A Father’s Depression During The Pandemic

It has been more than a month since the world received the most devastating news about the Coronavirus outbreak. I am one of the few individuals who ignored it. Honestly, I never thought it would end up to be this bad; that is why I never entirely thought about preparing at all. I was so confident that things will soon be okay and that experts will eventually find a way to control the situation. But I was wrong. Now, all that is left in my head are questions of these pandemic uncertainties. There are what-ifs that I want answers. I desire the end to all of this for the sake of the most important persons in my life.

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Failure To Do My Duty

As a father, I was supposed to take care of my family. My wife and children depended on me. But with the current situation right now, I felt so vulnerable. I considered myself incompetent in providing my family their needs in times of crisis like this. I believe I failed to do my duty of becoming a better father because I did not take the situation seriously. I often told my wife that things are not that bad, so we don’t have to worry about anything. As positive it may sound, the result of that overly confident statement created a toll on our lives.

Now, we have nothing. Our family’s situation could have been better if only I listened to my wife’s advice. She told me that we need to save and prepare ourselves in case the Coronavirus infection gets worse. I shrugged her off and said to her that she is just overreacting. I was so stubborn and ignored her reminders that the possibility of an outbreak is at stake. Now, it is too late to regret everything.

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Emotional And Mental Torment

But what entirely drew me to my mental illness is when I became a virus carrier. I was so stupid to think that my family is protected all the time. As I continued to ignore the possibility of the infection harming me, I never thought it could do so much damage to my whole family. I did not listen to anyone, and I was so relentless about following safety protocols. I thought it was merely annoying that such a government directive is keeping me from doing what I usually do. But my stubbornness made me experienced emotional and mental pain when my wife got infected.

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I was shocked to know that I am a COVID-19 positive. Honestly, I thought about it when I experienced mild symptoms. But then, I was too confident that the disease won’t do any harm to my body. Little did I know that it will soon get passed on to my beloved wife. My anxiety heightened up when doctors figured out that she caught the infection from me. Yes, my wife experienced the Coronavirus’ symptoms and for almost 15 days, until she was unable to breathe properly. Eventually, after the 20th day, she died, and I wasn’t there during her times of suffering because I wasn’t allowed. But what added more damage to my already unstable mental and emotional state is when my two sons showed symptoms as well. That is why they are both were hospitalized and isolated from me.

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Now I am all alone feeling guilty of everything that has happened to my family. If only I listened, things could have been different. My stupidity and ignorance was the reason I lost my wife. And now, I am on the edge of losing my sons as well.

Please do not allow this to happen to you. Think about your family.

Why You Must Not Disregard Your Mental Health

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At the 2017 Mental Disorder Conference, there was much talk about people who needed help talking about their illness because they are afraid or ashamed of what they have. It was a very successful event, especially for the awareness of everyone about mental health, as 100% of students who attended said so. Over 70% believed that it convinced them to seek the help of a mental health professional, and almost 90% felt the workshops done had reduced mental illness stigma. There were also film presentations showcasing movies focused on how people with mental disorders went through and overcame them. These movies were done and directed by students themselves.

But mental health is a broad topic that is crucially important to discuss. Why? Here are some reasons why one should not ignore his mental health.

It is no longer uncommon. Despite the fact that mental illnesses have various levels of severity, there is an estimated one in six people in America that is diagnosed with some kind of mental health disorder yearly. Sadly, there are just so many of these people who don’t ask for help.

Your physical health is connected with your mental health. You may think that your physical well-being and your mental well-being are not at all connected, but it is – because your brain is part and parcel of your body. In fact, a mental disorder may have been the cause of some or most of one’s physical symptoms. Stress and heart palpitations, for example, are potentially caused by depression or severe anxiety.

Other conditions or injuries may increase the likelihood of developing a disorder. While it is true that a mental disorder can manifest physical symptoms in the body, it is also a fact that other moderate to severe conditions can increase one’s risk of developing a mental disorder. Cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and stroke are among the diseases that increase the likelihood of getting diagnosed with mental illness since all these cause negative emotions like depression and severe anxiety.

It is genetic. Thorough family history taking helps determine if one’s mental illness is derived from past experiences or simply the cause of genes gone wrong. It is essential, therefore, that one must provide complete details regarding his family, including what conditions his family members have or had in the past.

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The earlier, the better. Like most other medical conditions, an early diagnosis yields better results. It is encouraged that you seek help as soon as possible, so your symptoms can be controlled through therapy and medications. Treatment helps one prevent more negative effects from manifesting and further complicating his life.

 

 

 

Can Prostate Cancer Affect Intimacy?

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Yes, prostate cancer can inadvertently affect a couple’s intimacy.

Upon realization of a prostate cancer diagnosis, things between couples can immediately change; however, if both individuals are committed to figuring things out while working on a few adjustments, the condition will not only prove your love and loyalty to each other but also strengthen your relationship in the long run.

Set Clear Expectations

Without having any knowledge whatsoever about prostate cancer, it’s going to be difficult to handle the situation. Understanding that prostate cancer treatment will yield physical, mental, and emotional side effects, will prepare both couples about what to expect during and after the medical procedure.

Asking your doctor upfront about what the signs and symptoms are and how to efficiently manage them is crucial in dealing with the condition. Make sure that during diagnosis revelation, your partner is with you so that he or she is fully aware of what’s happening and what’s supposed to happen. Having your significant other around while you swallow hard the reality of having the condition is beneficial to you and your relationship.

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What are the things that are usually divulged during consultations?

 

  1. Maintaining or getting an erection will be effected within the first few months after a series of treatments. Unfortunately, there are instances wherein this sort of problem goes on for an extended
  2. Therapies like chemotherapy, hormone and radiation therapy, medications, and surgery can yield side effects like lowered libido, lethargy, weight gain, and urinary incontinence.

 

Though these issues are upsetting, there are ways to manage them. For those who have experienced erectile dysfunction, they can get their libido and erection back with the help of injections, medications, and even surgery like penile implants.

“Treatment will probably also involve helping both partners to not tie all of their sexual satisfaction to the presence and firmness of the erection,” writes Ari Tuckman, PsyD, CST.

By being proactive about your overall well-being, you are boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence which then establishes a more intimate relationship with your partner.

 

Focus On The Pros

A cancer diagnosis would certainly put your life asunder. It is easy for a person to wallow in the negatives and wait until death comes. However, you have to remember that you are not alone in this journey and there are a lot of ways to confront the condition and come out victorious. You have to focus on the pros and the things that matter in your life.

“Becoming interested in life, its choices, even and in spite of its challenges, are helpful for a positive outlook, and an interesting life,” writes Claire Grainger-Valvano, LCSW, OSW-C.

 

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Seek Help

If there’s trouble in paradise due to prostate cancer, seeing a therapist is always a smart choice. Unfortunately, a lot of men who have this condition would find it difficult to take a leap and seek professional help. However, couples have to realize that mental and emotional health is as important as physical health; therefore, asking the advice of an oncology therapist can be highly beneficial for your relationship to thrive despite the illness.

On the other hand, if the dilemma is with your sexual vitality, like having issues with orgasms, erections, and even incontinence, airing it out with your primary physician is recommended.

A person who has prostate cancer will need all the help he can get; nobody can go through this condition alone. It is vital that the ember of love, affection, and intimacy is continuously burning despite the situation. Remember, though cancer can somehow affect the quality of intimacy your relationship has, there are a lot of treatments that are currently available that can make a huge difference in a couple’s quality of life.

“My ultimate hope is to see individual behavioral health treatment become a standard of cancer care, not something an individual or family has to seek out and pay for independently,” says Jana Bolduan Lomax, PsyD.

 

Prostate Cancer And Its Effects On Sex

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Men who are enduring treatments for prostate cancer are expected to have difficulties when it comes to their sex life. Aside from losing interest in the act entirely, there are those who wanted to do so but are having problems getting an erection.

“Impotence, erectile dysfunction, sexual issues and incontinence in these patients complicate matters further. Anxiety may exist both before testing and while awaiting test results. Confusion over choosing from various interventions often adds to anxiety and depression in these patients,” Dr. Avinash Desousa, a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist based in Mumbai, finds.

The Prostate Gland

In basic anatomy and physiology, the prostate gland, which is strategically located below the urinary bladder, is considered part of the male sex organ; its primary role is to secrete a fluid that is a significant component of semen. The prostate gland helps in propelling the seminal fluid inside the urethra every ejaculation. Referred to as the walnut-shaped organ, the prostate gland is said to be healthy when its surface is regular and smooth.

Prostate Cancer In A Nutshell

Prostate cancer is a disease wherein cancer cells proliferate into the prostate tissues where they reside and multiply; thus, forming a lump or tumor. In the United States, prostate cancer is considered as the widely known cancer in men wherein more than 230,000 were diagnosed in 2013. Annually, there are about thousands who die from this illness. Based on a report made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of men who have prostate cancer are those who are 65 years old and above.

As the tumor grows within the prostate and becomes big enough to result in blockage of the urethra, it causes a series of signs and symptoms, namely:

 

  • Dribbling, intermittent or weak stream of urine
  • Full bladder with straining during urination
  • Blood is present in the urine

As you can see, prostate cancer mainly affects the quality and quantity of urine expelled from the body. Prostate cancer in itself is not responsible for causing sexual problems for the majority of men who have it.

Sex After Treatment

As previously stated, the disease itself does not cause sexual predicaments; however, during treatment, there can be major repercussion that can directly affect a man’s sex drive.

“For many couples, sex is a way to reconnect, have some fun together, and recharge from their daily demands,” writes Ari Tuckman PsyD, CST.

Furthermore, upon diagnosis of having cancer, men tend to become depressed which also changes their interest in having sex with their partner. Some of the therapies that can cause sex problems are radiation and hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Treatment becomes more challenging due to the affinity of nerves that supplies impulses to the prostate which are commonly damaged.

 

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Surgery requires the removal of the prostate gland which poses a risk for the patient to have erectile dysfunction or the inability to have a proper penile erection. This is due to potential damage to the nerves around the gland. Because of the increased number of risks, surgery is the last course of treatment offered to a patient with prostate cancer because of its radical, invasive, and permanent nature.

 

Get Your Sex Life Back

While sexual dysfunction is expected for most prostate cancer treatments, the good news is, there are a lot of ways to counter these adverse effects. A lot of options are currently available to aid in reviving a healthy sex life. While fatigue due to treatments can cause loss of interest in sex, it will recede over time. Other treatments that can help in achieving normal erections include medications, creams, vacuum pumps, and implants. Through it all, the essential element is emotional and psychological support.

“Many of these issues can be worked out in individual therapy. Find a therapist that you are comfortable with, so that you in turn are comfortable talking about material that may previously been embarrassing, or you have never admitted,” writes Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC.

 

 

Supporting Your Partner With Prostate Cancer

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Upon knowing that your partner is struggling with prostate cancer, the first thing that would come to mind would probably be, “How can I help?”

 

Technically, there’s nothing that you can do about his condition. But then again, your presence is necessary for practical and emotional support to help your partner positively cope with his illness and help him see it through the daily challenges of battling with prostate cancer.

 

Get Your Partner To Talk

Proper communication is always a sign of progress for couples. A lot of men who have prostate cancer are usually hesitant to talk about their condition, but there are also those who value the sense of having someone around to open up to and share thoughts with. Allowing your partner to vent his feelings and emotions about his situation will significantly help him in dealing with his illness for it will widen his perspective and make him feel that he is not alone in his struggle.

On the other hand, for those couples who find it hard to communicate with each other, there’s always the availability of friends and family members. More so, couples can quickly seek help from medical professionals if things in their relationship go out of hand.

And because support systems like significant others, friends, and members of the family are exposed to the stress and turmoil of having a loved one with cancer, they are not excused from dealing with their feelings and finding someone to listen to their grievances or thoughts about their situation.

“The intervention is creating a space for people with different perspectives to feel safe to open up and come to terms with the reality of the situation and find ways to effectively communicate about feelings, fears, and hopes,” writes Jana Bolduan Lomax, PsyD.

“Ordinary conversations are frequent among couples who face cancer, and they are associated with patients’ psychological adjustment, providing a foundation for potential interventions for coping with cancer that do not focus on illness,” adds UC Riverside psychologist Megan Robbins.

Dealing With The Diagnosis

A diagnosis of prostate cancer can significantly change and influence a family’s usual way of living and can immediately affect harmonious relationships and friendships. Expect that a lot of alterations will happen – getting plans canceled or interrupted, no longer interested in engaging activities, not wanting to indulge in social gatherings.

“Trauma can come from a serious medical diagnosis,” says Dr. Wayne Jonas, MD. “Cancer is a diagnosis that often does result in trauma – from both the name and the treatment.”

Usually, these changes occur due to the side effects of cancer therapy. People realize that as the stage progresses, the adjustments also progress. But what can partners of individuals who have prostate cancer do to deal with the diagnosis efficiently?

 

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  • Gather more information about the condition.
  • Communicate with people.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help from close friends and relatives.
  • Don’t change your daily routine entirely. Yes, there might be minor modifications in your living condition, but that does not mean that you have to redefine the way you live entirely.
  • Treat the condition as part of life and don’t let it become your life.
  • Attend social gatherings, go on dates and vacations; do what couples usually do.

 

Most importantly, do family activities and go on holidays to enjoy time together. Having prostate cancer doesn’t mean that you are no longer allowed to bask in the goodness of life and each other.

 

Focusing On Yourself

 

Since your partner has everything he needs to get through with his condition, you, on the other hand, must also look after yourself. Remember, when you are feeling down, anxious, or are unable to cope, support and treatment are available. The diagnosis of prostate cancer can also have a massive impact on your well-being which is why, for your sake and for the sake of the one you love, you also have to be mindful of your health.

 

 

Single Fatherhood: The Joy And The Pain

My wife died right after giving birth to our child.  When she was just in her first trimester, her doctor talked to us regarding her poor heart condition.  I wanted her to get an abortion. It was not that my child does not matter; it is just that my wife was more important to me.   I did not want to lose her.   I can live my life without becoming a father, but I did not think I can live a life without my wife.

 

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Ignoring these 3 Manifestations Increases Your Risk of Prostate Cancer

Chances of getting treated are high if the discovery of these symptoms happened early on in life.

The Evidence

Currently, prostate cancer is third on the list for the most common kind of cancer with around 160,000 diagnoses every year; this is data is from the National Cancer Institute and is strictly a study done in the United States.

“If you are at high risk for prostate cancer, i.e. you are African-American or you have a close family member (brother, father) with prostate cancer, you should be screened at age 40 with the PSA and digital prostate exam,” writes Carolyn C. Ross, M.D., M.P.H.

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Inconspicuous Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

You may not be aware, but you’re already increasing your chance of having prostate cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer is the second killer disease of men next to heart ailments. Prostate cancer is the second most popular type of cancer, just a nudge lower than skin cancer, the most common kind of cancer among male Americans.

“If you are at high risk for prostate cancer, i.e. you are African-American or you have a close family member (brother, father) with prostate cancer, you should be screened at age 40 with the PSA and digital prostate exam,” writes Carolyn C. Ross, M.D., M.P.H.

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A Novice’s Guide To Pokémon GO Unlockables and Levels

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Pokémon creators have set out to catch all of the animé’s avid fans and allow them to become a Pokémon trainer like Ash Ketchum and the rest of the gang through a free augmented reality (AR) app called Pokémon GO. From its launch date on July 2016, practically over 15 million Android and iOS users have been hooked to the game and seen walking to different places, in hopes of capturing more monsters in Poké Balls.

Hence, if you want to understand what your kids love so much about it and participate in this virtual reality, here is the novice’s guide to Pokémon GO Unlockables and Levels.

Experience Is Key

The game is like a training course for people who want to be the master of various Pokémons. You can only move on to the next level once you have gained the right amount of experience, figuratively and speaking, that Pokémon GO asks for in each level. Every monster you seize, the way you throw the ball to it, and how good you are at defeating others have corresponding points. Thus, your full focus is required.

Hatch Pokémon Eggs

If you see a co-worker brisk-walking around the building during a break, or somebody else jogging in a large park with their eyes glued to their smartphone, they are most likely trying to hatch Pokémon eggs. These eggs need you to cover two, five or 10 kilometers before the shell cracks, that’s why some players get to exercise as well. One hatched egg will reward you with EXP that is 100 times the distance you have covered.

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Succeed In 40 Levels

There are 40 levels that a trainer-wannabe has to complete. The experiences you have to obtain increases by 1,000 for the first ten levels. For instance, you need 1,000 EXP to finish Level 1, 2,000 EXP for Level 2, and so forth. The number goes to up to 10,000 on the 10th level, 50,000 on the 20th, 500,000 on the 30th, and over 5,000,000 on the last scale.

Level Up Incentives

Your hard work will be compensated once you receive rewards for every level completed. They will start to appear on the 2nd level, where 15 Poké Balls are waiting for you. From Level 5 onwards, the gifts will consist of Potions, Incense, Revives, Egg Incubator, Razz Berry, and many more. The items become upgraded in newer levels.

10 Unlocks

Gyms, Basic and Max Revives, Razz Berry, Basic, Super, Hyper and Max Potions, and Great and Ultra Balls are all of the unlockables when you play the Pokémon GO. These are available on levels 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, and 30. After that, you will have to rely on your skills and the different rewards left with you until the 40th level is reached.

Final Thoughts

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Pokémon GO is an amazing augmented reality game that encourages you to move and leave your comfortable chair more often.  You and your kids will be able to exercise even if you do not want to so that you can earn more points. However, as a parent, we advise you to explain to the little ones the danger of using the app in the streets, especially the busy ones.

Good luck!