Predictions of more suicides, overdoses and domestic abuse during COVID are coming true

Nine months later, those grim predictions look like they’re coming true.

“There is a mental health wave to this pandemic,” Dr. Ken Duckworth, chief medical officer of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, told ABC News. “We as a species don’t do well with uncertainty.”

The pandemic, for many Americans, has exacerbated already-stressful scenarios — deaths of loved ones, illnesses, loss of income — according to psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe.

Additionally, stay-at-home orders and school closures — important actions to prevent virus spread — created downstream consequences such as social isolation, eroding support networks and additional financial strain.

All of these factors are contributing to more suicides, overdoses and violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And specialists warn that this mental health pandemic within the virus pandemic also will disproportionately affect Blacks, Hispanics, the elderly, people of lower socioeconomic status of all races, and health care workers.

PHOTO: A teenager spends another day on the family couch, staying indoors in extended isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, April 25, 2020.

A teenager spends another day on the family couch, staying indoors in extended isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, April 25, 2020.

Many of these accelerating public health crises already were worsening before COVID-19.

In 2018, the U.S had the highest age-adjusted suicide rates since 1941. By June, a CDC survey of 5,470 US adults found that one-third reported anxiety or depression symptoms. About 10% said they had considered suicide during the last month, and the rate of suicidal thoughts was highest among unpaid caregivers, essential workers, Hispanic or Black respondents and young adults.

People age 18 to 25 may be the most affected group, Duckworth explained.

“We need to take a look at the age impact,” Duckworth added. “In the age where identity is developed, young adults are missing college.”

The opioid epidemic, previously considered the greatest public health threat in the U.S., also has worsened since the virus outbreak. After overdose deaths briefly plateaued in 2017 — stricter regulations of prescription drugs were enacted — deaths began creeping upward again because of illegal synthetic substitutes like fentanyl.

“We were making some improvement in terms of treatment options for opioid addiction prior to the pandemic,” Dr. Harshal Kirane, medical director of Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research, told ABC news. “However, there were still major treatment gaps that have worsened now that we have a superimposed pandemic.”

More than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related deaths since then pandemic struck, according to the American Medical Association.

Overdoses — both fatal and non-fatal — have increased 20% compared with the same time period in

Read more

The True Definition of Conditioning in Sports and Fitness

Conditioning is a word that is used a lot in the fitness industry but what does it really mean to have conditioning? There are those that are ripped from strength conditioning, marathon runners have to go through a type of stamina conditioning and then there is the conditioning that is necessary for fighters and martial artists.

Conditioning can come off as this hard core concept of hard work and training to build your body up so it can perform or endure what the sport demands of it.

And it’s true.

However, that is not the whole picture of what it means to be a conditioned athlete. Building your body and it’s performance potentials is only the outcome associated to having “great conditioning”.

The other half of the definition of conditioning is more about the discipline, the standard and the values that you adopt.

“Great conditioning” is the result of adopting and integrating habits, standards and values that slowly, over time changes and transforms the conditions of the body.

Conditioning isn’t so much about building yourself up but rather more about adopting a specific way of being that will serve you in the long run which is beneficial for the performance and execution of the skills in a given sport or physical activity.

So, how do you integrate a great conditioning ritual? One that will meet your athletic needs based on the sport or physical activity of your choice?

A good place to start is by looking at where your values are placed in your sport. By looking at the components that you already have a natural inclination to favour and value, then you have a platform where you can design for yourself a discipline that you are more than likely to commit to.

If for example you naturally favour cardio, then use that as a base to develop a discipline to condition, not only great cardio but also as a way to condition better form, more strength and greater endurance doing the activity that is the source of cardio. It’s also a great way to develop secondary attributes. If, for instance you typically rely on jogging for cardio but you would like to develop another physical skill or work on some upper body, than you might consider cardio boxing. Or you might want to develop better foot co-ordination and do some skip rope.

By focusing on what you already prefer, you are much more likely to build on it and develop a discipline and from a place of discipline is where conditioning can flow from the best.

Also, using discipline is a powerful way to predispose yourself to growth and improvement in a specific skill or attribute. Once you have established a discipline on a particular practice, then it’s only a matter of pushing yourself and upping the ante in order to improve and refine that conditioning.

Let me leave with one final thought, and that is, when thinking in terms of the type of conditioning you feel you may …

Read more
  • Partner links