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A Latina Documented Her Panic Attack And Women Rallied To Support Her

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s clear we’ve never needed a spotlight on this day of observation more. As many of us continue to shelter in place and follow stay at home orders, face unemployment, and the stressors of extended isolation, it’s clear we’re all in need of a little support of our mental health.

To do her part in spotlighting this issue, actress Laura Alemán shared her own experiences with mental health.

In a post to her Instagram account, Alemán shared a video of herself going through a panic attack. In the video, Alemán appears inconsolable and upset. Soon after her post, we asked our users “Have you ever experienced a panic attack? What was it like for you? What are some tips that help you when going through one? If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, we understand. Sometimes people don’t even know they are going through a panic attack.”

In response, Latinas spoke up and out about their own experiences with anxiety and depression and we’re so grateful

And so many of you gave helpful advice based on your own learning experiences.

“I like to do the 5-4-3-2-1 method as I feel it rising. In the past I would burst into them even during Yoga, now with journaling I can read over my thoughts and just let them out really. Sometimes make a chart of what is and isn’t in my control. Then looking at things as this is how it is and how can I work within this new reality.” –sunshinesmileluv

Some of the tips have even included regulating hormones and seeking professional help.

Two years ago I developed panic attacks that became more and more frequent with each day. I wasn’t able to sleep because I would get them when I was asleep. I went to the ER because I thought there was something wrong with my heart. I felt chest tightness and shortness of breath. I felt like I was always on the verge of passing out. All of the medical exams revealed there was nothing wrong with me. That was when I had to accept it was psychological. Funny thing is I studied and researched anxiety during grad school. I understood the neurobiology of stress, and anxiety from an academic standpoint. But it is something completely different experiencing it first hand, and there is no way to understand it just by reading it in journal articles and textbooks. I kept thinking of the HPA-axis, how the amygdala must be overactive and initiating a cascade of signaling molecules from my hypothalamus, pituitary gland, to my adrenal glands in order to release powerful hormones e.g. epinephrine and norepinephrine. Cortisol is released which facilitates a surge of glucose to course through my blood stream in order to prepare my body for “fight or flight”. Once this happens, there’s no stopping it with breathing exercises, you just have to ride it out and know it will pass. At first all I wanted to do was calm myself down and out of it, control it with my mind. But I couldn’t stay still, I had to move. So instead I started to run, I ran as fast as I could to release the energy my body was giving me once the panic attack would hit. This helped me immensely! And the episodes became less and less frequent in a week. But that wasn’t all I had to do. 
I started searching within myself for triggers. I started reading books, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle was a godsend. I stayed away from coffee and anything that was overstimulating. I hope this helps. I have way more to share so if anyone needs to talk about it, DM me.” – ninastrada

Some tips also include grounding yourself in reality.

Panic attacks vary due to the person but for the most part, look like this. A tip I can offer is grounding: see 5 items, touch 4 things, hear 3 different sounds, smell 2 things and taste 1 item. This can help you distract yourself from what you were thinking about and focus on the task in hand. Hugging herself can also help. If you don’t have a pet, you can use a stuff bear/animal.”- cyn_la_malcriada

And others shared that mental illnesses can lead to other physical problems.

“I used to get what my family and I diagnosed as “minor asthma attacks” that we dealt with at home. I had been told by a doctor that stress could trigger my asthma but he didnt understand why someone as young as 12 (at that time) could get “stressed” and chalked it up to sugary and fatty foods because I was a chubby kid. Years later I was made to realise I had serious anxiety, my panic attacks were then causing the asthma attacks. Awareness is necessary, misdiagnosing and downplaying these things causes further problems. Appreciate her bravery.”-ecolina5210

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A Woman On TikTok Gave Her Followers Insight Into What It Feels Like To Be Paralyzed

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A Woman On TikTok Gave Her Followers Insight Into What It Feels Like To Be Paralyzed

Atsushi Tomura/Getty

In 2009, the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reported that almost 5.4 million people in the United States live with paralysis. Still, despite how common this is, few people understand the condition of paralysis and how it affects a person’s daily life. Twenty-two-year-old Jessica Tawil, of New Jersey, recently set out to explain the experience on TikTok last year.

Since her first post in November, the TikToker has garnered over 1 million followers with content that focuses on her experience of being paralyzed from the waist down.

In a post shared on her TikTok page, Tawil explained an exercise that might give people a chance to understand the sensation of being paraplegic.

@jesstawil

#foryoupage #fyp #foryou #whatilearned #stemlife #needtoknow #weekendvibes #bekind #spinalcordinjury #productivity #disability #medical #paralyzed

♬ Epic Emotional – AShamaluevMusic

In a post shared on her TikTok page, Tawil shared an exercise with her followers that demonstrates how it feels to not be able to move a ligament. In this case, it’s your finger. According to Buzzfeed, Tawil came across the exercise after looking through posts related to disabilities. “I remember feeling so blown away because my legs felt the exact same way as my finger did,” she said.

“Not many people know too much about paraplegics and their capabilities, so I wanted to be that light to inform, educate, and even entertain people,” Tawil explained to BuzzFeed. “I want people to know what it’s like to be paralyzed … so that they can be a little bit more appreciative of what they have and remain humble.”

Tawil’s video demonstration currently has over 12 million views.

Tawil explained that a kidnapping and car accident led to her paralysis when she was in her teens.

Tawil explained that the accident took place on Nov. 15, 2014, when she went to a friend’s house in high school. When she arrived, Tawil discovered that men were present and instantly felt uncomfortable when she further learned that they had brought drugs and alcohol.

“When I eventually asked them to take me home, they took me to an abandoned road instead. When we got to this road, the driver stopped the car and put his foot on the gas and brake at the same time, doing a burnout with his wheels. He lost control of the car and crashed into a tree,” Tawil explained. “It was at this moment that I got whiplash, split my head open to the point where my skull was exposed, and sustained a spinal cord injury — leaving me paralyzed the moment we crashed,” she said. “Paramedics said that I lost the equivalence of a ‘Coca-Cola bottle of blood’ out of my head, and didn’t think I’d make it if they drove me to the hospital. So they drove me to a nearby soccer field where a helicopter airlifted me to the ICU. From there on, I went through seven months of rehab and remained permanently paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.”

Speaking about her injury, Tawil says she was “robbed of my ability to use the bathroom normally (I depend on catheters and enemas).”

Sadly Tawil says her experience led to her reclusiveness and weariness to trust others. Still, she finds that her disability comes with positives. “On the positive side, I have become a lot more spiritual and grateful to have been given another chance at life,” she told BuzzFeed. “My accident has emphasized the fact that we are not promised tomorrow, and that we should always be grateful for the simplest things in life… I also want to show people how I live my life in the present day — what is life like as a wheelchair user? — and devote my channel to being a blog where people can get to know me on a lot more of a personal level.”

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has long called himself the voice of the people – and many Mexicans agree with him. That’s why his latest announcement against social media companies has many so worried.

In the wake of Twitter and Facebook’s (along with many other social media platforms) announcement that they would be restricting or banning Donald Trump from their platforms, the Mexican president expressed his contempt for the decisions. And his intention to create a Mexican social network that won’t be held to the standards from Silicon Valley.

Mexico’s AMLO moves to create a social media network for Mexicans outside of Silicon Valley’s control.

A week after his United States counterpart was kicked off Facebook and Twitter, President López Obrador floated the idea of creating a national social media network to avoid the possibility of Mexicans being censored.

Speaking at his daily news conference, AMLO instructed the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and other government departments to look at the possibility of creating a state-owned social media site that would guarantee freedom of speech in Mexico.

“We care about freedom a lot, it’s an issue that’s going to be addressed by us,” he told reporters. He also added that Facebook and Twitter have become “global institutions of censorship,” sounding a lot like the alt-right terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“To guarantee freedom, for freedom, so there’s no censorship in Mexico. We want a country without censorship. Mexico must be a country of freedom. This is a commitment we have,” he told reporters.

AMLO deeply criticized the moves by Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump from their platforms.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

AMLO – like Trump – is an avid user of social media to connect with his constituents. He’s also been known to spread falsehoods and boast about his achievements on the platforms – sound familiar?

So, it came as little surprise when he tore into social media companies for ‘censoring’ Donald Trump, saying that they have turned into “global institutions of censorship” and are carrying out a “holy inquisition.”

Nobody has the right to silence citizens even if their views are unpopular, López Obrador said. Even if the words used by Trump provoked a violent attack against his own government.

“Since they took these decisions [to suspend Trump], the Statue of Liberty has been turning green with anger because it doesn’t want to become an empty symbol,” he quipped.

So what could a Mexican social media network be called?

The president’s proposal to create a national social media network triggered chatter about what such a site would or should be called. One Twitter user suggested Facemex or Twitmex, apparently taking his inspiration from the state oil company Pemex.

The newspaper Milenio came up with three alternative names and logos for uniquely Mexican sites, suggesting that a Mexican version of Facebook could be called Facebookóatl (inspired by the Aztec feathered-serpent god Quetzalcóatl), Twitter could become Twitterlopochtli (a riff on the name of Aztec war, sun and human deity Huitzilopochtli) and Instagram could become Instagratlán (tlán, which in the Náhuatl language means place near an abundance of something – deer, for example, in the case of Mazatlán – is a common suffix in Mexican place names.)

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