Why Isn’t R U Ok Day Everyday?

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Mental health awareness campaign, R U Ok? is a non for profit organisation spreading the powerful question, “Are you ok?” throughout the nation today. The campaign educates people on suicide prevention and how each and every individual can help someone. One question leaves a very powerful message that can help someone in need suffering from mental health disorder(s).

Why are we only reminded to ask our friends and family a powerful question once a year? Mental health sufferers forego the continuous daily challenges each and every day; 365 days a year.

In Australia, mental health has a negative stigma attached. Mental health is looked upon as weak and thought of as if it’s their fault for feeling depressed or stressed. Mental health can be hard to distinguish compared to a physical injury but  can be just as damaging.

The campaign bringing awareness to the public should continuously enlighten and educate how each individual can help someone on a daily basis. Whilst today we may save or bring joy to someone who hasn’t felt pure happiness in awhile. Think about how you are going to help that person next week or next year?

Mental health is an ongoing battle, and should be treated accordingly. Asking someone are you ok? is more challenging and sensitive than simply asking a question. A few steps may make you feel more comfortable to know how to look after your friend/ family member.

Ask: Are You Ok?

Prior to asking start a normal conversation as you would normally do whilst staying relaxed, such as “What’s been happening?” While asking if they are ok, mention specific things that may have initially concerned you to begin the conversation, such as; “i’ve noticed you’ve been really tired lately”.

Listen Without Judgment

The person who you are talking to is already dealing with their continuous negative thoughts surrounding their head. All they need is someone to listen to them and reverse their current negative thoughts or at least bring some clarity. Allow them to take their time and if they start closing up openly engage and ask comforting questions. If they become angry or upset remain calm and collected, remind them you are here because you care for them.

How Can You Help Them?

Dependent on the person will showcase different strategies to help the person. If needed provide health services that would be beneficial. Family and friends are more likely to persuade someone to seek help. Your words can be powerfully life changing. Alternatively the individual may need some time for themself such as a fun day outside etc.

Don’t Forget About Them

Keep in contact with them, even if it’s simply to put a reminder in your phone for every two weeks. The person should know that you are continuously there for them, not just a once off. They need continuous support.

R U Ok day is a wonderful campaign but don’t leave asking are you ok to someone in need just for the 10th of September. People suffering from mental health need continuous support and your question could alter and change their lives around for the better.

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Can Exercise Be As Addictive As Drugs?

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What does shopping, alcohol, drugs, gambling, exercise and overeating all have in common? They can all become a form of addiction. The media portrays alcohol, drugs and gambling addictions as the worst and foremost addictions people behave in. However, it is not the only addiction people may uncontrollably perform in. Although inevitably drug and alcohol dependence can have critical health problems to the individual, so can exercise and overeating.

Numerous magazines continuously report what the best types of exercise’ are and how exercise can have a positive impact on our health. When do you see a magazines headline stating exercising too much can cause unhealthy habits? The stigma of having an addiction to exercise doesn’t have the same impact as someone with a drug dependence problem, and yet they are both addictions and both cause negative health impacts.

When a person exercises endorphins are released causing a euphoric feeling. The continuous joyous feeling people feel after each and every exercise becomes the addiction. They crave the feeling. Unfortunately the more they exercise the less intense the endorphins are released. Therefore causing the person to need to train harder, longer and more often. And that’s when the uncontrollable loop of addiction begins. Generally, when people exercise they either lose fat or gain muscle dependent on the type of exercise they are performing. Therefore, more likely than not people including strangers are more likely to give that person positive attention. Positive reinforcement can be a powerful motivator to keep exercising.

There are numerous signs that may indicate you or someone you know is/has developed addiction to exercise.

The person may exercise to forget problems or to relax.

Unfortunately with exercise many people use this form of therapy often and therefore can be hard to differentiate between a healthy exerciser and an addicted one.

They choose to exercise over a social function that they would have normally attended.

It is not common in our society to go to the gym over your best friends birthday.

They don’t feel like themselves when they aren’t doing some form of exercise.

Addiction can cause physical signs. They may feel sick or shaky when they are not able to exercise that day.

Exercise addiction is not highly talked about in the media. The current society is not educated on the risk factors of intense exercise. The media should be informing individuals on how exercise can become addictive and the first signs to be aware of. The want to feel a sense of euphoria can be as addictive as a synthetic drug.

The Power Of “Likes” Is More Damaging Than You Think

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Generation Z have been brought up with the internet and social media engulfing their everyday lives. Social media has impacted young girls and boys confidence and their self-esteem due to the simple Like button. Instagram is one of the many popular social media sites. The app allows any one around the world to upload a picture of themselves and allows other friends and or the public to like the photo. Instagram can be a wonderful ability for people to stay updated on what others are doing; especially for families or friends living around the world.

Unfortunately, social media does not always have a positive impact. The ability to gain likes or interest from other users can have some psychological influences on the individual. The simple thought process of the more likes I get the more popular I am is a damaging perception of the person’s self-esteem and their friendships. As the years pass, younger and younger children are engaging in personal social media accounts. Unfortunately, this may have a negative impact on the children and adolescents mental health. The down-grading thought process that “they do not look good because they only received 10 likes on their recent photo” can have a greater effect on their self-esteem and furthermore effect their schooling.

In addition to themselves posting photos it is easily accessible to scroll through other girls photos, including super models. Comparing yourself to others negatively may cause serious health risks such as unhealthy dieting and exercise or develop an eating disorder.

Young children and adolescents are vulnerable to peer perceptions. A loss of confidence and self-esteem can have damaging consequences such as an increase in depression and or eating disorders. In addition, when a student has no self-confidence and or depression their academic studies are more likely to become negatively affected. Mental health disorders such as depression can have an effect on short-term memory loss. Therefore, affecting student’s performance in situations such as tests and exams.

Although allowing your child(ren) to have a social media account may initially seem acceptable as many children do. The initial thought may cause more damaging impact on your children’s mentality than originally intended.

Her Eyes Tell A Haunting Story With No One To Hear

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Look at her eyes, can you see her hidden fears and her hazy future. Have you ever felt as if she is hiding more than what meets the eye. Her impeccable long brown hair flowing in the wind and flawless skin may be hiding her tainted confidence. She never wants you to know that everything she portrays is all an act. An act to society. Allowing no one in public to ask her the three words she yerns to hear; “are you ok?”

Those three words could allow her to release and relinquish her true unconscious emotions. She has pushed the torture and cruelty deep within her that even now she can’t remember who she is. She knows she lives in a fake and unforgettable world but she cannot portray her true demons, who lurk around her, to the stigmatised enriched society. It is unacceptable. We must all be happy and successful in life. If only someone knew. Her life has become a haze. And only 3 words can clear her of the continuous fog.

“Are you ok?”

The young girl is a description of what it may be like for someone who has depression or anxiety. Asking; Are you ok? Can change someone’s life and may prevent them from doing something irrational. If you or someone you know may be battling with depression or any mental health issue, seek help and guidance from a professional.