Bleats

Donald Trump Now Hates Condoms, But Loves Soaring STD Rates, Apparently

And for his next move, he shall build an STD army.

So the US is sort of having a teensy, little… STD crisis. At least, that’s what an annual STD report from The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed. And on top of that, Donald Trump apparently hates condoms.

In 2018, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis cases in the US reached a record rate of 2.4 million. For the past 5 years, STD rates in the US have been on the incline despite reaching all-time lows only a few years earlier.

Something clearly needs to be done.

Trump, however, has recently withdrawn funding from clinics providing reproductive healthcare under a revised Title X rule. Just a tad concerning, considering CDC officials are saying a necessary fix is to provide federal, state and local sexual health programs, according to Vice.

On top of that, the funding in question has been redirected. Redirected to where you ask? Organisations that do not believe in condoms! Ah yes, the STD rates shall be soothed with this move, for sure. The newly funded centres include Obria Medical Clinics, a series of Christian health centres that advocate for abstinence as the only form of prevention.

It all seems a bit like that Mean Girls scene.

The CEO of Obria said to reduce STDs and pregnancies, young people should be taught to “not even go down that path” according to a 2018 statement. Yet the science says that people are still going to have sex, despite such counselling.

To make matters worse, STIs are more common amongst young people and low-socioeconomic populations, the same populations who were overwhelmingly using the healthcare programs that Trump has de-funded, Usha Ranji, an associate director of women’s health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation told Vice. So where are these individuals going to go now that Donald Trump hates condoms? And if young people do go somewhere for sexual advice, will they simply be sent out of an office with the words “don’t have sex, thanks”?

We’re all mystified.

What many don’t know is that it can be really hard to tell if you even have chlamydia, gonorrhoea or syphilis – the symptoms often go undetected. All of this information does make it seem like Trump is cooking-up a recipe for disaster.

He’s done some illogical and straight-up awful things as president, Mr Donald Trump, but nothing seems quite as naïve as funding a bunch of anti-condom centres.

It’s 2019, Of Course World Events Are Giving Us Serious Mental Health Issues

Can you get “gaslighted” by Donald Trump?

In the wake of some massive world events, like The United States’ election of Donald Trump, Brexit and the climate crisis, researchers are beginning to explore how these political developments are impacting our mental health.

Is it really possible for Donald Trump, a complete stranger albeit a public figure, to cause “toxic stress” in the lives of American citizens? Is eco-anxiety real? And what about that guy who experienced the first “Brexit-induced psychosis?”

The ultimate question here is: do these psychological terms describing our response to events have any real merit?

Let’s investigate.

Donald Trump Causing ‘Toxic Stress’ In The US

According to US academics, Dominic Sisti & Cynthia Baum-Baicker, those left stooped by Trump’s election “might now be experiencing a form of toxic stress.” Apparently, such stress may be heightened by the “belligerent, unpredictable, and sometimes bizarre behaviour of the President himself.”

‘Toxic stress’ is defined by prolonged exposure to stressful situations. According to these professors, the President’s ever-changing and random implementation of policies relating to travel, immigration, healthcare, small business and investment markets “leaves millions of people wondering what is next.”

But this duo of professors takes things further by stating that Trump may have the capacity to gaslight the public. They describe his denial of saying and doing things as “a common form of abuse sometimes called gaslighting.” They also highlight how the US’ Crisis Text Line, a support service for those contemplating suicide, experienced a dramatic spike in traffic a week after the election. 

That’s a bit yikes.

Climate Change Causing ‘Eco-Anxiety’ Across The World

‘Climate anxiety’ or ‘Eco-Anxiety’ are terms that have emerged out of our growing awareness of the climate crisis. In fact, in 2017, the first full report into mental health and climate change was published by the American Psychology Association (APA).

According to the journal, the term refers to “feelings of loss and fear as species go extinct, seas rise above creature’s habitats and plant life is ruined by climate disasters.” To cope with ‘Eco-Anxiety’ the researchers suggest fostering optimism, active coping skills, practices that provide a sense of meaning and staying connected to friends and family.

Literally.

The Brexit Causing A ‘Psychotic Break’ In The UK

It’s a wild thought to have: the uncertainty perpetuated by the UK’s departure from the EU has led to one man’s mental breakdown but that’s exactly what’s happened.

A British man has experienced the first-ever diagnosed case of Brexit-induced psychosis, according to the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The man in his 40s was brought to the emergency room three weeks after the Brexit referendum in 2016. During psychosis, he attempted burrowing through the hospital floor. His wife attests that his symptoms began post-referendum. He also had no history of mental illness and wasn’t abusing alcohol or drugs. 

“Political events can be a source of significant psychological stress,” said Dr Mohammad Zia Ul Haq Katshu, who treated the man and contributed to the BMJ report on the episode.

Are we really, though?

Media attention towards phrases such as ‘eco-anxiety’ and ‘toxic stress’ can make it feel like these phenomena are pervasive and imminent. But the reality is that not enough time has passed since these world occurrences and there really hasn’t been enough research to verify the prevalence of these psychological experiences.

One thing’s for sure: if the world continues on its reckless path, perhaps terms like these will become quite recognised side-effects of our circumstances and I don’t think anyone’s ready for that.

Selena Gomez’s New Netflix Stint Has People Pulling At Their Collars After The 13RW Drama

Will she get it right this time?

Selena Gomez has announced she will be producing a Netflix documentary series titled Living Undocumented. The show will follow eight undocumented immigrant families from the US who live with the possibility of being deported. To say that it’s gonna be ‘heavy stuff’ is a massive understatement.

It’s hard to know how to feel about this; while it’s admirable that Gomez is trying to use her status to bring important issues to light, that didn’t go so well for her last time. Her Netflix series 13 Reasons Why was slammed for its portrayal of suicide. 

Literally everyone after the series’ release.

In particular, people were mad about the fact that it conveyed the message that if you take your own life there will be retribution for those who did you wrong. For anyone who’s ever experienced a person taking their own life they’ll know that, more often than not, nothing comes right. The portrayal of Hannah Baker’s bullies having to face what they did to her in the wake of her death may have appealed to young, suicidal teens… and that’s just freakin’ scary. 

There were calls that it romanticised suicide and that the show offered no ‘positive’ solutions for suicidal teens.

Which is why we’re straight-up jerkin’ our shirts over Selena Gomez’s announcement of her new documentary series. How will she handle the deeply complicated and sensitive issue of living in a country without papers? 

Something tells us that if she gets this series wrong, it’ll be slammed in a way that 13 Reasons never could be. The thing with 13 Reasons Why is that it mainly appealed to a very young audience who weren’t necessarily engaged with the political debate. While the older, parental viewers saw the show’s problematic parts, it continued to rake in views from teens. 

Good luck to ya, Gomez.

But with Living Undocumented? you best believe there will be immigrant audiences who have experienced living in fear of being ‘caught out.’ This show ain’t based in high school, nor are all the characters teens. It’ll involve the plight of undocumented mums, dads and college students. So if Gomez gets this wrong, there will be loads of people ready to set the record straight – and maybe that’s a good thing.

If you, or anyone you know is experiencing mental health issues, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or REACHOUT for support services.

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