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An epidemic of loneliness

Posted by Julien Parry on February 16, 2019

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Category: Research
This article originally posted January 6th, 2019 by The Week Staff at https://theweek.com/articles-amp/815518/epidemic-loneliness Nearly half of all Americans today say they are lonely. Why is that so, and what are the consequences? Here’s everything you need to know: How is loneliness defined? Loneliness isn’t determined by the actual number of friends or social contacts a person has. Social science researchers define loneliness as the emotional state created when people have fewer social contacts and meaningful relationships than they would like — relationships that make them feel known and understood. Essentially, if you feel lonely, you are lonely. One out of two Americans now falls into this category. In a recent study of 20,000 people by the health insurance company Cigna, about 47 percent of respondents reported often feeling alone or left out. Thirteen percent said there were zero people who knew them well. The U.S. is not unique in this respect: Loneliness is reaching epidemic levels throughout the developed world. Forty-one percent of Britons say the TV or a pet is their main source of company,
Originally posted March 1, 2016 by Hari Ziyad at https://everydayfeminism.com/2016/03/difference-between-gay-queer/ For a while, I thought I was gay. And maybe I was for some of that time – there’s nothing wrong with being gay. But I’m definitely not now. I thought I was gay because I thought I was a man, and I thought I was only and always attracted to other men. I don’t know what gender I am anymore, if any. I knew before coming to that particular realization that I’m also not only, and haven’t always been, attracted to men. Additionally, I realized I don’t know what exactly “attraction” means. I know for certain I’m not heterosexual – without a stable gender, I’m not even sure I could be. And when I first began to have these self-revelations, I also knew that I needed space to explore all of these complications. As I spent time figuring out what they meant, I discovered that if I must have an identification that makes sense to others who need to see me with some sort of stability, it would be “queer.” But
Cecelia Hayden Smith, 72, knows exactly how she wants to live out the remainder of her golden years: lounging lazily on the porch of a cozy house tucked along a quiet, treelined street in Washington, D.C. She’d greet her partner each morning with a homemade country breakfast, and their afternoons and evenings would be filled with lively games of Spades and Bid Whist with a dozen or so housemates — all fellow LGBTQ elders. “I’ve already picked out my rocking chair,” the retired substance abuse counselor quipped. “Just call me ‘Mama C,’ and make sure my room is in the front, so I can always see everything going on, and I’m happy.” For now, her dream is in stark contrast of her reality. She and her partner of 30 years, a 78-year-old woman whose names she prefers not to mention, have had health challenges, forcing them to live on a fixed budget in pricey Washington, D.C. They can only afford to live in a crumbling six-bedroom townhome, which they share with three middle-aged and older

HIV and Older Adults

Posted by Julien Parry on February 1, 2019

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Category: Research, Resources
Key Points According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014, an estimated 45% of Americans living with diagnosed HIV were aged 50 and older. Many HIV risk factors are the same for adults of any age, but older people are less likely to get tested for HIV. Treatment with HIV medicines (called antiretroviral therapy or ART) is recommended for everyone with HIV. Life-long treatment with HIV medicines helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. Many older adults have conditions such as heart disease or diabetes that can complicate HIV treatment. Does HIV affect older adults? Yes, anyone—including older adults—can get HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014, an estimated 45% of Americans living with diagnosed HIV were aged 50 and older. The population of older adults living with HIV is increasing for the following reasons: Many people who received an HIV diagnosis at a younger age are growing older. Life-long treatment with HIV medicines (called antiretroviral therapy or ART) is helping these people live longer, healthier lives. Thousands of older

What men can gain from therapy

Posted by Julien Parry on February 1, 2019

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Category: Resources
Speaking for my gender, there are two qualities that define most men: we seldom like to ask for help, and we do not like to talk about our feelings. Combining the two — asking for help about our feelings — is the ultimate affront to many men’s masculinity. We like to think of ourselves as strong, problem-solver types. But when it comes to emotional and mental issues, men need to quit trying to bottle up their feelings and tough it out, says Dr. Darshan Mehta, medical director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “Your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. Not addressing negative feelings can carry over to all aspects of your life and have a profound impact.” When to see a therapist Depression is the most common reason men should seek professional help. Many life situations — jobs, relationships — can trigger its trademark symptoms, such as prolonged sadness, lack of energy, and a constant feeling of stress. For older men, it can
While it is obvious that your feelings can influence your movement, it is not as obvious that your movement can impact your feelings too. For example, when you feel tired and sad, you may move more slowly. When you feel anxious, you may either rush around or become completely paralyzed. But recent studies show that the connection between your brain and your body is a “two-way street” and that means movement can change your brain, too! How exercise can improve mood disorders Regular aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety by making your brain’s “fight or flight” system less reactive. When anxious people are exposed to physiological changes they fear, such as a rapid heartbeat, through regular aerobic exercise, they can develop a tolerance for such symptoms. Regular exercise such as cycling or gym-based aerobic, resistance, flexibility, and balance exercises can also reduce depressive symptoms. Exercise can be as effective as medication and psychotherapies. Regular exercise may boost mood by increasing a brain protein called BDNF that helps nerve fibers grow. For people with attention-deficit disorder (ADHD), another study showed that a single 20-minute bout of moderate-intensity cycling briefly improved their
Many people hit the gym or pound the pavement to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and of course, get a rockin’ bod, but working out has above-the-neck benefits, too. For the past decade or so, scientists have pondered how exercising can boost brain function. Regardless of age or fitness level (yup, this includes everyone from mall-walkers to marathoners), studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits. Get inspired to exercise by reading up on these unexpected ways that working out can benefit mental health, relationships and lead to a healthier and happier life overall. 1. Reduce Stress Rough day at the office? Take a walk or head to the gym for a quick workout. One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So go ahead and get sweaty — working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing
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These days, more people can openly say, “I”m gay,” without fear of ridicule or outright rejection. Society as a whole tends to feel that the world has become more open to differences in sexual orientation and lifestyles that were once considered strictly taboo. But to those in the LGBT community, the stigma still feels very real. The discrimination exists, and the heart-wrenching rejection by friends and loved ones hurts. And for seniors, the fear of coming out can become all too real again as they consider moving to senior living communities, even for those who have been openly out for decades. Discrimination is Real The Equal Rights Center recently released the results of a study it conducted in cooperation with SAGE and funded by grants from the Retirement Research Fund and the Gill Foundation. The results show that discrimination is still quite real for LGBT seniors, reports Senior Housing News. The report is titled, “Opening Doors: An Investigation of Barriers to Senior Housing for Same-Sex Couples,” and it includes results from 200 matched-pair telephone calls conducted
All people who need medical care should be able to see their doctor without worrying about being mistreated, harassed, or denied service outright. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped address this issue by prohibiting health care providers and insurance companies from engaging in discrimination. As a result of several court rulings and an Obama administration rule, LGBTQ people are explicitly protected against discrimination in health care on the basis of gender identity and sex stereotypes. However, conservative forces and the Trump-Pence administration are seeking to make it easier for health care providers to discriminate against LGBTQ people and women. Discrimination in health care settings endangers LGBTQ people’s lives through delays or denials of medically necessary care. For example, after one patient with HIV disclosed to a hospital that he had sex with other men, the hospital staff refused to provide his HIV medication. In another case, a transgender teenager who was admitted to a hospital for suicidal ideation and self-inflicted injuries was repeatedly misgendered and then discharged early by hospital staff. He later committed suicide. Discrimination affects
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