According to an investigation by the University of the Basque Country (Spain) on the effects of the pandemic, now there is greater uncertainty and concern about suffering from Covid-19 or losing loved ones; a decrease in confidence and optimism, especially in women and in people in poor employment situations; and an increase in irritability, again with a greater impact on women and the unemployed.
If we do not act now, in concert with research with vaccines and treatments, the post-pandemic outlook will be bleak for the mental health of millions of people.
And taking action, obviously, is not prescribing more antidepressants or anxiolytics, or building more psychiatric hospitals. Both actions are necessary to address some consequences; however, the idea is to be proactive and avoid them.
In response to the feeling of anxiety, according to the consulting firm Llorente y Cuenca (LLYC), there has been a rapid and broad change that goes from the “concept of wellness [bienestar], centered on the individual, al by wellbeing [bienestar integral], a more holistic vision that includes different people and sectors of our societies ”.
What does this mean? A call for the participation of the whole society in the benefits of well-being.
Wellbeing is defined as the state of satisfaction and tranquility that a person presents, thanks to their good physical and mental conditions.
“If societies and companies are unable to focus holistically on people’s well-being (including physical, emotional and spiritual health), it will be almost impossible to create safety nets that allow citizens to return to work and be productive ”, They explain from LLYC.
For this reason, I have always opted for wellness programs in all their aspects: emotional, physical, social and financial. This is what happens every November in the event “In Body and Soul”, which this year will be held in an online version, with more universal access, more experts and with the empowering and transforming energy of always.
To keep your balance in difficult times, “you have to grab the bull by the horns” and get going, as a popular saying reflects.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the pandemic has disrupted or paralyzed mental health services in 93% of countries. And if, as the WHO itself says, mental health is related to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disorders and treatment, then let’s look for our own tools. Healthy living is much more than curing or protecting yourself from disease.
Having an exercise routine is one of the experts’ recommendations to achieve a restful sleep in times of crisis.
COVID-19has generated confusion and uncertainty in the world, many experts have alerted to the increase in negative emotional states such as anxiety, worry and fear in these moments in which the world is plunged into a health crisis for which, possibly, no Global governance system was ready.
The greatest reflection of what is mentioned can be seen in the United States, the greatest power in the world now becomes the country with the highest number of coronavirus infections (592,743) and thousands of deaths (24,737), while in Latin America cases are on the rise. non stop.
Half of the world population has been confined to their homes in quarantines required to prevent infections, while reports of the progress of the COVID-19 and the social and economic affections that it leaves behind.
Against this background, the World Health Organization has warned about the risks to people’s mental health. High levels of stress and anxiety as well as sleep disorders can be reflected in the population whose lifestyle has been differentiated and have had to adapt their activities to confinement.
Almost two million people have been infected with COVID-19 and 124,544 have died globally.
“In emergent situations like the one we are currently experiencing, it is normal to feel threatened, in addition to a number of negative emotions, most people are in a state that in somnology is called” hypervigilance “, so good sleep , which must be of adequate quantity and quality, in the confinement it is affected by the alteration of our internal natural clock and secondarily by the alteration of the sleep pressure “, says the Salvadoran Social Security Institute (ISSS) through the portal of Primary Health Care.
During periods of crisis or calamity (earthquakes, epidemics, wars) most people are able to control their behavior and cushion the impact of these on sleep, points out the ISSS mental health unit, an institution that suggests practicing some measures in order to lessen the impact of this emergency and have a restful sleep.
one. Establish a regular bedtime and wake rhythm to keep sleep pressure in balance
two. Exposing yourself to natural light, especially in the morning, take the opportunity to go out to the balcony, terrace or garden and keep the curtains open. During the night the dim light stimulates to better fall asleep.
3. Redirect thoughts and emotions. In a threatening situation it is natural to feel angry and irritated, use these emotions to turn them into positive actions. You can write your thoughts or create stories, among others.
Four. Physical activity, self-care, time for yourself. Physical exercise in the afternoon will help to fall asleep, an aerobics routine will help to feel a sense of gratification and well-being that will facilitate sleep.
5. Restrict time in bed, avoid eating or watching TV in bed, if possible do not go to the bedroom until it is time to rest. It is not recommended to sit especially if you are not used to it on normal days.
6. Maintain a routine before sleeping, this will allow you to condition the brain that it is time to go to rest.
7. Go to bed until you feel sleepy
8. Avoid or minimize drinks like coffee, black tea, energizers, or sodas.
9. Disconnecting from the screens, the light from electronic devices block the secretion of melatonin, a hormone necessary to trigger all the physiological processes of sleep, says the ISSS. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine these should be turned off 30 minutes before sleeping.
WASHINGTON – The US public health director warned Sunday that due to the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus, “this will be the hardest week, the saddest week, in the lives of most Americans.”
Jerome Adams added: “Next week will be our Pearl Harbor moment, it will be our September 11 moment, it will be the most difficult time for many Americans in their entire lives.”
In declarations in several television programs, he indicated: “It will happen throughout the country, and I want the whole nation to understand it.”
The number of people infected with the virus in the United States exceeds 300,000 and the death toll stands at more than 8,400. More than 4,000 of those deaths occurred in New York State.
Much of the American population has orders to stay home, and authorities assert that there are indications that the population is abiding by instructions on social distancing. However, the government also emphasizes that the worst is yet to come.
In most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that disappear in two to three weeks. In some people, especially older adults and those with underlying health conditions, it can lead to more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia, and even death. Most people recover.
Although the health authorities recommended the use of masks to prevent the spread, experts ask not to let their guard down.
Some states have refused to order citizens to stay home. Adams was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if those states should join the rest of the country.
“90% of Americans are doing their part even in states where they were not ordered to stay home,” Adams said.
“If a state cannot do it for 30 days, then give us a week, give us what they can, so that our health system is not overwhelmed this week.”
The symptoms of coronavirus, influenza, and cold are very similar, but how do you know if you have one of these?
A study published in the journal Cell has described 109 genetic variants related to eight psychiatric pathologies: autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia, and Tourette syndrome.
To do this, it has worked with close to 230,000 patients from all over the world. This is the most detailed research published so far on genetics of psychiatric disorders.
Beyond preparing a list of possible genetic factors that predispose to developing these pathologies, research determines what risk factors share the different psychiatric disorders.
25% of the world population is affected by some type of psychiatric disorder that can alter their intellectual capacity,The conduct, affectivity and the social relationships
The study has defined three groups of genetically related disorders: those that respond to compulsive behaviors (anorexia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome); mood and psychotic disorders (bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia) and those of the neurodevelopment of early onset (autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome).
As detailed Bru Cormand, of the University of Barcelona, a center that participates in the work, «disorders classified within the same group have a tendency to share more genetic factors risk among them than with the other groups. In addition, we also verified that these groups, based on genetic criteria, agree with the clinical treatment of pathologies. “
Now, Cormand adds, “The new work does not emphasize the genes they share members of the same group but in genes shared by the maximum number of disorders». That is, those factors that would give rise to a brain ‘sensitive’More likely to suffer from any psychiatric disorder. “Whether it ends up being one or the other disorder would depend on more specific genetic factors, without forgetting environmental factors.”
It is known that patients tend to manifest many psychiatric disorders at the same time or sequentially, throughout his life.
According to the results of the work, the DCC gene (related to the development of the nervous system) is present in eight disorders studied. At the same time, the RBFOX1 gene (which regulates the process of cutting and splicing genetic material) is involved in seven of the eight disorders.
It has also been seen, for example, that the ADHD and depression they share a 44% of genetic risk factors that are frequent in the general population. And in the case of the schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the figure reaches 70%.
For his part, Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, member of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute, believes that «these results help to better understand ADHD and the reasons why these people can experience depression more often. It is also a new scientific demonstration of the persistence of the disorder throughout life, even in adults. We hope that all this helps to reduce the social stigma around ADHD and the rest of mental disorders, “he says.
Cormand emphasizes that “now we know that this co-occurrence of psychiatric disorders has, in part, a genetic basis. Therefore, in the case of a person affected by ADHD, we can estimate the risk of developing other disorders – for example, drug addiction– and so take precautionary measures. However, these predictions are of character probabilistic and do not there are certainties about them», Clarifies.
Work goes into, for example, the impact of gene expression on specific regions, how organs, brain regions, etc. As well as at the time when they are activated and developed.
Study reveals that genes that are risk factors for more than one disorder are often expressed more during the second trimester of pregnancy, coinciding with a decisive moment in the development of the nervous system.
Interestingly, some genetic variations may be a risk factor for a certain disorder but have a protective effect in other cases. “The study identified eleven regions of the genome in which the effects are opposite in different pairs of disorders», Details the teacher Rachel Rabionet, which confirms that we are still far from being able to solve the puzzle since the relationships between genes are more complex than we thought.
Changes in a single DNA nucleotide –SNP– could explain less than one thirdof the genetic basis related to these pathologies. The others two-thirds they may correspond to other types of genetic alterations, such as rare variants, which are not as frequent in the human genome.
According to experts, psychiatric disorders have a multifactorial origin. “For example, thanks to studies in twins we know that the ADHD has a genetic load of about 75%, while el 25% remaining would be explained by the impact environmental factors, such as traumatic experiences in childhood, exposure to toxins, etc. ».
“That is, SNPs carry significant weight, but there are still many other factors to explore,” the authors detail.
“Thanks to the twin studies we know that the ADHD has a cgenetic arga of about 75%»Say the authors
In the future, one of the priorities of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium is to complete the genetic landscape of mental disorders by analyzing other genetic variations, for example the variations in the number of copies or CNV, what affect long segments of DNA.
From the perspective of epigenetics –In particular, DNA methylation– we also want to analyze the interactions between genes and environment, which can be decisive in psychiatry.
Also, it will be important understand how genetic alterations result in disease and this implies studying in detail the function of specific genes indicated by genomic studies – with animal or cellular models.
“In any case, the final objective will always be to use genetics to improve and personalize the diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of these pathologies so prevalent and often so disabling for people who suffer them “, they conclude.
From Miami to Seattle, nursing homes and other facilities for the elderly host stocks of masks and thermometers, preparing staff shortages and checking visitors to protect a particularly vulnerable population from the coronavirus.
In China, where the epidemic started, the disease was basically deadly for the elderly. In Italy, the epicenter of the virus epidemic in Europe, the more than 100 people who died were elderly, suffering from other complications or both.
Of the 19 deaths in the United States since Saturday, at least 14 had been linked to a nursing home in the Seattle area, along with many other infections among residents, staff and family members. The Seattle Times reported that a second nursing home and a retired community in the area had reported a virus case.
This has alerted other structures in the United States, especially in states with large populations of older residents, such as Florida and California. About 2.5 million people live in long-term care facilities in the United States.
“For people over the age of 80 … the death rate could reach 15%,” said Mark Parkinson, president of the American Health Care Association nursing homes group.
The federal government is now focusing all inspections of nursing homes on infection control, identifying facilities in the city with confirmed cases and those previously mentioned for not following the protocol.
Federal regulations already require homes to have a specialist in preventing infections in staff, and many have already taken measures to deal with seasonal flow and other ailments that pose a greater risk to the elderly.
Even so, the response of structures to coronavirus has varied across the country.
In Florida, where some 160,000 seniors live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, mandatory screening for visitors is not expected “because we are not at that point,” said Florida Health Care Association spokeswoman Kristen Knapp.
But aged care centers are posting signs that urge visitors to stay away if they have symptoms and are looking for alternative ways to connect to families, such as through video chats, Knapp said.
Concierges in the 14 Florida nursing homes managed by Palm Gardens Corporation are now offering all visitors a short questionnaire asking for information on symptoms, recent trips and contacts with others, said company vice president Luke Neumann.
Neumann said that nursing homes have also purchased additional thermometers in case they have to check visitors’ temperatures and accumulate preventive supplies, including medical masks, protective goggles and clothing. In laundries they make sure to use enough bleach and heat to kill any persistent viral germs, he said.
In the South Shore Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center south of Boston, patient Leo Marchand holds a container of disinfectant wipes on a shelf near the bed that he uses several times a day. The 71-year-old Vietnam veteran and retired truck driver has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which makes it difficult to breathe. The possibility of contracting the coronavirus scares him.
“It’s a concern,” said Marchand. “Really.”
Many facilities across the country have said they have trouble getting masks and medical clothes because of the shortage.
The more intense screening of visitors, meanwhile, isn’t going well with some.
“Some of the visitors have been quite reluctant to comply, and this has been stressful,” said Janet Snipes, executive director of Denver’s Holly Heights nursing center.
Under federal regulations, nursing homes are considered to be a patient’s residence and facilities want to keep them in contact with the family, especially when they are almost dead.
“I don’t think you can completely prevent visitors,” said Dr. David A. Nace, director of long-term care and flu programs at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine. Supervise 300 facilities in Pennsylvania.
For now, facilities in most states are underlining basic precautions, including hand washing and the cough tag.
Centers across the country are also trying to prepare staff for the worst.
An adult daycare center in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami purchased long-lasting ready meals in preparation for possible shortages. The Hebrew Home in Riverdale, New York is running nursing staff through exercises to see how they will handle situations in the 750-bed facility if the virus progresses. Their IT department is building an infrastructure to allow staff to work remotely if they get sick.
“If one of our sites has an outbreak, we will quickly run out of staff in that position,” said Randy Bury, CEO of The Good Samaritan Society, one of the largest nonprofit senior care providers in the country, with 19,000 employees in 24 states.
Some families are considering withdrawing loved ones from the facilities.
Kathleen Churchyard said her family decided to move her 80-year-old mother out of her retirement community near Jacksonville, Florida, and to her sister’s home nearby if the virus is confirmed in the area.
Churchyard, who lives in Concord, North Carolina, fears that her mother won’t take her seriously, and is particularly concerned about her dining room.
“I tried to get her to buy things to prepare … She said, ‘No. If (the virus) catches me, it takes it,'” said Churchyard.
Associate associate writer Philip Marcelo in Rockland, Massachusetts contributed to this report.
The Associated Press receives support for health and scientific coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
For months Laurie Giordano had been telling her son’s story to anyone who wanted to hear – about how his self-styled 16-year-old Zach, should never have collapsed in the scorching heat of Florida nearly three years ago. He died days later.
For weeks Giordano drove six hours each to meet the legislators of the Capitol to push them to act, to understand the unbearable pain of a parent who was trying to make sense of the death of a child.
At Florida’s Capitol in Tallahassee, Giordano crossed paths on Thursday with Lori Alhadeff, who lost 14-year-old daughter Alyssa while filming the Parkland school. Both talked about how the tragedy and loss are motivating them to put pressure on legislation to save other children and parents from suffering.
Giordano and Alhadeff are connected for their grief over the loss of children and work to convince lawmakers to make schools safer, albeit in different ways.
Alhadeff has returned to urge lawmakers to request panic buttons in schools for faster help. This was one of the many school security measures generated by the shootings of February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School which killed 17. The bill, known as “Alyssa’s Law”, requires that every school campus elementary, middle and high schools both public, including charter schools, to establish a mobile system to alert authorities of emergencies.
And Giordano was back on Capitol Hill sitting in the public gallery that overlooked the floor of the Senate, where lawmakers unanimously approved a bill renamed “Zachary Martin Act”. The legislation would require public schools across Florida to do more to prevent heat-related injuries and deaths.
For a few minutes, they talked about their children and their shared mission. Giordano admired the pendant hanging on Alhadeff’s neck that bears Alyssa’s smiling face.
“I don’t know how it all happened in your tragedy, but I kept thinking that help was coming,” Alhadeff told Jordan on that fateful day in February 2018.
“And help wasn’t coming,” Giordano interrupted, finishing Alhadeff’s thought.
Another distressed Florida mother, Denise Williams, wandered the Capitol on Thursday to begin lobbying for a new law on behalf of her daughter Terissa Gautney, who died on a school bus in 2018.
Ever since they lost their daughter, Williams and her husband have pushed school boards and sought the help of lawmakers to request lifesaving training for school bus drivers and better communication equipment on school buses.
He drove 250 miles (400 kilometers) from his home in Clearwater to the Capitol, describing the trip as a decision sprinkles of the moment. She sat down to watch the Senate and the Chamber conduct business, and did everything she could to plan her next steps towards making change.
“I came here to see what I could have done,” said Williams.
Williams would later cross paths with Alhadeff on Capitol Hill. He said he wanted to learn from Alhadeff, who is now a member of the Broward County school board.
“Our children have been lost in a traumatic situation and my heart breaks for any other mother. And I can feel the pain they feel, “said Alhadeff of Williams and Jordan.” Even if it involved different types of tragedies, it is still the pain of losing a child. “
Giordano’s son died in the summer of 2017 after collapsing in the Florida heat during rehearsals.
After the death of his son, Giordano founded the Zach Martin Memorial Foundation, which worked to raise awareness of the dangers of heat-related stress. As part of its work, the foundation donated 40 cooling tanks to schools across Florida.
His son, he said, would still be alive if life-saving equipment were on the sidelines during rehearsals – perhaps a tub full of water – to immediately cool his body.
“I’m exhausted, but it’s okay. Once this is over, I’m going to collapse for a week, “said Giordano waiting for lawmakers to take action on his bill.
“A six-hour trip is a long time to be alone with your thoughts,” he said, “that’s when emotions are really difficult. That’s when tears flow.”
If approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, public schools should have a tub or other large container filled with cold water on the sidelines during all games and practices. Schools should also have defibrillators to revive affected athletes. The proposed law would also require schools to train staff on how to recognize signs of heat-related ailments, including potentially fatal heatstrokes, and to take life-saving actions.
But even on the verge of success, Giordano said there is little comfort.
“I still cry every day,” he said. “There is no consolation. No, it doesn’t improve. “