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Coronavirus, the media and mental health

Discussion in 'off topic' started by tiggers, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    I take some comfort from the heroism of my kids.
    Youngest is in a long term relationship with a lad from St Vincent and the Grenadines who is ex British Army, ex-Afghanistan and currently working as a short drop delivery driver all over the North West, which clearly has its risks.. The combination of his ex-Army confidence/discipline and his 'Caribbean' refusal to flap, drives her mad.. but he's a good influence on her.

    Last night he sent me a pic of himself grinning... with the overlay. 'Stay in Yo Damn Yard an' Read Yo Bible!'

    I replied. 'We is in our Damn Yard an' we is stayin' right heya!!'

    Apparently he laughed.

    My older Daughter is asthmatic and severely visually impaired. Her son, my Grandson.. is also asthmatic. She is worried. Also working from home as HR manager for some firm so taking responsibility for the safety of all staff.. and keeping her kids occupied.
    Can't be easy either mentally or physically.

    I obviously raised them impeccably.
  2. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    All very familiar to me and I would not dream of trying to minimise or dismiss any of it. It can be genuinely terrifying.

    I'm still reminding myself of all that I learned last time I sought actual Therapy (Mostly CBT) but off the top of my head...

    Try 'parking' worries. Put them away into a place in your head to be dealt with at some future point.

    Check evidence. For e.g., at last count about 400 deaths are reported. This out of a population of around 65000000. Tiny percentage.

    Think it through. First you have to be exposed. Next you have to catch it, next you have to get it 'bad', next you have to need medical help, next you have to need ventilating, next you have to fail to respond to treatment. The odds are in your favour. Even a death toll of 20000, which has been mentioned as a worst case scenario, would represent a very small percentage of the population. Being a bit more callous, it would represent an earlier death for many who were already sick.
    Try to retain perspective.

    Feelings. Try relaxation techniques. Try exercise, try distraction, avoid triggers.

    Thoughts. Try simply saying 'STOP' to yourself when overthinking or 'catastrophising'.

    Behaviours: Stop seeking frequent re-assurance. Try to stay busy , but do not get into frantic activity. Stop and think. Act slowly. Focus on tasks. Give yourself time to enjoy completing tasks well.

    Physical symptoms. I struggle with these often. Take exercise. Remember to breathe. Learn AND USE a physical active relaxation technique. I can't remember what mine's called, but it involves sitting in a chair and working round muscle groups while breathing slowly. For e.g. Clench fists as hard as poss them pull fingers back as far as poss, repeat twice. Push feet into floor as hard as poss.. repeat.. hold mouth closed but try to open with jaw muscles. Similar with eyes, Push head back into head rest then relax. Idea is to really clench then relax all muscle goups. If you get it right you feel like you are floating in your chair. Stay like that for as long as necessary.
    Plan your 'wind down'. Evening TV, music, a drink. Practice active relaxation techniques and check your body. Are you really relaxed? Are you a 'coiled spring'?

    Don't drink too much or rely on other drugs too much.

    I'll look out my info and try to do this better tomorrow.
  3. cpg

    cpg pfm Member

    Mai pen rai - this means "relax, go with the flow", in thai.

    If you serious about moving to Thailand, I suggest you read 2 books.
    "My thai girlfriend" by Andrew Hicks, great book, well written.
    "Welcome to amazing kedon village" by Brad Walker, badly written but shows how lots of old men live in Thailand.
    (if you can't get hold of them, I can lend you my copies)

    Perhaps we should start a "Thailand" off-topic thread. I think lots of us have stories to tell.
    Roger Adams and deebster like this.
  4. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs hearing problems

    3mg. ? over 2 weeks

    Crikey - that is micro - dosing.
  5. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

    I know Mull - it was just a bit of a laugh given their age old reputation ( "mother's little helper"? ) :) I've had to take 5mg before bed time for years for a very different reason to you. It just makes you lethargic in the morning. Take another though and add some alcohol as they did in the Sixties. That's where it built its "entertaining" reputation.

    I would have thought that 3mg over 2 weeks would do little or nothing for anxiety - unless you took one and a half smaller tabs when actually having an attack. Regardless, I do hope you feel better with time. :)
    Mullardman likes this.
  6. Colin Barron

    Colin Barron pfm Member

    No doubt he has in mind the Easyjet £174 million dividend paid last week.
  7. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

    Mai Pru krup. (same same but different)

    I've been with my wife for 12 years. We now have a house in Ranong and a small business on Lanta (which will most likely cease to trade following the long term impact of ongoing news stories). The business is stereotypical Thai - that's what most Farang want. Beach bar. chilled music. readily available food and loads of alcohol. Such a deep, contemplative and advanced ethnic grouping :) If only those people knew what was said about them behind their backs... :) I had been spending 9 months or so per annum out of this cesspit, so more recent events (in my life rather than in the Country) appear to have resulted in a form of cabin fever :). I've simply not been able to get back.

    There's a stereotypical view of any nation and her population IME - just as there can be of the UK - were anyone to come over here and live and work solely in say, North Wales.

    People need to travel extensively to comment on many global issues IMHO - to experience different cultures and to expand their mind. Even then we can be ignorant and can be taught should we listen. As with medicines (on a topical note), most of what he hear, see and pick up on is anecdotal or circumstantial so would not stand up to rigorous scrutiny. That's another story though...

    It is sad, but much of what we see today displays how bigoted and utterly ignorant so many are. Most, as you no doubt know, have no idea that a large number of Thai Muslims even exist - by way of example. Then they display their bigotry in the way that they perceive Muslims. It merely demonstrates ignorance (and offensive ignorance at times) in most cases. They certainly seem to have no comprehension of how preferable (and perceptually advanced) sociologically other populations can be do they?

    As I say, there's so much bigotry and stereotyping isn't there? I've not met social groupings over here with the humanity and moral code that I have seen in some overseas regions to date. Yet so often, we remain convinced that our way of life is the one by which others should be measured. Sad. I always try to get friends to travel off the beaten track. Learn what we can. Try to assimilate. Then make comments to others.
  8. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    Sun bathing, well rolled up sleeves to the shoulder and track suit bottoms pulled up to mid thigh is doing well for my moral.
    Along with vastly increased exercising my deep breathing is paying off. whenever I am feeling a tad stressed 5 or 6 trounds of deep
    breathing is working its magic.
    My daughter has at last received a protective package.

    One thing I have learnt is I am not as big as man as I thought I was, an emotional journey for us all, but eventually should make its own rewards.

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
    Mullardman, tiggers and Roger Adams like this.
  9. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    Spent a good hour trying to dig out a large grass type plant yesterday.
    When I stepped back it looked like it hadn’t been touched.
    Trimmed an overweight yew.
    Cut back a honeysuckle.
    Refilled the bird feeders for the tits, goldfinches and sparrows.
    Back to it today.
    tiggers likes this.
  10. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

  11. Andrew C!

    Andrew C! Been around a while....

    I've made a conscious effort to do the following regarding specific news on the pandemic:
    Restrict media viewing to 1st thing in the morning, the 6pm and 10pm news,
    Not get drawn into PFM topics too much on the pandemic, unless its something I feel that strongly about I'll succumb and post a response(I'll not respond especially if its political or personal),
    Not to repeat with family what we've already decided or discussed - in other words anything new we need to consider is fine,
    Same with work colleagues - if they are regurgitating the same thing again, I'm zoning out until the conversation comes back 'on topic'.

    My rationale is I'm trying not to overthink what I cannot change, and be objective and careful about what I can.

    I am observing the government guidance, partly because I'm fortunate enough to be able to do so, and to support my wife - she has to go to work(emergency services), and to be there for my mum.
    Mullardman and tiggers like this.
  12. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

    A summary of Steven Taylor's publication which, in light of today's situation, was a remarkable work of scientific foresight. Steven Taylor PhD is a professor of psychology in Canada and has published more than 300 papers.


    Should you be someone who suffers with anxiety, I would personally switch off your television and order a copy of this book on line. This paper only highlights how important the science is for all of us. Fascinating I hope to many of you - I've removed the list of topics covered - the precis is pretty good. If you need more info then I still have the details - just thought it was a messy post :) It will both make you more relaxed and help you to pass this difficult time. :)

    Steven's paper is informative. He's not on Sky though. :)
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  13. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

  14. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

  15. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    My daughter did not speak until age 5. She was diagnosed with < 1st percentile IQ at that age. I never ever gave up with speech therapy and tutoring her to help her keep up with the other kids (she learns slower than average, but once she's understood something she'll perform just as well as most of her peers). She will finish high school this year, a solid B/C student and has accepted a place at a local college to study to become a special education teacher. Academically it might be a bit of a struggle for her, but she will compensate for this with her empathy, having lived her entire school life within special education. She also struggles with generalized anxiety disorder and this has made the last few years (exams, college applications) hard work.

    Since schools have been shut she's been holed up in her bedroom practicing singing/dancing and doing school work that teachers are assigning. Unfortunately my new job is really hard and I don't have the time to spend with her that I like, but she's been unfazed by the massive change in our lives and is doing really well, despite the disappointment of the likely cancellation of the prom, high school graduation and a planned summer trip to DisneyWorld.

    I'm so pleased that she's coping well and remaining positive. It certainly helps me keep my own anxiety in check.

    My own simple mantra for dealing with anxiety is the serenity prayer, colloquially known as "controlling the contrallables":

    Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    courage to change the things I can,
    and wisdom to know the difference
    Seanm, Big Tabs, Mullardman and 7 others like this.
  16. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

    Wise words. In some cultures such thoughts are central to their psyche. Only worry about the issues that you have the power to deal with daily.

    tiggers and sean99 like this.
  17. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    and Branson’s island
  18. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    Just catching up with the replies in here, thanks for all the contributions. I have found some therapy by avoiding the media and spending time in the garden/laying a gravel driveway... tiring, but rewarding.
  19. Roger Adams

    Roger Adams pfm Member

    Tiggers, more good news coming from Anthony Fauci - who is heading up the USA's research into infectious diseases - at the press conference.

    He's stating that the data now is suggesting that the virus could well be self limiting and cyclical in that it will turn out to be seasonal due to climatic conditions - another thing that I suggested some weeks ago (many people complaining that this was an irresponsible viewpoint to share at the time IIRC) :) .

    It's undoubtedly a professional, data driven opinion that inspires hope and could reduce stress for many. This shows just why it's important that we all look at the scientific data (or look at potential, and intelligently considered indicators) rather than relying on, and avoiding the, media driven hysteria in stressful situations like this. You are a wise man!

    As you suggest, the mainstream media and its overflow into social media causes way too much stress for many - you are undoubtedly spending your time more productively. Great weather for it too :)

    So undoubtedly things are looking up Tiggers. A lot of evidence is coming through now which is supportive for many out there. Still avoid much of the media though if not all of it!
    tiggers likes this.
  20. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    Yes. The 'Serenity Prayer' is very helpful. Also helpful if you strip away the hippy associations and false attributions, is Max Ehrrman's (Sp?) 'Desiderata'

    Another little gem which I got from a colleague is 'Don't sweat the small stuff'
    tiggers likes this.

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