Posts tagged with "depression"

How Sleep Apnea Affects Mental Health and What You Can Do About It

You might not know that you have sleep apnea. However, your partner can probably tell. 

This rule holds even if they don’t kick you during the night to get you to stop snoring. The sleep disturbances caused by this disorder can impact your mood, turning normally pleasant people into snarling grumps. Here’s how sleep apnea affects mental health and what you can do about it. 

1. It Makes You Edgier 

Do you find yourself snapping at your spouse or children when they ask you an innocent question? Undiagnosed sleep apnea can make you irritable and edgy. 

Research shows that sleep-deprived individuals report an increase in negative emotions like anger and a decrease in positive ones. Further complicating the issue is how mood disorders such as mild depression can often disrupt sleep patterns. The combination results in a vicious cycle, with sleeplessness increasing depressive symptoms that only spur further insomnia. 

Talk to your doctor if possible. While you don’t want to rely on prescription sleep aids, a short-term course can help you reset your cycles. Over-the-counter aids such as Benadryl also assist some in getting their Zzz’s. A doctor can also help by informing you of what other treatment options exist outside of medication. Many people report holistic methods work well for them. Whatever the case, your mood should improve once you get sufficient rest.

2. It Disrupts Focus 

Remember the last time your alarm didn’t wake you up in time for work in the morning? Chances are, you felt “off” the remainder of the day. 

Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing multiple times while you sleep. You might not remember waking up from this phenomenon — but your body absorbs the effects as if you tossed and turned all night. The impact on your cognitive abilities remains the same. 

You might not even know if you have the disorder. Approximately 80% of those with severe to moderate sleep apnea remain undiagnosed. The process involves undergoing a sleep study, which isn’t without complicating factors. Many folks find it challenging to sleep with wires taped hither and yon, leading to many inconclusive and false-negative results. 

However, you might feel the effects in the workplace. Many people with sleep apnea report feeling tired all day despite getting what they thought was a full night of sleep. Pay close attention to the way you feel throughout the day at work and elsewhere. If you find that your normally detail-oriented self starts missing zeroes on budget reports, talk to your doctor.

3. It Could Spur Compulsive Overeating 

Your body contains two stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline spurs your initial fight-or-flight response, and cortisol takes over when stress becomes long-term, preparing your body for a prolonged onslaught. The problem is, you can’t escape modern stressors like unpaid debt the way early humans outran hungry lions. 

As a result, excess cortisol production prepares you for physical exertion that never comes. This hormone makes you crave foods high in fat and calories for lasting energy — but you never burn it off. The result is unwanted pounds that stress you out even more. 

4. It Can Cause Drowsy Driving 

Did you know that remaining awake for more than 18 hours impairs your driving ability as much as a blood alcohol content of 0.05%? That’s right — drowsy driving is as dangerous as taking the wheel when intoxicated.

Your youth and good health won’t protect you from an auto accident. A wreck causing ongoing health issues, such as those resulting in traumatic brain injury (TBI), can cause severe financial hardship, given the lack of single-payer coverage in the United States. You could find yourself out of a job at a time when you need your employer-sponsored health insurance more than ever and end up buried in medical debt. 

Pay attention if you notice that you frequently arrive at home or work with little recollection of how you got there other than knowing you must have driven. Everyone zones out behind the wheel occasionally, but you should call your doctor if it happens all the time. 

5. It Can Impact Your Close Relationships 

Even if you can blame your irritable mood on sleep apnea and the resulting disruption, knowing the reason doesn’t spare your family the grief of living with a grump. If left untreated, the associated behavioral changes could damage your closest relationships. 

Therefore, if you won’t seek help for yourself, do so for the people you love. Living with or even just having a close with relationship with someone who is moody and down all the time can really take a toll on your friends and family, especially if they are trying their best to help you and be supportive but are met with hostility. This kind of dynamic can eventually lead to people distancing themselves from you.

You’ll likely discover that you will personally feel happier than ever too once you address the underlying cause of your irritability. You might even live longer — loneliness increases all-cause mortality. 

Methods of Treating Sleep Apnea 

What should you expect when you speak with your doctor? You have several treatment options to explore: 

  • CPAP: A CPAP machine is the gold standard in treating diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. It forces your airway open, making breathing possible. If you have health insurance, your carrier will probably cover the cost of your device, minus any copays and deductibles. 
  • Surgery: Some people can’t tolerate the mask that the CPAP device requires. In such cases, doctors may perform surgery to remove excess tissue from your soft palate and stabilize your upper airway. 
  • Holistic Methods: Many people find that shedding excess weight helps improve sleep apnea symptoms. Elevating your head on numerous pillows can keep tissue from blocking your airways and disrupting your slumber. 

Sleep Apnea Can Affect Mental Health — Talk to a Doctor if You’re Suffering

Sleep apnea can adversely impact your mental health. Please talk to your doctor about your treatment options so you can feel better. 

Art by Heather Skovlund of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Dr. Ahron Friedberg – Through a Screen Darkly

Through A Screen Darkly Details Pandemic Mental Health Struggles

Dr. Ahron Friedberg’s Book Offers Context on CDC & KFF Data 

In his latest book, Through a Screen Darkly: Psychoanalytic Reflections During the Pandemic, New York City psychiatrist Dr. Ahron Friedberg portrays a range of individuals dealing with mental health issues related to the pandemic, providing context for these harrowing recent statistics:

The average share of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety disorder and/or depression almost quadrupled from January 2019 to June 2021

  • 36% of adults report difficulty sleeping, 32% cited eating problems, and 12% reported increase in alcohol and substance abuse
  • Communities of color and essential workers are suffering disproportionately
  • Young adults, more likely to lose jobs and / or be in lockdowns, are also suffering disproportionately
  • Suspected suicide attempts have increased in teenagers, especially girls

Commenting on the statistics, Dr. Friedberg stated: Stress has physical as well as mental consequences. It weakens the immune system and increases the incidence of major depression as well cardiac and pulmonary issues.

Friedberg continues: I coined the term Post-COVID Re-entry Syndrome to describe the stress that people suffer as they re-enter the workforce, reconnect with friends and family, and attempt to resume some semblance of a normal life.

To manage this anxiety, Dr. Friedberg recommends: 

  • Taking a walk outdoors
  • Connecting with friends and family – safely
  • Self- Reflection

If symptoms become severe, he recommends consulting a trained mental health professional. Primary care physicians and clergy can also provide resource and emotional support.

The ultimate goal is to bolster your resilience, states Dr. Friedberg. In my experience counseling patients through the pandemic, I found that they had greater capacity for resilience than they realized. Deploying this resilience was their pathway to successfully managing their mental health.

Through a Screen Darkly offers practical examples of how patients coped with these conditions and (in many cases) found the resilience to get past them.

In addition to Through a Screen Darkly, Dr. Friedberg wrote Psychotherapy and Personal Change: Two Minds in a Mirror with Dr. Sandra Sherman. With Dr. Jack Hirschowitz, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, he wrote Flashing Seven: Seven Essential Skills for Living and Leading. With his father, Dr. Eugene Friedberg, he wrote Between Us, A Father and Son Speak. 

Through a Screen Darkly is available for purchase at amazon.com.

ABOUT DR. AHRON FRIEDBERG: 

Dr. Ahron Friedberg, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Manhattan. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Friedberg served as Co-Chair of the Psychiatry Advisory Board and has helped develop and lead several academic and teaching initiatives including their Innovations in Psychiatry Symposium. Dr. Friedberg also directs the Symposium, a national meeting held annually at Mount Sinai. He has participated in clinical research as part of the Department’s Mood and Anxiety Program, which focuses on translational neuroscience and understanding resilience.

Dr. Friedberg has served twice as national President of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians. He was named first Executive Editor of International Psychoanalysis.net, a highly regarded online psychoanalytic resource. In addition, he is an Acquisitions Editor of International Psychoanalytic Books, Book Editor of Psychodynamic Psychiatry, Editor of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis Academy Forum, elected chair of the International Council of Editors, Psychoanalytic Journals, as well as a regular contributor to Psychology Today.

His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including The Psychoanalytic Review, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Neuro-psychoanalysis, and Psychodynamic Psychiatry. Dr. Friedberg’s writing focuses on the treatment of anxiety and trauma, clinical technique, and the concepts of resilience, consciousness, and desire in psychoanalysis. He has received awards for excellence in writing, in addition to originality and scholarship.

For more information on Dr. Ahron Friedberg, visit his site.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Twin Towers for 360 Magazine

How Has 9/11 Changed America?

September 11, 2001 will forever remain etched in the memories of Americans. Almost 3,000 innocent lives were lost during the deadly 9/11 terror attack. No one saw it coming until two planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into New York’s World Trade Center.

Terrorists aboard a third plane hovered around the Pentagon while the fourth crashed in Pennsylvania. And this was the beginning of significant changes in America’s history. Nearly everything changed in a bid to make America safe. Below are several things that changed after the terrorist attack.

Start Of War On Terror

The 9/11 terrorist attack on U.S. soil marked the beginning of America’s war on terror. Before then, American troops were home. But a month after the attack, American troops were deployed to Afghanistan. Their main objective was reining in al-Qaeda militia – an outlawed terror group – behind the terrorist attack in the U.S.

In an address to Congress nine days after the attack, declared a global war on terror.

“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated,” Bush’s resolute stand read.

The U.S. troops sustained a long war in dismantling the Taliban government supporting al-Qaeda. It is the most protracted military campaign in the annals of U.S. history. And it didn’t end here. Military troops from the U.S. in 2003 invaded Iraq intending to dethrone Saddam Hussein. Hussein was the leader at the time and was producing weapons for the Taliban forces.

Twenty years later, about 8,000 US troops are still in Afghanistan, taming the Taliban insurgency.

Health Complications

Residents of lower Manhattan in New York reported increasing cases of Ground Zero respiratory diseases five months after the terror attack. Some of the 9/11 related illnesses came as a result of pulverization. When the World Trade Center collapsed, all materials in the building became fine dust spreading all over Manhattan.

The World Trade Center Health Program certifies that there are more cases of respiratory diseases since the attack in the area. Further, other ailments certified by the program include asthma, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, depression, rhinosinusitis, and sleep apnea.

Onset Of Deportations

The Department of Homeland Security didn’t exist before September 11, 2001. President Bush formed it in 2002, working closely with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Deportations rose exponentially during Barack Obama’s administration, having the highest numbers. Between 2009 and 2010, nearly 400,000 people were deported.

Between 1999 and 2001, there were at least 200,000 annual deportations. But they doubled after the 9/11 terror attack.

Airport Security More Elaborate

In 2001, you would wander around the airport in the U.S. without much fuss. Today, you need a ticket to do this. And proper scrutiny of your passenger I.D. is undertaken before boarding a flight. A thorough body check happens today, and you must remove your shoes and your belt. Back then, none of this happened. Security is now elaborate – nothing is ignored. Not even the vaguest intelligence report.

Anti-Muslim Bias

Between 2015 and 2016, FBI data indicates 91 cases of assault stemming from anti-Muslim bias. In contrast to 2001, after the 9/11 attack, this number grew. Americans perceive Islam as a religion advocating for war. Religious discrimination is still a thing in America. The profiling of Muslims continues amid efforts to change the narrative that they are peace-loving.

The aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack in the U.S. in 2001 has a good and an ugly side. In terms of safety, it is a plus for the people. More elaborate security systems are in place today. But America is still in the war two decades later; this is a sad reminder of the aftereffect of the most significant terror attack in the land.

The Greeting Committee artwork by Artwork by Maya Fuhr from Madi Florence, umusic, Capitol Music Group for use by 360 Magazine

THE GREETING COMMITTEE NEW SINGLE × VIDEO – FLOAT AWAY

Today marks the premiere of The Greeting Committee’s emotionally revealing new single “Float Away” and its equally riveting animated video. Released via Harvest Records, the Kansas City-based alt-rock band’s latest offers an up-close and unguarded look at the way depression warps our self-image. Listen to “Float Away” here, and check out the video here.

Along with today’s release, the band has revealed the September 24 release date for their second studio album Dandelion. All singles and the full album were produced by Jennifer Decilveo (MARINA, FLETCHER, Bat for Lashes)and mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala). Pre-order Dandelion here.

Anchored by a gorgeously airy vocal performance from frontwoman Addie Sartino, “Float Away” opens on a candid piece of confession: “Glad it’s raining so I don’t have to go outside and pretend I’m happy just to be alive.” With production from Jennifer Decilveo (MARINA, FLETCHER, Bat for Lashes), the track unfolds in fuzzed-out riffs, frenetic rhythms, and incandescent textures as Sartino documents her inner turmoil with an intense level of detail. “There’s a line in the chorus that says, ‘Stale rye, once an apple’s eye,’ which is a way of saying, ‘I used to have so much potential, and now I’m sitting here frozen, and I don’t know what to do with myself,’” she notes.

After slipping into a moment of anti-nostalgia (“Haven’t felt this since/Listening to the 1975 while getting high/In somebody’s basement party”), “Float Away” closes out with another bit of personal revelation: “Treading water’s getting harder/Don’t let me fall another martyr.” But despite its undeniable melancholy, “Float Away” embodies a strangely exhilarating energy thanks to the stormy urgency of The Greeting Committee’s sound and the pure catharsis of its uncompromising honesty.

Created by illustrator/animator Kezia Gabriella, the video for “Float Away” perfectly captures the track’s whirlwind of feeling. The beautifully offbeat and brightly colorful visual follows Sartino’s avatar through a series of gently articulated emotional states – isolation, disconnection, overwhelmed confusion – and ultimately finds her rediscovering a subtle yet powerful sense of hope.

“Float Away” follows The Greeting Committee’s recent single “Can I Leave Me Too?”, which premiered last month alongside its intimate and quietly captivating video. Hailed by Clash as a “a raw portrayal of post-break-up poignance, cloaked in indie pop reverb,” “Can I Leave Me Too?” arrived as the band’s first release since appearing in Netflix’s To All the Boys: Always and Forever and contributing three of their songs to the film’s soundtrack.

About The Greeting Committee

Comprised of Addie Sartino, Brandon Yangmi, Pierce Turcotte, and Austin Fraser, The Greeting Committee have fully embraced a spirit of purposeful sharing since their formation in 2014. Founded soon after Sartino and Yangmi got their start playing open-mic nights in Kansas City, the band self-released their debut EP It’s Not All That Bad in fall 2015. The EP’s lead single “Hands Down” quickly became a breakout hit, paving the way for The Greeting Committee’s signing to Harvest Records when they were all still in high school. After making their Harvest debut with the Meeting People Is Easy EP in 2017 and releasing their debut album This Is It in 2018, the band spent much of the next few years on the road, with sold-out headline shows in major markets such as Chicago, Austin, New York, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis. To date, they’ve toured with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Tennis, Hippo Campus, and Rainbow Kitten Surprise and taken the stage at leading festivals like Lollapalooza and SXSW, in addition to delivering the I’m Afraid I’m Not Angry EP in late 2019 and appearing in Netflix’s To All the Boys: Always and Forever. The band’s second album Dandelion will be out on September 24 via Harvest Records.

Handshakes artwork courtesy of Interscope Records for use by 360 Magazine

Naliya Releases Official Music Video – Handshakes

By: Ally Brewster

Earlier this year, Naliya, singer, songwriter and producer, released her dreamy debut single “Handshakes.” The debut song about heartbreak and moving on was an introduction to the artist’s personal, unfiltered songs.

On July 7th Naliya is set to premiere the music video for her debut single “Handshakes.” Being her first music video, it will establish the artist’s visual identity as she works on her first album.

As the video begins, Naliya emerges from a body of water, glitter surrounding her acting as sun-reflections, creating an ethereal feel. The scene then cuts to Naliya in a setting with tile walls and plants all around, these scenes visually showing the lyric “’Til you left me with the wave, I just made it back to shore” from the song.

The video continues to be filled with effects, such as glitter and lens flares, continuing the dream-like quality, matching the smooth vocals of the song. It draws clear inspiration from Euphoria’s aesthetic with its makeup, wardrobe, glitter and colors. It’s filled with bright pops of colors, with a pink, yellow, and brown color scheme, creating a soft and sultry palette for the breakup song.

The song and music video are written and produced like a letter to the boy that left her as she tries to move on from him and rebuild herself. Throughout the music video, Naliya looks into the camera, as if talking to the boy as she sings lines like “I can’t forget your face,” and asks, ““Tell me, do you really think you’re better off without me, on your team?”

Though the song is about a break-up, the video pairs that theme with Naliya vibing to the catchy beat of the song, dancing and feeling herself; a reference to part of the hook “Now I’m fucked up at this party,” as she tries to move on from the boy, but isn’t able to.

The music video is beautiful and dreamy with its glitter, coloring and lights, pairing well the ethereal and angelic hook and melody of the song. The video sets a the tone for what her style and intentions are as an artist: to be raw and honest, and still showing the beauty in it.

The music video for “Handshakes” can be viewed here.

Her single “Handshakes” was just a taste of what the multi-talented artist has to offer as she continues to work on her debut album throughout the year.

ABOUT NALIYA

Naliya personally touches every element of her music. Behind a desk running Ableton Live by herself, she’ll conjure up a beat before picking up a pen to write lyrics and finally grabbing a microphone to bring the production and words to life. The singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer architects an unfiltered and undeniable take on pop warmed by handcrafted beats and lyrics so intimate they could be a DM. She spent the first eight years of her life in Calgary before the family moved to Paris where she resided until 16. Returning to Vancouver Island Canada for high school, she admittedly didn’t have many friends and felt like an outcast. Staving off feelings of depression, she downloaded GarageBand one day and started making beats of her own. Fast-tracking her degree, she finished Berklee College of Music in just three years, got a Visa, and relocated to L.A. Releasing a series of early singles and collaborations, she repeatedly achieved six-figure streaming numbers. During a Shark Tank-style Instagram Live hosted by powerhouse songwriter J Kash [Maroon 5, Charlie Puth, Selena Gomez], she shared a composition and landed a deal. With Kash in her corner, she co-wrote Jason Derulo’s Lifestyle [feat. Adam Levine] and Tate McRae’s Rubberband. After amassing nearly 2 million streams independently, she formally introduces herself on a series of 2021 singles for Interscope Records led by “Handshakes.”

Stay connected with Naliya:

InstagramTwitterFacebookYoutube – SpotifyApple MusicSoundcloud

Tennis illustration by Hannah Beck

Naomi Osaka × Mental Health Advocacy

Naomi Osaka, the highest paid female athlete to date, recently withdrew from the French Open and announced on Monday that she will also withdraw from the Berlin WTA 500 tournament. Osaka is 23 and is currently ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association in singles and number two in doubles, and is the first Asian player to hold the top rank in singles. Osaka has defeated long time tennis star Serena Williams and made over 37 million in endorsement deals last year.

Making enormous strides as a young, non-white female athlete and especially so in an underappreciated women’s sport, it was very shocking to hear of her depart from the French Open and subsequently from the Berlin 500 tournament. Doing what was best for her mental health, most were understanding and many of her competitors gave their praise and support for her decision. Osaka tweeted announcing her initial decision to not speak to the press on Twitter stating, “I’ve often felt that people have no regard for an athlete’s mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.” After her announcement began to garner a lot of attention, she released another tweet explaining her leave from current play, “I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players, and my well-being is I withdraw from the tournament so everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.

Serena Williams responded to Osaka’s decision by saying “I feel for Naomi. I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it’s like… You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to, in the best way she thinks she can.” While many agreed with Williams and shared similar sentiments, Osaka did receive a fair amount of backlash from her decision. Many criticized her for not being mentally tough and encouraged her to just talk to the press. Borris Becker, another tennis star, had a slightly different opinion, stating he was scared how Osaka’s career would fare after this decision and if she could not learn to handle the stress of a professional sports career.

Osaka told the press that she had too much anxiety over post-game press conferences; having dealt with anxiety and depression for a while and feels that interacting with the press increases her anxiety. When Osaka refused to speak to the press after her first French Open match, she was fined $15,000 and could have faced more severe punishment if she continued to ignore the press. Osaka later withdrew from the tournament after and announced her mental health was more important than her playing at this moment.

Many of you may remember a similar situation with the Seattle Seahawks running back, Marshawn Lynch, who would refuse to speak at press conferences. While it was included in his contract that he attends press conferences he told the press in a 2015 press conference that he did not appreciate the media constantly in his face hounding him, and that he felt the media was mad at him whether he spoke or not so he would prefer to say nothing at all. Called to be in compliance with his contract he would show up at every press conference and sit there not speaking or saying no comment. It came to be a joke to everyone and later clips of him at press conferences were turned into viral memes. We can see the comparison here and I wonder if the difference in reaction is because of the difference in sport or the difference in gender of the player. Both players are highly praised in their respective sports, they are top performing athletes and are both old and mature enough to make their own decisions as for what is best for them and their mental health.

Mental health struggles, although not new, have become newly accepted in society and it is a relatively new idea that celebrities, professionals and professional athletes can openly talk about their mental health struggles and hope to not to be put down for them. Although many still are, it is a sad thing to witness someone receive negative comments after claiming they are doing what they believe is in their best interests. We all struggle with mental health in one way or another and if Osaka believes it is best for her to not talk to the press, that should be a respected opinion by the community.

There will always be players, whether that is newbies who want to get their name out there and enjoy the spotlight, captains such as Megan Rapinoe and LeBron James who enjoy speaking on behalf of their team and feel it is in their duties as captains and team members to speak, or just someone who enjoys talking and doesn’t mind speaking to the press, there will never be a shortage of players, coaches, and staff members who are willing to give their opinion and comment at press conferences. All players should not be mandated to speak to the press if it is something they are not comfortable with.

With the negative reaction Osaka received, the fine and the additional media coverage she received after announcing she wanted very little, Osaka was forced to drop out from two major tournaments. Osaka discussed how she feels the tennis community, and higher ups could do a better job of supporting players and ensuring that they have good mental health. She and many others hope this starts the process of bettering all athletes’ mental health and changing outdated rules; hopefully this change does not come at the cost of a young star’s tennis career.

Mental via 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Best CBD Oil for Anxiety: Top Brands In 2021

Referred to as “fight or flight response,” Anxiety can occur once in a while, and it is entirely normal. Nevertheless, modern life places us in situations that make us anxious lots of times. This is regardless of facing any life-threatening situations. A myriad of plants is known for their relaxing properties, but cannabidiol has come out strong in this department. It is considered helpful in fighting depression and easing anxiety symptoms, as well as other stress-related conditions.

That being said, where will you find high-quality cannabidiol product such as CBD oil? How will you find a reliable brand with all the numerous companies in the industry? Fear not, we’ve got you covered. Here we will review the top CBD brands and the CBD oil each company has specifically manufactured to deal with anxiety, followed by a comprehensive buying guide.

Top 7 CBD Oils to Combat Anxiety and Depression

As mentioned above, this article will help you better understand the top CBD brands in the industry and the specific product each brand produces to deal with anxiety. Here’s a short overview of these top brands you should consider for anxiety relief.

#1 Fab CBD – Best Overall

#2 Medterra CBD – Best THC Free

#3 Nuleaf Naturals – Best Full Spectrum

#4 cbdMD – Best Selection

#5 CBDPure – Best Value

#6 CBDistillery – Most Versatile

#7 Joy Organics – Most Reputable Brand

So, without further ado, let’s delve into the review

Criteria We Followed for Choosing The CBD Oil Brands

There are plenty of options when it comes to selecting CBD oil for anxiety. But which one really stands out? There are numerous ways you can evaluate a CBD oil for determining the best ones. For example, reputable brands will take their products to be tested in third-party labs. Besides, they will make these results accessible to their customers. Like these many of the following factors can provide a positive signal to make a CBD oil product apart from others.

So, these followings are the factors we took into consideration for evaluating the oils mentioned above.

Source of the oil

Hemp is the major source of CBD oils. THC is typically high in Marijuana-manufactured products. It gives the user a “high.” Meanwhile, CBD oil produced from Hemp has reduced THC. For this reason, it is recommended to buy CBD oil manufactured using Hemp to avoid getting “high.”

Process of extraction

The process through which the CBD oil was extracted is vital since you wouldn’t like to consume CBD oil with impurities. Some of the extraction methods include;

Solvent extraction

This process involves utilizing alcohol to dissolve the plants` waxes. While it is a pretty good method of extraction, it’s not commonly used for industrial extraction.

Olive oil extraction

The other method is the olive oil process, which includes combining olive oil and the plant. This will be followed by heating to a particular temperature before extraction.

Carbon Dioxide extraction

Lastly, we have the CO2 extraction procedure. It produces high-quality CBD oil. It is the best CBD extraction method.

Third-party testing

Make sure you only purchase CBD oil that a third-party lab has tested. For instance, a product tested by a lab is genuine. They will make sure that the product you’re using has no impurities. The only way to be sure of this is to see the third-party test results and not the manufacturer’s results.

Brands Reputation

Once you decide to combat your anxiety using CBD, you should ensure you deal with the best brands like the ones we’ve reviewed in this article. A reliable brand retails pure, top-quality product.

Furthermore, they have their CBD oils tested by a third-party lab and specify the source of their Hemp. It would be best to purchase CBD oil from the manufacturer’s website. If you want to learn more about CBD oil brands click here.

#1 Fab CBD – Best Overall

The Fab CBD full-spectrum CBD oil has very little amounts of THC. The bottle comes in five different flavors; vanilla, citrus, berry, natural, and mint with the strength ranging from 300 to 2400mg. You can consume it by itself, or you can add it to your drinks and food. Also, it is made using simple ingredients, and MCT oil is its carrier oil.

The oil has the perfect amount of consistency and balance of other ingredients. We found the oil to be the purest out of all the others you’ll find described below. If you’re in the hunt for a good and effective anxiety relief CBD oil, Fab CBD oil is the one to get as they are listed as one the best CBD Oil brands for anxiety on La Weekly’s website.

About The Brand: It would have been a remiss of us to review the top brands producing CBD oil and not include the FAB CBD brand. It is among some of the best CBD brands in the industry, and it produces the best CBD oil in the market.

Thanks to their broad research and amazing products, you can consume reliable CBD supplements without worrying. Their products are prepared using pure ingredients. They’re precisely devised to enhance your mental relief. The company spent close to one year before developing the ultimate formula for its products.

Strength

Each bottle of 30 ml CBD oil has 300mg to 2400mg potency options

Results

Fab CBD oil is minimalistic and thorough, and it is at the top of this list for a reason; it gets the job done. To find more information about the company and their products, you should visit their website. You can easily find the product you require.

Rating

4.9/5 Stars

#2 Medterra – Best THC Free

The oil tincture from Medterra is among the few Broad-Spectrum CBD products in their line-up. The product comes with droppers which are handy in measuring to ensure you consume the dose you desire. Since this is a Broad-Spectrum tincture, it comes with additional cannabinoids and natural terpenes, which come with different benefits. This tincture comes in two flavors; natural and strawberry mint.

About The Brand: This is a world-class CBD company, and its medical board includes doctors and veterinarians who specialize in various disciplines. This group of doctors and vets inform most of the decisions made by this firm in terms of quality control and CBD formulations.

When searching for top-quality CBD products, Medterra is the way to go. They have numerous products, from pet treats to CBD oils and tinctures to topical, and they are all manufactured using premium quality CBD.

Strength

500mg to 3000mg of CBD per bottle options available.

Results

Medterra has manufactured numerous CBD products for pets and humans. Most of the people who have tried out their products do not have any complaints; they’re even grateful. Their products are top-quality, and since their CBD oils are broad-spectrum, they do not contain THC, which is ideal for individuals who are avoiding THC.

Rating

4.9/5 Stars

#3 Nuleaf Naturals – Best Full Spectrum

The 30 ml CBD oil from Nuleaf Naturals is prepared from organic pure hemp seed oil and hemp extract. Most of the buyers have nothing bad to say about it. It is well-known to reduce stiffness, pain and helping you sleep better. Also, shipping and delivery are quite fast.

If you compare other oil brands to nuleaf naturals, you’ll find they actually focus quit a lot on their CBD oil products. And the results just speak for themselves. We actually were very satisfied and impressed with their full spectrum oil.

About The Brand: Nuleaf Naturals was founded in 2014, and since then, they have been producing high-quality CBD products. While Nuleaf Naturals may not have tablets or gummies since they only make CBD oils and tinctures, their products are among the best in the industry.

They even have a line of products for your furry friend, and one of the most popular products in this line is their CBD oil that deals with Arthritis. This company is yet another reliable firm that earns your trust by providing reports and lab results if you want to know what your bottle of CBD contains.

Strength

300mg to 6000mg CBD Full spectrum options available

Results

As per the reviews from customers, the Nuleaf Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD oil is effective and pure. There are very few complaints though they’re mostly about shipping issues. Considering this is Pure Hemp oil without additives, it will get the job done.

Rating

4.8/5 stars

#4 cbdMD – Best Selection

The broad-spectrum CBD Oil from cbdMD is vegan friendly and is made using three ingredients; natural flavor, Hemp extract, and MCT oil. The natural taste of CBD oil might not be pleasant for most people, which is why they also have this CBD oil in berry flavor.

This flavor does reduce the natural taste since it’s a strong jammy-like flavor. To consume it, place it beneath your tongue and hold for a minute. Also, you can blend it in drinks or food if you don’t like the idea of having oil beneath your tongue.

About The Brand: cbdMD specifically targets customers searching for alternatives and different aspects of what wellness is supposed to be. Their CBD oils are broad-spectrum, which includes not only cannabinoids but also terpenes. When combined, these ingredients work efficiently to boost all the benefits CBD has to offer.

Strength

300mg to 6000mg CBD Full spectrum options available with 30ml or 60ml bottle sizes

Results

cbdMD is a well-known company, and its products are consistent. The berry-flavored CBD oil is quite tasty, which is why a lot of people like it. It is a combination of health and good taste.

Rating

4.8/5 stars

#5 CBDPure – Best Value

Apart from having no flavor options the Hemp oil from CBD Pure tastes quite tart, which is really expected. As their brand name suggests they offer only the purest form of cbd oil free from flavorings and other irrelevant ingredients. They come in three different sizes with different strengths. The lowest potency features 3.3 mg for every serving.

On the other hand, this is full-spectrum oil, meaning you access the synergistic impact from all terpenes and cannabinoids, which lead to reduced effective dosage.

About The Brand: This would not have been a complete list of the best CBD brands if we did not include CBD Pure. This company is known for manufacturing top-quality CBD products and unmatched transparency. Their hemp oil is typically extracted using CO2 and methodically filtered from the plant matter, leaving it with a lovely golden color.

Strength

comes in three potencies 300mg, 600mg, and 1000mg

Results

CBD Pure has a reputation for transparency. If you have any issues or questions about their products, they have no problems dealing with them. Their lab results are usually readily available—and they produce top-quality and reliable products.

Rating

4.7/5 stars

#6 CBDistillery – Most Versatile

The CBD Oil tincture from CBDistillery is among the most common CBD products currently. CBDistillery CBD oil tincture offers a sense of calmness, thus reducing anxiety. The oil is also gluten-free, vegan, and organic. Besides, it is tested by a third-party lab, as mentioned above.

The two dosages it comes in this oil an ideal choice for daily use, and it is the perfect depiction of efficiency. This tincture`s price tag is affordable, and they offer free shipping within the USA. The potency, ingredients, and quality of this product make it an excellent pick. CBD users should consider its organic ingredients, potency, and effectiveness.

About The Brand: While this CBD brand does not produce the cheapest CBD products in the industry, many individuals still prefer buying their products. CBdistillery has all their CBD products tested for pesticides, bacteria, and other hazardous substances that can be harmful to the user by third-party labs. These results are readily available.

Like all their products, the one we review here which is full-spectrum features less than 0.3% THC. we also saw that they offer isolate option for CBD Oil, that offer 0% THC. What does this mean? It means they are legal, and you won’t get “high” after using them.

Strength

500mg to 2500mg Strengths of Full-Spectrum CBD Oils available

Results

CBDistillery CBD oil is for serious CBD users who prefer products prepared with organic ingredients and effective results. Also, it helps with anxiety and offers the user calmness.

Rating

4.6/5 stars

#7 Joy Organics – Most Reputable

This Hemp oil from Joy organics is produced in five variants; fresh lime, tranquil, organic bliss, summer lemon, unflavored. Except first one everything is in broad spectrum. You can buy all these products in 30ml bottles.

The classic hemp oil has a variety of cannabinoids. It is infused with terpenes, cannabinol, and broad-spectrums of CBD. The hemp extract has more than 100 phytocannabinoids. Besides, it is blended with cold-pressed hemp seed oil.

On the other hand, the fresh lime has full-spectrum Hemp, MCT oil, organic key lime oil and organic stevia. The complete Hemp CBD oil is prepared using hemp extracts such as CBDA and CBD. Also, it includes additional terpenes. The fact that it has numerous phytocannabinoids and terpenes assists in achieving the “Entourage effect.”

About The Brand: This is a family-owned firm with a high Bureau rating. They have been awarded multiple industry certifications. Recently, their products were leaping bunny and vegan approved.

They have never been involved in any serious lawsuits. Meanwhile, they offer. Moreover, their products are affordable, Also, Joy Organics have a reward program for their clients and assistance programs. These programs have separate plans for people earning below a specific income, living with disabilities, and veterans.

Strength

450mg to 2250mg of CBD strengths available in 30ml bottles

Results

Joy Organics is obviously a company that values its reputation with zero lawsuits since its inception. Their products are clearly well-researched and offer numerous benefits to the user. Their Hemp oil is ideal for managing insomnia, depression, and chronic pain.

Rating

4.6/5 stars

A Quick Overview of Anxiety, Depression, and CBD oil

It’s common knowledge that CBD is a Cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant. Even though more research needs to be done, some studies confirm that CBD could help ease symptoms of insomnia, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety.

If you have been thinking about buying a bottle of CBD oil to reduce stress and anxiety, you may have had difficulty considering all the intimidating products in the market. Moreover, the vocabulary utilized can also be frustrating.

While there really is nothing that makes a particular CBD oil product better than another at managing anxiety, once you purchase a quality product, there are high chances you will benefit a lot.

To make the search easier for you, we’ve done all the research and found the best CBD oil that meets your needs, as you’ll see later on in this article.

Is There Any Scientific Proof?

Most of the research done on CBD and its role in easing anxiety symptoms is still in progress. Clinical trials must be done to find out the precise doses for particular conditions. However, a 2015 review of the studies that had been done show that CBD could be utilized to manage anxiety disorders such as;

  • Panic disorder
  • General anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Social anxiety

Apart from Anxiety What Other Goods Does CBD Oil Do?

Other than anxiety, CBD oil helps in alleviating many other various conditions. But it is not actually a cure for any disease. Avoid any CBD brand that explicitly claims CBD oil treats something. However, it does ease symptoms to help users feel better and more comfortable which can really help with certain conditions.

For example, you can reliably use CBD for pain and inflammation. Various studies show that cannabidiol oil relieves different forms of pain, including backaches and joint pains in your body. CBD in itself has anti-inflammatory properties that help in lowering arthritis pain.

CBD oil can also improve your quality of regular sleep. The calming effect it has on users is helpful if you are having trouble to get a good & healthy amount of sleep. Besides, anxiety and stressful conditions are some of the causes of insomnia, and CBD can help with that too. Just take a serving before bed and enjoy having a good night’s sleep.

Now, let’s talk about seizures? Cannabidiol oil reduces the severity and regular frequency of seizures in patients. In 2018, the FDA has already approved a drug called Epidiolex, which contains CBD to assist in treating different types of epilepsy, The Dravet Syndrome and The Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome to be specific.

Also, for having the anti-inflammatory capabilities, CBD oil might help with skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. Other than that, CBD inhibits the overproduction of sebum, which prevents acne from getting worse.

There are many other potential benefits of CBD oil, including it being anti-tumor and helping with mental disorders. However, more studies are necessary about the capabilities of CBD in improving different health conditions.

How is cannabidiol oil able to benefit your body in the above ways? It has to do with CBD interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your body has an ECS with receptors all over it. The system regulates functions such as pain, mood, appetite, sleep, and immunity responses. It allows your body to be in homeostasis. CBD enhances the performance of the endocannabinoid system to enable it to handle pain and other functions better.

Note that dogs and other pets also have an endocannabinoid system. That is why companies offer CBD oil for pets, so they can enjoy the same benefits of CBD as humans.

How CBD Oil Compares To Other Medications

Currently, Cannabidiol has not been approved as an anxiety treatment method by the FDA. While several kinds of research seem to show that CBD might be handy in treating anxiety, more research is required.

On the other hand, plenty of research has been done on most anxiety medications. Also, this medication has been FDA approved. But some users have seen significant results by using CBD. Overall, you should consult your doctor before using CBD or any anxiety medication.

Full-Spectrum vs Broad-Spectrum: Which CBD Oil Should You Pick for Anxiety?

Full-spectrum features extracts that occur naturally from the Cannabis plant, such as flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Besides, they have not more than 0.3% of THC. This is the best CBD oil since there is a lot of evidence that it is more efficient.

Broad-spectrum CBD has similar compounds as full-spectrum CBD, but they do not contain THC. Therefore, if you are trying to avoid CBD, you should go for broad Spectrum CBD oil. CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD that does not have any cannabinoids, THC, or plant compounds. It doesn’t have odor or taste, as well.

CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety

For best results, you should consume CBD tinctures sublingually. To measure the dose you need, utilize the dropper, then squeeze the drops beneath your tongue. You should hold it for approximately 20 seconds before you swallow it.

The product’s label lists the amount of CBD contained in the bottle. Even though the serving amount might not be indicated, it is the strength or the potency.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to consume a full dropper. If you’re just beginning using CBD, start with a small amount and assess its impact before consuming more.

Possible Side Effects of CBD Oil

Products infused with CBD react differently depending on the user. Essentially, oil is not supposed to cause a reaction. Nonetheless, some users have reported nausea, diarrhea, and loss of weight after consumption. For this reason, you should consult a doctor about using it.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

CBD products sourced from Hemp typically feature not more than 0.3% of THC, and they are legal under federal law. However, they are illegal under several state laws. On the other hand, Marijuana-derived products are not permitted under federal law but are legal according to some state laws.

Whether it’s legal or not depends on the laws of individual states. But, remember, non-prescription CBD infused products are not approved by the FDA, and they might be labeled inaccurately.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, CBD oil for anxiety, the top brands, and a complete buying guide. The health benefits of consuming CBD products are numerous, but research is still ongoing on whether it can be used to manage various conditions.

More research is still needed, but most users have found CBD products to help manage conditions like chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety. Without enough evidence and human studies, it isn’t easy to give specific doses, and since CBD products are in the market as supplements, it’s more challenging to know for sure what you’re consuming.

But, at the end of the day, if you decide to use CBD oil for anxiety or depression, consult a doctor first.

NB Pure illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels) for 360 Magazine

Summer Tips for Melanoma Prevention

Protect yourself from melanoma without becoming deficient in vitamin D

By Leah Johnston, RDN

Don’t be so quick to overlook concerns around melanoma just because it’s often viewed as preventable. Melanoma is one of the most common cancers and the deadliest form of skin cancer. However, there is a conflict between how we prevent melanoma and how we ensure we are getting enough vitamin D. Sun exposure is the main source of this essential vitamin, but it’s also the primary culprit in the formation of melanoma. With May being Melanoma Awareness Month, it’s time to take notice and learn how we can protect our skin while still absorbing enough vitamin D.

The Stats

Cases of melanoma have been rising over the last few decades, especially among young adults, as it’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer among people aged 25 to 29. According to the Melanoma Research Alliance, one person dies from melanoma every hour of every day. The American Cancer Society reports that the risk for getting melanoma is approximately 2.6% (1 in 38) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for Blacks, and 0.6% (1 in 167) for Hispanics. While fair skin poses a higher risk, darker complexions are also at risk.

How Melanoma forms

Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin and give skin its brown or tan color. It’s when melanocytes start to grow out of control on the skin’s top layer that cancer can develop and then spread to other parts of the body. Usually appearing as a brown or black spot or mole, melanoma is most commonly found on the chest and back for men and legs for women. It’s best not to ignore any irregular spots you may find on your skin because this cancer can also appear in other colors or patterns. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds can damage DNA in cells and significantly increase the risk of melanoma. Early detection is important for effective treatment.

Tips for melanoma prevention:

  • Use a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen all year when outdoors. This will help protect against sun damage, which can occur even when the sun might be hiding behind a cloud.
  • Limit sun exposure during the middle of the day when the UV rays are at their peak. Instead, plan outdoor time for the morning or later afternoon to lessen the risk. 
  • Opt for a spray tan over laying out by the pool. If you love to have a tan, spray tans are a safer option and will help protect the longevity of your skin.
  • Schedule annual skin exams with a dermatologist. This is especially important if you have fair skin or immediate family members who have had melanoma, such as a parent or sibling.

The importance of Vitamin D

What doesn’t vitamin D do? Known as the sunshine vitamin, the human body absorbs an inactive form of vitamin D from the sun, food, or supplements and converts it into an active form of vitamin that it can use. In its active form, vitamin D plays many roles in the body.

Bone Health: Vitamin D and calcium work together to maintain bone health and density. Calcium cannot be absorbed into bones without the help of vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can result in bone softening, known as osteomalacia, and muscle weakness. Osteoporosis can also be associated with vitamin D deficiency due to the lack of calcium absorption. Both osteoporosis and melanoma affect older adults making it essential to couple melanoma prevention strategies with vitamin D supplementation.

Immunity: Recently, researchers have been investigating a possible link between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. While this research is still in its infancy, scientists have been finding that low vitamin D status may result in the increased severity of symptoms and higher mortality rate. More research is needed in this area.

Inflammation: Research has shown an association between vitamin D status and inflammation-related autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D also helps to regulate insulin levels for diabetes management.

Depression: People with depression are more likely to have low vitamin D levels. A 2011 study found that women who ate more foods rich in vitamin D had a lower risk of depression than women who got less vitamin D in their diets. Vitamin D has also demonstrated the ability to improve the symptoms of depression.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 15 mcg (600 IU) for most children and adults up to the age of 70, according to the National Institutes of Health. Adults who over 70 need 20 mcg (800 IU) daily.

Tips for getting enough Vitamin D:

  • Get outside but be strategic. As previously discussed, the best time to be in the sun is in the morning or later afternoon. Plan your days to limit your exposure to the midday sun.
  • Add at least one vitamin D rich food into your daily diet. These may include fortified dairy and non-dairy beverages such as milk or orange juice, fortified cereals, salmon (wild caught contains more than farmed), sardines, and egg yolks. Wild mushrooms or those that have been treated with UV light are a good plant source of the vitamin. 
  • Take a daily Vitamin D supplement. This may be particularly important if you live in regions of the world that are further from the equator, such as the Midwest. If you struggle to remember or don’t enjoy taking pills, NB Pure has a Vitamin D3 supplement in the form of a spray for the utmost convenience.
  • Have your doctor check your vitamin D levels at least once a year. Getting an annual physical is important for your long-term health. Ask your doctor to make sure they check your vitamin D levels at that visit.

The sun may be the main reason for the increasing rates of melanoma, but it’s also our number one source of vitamin D. It is possible to protect yourself from developing melanoma and ensure that you are obtaining ample amounts of vitamin D to prevent the consequences of a deficiency.

Mental Health Awareness illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mental Health Awareness

Many people, including children and adults across diversity backgrounds, can struggle with social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral health. These challenges can be situational, present for a season of life, or be a struggle across a lifetime. The symptoms may also turn on and turn off, be persistent every day, or resolve just to pop back up again.

Even though having complications with mental or behavioral health is common, it does not necessarily mean a person is functioning at their best or the symptoms should be left unaddressed. Early intervention can be more effective, than the choice to put off addressing a mental health concern for another time.

Awareness of mental health signs and symptoms are important. The first step is recognizing when we need support. Let’s set aside labels such as depression, anxiety, addictive behaviors, and disorders for a moment. Instead, let’s consider observations. Below is a clustered list of commonly experienced struggles we can lookout for to monitor our mental health:

Socially

  • Noticing a pattern of withdrawing or avoiding friends, family, or activities
  • Having interpersonal conflicts with friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, or even strangers
  • Having a difficult time understanding and/or relating to others or common life scenarios
  • Feeling disconnected from others or struggling to get close to others
  • Feeling lost about knowing who you are

Emotionally

  • Experiencing sadness, despair, distress, prolonged sorrow
  • You or others noticing changes in your mood from high to low
  • Enduring excessive worry, fears, or discomfort with the unknown
  • Experiencing extreme guilt, self-blame, or negative self-talk
  • Having bouts with excessive or persistent anger

Cognitive/Thinking

  • Noticing thought patterns that are confused, conflicted, indecisive, repetitive, or forgetful
  • Having a lowered ability begin or maintain focus
  • You or others noticing a disconnect between your thoughts and the world around you
  • Feeling fearful such as paranoia
  • Having repeat unpleasant or worrisome thoughts or images
  • Hearing, seeing, or feeling something that is not truly there
  • Thoughts of hurting or killing yourself or someone else

Behavioral

  • Having a reduced ability to cope or resolve daily living complications or stress
  • Struggling with adjustment to life changes
  • Experiencing problems related to alcohol, tobacco, and/or legal or illegal substances
  • Noticing changes in eating habits such as too much, too little, overly focused on eating
  • Observing patterns of overexercise
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Having episodes of violence towards others, yourself, animals, or objects
  • Challenges with impulsive decisions or risk taking

Physical

  • Seeing trends in energy level such as significant tiredness or grand amount of energy
  • Struggles falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up, or low quality of sleep
  • Having physical symptoms such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, heart pounding, shortness of breath, or other unexplained physical symptoms
  • Experiencing medical providers do not take your symptoms seriously enough

Experiencing one or a few of these symptoms at one time may be a part of life based on the amount of lemons life just handed you. However, there may be a mental health concern worth seeking proper care for if you experience one or more of these symptoms for a short or an extended period of time. Due note, some symptoms are more serious than others, such as harm to yourself or someone else, that should not be ignored and need care immediately.

Another element we can use to monitor our mental health is awareness of how our mental health symptoms interact with our daily lives. Sometimes mental health struggles can become disruptive to daily life such as negatively impacting relationships with others, how you think or feel internally about yourself, employment, housing, finances, and/or legal issues. Other symptoms are manageable and do not cause a large disruption; however, beware some symptoms can fly under the radar, but that does not necessarily indicate all is well.

If you are unsure if you are experiencing mental health concerns and would like a better understanding, then consider completing a screener. Mental Health America provides a free, quick, screening tool that provides mental health you can use to make decisions about next steps for care. The results can also be used to start the initial discussion with a mental health provider.

There is hope! In most circumstances, symptoms can be managed, reduced in intensity, and relief increased when working with a mental health provider. There are various forms of care, and you can find the right fit for you such as talk based therapy in-person or online, activity-based therapy, and collaboration with medical providers for mediation as needed.

If you are ready to take the next step, then there are multiple resources available to help you find the right provider. In emergency situations such as thoughts of harming yourself or someone else as well as severe mental illness, then calling 9-1-1, going to a local emergency room, or contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or using live chat on Suicide Prevention Lifeline  may be the best routes.

In non-emergency situations there are options such as contacting a primary care provider for a referral, reaching out to loved ones, connecting to your religious or spiritual community, or finding a professional provider. Below is a list of resources for locating a provider in your area:

Mental health is just like it sounds….health. It can be scary or there can be a stigma to seek out care. However, removing the stigma, overcoming fear, seeking care, and taking steps to improving life takes courage. But you are worth it, and you deserve a better tomorrow.

Michelle Perepiczka, PhD, LPC (CO), LMHC (NY), RPT-S, NCC

Core Faculty

University of Phoenix

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Eyelinerz illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Importance of Eye Contact

THE ALL-IMPORTANT SUBJECT OF MAINTAINING EYE CONTACT DURING VIRTUAL CONVERSATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Did you know that we have oxytocin receptors in our eyes? When we make eye contact with someone (researchers say about 30 seconds of maintained connection should do it), the receptors tell the brain to produce the hormone, which travels through the body, hits the internal organs, and ends in the heart. Each time the eye contact is maintained, the reaction repeats. The result? Our breath and heart rate slow down, we feel calmer, we feel… happy. Even better, research shows that this effect is achieved when we make eye contact virtually as well as in person.

The Dangers of Losing Human Connection

Connecting with others doesn’t just make us happy, it can apparently also make us better people. In one study, researchers found that individuals who felt connected to others were more likely to want to volunteer in their community or do kindness for strangers. Researchers are now trying to determine how our wellbeing and connection to others is being impacted by spending so much time distanced from our social groups.

Some studies seem grim. One extensive study out of the UK analyzed over 80 research articles on loneliness indicates that as children experience increasing levels of loneliness due to being away from school and friends, they’re at increasing risk of depression and anxiety.

But the good news is that we are getting really creative (and effective) at keeping our human connection going despite the social distancing.

Connecting Creatively

For children navigating distance learning and time away from friends, doctors from the University of Michigan encouraged parents to see this time as an opportunity to teach children new skills that focus on kindness, resilience, and flexibility, while reminding parents that children are incredibly resilient as long as they are in a supportive and loving environment.

Kids can find social connections in lots of creative ways, from Zoom playdates to video game challenges with friends’ half-way around the world.

Technology also helps adults maintain — or form — meaningful connections. More than ever, meeting online is leading to meaningful, romantic relationships despite (or maybe because of?) couples waiting longer to meet in-person. Apparently, flirting via video chat is incredibly effective, despite the fact that you’re never quite really looking each other in the eye.

We are also connecting deeper with our coworkers, as Zoom happy hours have brought socializing into our homes, making for more relaxed conversations. There’s something about seeing your colleagues sipping seltzers from their kid’s playroom that really ups the camaraderie.

Connecting Effectively

Research has shown that the key to virtual connection is the same as it is in person — eye contact. Now we just need to get better at forming that connection during video calls.

The best way to do this is to look into the camera intermittently as you would someone’s eyes when meeting in person. I know, easier said than done! Our instinct is to look at the person’s face on the screen. But one solution to make maintaining eye contact with a camera more natural is having a tool like Eyelinez around your lens. The fun designs will grab your attention and remind you to keep looking into the lens.

What Are Eyelinez?

Maintaining proper eye contact with a camera is not a new challenge.  In fact, the challenge has existed ever since anyone had to stare into a cold dark camera as if they were engaging with a smiling human.  An “eyeline” is where the speaker is looking and Eyelinez is the solution to enable you to maintain a natural and engaging eyeline with the camera.