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Failed marriage hitting your friend hard? Here’s how you can help

It’s a sad statistic, but roughly one in three marriages end in divorce. Consequently, we all know somebody that will have to go through the heartache and hassle of a breakup at some stage. As a good friend, helping your friend during this difficult time is essential.

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It’s a sad statistic, but roughly one in three marriages end in divorce. Consequently, we all know somebody that will have to go through the heartache and hassle of a breakup at some stage. As a good friend, helping your friend during this difficult time is essential.

Divorce hits us all hard, but it can hit some harder than others. It’s particularly important to provide a supportive shoulder to those friends that are struggling. If you haven’t got the firsthand experience of going through the process, you might start to feel a little useless. However, there’s still plenty of things that you can do.

Here are some of the best ways to help your friend through the process and recovery. Make sure that you do. After all, they’d do the same for you if the roles were reversed.

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LET THEM MAINTAIN CONTROL

This point may sound a little counterproductive against everything that’s about to follow. However, you must let your friend stay in the driving seat. There are a lot of things you can do to support them. Ultimately, though, it’s their problem.

Offering advice is fine. But lecturing them isn’t an ideal solution. Your friend is only going to take your suggestions on board if they fit in with their existing views anyway. Essentially, being too active will only lead to frustration. The best thing you can do is listen.

You don’t want to get dragged into a slagging off match about their partner. This is especially true if your respective partners are friends, which is quite possible. Don’t be afraid to offer some support, but realize that they have to make the decisions. Besides, the professionals are better qualified to offer useful tips.

HELP GAIN LEGAL ADVICE

Money isn’t the most important element at a time like this. However, the financial aspects cannot be ignored either. Perhaps more crucially, dragging the divorce process out for longer than necessary can make it harder for your friend to move on. Therefore, helping them fight the inevitable battle should be top of the agenda.

If you have been through a divorce, then try to use those experiences in a positive manner. In truth, though, your input will only have a limited impact. To give your friend the best hope of reaching an agreeable conclusion, they need a representative that specializes in divorce. This is pivotal from a financial perspective but carries even greater importance if children are involved. Sourcing the best attorney has never been easier with the help of www.Lawyers.com. Not only will the right lawyer actively boost your friend’s case, but it should provide a boost in confidence too.

Many elements contribute to a productive divorce. But getting the legal aspects completed in a positive manner is easily one of the most important tasks. It’s in your friend’s best interests that this remains a priority.

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GET OUTSIDE

Going through a divorce is naturally a very sad time for anyone. Subsequently, the suffering party is likely to encounter stages of feeling self-pity. There’s nothing wrong with being down during such a difficult period. But it’s important to remember that life goes on.

Being locked away for weeks is going to help anyone. Your friend will find it hard to acclimatise to life without their former partner, and their home life can suddenly feel very lonely. The best thing you can do is make yourself available. Whether it’s going to watch your favorite sports team or attending events in the local area doesn’t matter. An active lifestyle will benefit your friend greatly.

Essentially, you want to show your friend that they still have plenty to be grateful for while life is still pretty special. Let’s face it; you’ll probably enjoy those additional activities too.

FIGHT RELATED ISSUES

Unfortunately, shutting themselves away from the world is just the start of those potential problems. It’s quite normal for people to act slightly less responsible during the initial stages after the marital breakup. As a friend, you can play an active role in embracing these ideas in a positive manner. But you must not let them go off the rails.

We all react differently to life-changing situations. Divorce can leave a person in a very vulnerable position. And this can leave them open to difficulties with alcohol, drugs, and other issues. Worryingly, they often won’t accept that there is a problem. If you’ve spotted signs that a potentially dangerous situation is arising, you need to act fast. Experts at www.ArcProject.org.uk can help fight back against those troubles.

Whether it’s prevention or recovery, it could be key to keeping your friend in a healthier state throughout this testing part of their life. Divorce is hard enough without bringing additional problems into the equation.

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INVEST IN A BETTER BODY

When you end a casual relationship, the period before feeling ready to date again is often quite short. However, the severity of a divorce means that it could take months (or even years) before your friend is ready to get back on the horse. Ultimately, it’s better to take more time than rush back into the dating game. But that doesn’t mean the divorcee can’t benefit from feeling more attractive.

Mentally, building a better body image will work wonders. The physical benefits of feeling fitter and healthier will allow your friend to enjoy other aspects of their life to the fullest. Quite frankly, that can be hugely influential during this period. Furthermore, the new hobby can keep them active while reducing the risk of the above issues.

Divorce can leave your friend feeling low. But focusing energies in a positive manner is a great way to respond while the end rewards can help them regain their health and happiness. From a selfish perspective, assisting your friend will have positive influences on your body too. What more incentive could you need?

BUILD A NEW HOME

Only one (or maybe neither) of the divorcing couple can keep the marital home. As such, there’s a good chance that your friend will suddenly be without a property. A home is one of the most integral assets in anybody’s life. Helping them find long-term accommodation is arguably the greatest support of all.

In the immediate future, you can offer the guest room or your sofa. On a more permanent basis, you can help them look for permanent accommodation. The divorce also means that they’ll need to start again with certain possessions. Giving them some of your unwanted goods can help them get back on their feet. If items aren’t in the best condition, a little upcycling can work wonders. Visit PopSugar.com for further inspiration. Your friend’s new home will have a unique glow in no time.

A new home will offer new foundations. This can be a key element of trying to draw a line under everything that has gone before. It won’t magically make the pain of a divorce disappear, but it will at least open a new chapter.

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REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES

In those very initial stages, a breakup is likely to encourage feelings of animosity and anger. Long-term, however, it’s important that your friend gains positive closure with the failed marriage. Maintaining those negative feelings will only make it harder for them to trust future partners.

Marriages end every single day, and there’s a whole host of potential reasons. Whether the couple just grew apart, or now hate each other doesn’t matter. The relationship was once filled with love, and your friend should remember that. This doesn’t mean that they have to miss it. Simply that they should appreciate the positive influences that a loving relationship can bring. If kids are involved, holding those feelings of hatred to the other parent is very unhealthy too.

Dwelling on past mistakes can only have negative impacts, and will make it harder to move on. It might not be on the agenda immediately. But, at some point, drawing a positive line under the relationship is key. Otherwise, the fallout of the divorce could plague their progress for years.

CREATE A NEW NORM

Ending a relationship changes a lot, but ending a marriage turns your world upside down completely. While focusing on those essential ideas like finance and a home are the immediate concerns, there are many more features to consider.

In many ways, it’s like starting a new life. As a good friend, you can be a consistent force to make it less daunting. However, you should encourage them to make positive life upgrades. The responsibilities of marriage may have stopped them from finding a new career path, or taking up a new hobby. This is their chance to follow those dreams. After all, building a happier life is surely the best response.

As a good friend, you should be available to offer support. Ultimately, you can’t be there 24/7. Encouraging them to find happiness within themselves is far more productive than playing an overly active role. Encourage them to stand on their own feet again, and your friend will be back to their best in no time.

"If someone asked you about me, about what I do for a living, it's to 'weave words'," says Kiki Tan, who has been a writer "for as long as I care to remember." With this, this one writes about... anything and everything.

Health & Wellness

Sexual minority men who smoke report worse mental health, more frequent substance use

LGBTQ+ people are more likely to smoke than their cisgender and heterosexual peers to cope with an anti-LGBTQ+ society, inadequate health care access and decades of targeted tobacco marketing. Those social stressors drive the health disparities they face, which are compounded by a lack of LGBTQ-affirming healthcare providers, research shows.

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Cigarette smoking is associated with frequent substance use and poor behavioral and physical health in sexual and gender minority populations, according to Rutgers researchers.

The study, published in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine, examined tobacco use by sexual minority men and transgender women to better understand the relationships between smoking, substance use and mental, psychosocial and general health.

The researchers, who are part of the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies, surveyed 665 racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sexual minority men and transgender women, 70 percent of whom reported smoking cigarettes.

They found that smoking was associated with participants’ race/ethnicity, marijuana and alcohol use and mental health. Current smokers were more likely to be white and reported more days of marijuana use in the past month. The study also found that current smoking was associated with more severe anxiety symptoms and more frequent alcohol use.

“Evidence also tells us that smoking is associated with worse mental health and increased substance use, but we don’t know how these conditions are related to each other, exacerbating and mutually reinforcing their effects,” said Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health and the study’s senior author.

LGBTQ+ people are more likely to smoke than their cisgender and heterosexual peers to cope with an anti-LGBTQ+ society, inadequate health care access and decades of targeted tobacco marketing. Those social stressors drive the health disparities they face, which are compounded by a lack of LGBTQ-affirming healthcare providers, research shows.

“Our findings underscore the importance of holistic approaches to tobacco treatment that account for psychosocial drivers of substance use and that address the complex relationships between mental health and use of substances like alcohol, tobacco and marijuana,” said Caleb LoSchiavo, a doctoral student at the Rutgers School of Public Health and the study’s first author.

The study recommends further research examining the social determinants of disparities in substance use among marginalized populations and how interpersonal and systemic stressors contribute to poorer physical and mental health for minority populations.

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Technology

Why you should switch to IPTV

If you want to cut your bills in half, or more than in half, you need to switch to IPTV. For a fraction of the price of cable, you can access the same channels using your WiFi connection – the same as you would when watching on your computer.

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Your TV is an important part of your life – even if you wouldn’t like to admit it. More and more, we  use our TVs to watch movies, shows, news and even play video games.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, with movie theaters closed, we all snuggled down and watched Netflix to pass the time in quarantine. It’s pretty difficult to imagine our lives without TV. The downside, however, is that we spend an increasing amount on TV per month – with subscriptions, rentals and cable, it gets pretty pricey.

What Is IPTV?

IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television and is a service which uses the internet, rather than satellite or cable, to access TV. IPTV is streamed through the Internet, but don’t be fooled, it does not just include TV which is usually online like Amazon Prime. IPTV includes all TV channels which you would be accessing through cable or satellite – it is simply a different way of accessing the same things. IPTV is accessible through WiFi and can be used by anyone with a strong broadband connection.

Why Choose IPTV?

IPTV has basically no cons – it’s all pros. This service is fast, simple, and crucially, cost-effective.

  • The Pricing

If you want to cut your bills in half, or more than in half, you need to switch to IPTV. For a fraction of the price of cable, you can access the same channels using your WiFi connection – the same as you would when watching on your computer. The pricing of IPTV is unparalleled next to the traditional modes of TV watching. 

  • The Convenience and Reliability

With a good WiFi provider,  you are all set. It really is as simple as that. Instead of paying for high speed internet and cable television, you can combine the two. Plus, there will be barely any glitching. It is smooth, simple and highly convenient.

  • The Expansive Channel Selection Perfect For Families

Unlike with cable, IPTV has thousands of channels available so it is perfect for the whole family. If you want a great selection of kids shows, adult series and movies, this is the perfect package.

How To Switch To IPTV

If you want to make the switch to IPTV, you need to notify your cable provider once you find the right IPTV package for you. You can shop for IPTV packages on comparison sites and find the right selection for you.

In addition, it’s important to make sure you have the Best Device for IPTV which can stream it in high definition. Also, you need to ensure your WiFi is high speed, to avoid any buffering when your IPTV is installed!

The decision has never been easier – switch to IPTV today and find an amazing selection of channels for the lowest price ever.

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Health & Wellness

Love hormone also forms important link between stress and digestive problems

Oxytocin, an anti-stress hormone, is released from the hypothalamus in the brain which acts to counteract the effects of stress. For a long time, the actions of oxytocin were believed to occur due to its release into the blood with only minor effects on the nerves within the brain that regulate gastrointestinal functions.

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New research published in The Journal of Physiology shows that oxytocin, known as the love hormone, plays an important role in stress’ disruption of digestion such as bloating, discomfort, nausea and diarrhea.  

Stress disrupts gastrointestinal functions and causes a delay in gastric emptying (how quickly food leaves the stomach). This delay in gastric emptying causes bloating, discomfort, and nausea and accelerates colon transit, which causes diarrhea.  

Oxytocin, an anti-stress hormone, is released from the hypothalamus in the brain which acts to counteract the effects of stress. For a long time, the actions of oxytocin were believed to occur due to its release into the blood with only minor effects on the nerves within the brain that regulate gastrointestinal functions.  

The study used new ways to manipulate the neurons and nerves (neurocircuits) that oxytocin released from the hypothalamus acts upon and measured the effects on the response of gastric emptying to stress. They have shown that, contrary to previous assumptions, these oxytocin circuits play a major role in the response of the stomach to stress.  

Activation of these oxytocin circuits reversed the delay in gastric emptying that occurs normally in response to stress, by increasing muscle contractions (motility) of the stomach, while inhibition of these neurocircuits prevented adaptation to stress.  

The new research, conducted at Penn State University- College of Medicine and was sponsored by a grant from the National Institute of Health, USA, employed cutting-edge tools that allow selective manipulation of the circuits that receive hypothalamic oxytocin inputs together with simultaneous measurements of gastric emptying and motility in response to stress.  

The authors used a rat model of different types of stress – acute stress, appropriate adaptation to stress, and inappropriate adaptation to stress. The authors infected the neurons controlling the oxytocin nerves and neurocircuits with novel viruses that allowed them to be activated or inhibited and measured muscle activity in the stomach, as well as gastric emptying (the time for food to leave the stomach).  

The researchers have shown that these oxytocin neural circuits play a major role in the gastric response to stress loads. Indeed, their activation reversed the delayed gastric emptying observed following acute or chronic responses to stress, thus increasing both gastric tone and motility. Conversely, inhibition of these neurocircuits prevented adaptation to stress thus delaying gastric emptying and decreasing gastric tone.   

These data indicate that oxytocin influences directly the neural pathways involved in the stress response and plays a major role in the gastric response to stressors. ​ 

The ability to respond appropriately to stress is important for normal physiology functions. Inappropriate responses to stress, or the inability to adapt to stress, triggers and worsens the symptoms of many gastrointestinal disorders including delayed gastric emptying and accelerated colon transit.  

Previous studies have shown that the nerves and neurocircuits that regulate the function of gastric muscle and emptying respond to stress by changing their activity and responses.  

In order to identify targets for more effective treatments of disordered gastric responses to stress, it is important to first understand how stress normally affects the functions of the stomach. Their study provided new information about the role that oxytocin plays in controlling these nerves and circuits during stress and may identify new targets for drug development. 

Commenting on the study R Alberto Travagli said: “Women are more vulnerable to stress and stress-related pathologies, such as anxiety and depression, and report a higher prevalence in gastrointestinal disorders. Our previous studies showed that vagal neural circuits are organized differently in males versus females. We are now finalizing a series of studies that investigate the role and the mechanisms through which oxytocin modulates gastric functions in stressed females. This will help to develop targeted therapies to provide relief for women with gastrointestinal disorders.”

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Lifestyle & Culture

Bringing your employer to rights over workplace health and safety

As LGBTQIA people often find barriers to gainful employment and legal recourse, they will find workplace conditions even more unsafe than the average person. However, legal protections are changing, and workers can now bring their rights against their employers.

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Workplaces in the Philippines are often not safe to work in. A study conducted in 2016 by the British Medical Journal found that workplace injury was prevalent nationally in the Philippines, rather than just being outlying incidents and errors on a small scale.

As LGBTQIA people often find barriers to gainful employment and legal recourse, they will find workplace conditions even more unsafe than the average person. However, legal protections are changing, and workers can now bring their rights against their employers.

How the law has changed

A big turning point in workplace health and safety protections came up in 2018, and is now starting to be implemented. As highlighted by the WHO, the Occupational Safety And Health Standards Act brings with it a raft of protections to help the workplace be far safer. What comes hand in hand with this is an enriched legal environment.

American legal experts JJS Justice note that government protections are only as good as their enforcement, and it’s the job of national attorneys to ensure people are well represented. Increasingly, this is becoming a reality for Filipinos – even for the historically under-represented LGBTQIA community.

Improved legal environment

Legal representation is slowly becoming a good news story for LGBTQIA people in the Philippines. 2017 saw the meteoric rise of Geraldine Roman, and her trendsetting has seen a far greater level of protection afforded, legally speaking, to those who could not access legal help due to societal pressure.

Legal advocates and help are starting to take the issues presented by LGBTQIA people in the Philippines seriously, even if the government and administration do not. International trends are starting to indicate that the country is taking this, and workplace protections, seriously.

International recognition

It can sometimes be a good yardstick as to the quality of a country’s legal protections to see how the international community perceive them. The Philippines recently received the Safe Travels stamp from a major international tourism body in recognition of improved safety standards all over the country. With international bodies likely to only recognize international levels of good work being done, this is encouraging in the overall push for better workplace standards.

Keeping this push going is important to improving working lives for everyone. This includes LGBTQIA people, who have historically faced discrimination in employment. As one workplace improves, so do all – and that’s a good thing.

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Health & Wellness

Notable percentage of trans men who have sex with men never got tested for HIV, bacterial and viral STIs

When considering screening for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), transgender men who have sex with men (TMSM) represent an understudied population. A study found that a notable percentage of TMSM had never tested for HIV and bacterial and viral STIs.

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When considering screening for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), transgender men who have sex with men (TMSM) represent an understudied population. A study found that a notable percentage of TMSM had never tested for HIV and bacterial and viral STIs.

In “Sociodemographic and behavioural factors associated with testing for HIV and STIs in a US nationwide sample of transgender men who have sex with men” – done by Nadav Antebi-Gruszka, Ali J. Talan, Sari L. Reisner and Jonathon Rendina, and published in BMJ Journals – researchers tried to examine HIV and STI testing prevalence among TMSM along with the factors associated with testing in a diverse sample of TMSM. They used data from a cross-sectional online convenience sample of 192 TMSM, analyzed using multivariable binary logistic regression models to examine the association between sociodemographic and behavioral factors and lifetime testing for HIV, bacterial STIs and viral STIs, as well as past year testing for HIV.

The researchers found that more than two-thirds of TMSM reported lifetime testing for HIV (71.4%), bacterial STIs (66.7%), and viral STIs (70.8%), and 60.9% had received HIV testing in the past year. Engaging in condomless anal sex with a casual partner whose HIV status is different or unknown and having fewer than two casual partners in the past six months were related to lower odds of lifetime HIV, bacterial STI, viral STI and past year HIV testing.

Being younger in age was related to lower probability of testing for HIV, bacterial STIs and viral STIs.

The domiciles of the TMSM also affected their health-seeking behaviors. In this study, those residing in the South of the US were less likely to be tested for HIV and viral STIs in their lifetime, and for HIV in the past year.

Finally, lower odds of lifetime testing for viral STIs was found among TMSM who reported no drug use in the past six months.

According to the researchers, these findings indicate that a notable percentage of TMSM had never tested for HIV and bacterial and viral STIs, though at rates only somewhat lower than among cisgender MSM despite similar patterns of risk behavior.

They recommend for “efforts to increase HIV/STI testing among TMSM, especially among those who engage in condomless anal sex.”

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Health & Wellness

People with anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder show brain similarities, differences

Eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder are more than simply choosing to eat or not eat or not liking how you look. These are brain abnormalities, and how we treat those brain abnormalities could be with psychotherapy, or psychiatric medications, but brain changes need to happen in order to address these disorders.

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A new UCLA study shows partially overlapping patterns of brain function in people with anorexia nervosa and those with body dysmorphic disorder, a related psychiatric condition characterized by misperception that particular physical characteristics are defective.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Brain Imaging and Behavior, found that abnormalities in brain function are related to severity of symptoms in both disorders, and may be useful in developing new treatment methods.

The results reinforce the understanding that eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder are more than simply choosing to eat or not eat or not liking how you look. “These are brain abnormalities, and how we treat those brain abnormalities could be with psychotherapy, or psychiatric medications, but brain changes need to happen in order to address these disorders,” says Dr. Wesley Kerr, neurology resident and biostatistics researcher at UCLA.

For the study, the researchers recruited 64 female participants: 20 with anorexia nervosa, 23 with body dysmorphic disorder, and 21 healthy controls. Patients with anorexia nervosa have a distorted body image and an intense fear of gaining weight, leading them to eat very little. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by obsessions with a particular body part or a perceived flaw rather than with weight.

Eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder are more than simply choosing to eat or not eat or not liking how you look.

Participants were shown images of male and female bodies while researchers observed their brain activity via MRI. Three types of images were used: normal photos, “low spatial frequency” (LSF) images, which had details blurred out, and “high spatial frequency” (HSF) images, in which the edges and details were accentuated.

Functional MRI is a brain imaging technique that detects the blood flow within the brain, allowing researchers to see which parts of the brain are active while a person is doing various tasks. It can also be used to understand what brain regions’ activities are in sync with each other; that is, “connected.”

Each of the women performed a “matching” task while inside the MRI scanner. On the top of the screen, the person would see an image of a body, and would have to choose the matching body from two images shown on the bottom of the screen.

While viewing the images that differed from those of healthy individuals, people with anorexia nervosa and those with BDD showed patterns of activity and connectivity in visual and parietal brain networks. These abnormalities in activity were different in BDD and anorexia nervosa, whereas the connectivity abnormalities were largely similar. The more severe the symptoms, the more pronounced the pattern of brain activity and connectivity when the images were viewed, particularly for the LSF images. Further, connectivity and activity abnormalities were associated with how the participants judged the appearance and body weight of the individuals in the photos.

What the researchers saw indicated that while the brains of patients with anorexia nervosa and those with BDD abnormally process images with high, low, or normal levels of detail, the abnormalities for low level of detail, that is “low spatial frequency” images, have the most direct relationships to symptom severity and body perception. The results may help researchers understand the underlying neurobiology that leads to the characteristic body image distortions in both cases.

“This gives us a clearer picture of neurological basis for what is one disorder, what is the other, and what characteristics they share,” said Dr. Jamie Feusner, senior author and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.

A next step for the research will be to see whether, with existing psychotherapy and medication treatments, the brain activity in patients begins to normalize, or else changes in a different way to compensate for underlying abnormalities.

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