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Self-Esteem

Disclaimer: We are not mental health professionals. All our claims are backed up by credible research studies. If you relate to anything we post, we highly urge you to consult with a licensed mental health professional for a safe and accurate diagnosis.


Self-esteem is the confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; how we understand or value ourselves. High self-esteem constitutes a reasonable pride in one’s self; realistic view of strengths, abilities, as well as weaknesses. Low self-esteem, on the other hand, indicates a difficulty evaluating strengths honestly; unrealistic negative opinion on one’s self with an underserving focus on weaknesses.

Signs of low self-esteem:

  • social withdrawal
  • anxiety and emotional turmoil
  • lack of social skills and confidence
  • more social comformity
  • eating disorders
  • exaggerated concern for other’s opinions
  • self neglect
  • depression/extreme sadness

Causes of low self-esteem:

  • unhappy or abusive childhood
  • poor academic or athletic performance
  • ongoing stressful life event
  • poor treatment from partner, parents, or others in general
  • ongoing medical problem
  • mental illness

Effects of low self-esteem:

  • avoiding social situations
  • lacking intimacy in relationships
  • being hesitant to change appearance
  • fearing rejection
  • easily getting taken advantage of or manipulated
  • lacking pride in achievements
  • being defensive or aggressive as a defense mechanism
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Study

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Disclaimer: We are not mental health professionals. All our claims are backed up by credible research studies. If you relate to anything we post, we highly urge you to consult with a licensed mental health professional for a safe and accurate diagnosis.


SAD occurs when there is a disruption in this system. Normally, melatonin is released during the day as a mood stabilizer. With a drop in exposure to sunlight, circadian rhythms are thrown off resulting in the overproduction of melanin and at inopportune times. Too much melanin acts as a depressant and inhibits the production of serotonin which then leads to further fluctuation of mood. A large portion of serotonin is produced in the intensities from where melanin has less of an inhibitory effect on the neurotransmitter.

Symptoms of SAD:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of libido
  • Feelings of depression

Diagnosis

  • Physical exam: your doctor may do a physical exam and ask in-depth questions about your health. In some cases, depression may be linked to an underlying physical health problem.
  • Lab tests: for example, your doctor may do a blood test called a Complete Blood Count (CBC) or test your thyroid to make sure it’s functioning properly.
  • Psychological evaluation: to check for signs of depression, your doctor or mental health provider asks about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behaviour patterns. Your doctor also may make you fill out a questionnaire to help answer these questions.

Treatment Options

  • Light therapy: form of therapy that mimics natural outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood. There are little to no side effects and this method of therapy is effective for 70% of patients diagnosed with SAD.
  • Dietary changes: foods high in tryptophan increase the body’s production of serotonin. Some examples include: salmon, pineapples, cheese, and eggs.
  • Exercise changes: exercising increases endorphins which improve mood. Try not to do exercises outside in the sun.

Pharmaceuticals and Bupropion

Pharmaceuticals are supplementary and usually only used if a patient does not respond to light therapy. Antidepressants such as bupropion are used to treat SAD.

Bupropion was synthesized in 1966 by Burroughs Research Group of scientists seeking an agent that would be active in antidepressant screening models, but differ chemically from tricyclics, another type of anti-depressant.

Side effects of bupropion include, but are not limited to:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vision changes
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain

Sources

Categories
Interview

Aria Sline.

Do you believe that you have a good support system?

I definitely believe that I have a strong support system. My family and friends are ceaselessly by my side no matter the circumstance.

How do you deal with your own mental health?

 I maintain mental health by practicing compassion and revolutionary love with those that I encounter. I find it extremely important to continually recognize your privileges and to then act in a way that is not only beneficial for you, but for others.

Are there any specific psychological conditions that mean a lot to you?

 Depression and anxiety have been prevalent in my family for years, so I tend to be most interesting in understanding these mental illnesses.

Do you believe that the stigma has decreased a significant amount in your community?

I do believe that mental health stigmas have decreased substantially in my generation, but not particularly in the Black community. As a biracial young woman, I have seen firsthand the dichotomy of how mental illness is treated both in the Black and white community.

Do you have any favorite mental health advocates? If so, who are they?

The work and activism of Shalmali Jadhav from India is not only necessary but captivating. Shalmali is kind, intelligent, and effervescent and her involvements are nothing short of inspiring. She will undoubtedly change the world.

How do you think school affects mental health?

I think that traditional school- that is pre-COVID- tended to be very draining for one’s mental health due to the constant need to wake up and work. Conversely, school now is draining because of the lack of human interaction coupled with the stress and trauma of living through a pandemic.

What do you think schools should do to combat mental illness within students?

 I think schools should create clear and defined safe spaces, virtual or in-person, for students to vent about their mental health in a de-stigmatized environment. Additionally, mental health stigmas should be completely erased not only in school, but across the world.

What self-care practices do you recommend?

 I would recommend people to allow themselves to feel their emotions fully, but to understand that their emotions are temporary and are the result of some trigger- good or bad. It is important for youth to understand that self-care is not limited to face masks and proper sleep. Self-care is exercise, self-care is reading, self-care is crying.

I hear that you are the founder, producer and co-host of the (F)emolden Podcast which focuses on empowering women and non-binary individuals. How do you believe mental health plays in with female rights?

Mental health is particularly important in female and non-binary communities because it is often neglected. Women are traditionally cast off as being “overly emotional” so our feelings and mental illnesses are not taken seriously. Furthermore, non-binary people not only deal with gender and body dysphoria, but their existence is invalidated at a systemic level which ultimately leads to declining mental health.

Females show higher rates of diagnosed anxiety and depression. Why do you believe that is?

As stated previously, I believe that women’s mental health is trivialized societally which leads to further anxiety and depression. Furthermore, in developing countries, many women are not given access to proper sanitary items for menstruation which leads to depression.

What does mental health mean to you?

Mental health is the foundation of our body and spirit. It is paramount to obtain mental health and to advocate for proper mental health education because all people should have access to tools that allow them to be mentally healthy.


Check out Aria, the (F)emolden Podcast, & TS Olive Talk Show!

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Study

Alter Ego

Trigger warning: personality disorders.

We are not mental health professionals. All our claims are backed up by credible research studies. If you relate to anything we post, we highly urge you to consult with a licensed mental health professional for a safe and accurate diagnosis.


An “alter ego” means to have an alternative self, which is believed to be distinct from a person’s regular personality or is a part of a person’s personality that is usually hidden from others. For example, Superman is Clark Kent’s alter ego and Hyde is Dr. Jekyll’s.

Tap into Your Alter Ego to Become a Better Leader | Nightclub & Bar Digital
courtesy of Bar and Restaurant


What is Your Alter Ego?

  • Evaluate your true self first by identifying the ways you perceive and express yourself (this is what identity is)
  • Try to think about how others perceive you. People’s experiences can alter how they see themselves or how they are perceived by others. Your identity also influences the decisions you make; friends, fashion, political beliefs, etc.
  • Subtract the stereotypes and conventions when exploring yourself. Think about who you are when nobody is around to impress.
  • Think of an actor’s role in a form of media or in real life who you related with (personality wise)
  • Identify your guilty pleasures. This could be like usually listening to R&B but pop is a guilty pleasure or typically preferring 90s style clothing but sometimes being drawn to grunge when shopping.
  • Evaluate how your gender, sexuality, etc, make up who you are as a person and if these attributes are a big part of your personality or not.
  • Identify your weaknesses. The point of having an alter ego is usually to become to best version of yourself–even if unrealistic. Psychologists say to focus on points of frustration especially.

Who is Your Alter Ego?

  1. Pick their name. Preferably, name represents the alter ego’s personality. For example, the name “Sophia” means “wisdom” in the Bible. Therefore if you think your alter ego is wise, you can name is Sophia.
  2. Give your alternative ego a distinctive look. Take Batman for example.
  3. Put your alter ego into practice and make sure you are happy with it.
  4. Don’t let gender or other attributes hold you back. Your alter ego could be anything you want it to be. Just please make sure it doesn’t harm anyone like Dr. Jekyll’s did.

Misconceptions

“Alter egos are unnecessary and do more harm than good.

This myth is easy to debunk. Look around you, this world is full of alter egos. From the cashier at a grocery store all the way to the biggest corporate tycoons, most people have to create an alter ego sometime in their life before their natural personality won’t just get the job done. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of masks. However, it is important to know that alter egos can get out of control and can become a personality disorder.

“You can easily get rid of an alter ego.”

Studies actually show that it’s near to impossible to completely get rid of a triggered alter ego. The only thing you can do is change it a bit or adapt to it completely. throughout it all, it’s important that you stay in control of your alter ego so it won’t start controlling you.

“Alter ego is the same thing as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)”

Alter ego is for sure not a split/multiple personality disorder. the key difference between the two is the fact that an individual purposely switches personalities when they have an alter ego while when they have a personality disorder they unconsciously switch personas. However, alter egos can essentially lead to personality disorders if not managed properly.

Some Representations of Alter Ego in Media

  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Hyde)
  • Death Note (Kira)
  • Fight Club (Tyler Durden)
  • The Nutty Professor (Buddy Love)
  • Every Marvel/DC movie
  • Mr. Brooks (Marshall)
  • The Dark Half (George Stark)
  • Watch how celebrities are during interviews VS when they’re performing, it may surprise you.

Sources

•http://www.literarydevices.com/persona/
•https://www.personalitycafe.com/threads/alter-egos-and-type-personas.123152/
•https://www.soulveda.com/happiness/can-having-an-alter-ego-help-reveal-your-true-self/
•https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200611/altered-ego

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Perspective Study

The Anxiety of Taking the Vaccine

As the news of a vaccine that combats COVID-19 spread, many people’s anxiety increased as well. Your feelings are valid and it’s okay to feel anxious and panic during this time.

The Vaccine

In early december of 2020, the centers of disease control and prevention (cdc) announced that healthcare workers will be the firsts to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the USA. The Pfizer and Moderna are the first two vaccines available, however Janssen, Astrazeneca, and Novavax will also be available sometime in 2021. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown to be 94-95% effective in the latest clinical trials. everyone who gets the vaccine will need two doses to fight against the virus, which will be given 21-28 days apart. as of December 10th, 2020, this vaccine has not been tried on expecting women or children under the age of 12, hence will not be given to anyone who falls under either category.

The news of a vaccine that combats COVID-19 has spread both joy and fear equally throughout populations. In this post, we will be discussing the anxiety around getting the vaccine, how to deal with it. and the truth around the assumptions that bring the most fear.

The Doubts

The main point of skepticism is around the fact that most vaccines take many years to develop and it’s only been a little over a year since COVID-19 started in the world and less than a year in the United States. Therefore, many people assume that the vaccine was rushed and a safe vaccination is not promised. This causes anxiety because you don’t know if taking the vaccine is actually safe.

However, according to UC Health, scientists didn’t just start from scratch. Years of research was already done with similar viruses, such as SARS and MERS. The reason trials were able to be completed in a shorter time was because of how widespread COVID-19 is. No steps of creating the vaccine have been skipped nor rushed.

Another point that can potentially trigger anxiety is the fact that the vaccine contains the material that causes COVID-19 in the first place. Well, that’s simply how MRNA based vaccines work and both Pfizer and Moderna are MRNA, not vector, based. This is the process of how the vaccine works to get an idea:

  • Since the vaccine contains material that causes the virus, it is able to make an harmless protein that is unique to the virus.

  • After the cells make a copy of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine.

  • Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and therefore create white blood cells that are specialized to combat the virus.

Furthermore, more anxiety can be experienced by people who are allergic to the flu vaccine and assume that they will be allergic to the Corona one as well. Most people who are allergic to flu vaccines are so because the vaccines contain egg-based products. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain such products, according to the CDC.

Social Media Exaggerations

Unfortunately, social media is full of rumors and “fake news”. Such news can increase anxiety and panic among the audience, especially when it comes to something as controversial as a vaccine. A recent social media posting went viral that claimed that 6 people had died from the vaccine.

It’s important to know that the rumor was false. Yes, 6 people died while in the trails but only 2 actually took the vaccine while the other 4 were trying some other method that unfortunately did not work. Therefore, 2 people did die of the vaccine, which is why the success rate is not 100%.

How to Combat Vaccine Anxiety

  • Do your research and do not believe everything you see on the internet
  • Think about the benefits compared to the risks
  • Future anxiety is not uncommon so make sure to search up activities that you can practice to deal with it, such as meditation, manifestation, etc.

Sources

Categories
Study

Careers in Mental Health

The United States’ community behavioral health organizations employ more than 250,000 people who care for 8 million adults and children with mental and addiction disorders. Here are the main occupations that focus on psychology and mental health.

1. Psychologist

How to Become a Psychologist (Career Path)
via Career Addict

Psychologists help people learn to cope more effectively with life issues and mental health problems. Psychologists help people by using a variety of techniques based on the best available research and considering each person’s needs, values, goals, and circumstances.

2. Psychiatrist

How to handle your first meeting with the psychiatrist | by Mentally Aware  Nigeria Initiative | Medium
via Medium

Psychiatrists are physicians who diagnose and treat mental health and emotional conflicts. They also help patients prevent mental health issues. since they are also trained as physicians in addition to education in mental health treatment, the psychiatrist understands the relationship between emotional illness and other medical illness.

3. Counselors

How High School Counselors Can Help Students, Parents - US News
via US World and News Report

Counselors provide mental health and substance abuse care to millions of people worldwide. these professionals work in partnerships with individuals, families, and groups to treat a wide assortment of mental, behavioral, and emotional problems and disorders.

4. Social Workers

The Role of School Social Workers - Blog
via University of Southern California

Social workers assist individuals, groups, or communities to restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning. In addition to working with individuals, they work to create societal conditions that support communities in need. social workers help people overcome challenges ranging from poverty, discrimination, abuse and addiction to physical illness, unemployment, divorce, loss, disability, and mental illness.

5. Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

What Is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner? | Norwich  University Online
via Norwich University

Psychiatric mental health nursing is a specialty within nursing. these registered nurses work with individuals, families, groups, and communities, assessing their mental health needs.


Sources

Categories
Study

Holiday Blues

Trigger warning: will mention anxiety and substance abuse.

Disclaimer: We are not mental health professionals. All our claims are backed up by credible research studies. if you relate to anything we post, we highly urge you to consult with a licensed mental health professional for a safe and accurate diagnosis.


The holidays are typically a fun time full of festivities, celebrations, and sometimes even awkward conversations with family members you didn’t even know existed. However, it’s important to know that many people don’t feel joyful when the holidays come around–actually the right opposite. This is know as holiday blues. The term “holiday blues” is used to describe increased moments of sadness, anxiety, and stress that may start before, during, and last even shortly after the holiday season. Holiday blues can be triggered by external/environmental factors as well as internal/unresolved factors. Here are the main ones.

Family/Loss

Practicing Mindfulness With Your Family During The Holidays Is Important |  Beech Acres
via Beech Acres Parenting Center

The holidays are all about family time and especially with the ongoing pandemic, the though of not being with family, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually, can cause holiday blues. That’s why it’s important to cultivate a sense of family wherever you are. You can do this by hanging out with friends, looking at pictures/videos from past family holiday gatherings, etc.

Furthermore, it is very common for family members to expect drastic change within an individual when meeting them after a long time. For instance, saying things like, “you got so skinny.” or “you still haven’t bought that house yet?”, can put pressure on an individual, no matter if said jokingly or not. It’s okay to not have gone through a dramatic change in your life. It doesn’t mean that you weren’t productive and wasted time. It’s completely fine to take breaks so make sure nobody convinces you otherwise. It’s important to keep your priorities straight because you are not here to impress but rather to express.

Financial Stress

7 steps to get rid of your financial stress once and for all
via USA Today

Financial stress may look like:

  • Not being sure of where your money has gone
  • Trying to impress family members or friends
  • Neglecting to pay off bills/debts
  • Equating gifts with love
  • Obsessing over the “perfect gift”
  • Overspending
  • Overdrafting

Ways to deal with financial stress include:

  • Set a budget or create a holiday account
  • Place limits on gift giving
  • Do not neglect bills
  • Think twice before you swipe
  • Change your perspective on holidays. The best things in life aren’t material possessions.

Overeating & Self Esteem

How to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays | Slideshow | The Active Times
via The Active Times

Needless to say, overeating is very common during the holidays. However, not only can overeating severely effect your digestive system and potentially cause harm to your heart and other organs, it can also affect your mental health as well.

Gaining weight has shown to make people more insecure about their bodies and lose self-confidence. It’s important to watch your portions and eat your regular or a little greater than your regular serving size. Food may look yummy but it’s only good in moderation.

Holiday Binge Drinking

Holiday Heart Syndrome: What you need to know about holiday binge drinking  - National | Globalnews.ca
via Global News

Alcohol plays a major role in holiday celebrations and festivities. However, binge drinking during the holiday season can trigger alcoholism. Sometimes it’s not even due to the celebrations but instead to feeling lonely and stress during the holidays. Holiday binge drinking is dangerous because not only can it lead to substance abuse, it can also cause in increase in driving under the influence and because of the weather usually being very dangerous during the holidays, accidents can get fatal.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder: How to get through the pandemic's winter  months - CNN
via CNN

SAD is a type of depressive disorder brought by seasonal changes in light . Changes in light cause a disruption of our circadian rhythm or “internal clock” which leads to the overproduction of melanin. too much melanin in the body can produce depressive-like symptoms. The pineal gland is involved since the organ is responsible for the production of both serotonin and melanin. melanin is a hormone that regulates sleep patterns and mood while serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood stabilization. sad occurs when there is a disruption in this system. swipe to learn more about this disruption.

Sources

Categories
Study

Dogs & Mental Health

*We are not mental health professionals. Please consult a licensed professional if your dog shows signs of any mental illness featured in this post.*

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs help people mentally, emotionally and physically and are typically used as an therapeutic attempt for people with depression and soldiers at war feel better and less lonely. There are two types of therapy dogs: therapeutic dogs and animal assisted therapy dogs. It’s important to know that therapy dogs are NOT the same thing as service dogs since service dogs are trained to specialize in a specific field of therapy while therapy dogs are used just as their mere presence.

Therapy dogs help thousands of people a year manage their mental and physical well-being. However we all seem to forget…

Dogs can suffer from mental health conditions as well, self-harm and depression being especially common among them.

As a matter of fact, mental disorders on small dogs occur more frequently than in larger breed dogs. Research shows that the smaller a dog is, the more hyperactive and attention seeking it will be, possibly even suffering from CCD.

Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD)

Canine Compulsive Disorder, or CCD, is most common in smaller dog breeds such as pomeranians and corgis because they usually have attention issues. CCD occurs when dogs are ignored after getting spoiled with love and attention.

Common symptoms of CCD:

  • Tail-chasing
  • Excessive licking
  • Any other repetitive actions/behaviors

CCD could also develop due to lack of exercise or boredom/lack of excitement. Treatment varies on the dog and can range from simply giving your dog more attention all the way to having to use prescribed human medication such as serotonergic and anti-anxiety drugs.

Small Dog Syndrome (SDS)

Small dog syndrome, or SDS, are a group of behaviors that are displayed by small dog breeds, oftentimes male, and typically happen because the small dog feels as if it is inferior to larger dogs.

Common symptoms of SDS:

  • Jumping too much and being too hyper
  • Climbing over random things more than it usually would
  • Begging for food
  • Barking hysterically
  • Reluctance to move or allow humans to have space
  • Aggression toeards other dogs

The treatment method is simple and is just to treat your larger and smaller dogs the same. Show your little one that they matter to you.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety are behaviors motivated by anxiety that occur exclusively in the owner’s physical or virtual absence. 20-40% of dogs suffer from this issue at least twice in their life time, making separation anxiety the most common psychological threat to dogs.

Common symptoms of seperation anxiety in dogs:

  • Chewing
  • Excessive barking
  • Clawing/trying to escape

Causes of separation anxiety in dogs are situational and could be due to loneliness after death or even just being in a different room than the owner. Treatment varies from dog to dog. The most affective one would be to create a distance between you and the dog so that it doesn’t get completely reliant on you. Another would be giving them anti-anxiety medication, however it’s important to consult with a licensed profession liscensed professional first.

Depression

Much like humans, depression in dogs varies from dog to dog. The common core symptom is anhedonia, or the decrease or loss of interest in otherwise pleasurable activities. However, for dogs depression is measured within pleasurable activities such as food or sexual activity.

Signs of depression in dogs:

  • Weight loss & loss of appetite
  • Sleeping all the time
  • Loss of interest
  • Excessive paw licking
  • Avoidance/hiding

Treatment varies and should be consulted with a veterinarian.

Self-Harm

*THIS IS NOT TO GET CONFUSED WITH REGULAR ITCHING/SCRATCHING.*

Self harm is mostly common in neglected or abused dogs. The signs range from chewing its tail all the way to biting hard enough to hurt itself. Self harm in dogs is typically a result of depression or trauma of abuse. It’s tough to find an accurate suicide rate since most times of dogs feel suicidal, they would choose to starve themselves until they eventually pass away, run in front of a car, etc., since they obviously can’t take measures like a human would.

Sources

  • Helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/mood-boosting-power-of-dogs.htm#
  • Purina.com.au/en/dogs/behaviour/small-dog-syndrome#.X5bqhbvYrrc
  • Pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/depression-in-dogs#1
Categories
Interview

Adelaide Ng.

Interviewed by Sania Ahmad


I noticed that you are an advocate for mental health awareness, being part of Psych Out, which is an organization dedicated to educating youth on psychology and de-stigmatizing mental health worldwide, similar to what we do here at Revive. What got you interested in the topic of mental health/psychology?

I initially became interested last year when I noticed that quite a few of my friends were struggling with their mental health. While trying to help and console them, I became invested in psychology, and as I delved further into the topic, I became more fascinated by how this knowledge can be so easily applicable. Afterwards, to gain more insight, I participated in a Stanford summer course, where I learnt about the different areas (fields) of psychology which allowed me to realize, in essence, how broad the topic is. Simultaneously, I also learnt more about myself which I believe is one of the most rewarding aspects of psychology. 

I also learned that you are a founder and coordinator of Hong Kong Joint School of Psychology. Could you tell us a little about that?

Considering that Hong Kong does not have much educational spotlight on psychology, I found HKJSSP, believing that it would allow me to extend my knowledge on this topic while helping others in their studies. In HKJSSP, we hope to encourage and promote the study of psychology, amplifying this constantly developing topic among HK and providing our audience with an insight into this field. Furthermore, we aspire to raise public awareness on mental health issues, ultimately striving to improve our society’s well being. One of our current initiatives is a mentorship program which connects working psychologists and university students (mentors) with high school students (mentees). With this initiative, we hope to allow experienced professionals to share their expertise and knowledge, ideally enhancing the mentees’ interest in the subject.

I saw the post about reframing one’s mindset that you were one of the writers for on the Peace of Mind Instagram page. Where do you believe the “danger zone” is when it comes to manifestation becoming obsessive thoughts, a kind of OCD disorder, and should one be completely reliant on manifesting their goals and dreams?

I think the entire concept of manifestation is quite controversial and personally, I believe that everyone’s experience with manifestation can be completely different depending on the individual’s characteristics. While it is healthy to have certain goals to work for, and that it is great to understand how mindset influences experiences, the most critical aspect of the manifestation process is the “doing” part, also the most problematic facet. Simply obsessively yearning (“manifesting”) for something will not be beneficial in any way possible, perhaps even toxic in some perspectives (as mentioned, it may be possible to develop significant anxiety). Healthy and productive manifestation includes doing everything it takes to achieve that goal, and this is supposedly driven by your intrinsic motivation, strengthened by the manifestations. Visions or goals will only be accomplished if this step is taken, otherwise it will only be a cause for anxiety. Truthfully, the way media introduces the concept of manifestation is almost always misleading, it simply displays the idea that thinking about something will make it become reality, whereas the truth is thinking about it will only help in the doing process, which is what makes it become reality.

What are some self-care practices that you would recommend?

I would recommend journaling (cliche but practical), engaging with a hobby that you genuinely enjoy, being outdoors for a minimum of 30 minutes per day (alterable — this is just my preference), exercising on a frequent basis (walking your dog counts), maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. There are honestly a lot of great self-care techniques on the internet, but these are the ones that benefit me the most.

How has learning about psychology affected your life and well-being?

Aside from an understanding of self, learning about psychology has allowed me to acquire different techniques for motivation and productivity, while also improving my emotional intelligence, which has benefitted my relationships with others. Furthermore, specifically from clinical psychology, I have learnt more about how to help people who are currently experiencing mental struggles which I believe is one of the most significant takeaways. 

I saw that you write a column on Body Banter called “Awareness with Adelaide”. Could you give us a brief overview about that?

I recently became an ambassador for Body Banter and started this column. I am still working on my first official blog post, which will discuss the importance of body language, in this context, meaning the way we describe physical appearances. I started this column after both witnessing the heavy influence of body image on several friends and also personally experiencing insecurities. Stay tuned and check out the body banter page for more awesome blogs.

How does body image play into mental health? What is the relation between body image and self esteem?

I think the most significant part of body image is insecurities, which correspondingly relates to mental health and self esteem. Speaking from experience, insecurities are so destructive. Depending on the severity, it is possible for these thoughts to overtake one’s life. It starts off by looking in the mirror occasionally and spotting aspects that are unattractive and often ending with obsessive thoughts, being jealous of others and pinpointing absolutely everything imperfect about yourself. Considering that this obsession often does not go away until there is something else to preoccupy your mind, these insecurities will eventually resulting in lack of self-confidence, to an extent, self-hatred even… resulting in mental conditions such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety…

What does mental health mean to YOU?

To me, mental health represents our emotions, thoughts and our behaviors on a daily basis, as well as how we cope with the challenges that life throws at us. At the same time, I think mental health is also about understanding and empathizing with them consistent communication and being compassionate. Being mentally healthy include having a relatively healthy balance amongst all aspects of our lives, as well as acknowledging personal limitations and capabilities. Mental health problems have always been a pressing, yet overlooked issue in society. It’s so important to be more aware of the effects of mental health in our daily lives. Mental health problems affect so many people around the world. Whether it is on a small scale or a large scale, mental illnesses can hinder one’s everyday lifestyle, social skills, the way they perceive setbacks, etc. Many consider mental health as taboo, and often disregard the topic, but in reality, mental health is just as important as physical health. 

Do you believe that mental illness is a disability? Why or why not?

This honestly depends on 2 main factors: how disability is contextualized and the individual’s condition. Assuming that disability is defined as a social construct, on a technical level, a mental illness can cause disabilities but generally I would not classify it as a disability, but rather an abnormality, simply because of the underlying connotations of the term. 

What would you say to someone going through an internal battle right now?

I’m here for you, is there anything I can do to help?

Do you believe that “skinny-shaming” is the same level of disrespect as “fat-shaming”?

Yes, I definitely believe that “skinny-shaming” and “fat-shaming” are both inappropriate and disrespectful to the same level. The only reason why “skinny-shaming” might seem less impudent is because there is this societal trend of being skinny. Therefore, not a lot of people understand or have experienced feeling insecure due to skinniness, causing some individuals to undermine this type of self-consciousness. Despite this, both forms of body shaming are unacceptable in the same way and everyone should be more mindful of their language.


Check out Adelaide!

Categories
Interview

Joshua Jones.

Interviewed by Sania Ahmad.


You attended Revive’s anti-bullying conference. What does bullying mean to you?

Bullying means to me is making threats, physically attacking a person, spreading rumors, or verbally assaulting another person. I’ve been bullied throughout my entire life and I was apart of Cancel Culture this year and that was the most uncomfortable situation I’ve ever been in. Back in January of this year, I was posting on Tik Tik almost every day and there were hate comments and fake accounts made about me and that hurt my feelings, then in June when Black Lives Matter was becoming a worldwide issue I was talking about it and then I was getting attacked for speaking up about it and other social justice issues as well. There was a petition made about me saying “Cancelling Joshua Jones” and it had 48 signatures and 60 supporters and I was receiving death threats and hate messages. Next in July, I was shadowbanned on Instagram, and my old main account joshuajones._ was temporarily locked and I couldn’t log back in. I reached out to Instagram and they haven’t responded. Now in August, this was towards the end I decided to take the knee for the pledge, record myself doing it, and post about it on my Instagram story on my new main account and I was receiving tons of hate messages and death threats. I did get some positive messages from my friends. Afterward, there was a tea page account about my school and it involved me and my friends. They were posting people’s private information that shouldn’t be out there and brought up stuff from the past. Then in October, I was sitting down during the National Anthem, and someone said “F Joshua Jones and if I see him do it I would kick him in the face.” Someone told me about that as well and I made a post about it and someone left me a hate comment. Finally, in December, I was in my school’s newspaper and someone reached out to me saying 5 people are looking to beat you up in the bathroom if they saw me walking me in an instant heartbeat.

Why do you think the stigma around mental health is so heightened?

The stigma around mental health is so heightened because it’s not receiving enough attention. Also, it has to do with these things:

  • Social media pressure
  • Reduced face-to-face interactions and social supports
  • The breakdown of the family unit
  • Sexual orientation confusion
  • Gender confusion
  • Being exposed to a multitude of opinions (on TV and online)
  • Being exposed to aggressive behavior (a dramatic rise in child abuse, adult abuse, sexual abuse, etc.)
  • Poor/reduced sleep

Those things can cause a level of difficulty in our health, both psychologically and emotionally. It can prevent suicide as well. But based on how society got here, and where it’s currently headed, it’s unlikely we’ll see a positive change anytime soon. The expectation is that things will get much worse. So, the best we can do is seek mental health support from the available resources and then work at making families healthy one person at a time.

How do you deal with your mental health?

During quarantine and this year, it was such a priority for me. I was dealing with social media burnouts because I was apart of Cancel Culture. My physical, mental, and social health are important during this time because I get to be more aware of how I’m handling my daily activities and also myself. My physical shows I’m trying to get things done throughout the day like work and school. My mind shows how I handle things and control my actions. Social shows how I’m treating people with respect, but keeping my distance. This is a terrible time for all of us but I know one thing is that we just got to fight together. After all, this is over I’ll make sure not to take anything for granted. What I’ll learn from this hard time is to appreciate the small things in my life, and be grateful for what I have.

What do you think schools can do to be more understanding of students with psychological conditions? 

Start talking about it, Create a safe space, Support for all, Make sure teachers know how to help, and Recognize that it takes a village. Looking after children’s mental health isn’t just something that can be done on a small scale, it involves a shift in the way everyone not only works together but also communicates on issues. 

Other than mental health, what other global issues interest you?

  • Voting Rights
  • Racial Injustice
  • everything that has to do with Human Rights in general.

Would you say you are a person that people share their feelings easily with?

For me, it depends on who I talk to. So yes I do share my feelings however it just has to be the right people for me. It’s usually my friends I talk to the most.

What self-care practices would you recommend doing?

  • Sleep
  • Eat
  • Watch Netflix
  • Happy Hour (Free Hour Time Break) 
  • Volunteer virtually
  • Listening to music
  • Talking to my friends

Do you believe that you have a good support system?

Yes, 100%!!! My friends are my amazing support system and they helped me a lot in 2020 and I owe it all to them. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here where I am today!!!

What does mental health mean to you?

Mental Health is important to my overall health because it affects how I think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how I handle stress, making choices, etc. According to mentalhealth.gov, it says, “Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.” This suggests my mental will continue to develop throughout my life. Also, if my mental health is in a bad place like with everyday problems then I would get sleep, help others, and stay positive. I know we’re going through a hard time right now but we just gotta remain positive. Overall, I believe my mental health is important because it affects my everyday activities.


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