Prince Harry’s Mental Health Series Is an ‘Important Duty’ — But ‘Another Blow for the Royal Family’

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Prince Harry wearing a blue blazer and white shirt while staring away from the camera

By Simon Perry and Stephanie Petit, People

Prince Harry is opening up about his mental health like never before.

Harry, 36, appeared in the Apple TV+ five-part docuseries called The Me You Can’t See that he co-created with Oprah Winfrey, where he openly talks about his upbringing in the royal family, how he takes after his late mother Princess Diana, how he’s changed as a person since becoming a father with wife Meghan Markle and how much he’s grown stronger mentally after years of therapy.

“The world is a better place for what Harry has done,” royal historian Robert Lacey tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “But this is another blow for the British crown and royal family.”

British journalist and mental health advocate Bryony Gordon adds that Harry is undertaking “an important form of duty” by breaking the shame barrier around mental illness.

“This is a man who, at the age of 12, was sent out to walk behind his mother’s coffin and console the masses outside Kensington Palace,” she says. “I just don’t understand why we’re now angry with him that that might have affected him.”

In the docuseries, Prince Harry says his father, Prince Charles, refused to question the hardships of royal life.

“My father used to say to me when I was younger, ‘Well, it was like that for me, so it’s going to be like that for you,'” Harry said in the mental health series. “That doesn’t make sense — just because you suffered, that doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer, in fact quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever negative experiences that you had, you can make it right for your kids.”

“Isn’t this all about breaking the cycle?’ he asked. “Isn’t this all about making sure that history doesn’t repeat itself?”

Click here to read the full article on People.

The value of integrating disability and health plans

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Choosing a short-term disability plan that’s integrated with the employer’s medical plan can help improve an employee’s health when they experience a disability and get back to work as quickly and safely as possible.

By Scott Towers, Benefits Pro

Over the last year, the pandemic has produced several learnings and compelled us to pause and think about our wellbeing in its entirety. For employers, they can play a key role in supporting employees’ overall wellbeing, which goes beyond benefits to support mental and physical health, but also benefits that help preserve their financial health. Disability insurance is one of the surest ways for employers to protect employees against lost income, yet availability to this benefit remains limited. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in March 2020 that only 40% of American workers had access to short-term disability while 35% had access to long-term disability.

Proper preparation and implementation of disability benefits on the employers’ part can ensure employees are fully supported should they experience a disabling condition. Disability plans can include features to help patients recover as quickly as possible and by integrating these benefits with your medical plan can further improve outcomes for both employees and employers.

Let’s discuss the different options available to employers, the importance of a comprehensive disability benefits package, why integrating disability benefits with the medical plan should be considered, and how employers can promote disability benefits to let employees know they’re valued and protected.

What options are available to employers?
The options available to employers can be broken down into two categories: short-term and long-term disability benefits. Short-term disability benefits aid employees for a short period of time – whether it’s a few weeks or a few months – by replacing a percentage of income when an employee is unable to work due to a qualifying disability. Long-term disability benefits differ in that benefits can be paid for an extended period, whether that be many months, years or even up until an employee reaches retirement age.

A benefits program that includes both short and long-term benefits ensures employees have the complete financial protection they need, but not all employers are able to provide both benefits due to their budget. When offering both is not feasible, it is critical to, at the very minimum, explore short-term disability options. Short-term disability will be needed by many U.S. workers at some point in their career, especially considering a reported 25% of today’s 20-year-olds are expected to miss work for at least a year as a result of a disabling condition.

Cost becomes a critical component when employers consider the addition of new benefits to their health, vision, and dental plans. Employers can choose to cover the full cost of a disability plan’s premium, cover part of the premium with employees paying the remainder of the premium, or they can provide a voluntary plan where employees pay the full premium on a payroll deduction basis. Disability plans can be set up with the employee’s premium paid on a pre-taxed basis, which can help reduce employee’s tax liability.

The importance of a comprehensive disability benefits package
When looking into a disability package, it’s important to understand the leading causes of qualifying disabling conditions. Some of the most common claims include pregnancy, mental health, and chronic illness, all of which will impact most of the workforce at some point throughout their career.

Click here to read the full article on Benefits Pro.

Teletherapy Aimed to Make Mental Health Care More Inclusive. The Data Show a Different Story

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cable wire illustration shaped like a brain to symbol Teletherapy

BY JAMIE DUCHARME , TIME

For years, teletherapy has been pitched as the next frontier in mental-health care. Unlike medical disciplines requiring a more hands-on approach—say, physical therapy or surgery—talk therapy has long seemed a natural and effective fit for telehealth. And by taking appointments off the therapist’s couch and into patients’ homes via their devices, advocates argued, telehealth could make counseling more accessible and convenient for everyone, with particular benefits for those who lived in health care deserts or who couldn’t regularly drive back and forth to see a clinician. The hope was that virtual therapy could help democratize a system that allowed almost 20% of white Americans to receive mental-health care in 2019, but fewer than 10% of people identifying as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian or Pacific Islander.

Then, of course, the pandemic hit, sending the U.S. health care system into a panic and shuttering clinics and private practices nationwide. Telehealth, once psychiatry’s up-and-comer, was suddenly its lifeline. With impressive speed, a system built around face-to-face visits shifted almost exclusively online. By May 2020, 85% of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) surveyed clinician members said they were conducting the majority of their sessions virtually, up from just 2% prior to the pandemic. It was the perfect pressure test for the promise of virtual mental-health care. If there was ever a time for teletherapy to shine, it was during the pandemic.

But the data aren’t so shiny. Telehealth has indisputably improved mental-health care access—but not to such an extent that it delivers on promises of revolutionizing the mental-health system. The same problems that kept many people—particularly those who are lower-income or of color—from seeking care before the pandemic still exist, even with the expansion of telehealth. As a result, mental-health usage in the U.S. hasn’t changed as drastically as many advocates would have liked.

In a series of TIME/Harris Poll national surveys conducted this winter and spring, about half of respondents reported using telehealth since the pandemic began, compared with about 25% who said they had beforehand.

Click here to read the full article on TIME.

Howie Mandel Opens Up About His ‘Painful’ Struggle with Anxiety and OCD

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Howie Mandel on stage smiling away from the camera

By Aili Nahas, People

Howie Mandel has been living with severe anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder for nearly his entire life, but for America’s Got Talent judge, every day is still a struggle. “I’m living in a nightmare,” says Mandel, 65, who first exhibited symptoms of his OCD – repetitive and intrusive thoughts and fixations, often brought on by his debilitating fear of germs – as a child. “I try to anchor myself. I have a beautiful family and I love what I do. But at the same time, I can fall into a dark depression I can’t get out of,” he tells PEOPLE for one of this week’s cover stories. Wed to wife Terry since 1980, Mandel, who is dad to son Alex, 31, and daughters Riley, 28, and Jackie, 36 (who also suffers from anxiety and OCD), says the pandemic was especially triggering for his mental health.

“There isn’t a waking moment of my life when ‘we could die’ doesn’t come into my psyche,” he says. “But the solace I would get would be the fact that everybody around me was okay. It’s good to latch onto okay. But [during the pandemic] the whole world was not okay. And it was absolute hell.” Diagnosed in his 40s, Mandel didn’t open up about his conditions until 2006, and admits he grappled with the decision to do so. “My first thought was that I’ve embarrassed my family,” he recalls. “Then I thought, ‘Nobody is going to hire somebody who isn’t stable.’ Those were my fears.”

Mandel says he’s often used humor to get through the toughest moments. “My coping skill is finding the funny,” he says. “If I’m not laughing, then I’m crying. And I still haven’t been that open about how dark and ugly it really gets.” The comic, who got his TV start on the medical drama St. Elsewhere in 1982, says that his innate ability to find light amidst darkness has been life-changing. “Comedy saved me in a way,” says Mandel. “I’m most comfortable onstage. And when I don’t have anything to do, I turn inward – and that’s not good.” Today, Mandel, who says he still deals with bouts of extreme depression, acknowledges that the public might not understand the depths of his condition.

Click here to read the full article on People.

FDA Approves Device To Help Detect Autism

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FDA sign in front of building

By Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop

Federal regulators authorized a first-of-its-kind device to help primary care doctors determine whether or not a child has autism, potentially allowing kids to be diagnosed far sooner by avoiding lengthy waits for specialists.

The Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to market the Cognoa ASD Diagnosis Aid this month, which will be branded Canvas Dx.

The machine learning-based software uses an algorithm to analyze data submitted by parents and health care providers in order to return a “positive for ASD” or “negative for ASD” response for a child.

To use the device, parents and caregivers answer questions about behavior and submit videos of the child through a mobile app while the health care provider answers questions through a special portal. The videos are reviewed by certified specialists and the algorithm makes a determination so long as there is sufficient information provided.

It is the first device authorized by the FDA to help primary care physicians diagnose autism, according to Cognoa, which makes the product.

Since autism symptoms vary, the condition can be difficult to diagnose, the FDA said. As a result, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the median age for autism diagnosis is older than 4 even though the developmental disability can be reliably detected by age 2. Part of the problem is that families often encounter long waits in order to see a clinician skilled in evaluating children for autism.

The Cognoa aid is intended to help solve that problem by giving primary care physicians with less specialized training the tools to make a diagnosis themselves. That can happen with the device within a few weeks, the company said, as opposed to taking months or years, allowing children who are on the spectrum to start early intervention sooner.

“Autism spectrum disorder can delay a child’s physical, cognitive and social development, including motor skill development, learning, communication and interacting with others. The earlier ASD can be diagnosed, the more quickly intervention strategies and appropriate therapies can begin,” said Dr. Jeff Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Today’s marketing authorization provides a new tool for helping diagnose children with ASD.”

In a study of the Cognoa ASD Diagnosis Aid that involved 425 children ages 18 months to 5 years, the device returned a result for about a third of the kids. Of those who were “positive for ASD,” a panel of clinical experts found that 81% were on the spectrum. The clinical panel agreed with the aid’s findings in 98% of the children who got a “negative for ASD” result.

The FDA has approved the device for use with children ages 18 months through 5 years who are considered to be at risk of developmental delay due to concerns raised by their parent, caregiver or health care provider. It is not meant to be a stand-alone diagnostic device, but should be used in addition to the traditional diagnostic process, regulators said.

Cognoa indicated that it expects to start making Canvas Dx available later this year.

Click here to read the full article on Disability Scoop.

Concerned that returning to work will impact your mental health? Here’s how to set boundaries

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mental health can impact work. Man sitting in front of computer working

By Cory Stieg, Make It

It’s no surprise that mental health has taken a hit during the Covid pandemic. A December survey from the U.S. Census Bureau found that 42% of U.S. adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 11% in previous years. But there are aspects of pandemic life — working remotely, staying home and opting out of social situations, for instance — that have made life and managing their mental health easier for some.

While many are struggling to balance childcare or feeling overwhelmed by isolation, others prefer the flexibility of remote work and telemedicine, and are grateful not to have to participate in social functions. If you are at all dreading going back to “normal life,” here are ways to deal, according to experts.

It’s normal to feel scared, but changes are healthy
In periods of stress — whether that’s a pandemic, economic turmoil or racial unrest — we make adjustments to manage the stressors that are within our control, David Rosmarin, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Center for Anxiety tells CNBC Make It. In the case of the pandemic, for example, many people started working from home and streamlined social interactions to avoid coming into contact with the virus.

“That’s a good, healthy process that we’ve all made those adaptations,” Rosmarin says. Over the past year, we have become very comfortable with our “new normal,” and might feel excessive fear or anxiety about returning to how things were before.

Eventually, some aspects of life will return to how it was before the pandemic, and these temporary solutions may not serve us anymore. “If you continue to use them, they actually get in the way of mental health, and could become problematic,” he says.

Recognize your anxiety
Anxiety is a condition of feeling “full of dread,” Margaret Wehrenberg, psychologist and author of “Pandemic Anxiety: Fear, Stress, and Loss in Traumatic Times,” tells CNBC Make it.

In order to alleviate the feelings of dread, people with anxiety often spend “an excessive amount of time scanning their world for a problem and trying to solve it,” Wehrenberg says. This can lead people to attach their worries to something that doesn’t necessarily warrant it or isn’t based in reality.

“Anxiety is a condition that looks for content,” she says.

Of course, the pandemic has given us ample reason to worry about our safety. But identifying moments when you feel symptoms of anxiety (e.g. restlessness, fatigue, irritability, worry or trouble sleeping) and labeling it as such can help you feel in control of what happens next.

Click here to read the full article on Make It.

‘The Incredible Hulk’ Lou Ferrigno hears with a cochlear implant

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Lou Ferrigno hears with a cochlear implant

By Yahoo! Finance

During May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month, Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, is pleased to celebrate Lou Ferrigno, 69, actor, fitness expert and retired bodybuilder, receiving a cochlear implant and addressing his hearing loss. Taking the step to treat his profound sensorineural hearing loss with a cochlear implant will aid Ferrigno’s desire to remain fit and healthy as he ages. ‘The Incredible Hulk’ Lou Ferrigno treats his hearing loss with a cochlear implant.

Most known for his role in the TV series “The Incredible Hulk” and being the youngest, only two-time consecutive and Guinness World RecordTM holder for the IFBB Mr. Universe title, Ferrigno has been impacted by profound hearing loss nearly his whole life. Hearing loss started for him when he was a toddler because of ear infections, and he began wearing hearing aids at 4 years of age. Over the years, Ferrigno tried a number of different types of hearing aids – none helping him achieve the hearing he needed. In February 2021, Ferrigno underwent surgery for his cochlear implant, the CochlearTM Nucleus® Profile™ Plus Implant. His new hearing system was successfully turned on in March 2021. Ferrigno now hears the world with his Cochlear Kanso® 2 Sound Processor, the first off-the-ear cochlear implant sound processor with direct streaming from both Apple® and Android™ devices.*

“I worked very hard to speak and hear with hearing aids for so long, but I finally learned that with my profound hearing loss, the best hearing aid in the world was not going to give me the clarity in speech I needed at my level of loss,” said Ferrigno. “My cochlear implant has, so quickly, taken me to a new level of hearing. It’s like I’m reliving my life again.”

“I can hear S’s. I’ve not been able to hear consonants clearly for so long, maybe ever. I have better diction and speech clarity already. Now, I don’t have to try so hard to hear,” Ferrigno continues.

Ferrigno describes the joy of being able to hear his wife, who whispered from 50 feet away in their home, after his implant was turned on. He is surprised by the little, ambient noises he can hear now too, like tapping and ticking of home appliances. And he is very much looking forward to hearing the cries of his new twin grandchildren.

“I heard a lot of misinformation about cochlear implants over the years, but a friend of mine received the device and went from 15 percent word understanding before the implant to 95 percent with the implant,” said Ferrigno. “I’m someone that has had profound hearing loss almost all my life, so if this cochlear implant is working for me already, it can give other people hope too. I wish I would have entertained a cochlear implant sooner. There is no shame in hearing loss and getting it treated.”

Ferrigno has been putting practice into his hearing therapy and rehabilitation as well, underscoring that like working out, hearing rehab takes work, practice and patience. He touts his commitment to rehabilitation, including using hearing therapy apps, watching online talks and movies, as being critical to his fast success with his cochlear implant, stating “The more you put into it, the better it is.”

In the United States, one out of three people over the age of 65 and half of people over 75 have disabling hearing loss, but only 5 percent of people who could benefit from a cochlear implant have them.1,2 Research continues to show aging adults with untreated hearing loss can be substantially affected by social isolation and loneliness with impacts to brain health and quality of life.3

Once hearing loss becomes severe to profound, cochlear implants are the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medical solution to treat it effectively. Research shows that moving from a hearing aid to a cochlear implant significantly improves hearing ability in noise, including doubling speech understanding.4 However, many adult cochlear implant candidates are not appropriately diagnosed, referred and treated.5

Adults who currently use hearing aids can try the Cochlear Hearing Aid Check, a free online hearing check tool, to learn if they may benefit from a cochlear implant. The Hearing Aid Check aims to help individuals compare their hearing performance with hearing aids to people with a cochlear implant, and depending on their results, to seek further hearing healthcare advice to treat their hearing loss.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Finance.

Why Nike and its CEO are focusing on mental health

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John Donahoe, CEO of Nike wearing a gray hoodie while seated in an interview

By John Donahoe, Yahoo! News.

John Donahoe is the CEO of Nike. When I was 28 years old, I got some advice that changed my life. It was 1988, and I was a consultant at Bain. These were intense years-long hours, little sleep, lots of travel, constant work, and trying to balance family life with a spouse and two young children. I was glad to be learning as much as I was, but I also remember feeling like I was barely staying afloat.

One day, during a training program for young consultants, a speaker came to impart some wisdom. I was half-listening at first, my mind drifting back to the office, when he asked us a question: How many of us wanted to be world-class at what we did?

Naturally we all raised our hands. The speaker laughed and said, well, that’s the intelligence test.

Then he explained. He said he spent years studying world-class athletes. (I’d always looked up to athletes and my ears perked up at this.) And he said that these top athletes all shared a unique trait: They take care of themselves.

He said for every hour they’re on the playing field, they train for 20 hours. They work out, they sleep well, they eat right. They look inward to learn their own strengths and weaknesses. And importantly, they are not afraid to ask for help — in fact, they view asking for help as a sign of strength.

“Michael Jordan has a bench coach, a personal trainer, a chef, and a mental coach. He wants to get help so he can get better,” the speaker told us. “But you businesspeople don’t take care of yourselves. You think not getting sleep is a badge of honor! And you want to be world-class? You think asking for help is a sign of weakness, not strength. I don’t get it!”

‘I was sacrificing my mental health at the altar of my work’
I was rocked back. My eyes were opened. He was right. Like so many others, I was sacrificing my mental health at the altar of my work, simply because I thought that was the only way.

As my career continued, I took his advice to heart. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some high-impact, challenging jobs over the years. And despite these leadership positions, I have always tried to keep perspective by taking care of myself and by asking for help.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! News.

Oscars nominee ‘Sound of Metal’ puts rare spotlight on deaf culture

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Sound of Metal Actor Riz Ahmed arrives for the world premiere of The Sisters Brothers at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, Canada

By , Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Paul Raci, nominated for an Oscar for playing a drug abuse counselor who has lost his hearing in “Sound of Metal,” said the most common response he receives from deaf people about the film is “how cool you show a bunch of deaf addicts.”

“That sounds a little strange,” Raci said in an interview, “but they’re just happy that you’re showing them in a light that makes them normal, like you and I. They have the same struggles.”

Advocates hope that praise for “Sound of Metal,” one of the best picture contenders at Sunday’s Academy Awards, and other films will lead to more movies featuring people with disabilities.

Hollywood’s under-representation of women, Black people and others has faced scrutiny in recent years. Movie studios and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that awards the Oscars, have taken steps to increase their presence in front of and behind the camera.

Activists have pushed to make those efforts also include people with disabilities of all types.

In the 100 highest-grossing films of 2019, just 2.3% of speaking characters were shown with a disability, according to the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. That percentage, far below the 26% of U.S. adults with a disability, had not budged in five years.

“Hollywood still has a long way to go,” said Lauren Appelbaum, vice president of communications at RespectAbility, a nonprofit group that advocates for people with disabilities.

The only deaf actress to win an Oscar was Marlee Matlin, for 1986’s “Children of a Lesser God.”

This month, Hollywood stars, including Amy Poehler and Naomie Harris, signed a letter urging studios to hire disability officers to push for inclusion on and off screen. The effort was led by a talent agency that represents disabled artists and athletes.

“Sound of Metal” stars Riz Ahmed as Ruben Stone, a drummer who suddenly loses his hearing. Four years into recovery from addiction, Stone goes to a sober-living community for deaf people that is run by Raci’s character, named Joe.

Raci, 73, grew up with deaf parents and said his first language was American Sign Language. Before “Sound of Metal,” he was working as a sign-language interpreter and acting at Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles, which incorporates spoken English and sign language in its productions.

The filmmakers encountered some criticism, including from the National Association of the Deaf, for casting two actors with hearing – Ahmed and Raci – in lead roles instead of deaf actors. Several others in the cast were deaf.

Ahmed has been nominated for best actor for his performance in the film.

Raci said his background in deaf culture helped him play the role, and he hopes “Sound of Metal” will open doors for deaf actors. “There’s plenty of deaf actors, tons of them that are talented, that deserve to work,” he said.

Also in the Oscars race are best documentary contender “Crip Camp,” about the disability rights movement, and short film “Feeling Through” starring deaf and blind actor Robert Tarango.

“People who have never known anything about the deaf-blind community come out of it feeling an actual personal connection,” director Doug Roland said. “That’s the power of cinema.”

RespectAbility connects producers and writers with people with disabilities to inform their portrayals and provides input on scripts. The group has worked with Walt Disney Co, Netflix Inc, NBCUniversal and others.

Appelbaum’s team consulted on a dozen projects in 2019, and 70 in 2020, she said. Some writers sent scripts back multiple times for feedback.

“More and more we can tell that the people we’re working with are asking us not just to check off a box that they had the script reviewed, but because they really want to get it right,” she said.

The increased interest “does give me hope that in the next few years we’re going to see a lot of other really great films,” she added.

Click here to read the full article on Reuters.

Oprah and Prince Harry team up for series on mental health

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Prince Harry speaking with a microphone in front of a yellow background

By Elisha Fieldstadt, CBS News

A documentary series on mental health and emotional well-being co-created by Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, will air on AppleTV+ later this month.

“The Me You Can’t See,” which will feature both celebrities and non-celebrities alongside mental health professionals and experts, will premiere on May 21, Apple announced Monday. Winfrey and Prince Harry will host the conversations “while opening up about their mental health journeys and struggles.” The pair co-created and executive produced the series.

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, sat down with Winfrey for a wide-ranging, explosive interview that aired on CBS in March. He has previously opened up about mental health struggles he faced following the death of his mother Princess Diana in 1997.

The “high-profile guests,” like Lady Gaga and Glenn Close, will be joined by “a wide range of people from across the globe living with the challenges of mental health issues and addressing their emotional well-being,” according to Apple. “The series transcends culture, age, gender, and socioeconomic status to destigmatize a highly misunderstood subject and give hope to viewers who learn that they are not alone.”

“We are born into different lives, brought up in different environments, and as a result are exposed to different experiences. But our shared experience is that we are all human,” Prince Harry said. “The majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss, or grief, which feels — and is — very personal. Yet the last year has shown us that we are all in this together, and my hope is that this series will show there is power in vulnerability, connection in empathy, and strength in honesty.”

Winfrey said that “now more than ever, there is an immediate need to replace the shame surrounding mental health with wisdom, compassion, and honesty. Our series aims to spark that global conversation.”

Also on Monday, Kensington Palace announced that Prince William and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, would mark Mental Health Awareness Week, an initiative in its 21st year, which will run until Sunday.

Click here to read the full article on CBS News.

Billie Eilish’s Tourette Syndrome: Everything The Singer Has Said About Her Disorder Through The Years

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Billie Eilish wearing a burberry visor with long burberry nails and a burberry sweater.

By Samantha Wilson, Hollywood Life

Billie Eilish is an international pop icon, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, and she lives every day with Tourette Syndrome. Tourette’s is a rare nervous system disorder that presents with repetitive and uncontrolled movements (liking blinking or shoulder shrugging) or sounds, called “tics” The disorder starts in childhood; Billie, 19, has stated in the past that she’s had it her “whole life.” Here’s what you need to know about the “Bad Guy” singer’s experience with Tourette Syndrome:

While Billie has spoken openly about her experience with Tourette Syndrome, she hasn’t gone into too much detail. Aside from saying on Instagram that she “grew up” with the disorder (see below), she hasn’t revealed at which age she was diagnosed. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Tourette Syndrome, on average, presents in children between the ages of three and nine.

Billie also hasn’t elaborated on what her tics are, only that “certain things” can increase the intensity or trigger episodes. Fans who made compilations of her tics on YouTube gathered clips of the “No Time To Die” singer shrugging her shoulders, blinking rapidly, and looking upward. She told fans in the Instagram post revealing her diagnosis that she does think the videos are “low-key funny.”

Billie bravely revealed to her fans that she lives with Tourette’s after they started to notice her tics. They even made compilation videos of the 16-year-old, causing her to speak out on Instagram: “I would love to get this straight so everyone can stop acting goofy… I have diagnosed Tourette’s. I’ve never mentioned it on the internet because nobody thinks I’m deadass… as well as the fact that I’ve never wanted people to think of Tourette’s every time they think of me,” Billie wrote in April 2019.

“MY tics are only physical and not super noticeable to others if you’re not really paying attention (believe me, HAVING them is a whole different type of misery),” she continued. “My Tourette’s makes easy things a lot harder. Certain things increase and/or trigger the intensity of the tics. But it’s something I grew up with and am used to. My family and closest friends know it as a part of me. I’ve taught myself techniques to help reduce them when I don’t want to be distracting in certain situations. But again, suppressing them only makes things worse after the moment is over.

“Not gonna go into FULL detail but if you want to know more, I am an open book. Wasn’t planning on talking about this on here maybe ever, but it’s gotten to a point… lol. These compilations y’all been making of my tics are low-key funny even when y’all make fun of them n sh*t. I know you’re all confused so as to what it is, so just to let ya know… it’s Tourette’s.”

Click here to read the full article on Hollywood Life.

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  1. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
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