Things That Matter

More Latinos Are Struggling With Epilepsy Than You Might Think

Epilepsy is a disorder that is characterized by unprovoked seizures that are not tied to alcohol withdrawal or low blood sugar. The disorder can be genetic or a result of a traumatic brain injury. Hundreds of thousands of Latinos in the U.S. are diagnosed with epilepsy and there is more we can do as a community to help those with the disorder.

There are around 400,000 Latinos who are living with epilepsy.

Camila Coelho, a Brazilian fashion influencer and blogger, recently shared her own journey living with epilepsy. In an interview with PEOPLE, Coelho opened up about being diagnosed with epilepsy since she was 9 years old.

“My mother said to me, ‘Camila, you are a normal child. You will live your normal life. There’s nothing you can’t do,'” Coelho told the magazine.

Coelho is using her platform to educate people about epilepsy.

“I have EPILEPSY and I didn’t let it stop me from achieving my dreams 🙏🏻 💜 I am happy to announce that I am not only an @epilepsyfdn Ambassador, but now also a member of the BOARD,” Coelho shared on Instagram. “As someone who lived with epilepsy since the age of 9, I feel honored and excited to join this amazing team, and help change and save lives of those with epilepsy around the world, who may feel different and alone like I once did!! (I shared more on my stories)! #epilepsyawareness

The Epilepsy Foundation did a study to find out the cultural awareness around epilepsy.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, there is still a perception of fear and misunderstanding around epilepsy. The misunderstandings around epilepsy make diagnosing and treating the disorder a challenge.

There are different therapies and treatments for epilepsy. The Epilepsy lists some of those therapies as:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This form of therapy started in the 1960s and has been successful in helping people to overcome some of their symptoms. This form of therapy is based on the belief that the thoughts are responsible for guiding behavior. The therapy helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression that might lead to seizures.

Educational Intervention: Studies have found that people being diagnosed early and supported have a better time adjusting to the diagnosis. The younger someone can learn about epilepsy and how it can be managed with appropriate therapy, the better they can adjust.

Relaxation Therapies: The Epilepsy Foundation claims that massage, acupuncture, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and deep breathing therapies could be beneficial for people living with epilepsy.

Make sure to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your existing treatment plans.

You can learn more about epilepsy and how you can help by going to the Epilepsy Foundation website.

READ: Salice Rose Gave Her Family A Vulnerable Look At Her Mental Health Struggles: “I Was Asking For Help”

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New Findings Show That QAnon Followers Are More Likely to Suffer From Mental Illness

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New Findings Show That QAnon Followers Are More Likely to Suffer From Mental Illness

Photo via Getty Images

It’s no secret that QAnon followers subscribe to some outlandish ideas. The biggest one being that the government is run by a cabal of elite, satan-worshipping pedophiles. And while critics could chalk up these conspiracy theorists to a few gullible internet users, the reality is much more complicated than that.

According to new research, QAnon followers are more likely to suffer from mental illness than the rest of the population.

The data comes from a study conducted by Georgia State University by radicalization expert, Dr. Sophia Moskalenko. According to her findings, out of the QAnon followers arrested for crimes since 2018,  68% “reported they had received mental health diagnoses.” That’s in comparison to 19% of the rest of the population.

These diagnoses were manifold: post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, Munchausen by proxy syndrome, as well as depression, anxiety and addiction struggles. These numbers were self-reported by QAnon offenders via social media posts or through interviews.

Due to these numbers, Dr. Moskalenko concludes that “QAnon is less a problem of terrorism and extremism than it is one of poor mental health.”

According to Dr. Moskalenko’s research, 44% of the QAnon insurrectionists “experienced a serious psychological trauma that preceded their radicalization, such as physical or sexual abuse of themselves or their children.” These past traumas may explain why QAnon supporters are more likely to believe outlandish conspiracies of elite government pedophile rings.

As Dr. Moskalenko writes: “In my view, the solution to this aspect of the QAnon problem is to address the mental health needs of all Americans – including those whose problems manifest as QAnon beliefs. Many of them – and many others who are not QAnon followers – could clearly benefit from counseling and therapy.”

Since COVID-19 radically changed most people’s way of life, mental health problems skyrocketed in the United States.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression quadrupled during quarantine. It doesn’t seem a coincidence, therefore, that the QAnon movement gained such momentum during a year when people were already suffering from extreme stress and isolation.

But just because QAnon followers are more likely to suffer from mental illness, that does not mean that every person who suffers from mental illness is a QAnon follower.

It’s unfortunate that power-hungry politicians have leveraged the beliefs of already-vulnerable people to their advantage.

In a time when so many people feel much more fragile than they did before, there are some bad actors out there who are using misguided conspiracy theorists to push their own agenda.

Politicians like Donald Trump, Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene have used QAnon rhetoric to recruit voters. Instead, they should be getting their constituents the help they need instead of manipulating and taking advantage of them. These so-called leaders are preying upon people who are unwell and looking for help and guidance.

As one Twitter user wrote: “‘Q Anon’ has consumed those already plagued with mental illness. We need to address this because this is how ordinary American citizens become radicalized.”

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Nike Partners With Crisis Text Line To Expand The Conversation Of Mental Health And Athletics

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Nike Partners With Crisis Text Line To Expand The Conversation Of Mental Health And Athletics

Courtesy of Nike

Mental health and wellness is crucial in everyday life, whether you are an athlete or not. It is even more crucial to have someone to talk to when you are feeling those lows. Nike and their athletes have partnered with Crisis Text Line to help expand access to critical mental health and wellness resources.

Nike and Crisis Text Line want to help athletes access mental health and wellness resources.

According to Athletes for Hope, an estimated 46.6 million people in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. That is roughly 1 in every 5 adults who will face a mental health challenge in their lifetime. There are a lot of ways that people manage their symptoms, including physical activity, but that doesn’t mean that athletes are immune to mental health struggles.

Thirty-three percent of young adults including college athletes face mental health crises. However, among college athletes, the study states that about 10 percent seek help. Meanwhile 35 percent of professional athletes face a mental health crisis.

Nike and their athletes want to change the conversation around mental health and wellness.

“Nike’s really committed to helping all athletes whether they’re elite athletes or everyday athletes,” Vanessa Garcia-Brito, the vice president of North America Communications, says. “Not everyone is comfortable talking about that and not everyone knows how to get support. Not everyone has access to it either. Nike’s really hoping to change that.”

That is why Nike teamed up with Crisis Text Line and included their athletes into the conversation. Not only does Nike want people to have access to the necessary resources, the athletics company hopes to combat the stigma around people seeking mental health help.

Laurie Hernandez is one of the athletes working with Nike to destigmatize talking about mental health.

Garcia-Brito is enthusiastic about the partnership and what Hernandez, Hayden Hurst, and Scout Bassett offer in bring involved. The athletes are using their own mental health crises to relate to people seeking help.

Hernandez understands struggling with mental health and wellness as a young athlete. The world watched Hernandez as she competed in gymnastics representing the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Especially reaching the Olympics at such a young age and hitting 16 and all of those changes that happened after that,” Hernandes recalls. “Mental health was a really big topic.”

The athletes are sharing their own experiences to encourage others to seek help.

“You have to take care of yourself first and foremost,” Paralympic athlete Scout Bassett says. “If you don’t you’re not going to be able to be not just the best version of yourself but you’re not going to be able to help out somebody else if you yourself are not well.”

Garcia-Brito is inspired by the athlete’s willingness to come forward and share their stories. Garcia-Brito says that the athletes being so open about their own struggles is creating a space for Nike employees and others to have honest conversations about their mental health issues.

“We know there is no off-season for mental health and it isn’t just about being ready for those moment son urgent need It’s also about cultivating a healthy mind and body for everyday life,” Garcia-Brito says. “We’re always looking for new ways in which we can serve our athletes physically and mentally.

Nike is here to help people access the mental health they need.

“So we are thrilled to partner with Nike to advance the conversation about mental health and expand the support that is available,” Chief Transformation Officer Dr. Shairi Turner says.

If you need some help finding resources, you can text “STRONG” to 741-741.

READ: Olympian Laurie Hernandez Is Back And Just Gave A Powerful “Hamilton” Inspired Performance

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