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On Sept. 13, 2016, a group of hackers leaked the medical records of some Olympic champions.

The hackers, who call themselves Fancy Bears, were actually Russian espionage agents — at least according to the World Anti-Doping Agency, whose job it is to make sure that athletes aren't pumped full of steroids or nanobots or whatever else might help them cheat.

And, supposedly, these files are the first of many more to come that will expose the athletes who allegedly got away with illegal drug enhancement at the 2016 summer games in Rio.


But the files didn't show what people expected.

Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images.

Simone Biles, a "Final Five" gymnast who won four gold medals at the Rio games, was one of the victims of the hack.

And, as you can imagine, that put her in an awkward spot. Her tremendous display in Rio made her one of the most medaled gymnasts in history, beating the competition at one point with largest margin seen since 2006. And that's without even mentioning the bajillion other awards she's won in her 19 years of life.

But after Fancy Bears revealed that Biles was using "illicit" psychostimulants and amphetamines, her remarkable accomplishments were suddenly called into question. Was she a cheater? Did she actually earn the medals she won? Did she have an unfair advantage?

Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images.

But it turns out that Simone's "illicit" medications were actually just a standard prescription given to people with a certain disorder:

This wasn't quite the dark, insidious secret people were expecting, but it's still a pretty big deal for folks like me who also have ADHD.

In fact, ADHD affects about 5% of the population — and it tends to manifest differently for women, in particular. Unfortunately, ADHD meds can also be controversial — some people think it's overdiagnosed or think we use it as a way to describe energetic kids with a proclivity for video games and nothing more. Others, like the Fancy Bears hackers, like to point to the chemical similarities between certain ADHD medications and other illicit substances.

Proper treatment for ADHD goes a long way in helping people to succeed, just like Simone Biles.

And for those who are struggling with the shame and stigma around the condition, seeing an Olympic champion open up about ADHD is incredibly inspiring.

If anything, this revelation somehow makes Biles' accomplishments seem even more amazing.

In many ways, she's had to work twice as hard for them.

So congratulations, Simone — on your Olympic victories and on the admirable perseverance that makes you a mental health role model too.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

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This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

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This article originally appeared on 01.22.19


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn't have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women's rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn't something we'd choose—and we'd hope others wouldn't choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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