Mind

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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>

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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>

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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>

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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>

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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>

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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>

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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>

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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>

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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>

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5 types of food to increase your psychological wellbeing

<p><em><strong>Megan Lee is an academic tutor and lecturer at the Southern Cross University and Joanna Bradbury is a lecturer in Evidence Based Health Care at the Southern Cross University.</strong></em></p> <p>We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28427311">decrease our risk of developing</a> diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26317148">decrease our risk of depression and anxiety</a>.</p> <p>Mental health disorders are increasing at an alarming rate and therapies and medications cost <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673613616116">$US2.5 trillion dollars a year globally</a>.</p> <p>There is now evidence <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28431261">dietary changes</a> can decrease the development of mental health issues and alleviate this growing burden. <a href="https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2018/208/4/royal-australian-and-new-zealand-college-psychiatrists-clinical-practice">Australia’s clinical guidelines</a> recommend addressing diet when treating depression.</p> <p>Recently there have been <a href="https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-017-0791-y">major advances</a> addressing the influence certain foods have on psychological wellbeing. Increasing these nutrients could not only increase personal wellbeing but could also decrease the cost of mental health issues all around the world.</p> <p><strong>1. Complex carbohydrates</strong></p> <p>One way to increase psychological wellbeing is by <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26109579">fuelling brain cells correctly</a> through the carbohydrates in our food. Complex carbohydrates are sugars made up of large molecules contained within fibre and starch. They are found in fruit, vegetables and wholegrains and are beneficial for brain health as they <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24020691">release glucose slowly into our system</a>. This helps stabilise our mood.</p> <p>Simple carbohydrates found in sugary snacks and drinks create sugar highs and lows that rapidly increase and decrease feelings of happiness and produce a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12415536">negative effect</a> on our psychological well-being.</p> <p>We often use these types of sugary foods to comfort us when we’re feeling down. But this can create an <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-05649-7">addiction-like response in the brain</a>, similar to illicit drugs that increase mood for the short term but have negative long-term effects.</p> <p>Increasing your intake of complex carbohydrates and decreasing sugary drinks and snacks could be the first step in increased happiness and wellbeing.</p> <p><strong>2. Antioxidants</strong></p> <p>Oxidation is a normal process our cells carry out to function. Oxidation produces energy for our body and brain. Unfortunately, this process also creates <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290164/">oxidative stress</a> and more of this happens in the brain than any other part of the body.</p> <p>Chemicals that promote happiness in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin are reduced due to oxidation and this can contribute to a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29215971">decrease in mental health</a>. Antioxidants found in brightly coloured foods such as fruit and vegetables act as a defence against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and body.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29339318">Antioxidants</a> also repair oxidative damage and scavenge free radicals that cause cell damage in the brain. Eating more antioxidant-rich foods can increase the feelgood chemicals in our brain and heighten mood.</p> <p><strong>3. Omega 3</strong></p> <p>Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are involved in the process of converting food into energy. They are important for the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21279554">health of the brain</a> and the communication of its feelgood chemicals dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.</p> <p>Omega 3 fatty acids are commonly found in oily fish, nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables, eggs and in grass-fed meats. Omega 3 has been found to increase <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21279554">brain functioning</a>, can slow down the progression of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27063583">dementia</a> and may improve symptoms of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29215971">depression</a>.</p> <p>Omega 3 are essential nutrients that are not readily produced by the body and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21279554">can only be found in the foods we eat</a>, so it’s imperative we include more foods high in omega 3 in our everyday diet.</p> <p><strong>4. B vitamins</strong></p> <p>B vitamins play a large role in the production of our brain’s happiness chemicals serotonin and dopamine and can be found in green vegetables, beans, bananas and beetroot. High amounts of vitamins B6, B12 and folate in the diet have been known to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22251911">protect against depression</a> and too low amounts to increase the severity of symptoms.</p> <p>Vitamin B deficiency can result in a reduced production of happiness chemicals in our brain and can lead to the onset of low mood that could lead to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25644193">mental health issues</a> over a long period. Increasing B vitamins in our diet could increase the production of the feelgood chemicals in our brain which promote happiness and wellbeing.</p> <p><strong>5. Prebiotics and probiotics</strong></p> <p>The trillions of <a href="https://jphysiolanthropol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40101-016-0101-y">good and bad bacteria</a> living in our tummies also influence our mood, behaviour and brain health. Chemical messengers produced in our stomach <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27466606">influence our emotions, appetite and our reactions</a> to stressful situations.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27509521">Prebiotics and probiotics</a> found in yoghurt, cheese and fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi work on the same pathways in the brain as antidepressant medications and studies have found they might have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27466606">similar effects</a>.</p> <p>Prebiotics and Probiotics have been found to suppress <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26645350">immune reactions</a> in the body, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23474283">reduce inflammation in the brain</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24888394">decrease depressed and anxious states</a> and <a href="https://jphysiolanthropol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40101-016-0101-y">elevate happy emotions</a>.</p> <p>Incorporating these foods into our diet will not only increase our physical health but will have beneficial effects on our <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24468939">mental health, including</a> reducing our risk of disorders such as depression and anxiety.</p> <p><em>Written by Megan Lee and Joanne Bradbury. Republished with permission of <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.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/101818/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></strong></a></em></p>

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Prince William gets candid about his mental health struggles

<p>Although he has grown up in front of the world and is second-in-line to the British throne, Prince William has candidly opened up about his own struggles with his mental health.</p> <p>The Duke of Cambridge vulnerably discussed his experience while launching a website that aims to improve mental health in the workplace. </p> <p>William partnered with the initiative after hearing that only two per cent of employees in Britain feel comfortable discussing their mental health to their HR departments.</p> <p>Recalling his time as an air ambulance pilot, William explained: “I took a lot home without realising it. You see [so] many sad things every day that you think life is like that."</p> <p>The royal spent two years as an East Anglian Air Ambulance pilot and admitted that while serving, he battled to deal with the emotions that were impacting his personal life.</p> <p>"You're always dealing with despair and sadness and injury,” he continued.</p> <p>"The attrition builds up and you never really have the opportunity to offload anything if you're not careful.”</p> <p>William explained that many who are struggling with their mental health are “suffering in silence” due to the lack of resources available.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">"If we are going to improve the mental health of our nation, we need to improve things at work.<br /><br />People spend more time there than almost anywhere else, yet research shows that it's also the place where we're least comfortable talking about mental health." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MentalHealthatWork?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MentalHealthatWork</a> <a href="https://t.co/v3Cv6Nn1xy">pic.twitter.com/v3Cv6Nn1xy</a></p> — Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1039527432519340032?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 11, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>"You're human and a lot of people forget the battles, you have shut it off to do the job—but ultimately something pierces the armour," he noted.</p> <p>Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince Harry first became mental health ambassadors when they launched Heads Together in 2016.</p> <p>The website William launched, Mental Health at Work, is a free portal for employers and employees in the UK where they can access resources on mental health.</p> <p>Earlier this year in March, the 36-year-old expressed his determination to end the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace.</p> <p>"Just starting a conversation on mental health can make all the difference," Prince William said at the time.</p> <p>"When you talk about something you have less reason to fear it and when you can talk about something you are much more likely to ask for help."</p> <p>Yesterday, he emphasised his view once again, saying: "It just takes one person to change the way a company thinks about mental health."</p>

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Why my trip back home unexpectedly filled me with pain and confusion

<p><strong><em>Ray Thomas left his family farm in South Australia when he was in his 20s and moved to New Zealand. He has always loved writing short stories and watching sport. He married an amazing woman 16 years ago and they both retired three years ago. They love family life, travelling, spending time in their large garden and fostering young children.</em></strong></p> <p>It all began innocently and without warning. On a recent trip to my home state of South Australia, I had visited a niece and her family, and then my older sister, in the same day. Surrounded by the once familiar countryside, now almost drought-like after months of virtually no rain, pain and confusion slowly began to build within me. Initially, it felt like a small fire that I thought would soon burn itself out.</p> <p>After spending time with family, I began to realise the importance of being around family members. It started simply by talking about family members and loved ones, both past and present, which were reinforced when looking at old photos. Memories of family members I had not thought about for decades suddenly became very real, and for some reason, extremely important to me.</p> <p>Why now? Why after leaving the country of my birth more than 45 years ago? I didn’t have the answers, and to this day I still haven’t, but I knew the confusion to be real, the pain had not yet set in.</p> <p>Little did I know that during the remainder of the trip, the fire would not extinguish. Rather, it was like a wind had caught it and began to totally consume me. Staying with very dear and close friends, and spending time around my beautiful home city of Adelaide, did nothing to quell the fire. In fact it only inflamed it even further.</p> <p>A short time later, we were staying at my brother’s house at Port Elliot, and spent many happy days there, and nearby Victor Harbour, both places I knew really well and enjoyed. It was here that the pain began. The pain of possibly never again spending time in that part of the state with its magnificent scenery and memories was very real.</p> <p>Then we visited my parent’s graves at Mundalla and a chance to “talk” to them and former friends/neighbour who are resting nearby. Suddenly, an absolute realisation I was home and the pain and confusion really began which I could not understand but knew to be genuine and real. Now, I knew and accepted that the bushfire which had been burning strongly within me was totally real which while being frightening at times, also contained a sense of inner peace. Several precious days with my elderly, frail brother, his amazing wife and several members of their family, capped off an amazing trip.</p> <p>Upon returning to New Zealand, I have accepted the trip had a profound effect on me, left me feeling confused, with a very strong sense of being called home. The pain of wanting to return home is palpable, as is the confusion of knowing what to do next.</p> <p>Do I allow time to take its course, with the possibility that the strong feelings will disappear? I sense not, but this is a remote possibility.</p> <p>What I would like to do, is not rational, and totally unfair on my amazing wife. I could visualise us buying a house in Victor Harbour close to, or with views of the beach. A house with a large garden, because we both love gardening, would be ideal for us. We would obtain a cute, little dog which we would take for daily walks, along the many beautiful, picturesque walkways.</p> <p>However, realistically at our age to suddenly move to another country with all the associated issues involved with shifting, and adjusting to the scorching summer heat would be difficult, but problems we could overcome. The biggest issue for my wife would be moving away from her very close family, friends which would not be fair on her. As much as I would love to return to live, realistically I have to acknowledge that it is highly unlikely to happen.</p> <p>So what options do I have? There are several, but none that totally resolve the problem. Until this has happened, with me being an Aussie but now married and happily living in NZ has never been an issue, but now it is. I love everything about New Zealand. Over the years, it has been very good to me, including marrying my amazing wife. I love the magnificent scenery the snow-capped mountains during the winter time, the lakes and the comparative short distances between towns and cities.</p> <p>Driving across the South Island is approximately the same as driving from Adelaide-Bordertown. To drive from one end of the island to the other takes approximately the same amount of time of driving from Melbourne-Sydney. There is nothing NOT to love about this beautiful country, but it is NOT home. I usually describe Australia, in a general sense, as being “too flat, too dry, too boring, you travel great distances, to get anywhere”, but it is ultimately home.</p> <p>Many years ago, I purchased a plot at the local cemetery, near to where my wife will lay next to her first husband… the “love of her life” and the father of their two incredible children. The thought of resting reasonably close together has always been comforting for both of us. Now, however the pain and confusion becomes very real, not only to me, but my amazing wife.</p> <p>Do I forsake that or consider the option of having my ashes returned home to be close to loved family members? The thought of not being with my wife pains me a great deal, as does the thought of not returning home and being close to family.</p> <p>I have discussed my pain and confusion with her, and although she has not said a great deal, and doesn’t want to influence my decision, I sense she understands my desire to return home but saddened that after countless years of happy marriage, our final resting places may be separated by a great distance, rather than the close proximity we had always envisaged.</p> <p>With time, hopefully I will obtain total clarity and know what to do. Thereby my pain and confusion will cease, and allow my fantastic wife and I to live our (hopefully) long and precious lives together.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><u>A few weeks later</u></p> <p>Time is not necessarily a great healer, but it does allow a chance to reflect. At the time, my pain and confusion was very real, to the point that it was affecting me mentally, and physically.</p> <p>I have looked at possible alternatives regarding my burial, but have decided to not pursue that, at least for now, because it is too painful to think about and where there seems to be no perfect solution.</p> <p>It has become obvious, that returning to South Australia to live is no longer a viable alternative. The time has come, not to entirely forget about the pain and confusion, but not allow it to totally consume me, like it did for several painful weeks.</p> <p>I have needed a distraction, something else to focus my life on, and with the help of my amazing wife, we are about to do just that. We are both excited about what the future holds for us.</p>

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Grant Denyer opens up about his most emotional year yet

<p>Grant Denyer has opened up about his rollercoaster year that saw him recover from a car accident, start his first radio gig, finish up on <em>Family Feud</em>, win a Gold Logie, <strong><u><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/domestic-travel/grant-denyer-s-heartbreaking-plea">campaign for Rural Aid</a></u></strong>, and start a new show, <em>Game Of Games</em>.</p> <p>"I've only ever lived life pedal to the metal!" Grant tells <strong><em><u><a href="https://www.nowtolove.com.au/celebrity/tv/grant-denyer-tv-week-close-up-october-issue-51049">TV Week</a></u></em></strong>.</p> <p>After eight nominations during his 21-year career on television, Grant finally won his first golden gong this year.</p> <p>"I just didn't stop," Grant recalls of Logies’ night.  "I was jumping in the crowd with this permanent grin that would just not leave my face."</p> <p>By his side was wife and Mummy Time blogger Cheryl "Chezzi" Denyer.</p> <p>"I just kept saying to him, 'Live and breathe every minute of this,'" Chezzi says. "This is just amazing."</p> <p><strong><u><a href="http://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/grant-denyer-teary-gold-logie-win">Grant's emotional acceptance speech</a></u></strong> – in which he spoke of dark periods in his career when he felt "sad and lost”– immediately made headlines for his sincerity and honesty.</p> <p>"I really wasn't sure if I'd ever work again or if I wanted to," Grant said as he accepted the Gold Logie.</p> <p>"I wasn't particularly in a very good place. I wasn't very well. I was in a bit of a hole. I was pretty sad. I was a bit lost and Family Feud came along and I was very unwell at that particular time. And Family Feud gave me a ladder out of that hole. And I've very lucky to have had it.”</p> <p>Reflecting back on the emotional night, Grand says he is in a “better headspace”.</p> <p>“To be honest, the last couple of years, I think I was afraid to win it. The idea of standing up there in front of your peers and trying to entertain a room of entertainers has almost been too daunting to want to try to achieve,” he tells the publication.</p> <p>"So there was a part of me that was talking myself out of not wanting to win, like previously. Now, I'm just a little bit more at peace with things and with myself, and I think it made the moment a lot more enjoyable."</p> <p>Even so, Grant says he hasn’t re-watched any footage of his speech and he doesn’t play to.</p> <p>"It was overwhelming when it happened, just too magical to want to revisit it," he says. "I can't improve on it, so why go through it again?"</p>

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Spence bravely opens up about depression battle on The Block: "It all builds up"

<div class="domain-article-share-panel is-top" data-sticky-id="0"> <div class="domain-article-share-link domain-article-share-pin">It was a week of reality television that mimicked reality far more accurately than the shiny production usually does.</div> </div> <div class="domain-article-content-body "> <p><a href="https://www.domain.com.au/the-block/"><em>The Block</em></a><span> </span>– usually a showcase for design talk and deadline drama – was punctuated by conversations around mental health as contestant Spence spoke freely of his battle with depression and anxiety while on the show.</p> <p>“We’ve found it extremely hard dealing with this,” he said on Wednesday’s episode. “It’s an experience on it’s own, being a contestant on<span> </span><em>The Block</em>. There’s nothing you can ever imagine that is going to compare to this.”</p> <p>Later, Spence admitted he underestimated the taxing nature of the show and, in turn, underestimated how that would affect his emotional wellbeing.</p> <p>“I’ve had a lot of depression over the years and get a lot of anxiety, and I have been shown coping mechanisms to deal with it. But I never expected what happened to happen; I never expected that complete shutdown. The thoughts that go through your head are super-dark thoughts. It all builds up and builds up and builds up and then it’s just, snap, I need to get out of here.”</p> <p>While<span> </span><em>The Block</em> contestant experience isn’t a common one, the renovation experience is. Likewise, while the pressure-cooker environment the show breeds is an anomaly, the stress of an everyday renovation isn’t.</p> <p>According to Melbourne Clinical Psychologist and commentator<span> </span><a href="http://www.drmelissakeogh.com.au/">Dr Melissa Keogh</a>, renovating can have a hugely harmful impact on our mental health.</p> <p>“Renovating can be harmful to our mental health because of the stress associated with such a life event and in my clinical experience, stress can have a detrimental effect on our emotional wellbeing.</p> <p>“Renovators can have overly high expectations about what they can achieve, how smoothly the project will run and can underestimate the cost.”</p> <p>Dr Keogh says for those, like Spence, with existing mental health conditions, the danger of not looking after yourself intensifies during a renovation.</p> <p>“When we are stressed, from a psychological perspective, the body can go into flight-or-fight mode because we perceive we are being threatened or are in danger. The heart starts thumping, hands are clammy, muscles tighten and its easy to lose perspective. Over time, sleep, mood and appetite can be affected and any underlying mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can be exacerbated.”</p> <p>However, Dr Keogh emphasises it’s not only those with existing conditions who need to care of their minds while undertaking such a task.</p> <p>“People also have a myriad decisions to make on a daily basis and can often disagree with their partner about preferences. A lot of the time, things are out of the control of the renovator and poor planning can see tempers flare and relationships tested.”</p> <p>Dr Keogh suggests there are three things to consider when renovating to prioritise your mental and emotional wellbeing:</p> <p><strong>Don’t take on too much at once</strong></p> <p>“The mistake I often see people making is taking on too many different things at the same time,” Dr Keogh says. “We can have unrealistic expectations about, for example, being able to plan a wedding and renovate a kitchen all at once. I would advise taking things more slowly instead and pacing yourself, as stress can be overwhelming.”</p> <p><strong>Get enough sleep</strong></p> <p>One thing<span> </span><em>The Block’s<span> </span></em>Spence noted on the show was how lack of sleep exacerbated what was already a highly stressful experience.</p> <p>“You don’t even have time to think about your own mental health in there, because it’s just so physical,” he said on Wednesday’s episode. “You’re so exhausted, you’ve got a goal and you’ve got people you can’t let down – people are relying on you. So you just keep pushing through. But the more tired you get from no sleep and the physical work, the worse it gets.”</p> <p>Dr Keogh says we shouldn’t be looking to the renovation shows on our screens for realistic and reasonable expectations of renovating.</p> <p>“While pulling an all-nighter might be the norm in reality TV renovations, sleep deprivation can make it difficult to think clearly and can affect emotional wellbeing. It can also lead to accidents. It is my professional opinion that renovators, particularly those with underlying mental health conditions, need to maintain adequate sleep while renovating.”</p> <p><strong>Practice gratefulness</strong></p> <p>“Being able to renovate means we are in a fortunate position to begin with: It means we have an apartment/house/property and the resources to renovate it. It’s good to keep this in mind and focus on the positives as much as possible,” Dr Keogh says, adding if anyone is sensing their mental health is being comprised while renovating, they should seek help immediately.</p> <p>“Don’t wait too long to get help. Speak to your GP about seeing a psychologist or search the Australian Psychological Society’s<span> </span><a href="https://www.psychology.org.au/Find-a-Psychologist">Find a Psychologist</a><span> </span>database for a practitioner.”</p> <div class="social-stick"> <div class="domain-article-content-body "> <p><em>If you or anyone you know is struggling, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.</em></p> </div> </div> <div class="content-wrap ad-space"> <div class="hpg-driver-text"><em>Written by Zara McDonald. Republished with permission of <u><a href="https://www.domain.com.au/living/it-all-builds-up-how-to-look-after-your-mental-health-while-renovating-20180905-h14yqt-761958/">Domain.com.au.</a></u></em></div> <div class="hpg-driver-text"></div> </div> </div>

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The important health issue going untreated in older Australians

<p>Poor mental health is going undertreated in older Australians, who should be having the time of their lives.</p> <p>Contrary to popular perception, grumpiness is not a natural part of getting older. Rather, it can be a sign of anxiety and depression at a time of life when people should in fact be at their happiest, says Macquarie Associate Professor Viviana Wuthrich.</p> <p>“This idea that older people are somehow more worried or anxious or grumpy because they are unhappy with their lives is not actually true,” says Wuthrich, who is deputy head of research in the Department of Psychology.</p> <p>“The research done in our team has confirmed that older adults often have less anxiety and depression, and actually are more resilient and cope better with some of the later-in-life challenges, such as bereavement, health issues, transitions like retirement, and financial stress,” says Wuthrich.</p> <p><strong>Resilience is key to ageing well</strong></p> <p>Research shows that older adults have wisdom they can draw upon so they are better able to solve the problems that face them – what is often called a positivity bias, says Wuthrich, as they tend to view even negative situations more positively. “In other words, they can often see the silver lining in the cloud.”</p> <p>However, another part of Wuthrich’s research is focused on older adults who are not so resilient and not doing well in ageing, “and we do know for those older adults, the impact of poor mental health seems to be even worse than it is for younger people,” she says.</p> <p>Just one in 20 Australians over 65 suffer clinical anxiety and depression. While that proportion is less than in other age groups and may sound small, as the population continues to age it will translate into growing numbers of people, Wuthrich says. </p> <p><strong>Dementia risk may increase</strong></p> <p>Research shows older sufferers of anxiety and depression experience more disability, medication use and visits to hospital than younger sufferers, putting stress on the medical system as well as individuals and their families.</p> <p>And emerging research suggests that poor mental health among older people may increase their risk for dementia, or speed up the trajectory of the disease.</p> <p>“We really need to get smart about how we treat anxiety and depression; it’s quite undertreated when it comes to older adults who are not getting the help they need,” Wuthrich says.</p> <p>Depression can “look a bit different” in older people and in adolescents, says Wuthrich, because, while people in other age groups will look sad and talk about being sad, older and younger people talk about feeling irritable, which is one of the hallmark features of depression.</p> <p>“We know there are barriers related to professionals being able to recognise anxiety and depression in older people, so again they also dismiss it as ‘he’s grumpy because he’s old’ or ‘she’s worried because she has a health condition’, instead of recognising that those things are not normal - it’s not normal to be anxious and depressed – and so they don’t make adequate referrals.”</p> <p><strong>Never too late to learn resilience</strong></p> <p>Macquarie Distinguished Professor and ARC Laureate Fellow Ron Rapee describes resilience as people’s ability to recover quickly, or to maintain good functioning, in the face of life’s adversities. However, some people don’t face those adversities as well as others, and can end up with problems as a result.</p> <p>“We just don’t know what really causes one person or one couple or one organisation to be more resilient than another – we’ve got a lot of hints, we know some of the issues, but we don’t really know for sure,” says Rapee.</p> <p>What the research does show, however, says Rapee, is that being more resilient will reduce anxiety, depression and anger issues, as well as reducing stress on, and breakdown of, relationships. “Being more resilient will have broad flow-on effects for a lot of different components of what broadly leads to quality of life,” he says.</p> <p>And the good news is that resilience can be learned – at any time, Rapee says: “We think you can learn it right to the end of your life.”</p> <p>Explains Wuthrich, “What we do know about psychological interventions and in particular skills-based interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), is that the skills people are taught can help them to become more resilient.”</p> <p><strong>The benefits of social connection </strong></p> <p>Wuthrich’s team at Macquarie has received two grants from the NHMRC and Beyond Blue for projects that will look at ways to improve the detection and treatment of anxiety and depression in older adults. One will compare different models of therapy, while the other will measure the impact of increased social participation on mental health outcomes.</p> <p>“We’re trying to increase community involvement, and looking at the benefits for the individual’s mental health and also whether, by improving this social participation, we have this extra societal cost benefit because then these older people are more engaged in the community; they’re volunteering more, they’re participating in child care, all those things that people with anxiety and depression don’t do,” Wuthrich says.</p> <p>“We need to be encouraging older people to keep getting involved in all the social activities that they do because they are a fantastic resource and it’s really good for their mental health.”</p> <p><em>Written by Sarah Maguire. This article was first published on the <a href="https://lighthouse.mq.edu.au/"><strong><u>Macquarie University Lighthouse.</u></strong></a></em></p>

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Billy Connolly and wife slam Michael Parkinson's claims: “He’s a daft old fart”

<p>Billy Connolly and wife Pamela Stephenson have slammed UK TV host Michael Parkinson's claims Connolly can no longer recognise him. </p> <p>According to <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comedy/comedians/michael-parkinson-mistaken-billy-connollys-illness-say-friends/"><em style="font-weight: inherit;">The Telegraph</em></a></strong></span>, the Scottish comic refuted Parkinson's claim on Sunday that, the last time they saw each other, he wasn't sure if Connolly knew who he was or not. </p> <p>Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2013 after a fan warned him his walk showed "distinct signs" of it. On the same day as his Parkinson's diagnosis, he also learnt he had prostate cancer, which he was later given the all-clear from.</p> <p>In spite of the claims by Parkinson – that Connolly's "wonderful brain is dulled" – Connolly told <em style="font-weight: inherit;">The Telegraph</em> his friend was mistaken.  </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Mike Parkinson is a daft old fart - doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Billy’s doing great and still funny as hell</p> — Pamela Stephenson (@PamelaStephensn) <a href="https://twitter.com/PamelaStephensn/status/1031544889941614593?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 20, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>"I would recognise Parky if he was standing behind me – in a diving suit," he said. </p> <p>Connolly's wife, Kiwi Pamela Stephenson, also slammed the idea, posting a succinct rebuttal to Twitter:</p> <p>"Mike Parkinson is a daft old fart – doesn't know what he's talking about. Billy's doing great and still funny as hell."</p> <p>Producers working on TV projects with the Scottish comedian also denied Parkinson's description of Connolly. </p> <p>"We have been busy filming with Billy over the summer and can report happily that he's on top form – as sharp and hilarious as ever," producers at Indigo Television said in a statement. </p> <p>On Sunday, Parkinson – affectionately known as "Parky" in the UK, by those close to him and the wider public - told <em style="font-weight: inherit;">Saturday Morning with James Martin</em> that Connolly's <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/mind/billy-connolly-s-sad-new-battle"><strong><u>"wonderful brain has dulled".</u></strong></a></p> <p>"To know someone as long as I knew and loved Billy [...] it was an awful thing to contemplate, that [recognising a friend] had been taken from him in a sense," Parkinson said. </p> <p>While he is best known as a stand-up comedian, Connolly has featured in a number of movies, including Lemony Snicket's<em style="font-weight: inherit;"> A Series of Unfortunate Events</em>, <em style="font-weight: inherit;">Brave</em> and <em style="font-weight: inherit;">The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies</em>.</p> <p><em style="font-weight: inherit;">Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz"><strong><u>Stuff.co.nz.</u> </strong></a></em></p>

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