Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Mum’s heartbreaking letter to daughter who took her own life

<p><em>Linda Trevan from Melbourne tragically lost her 15-year-old daughter Cassidy to suicide in 2015. Cassidy faced a life of bullying and was later gang raped. Now three years later, Linda shares her emotional letter dedicated to her daughter.</em></p> <p><em>This letter may contain triggering or disturbing material. If you would like to support Linda and her fight against bullying, visit her <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/StopBullyingForCassidyTrevan" target="_blank">Facebook</a> page.</em></p> <p>My darling Cassidy, it’s three years tonight. Three years since that knock on the door that was to end my world.</p> <p>I ran to the front door assuming it was you arriving home from the beach where your dad had taken you for two days to try to cheer you up.</p> <p>But when I opened the door it was two police officers. I was confused. They asked to come in, and then they asked me to sit down. I refused. My first thought was that you’d been in a car accident and that your dad was hurt. “Just tell me what’s happened,” I said.</p> <p>“We are sorry to inform you that your daughter took her own life this afternoon.”</p> <p>I just remember backing away from them with my hands over my face wailing, “no, no, no, no, nooooo”.</p> <p>They helped me to a chair as my whole body started to give way at the same time as my world fell apart.</p> <p>It was 8.30pm, but they told me you’d been pronounced dead at 6.10pm, although you had actually died around 4.30pm, almost 100km away from me. They said your lifeless little body would already be with the coroner. How could you be dead? How could you have been dead for four hours without me feeling it? How could I not have been with you in your final moments?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FStopBullyingForCassidyTrevan%2Fposts%2F235279363598105&amp;width=500" width="500" height="805" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>In some ways it feels like only yesterday… In other ways it seems like forever ago. But it always just feels like the emptiest, deepest, most unimaginable pain. To know that I’ll never see you again, never hug you again, never laugh with you again, never rub your little back to help soothe you to sleep again.</p> <p>The day you died I feel like I died too, and that I’ve barely existed since then. I don’t know if I’ll ever really be able to create a meaningful life for myself without you. I miss you so so very much, every second of every day, and you still dominate the bulk of my daily thoughts.</p> <p>Last night I lit a 55-hour candle so you can find your way home to me. Come and visit me in my dreams, please, I need to see you, to have just one more joyous moment with you.</p> <p>I don’t think I’ve made it to the acceptance stage of grief yet. How can I ever accept that my precious only baby was so betrayed, so wronged, so let down by society and every professional who failed to help and protect you, both before and after what happened to you? How can I ever accept that you were so broken, so so very sad that you had to take your own life to stop your pain? The knowledge of how badly you had to suffer just kills me and always will.</p> <p>I’m so so sorry that I couldn’t fix you and make it all better, like a mum should be able to, so that we could still be together today and forever.</p> <p>My grief is still so incredibly overwhelming. But I have to try to stay strong so that I can keep your name and your memories alive and continue spreading bullying awareness to try to save other lives.</p> <p>Love and proudness my precious darling, my forever 15, my teen-angel, you were my dream come true my beautiful baby. I love you and miss you so very much, with every little fragment of my broken heart. You were the love of my life, an absolute joy, and It was an honour and a privilege to be your mum. I just keep having to tell myself that you are no longer in pain and are now at peace. fly, fly, my infinite child.</p> <p>I wish you could see how much love and support your story has received from all around the world. You will live on in my heart, and in the hearts of thousands all around the world, forever. xxx</p> <p>#bullyingkilledmychildcassidytrevan</p> <p><em>Cassidy was only 13 years old when she was gang raped by a group of students. After the incident occurred, her family had decided to relocate, but despite moving away, the young teenager faced bullying online up until the day she passed away, 22 months later.</em></p> <p><em>Linda is now wanting to make sure no other parent goes through what she has gone through and is hoping that this letter will push children to speak to someone they trust if they are being bullied.</em></p> <p><em>If you are troubled by this article, experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline 131 114 or beyondblue 1300 224 636 or visit <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/" target="_blank">lifeline.org.au</a> or <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/national-help-lines-and-websites" target="_blank">beyondblue.org.au</a>.</em></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Fergie opens up about her darkest days: "I destroyed myself"

<p>Sarah Ferguson has candidly opened up about the mental low that she endured following her divorce with Prince Andrew, following 10 years of marriage.</p> <p>The Duchess of York said she “murdered herself” with self-hatred following their split in 1996.</p> <p>However, Fergie described her life with her ex-husband as “the greatest ever”, referring to their unique relationship as their “fairytale”.</p> <p>The mum of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, who currently lives with Prince Andrew at Royal Lodge, said she’s “starting my life at 58” after being invited to Prince Harry's wedding earlier this year.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCuKU0jXgZw"><strong><em><u>Modern Hero</u></em></strong></a>, Fergie said: “It was rock bottom. I had completely and utterly destroyed myself. I murdered myself.</p> <p>“I must have brought that on for myself, hadn't I? That's how I felt about myself, self-hatred at its height. I think that I lived in my ego for a very long time.”</p> <p>She explained that the time Andrew spent away in the Navy was a key issue in their relationship.</p> <p>“It was seven years, 40 days a year, I saw him. It was really, really difficult,” she said. </p> <p>“It played into my abandonment. We both agreed we didn't fight hard enough to keep it together.”</p> <p>Despite the pain and scrutiny Fergie and Andrew went through, she described their marriage as the “best thing I’ve ever done”.</p> <p>Although she is happier than ever, she admitted that it was a “long, hard” journey that required “loads of spiritual work to break through my ego”.</p> <p>“I realise it’s all about forgiveness,” she added.</p> <p>“Now our life together is the greatest ever,” she said. “It's so hard to comprehend because we're not normal. This is our fairytale, and we're telling it our way.”</p> <p>Opening up about her relationship with her daughters, Fergie said: “100%, I am a mother that I've always wanted.</p> <p>“Beatrice calls me the most misunderstood woman in the world,” she added.</p> <p>Last month, Fergie discussed her divorce with Andrew in an exclusive interview with <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/auhome/index.html"><strong><em><u>Daily Mail.</u></em></strong></a></p> <p>“We’re the happiest divorced couple in the world. We’re divorced to each other, not from each other,” she explained.</p> <p>“July 23, 1986 was the happiest day of my life. Andrew is the best man I know. What he does for Britain is incredible; no one knows how hard he works for his country.”</p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

18 simple rules to follow if you want to live to 100

<p>Sure, your genes have something to do with your life span, but the doctors we spoke to agreed that simple things can make a big dent in your risk of chronic disease.</p> <p><strong>1. Stop smoking</strong></p> <p>Four years after doing so, your chance of having a heart attack falls to that of someone who has never smoked.</p> <p>After 10 years, your lung cancer risk drops to nearly that of a non-smoker.</p> <p>Concerned? See your doctor as techniques for earlier detection and <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/smoking/Fighting-Lung-Cancer">new treatments for lung cancer exist</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>2. Exercise daily</strong></p> <p>Thirty minutes of activity is all that’s necessary. Three 10-minute walks will do it. Or if you are keen for a run, check out this expert advice on the<span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/fitness/running-pros-cons"> pros and cons of running</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>3. Eat your produce</strong></p> <p>Fruit, vegetables … whatever your favourites are, just make sure you eat them every day.</p> <p>This delicious fruit salad is ideal for <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/recipes/fruit-salad">upping your daily fruit count</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>4. Get screened</strong></p> <p>No need to go test-crazy; just get the health screenings recommended for your stage of life.</p> <p>Check with your doctor to make sure you’re up-to-date.</p> <p>Just be honest. How much you smoke, drink, eat, exercise and whether you use protection during sex or <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/tips/14-things-never-lie-your-doctor-about">while out in the sun matters</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>5. Make sleep a priority</strong></p> <p>For most adults who want to live to 100, that means seven to eight hours every night.</p> <p>If you have a tough time turning off the light, remember that sleep deprivation raises the risk of heart disease, cancer and more.</p> <p>We've debunked the common untruths surrounding sleep to <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/sleep/8-Myths-About-Sleep">help you get a good night’s rest</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>6. Ask your doctor about low-dose aspirin</strong></p> <p>Heart attack, stroke, even cancer – a single 81mg tablet per day may fight them all.</p> <p>(Aspirin comes with risks, though, so don’t start on your own.)</p> <p>If you’re older, you are at risk from the <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/heart-blood-pressure/when-medicines-do-more-harm-good">major problem of over-prescribing</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>7. Know your blood pressure numbers</strong></p> <p>It’s not called the silent killer just to give your life a little more drama.</p> <p>Keep yours under 120/80 if you want to live to 100.</p> <p>Keep an eye out for the <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/heart-blood-pressure/Six-Sneaky-Causes-of-High-Blood-Pressure">six sneaky causes of high blood pressure</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>8. Stay connected</strong></p> <p>Loneliness is another form of stress.</p> <p>Friends, family and furry pets help you feel loved.</p> <p>The following seven tools can help you navigate the <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/learn-love-living-alone">treacherous shallows as well as the joys of solo living</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>9. Cut back on saturated fat</strong></p> <p>It’s the raw material your body uses for producing LDL, bad cholesterol.</p> <p>For decades, doctors and medical organisations have viewed saturated fat as the raw material for a heart attack.</p> <p>But newer research has some experts questioning <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/Is-saturated-fat-bad-for-you">whether we’ve convicted the wrong criminal</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>10. Get help for depression</strong></p> <p>It doesn’t just feel bad; it does bad things to your body.</p> <p>In fact, when tacked onto diabetes and heart disease, it increases risk of early death by as much as 30 percent.</p> <p>Here's 10 surprising ways to be happier <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/10-Surprising-Ways-to-Be-Happier-Without-Really-Trying">without really trying</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>11. Manage your stress</strong></p> <p>The doctors we surveyed say that living with uncontrolled stress is more destructive to your health than being 30 pounds overweight.</p> <p>Easy answer? Teach yourself to <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/teach-yourself-meditate-and-beat-stress">meditate and beat stress</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>12. Have a higher purpose</strong></p> <p>As one physician advised, “Strive to achieve something bigger than yourself.”</p> <p>By giving back, you give to yourself.</p> <p>Just try to keep your <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/tips/How-to-Fix-Your-Own-Personal-Energy-Crisis">energy levels up for the personal journey ahead</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>13. Load up at breakfast</strong></p> <p>People in “Blue Zones” – areas with high life expectancies – eat the most at breakfast, then have little or nothing for dinner.</p> <p>Front-loading calories can ward off hunger all day, keeping your weight in check.</p> <p>Not a morning person? Check out these ways to make sure you wake up on the right side of the bed and <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/12-ways-brighten-your-morning">ease into your day with a positive, calm attitude</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>14. Start fasting</strong></p> <p>You don’t need to go days without food.</p> <p>Simply limiting eating to eight hours of the day gives your body more time to finish its six to 12 hours of digestion.</p> <p>After that, it goes into “fasting” mode, burning stored fat.</p> <p>New research is discovering that you are WHEN you eat. In fact, the secret to better health could be as <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/why-changing-when-you-eat-can-produce-immediate-results">simple as an early dinnertime</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>15. Cook at home</strong></p> <p>Not only do you get to control the ingredients and make healthier choices, but the act of cooking is a mini workout.</p> <p>New to the kitchen and want to save some money?</p> <p>Have a lot of fun by making homemade treats <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/recipes/8-edible-christmas-gifts-you-can-make-home">to give as gifts this Christmas</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>16. Have a sit-down meal</strong></p> <p>Multi-tasking during meals, such as while driving or rushing to get out the door, can put stress hormones in the way of your body’s ability to digest, which won’t help you live to 100.</p> <p>Sit down, or better yet, gather the family together to get the bonus of social time while enjoying a meal together.</p> <p>Take a look at these <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/4-habits-eating-well">four good ways to cultivate healthy eating</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>17. Save up</strong></p> <p>Most people who live to 100 are financially secure.</p> <p>Worrying about money (and how to pay for healthcare) could get in the way of a long, healthy life.</p> <p>Save money in ways you've <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/save-money-ways-youve-never-thought-these-10-tips">never thought of before with these 10 tips</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>18. Focus on the good stuff</strong></p> <p>Research shows people who live to 100 tend to complain less than younger adults.</p> <p>Their lack of gripes could mean they’re better at handling bad situations.</p> <p>Have to deal with difficult people? Take a look at these <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating">13 things you should know about negotiating</a></span>.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><strong><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/18-simple-rules-follow-if-you-want-live-100?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest.</a></strong></span> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>offer</strong></span></a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Nick Kyrgios opens up about his mental health struggles

<p>Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios is known for his on-court antics and his anger issues, but the 23-year-old has admitted to working with psychologists to try and “get on top” of his mental health, after critics slammed the athlete for his behaviour after another whirlwind season.</p> <p>Kyrgios was forced to finish the season earlier than expected as an injury to his elbow saw him withdraw from the Kremlin Cup in Moscow in October.</p> <p>He was once Australia’s number one, but Kyrgios lost the title to 19-year-old Alex de Minaur in the same month as his injury, making October the roughest month to date.</p> <p>As he arrived back to his hometown in Canberra, the young player revealed his struggles with mental health and how it affected the way he played throughout the season.</p> <p>“I was obviously struggling with a couple of things on and off the court this year, so it hasn’t been easy,” he told the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.canberratimes.com.au/" target="_blank">Canberra Times</a></em>.</p> <p>“But I’m starting to see some psychologists and trying to get on top of my mental health.</p> <p>“I probably left it a little too long. But I’ve been doing that, and I feel more open about talking about it, I don’t feel like I’ve got to hide that sort of stuff anymore.”</p> <p>Kyrgios, who is no doubt a talented player, has had his performance overshadowed by his fiery temperament and his childish behaviour on court.</p> <p>He failed to perform at the US Open in August, after an umpire was forced to give a pep talk to the player as he came across as unmotivated.</p> <p>Soon after, at the Shanghai Masters, he exited after the first round where fans were disappointed to witness his mediocre performance.</p> <p>But despite the mishaps, Kyrgios is grateful for his international tennis career. He said he considers himself “very lucky” and blames his downfall on his overly packed schedule to which he says is the reason for his mental and physical burnout.</p> <p>“I’m going to work with my team to get the correct schedule, I don’t think I’ve got it right the last couple of years because I haven’t made it to the end of the year once,” he said.</p> <p>Kyrgios started the year off right as he obtained a fourth career title in Brisbane in January.</p> <p>But it was downhill after that, as he missed out on two months of the campaign which included the French Open.</p> <p>He also suffered from an injury to his hip which forced him to pull out from the ATP season last year.</p> <p><em>If you are troubled by this article, experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline 131 114 or beyondblue 1300 224 636 or visit<span> </span><a href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/">lifeline.org.au</a><span> </span>or<span> </span><a href="https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/national-help-lines-and-websites">beyondblue.org.au</a>.</em></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Caring for someone with dementia

<p><strong>Reassurance</strong></p> <p>In the early stages of dementia, while a patient is still aware of their diagnosis and their poor memory, they may feel vulnerable and require a lot of reassurance. You can help by allowing them to express their worries and talk through them.</p> <p><strong>Expressing identity</strong></p> <p>It’s important for people with dementia to feel that their individual identity is not being consumed by their illness, and that they still have a sense of self-worth. Carers can help by allowing them to make their own choices when those choices won’t cause harm to themselves or others. This includes allowing them to dress and wash themselves as long as it’s safe for them to do so and avoiding making them feel helpless or infantile.</p> <p>Often people with dementia will find that their taste in foods changes enormously. As a carer it’s important to take their tastes into account and serve them food that they enjoy eating and which keeps them relatively fit and healthy.</p> <p><strong>Difficult behaviour</strong></p> <p>As dementia progresses, a person’s behaviour could become erratic and unusual. It is sometimes possible to reduce the frequency of out-of-character behaviour by ensuring the patient is calm, keeping familiar personal items around them and ensuring that their sleeping environment is comfortable.</p> <p>Remember that your loved one is not deliberately being difficult and try not to take it personally – their sense of reality may be very different to yours, and they are just doing what seems right and normal to them.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/Caring-for-Someone-With-Dementia">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Lee Lin Chin reveals her very surprising nightly ritual: "I'm always discovering something new"

<p>If you have trouble falling asleep at night, you might want to take a page, literally, out of Lee Lin Chin's book. </p> <p>The former <em>SBS World News</em> weekend presenter has <span>revealed </span><span>reading the works of William Shakespeare as the perfect way to wind down in the evening. </span></p> <p><span>Chin revealed she “re-read[s] the complete works of Shakespeare every night” in a new interview with </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.whimn.com.au/strength/health/lee-lin-chins-unusual-evening-routine-is-level-11-extra/news-story/6b05d77f83e816a5d9332cdef7d9339f" target="_blank">whimn</a></em><span>. “I'm always discovering something new in the great bard’s words.”</span></p> <p>And sometimes, the fashion icon known for her quirky outfits, will spend up to two hours reading Shakespeare's famous words at night. </p> <p>Chin, who resigned in July from SBS after almost 40 years with the network, has said the extra free time she has now would allow her to indulge her passion for Shakespeare (and pubs).</p> <p>“Working two days a week didn't give me enough time to devote to the pub and re-reading the complete works of Shakespeare,” said the TV personality in jest to good friend and fellow newsreader Sandra Sully for <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://tendaily.com.au/news/a180726kpi/exclusive-lee-lin-chin-quits-sbs-20180726" target="_blank">Ten Daily</a></em>, at the time she announced her departure from SBS. </p> <p>“So now that I work zero days that issue has been addressed.”</p> <p>Chin told <em>whimn</em> that a comfy bed is also “absurdly important” for a great night’s sleep.</p> <p>“A good sleep in a nice bed sets you up for the day,” she said. “You attack it with a bit more oomph versus just thinking, oh great. It's Groundhog Day.”</p> <p>Getting to bed early, and a 4 am start with some yoga, used to be part of Chin's daily ritual when she had a long day in front of the camera.</p> <p>“It's more important than anything else,” she said. “Shoot days can be long, tedious and exhausting. If I haven't had a good sleep, it’s going to be a terrible day, not just for me but also the crew. I can get pretty grumpy.”</p> <p>Surprisingly, one thing her nightly ritual does not include is meticulously planning her outfit for the next day.</p> <p>“I like to give myself some spontaneity,” she said. “Who knows what mood I'll awake in and what outfit will compliment that mood?”</p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

The heartwarming moment that brought the Invictus Games crowd to tears

<p>The Invictus Games is a tournament that symbolises hope, rehabilitation and creates a wider understanding for those who put their lives on the line to serve their country.</p> <p>And on Monday, two spirited competitors represented exactly that, with not a dry eye in sight as spectators were left watching the events unfold.</p> <p>Paul Guest, a British mine warfare specialist, was left frightened and unable to play after a helicopter flying above triggered his PTSD.</p> <p>The 54-year-old was in the middle of his wheelchair tennis doubles match at Sydney Olympic Park while the incident occurred. Guest, who was injured while serving in Northern Ireland, was so shaken up that he needed to pause the game and regroup.</p> <p>It wasn’t until his Dutch teammate Edwin Vermetten came to stand by his side to comfort him that he felt at ease.</p> <p>In an act of pure kindness, Vermetten immediately rushed over to Guest once he understood what was happening.</p> <p>The Dutch player held Guest by his shoulders and pulled their foreheads together before he began singing in what could only be described as a moment of camaraderie.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpPFxFYAm3t/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpPFxFYAm3t/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A helicopter flying over the Sydney Olympic Park precinct triggered an immediate emotional response in a British wheelchair tennis player but his Dutch partner who brought him around by singing a Disney movie theme song to him. “For him, this was the moment he let go, and he did, he literally let it all go.” Click the link in our bio to read more about his story. #IG2018 #GameOnDownUnder</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/invictusgames2018/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Invictus Games Sydney 2018</a> (@invictusgames2018) on Oct 22, 2018 at 5:42am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Vermetten said it was the song “Let It Go” from the Disney film <em>Frozen</em> that helped Guest recover from his fears.</p> <p>“I took him by the face and said, ‘Look at me. We are a team so let it go,’” said Vermetten, speaking to <em><a href="https://www.invictusgames2018.org/latest/helicopter-triggers-emotional-scenes-at-wheelchair-tennis/">Invictus Games</a></em>.</p> <p>“’Look into my eyes and sing the <em>Frozen</em> song’, and we did.</p> <p>“For him, this was the moment he let go, and he did, he literally let it all go,” he said.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7821525/gettyimages-1052729362.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f1e1364ae6454d08874a76705c415d66" /></p> <p>Those watching the heartwarming moment unfold were left in tears as they witnessed two men in an embrace, singing to help dismiss their fears.</p> <p>After Vermetten comforted Guest, the pair went on to win the match in a third set tie break. Despite only meeting a few days ago, the pair have become the best of friends.</p> <p>Guest was a part of the British Armed Forces and served in Northern Ireland before suffering from injuries relating to his neck and spine during duty in 1987.</p> <p>The incident resulted in partial deafness and an impairment in his sight, and he was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.</p> <p>Guest attempted to commit suicide four times after he was discharged from the Armed Forces, it was then that his wife forced him to seek help.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 333.3333333333333px;" src="/media/7821524/gettyimages-1052716920.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b984f6ab80d749be95558254f717d638" /></p> <p>“On the fourth occasion when I tried to commit suicide, my wife literally dragged me off to get help,” he told <em><a href="https://www.clactonandfrintongazette.co.uk/news/15458725.wounded-veteran-who-felt-worthless-after-discharge-finds-pride-thanks-to-invictus-games/">The Clacton Gazette</a></em>.</p> <p>“She contacted <a href="https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/">Help for Heroes</a> (a charity organisation that provides support for service men and service women and their families), I became a Band of Brother and the rest is history.</p> <p>“The Invictus Games has given me something to aim for. Pulling on the Invictus Games uniform is like pulling on my Navy uniform.</p> <p>“I feel part of a team again, like I belong. I’m proud to be representing my country once again.</p> <p>“Without Help for Heroes and without the goal of the Invictus Games I honestly wouldn’t be here today. I recently lost a good friend of mine called Michael. He sadly took his own life recently and I promised at his graveside I would never give up.”</p> <p>And he made sure to stick to that promise after his emotional setback at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, where he went on to win the tennis doubles match with his teammate.</p> <p><em>If you are troubled by this article, experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline 131 114 or beyondblue 1300 224 636 or visit <a href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/">lifeline.org.au</a> or <a href="https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/national-help-lines-and-websites">beyondblue.org.au</a>. </em></p> <p> </p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

The mind-boggling optical illusions on the new $50 note

<p>While the new Australian $50 note, just released by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), may look similar to the old one, it may just blow your mind. The freshly minted banknote has some very clever optical illusions built into it, designed to prevent forgery.</p> <p>Don’t be surprised if you find yourself, or see others, holding the new note in the air, titling it, and waving it from side to side, transfixed.</p> <p>Look closely at the vertical clear panel. If you tilt the note, it looks as if a black swan is taking flight.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7821444/flying-swan.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ac7321e563a34d65a05b3f069a15c8b6" /></p> <p>Below the swan sits a church with the number 50 embossed on it. Move it side to side, and the number reverses.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7821445/reversing-50.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4cbb9158776a4c83ab8a2802557015ab" /></p> <p>There are also two floral patches with a “rolling colour effect” – they change colour as you tilt them up and down.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7821446/rollinig-colour.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e03a8877f6784610960d724c83990bdb" /></p> <p>You can see a visual demonstration here:</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_BdQfwNQ4Zk" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p> </p> <p>Apart from being fun optical illusions to play with before you hand over your brand spanking new $50 note, the additions will make it “very difficult for counterfeiters” to reproduce, says RBA Assistant Governor Lindsay Boulton, according to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/australias-new-50-banknote-revealed/news-story/41af319c2b7e419dbaed5b25291bf284" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em>.  </p> <p>The new banknote follows on from the new $5 (released in 2016) and $10 note (released in 2017) with the inclusion of a tactile feature for the vision impaired. The $5 note has one dot, the $10 has two, and now the $50 has four (presumably the upcoming $20 will have four), to help those affected differentiate between denominations.</p> <p>It’s an important addition given the $50 note is Australia’s most widely circulated banknote (46 per cent of all banknotes) and the one most dispensed by ATMs.</p> <p>Chris Edwards, who lost his eyesight in his teens, told the website the innovation would make a huge impact on his life.</p> <p>“When you go to your ATM, the $50 is the note that often gets spit out. While I’ve been confident using a $5 or $10 note to buy a coffee, now I feel much more confident in paying with cash for a meal for the family or a round of drinks for my friends,” he said.</p> <p>The introduction of the tactile feature has an inspiring backstory. Connor McLeod of NSW, who is blind, decided to take action when he realised that he couldn’t count the money his grandmother had given him. The 13-year-old started a petition, signed by tens of thousands of people, taking his idea to the Human Rights Commission and Vision Australia.</p> <p>The new $50 note is in circulation from today, with the new $20 and $100 notes due in 2019 and 2020.</p> <p>Will you be trying out the optical illusions on the new $50 note? Tell us in the comment section below.</p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Test yourself: Can you spot the hidden book?

<p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">A new brainteaser is putting people’s perception skills to the test, challenging viewers to spot a hidden book in under 20 seconds.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">The image, which contains images of various electronic gadgets, was inspired by the increasing dominance of technology in our lives.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">The illustration was done by London-based educational company Edu Prints Plus.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">The creators have found that the hidden item can be located within five seconds, but how long will it take you?</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Can you find the hidden book?</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: center; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 500px;" src="/media/7821403/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1b6fc8b4ce454170b82e05146893a2ef" /></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Observant puzzlers will spot that the book is hiding towards the top right corner of the picture with the book mark hanging out.</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Speaking of his love of books, Edu Prints Plus founder Faisal Naisim said: “I love a brain teaser like this - something that helps you keep your vision sharp and puts your perception skills to the test.”</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">“And in a world where it feels like technology is taking over absolutely everything, I get real joy out of picking up a physical book and casting aside my phone or tablet for an hour or two. That's really the inspiration around this puzzle.”</span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: center; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 500px;" src="/media/7821404/2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4368a1152ce04d03a955b2c514aa6d1c" /></p> <p style="margin-top: 0cm; background: white; vertical-align: baseline; box-sizing: border-box; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: 'Helvetica',sans-serif; color: black;">Did you spot the hidden book? If so, how many seconds did it take you? Let us know in the comments below.</span></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Melania Trump’s bold claim: “I'm the most bullied person in the world”

<p>Melania Trump has said she is fed up with being the target of what she sees as constant bullying and criticism since her husband, US President Donald Trump, took office.</p> <p>In a no-holds-barred <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/melania-trump-speaks-out-about-donald-trump-s-affairs-in-tv-interview" target="_blank">interview</a> titled <em>Being Melania – The First Lady</em> airing on America’s ABC Network, Melania made the bold claim, stating, “I could say that I'm the most bullied person in the world.” </p> <p>Mrs Trump then backtracked slightly, saying she was “one of them – if you really see what people are saying about me.”</p> <p>She told Tom Llamas, Chief National Affairs Correspondent for ABC News, in the interview that the effect of the bullying she faces daily was one inspiration for her initiative Be Best, reported the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6265015/First-Lady-Melania-Trump-says-bullied-person-world-does-not-trust-West-Wing.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>. </p> <p>In part, Be Best is designed to combat bullying, particularly on social media.</p> <p>But Mrs Trump told Llamas that she was frustrated that the charities she had approached to be part of the initiative, in her view, had chosen politics over being involved.</p> <p>“It's sad to see that organisations and foundations that I want to partner with chose not to because of the administration,” she said.</p> <p>“I feel they are choosing the politics over helping others.”</p> <p>The First Lady refused to name the charities that had decided not to take part in the Be Best initiative.</p> <p>“I'm not going to talk about it, they know who they are,” she said.</p> <p>“I'm not going to put them out in front of the world.”</p> <p>Mrs Trump lays out her mission statement for the Be Best initiative on the official <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/bebest/" target="_blank">website</a>: “It remains our generation’s moral imperative to take responsibility and help our children manage the many issues they are facing today, including encouraging positive social, emotional and physical habits...”</p> <p>It aims to “focus on some of the major issues facing children today,” and teach children “the importance of social, emotional and physical health. Be Best will concentrate on three main pillars: well-being, social media use and opioid abuse.”</p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Dave Hughes opens up about hitting rock bottom: “I went downhill over a year”

<p>Although Dave Hughes is known for his hilarious antics and quick banter, the Aussie comedian and TV and radio host has candidly discussed the darkest battle he went through.</p> <p>Before becoming co-host of 2DAY FM’s Drive radio show <em>Hughesy &amp; Kate</em> with Kate Langbroek, the father-of-three came from humble beginnings and was plagued by crippling self-doubt.</p> <p>Hughesy became unemployed and slipped into a lifestyle of regular alcohol and marijuana use after dropping out of his business university degree.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/mind/mens-mental-health-dave-hughes-opens-up-about-his-personal-battle/news-story/402a65d7a70f5ed5450d1fa2ab16d7c5"><strong><u>news.com.au</u></strong></a>, Hughesy recalled: “I was feeling depressed as a young man.</p> <p>“I was drinking too much, and when I’d drink I would get drunk. As a teenager and in my early 20s I was struggling with my own ego … that whole struggle to feel like you’re achieving things.</p> <p>“Young men and young people can take life too seriously and I think drinking certainly didn’t help that … as well as smoking marijuana.”</p> <p>The uncertainty of not knowing what career he wanted to pursue led to the now 47-year-old battling with his mental health.</p> <p>“I was doing a business degree … I’d dropped out of an IT degree,” he said.</p> <p>“I was trying to satisfy my own expectations of being a winner but not really having my heart in any of it.</p> <p>“I remember I dropped out of uni after failing every subject in the second semester of the second year of my business degree, and I suppose I spent some time unemployed.</p> <p>“That, combined with smoking a lot of marijuana and drinking heavily, led me to feeling really poorly … really feeling down more than anything … just a feeling of being really low.</p> <p>“Drinking and marijuana was making me feel even more lost I suppose.”</p> <p>Hughesy first discussed the struggle he faced while appearing as a guest on <em>Q&amp;A</em> in 2015.</p> <p>The entertainer admitted to believing he suffered from schizophrenia in his early 20s.</p> <p>“When you hit something hard and you’re coming off it, I think that’s when you can really get freaked out,” he said of his terrifying dreams after quitting alcohol and marijuana.</p> <p>“It was coming off and not trying to do that stuff where you’d freak out … your thoughts go all over the place.</p> <p>“I remember thinking I wasn’t in control of my thoughts.”</p> <p>During his struggle, he decided to open up to his mum, who was a practising nurse, as “there was very little talk between young men” about mental health.</p> <p>“(In the 1990s) it was unheard of I suppose,” he said.</p> <p>“There were no sporting heroes who put their hand up that they were struggling mentally.</p> <p>“My mum was the best one for me to speak to (because) it wasn’t something you’d chat about with your friends.”</p> <p>Although Hughesy didn’t self harm, he said he would put himself into situations where he didn’t care about the outcome.</p> <p>“There were moments where you might drive erratically without care,” he said. </p> <p>“Not many times, but a few times where you don’t mind what happens.</p> <p>“I think many young men go through times where they end up in cars … doing things that are really dangerous but don’t care of the result and often that can end tragically for any young man.</p> <p>“Thankfully I survived.”</p> <p>Now, Hughesy shares his story openly so that the stigma around seeking help for mental health will change.</p> <p>“For anyone, it can be embarrassing to admit you’re struggling mentally,” Hughesy said.</p> <p>“I went downhill over a year … So it was a year of struggling. But I came good pretty quickly after seeing a health professional with my mum. I stopped smoking marijuana and stopped drinking and haven’t had a drink since those days.</p> <p>“Anyone who talks about it is inspiring for the whole … and certainly encourages people to be honest about their struggles,” he said.</p> <p>“Many people go through the same things. To keep hold of your mental health is like keeping hold of your physical health. It should be maintained.</p> <p>“Men … they don’t express their feelings as much as women I suppose. Men just don’t do it enough.”</p> <p><em><strong>If you are troubled by this article, experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline 131 114 or beyondblue 1300 224 636 or visit <a href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/">lifeline.org.au</a> or <a href="https://www.beyondblue.org.au/">beyondblue.org.au</a>.</strong></em></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Rebecca Gibney's heartbreaking confession about her depression battle

<p>Much-loved actor Rebecca Gibney has spoken candidly about her depression and anxiety, and the poignant turning points in her battle with mental health.</p> <p>In an interview with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/stellar/rebecca-gibney-here-i-am-53-and-a-lesbian-heartthrob/news-story/d874ae702a2127733826edb5a69cb68b" target="_blank"><em>Stella</em></a> magazine, the star of <em>Wanted</em>, <em>Packed to the Rafters</em>, and <em>The Flying Doctors</em> said that motherhood had a cathartic effect on her.</p> <p>“Motherhood doesn’t complete you, but being a mother to Zac did help me overcome some of my own issues because all of a sudden it became all about him,” she said of her son, now 14 years old. “I was at a point in my life where I needed that.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bobk0RvgtxH/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bobk0RvgtxH/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">When did that happen? 4 - 14. Happens in a blink 👁 I even miss the tantrums 🤷‍♀️ Love you Zac. You can stop growing now. XMum PS it’s not his birthday - I just looked at him last night and he is soooo big and grown up and beautiful..... my heart 💓</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/rebeccagibney_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Rebecca Gibney</a> (@rebeccagibney_) on Oct 2, 2018 at 5:33am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The actor admitted she experienced an “emotional collapse” in her early 30s, experiencing hourly panic attacks (she would even ask to be seated near an exit at the Logie Awards) and agoraphobia. </p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">She endured a difficult childhood – her father Austin Gibney was an alcoholic who physically abused her mother Shirley Gibney.</span> While she attempted to confront her issues at the time with a therapist, the star said it became too much.</p> <p>“I’d built up a library of self-loathing which I covered up with make-up and roles and pretending, but deep down I was dying inside,” she told the magazine. </p> <p>“I felt like a failure in my first marriage, I felt a failure as an actor because I was pretending, and I felt like a failure in my friendships because they weren’t real. A lot about me felt fake and I hated it.”</p> <p>But the Gold Logie winner found a novel way to deal with her frustration – smashing crockery.</p> <p>“I had all this rage and my therapist encouraged me to go to op shops and get crockery, which I’d go outside and smash on the ground. It’s a relief to get that anger out.”</p> <p>For the first time, Gibney spoke in detail about one of the hardest days of her life – the day she found herself contemplating suicide. It was a turning point in her ongoing battle with depression.</p> <p>“I’d been given prescription medication and on this particular day I put it all out on the coffee table and started writing a letter to my mum,” she said. “I got halfway through the letter and thought, ‘She’ll never understand. I can never do that to her.’ I started picturing my brothers and sisters and friends and I thought, ‘If I go through with this it will create way more pain for them than the pain I’m in now.’ I stopped, ripped up the letter and only told my mum years later. She was mortified and sad I didn’t tell her at the time.”</p> <p>The actor, who now lives in her native New Zealand with her son, and husband Richard Bell, after living in Australia for over 30 years, has found ways to deal with her anxiety, including breathing techniques. She also shares her mental health journey on social media in the hope they will offer hope to those suffering mental illness.</p> <p>“Perhaps they’ll think, ‘If it can happen to her, maybe I can take that extra breath, maybe I can go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow and do something about it’.”</p> <p><span>If you are troubled by this article, experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline 131 114 or beyondblue 1300 224 636 or visit lifeline.org.au or beyondblue.org.au.</span></p> <p> </p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

The 12 ways narcissists make you think they’re important

<p><strong><em>Susan Krauss Whitbourne is a professor of Psychology and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She writes the Fulfilment at Any Age blog for Psychology Today.</em></strong></p> <p>Have you ever noticed that some people you work with or interact with socially underplay their chances of succeeding? Perhaps they go into a situation in which their abilities will be put to the test, such as a entering a contest to get the most sales in the upcoming month or putting together a meal for an important family gathering. Maybe they announce they have a first date with a match made through an <span><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/social-networking">online dating</a></span> site. Rather than predict a positive outcome in these situations, they put on a show of looking ill-prepared or incompetent. They claim that they're doomed to fail because they lack the necessary skills, people or otherwise, to achieve a positive outcome. Yet, you also have suspected for a while that these individuals seem to be quite self-centred and <span><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/relationships">love</a></span> to grab the limelight. Why, then, would they go out of their way to seem ill-equipped to handle a challenge?</p> <p>New research by University of North Texas psychologist Michael Barnett and colleagues (2018) suggests that people high in narcissism engage in this self-handicapping presentation strategy as a twisted way of getting you to think that they truly are terrific. Their study, which was conducted on a college student sample of 818 participants, was based on the idea that self-handicapping, or what they call “sandbagging” is just one more way that people high in narcissism manipulate the way others regard them. Although testing this concept on a college student sample might seem to limit its applicability to the broader population, it is consistent with some of the earliest theories of <span><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/personality">personality</a></span>. By underplaying their strengths, according to theorists such as Alfred Adler and Karen Horney, narcissists can’t possibly fail. If they don’t win at a situation, they can show that they didn’t expect to anyhow. If they do win, then they look all that much more amazing to those who witness their glory.</p> <p>The concept of sandbagging as a psychological self-presentation strategy was tested by Central Michigan University’s Brian Gibson and Minnesota State University (Mankato)’s Daniel Sachau in a 2000 study that described and validated a 12-item measure. Gibson and Sachau define sandbagging as “a self-presentational strategy involving the false claim or feigned demonstration of inability used to create artificially low expectations for the sandbagger’s performance” (p. 56). Although the origins of the term are unclear (possibly related to building dams, horse-racing, or acts of physical aggression), it’s a concept familiar in the world of “coaches and card-players.” In a press conference prior to a big game, a head coach will talk down, instead of up, the <span><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/teamwork">team</a></span>'s chances of victory. Like the coach playing mind games on the opponent, by pretending to be less competent than you are you can lull those who might oppose you into complacency.</p> <p>However, as Gibson and Sachau note, sandbagging can be used in situations involving evaluation rather than <span><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/sport-and-competition">competition</a></span>. A student who’s actually studied hard tells a professor not to expect much out of the upcoming exam performance. By reducing expectations, the individual either looks better after succeeding at the task or has a reason to explain low performance, should that be the outcome. People can also reduce the pressure on them if they predict poor performance to others because they’ve now got nothing to lose should this occur.</p> <p>Barnett et al., examining the relationship between narcissism and sandbagging, used the 12-item Sandbagging Scale developed in that 2000 study by Gibson and Sachau. The North Texas researchers note that people use this strategy primarily as a way of protecting their <span><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/self-esteem">self-esteem</a></span>, as shown in previous research establishing a relationship between low self-esteem and sandbagging. People high in narcissism, the researchers maintain, are attempting to protect a fragile self-esteem reflected in feelings of vulnerability that they may cover up with grandiosity. As they note, “the high explicit self-esteem observed in narcissists is an attempt to cover up underlying low self-esteem and vulnerability” (p. 2). Not all psychologists agree that vulnerability and grandiosity are two sides of the same <span><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/narcissism">narcissistic </a></span>coin, but for the purpose of studying sandbagging, such an assumption seems warranted. Going back to the theories of Adler and Horney, downplaying their abilities is a tactic that narcissists use to guarantee that they can’t fail, suggesting that their self-esteem indeed has a precarious basis.</p> <p>The Barnett et al. findings supported the roles of both grandiose and vulnerable narcissism in explaining scores on the sandbagging measure above and beyond the effects of self-esteem. Thus, people high in narcissism attempt to look good by predicting bad. They use sandbagging, the authors conclude, “to resolve the dissonance that stems from viewing themselves as superior yet potentially being negatively evaluated” (p. 5). This helps them manage their self-esteem by pretending that nothing’s at stake should they either succeed or fail.</p> <p>Before examining the implications of these findings, let’s turn next to the Sandbagging Scale. If Barnett and his collaborators are correct, the items on this scale should provide a novel way to test people’s levels of narcissism because those high in narcissism should score high on this measure.</p> <p>To test yourself, indicate your agreement with these items on a 6-point scale from disagree very much to agree very much:</p> <ol> <li>It’s better for people to expect less of you even if you know you can perform well.</li> <li>The less others expect of me, the better I like it.</li> <li>If I tell others my true ability, I feel added pressure to perform well.</li> <li>The less others expect of me the more comfortable I feel.</li> <li>I may understate my abilities to take some of the pressure off.</li> <li>When someone has high expectations of me I feel uncomfortable.</li> <li>I try to perform above others’ expectations.</li> <li>It’s important that I surpass people’s expectations for my performance.</li> <li>I like others to be surprised by my performance.</li> <li>I enjoy seeing others surprised by my abilities.</li> <li>I will understate my abilities in front of my opponent(s).</li> <li>I understate my skills, ability, or knowledge.</li> </ol> <p>In looking at your responses, flip your ratings of 7 and 8, which are the opposite of sandbagging. The 12 items divide into 3 subscales: Pressure (1-6), Exceeding Expectations (7-10), and Behaviour (11 and 12). The average scores were in the higher end of the 6-point scale, with most people scoring between about 3 and 5, but the highest scores were in items 7-10, the Exceeding Expectations scale. It appears, then, that most people engage in some <span><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/leadership">management</a></span> of their self-esteem through sandbagging. As indicated by Barnett and his co-authors, people highest in narcissism should be particularly likely to do so.</p> <p>Hearing an individual expressing false modesty about an upcoming evaluation, as the Sandbagging scale would seem to reflect, can provide you with cues that the individual is trying to protect a fragile sense of self. Rather than project an outward show of bravado, then, people high in narcissism can use the reverse strategy. The audience might be fooled by all of this down-regulation of expectations and not recognise that they are actually watching the self-preservation tactics of the narcissist.</p> <p><strong>To sum up,</strong> be on the lookout for sandbagging when you suspect that you’re witnessing false modesty. Fulfillment in life comes from being able to engage in situations involving competition or evaluation with a reasonable sense of inner self-<span><a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/confidence">confidence</a></span>. People high in narcissism view every evaluative situation as a threat to their own fallibility and as a result, cannot experience this sense of fulfillment.  </p> <p><em>Written by Susan Krauss Whitbourne. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201809/the-12-ways-narcissists-make-you-think-they-re-important"><strong><u>Psychology Today.</u></strong> </a></em></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

The science behind why mediation helps relieve stress

<p><em><strong>Michaela Pascoe is a postdoctoral research fellow in Exercise and Mental Health at Victoria University.</strong></em></p> <p>In Australia, about <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17718647">one in six adults</a> practise meditation, while one in 10 practise yoga. People often turn to yoga or meditation as a way to take time out and manage the stress of their day-to-day lives.</p> <p>Stress is common, and ongoing stress can contribute to the onset of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23261775">a range of psychological issues</a>, such as depression and anxiety.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679190/">Meditation</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447533/">yoga</a> have been shown to reduce people’s self-reported levels of stress. This is likely due, at least in part, to the effects that meditation and yoga have on the brain’s stress response system.</p> <p><strong>How the brain responds to stress</strong></p> <p>The body’s automatic stress response is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system plays a key role in stress reactivity via its two main divisions: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.</p> <p>A main function of the sympathetic nervous system is to mobilise the body to fight or flee from stressful or threatening situations, via control of internal muscles, organs and glands. This is called the “fight or flight” response.</p> <p>The parasympathetic nervous system counterbalances the sympathetic nervous system and returns the body to its natural baseline state after the systematic nervous system activates.</p> <p>In many cases the parasympathetic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system have opposing but complementary functions. For example, the sympathetic nervous system increases heart rate, blood pressure and the downstream release of stress-related hormones such as cortisol, whereas the parasympathetic nervous system decreases all of these factors.</p> <p>So by measuring these <a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c6c0/dcc3ad330cf46f84fa5cabcacead7e3d4da3.pdf">we can identify</a> if people are experiencing a homeostatic state or a more stressful state, on a physiological level.</p> <p>We <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28863392">reviewed</a> how yoga and different forms of meditation influence the brain’s stress response system by studying physiological markers of stress.</p> <p><strong>What are the different forms of meditation?</strong></p> <p>A common method of classifying meditation techniques distinguishes between <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21254062">open monitoring</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21254062">focused attention</a>, and automatic <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27816783">self-transcending</a> meditation.</p> <p>Open monitoring or mindfulness-based meditations involve the practice of observing the content of our ongoing experience in a non-reactive way, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20041276">to become reflectively aware</a> of cognitive and emotional patterns. Instead of focusing attention on a particular object, the meditator aims to pay attention to and monitor all aspects of experience as they come up, without judgement or attachment. An example would be feeling the sensation of the seat beneath you while meditating.</p> <p>In focused attention meditation, attention is focused and sustained <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16536641">on a particular object</a> and brought back to the object when the mind has wandered. In this way, the meditator is controlling their own attention. The object the person focuses on may be the breath, a mantra, visualisation, a part of the body, or an external object. Each time the meditator notices that their attention wanders, they actively bring it back to their object of attention.</p> <p>Automatic self-transcending involves the use of a mantra, usually Sanskrit sounds, which the meditator can attend to without effort or concentration. The aim is that the mantra becomes secondary and ultimately disappears as self-awareness increases. In automatic self-transcending meditation, the mind should be <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20167507">free from focus</a> and mental effort. It is practised for 15–20 minutes twice a day while sitting with closed eyes.</p> <p><strong>What the evidence says</strong></p> <p>We found that meditation and yoga reduce diastolic blood pressure (the lower range) by 3-8 millimetres of mercury (mmHg), compared with people who engaged in another activity, such as aerobic exercise or relaxation.</p> <p>Both focused attention and automatic self-transcending meditation styles, as well as yoga, reduced systolic blood pressure (the upper range) by 4-5mmHg, compared with people who were not practising any kind of meditation or yoga. This is important because reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure of as little as two mmHg can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24585007">reduce the incidence</a> of heart disease and stroke.</p> <p>Open monitoring and focused attention meditation and yoga reduced heart rate by three to four beats per minute. This is similar to the effects of aerobic exercise, which <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094526/">reduced heart rate</a> by five beats per minute in one study.</p> <p>Focused attention meditations and yoga both decreased measures of cortisol.</p> <p>Our findings indicate that all forms of meditation studied reduce physiological stress markers in one way or another, and therefore, all forms are likely beneficial in managing stress.</p> <p>In terms of deciding what form is best for reducing stress, we would suggest practising a form that is enjoyable and therefore you will practise regularly and in an ongoing manner.</p> <p>While understanding the different types of meditation is useful, meditation classifications <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20167507">should not be considered</a> to be mutually exclusive, either within a single meditation session or over a lifetime of practice. Most meditative techniques lie <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2001-16215-001">somewhere on a continuum</a> between open monitoring and focused attention types.</p> <p><em>Written by Michaela Pascoe. Republished with permission of <a rel="noopener" href="http://theconversation.com/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Conversation.</span><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/97777/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></strong></a></em></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

13 simple ways to improve your self-esteem

<p><em><strong>Susie Moore is a life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. </strong></em></p> <p>Good self-esteem helps you make sound choices, have a healthy regard for your wellbeing and live authentically.</p> <p>And it's not defined by a six-pack, a six-figure career, or a feel-good buzz after six beers. It's deeper. It's how you feel about you.</p> <p>Sadly, many of us sabotage our self-esteem unconsciously (and then wonder why we feel bad).</p> <p>Could you be holding yourself back?</p> <p><strong>1. Don't obsess over mistakes</strong></p> <p>So, you were underprepared for a meeting two months ago. Or you made an insensitive comment to a friend. Maybe you have credit card debt you feel shame over. That's OK. Fix what you can. Move on. Learn. Live in the now.</p> <p>2. Stop hanging out with people out of loyalty instead of intention</p> <p>Are you hanging out with people because they'd be offended if you didn't? That's the worst reason to maintain a friendship. Your crew should inspire and uplift you, and when you tell them your life goals, they should encourage you every step of the way.</p> <p><strong>3. Start employing your secret talents</strong></p> <p>Gifts you stop using (writing, teaching, designing, the list goes on...) will make you miserable over time. Your skills exist to be used and to bring joy to everyone who encounters them. They can even make a sweet side hustle.</p> <p><strong>4. Put yourself first</strong></p> <p>Just say "no" three times this week. Try it out. "No" is the magical word you've been waiting for – don't waste a self-esteem-destroying second feeling guilty about not people-pleasing.</p> <p><strong>5. Eat food that makes you feel good</strong></p> <p>I love a dollar menu, don't get me wrong. But how we eat is also a reflection of how we love our bodies. Are you cheaping out on yourself for no reason? Splurge on the incredibly fresh-tasting organic tomatoes. Heck – go for the second least expensive white wine on the menu the next time you go for dinner. Mini upgrades like this go a long way!</p> <p><strong>6. Quit trying to keep up with the 'cool crowd'</strong></p> <p>Be honest. Who are you trying to please? I know a girl who just bought a $200 sweater to impress a new friend at work when she had a house party. No-one noticed the sweater, and now she's $200 poorer. The cool crowd is an illusion because it changes constantly. Buy stuff because you need it, and/or it brings you joy – and for no other reason.</p> <p><strong>7. Stop procrastinating</strong></p> <p>Procrastination is directly related to our feelings of self-worth. Why use delay tactics on something that will bring you good? Get busy and stop sabotaging yourself. What are you waiting for, exactly? It's never the "right time".</p> <p><strong>8. Give yourself permission to walk away</strong></p> <p>Who do you need to leave? Change can be scary, yes – but nothing changes if nothing changes.</p> <p><strong>9. Ask for more</strong></p> <p>People who ask, get. It's that simple. But if you don't feel deserving, you're probably not asking enough. What can you test? Asking for a favour from a friend? Asking for an overdue raise? Asking for help at work? There's strength (and results) in asking.</p> <p><strong>10. Don't blame-shift</strong></p> <p>Who are you blaming, when you should really be being accountable to yourself? Accountability and responsibility always feel far stronger and empowering in the long term.</p> <p><strong>11. Stop believing you're not ready</strong></p> <p>Hey, guess what? You're dying. Yep. Every day you go to bed, it's one less of your total days here on Earth. You were born ready. This is all temporary. Do the damn thing.</p> <p><strong>12. Avoid criticising others</strong></p> <p>It doesn't really feel good, does it? That's because we do it when we're feeling bad about ourselves. It's a reflection of us. Can you try and halt it, even for a week?</p> <p><strong>13. Remember self-compassion</strong></p> <p>Self-compassion actually matters more than self-esteem. It's about being kind to yourself no matter what. And that means being patient, loving and accepting of yourself even if you tick off every single one of the mistakes on this list.</p> <p>Try approving of yourself a bit more. Remember what you like about yourself: "I'm good at things! I'm a decent cook! I do a badass tripod headstand! I'm not perfect in my marriage, but I'm loving and committed. I deserve good things in my life."</p> <p>Notice what's going right and what feels good upon reflection and see what happens. Then this new compassion toward the self? If you keep it up just a little, your self-esteem will take care of itself.</p> <p><em>Written by Susie Moore. Republished with permission of <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz.</span></strong></a></em></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

The pain of being misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's

<p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__intro sics-component__story__paragraph">Martin can recall, all too clearly, the day he received the devastating diagnosis of advanced Alzheimer's. He left the consultant's office, trying to understand how profoundly his life was going to change.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">It is 10 years since Martin, who "does not want to use my full name in case people who do not know me well start wondering if I really am all right", had become anxious enough about his forgetfulness and short-term memory loss to go to his GP.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">He was referred to the dementia clinic under a consultant at a London teaching hospital and in 2010 began two years of regular brain scans, while a psychiatrist performed detailed yearly cognitive tests.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">He was reassured by the knowledge that if something serious was taking place it would be identified. But during this time, Martin, 74, and his wife agree, his memory and cognitive ability did not seem to deteriorate.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">The consultant who had been monitoring his condition said she wanted to put Martin on galantamine, medication that is supposed to slow the progress of Alzheimer's, but is not a cure. In order to do this she had to give a formal diagnosis: "She said my hippocampus was riddled with sticky plasma of the kind indicating Alzheimer's, and I felt I had to trust her judgment."</p> <div class="sics-component__ad-space sics-component__ad-space--storybody "> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Martin and his wife asked to see the scans showing how the disease had progressed so they could understand. The consultant said she did not have the equipment to show them. At this point, Martin said he wanted a second opinion, but, while he waited for a referral, his wife remembers he "became depressed and withdrawn; neighbours commented on it, too. I can see now what a profound effect the diagnosis had on him psychologically."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">He adds: "From the moment I saw myself as an Alzheimer's patient, I began to dismantle my life and my dreams of the future."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">He retired from publishing three years early and cut back on plans he had made, from voluntary work to adventurous holidays.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">It was several months before his first appointment with consultant neurologist Dr Catherine Mummery at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London – when things changed quite dramatically. "She spent an hour talking with me, discussing a range of topics, and asking other testing questions. At the end, she said she did not believe I had Alzheimer's."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">As the hospital's clinical lead for dementia services, Mummery "quite regularly" sees people who have been misdiagnosed with dementia. Alzheimer's, she explains, is only one form of brain disease causing dementia and globally there is misdiagnosis of between 20 and 30 per cent of dementia cases.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"Alzheimer's can be a complex condition to diagnose and there are no clear national figures on misdiagnosis," says Mummery. "Nor is there such a thing as a 100 per cent test. Martin was given a diagnosis on the basis of a PET scan of his brain; however, there are a number of conditions from menopause to depression or schizophrenia, where changes may take place in brain metabolism, so caution is needed.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"If someone comes to me with an Alzheimer's diagnosis, I believe in doing my own tests and making my own judgment," she says. "Individuals will often not question the diagnosis they are given, as they expect the doctor to be accurate, due to their expertise. I would estimate that we see several cases a month where the diagnosis [should be] of another dementia, or where we have to retract the dementia diagnosis [altogether]."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">In Martin's case, she says: "I saw him three times and there were no changes, so I felt confident telling him categorically he did not have Alzheimer's. I continue to see him and there are no changes six years after the initial diagnosis."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Unhelpfully for those living in the shadow of the disease, post-mortem diagnosis is still the "gold standard for providing definitive evidence of Alzheimer's", Mummery explains. Yet, as no cure or effective treatment for the disease exists, early diagnosis is essential because some drugs can delay its progress and help preserve quality of life for as long as possible.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Dr Sara Imarisio, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, says that with "only 60 per cent of those estimated to be living with dementia having a formal diagnosis, and rates varying across the UK, it's important that healthcare professionals understand the signs. Memory tests, brain scans and spinal fluid samples taken by lumbar puncture can reveal changes linked to the early stages."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">It is estimated that by 2025 there will be one million people in the UK with dementia, and it is the thing over-60s fear most, which means the importance of investment into improving diagnosis of Alzheimer's cannot be overstated, says Dominic Carter, senior policy officer at the Alzheimer's Society.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"We have made big progress in getting accurate diagnosis, but there are not enough of the best clinical tools for getting the most accurate information," he says. "And further research is needed into how we approach misdiagnosis with all the distress it causes."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">In 2016, researchers from St Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, revealed the results of a preliminary study of inconsistencies between clinical and autopsy diagnoses in more than 1000 people listed in the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center database.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"Even with all the latest diagnostic methods, the discrepancy between the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and the pathological diagnosis is about 20 per cent," said adjunct scientist Dr David Munoz, the senior researcher.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">He and his colleagues found that 78 per cent of the patients they studied had a correct diagnosis in the clinic, which was confirmed in an autopsy of the brain. Nearly another 11 per cent didn't have a formal Alzheimer's diagnosis, yet were found to have had the disease. Roughly the same percentage of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's in the clinic did not actually have the disease.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">A false positive diagnosis can occur when, for instance, someone has depression and exhibits symptoms very similar to Alzheimer's. Others may have brain markers of Alzheimer's but never go on to develop the disease.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">Distress doesn't begin to describe the despair Martin felt at his diagnosis, but nor, he says, did having it revoked instantly make everything all right. "In one sense it was a relief, of course, but in another I just didn't know what to think. Could I really trust that Dr Mummery had it right?" he says.</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">"I felt very bewildered, unsure of everything and my mood remained low, which is not like me. I've always been very upbeat, busy, interested by life."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">When Martin's confusion and sense of being psychologically displaced did not lift, Mummery referred him on to a clinical psychologist, with whom he has rebuilt his confidence and faith in a good future. "She helped me see that when something like my diagnosis happens, you have to regain the ability to be the person you were before."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">It was tough for his wife as well: "I felt a sense of relief but I had also had to adjust to the idea that Martin would become less and less of the man I knew. A diagnosis like that is such a weight to bear."</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph">A weight that has been lifted sufficiently, at least, for the couple to be taking a special holiday next month. A full stop at the end of an ordeal, it is, they say delightedly, "a celebration of getting back a life we thought had been taken away".</p> <p class="sics-component__html-injector sics-component__story__paragraph"><em>Written by Angela Neustatter. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/107159531/the-pain-of-being-misdiagnosed-with-alzheimers">Stuff.co.nz</a>. </em></p> </div>

Mind