According to Help Guide studies have found a strong link between social media abuse (using it too much) and mental health issues. You are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.
I can see this being 100% factually correct because from personal experience, I've been on social media during the lockdown on average of 5-6 hours a day, 5-6 hours far too long, which is because of boredom but because I'm trying to escape the depression of COVID-19 and other negative news in the media.
Spending 20 minutes on Tik-Tok lead to approximately 2 hours on it and so on. If you've seen the Social Dilemma documentary (watch it if you haven't), you'll know that social media platforms are designed to make you want more with its colour, logo, and algorithm to recommend you what to watch next based on your own preference.
Despite blocking media outlets like BBC and SKY on Facebook and Instagram, I still didn't feel any better because I was comparing myself to other people's lives naturally like a lot of people do. Getting likes on photos I put up gave me dopamine which is a temporary measure as it doesn't last very long. Getting a positive comment on that photo is the equivalent of having a pint or taking drugs which means long-term it doesn't mean anything.
Luckily there are ways to counter-act this if it does have a negative impact on you:
1. Clean your feed - follow your close friends, hobbies which can be anything like football to cricket, just something that you're passionate about. Delete unnecessary pages you follow and if someone's posting too much about something negative unfollow or unfriend them. This is your feed and you decide what is on it.
2. Deactivate social media - If this really is affecting you, take a break from as many social media platforms as you want. This can be for a day, a week, or even months. I deactivated all my social media accounts for two weeks because COVID-19 news was having a negative impact on me. The constant repeat of information on a subject frustrates me. Having two weeks away from that felt like my batteries were re-charged. I still don't know to this day why I re-activated it because I feel like I'm in the same mindset as what I used to be in.
3. Phone moderation - Switch off your phone before you go to bed and don't go on your phone until after breakfast. This has a positive impact on your mood as you are moderating instead of spending all your time on your phone.
Image courtesy of Thrive Global
Before I learned what narcissism meant, the only person I could think of was someone like Tony Stark as I did not fully understand the concept of it until recently. That original perception was naïve to think looking back.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a personality disorder that gives people an over-inflated sense of own importance, a desperate need for admiration & attention, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy towards others.
Here are the signs when spotting a narcissist
They mostly talk about themselves and how great they are.
Narcissists feel the need to talk about themselves because it makes them feel better and more superior to everyone else as it helps create that persona of them coming across as confident and self-assured. It is however the opposite asit’s a layer that covers their insecurities.
They lack empathy.
Empathy means the ability to understand and share the feelings of another human being. Narcissists don’t have that privilege which means they can’tvalidate, understand or accept you because there is no capacity to comprehend feelings. This also means they simply cannot sympathise and because they lack the empathy that’s the reason why their relationships always collapse.
They don’t have any or many long-term friends.
Narcissists don’t have any meaningful, long-term friends but may have acquaintances, casual friends at the pub, and frenemies. The reason for this being is because they’re only interested in what that person has to offer in terms of a supply which can include finances, limitless special treatment, people who adhere to the person’s demands, and even admiration.
They can never be wrong.
People with NPD can never be wrong as it means the opposite person is superior to them which also means they are a threat to their own delusion of grandeur. They will go above and beyond to prove their innocence by gaslighting which means psychological manipulation used to make the victim doubt their own sanity.
Sense of entitlement
Narcissistic entitlement is motivated by own self of over-inflated importance, uniqueness, and superiority which means they believe they deserve special treatment which means they are likely to disrespect someone’s boundaries.
When narcissists feel threatened or if you are not showing them enough respect they tend to try and get their own version of control back with intense bursts of anger or silence that threatens the victim.
Image courtesy of Very Well Mind
How do drugs and alcohol affect mental health?
From taking drugs and drinking alcohol recreationally to using it for self-medication purposes, everyone has their reasons for indulging.
If using it to overcome symptoms of a mental health illness, then I would strongly not recommend it as it can make you feel worse. In fact, certain drugs can promote the deterioration of psychological illness, making an existing one more difficult to treat.
Please find below my list of the most popular drugs, including alcohol, people use to self-medicate.
According to a 2019 study 1 in 5 young people smoke cannabis on a regular basis. Smoking weed has its benefits like becoming more creative, feeling relaxed and happy, having giggles, and having munchies too. Although if you abuse this substance just like any other it can make youpotentially develop psychosis, enhance anxiety and suicidal thoughts if already experiencing from it and worst-casescenario develop mental health issues such as schizophrenia.
UK topped the charts in Europe for the most amount of young people taking Cocaine according to the EU Drugs agency in 2018.
Taking cocaine is highly addictive, especially when combining it with alcohol. Taking the white powder in the short-term makes you more confident, more talkative, and alert. In some cases, it can make people aggressive and paranoid if abused. The problem with cocaine is that you need to take it every 20-30 minutes to maintain that high, otherwise when coming down it makes you tired and even depressed.
It can also cause heart attacks and over-doses if mixed with other substances which is common for someone suffering from a mental health issue.
Many ecstasy users take it once or twice a year, however, some people take it more times than the average which can be detrimental to your mental health. When you take the “happiness” drug it produced serotonin which improves your mode. Abusing this means that your serotonin levels do not recover which can mean it takes years to recover from it.
Taking ecstasy can also make you very talkative, chatty, and confident, however, if using it to self-medicate it can affect your memory, make you depressed and even cause hallucinations depending on how much you are abusing it.
The most commonly misused drug because it is the only legal which means it is easier to access. Alcohol reduces levels of anxiety after 1 or two drinks but if continuing drinking more after that, depending on how much you drink can lead to ‘hangxiety’ the next day which is a mixture of anxiety and depression because you do not remember much from the night before.
Abusing alcohol can make you do things you would not usually do, like doing something uncharacteristic, such as harming yourself, committing suicide and it can also cause psychosis.
Courtesy of Help Guide
Rarest forms of mental health issues
Did you know that one in four people will experience a mental health issue of some kind each year? According to Mind charity, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem which is likely to be anxiety and/or depression in any given week in the UK.
Of course, there are more mental health problems out there. In fact, did you know there are approximately 200 classified mental health issues? This leads me onto a journey of discovering the rarest forms of psychological problems.
Here are my top 5 rarest forms of mental health illnesses:
A body integrity identity disorder is defined by an overwhelming desire to amputate or damage healthy parts of the body. The research on this unique condition is limited however it is believed to be a neurological type. Those who are affected by it are more likely to amputate their own limbs.
Apotemnophilia doesn’t have triggers, although it is caused by damage to the right parietal lobe in the brain. It can be treated by cognitive behavioral therapy and aversion therapies, however, people who are suffering from it rarely seek treatment for it.
Alien Hand Syndrome
A unique condition is when a hand is its own entity or in other words has a mind of its own. People who experience this do have a normal sensation, but it operates on its own accord rather than receiving signals from the brain.
The syndrome occurs in individuals who have damage to the corpus callosum which is in the hemispheres of the brain. However, there have been cases where this condition has arisen after someone suffering from a stroke or has damage to the parietal lobe.
Those with Boanthropy believe they are cows and in some cases actually act like them too in terms of people being found in fields with cows, walking on fours, chewing grass, and acting as a member of the herd.
Those who suffer from the condition aren’t aware of what they’re doing, as according to researchers this mental disorder is catalysed by dreams or even hypnotism. King Nebuchadnezzar from the bible described thecondition as “driven from men and did eat grass as oxen”.
Diogenes Syndrome is known as hoarding to the many. It is defined by the overwhelming desire to collect random items, so it depends on the person. The people with the condition share the common symptoms of extreme self-neglect, apathy towards themselves or others, social withdrawal, and no regrets about their habits.
It should be noted that it is common with the elderly population, dementia patients, or people who have been abandoned or have been brought up in an unstable home environment.
Condition is where individuals are completely over-whelmed by visiting the city Paris. Many who suffer from it experience anxiety, depersonalization, derealization, hallucinations, and delusions.
The syndrome is triggered by the language barrier and exhaustion (physical and mental).
Courtest of H4RD.
Can be any form of sport as long as you're putting in the effort to get a sweat. My preference is cycling as it increases self-esteem and reduces stress and anxiety thanks to the endorphins it produces. Exercise can also make a significant contribution to the prevention of further deterioration of mental health issues and can also improve the quality of life too.
It sounds almost too good to be true but exercise can also improve your mood, improve your sleeping pattern, improve your sex life and improve your motivation. It improves almost every aspect of your life making you a more balanced individual.
To further enhance the improvements exercise can make to your health, try setting yourself targets and monitoring your performance on Strava to track how many miles or kilometers you've achieved on a specific day. It can be 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, and so on, it's not about the quantity of milage, it's about how productive your training session has been. It feels like completing a book, it gives you that satisfaction of achieving something.
In my personal experience, I have enjoyed in my case cycling a lot more ever since I was doing it for the mental aspect of it rather than just trying to lose weight. I see losing weight as a bonus and I'm not hard on myself at all.
Everyone is different and can tailor exercise to achieve optimum performance and productivity in terms of getting everything they can get from a session of exercise.
2. Maintain a support network
Family and friends are a great option to have if you are speaking to them, however, if you are for any reason not in communication with them which is common for a lot of people that is okay, there are plenty of options to exercise (unintentional). There are support networks on most social media platforms (Facebook, Snapchat, Tik-Tok, and Twitter). They do make a difference as it makes you realise you are not alone, people can help you if you are struggling, and being a part of a group makes you feel like you are part of something positive.
You can also contact organisations that specialise in helping people with mental health issues such as Samaritans (03300945717) or if you don't feel comfortable speaking to someone on the phone you can text Shout on 85258.
The important thing to realise is that the advisors who work on the other side of the phone are there to help you because they want to not because they have to. They volunteer there and are not there just to pass the time of day and hope to get you off the phone as soon as possible. There is no judgement and their number one priority is to make sure you are okay.
And if you are not already convinced, everything is strictly confidential.
3. Eat well
Eating well doesn't just have physical advantages like losing weight, it can help improve depression and anxiety. Eating fresh and natural products means fewer mood fluctuations. I.e drinking too much Fanta Orange gives me more anxiety.
Eating everything in moderation is key as balance means everything which means you can still have a Pot Noodle or a chipper at the weekend, but you'll feel less guilty about having those meals if you eat more vegetables and protein-based meals like eggs and chicken during the week.
If I'm feeling depressed I'll eat a banana as it produces endorphins which means it improves my mood. I also find drinking chamomile tea beneficial to reducing my levels of anxiety.
It's important to do research as everyone is different and there are certainly many natural remedies to counteract mental health problems that affect you on a daily basis.
4. Alcohol intake
This part is for people who drink alcohol which is unsurprisingly most of us. Drinking alcohol is certainly not an issue until you abuse it. Having one or two pints does reduce levels of anxiety but not many of us stop at that level, we continue to drink more which can lead to the blacking out stage. The next day you've got 'hangxiety' or the fear. This means you can feel anxious, agitated, unmotivated or panicked as you might have done something you don't usually do, say something silly or the thought of not remembering anything instills that lack of control.
We have all been there, but it can make your mental health worse, especially if you do it almost every weekend. Some people try and stop it which is fine, although I believe the harmful reduction is more effective. Harmful reduction is cutting down gradually how much you drink instead of trying to go cold turkey.
I believe this is the way forward as you are putting more pressure on yourself if you are trying to stay sober completely and for most people, people cave in which just makes them feel even more guilty which can lead them to drink even more.
5. Find your passion/ do something you are good at
When I played football throughout my youth, I had something to focus on and felt good about myself. Having a passion or a hobby you are good at is amazing for your mental health as it boosts your self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and positivity.
What gives you joy? It can be anything from chess, painting by numbers, playing an instrument, or maybe you're passionate about tennis? If you don't know what that passion is, don't worry there are ways you can discover it:
1. Is there something you already do or think a lot about during the day? What is it?
3. Try it.
4. Practise it until you get good at it.
5. Do not quit your job or school as everyone needs a backup.
The key principle that can be applied to these steps is to not be too hard on yourself. We tend to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. For example, when I'm feeling motivated, I come up with dozens of ideas at once and attempt them all which just burns me out. You have to get back to the basics and maintain that as you just go back to square one.
Don't dwell on it when you go back to square one just keep trying and trying again until you get to where you want to be.
Courtesy of Help Guide
1. How many trophies will The Rangers win?
The Rangers have impressed many this season by not only winning their first-ever SPFL trophy but have the opportunity to finish the season unbeaten. The question is not if they will win a trophy next season but how many will they win? If Steven Gerrard's men keep their current crop of players (I think they will) and improves the squad which he will if he deems it necessary then I can't see past any other team competing with them.
Combining Celtic's massive rebuilding job in the Summer alongside Steven Gerrard's eagerness to defend the league championship after winning it for the first time in his career (including his playing days) is further evidence (if you needed it) that he will achieve domestic success on all fronts. The Rangers will be determined to match Celtic's first treble in 2016/2017.
Morelos will leave and he will be missed, but there is a togetherness in this squad where they don't need to rely on just one player anymore and he will be replaced with the right player.
2. Celtic - who, what, and how?
Celtic will obviously be challenging their old firm derby rivals next season but the question is who will be responsible for that charge as I can't see John Kennedy staying on and with the likes of Ajer, Christie, Brown, Griffiths, and Eduard leaving there is a huge overhaul required. Celtic are already at a disadvantage because when you replace more than 3 players at least in any squad, things can take time to gel and progress, especially when a new manager is taking over.
Roy Keane has been linked with the Celtic job and as much as I admire his passion and brutal honesty, his past achievements and man-management skills are in question due to his time as Sunderland & Ipswich manager.
You could argue that he has learned from those mistakes and when you play for Sir Alex Ferguson (arguably the best manager of all time), that surely has to count for something.
COVID-19 has played its part and winning next season's league title has become even more important because you automatically qualify for the group stages of the Champions League. This means more money which means a bigger disadvantage.
The stakes are higher and Celtic cannot afford to get this Summer wrong.
Photo by thetimes.co.uk
3. Stephen Glass & Co - The right men?
Over 100 applications were allegedly considered for the Pittodrie hot seat and they decided to go for former player and Atlanta reserve head coach, Stephen Glass, Celtic captain Scott Brown as a player/manager and England striker coach Allan Russell.
This caused debate amongst Aberdeen fans for a number of reasons as many didn't think there were any alternatives that could do a better job than Derek McInnes in the first place, Stephen Glass doesn't have any first-team experience as a manager, and Scott Brown's personality and antagonistic antics.
I believe Stephen Glass was Dave Cormack's choice from the start and I do understand why they hired him. Many fans said that his record at Atlanta reserve team is poor, but it's more about developing young player's potential rather than getting results on the pitch and I believe Atlanta FC were satisfied with his work. Mr Glass also knows the club and will bring fresh ideas into a club that were in regression under Derek McInnes.
Scott Brown will be a success at Aberdeen as he will be bringing his experience and winning mentality. Lewis Ferguson and Ross McRorie will be learning from someone that has won 22 trophies. Lets break that down.
Ten Scottish Premier League trophies, seven Scottish League Cups, and six Scottish Cups. Quadruple trebles including the invincible treble. He has featured in the champions league eleven times and the Europa League once. He also has 142 Scotland appearances.
Aberdeen FC has lacked someone with aggression and determination and it is in Scott Brown's interest to make a success of this opportunity There are far worse places to begin your apprenticeship.
Photo by dailyrecord.co.uk
Main photo to by rangersnews.co.uk
Substitutes: Gordon, Robertson, Dykes, Fraser, Armstrong, McKenna, McGregor, O'Donnell, Forrest, Shinnie, McLean
Do you agree with this line-up? Is it too defensive? Who would you replace? Please let us know in the comments.
With the Scottish elections fast approaching this May, we as voters have to think about which party to vote for. SNP, the Conservative Party, Labour, Green Party, Liberal Democrats, and the Alba Party. That wasn't an error. There is a new party that will be participating in what is deemed as one of the most significant Scottish elections in the nation's history.
To help you make a more informed decision here is a fact file that will hopefully answer all of your questions with regards to the Alba Party:
The Alba Party was formed by former First Minister Alex Salmond with the assistance of Laurie Flynn (former TV producer). A number of SNP political members have joined forces already, with more expected to arrive in the future.
The Alba Party is a pro-independence party.
The easiest question to answer. In our beloved Scotland.
The newly formed party was founded in early February but was made public knowledge through a Press Release conducted by Alex Salmond last Friday.
According to https://www.albaparty.org/, the main goals of the party are:
“Alba will contest the upcoming Scottish elections as a list-only party under my leadership, seeking to build a supermajority for independence in the Scottish Parliament.
“Over the next six weeks, we will promote new ideas about taking Scotland forward giving primacy to economic recovery from the pandemic and the achievement of independence for our country.
“We expect to field a minimum of four candidates in each regional list and are hoping to elect Alba MSPs from every area of Scotland.”Setting out its aims, the Alba Party said: “National independence for Scotland as an immediate necessity, and overwhelming priority, achieved by democratic means through a vote of people resident in Scotland.
“The promotion of all Scottish interests, and the building of an economically successful, environmentally responsible and socially-just independent country, through the pursuit of a social-democratic program.
“The acceptance by the Scottish people of a written constitution for the newly independent country; defending the rights, liberties, and equality of all citizens before the law.”
Universal Rhythms was set up by Mz McKenna.
Mz McKenna is a DJ, producer, and electronic dance music enthusiast, with a 9 - 5 job as a web developer for an award-winning company that specialises in the design and development of websites for estate agents - and a recent breast cancer survivor (so far, so good).
In terms of overcoming a rare form of breast cancer (so far, so good), and as well as trying to keep busy during these unprecedented times, she has tried to turn those negatives into positives, through her escape into the music world.
Listening to, and producing music has helped her on her journey, thanks to not only escapism, but by being inspired by Chase and Status, The Chemical Brothers, Andy C, Wilkinson, Subfocus, The Prodigy, and The Beatles, especially.
She wants to give back to the music world due to this, and if she learns of at least one person whose life has been made better, in any shape or form, because of her music, she will have more than exceeded her expectations.
If you are producing music and it makes you dance - fire it over, we want to hear it...
For more information please click on the links below:
Scotland's results over the international weekend were a mixed bag, to say the least. A decent 2-2 draw with Austria although we could have won it, which was then followed by a disappointing 1-1 draw with Israel. In our final game, we won 4-0 against minnows, The Faroe Islands.
That leaves us with 2 points from 9 games which leave us in 3rd place, which is disappointing but is not a surprise for different reasons compared to previous campaigns under other managers.
These games prove that Steve Clarke prefers being the underdog and his teams are at his most vulnerable when that isn't the case against these so-called smaller teams. Playing a defensive formation with 5 at the back works against the bigger teams or teams of similar ability to us, look at the result against Serbia. You then have even more evidence of his time at Kilmarnock where he overcame The Rangers and Celtic in his final season finishing in 3rd place.
These tactics do not work against teams of lower ability because we're not defending against quality attacking the opposition and the chances are they're playing the same tactics as us.
I feel more confident of qualifying from the Euro 2021 group stages with Croatia, England, and Czech Republic compared to a World Cup group that consists of Austria, Israel, Faroe Islands, Denmark & Moldova. I believe this defensive approach is the right way to go for the European Championships this Summer, but we need to have a different style and tactics for the World Cup Qualifiers.
When you've got players like Tierney, Robertson, McGinn, Adams, McTominay, Fraser, McGregor, Christie, Jack, and Armstrong we should be competing with Denmark for the top spot and worst-case scenario 2nd place above Austria in my opinion.
Steve Clarke has some thinking to do, I'm sure he will adapt to the situation like he usually does and will come out of this even stronger. There is nothing wrong with a plan B, it makes you more unpredictable which makes you more dangerous.
I am looking forward to this Summer, like everyone else. You might call me crazy, but this is our best chance to get a result against England. I think this will be Gareth Southgate's last tournament. He is an average manager, who doesn't like change. He plays his trusted formation with 5 at the back and refuses to take advantage of having the likes of Kane, Sterling, Rashford, Sancho, Grealish, Foden, and more.
Croatia is also a team in decline. Modric (35), Rakitic (33), Perisic (31) and Dejan Lovren (31). We can overpower them with our youthful team combined with our aggression. Or the more realistic option would be to let them play their game and take them on the counter-attack for the first 70 minutes and once they tire out we can take full advantage.
Czech Republic is the less talented but will prove to be difficult. They will play a similar formation to us and will look to capitalise on any mistakes we will make. We have the better players and there should be no excuse for this game. I am confident we can learn from the last 3 games and apply it to this game. It will probably set the tone for the rest of the game considering it's our first one of the campaign.
On another note, I'm just glad to finally witness our national team participate in a major tournament even if it is just watching it from home. Isn't it typical that we qualified during a lockdown too? Such a Scottish thing to do.
Photo courtesy of the Daily Record