#BellLetsTalk? Well, Let’s Talk

Hello there,

I haven’t been here in a little while, how have you been?

Seasonal depression naps have been taking over my life, and if I don’t regain some semblance of control, I would run the risk of ruining the rest of this semester – and essentially the program – due to pure lack of productivity. I’m not even joking here.

It also means this is possibly the closest you would get from me in terms of me writing as someone in an episode of depression. I say “closest” because: 1. S.A.D. is mild in comparison; 2. this writing is somewhat constrained, as I have no desire to turn this blog into a real-time therapy session that’s disguised as a diary.

A few days ago – Jan. 31st – was the Bell Let’s Talk Day, an annual mental health awareness day in Canada that has been going on for the past 7 years. Any post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk would result (more…)

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S.A.D. Concluded 2017, Now What?

Hello there, good to have you.

Now that we are almost 24 hrs. into it, how has 2018 been treating you so far?

Me? I recently took a 7-days long leave of absence — Dec. 24th – Dec. 31st — from all forms of social media, and more-or-less the Internet. It certainly wasn’t an easy decision, especially when my S.A.D. kicked in and I found myself heading down the rabbit-hole of rumination, and became tempted to seek any and all distractions from the smoldering anguish.

The funny thing is I started to notice where some of my thoughts were headed a few days prior to taking said break. It was all rather minor at first, and then everything took off once my school’s winter break started and I truly had time for myself.

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As a result, I probably spent 3 – 4 days conducting one-person dialogues — at times out loud when nobody else was around — while being my own counselor and therapist. Maybe I should rephrase what I said earlier: I recently took a 7-days long leave of absence from anything resembling normal human life. (more…)

Mental-Health & Tech.: Social Media & FOMO

Hello there, how are you today?

What have you been up to lately?

Have you experienced FOMO recently?

Well, I’ll let you in on a secret: I had absolutely no idea what FOMO meant until approx. 2-3 weeks ago, when I came across the definition while perusing an article for one of the earlier posts. I don’t know why I never bothered to look it up, because now that I think about it, I have seen the term on numerous occasions before.

According to the reliable, universally-respected Urban Dictionary, FOMO refers to the “fear of missing out” (the top definition has been in existence since Oct. 2nd, 2006). But the exact history of the phenomenon is unclear, a quick search traces its origin to the 2003-era Boston, or just as likely, 1996. Given the fact that fear is an emotion, and humans have been social animals for hundreds of thousands of years, I think the basic (more…)

Mental-Health & Tech.: Social Media & Anxiety

Hello there, how are you?

When was the last time you felt anxious*?

What if your anxiety cripples your ability to function on a daily basis?

anxiety on twitter

We all have our own reasons to feel anxious: maybe you become extremely nervous each time you’re expected to speak in front of a large audience; maybe you are very self-conscious about your body; maybe you are afraid of heights; maybe you fear being stuck inside of a tight space, etc. I have been feeling anxious as a result of the uncertainty of the ongoing Ontario College Strike, because I made the decision to return to school with the hope of making a career-change. There are numerous possible triggers for anxiety, they’re partially what make anxiety disorders so challenging to deal with.

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Mental-Health & Tech.: Social Media & Depression, Pt. II

Hello there, good to have you.

I hope you have been well.

Today, I continue where I left off last time: for introverts suffering from mental illnesses, including major depression, the use of social media can easily exacerbate a lot of the symptoms. Remember how I contended that your self-awareness is heightened when you are stuck in an episode of major depression? I made the assertion based on personal experience, as well as conversations I’ve had with others as a mental-health support line volunteer.

In general, introverts are renowned for having our heads ‘in the clouds’, this tendency gets amplified when depression comes into the picture: rumination is a key component of depression. The ills of rumination is something those who struggle with chronic anxiety can relate to, then again, diagnoses of anxiety and depression are positively correlated. Spending time on social media, for most intents and purposes, worsens rumination, which in turn… Well, I’ll let you finish the sentence there.

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Mental-Health & Tech.: Social Media & Depression, Pt. I

Hello there,

How have you been?

How are you currently feeling?

I originally thought I would cover the topic of mental-health & modern technology in one post (I was probably being a little too ambitious there), but decided to make it a series instead, even as I sit here contemplating just how emotionally vulnerable I should render myself.

As an introvert and an only-child, spending time with my thoughts has gone from a survival necessity to something akin to a specialty. It has benefits and disadvantages: I am almost never bored*, but when an episode of depression hits, I can feel my life slipping away from me.

In slow motion.

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Allow Me To Introduce Myself

First of all, I’m still trying to comprehend how this blog came to be as a result of a course requirement. I think part of the incredulousness also stems from the fact that I am currently writing this during the Great Ontario College Strike of 2017 (my comedian brain is weighing the odds of this not being read until early 2018).

Having said that, if you are here, you likely fall under one of the three following groups: 1. Professor Martin Waxman; 2. my fellow classmates; 3. my peers from the other two sections. Or maybe you arrived onto this blog serendipitously. None of that matters, as I intend to do my best in writing interesting and engaging material for the both of us. You are more than welcome to comment below and share with me your thoughts. (more…)