Down syndrome : Cast of ‘Born This Way’ Responds to Winning Two Emmys and Making History

The Creative Arts Emmys aired Saturday night on FXX, and for fans of “Born This Way,” the award show did not disappoint.

“Born This Way” was nominated for six Emmys and took home two: Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program and Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program.

The show also marked the first time in history that people with Down syndrome presented at an awards show. Cast members Rachel Osterbach and John Tucker gave out awards in three categories.

Speaking to The Mighty, Rachel Osterbach’s parents, Gary and Laurie Osterback, said, “Born This Way” gives hope and inspiration to parents who have children with Down syndrome. “It encourages inclusion by showing that individuals with Down syndrome have hopes and dreams similar to the ‘typical’ population.”

Rachel, excited about her night, added:

It was a dream come true for me because I got to be a presenter at the Emmys! I love being on the red carpet; I love to pose on the red carpet. I got to meet Derek Hough, one of the greatest moments of my life — I even danced with him! I was so excited that we won two Emmys! I wasn’t upset that we didn’t win for best show, because we won it last year, and it is better to be positive than negative.

“It’s so cool I got to do the Emmys two times, and so special. I love it so much,” Sean McElwee said.

Sean McElwee with show creator holding Emmy

Hiromi Ashmore, Elena’s mother, said “Born This Way” shows how every life is important, adding that the show has “given an opportunity to Elena and I to grow together, especially for Elena to identify herself and gain her confidence.”

Elena added:

It was overwhelming not only to be nominated for the Emmy but also be able to receive an award. That doesn’t happen in everyday’s life to anybody. So nice to meet celebrities and also they recognized us and gave us such positive comments. That made me proud of myself and everybody around me. It was awesome seeing John and Rachel were the presenters for the first time in Emmy’s history that people with Down Syndrome were chosen.


And in John Tucker style, the “Born This Way” star said, “It never hurts to say please, thank you and I’m sorry.”

“Born This Way” has been renewed for a fourth season on A&E.


Worldwide Study Shows , Low-fat diet could kill you

Low-fat diets could raise the risk of early death by almost one quarter, a major study has found.

The Lancet study of 135,000 adults found those who cut back on fats had far shorter lives than those enjoying plenty of butter, cheese and meats.

Researchers said the study was at odds with repeated health advice to cut down on fats.

Those doing so tended to eat far too much stodgy food like bread, pasta and rice, the experts said, while missing out on vital nutrients.

Participants eating the highest levels of carbohydrates – particularly refined sugars found in fizzy drinks and processed meals – faced a 28 per cent higher risk of early death.

The NHS cautions against having too much saturated fat, on the grounds it raises cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.

But the latest research, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, in Barcelona found those with low intake of saturated fat raised chances of early death by 13 per cent compared to those eating plenty.

And consuming high levels of all fats cut mortality by up to 23 per cent.

The Canadian study tracked eating patterns and death rates across 18 countries.

balanced diet
balanced diet
A balanced diet is key, experts said  CREDIT: ALAMY

Researcher Dr Andrew Mente, from McMaster University, said: “Our data suggests that low fat diets put populations at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

“Loosening the restriction on total fat and saturated fat and imposing limits on carbohydrates when high to reduce intake to moderate levels would be optimal.”

He said getting the balance of fats and carbohydrates right was about achieving a “sweet spot” which was best for health – meaning around 35 per cent of calories should come from fats.

Although this is in line with NHS guidance, health officials still warn Brits to cut down on their saturated fat consumption to protect their heart.

Guidance states men should eat no more than 30g daily and women 20g.

Saturated fat is typically found in animal products such as butter, cheese and red meat.

And last year Public Health England suggested increasing the proportion of starchy carbohydrates in the diet.

Lead researcher Dr Mahshid Dehghan, said: “A high carbohydrate diet – greater than 60 per cent of energy – is associated with higher risk of mortality.

“Higher intake of fats, including saturated fats, are associated with lower risk of mortality.”

But diet had little impact on heart death risk, suggesting it had a greater impact on other killers such as cancer, dementia, and respiratory disease.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said it was time “for a complete U-turn” in Britain’s approach to diet, and demonisation of fat.

“The sooner we do that the sooner we reverse the epidemic in obesity and diabetes and the sooner start improving health.”

Professor Jeremy Pearson, of the British Heart Foundation said health officials should re-examine dietary advice, to ensure the public was getting the best message.

“This study suggests we should perhaps pay more attention to the amount of carbohydrate in our diet than we have in the past and we may need to revise the guidelines,” he said.

“What I don’t think people should do is get excited and think ‘I can eat as much saturated fat as I like’”.

Oxford Professor Susan Jebb, the government’s former obesity tsar, said the findings supported UK guidance.

She said: “This is a thumbs-up for UK recommendations which advise up to 35 per cent of energy from fat and an average of 50 per cent of energy from carbohydrate – of which only 5 per cent should be sugar.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England said a high fat diet could lead to weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease.

“We recommend a balanced diet based on starchy carbohydrates, while reducing total fat intake and swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats,” she said.


A Typical 24 Hours With Fibromyalgia

Three years ago, my doctor said the F-word… that’s right, fibromyalgia. I ignored her. But for the last year I have been in constant pain and I find it really hard to focus on anything other than finding pain relief or finding a new treatment that might actually make a difference. 

I haven’t really been writing about the pain. Everyone in my life knows that I have neck pain and headaches. Some people think it’s my back that hurts.

Even though we have all had pain and sore body parts, the fact is that anyone who hasn’t experienced non-stop widespread pain for weeks or months or years really has no idea what this experience has been like. 

I have felt that writing about it would end up being a whiny piece of writing about boo hoo, poor me, I hurt. Or that the intention behind writing it would be to seek sympathy. I also worry that I don’t know how to fully explain my experience in a short and concise way. I worried that it would get boring and repetitive and too long to read. 

I now think it is something that I need to do. I think I need to write about the physical pain and its emotional toll. 

I thought the easiest way to explain my experience would be to go through a typical 24 hours in a day in the life of me. 

It’s 9 p.m. and I’m laying on the couch with my fingers pressing into my neck and the base of my skull, trying to recreate what relieving treatment I have received. Trying to relieve some of the throbbing in my neck and sharp pounding in my head. I’ve somehow convinced myself that I have to stay up until 10. When 10 finally comes, I climb the stairs, get ready for bed, and collapse into what I’m hoping will be the most comfortable place in the house. It takes me several minutes and several attempts to reposition myself. Does my neck feel straight and aligned with my spine? If I move slightly to the right will the stabbing pain in my thigh stop? If I roll over will that relieve some of the pain on that hip? 

Thanks to the magic of sedatives, I fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately, part of my illness is over-activity in my brain. Hello neurons, can you stop firing now please? I don’t reach a state of deep sleep, which is where rest and repair happens. Instead, I drift in and out of a light sleep, never getting adequate rest. I wake up several times and reposition my body trying to find the least painful position. 

Eventually, by about 4 or 5 in the morning, my body has been in bed too long. The pressure of my own body against the mattress is causing pain that I can no longer tolerate. So I get up, go to the bathroom, stretch a bit, and go back to bed for a few hours. My alarm goes off and I hit snooze. And often sleep past the time I had planned to get up. By 8 a.m. I normally can’t be laying down anymore. The pain has built up and my body is screaming at me.

woman climbing using hands and arms

But I know that up will be better. So I pull myself out of bed to begin my day. Every step towards the shower is painful because my body feels like it was beaten with a sledge hammer the day before. 

By the time I get to the kitchen, most of the stiffness is gone. My head is often less painful. And I’m left with that general yucky blech feeling you get when you have the flu. As I am getting ready for work, my body is yelling at me to pay attention to it. I have sharp aches in many different places.

The drive to work has its own challenges. The sharp stabbing in my right thigh makes gas and break hurt. And checking my blind spots before I turn means sending searing pain through my neck into my shoulders. 

When I finally get to work, climb out of the car, and walk into the building, I’m already exhausted and it’s only 8:30 in the morning. 

The work day is a battle between doing what I need to do work-wise and doing what I need to do for my mind and body. 

Throughout the day I take pauses to stretch, to rest, to do deep breathing, to meditate, to hydrate, to find a position that is both reasonable for working and for not making my pain level worse. 

I have to remember to be conscious of the position of my body and tension in my muscles at all times. My head has to be sitting in line with my spine and facing forward. I can’t look up, down, or to the sides for any extended time period or I will suffer greatly later. I have an easel at my desk so that I can write while not bending over. 

By lunch time, the ringing in my ears has gotten louder than comfortable. It feels like there is an earthquake behind my eyes. I still feel like I have the flu. My whole body aches. I’m having muscle spasms in different places. And suddenly it feels like there is too much stimuli. I want it dark and quiet. 

drawing of woman holding her jaw

Suddenly my jaw is aching and I realize I stopped paying attention and I was clenching my teeth trying to ignore the rest of my body. My eyes are burning and itchy again, but now they are watering, too. And I can’t think of what it was I was supposed to be doing. All morning I had been forgetting words or misusing words, mostly because my brain was too busy processing pain signals and being in a constant state of stress response.

Lunch is now over and it’s time to get back to work. Despite having “slept” for 10 hours the night before, I am overcome with a sudden and extreme fatigue attack. My body just shuts down. My eyelids want to close. I yawn and yawn and I’m convinced that I can’t make it to the end of the day. 

If I do manage to find a way to lay down in a dark corner for 15 minutes, my body decides it doesn’t want to cooperate with a rest after all. My legs start to feel weird … At first it feels like some thing is crawling around inside my legs. Up and down from feet to thighs. But then that thing, which I have named the Kremlars, seems to wake up all its friends and the kremlars start racing around inside my legs, wriggling and wiggling and causing so much pain and discomfort that I have to stand up and walk around to try to make the kremlars go back to sleep. 

It’s now the end of the work day and I endure the soreness that driving causes and go home. Now it’s time to “do all the things.” Grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, playing with the kitten, answering texts from people I’m convinced think I’m ignoring them, marking student work, lesson planning, choir practice, drawing, writing, relaxing… And doing all these things while feeling all of that pain I have already said I experience. 

It’s 9 p.m. again. And I’m curled up on the couch with a heating pad, a shiatsu machine, chamomile tea, my “blankie,” my TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine, crying and trying to make a list of the things that I am grateful for: love, friendship, sunshine, art, music, laughter, mojitos, that my kitten sleeps on me, cantaloupe, apples, babies laughing, hugs, really cold water, words, and so much more. 

Despite the aches and pains, despite my memory going wonky, despite my “good days” where the pain is there but tolerable… I think the hardest thing to deal with is not being able to live my life the way I want to. Not being able to do all the things I did before without planning in rest and recovery time. Not being able to do it all in one day. Not being able to go out with friends whenever I want to. Letting people down when I said I would do something. Knowing that this is lifelong. That I have to make big changes to my approach to life. And worrying constantly that I come across as an irresponsible, unreliable, lazy flake who doesn’t follow through with commitments.

drawing of woman pulling stomach up

That’s a typical day for me. I want to end this piece with something positive and inspiring. I want to be the person who people say “she did that in spite of…” but it’s not like that. I don’t have anything positive to say about fibromyalgia. All I can do is take care of myself and try to enjoy the small moments like a Sunday morning with a hot cuppa tea.


When You’re ‘Too Functional’ to Have Your Mental Illness Taken Seriously

I’ve read countless articles, many on The Mighty, about the struggle of having an invisible illness and the way other people judge the “validity” of people’s conditions. I’ve also read about people who aren’t taken seriously when they express their most intimate, dark thoughts to family, professionals and friends.

I’m a psychologist. Not too long ago I was reunited with many other mental health workers (psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers and professors were in attendance.) The event was a presentation of a type of therapy and when the speaker began talking, he asked us how mental illness affects a person. Someone answered a person with a mental illness has difficulties and struggles with certain areas of his life. Another person answered that the mentally ill suffer greatly. And then a third person said mentally ill people don’t function in society. I was waiting for someone to refute this, but instead everyone nodded and the speaker actually agreed and said “very good.”

My heart was beating really fast. It was partly because I didn’t know these people very well and I was struggling a bit with social anxiety. I hadn’t contemplated speaking up. But my heart was also beating fast because I was angry. That statement and the fact it wasn’t even questioned is exactly the reason why “high-functioning” people with mental illnesses are sometimes not taken seriously.

I can be dying inside while going through the motions of the day. It’s not difficult for me to know how others expect me to act. Acting fine is a cognitive process. You can probably mention right now how an emotionally stable or “mentally sane” person is supposed to act. It really is simple. A generally accepted lifestyle is one where a person wakes up every day, looks presentable, takes care of stuff that needs to be taken care of, eats and goes to sleep. This can sometimes be done regardless of how you feel inside. To say it’s difficult is an understatement, but it’s not impossible.

These “high-functioning” people don’t do it because they want to fool others, they do it because they want to produce and be a part of society. They try so hard to beat their illnesses or disorders. They don’t want to rely on others to take care of them.

So when a “high-functioning” person asks for help or admits to himself and to someone else his struggles, it takes a lot of bravery. These people have worked every single day to build a “normal” world for themselves are terrified of admitting mental illness, and when they finally do and are met with rejection, little understanding and no empathy from a mental health worker, it is devastating.

My compromise with my career is very clear to me, but I have to admit I have been blessed (and cursed) to see this because I, myself, struggle with my own disorders.
If you struggle with not being taken seriously, my advice to you is to trust you know yourself so much more than anybody else. Nobody has the right to undermine your difficulties. If they do, it’s their issue. Keep looking for the person who listens to you and takes your feelings into account. Don’t feel demoralized or flawed. I know it’s a tough pill to swallow when you ask for help from a mental health worker who should be able to understand you but doesn’t. Again, this is a flaw in their own understanding of the human mind.

By the way, yes I did speak up. With a bit of a red face I refuted what they all agreed to and told them it’s a terrible mistake to discard the presence of a mental disorder in relation to the functionality of a person. I added functionality is sometimes a symptom, depending on the illness and the person.


MANDATORY CREDIT: Lucinda Ellery/REX ShutterstockEmily Bruce's hair showing bald spots. Bruce has been suffering from Trichotillomania for nine years
Trichotillomania, Oxford, Britain - Oct 2015

Thousands of women suffer in silence from a condition which gives people an overwhelming urge to pull out their hair.

Emily Bruce was just 16 when she began pulling out her brown hair as a coping mechanism for stress. But it was nine years before the single training co-ordinator from Oxford shared the disorder she discovered was Trichotillomania with family and friends.
 (Rex Features via AP Images)

My compulsive hair pulling and skin picking could be solved with a precision medicine approach

resident Obama’s call for the scientific community to embrace a precision medicine revolution gave me hope for some forward motion on two disorders I’ve quietly struggled with since my adolescence: trichotillomania and dermatillomania. Taking a precision medicine approach to these two conditions, which run under the radar of the medical establishment, could answer some longstanding clinical questions and potentially identify the first-ever effective treatments for them.

Trichotillomania, also known as hair-pulling disorder, and its cousin, dermatillomania, or skin-pulling disorder, are grouped together with other related conditions as body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs). These aren’t “bad habits.” Instead they are complex, grooming-related mental illnesses that cause people to inflict damage on their bodies in a way that is difficult to conceal or control.

Body-focused repetitive behaviors are chronic, lifetime conditions that currently have no cure — or even an effective drug treatment option. The long-term remission rate with behavior therapy, the current gold standard, is only 10 to 20 percent.

I began pulling out my hair around age 11 and picking at my skin shortly after that, consistent with reports that these behaviors often emerge during puberty. Before long, I had visible bald patches on my head and scabs on my face, which only worsened the slew of negative emotions I was experiencing as a preteen. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing to myself; neither did my mother, my teachers, or my pediatrician. If it hadn’t been for a sanctimonious boy in my middle-school science class who liked to teach me long words at random, I wouldn’t have known what trichotillomania even was.

Even now, when a thriving community of people can share their stories on outlets like The Mighty, it is still challenging to move past the initial shock and stigma and into more nuanced discussions.

That trichotillomania, dermatillomania, and other body-focused repetitive behaviors such as onychophagia (compulsive nail biting) and rhinotillexomania (compulsive nose picking) are only now beginning to come out of the shadows belies how common they are. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, researchers estimated that 13 percent of U.S. adults engage in a body-focused repetitive behavior. That makes them more common than any other type of mental illness aside from anxiety disorders, which affect about 18 percent of U.S. adults. The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, an organization I volunteer for, uses a more conservative estimate of 4 percent, but even that still encompasses nearly 10 million American adults.

Compared to what we know about other mental illnesses, the knowledge gap is huge when it comes to body-focused repetitive behaviors. Patients often have to teach their own physicians about their condition, as I had the misfortune of experiencing myself.

I quit cognitive-behavioral treatment for my trichotillomania after only two sessions because I was already familiar with several practitioner’s manuals and realized that my therapist was omitting several of the most important therapeutic techniques.

Two years earlier, as a university student, I was disappointed to see body-focused repetitive behaviors limited to a one-sentence footnote in the textbook of my first college-level psychology class. My independent, unverified observations that the texture of my hair affected the severity of my pulling episodes, or that skin picking runs in my maternal line, drove my intellectual curiosity to take action and begin to fill in the research gaps myself.

The same year I quit therapy, I presented preliminary findings from my first research study, a neuropsychological comparison between trichotillomania and obsessive-compulsive disorder, at an annual meeting on these disorders. That I was able to present my own research alongside that of established researchers, and to have them take me seriously and ask thoughtful questions, is testament to how much ground remains to be covered.

The author presenting results of her research at the TLC Foundation’s annual conference in St. Louis in April 2017.MATT RAMEY

One big area of controversy is how body-focused repetitive behaviors are classified in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Up until then, trichotillomania had been considered an impulse-control disorder; dermatillomania wasn’t included at all. The DSM-5 relocated both disorders to the obsessive-compulsive spectrum, but some experts are unsatisfied with either category and believe that these behaviors should have a separate classification.

Given so many large-scale unknowns, body-focused repetitive behavior researchers are embracing Obama’s call to action with the BFRB Precision Medicine Initiative. While precision medicine initiatives for diseases like cancerand amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are being supported by federal funds, the National Institute of Mental Health has said it won’t fund further studies on body-focused repetitive behaviors until it sees demonstrated outcomes for specific genetic or neuropsychological targets.

In keeping with the trend of crowdfunded research, the TLC Foundation has raised nearly $2.8 million to run the BFRB Precision Medicine Initiative, which is being spearheaded by investigators at UCLA, the University of Chicago, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

I haven’t been back to therapy since those two lackluster sessions, and I am far from cured of either trichotillomania or dermatillomania. I’ve pulled out probably half of the hair on my scalp over the past decade, and I still pick at every imperfection I notice on my face, sometimes to the point of bleeding.

But this year, after presenting my second research study, Jon Grant, the chair of the TLC scientific advisory board, congratulated me on a “very well-done, very detailed” study. A compliment like that makes the years of confusion and curiosity worth it, and gives me confidence that with the right focus, there could be so much more exciting research to come.


New ‘Survival Tips’ for Newly Diagnosed With Borderline Personality Disorder

While getting any mental illness diagnosis can feel scary, getting a borderline personality disorder diagnosis (BPD) can be especially daunting. There’s a lot of misinformation and unfair representation of BPD, and it can make you feel like the diagnosis is hopeless. But there is hope for people living with BPD.

It’s important to remember that dialectical behavior therapy, a common way to treat BPD, wasn’t developed until the late 1980s. This means a lot of information about BPD online is outdated, and people living with the disorder need to speak out and redefine what it can mean to have BPD.

For people newly diagnosed, we asked our mental health community to share one “survival tip” they’ve learned on their BPD journey.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Read about BPD — mainly symptoms and articles by others who have BPD. Understanding the disorder and how it affects you can help a lot. Also look into Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT was designed to help those with BPD, suicidal ideation, self harm… or if you can’t get into an actual therapist for it, there are plenty of things online to help you learn skills yourself! It has already helped me greatly in just the three months I’ve been in it.” — Rachel H.

2. “Figure out what BPD is for you. People forget that everything exists on a spectrum, including BPD, and often articles and books portray the “worst” of cases. You are still an individual person, and BPD will present itself in you in its own way. You are still your own person, and you will make it through!” — Brenna B.

3. “Think through all your decisions relationship-wise. I made a lot of quick decisions and lost a lot of good friends. Also, people don’t hate you if they don’t answer right away. They also have lives!” — Gabrielle L.

4. “Don’t be afraid, embrace it and learn from it. After I was diagnosed is when I really started to grow as a person. I knew why my past was the way it was and finally understood my actions.” — Jodie J.

5. “Get a notebook or a sketchbook you can use to keep your mind busy. It helps to redirect your attention and focus on something else. This has been something that has helped me many times.” — Rayelyn N.

6. “Don’t hide your illness. Share it with people you love, and help them understand what BPD is to you because it can be so freeing.” — Christine H.

7. “It’s not your fault. It explains you; it doesn’t define you. You can do anything and be any way you want.” — Lilith G.

8. “Read about BPD, but don’t focus too much on the diagnosis and let it consume you. I really beat myself up about it for a week or so telling myself I was selfish and manipulative, and that’s not true. I’m kind and compassionate. I can be those things at times, so it’s important to be aware,but remember it is the disorder taking ahold of you — not you yourself. You are not a hopeless case, I promise you that! I am living proof!” — Kristen K.

9. “Get your family to learn about borderline personality disorders and ask them to learn about it so they can understand what it is and why you behave/react to things the way you do. My biggest challenge is trying to get my family to understand how the BPD affects me and my behavior.” — Pam M.

10. “Relax. You will be scared, but it’s not the end of the world. Don’t be afraid to open up to your family and friends. Build up a great support system. Everything will be OK. You’re OK.” — Julissa S.

11. “Don’t let it define who you are. It does not control you… You got this. Don’t let the emotional river drown you. Always keep your head above the water.” — Destiny B.


12. “Keep in mind BPD is different for everyone because I don’t have problems with self-appreciation/low self-esteem as some may or may not. I like to say I have all the personalities, but doesn’t everyone express their selves in different ways throughout their life? That’s what it means to be human, and we are all human.” — Philip M.

13. “My ‘survival tip’ goes across the board for all mental illnesses. You are not your illness. Your diagnosis is merely the label for the cluster of symptoms you experience. You are still you, and although it may seem like you don’t exist in your body, you do. If people try and assume you are a terrible person from the label of diagnosis, they are the ones who need help to understand. Prove them wrong, and do what helps you.” — Chloe S.

14. “Find a friend you really trust who isn’t scared of talking about suicide, will check in on you regularly, just listen… and send you reminders that they care, they want you alive and that you matter in their life.” — Jason S.

15. “I learned how to differentiate the state of mind in which I was thinking. Is this rational, is this emotional am I using my wise mind?” — Mackenzie C.

16. “Don’t listen to anyone – even professionals – who tell you there is no recovery from this. There is life after a diagnosis of BPD.” — Rachel L.

17. “Learn as much as you can about it, and also create your own safe space. On a bad day the safe space can save you. If you can, surround yourself with people you know will be there for you.” — Sparkles M.

18. “Find the strength in others who have BPD. It’s hard to understand and cope with, so finding others who have done so makes things easier to handle.” — Christina C.

19. “Read about it on blogs. It makes you feel a thousand times less alone and reminds you the feelings won’t stay forever. It also helps you understand what to expect.” — Aislinn G.

20. “There are two things that have helped me the most when it comes to my BPD. One is a DBT skill called “check the facts” when in distress or experiencing extreme anxiety… take a second to understand what you’re feeling and why. First identify your emotion. Then, see if that emotion is justified by checking the facts surrounding the emotion. (It goes into much further detail), but this skill has helped me enormously when anxious thoughts are involved. Also, hearing others stories about people’s struggles have helped me. Knowing I’m not alone, other people feel this way too! I read a book called “Beyond Borderline: True Stories of Recovery From Borderline Personality Disorder” and it gave me more hope than anything.” — Ilana C.

21. “Writing became my best friend. I could get my thoughts and ideas out of my head for some time. It makes it a little less overwhelming sometimes.” — Marybeth R.

22. “This is just a name to what you’ve been experiencing. You’re still you. You’re still allowed to feel how you do. It’s not wrong. You’re still human.” — Diana A.


Low Carb Donuts Recipe

Yes, low carb donuts are a real thing.  And as you may know that while following a low carb W.O.E. it can be hard to find a great dessert that doesn’t involve cream cheese or other dairy products while being carb-thrifty.

These little gems are very thrifty at less than half a single net carb per mini donut. I used a Wilton’s non-stick mini donut pan.  It worked beautifully.  The recipe made 3 dozen mini donuts.

Low Carb Donuts sounds like a fantasy recipe. With less than half of a single carb in all their scrumptious mini glory they taste fantastic too. Try cake-style or fried.This Low Carb Donuts recipe can be made ala baked cake donut alone. ~OR~

Low Carb Donuts sounds like a fantasy recipe. With less than half of a single carb in all their scrumptious mini glory they taste fantastic too. Try cake-style or fried.They can be fry-finished in a small skillet.

Low Carb Donuts sounds like a fantasy recipe. With less than half of a single carb in all their scrumptious mini glory they taste fantastic too. Try cake-style or fried.I’ll explain:

I found recipe sources online as springboard inspirations (see below).  As I experimented forged a recipe to my own tastes, I realized that I like both baked and fried donuts, but fried seemed not possible as the batter fell apart in the hot oil from lack of gluten, probably. :(.

Low Carb Donuts sounds like a fantasy recipe. With less than half of a single carb in all their scrumptious mini glory they taste fantastic too. Try cake-style or fried.

How I finally succeeded:

I found a recipe at ‘All Day I Dream About Food’  for coconut donuts that suggested frying after baking. (Big, big thank you! It’s a great site!)  You just allow the donuts to bake till set and then put them in hot oil for 30 seconds or so in a small skillet to bring them up to golden brown and give them a lovely fried finish.  (See picture above.)

Low Carb Donuts sounds like a fantasy recipe. With less than half of a single carb in all their scrumptious mini glory they taste fantastic too. Try cake-style or fried.After cooking up the first batch, I remembered an old donut-making trick from eons ago:  You place the warm donuts with 1-2 tablespoons of powdered sweetener (like Swerve) in a paper bag and closing it, gently tilt it back and forth to cover the donuts in sugar.  Then scoop up coated donuts out of the bag onto a straw and deliver to the serving dish:

Low Carb Donuts sounds like a fantasy recipe. With less than half of a single carb in all their scrumptious mini glory they taste fantastic too. Try cake-style or fried.

The smell was so good that once again, I singed my tongue on my first taste.  It was heaven. – Enjoy!  Laura

Get it here. Make it at home:

Low Carb Donuts? Yes Please!

Low Carb Donuts sounds like a fantasy recipe. With less than half of a single carb in all their scrumptious mini glory they taste fantastic too.
 Course Dessert
 Cuisine American
 Prep Time 10 minutes
 Cook Time 40 minutes
 Total Time 50 minutes
 Servings 36 mini donuts
 Calories 33 kcal
 Author Laura Hickman


  • 1/3 cup Coconut Flour
  • 3 tbsp . Swerve swetener
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/8 th (pinch) tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 th tsp (pinch) Glucomannan / Konjac Powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil , melted and cooled
  • 4 large Egg , Whole
  • 1/4 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Coconut oil for frying
  • Powdered swerve for coating (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease mini donut pan.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together coconut flour,swerve sweetener, salt, baking soda, nutmeg (opt).
  4. In separate bowl stir together the eggs, almond milk, cocnut oil and vanilla.
  5. Sprinkle the konjac over the egg mixture and stir to dissolve.
  6. Add the Egg mixture to the coconut flour mixture and stir till batter is smooth and thick.
  7. Add 1 1/2-2 tsps. batter to donut well.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes, if frying. Bake for 10-12 mins for cake donuts. Allow to cool slightly and dump out of pan. If not frying, donuts are ready for powdered sweetener.
  9. Frying instructions:
  10. In small skillet heat about 1/4 inch, oil till hot, but not smoking. Carefully slide prepared donuts into hot oil and allow to cook just till underside is golden 10-30 seconds depending on oil temperature. Then carefully turn over each donut with a fork and repeat. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Coat with powdered sugar, if desired.

Recipe Notes

While I can’t promise complete accuracy, if frying is skipped nutrients are reduced by 13 calories each.

Nutrition per donut:

  • Calorie: 33
  • Carbohydrates: 0.7
  • Protein: 1
  • Fiber: 0.4

Low Carb Donuts sounds like a fantasy recipe. With less than half of a single carb in all their scrumptious mini glory they taste fantastic too. Try cake-style or fried.Oh!  And if you are wondering why I chose ‘Donuts’ over ‘Doughnuts’ — Merriam Webster said I could!


Autistic Teenager kicked out of college After one week after admission error

James Parker said he feels like he’s been “thrown in the bin” after tutors handed his mum a letter on Friday saying they had made an mistake and he should find somewhere else to study.

 James Parker and his mum Emma were handed the heartbreaking letter on Friday

James Parker and his mum Emma were handed the heartbreaking letter on Friday

 James,. 16, pictured after his first day at college last week

James,. 16, pictured after his first day at college last week

The 16-year-old, from Norwich, had been accepted after an interview and started lessons last Monday.

But the letter stated a ‘consultation’ carried out over the summer holidays had ruled the college is ‘unable to provide the support required for James to have a successful year’.

Mum Emma, 40, a full-time carer, said being accepted on a pathways course had been a ‘lifeline’ for her son and the blunder has left his dreams shattered.

The mum-of-two told Sun Online: “My heart is broken for him.

“I’ve never seen him as happy as he was last week. He said it had been the best week of his life and even said ‘mum I could cry happy tears’.

“I arrived at the college on Friday to pick him up and was given the letter. We were both basically told ‘don’t come back’.

“James has been distraught ever since, in floods of tears and just not wanting to face the world.

“He told me he doesn’t want to try at anything ever again now. It could have been the making of him but he’s had it snatched away in the cruellest way possible.

“Mistakes can happen but the whole situation’s been handled terribly and the way it impact’s on James’ live is just horrible to see.

“The way his emotions work he is very vulnerable but he’s been treated as an afterthought. As a parent it gets you so angry – how dare they do this to him?”

James said: “I loved it when I started last week. It felt so natural, like a perfect fit, and I was excited to start my classes.

“Now I feel like I’ve been thrown in the bin.”

 City College Norwich said it made an error allowing James to enrol

City College Norwich said it made an error allowing James to enrol

James had studied at a specialist school for autistic pupils before leaving at the end of Year 11.

City College Norwich is a mainstream college which also caters for students with special educational needs.

The letter from the college reads: “Unfortunately, James has been enrolled in error at City College Norwich. Although an interview took place at the college, the tutor was unaware of a consultation which had taken place prior to the interview.

“Norfolk County Council should have informed you of the outcome of this consultation, which was that the college was unable to provide the support required to James to have a successful year.

“The council should then have worked with you to find a suitable placement for James. Unfortunately, this process did not take place and James was enrolled in error on Monday 4th September.

“We apologise that this error has taken place and we ask you not to send James back to college but would like to wish James all the very best for the future.”

A City College Norwich spokesman said: “It is deeply regrettable that a young man with high support needs found himself in the position of having started college, only for his place to be subsequently withdrawn.

“As we are unable to meet James’s support needs this should not have happened and we offer our unreserved apologies to James and his family for the distress this has caused.

“In March this year we conveyed our decision to Norfolk County Council that James needed a higher level of support and a different learning environment from that which the college is able to provide.

“Notwithstanding the family’s right to appeal that decision, this should have led to alternative provision being sought that could better meet James’s identified needs.

“However, a separate application for James was made direct to the college in July, effectively bypassing the EHCP consultation process.

“On the basis of the information that was available to our staff at the time, this led to a place being offered to James which was conditional on the right support and funding being available.

“We are clear that this very unfortunate and isolated incident should not have happened. We are now reviewing our application processes to make sure that something like this cannot happen again.”

Norfolk County Council said it had made repeated attempts to contact James’ family but would now try and find him an alternative place to study.

A spokesman said: “We are very disappointed that this situation has come about because we have made repeated attempts over several months to speak to the family about James’s future.

“We remain very keen to work with James and his family to secure the best possible outcome for his education and urge them to respond to our offers of a meeting as soon as possible to talk through the options.”


11 Ways of Spotting Borderline Personality Disorder In Yourself

When struggling with a mental health issue it can be difficult to figure out what, exactly, is going on. While symptoms for things like anxiety and depression are often easy to recognize, this isn’t the case for every disorder. Some are notoriously difficult to identify, like the signs of Borderline Personality Disorder(BPD). And it can make the process of getting a diagnosis incredibly frustrating.

This has a lot to do with the fact BPD was only officially recognized in 1980. Since it’s newer on the scene, it doesn’t have as much research and understanding as anxiety, depression, or even bipolar disorder. BPD also tends to mimic or coincide with other disorders. “In some cases, co-existing mental illnesses may have symptoms that overlap with BPD, making it difficult to distinguish BPD from other mental health illnesses,” says licensed clinical professional counselor Julienne Derichs, LCPC. There is, however, a definition for BPD as well as info on what sets it apart from other issues.

As Derichs says, “Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental disorder manifested by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning.” These mood shifts happen much faster than the ones found in bipolar disorder, and the issues with self-esteem and functioning tend to be more pervasive and longer-lasting than those found in anxiety and depression. Sound familiar? Then read on for more ways to spot BPD.

1. You View People As Either “All Good” Or “All Bad”

If you have BPD, you might notice there’s no middle ground when it comes to how you view friends, family, and partner. “Individuals who suffer with this have unstable interpersonal relationships. They see things as very black and white,” psychologist Dr. Nikki Maritnez tells Bustle. As a result, you might fluctuate between loving your friends and hating them, all within the same day.

2. You Have Trouble Reading Emotions

If you have BPD, then you likely won’t have much in the way of “emotional intelligence.” As Derichs says, “Emotional intelligence is about observing emotions, both your own and those of the people around you, and then using this knowledge to guide your thinking and actions.” Without it, you’re likely to come off as “needy’ or “rude.”

3. You’re All Sorts Of Impulsive  

People with BPD are highly impulsive. As Derichs tells me, you might catch yourself doing risky things like abusing drugs, spending money you don’t have, driving recklessly, or having lots of unsafe sex

4. You Lack A Stable Sense Of “Self”

BPD sufferers tend to lack of a sense of self. As a result, you might always feel “empty,” constantly clinging to others for validation and self-esteem, or changing your life plans on a whim. (Switching careers, moving a lot, etc.) It can be a very lonely feeling, as well as one that causes a lot of problems.

5. You Don’t Always Care About Your Personal Safety

Some people with BPD self harm or put themselves in risky situations, like that aforementioned reckless driving. As Derichs says, any recurring suicidal behaviors or threats can be a sign of the disorder. If you feel suicidal or like you “don’t care” — even for a minute — talk with a doctor ASAP.

6. You’ve Cycled Through Many A Therapist

If you’ve been dealing with these symptoms for a while, you may have already popped on over to a therapist to figure out what the heck is going on in your life. And then maybe another therapist. And then another. As Martinez tells me, BPD patients are notorious for skipping out on appointments because they’re therapist “offended” them or they don’t want to put in the work. It can lead to a cycle of starting therapy and stopping, and constantly looking for someone else to talk to.

7. Your Mood Changes All The Time

Mood swings are often associated with bipolar disorder, but the peaks and valleys of bipolar disorder tend to last weeks or even months. BPD sufferers have mood swings, too, but Derichs tells me yours might change faster, like every few hours or days.

8. Your Relationships Are Always Intense

Think about your relationship history. Do you have intense but very unstable relationships with friends, family, and significant others? If so, this is thanks to the black and white thinking, Derichs tells me. When you’re idolizing people one moment and hating them the next, it can lead to all sorts of relationship issues.

9. You Have Trouble Controlling Your Anger

Anger is a huge problem for those with BPD. Instead of just getting mad, you get mad. And it’s always over something small, too. You blow things out or proportion, read into little “slights,” and then have trouble reeling your emotions back in.

10. You Often Lose Touch With Reality

When super stressed, you might have a sort of “out of body” feeling known as dissociation. As Derichs says, it’ll cause you to feel cut off from yourself or like you’re observing things from outside your body. You might also feel paranoid and catch yourself saying or accusing people of all sorts of wild things.

11. You Have A Huge Fear Of Abandonment  

BPD can cause you to feel clingy, and thus very afraid of real and imagined abandonment, Derichs tells me. You might think you see “signs” someone is going to leave or feel crushed and slighted by little things, like your partner not texting back immediately. It can be very exhausting for all involved.

BPD is a tough disorder to deal with, and even more difficult to diagnose and treat. There is hope, though. With treatments like talk therapy — and understanding friends and family — it is possible to feel better.



Your tongue can tell a lot about your health from just the colour.

Just from how your tongue looks i.e size, texture and colour you can do a quick health diagnosis.

It’s always better to examine your tongue in the morning before brushing your teeth but do so in natural light.

The colour of the coating on your tongue may differ from the tongue colour.

A thin white coating that can be easily brushed off is considered normal.

Remember that the visual method of diagnosis doesn’t always give a 100% result.

Your tongue can be injured by aggressive food, bacteria can get into a wound and cause temporary irritation.

If you’re concerned about the colour of your tongue please seek expert advice.