Mental health in boxing: Fighting the longest, hardest fight

Recent attempts to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health issues can only be positive for the sport of boxing.

“It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.”

Sure, it may be a little reductionist, a little trite, to lead into such a sensitive topic of mental health with a quote from a Hollywood movie, however, this infamous Rocky quote subtly underlines the plight of hundreds, thousands, millions of people across the world struggling with what goes on between their ears.

There is no exception to this rule in boxing; in fact, mental health issues are predicted to be prevalent in our sport more than others on a comparable level. Think of the fundamental associations made with boxing. Fighters, expected to be the “tough guys” of the sporting world, unaffected, unstirred, unmoved by any emotional or psychological troubles that may attempt to counter their perceived strengths.  more

Run, swim, cook: the new prescription for happiness

As three new books show, keeping active can be great for mental health. But government has a role to play as well

When Ella Risbridger was at her lowest ebb, sitting with a psychiatrist trying to explain why she had wanted to throw herself under a bus, help came from a wholly unexpected source. Her mind was “looking for a puzzle” to occupy itself, as she put it, something to take her outside the horrible thoughts she was having. And it settled, most unexpectedly, on baking.

She came home from hospital and made a pie, and from then on cooking became a sort of comfort and salvation. For her, the rhythmic and predictable act of making meals became a self-soothing ritual, a way not so much of curing her chronic anxiety as living through it. Even the recipe that provided the title of her wholly unconventional cookbook, Midnight Chicken, came from an afternoon spent lying on the floor wondering if she would ever be able to get up.

For Bella Mackie, the answer was running. One foot in front of the other, settling into a rhythm, pounding pavements to keep the dark feelings at bay. Her memoir Jog On, half love letter to running and half explanation of what it’s like to suffer from anxiety, appeared on the new year bestseller charts almost the minute it was released.  more

Are People Starting To Care More About Their Mental Health Than Weight Loss?

When I rounded up the best health books of 2018, I noticed a common theme emerging: Most of them were either directly about mental health or had a strong mental health or brain health component. There’s no doubt about it, this facet of wellness is becoming more and more of a top priority for people all over the world.

When you think about this rise in popularity, it makes sense; our lifestyle changes drastically affect the health of our minds, and in exchange, our mental health greatly affects our ability to make healthy lifestyle choices. Essentially, we need both to be truly healthy.

Knowing this, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that sales of books about mental health are soaring. What might surprise you, however, is that this year they surpassed sales of books about diet and exercise.   more

People share what it was like to be admitted to a mental health hospital

There is still a huge stigma around mental health hospitals.

Many horror films are set within abandoned mental health hospitals, creating a common perception that they’re places of outdated, horrific treatments and people screaming in the corridors.
This isn’t reflective of reality. 30-year-old Rebecca has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital three times.
The first was in June 2008, the second October 2009, and the third June 2010.
All of these admissions were for anorexia.

Rebecca tells Metro.co.uk: ‘For the first admission, I had no idea that psych hospitals really existed and had no ideas of what it would be like. ‘I was very annoyed to be admitted to hospital because I wanted to carry on losing weight. ‘For the second admission I knew what I was expecting and had a definite target set before I was admitted so I knew what I needed to do.’  more

Help for the Psychiatric Ward

In almost every state in the country, the supply of inpatient psychiatric care is insufficient to meet the demand. In a 2006 survey, 34 state mental health authorities reported a shortage of beds for  acute psychiatric care.[1] The shortages mean that patients who enter an emergency room with an acute psychiatric crisis may wait days or weeks for a bed, inmates who qualify for psychiatric care may wait in jail for several months before a bed becomes available, and patients who are admitted to a psychiatric hospital are often released too soon, in order to make room for other patients. In a 2014 survey, 19 state mental health directors said the judicial system had found them in contempt, or threatened to, for failure to admit jailed inmates to psychiatric hospitals in a timely manner

Today, there are fewer than 40,000 beds in state psychiatric hospitals in the U.S., down from a peak of more than 550,000 in 1955. Despite the shortages, the number of beds continues to decline—down 13 percent since 2010.[2] As a result, thousands of persons with serious mental illness are living on the streets, or in jail, or with families who are ill-equipped to cope with the acute symptoms of mental illness. Why have the states not acted to address the issue? Why are we not providing adequate facilities for these desperately ill people?  more

Military veterans and suicide: How to help before it’s too late

The family of a veteran who took his own life is sharing his story in hopes of saving others.

Ricky Holmes, a United States Marine, was 22-years-old when he committed suicide.

“He grew up in North Providence and West Warwick,” said Ricky’s father, Russ Holmes.

Ricky’s stepmother, Sherry Holmes, described him as a gentle giant.

“He was always so kind to everyone,” Sherry said.

Russ shared similar sentiments.

“He was a happy-go-lucky kid with the whole world in front of him,” said Russ.  more

Veteran Traumas and how best to Help

After applying for DD214 online and receiving the document, it could be easy to think that the veteran has left everything to do with their service behind.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Many veterans suffer with mental illness after returning from duty and this affects everyone, including the service members and their families.

It is entirely possible that some people may not experience some of these symptoms until a few years after leaving the armed forces. They may also delay seeking help for several reasons, such as thinking that they can cope, fear of criticism or feeling that therapists will not understand.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is perhaps the most infamous mental health problem veterans face after returning from duty.  more