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SuperBetter Partners With Psych Hub To Provide Videos About Mental Health

People around the world play SuperBetter to be stronger and more successful at achieving goals and overcoming challenges across many areas of their lives, including their mental health.

Today, we have great news to share — especially for those playing SuperBetter to tackle depression, anxiety and other challenges related to mental health. Psych Hub has partnered with SuperBetter to provide access to a library of high quality educational videos featuring mental health topics. These videos are available at no cost to the SuperBetter Community.

Psych Hub is a mission-aligned organization that has created a library of short, educational videos on various topics related to mental health such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, eating disorders, and evidence based treatments. It was founded by Marjorie Morrison, former CEO of PsychArmor Institute, (a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free online courses about an array of issues of interest to the military community and their families), and Patrick J. Kennedy, former congressman of Rhode Island, mental health advocate, and founder of The Kennedy Forum.

Psych Hub’s mission is to spread greater knowledge and awareness about mental health issues and to decrease the stigma associated with them. By combining clinical research with the art of storytelling, Psych Hub videos provide mental health education that is accessible to everyone.

Psych Hub is partnering with respected organizations like SuperBetter as part of its commitment to bringing accurate and reliable information about mental health to a broader audience. As a partner we have our own page on Psych Hub for the SuperBetter Community. On this page are many videos that we think SuperBetter fans and users may find of interest. We invite you to click over, check them out, and share them with your family, friends, colleagues, and communities!

Swimming to Stay Fit

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Swimming is a perfect sport to get fit because it helps to use all the muscles of the body. Swimming ideally should be practiced in the sea where you can get benefit of the sea water and the sun. But to get fit you cannot wait for every summer, or to live near the sea! Good swimming pools now exist in many hotels, which means you have access while you travel for business or pleasure, and are also in many fitness centers.

Swimming is also very well suggested for people that have suffered injuries, and in particular for those with issues with the knees and the ankles. A lot of people that have physical problems that cause them to be unable to run, can very swim every day or at least several times a week.

Personally, I have not been able to run well in the past few years. I used to run marathons, play squash and basketball; now I swim at least three times a week.

My training schedule consists of 45/50 minutes of swimming divided in 4 modules as follows:

  • Ten minutes of crowl style starting slowly and the increasing in speed
  • Five minutes of walking in the water slowly
  • Ten minutes of butterfly style also starting slowly and then increasing the speed
  • Five minutes of walking in the water taking both legs to the high level of the chest together in constant action
  • Ten minutes of back stroke always at the same speed
  • Five minutes of walking fast in the water.

I also used to do a few laps in the pool under the water to improve my apnea breathing system. I have trained as a usual scuba diver, so you should be already be trained to do so.

After this period of 44/50 minutes of swimming I suggest, when you come out of the water, to always do a session of stretching for 5/10 minutes.

Remember to use water goggles and ear protection when you swim.

After swimming always drink at least a glass of water in order to hydrate your body.

And finally have fun while swimming!

 

Doctors and Patients

When we are sick we are vulnerable and when we seek medical care we want comfort and strength being exuded from the people treating us. We want our doctors and nurses to be competent, efficient and make disease and problems go away. When we see a doctor, we do not want that doctor to be insecure but we want him or her to take charge, inform us and then decide what to do. Some patients want to be very included in the decision process and have accumulated much information prior to the visit and place demands on the doctor to show that he or she knows more. Other patients like the doctor to make decisions without much involvement from the patient. In all cases, there is a power dynamic between the two players, doctor and patient that must not be abused.

I have gone through much medical care during my 43 years on Earth. Between having type 1 diabetes since I was 16, having two transplants, requiring a pacemaker and having two spinal fusion procedures, I have seen many doctors, surgeons and nurses.  I am myself an MD and a PhD, specialized in diabetes and have spent a career analyzing innovative products in a number of other therapeutic areas, so I am very educated in medicine and also more critical than the average person since I do not want to waste my time on a doctor who is ill-prepared, poorly educated, weak or as importantly rude.

I am one of those patients who study the academic backgrounds and CVs of my potential doctors and when I meet them, I make sure they are aware of the newest developments in the space. I normally check references and Google their publications and research interests before I visit. This work is a prerequisite for me to even make an appointment and then in the first appointment, I interview them as much as they interview me about my medical history. Of course this thorough preparation can only be completed when one has time, and doesn’t work in acute situations nor do they work in hospital, when we are faced with the doctor on call. The point is that our health is the primary objective for all of us and we need to be even more discriminative with our doctors than we are with our finances, houses, our cars or schools for our children. We would not just buy a house without legal and other diligence, and we would not place our children in a school without knowing details about its teachers, facilities etc.

Because of the power situation we are facing each time we are sick or seeking help because of fear for our bodies, many of us do not place enough importance on how doctors treat us as human beings. A medical doctor has studied many years and a specialist has practiced his or her craft even longer, perfecting the practical aspects of medicine and the thinking required to diagnose, treat and in some cases cure. However, listening to the patient, and treating them with respect is often not part of the equation.

It stuns me that doctors are not treating their patients more like clients or customers. In no other field would we accept hours of waiting, derogatory comments, exam rooms with insufficient heating and meeting a person for the first time in your underwear!

One recent example of this happened today, when I went to see a new dermatologist, recommended by a dear friend and colleague. I did my usual diligence, but didn’t go as deep due to the area, dermatology, which to me is a combination of esthetics and medical, and I wanted to see for myself how this woman would deal with my situation of being on immune suppressants and thus making sure I do not have cancer. It would be a bonus if she also improved my skin tone and quality, and I placed lots of trust in my colleague who recommended her. I also got impressed with her address, and the fact that she is a relatively young woman who seems to have succeeded in the tough NYC market, where derms are a dime a dozen.

My appointment was for 1pm on a Friday and I rushed there from a meeting downtown, without having lunch. After 48 minutes of waiting, she finally showed up to see me – while I was sitting in the exam room, in my underwear and a paper robe. She smiled and said “ Hi Karin I am Dr H”. Why is she Dr H and I am Karin? As in Austin Powers: “Dr. Evil: It’s Dr. Evil, I didn’t spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called “mister,” thank you very much.”

My point to her was that I had been sitting for close to an hour with no message from her, in my paper robe, in a freezing room, waiting for her to come and see me. Why is it that she could not send a nurse or an assistant to let me know what was going on? Why did I have to undress before she knew that she was going to see me within minutes? Who actually meets a person for the first time with them in their underwear and they themselves fully dressed? Being a former diabetic and still vulnerable to low blood sugars, it is also hard for me skipping lunch, so this made it worse and for people seeing their doctor during working hours, it is frustrating to miss more time due to the doctor being late.

It all comes down to respecting the human being who is vulnerable and seeking help. In addition, medicine is a service industry, and in any business, one should treat the customer right.

It is no longer enough to be smart, confident and well-read, doctors need to start being polite, timely and good to their patients – not only out of decency, but low and behold, they may actually learn something from a happy patient – only the patient knows what their symptoms are and only patients can ensure compliance. Putting the patient in the center and providing services to them, including them in the process will improve the overall medical care and outcomes for medical doctors and of course, make it a little more pleasant to go for a visit!

The Happy Diabetic

Why was I so tired—even on vacation?

Back in 1998, I noticed I wasn’t feeling like my energetic self. I was constantly super-tired and sluggish, very thirsty, going to the bathroom every chance I could—something was just not right. When these symptoms persisted even during a relaxing family vacation, I knew it was time to make an appointment with my doc.

That’s when I found out I had type 2 diabetes. I think there was some shock, but more so, I didn’t really understand the condition. My doctor handed me a bunch of pamphlets and introduced me to a dietitian, who rattled off a list of foods that should avoid.

Being a chef, that probably wasn’t the best way to get me motivated! I feared that my days of good eating were over.

I thought I could cure diabetes by eating less cereal!

For the next six months, I struggled with my diagnosis. I didn’t take my medicine like I should, I wasn’t big on checking my blood sugar and I thought I could cure diabetes by eating less carb heavy cereal. Basically, I was in denial.

But everything changed when my wife, Cindy, enrolled me in a three-day crash course on diabetes at a local hospital—an event I refer to as my “diabetic spiritual awakening.” From that moment, I knew it was time to take some ownership and get on it.

Accepting my diabetes made all the difference

By networking with dietitians specializing in diabetes, I discovered a new method of cooking—better yet, as I worked through my ups and downs, I came to realize that the selection of foods I could eat was vast and included many of my favorites. This motivated me to create delicious diabetes-friendly dishes that were also easy to prepare.

I soon found out I wasn’t the only one hungry for tasty low-sugar, low-carb, diabetic friendly foods. After doing a demo at a women’s health and wellness conference, I was swamped with questions. As I returned to my booth there were about 50 people huddled around who wanted to buy my cookbook. And I thought to myself, A cookbook…now that’s a good idea!

That’s what leads me to where I am today. Sharing what I’ve learned with all people living with diabetes. Helping them turn ordinary ingredients into something extraordinary.

 

Chef Robert Lewis is The Happy Diabetic

http://www.happydiabetic.com/

Chef Robert graduated from the Prestigious Culinary Institute of America in 1976. In 1998 he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Thus began his motivation to create great tasting dishes that are easy to prepare.

Chef Robert is a nationally recognized author, public speaker and spokesperson for all people affected with diabetes. He travels the country speaking about the benefits of healthy eating not only for people affected with diabetes, but also for anyone who would like to eat and live a healthy lifestyle.

Robert has collaborated with Lee Iacocca. He has worked with Al Roker, Ben Vereen, Richard Simmons, Ann Curry, Indy car racer Charlie Kimble, The Amazing Race Winner Nat Strand and many others! Chef Robert has spoken in hospitals and health fairs in all across the planet.

With Roberts’ focus on healthy cuisine, he is considered a pro when it comes to food preparation and nutrition. Robert is a frequent guest on TV and radio.  He has appeared on ESPN’s Cold Pizza. Robert is the author of 3 best selling cookbooks. Chef Robert has also been featured in Diabetes Health Monitor, Diabetes Health magazine, The Radish and Diabetic Living Magazine.

2015 Favourite Five

Melbourne’s mercury is currently set at 39 degrees celsius and there are no shortage of reminders that 2016 is only hours away. 2015 has been a whirlwind of a year. Challenges, blood, sweat and tears littered the way of achieving milestones. Right now, I’m breathing a massive breath of relief for surviving another year and feeling super proud of all that I have accomplished in 2015. Here are my 2015 favourite five.

  1. Passing my PhD confirmation.
    • A huge milestone for me in my PhD journey – being “confirmed” means that my project is on track and supported by my university and school. The process included submitting a detailed research plan and presenting my project to a panel of internal and external researchers who have expertise in my research topic.
    • > Read about how I look after my mental health here.
  2. Travelling to Brussels, Vancouver and Adelaide for diabetes.
    • My first European and Canadian trip! I’ve never really considered myself bitten by the travel bug. Of course I want to see the world and I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to do this now while championing for diabetes whether it be through research or the IDF Young Leaders Programme.
    • > Read about my reflections from my Brussels trip here.
  3. CGM.
    • Diabetes technology is ever evolving but is still out of reach for many due to cost. The convenience and peace of mind of being able to see trends in my sugars is a luxury I am grateful for.
    • > Read about my experiences of wearing a sensor on my arm here.
  4. Continuing to keep active.
    • Exercise or going to the gym is something I go through phrases off. Keeping it a constant throughout the year has been a struggle. Funnily enough my Fitbit has been a key motivator is getting my butt in gear.
    • > Read about how somedays a sleep in trumps gym here.
  5. Being elected as president-elect of the IDF YLD Programme.
    • I am humbled and honoured to help lead the Young Leader in Diabetes Programme towards bigger and better successes over the next few years. In Vancouver, every Young Leader I met and spoke to was filled with such intense passion to help others, it’s now up to us as executive and regional council to turn their projects into successes.
    • > Read my Thank You post to all the incredible Young Leaders here.

Here’s to a productive 2016 with new experiences, friendships, challenges and milestones. 2016, I’m ready for you!

The Power of Education

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From childhood I have always had a strong interest in a healthy lifestyle, particularly what we put into and how we treat our bodies as a society. Perhaps some of this interest is merely innate, but much of it I am certain is a product of both how and what I was taught.  I am a firm believer that what we have learned, no matter how or where we have learned it, (i.e. from life experience, school, or through example) shapes our existence and plays a huge role in the decisions we make and the lifestyles we chose. The ability to create change through education fascinates me. I believe education is one of, if not the key element in prevention of chronic disease. I am constantly amazed by the number of people that come into the ER with complications that could have been so easily avoided had they simply had a better understanding of how to properly manage their disease or where to obtain resources in order to do so.

People frequently ask me why I chose a career path in the very specific field of diabetes management and education.  While there are countless reasons, many pertaining specifically to the epidemic of diabetes within our country, the pressing need for better education surrounding disease management in general remains at the top of my list.  Chronic disease management requires much more teaching than can be adequately provided in a short ER stay, doctors visit or even a hospital admission. I have experienced on a regular basis the dire need for more extensive, individualized education and have come to understand the need for continuous follow up and education is equally as necessary. In addition to my own experiences in the field of nursing, I was also blessed with tremendous examples in the people in my life who showed me through their career choices and way of living the essence of proper education and just how powerful knowledge really can be, especially when it comes to quality of life.

I had the privilege of watching my mother (also a nurse) and my grandmother (a teacher by trade) caring for my great grandmother living with quite a number of chronic diseases.  I watched their meticulous attempts to manage my very traditional, very italian great grandmother’s type two diabetes, congestive heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. This was really the first time I was able to value the extent to which education and individualized care is crucial for prevention of life altering and fatal complications. To this day they will tell you that at times it was not easy, especially when it came to explaining the urgency of placing health over traditional italian customs, but because of their persistent teaching and care, I truly believe my great grandmother was able to have the happiest most abundant life in her last years with us.

I had another powerful role model in my father, a behavior analyst serving children with autism and their families. Through his work I have seen the impeccable ability of the human brain to transform and learn.  I have seen that even behaviors associated with autism (a disorder of unknown origin and pathophysiology) can be greatly improved and even eliminated through perseverance and teaching.  It has been heart-warming to say the least, to witness the drastic improvement in quality of life these children and their families experience from being taught new skills.

I have been able to see the long-term impact of effective teaching as I watched the special caregivers in my life help others achieve healthier happier lives through education. I personally see on a regular basis the dangerous outcomes of patients poorly educated on how to manage chronic disease.  It has been my experience that most patients truly want to do what is best for themselves and for their families. Proper teaching, if nothing else gives us a chance. It gives us the gift of choice to maintain our health to the best of our ability. When it comes to chronic disease management and prevention, the saying “knowledge is power” is true on such a profound level as it enables the ability to achieve the highest quality of life, happiness and health possible for us all. 

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