It isn't just coloring in a book, it can be painting, sketching, etc. Art therapy isn’t just visual arts. There is expressive arts, Visual arts is a more comfortable way for people to express their feelings or relieve their worries and anxieties.

    I have my own struggles with generalized anxiety and social anxiety, and I found that using art to express my feelings in that given moment really helps me with expression. With my struggles, whenever I felt anxious I would suppress those feelings and try to hide them. I had always struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I had noticed whenever I would start a new project. I for once wasn't worried about what was gonna happen next, I felt relaxed and in the moment. After painting for months I not only saw an increase in my artistic abilities but overall, I felt more confident.

    Although there is medication for anxiety disorders, people refrain from taking medication and look for other ways to manage. It is used in hospitals, senior settings, and more. This form of therapy has shown ways to improve their mental health rather than just anxiety.

    I know I gave a few benefits of art therapy above, but I would like to give you a few more perks of using AT. Art therapy can help improve social skills, help sensorimotor functions, raise self-esteem, and it cultivates resilience. Art therapy isn’t just for anxiety it has been shown to be effective for many other mental health disorders.

    Art Therapy doesn’t work for everybody. Trying different coping skills can be difficult and quickly you can realize that it isn't working and could be bringing you more anxiety and stress. I noticed when I painted and it wasn’t as perfect as I wanted it to be and I would get annoyed and stressed. Sometimes trying to paint and relax while i’m in a bad headspace my linework isn’t as precise. Taking a deep breath and regrouping your thoughts can improve a better Don't worry, keep trying different methods or trying the same method just a little differently. Sooner or later you will find something that will accommodate and help you just have to keep searching. Once you find something to help manage your anxieties, overtime you could feel your anxieties slowly simmer away.

    How Can You Start Using Art Therapy?

    You decide you’d like to try art therapy for anxiety. Starting to use AT does not have specific rules, a right or wrong way. If you don't have the materials, you can use a simple pencil and paper. Art has no definition, art is about emotional power and emotional expression. During the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began to notice that I was very nervous all the time and “on edge” which was new for me. Since we were stuck in the house all day everyday, I started to spend all day everyday painting. Don’t feel discouraged from the idea because you feel like you have little artistic ability. I didn’t really have much artistic ability when I started. Free drawing/painting really helps taking exactly from how I'm feeling to the paper/canvas. Over time I learned that it isn't about how well you can draw and paint, It is about the complete opposite.

    It is about the act of doing the activity, feeling your emotions, and handling your anxieties and concerns. Using any kind of simple and small crafts can even be a form of Art Therapy. Things to get your brain thinking and feeling, in a way you're comfortable with.

    If you feel comfortable around a group of friends, you can invite them to even join you. I personally feel secure and safe painting with my friends. Giggles and music coming from the room is definitely a wholesome feeling. Whenever my friends and I have a bad day, we always get together and paint. My best friend, Trinity and I can zone out into our own world for hours just painting or sometimes we express how we are feeling. Personally, I think playing music in the background is a must. Trinity and I are different artists but we can always agree that art therapy is helpful and rewarding. AT could be even more beneficial if you are surrounded by a group of people who do not judge you. Playing your favorite playlist. It can help being in an environment with good vibes, a place where nothing is bringing you extra stress.

    If you are having trouble getting started here are 18 different crafts and activities that you can try!

    Can I Use Art Therapy Daily?

    The answer is Yes! If you are using Art therapy outside of therapy or not in any therapy, you can use AT everyday, anytime, and any place. Art therapy doesn't have to be any more or any less than you need it. Whenever you need a way to relieve your anxiety at the moment you can take 10 minutes or hour(s). When I feel anxious and I'm away I use just a random piece of paper and just draw, it does help and ground me back from overthinking so much. I do try to use it everyday, when I am consistent I feel my art has a deeper meaning and more thoughtful since I'm feeling more in touch with myself. This form of coping is flexible for you and how you are feeling. If you feel that you don't need to use paint or draw on any given day, you can always pick up where you left off another time. The ball is completely in your court!


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    How to convince my parents that i cannot just "WALK OFF" an EDS-related injury?

    #EhlersDanlosSyndrome , #VEDS #HypermobileTypeEDS #Subluxations

    I could honestly do with some advice, here; I have a pair of "caregivers" (my parents, incidentally) who seem convinced that I can just "walk off" my EDS-related subluxations, even when I complain I'm in so much pain as I attempt to walk the length of our 900sqft house in order to talk to them about it... :(

    So does anyone have any tips, or expert websites for me to send to them? I would be eternally grateful to anyone who could help me make them take my injuries with hEDS as seriously as they do with my vEDS—which they had made me quit my job over after COVID hit state-side, mind you! (They were terrified of bringing it home to me, especially after the experts discovered that it was a vascular disease, as well as a respiratory one!

    Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!

    10 reactions 4 comments