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Social Media and Mental Health

Social media is everywhere. One cannot escape the various ads, requests for follows, and people do not just think one might be on social media, they simply expect it. But what effect does this have on the middle-aged adults? Those who grew up while the internet boomed and grew from AOL chat rooms to the massive social media corporations that society has today have been altered and affected in various ways. Though, one must question, how has one’s mental health changed in this era of retweets and shares? Has depression grown because of social media or is it simply correlative to the collective better understanding of these disorders?

cellphone with multiple sticky notes above it representing social media


First and foremost, in order to understand whether or not social media has increased the rise of various mental health disorders, one must first identify if there has been a rise in said disorders. Given that individuals have more access currently to information about mental health and see more advocacy in recent years, it can feel as those everyone around a person has some sort of mental health disorder. This feeling is only partially justified though; life expectancy, ease of access, and increase in acceptance of mental health treatment (Hafner, 1985). Given this broad view, it appears there has not been an increase in general mental health ailments across the board but when one looks closely at depression specifically there has been a rise from 6.6% to 7.3% of Americans in 2005-2015 (Goodwin, 2017). However, is this because of social media?

Social media usage has reached approximately 77% of all American adults (Mammoser, 2018). While typical usage of social media remains unproblematic, it has become compulsive and addictive for some. One study conducted on 23,500 Norwegian participants by Andreassen, Pallesen, and Griffiths in 2017 found that social media was linked to both higher rates of narcissism and lower self-esteem. Beyond this, there was also a consistent trend of individuals displaying addiction symptoms towards social media. All of which puts on at risk for depressive episodes, if not depressive disorder.
 

The risk factors were found to increase even more so if one was a part of these vulnerable groups: women, young adult, or single. Middle aged adults did not appear to be as heavily affected as their younger counterparts. Guzman and Mentes of University of California decided to explore specifically though whether or not there was a causative relationship between depression and social media in middle aged adults. Their findings detailed that in 3,294 adults aged 35 and above, via a self-reporting survey, depicted that despite robust usage of social media there was not a significant relationship with increased depression (Guzman & Mentez, 2017).

So, given the understanding that social media usage is rampant and a frequent part of daily life for even those middle aged, what is it that seems to be able to alleviate the depressive episodes that their younger counter parts seem to experience? What is it about their human-technology interactions that buffer them? One aspect that the abovementioned study addressed as a possibility is that the proliferations of social media in middle aged adults is more beneficial to prevent feelings of social isolation due to the requirements of daily life. Younger adults simply have more time available in the day to interact in person with one another and instead become reclusive and utilize social media as a substitute. This has the opposite effect on middle aged adults due to the absence of ability to interact in person frequently.
      

Furthermore, middle aged adults tend to feel the loss of community more keenly as life’s demands grow with the typical additives of greater workload, family expansion, and household duties. These accompanied with greater demands of health and welfare can leave the 35 and up group feeling cut off from the world due to a lack of time management and a sense of overwhelming responsibility.

With these things in mind, more research should be accomplished to understand what is causing young adults to become addicted to social media and develop depressive episodes because of it that does not happen to middle aged adults. This comparative study on a larger scale could be a double-sided solution as it not only helps us understand the impact of technology on the older generation but also helps buffer the younger generation from those feelings of ostracization and depression. So the research question proposed is: How does society protect its younger generations from falling victim to depression because of social media, while protecting the older generation from depression due to the lack of community?

Research in this area could be key to better understanding and defining internet addiction and withdrawal, as well as prevent rising statistics in suicide amidst the two generations for their opposing reasons. Social media in middle aged adults is linked to bettering one’s chances of being buffered against depressive episodes, despite there being immense research demonstrating that younger generations become more susceptible. Studies are needed to further understand these correlations and their causes, but for now, this information is a strong foundation.


References

Andreassen, C. S., Billieux, J., Griffiths, M. D., Kuss, D. J., Demetrovics, Z., Mazzoni, E., & Pallesen, S. (2016). The relationship between addictive use of social media and video games and symptoms of psychiatric disorders: A large-scale cross-sectional study. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors30(2), 252–262. https://doi-org.library.capella.edu/10.1037/adb0000160

Goodwin, R. (2017). Depression is on the Rise in the U.S., Especially Among Young Teens. Retrieved from: https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/depression-rise-us-especially-among-young-teens

Guzman, A. A., & Mentes, J. C. (2017). depression and social media use among middle aged and older u.s. adults. Innovation in Aging, 1(suppl_1), 1179-1179. doi:10.1093/geroni/igx004.4296

Hafner, H. (1985). Are Mental Disorders Increasing Over Time? Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4059492

Mammoser, G. (2018). The FOMO Is Real: How Social Media Increases Depression and Loneliness. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/social-media-use-increases-depression-and-loneliness

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Mindfulness Meditation

I know what you’re thinking, that meditation is just a placebo and doesn’t really work. Well, if that is your mindset going into it, it likely isn’t going to work at first. After all, how can one properly meditate if the entire time they’re thinking how it’s a waste of time? Statistically speaking though, mindfulness and meditation has been proven time and time again to help.

          Now I am an avid prayer at the church of iron, but if there’s one thing I know for sure, its that if your head is not in the game, you’re not going to hit those goals you’re striving for. It can be stressful prepping for the next competition, or even just trying to reach your personal goals. Mindfulness meditation can not only help you outside of the gym, but also inside of it.

          Mindfulness meditation is a tool that all of us could use in our life. It has been proven to not only decrease current stress but also provide the ability to be more adaptive to new stress that may come in our lives (Donald, Atkins, Parker, Christie, & Ryan, 2016). Mindfulness has also been found to prevent avoidance. Mindfulness has been proven particularly helpful for parents, teachers, veterans, police officers, and those who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS.

          I know that mindfulness and meditation seems like just buzzwords, but it really does work. As a disabled veteran who has CPTSD, I must say that when I dedicate at least fifteen minutes a day to my meditations, life in general is a lot easier to handle. Stress is a killer. It can ruin your body and your mind. The gym is a great place to reduce stress and grab hold of your health, physiologically and psychologically. However, this is something you can do from the comfort of your home and can do every day for free! If you’re a lifter like I am, it can really help you reach those goals you have in the gym. Even if you’re not though, the effects of stress reduction is so beneficial in so many ways. I urge you out there to try it, there are multiple videos on Youtube for guided meditation. Even better is when you couple in mindfulness with Aloha CBD. Adding CBD to my routine has helped me get better control of my sleep and gain mental clarity.

          Another great place to figure out how to start doing mindful meditation would be to visit this site here. This gives a step by step instructional on how to begin meditating mindfully and take hold of your life and improve it. Best of luck to you, and keep your eyes out for more information on how you can take control of your mental well being.

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Unlocking Mental Clarity

          Looking to improve your mental clarity, focus, and mood? There’s an easy way to do this, take your vitamins! It is recommended though before adding new supplements and vitamins to your diet, that you have a blood panel done to show where there may be specific deficiencies affecting your mood. However, here I will cover a list of vitamins and supplements that can help improve your mental clarity and your day to day life. You are the master of your ship, so let’s jump into the journey to health.

          ADHD and Depression are two of the most common reasons individuals go to see their primary care physician. Some severe cases do require pharmacological measures to help and there is nothing wrong with that. However, some individuals with more acute symptoms may be able to reverse their affliction by use of vitamins and supplements, as well as a well-balanced diet and exercise.  It can be hard though to want to do anything when you’re suffering from fatigue, depression, or other mood disorders. This is where vitamins and supplements can help get you the boost needed for you to get started on the road to living a healthier and happier life.  Let’s jump in with a fun fact first.



  1. Vitamin C
    1. Recommended by the Alzheimer’s Foundation, vitamin C aids in the production of neurotransmitters which control just about every function that you have in life. It also is known to improve overall mood and positivity. Vitamin C also protects your brain against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. It has even been recorded as reducing the risk for development of Alzheimer’s by 60%. The recommended dose is 90mg, and can be absorbed through citrus fruits as well as a vitamin.
  2. Vitamin E
    1. Synergistic with vitamin C, vitamin E is a powerhouse that is fat soluble. This means that it is stored in the liver until it is needed. A deficiency of this vitamin can display lack of mental clarity and confusion. This vitamin protects cells from radical free damage and keeps brain cells health. Recommended dose is 15 mcg.
  3. Vitamin B12
    1. This vitamin is well known for its ability to prolong energy, but it in fact is also necessary for maintaining healthy nerves and blood cells. Take this to produce healthy new blood cells and regulate nerve transmission. Daily recommended dose is 2.4 mcg.
  4. Omega -3 Fatty Acids
    1. Studies have shown that babies who have high levels of omega-3 have shown more promise when they were older and attending school. The best time for absorption is at a young age but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start taking it now. EPA & DHA are the two main types of omega-3. Omega-3 has even been shown to reverse memory problems in those undergoing omega-3 therapy.
  5. Folate or B9
    1. This vitamin works to maintain oxygen in the blood and is pertinent to heart and brain health. It is especially important for pregnant and nursing mothers. Signs of a deficiency are fatigue, distractedness, and moodiness. Can be obtained through diet in foods like beans, leafy greens, and citrus fruits. The recommended dose is 400mcg.
  6. B6
    1. B6 is known for creating positive moods by increasing serotonin in the body. This helps increase short and long-term memory. B6 is also responsible for reducing levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which destroys damaged tissues and can lead to heart, brain, and lung problems. The recommended dose is 1.6-2mg and is necessary to replenish daily as it is water soluble.
  7. Magnesium
    1. Magnesium is known as the key regulator of metabolism and is vital to bone and blood health. This vitamin is common in multivitamins but be forewarned that if it is mixed with calcium, one or both will not be absorbed by your body as the same receptors receive each of these. Also, the human body can only absorb 100mg at a time, so anything over that in a multivitamin is a waste of your money. Recommendations for meeting the required 3-400 mg a day would be to get three servings a day of leafy greens or get 250mg pills, break in half, and take at different times in the day to reach your daily dose.
  8. 5-HTP
    1. 5-HTP is a supplement that is used sleep disorders such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, migraine and tension-type headaches, fibromyalgia, obesity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), seizure disorder, and Parkinson’s disease. This supplement works in the brain to aid the production of serotonin and is a more natural way in comparison to some of the SSRI’s. Several studies have used doses of 150-3000 mg daily in up to three divided doses for 2-6 weeks. Doses have also been gradually increased from 150 mg daily for 2 weeks up to 400 mg daily for 4 weeks.

So, there you have it folks, a few places to start in terms of vitamins and supplements to your diet that can improve your daily mood, mental clarity, and memory. This of course is not to replace the recommendations of your primary care physician but can be a good place to start in terms of taking control of your life today.



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So You’ve Decided to Bake Cookies

RECIPE: CBD Mint CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

chocolate chip cookies stacked with a bottle of milk
  • 0.5 oz. Maui Mint Aloha CBD oil
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. hot water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix your wet ingredients (white sugar, brown sugar, softened butter, and CBD oil) until creamy. Beat in the eggs and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Add flour to the batter until fully combined. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and stir into the batter along with the salt.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips
  • Place parchment paper onto a baking sheet and spoon batter onto the sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each dollop.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies appear golden brown.

Well you came to the right place! We even did the just thing and put the RECIPE FIRST! No years of scrolling until you got there, just right at top. But if you did want to know, it was one day when the weather crisply let us know it was Autumn that…. Just kidding! However, on a serious note, adjust the CBD oil amount as needed as per your dosing preference. Enjoy your awesome cookies and tag us on Instagram in your pictures of how it turned out with @cbdwithaloha.