Posts tagged with "depression"

Growing heart illustration

MENTAL HEALTH – DR. ALEX ALVARDO

Even though we have made great progress in bringing people into therapy during the pandemic, there is still a huge stigma about therapy – that it doesn’t work. In order to really change this perception, we must do more upfront work to make sure people are being matched correctly to qualified therapists and psychologists who can care for, and treat, that person’s individualized needs. To achieve this successfully requires more than a simple Internet search or app signup.

One of the biggest missteps someone can make when searching for a therapist is blindly accepting the most convenient option. This could come in the form of a quick Internet search (just because something pops up in the No. 1 position on Google does not mean it is the best option for you); or taking a referral from a friend or family member (just because a therapist is right for someone else, does not mean it is the best match for you). Additionally, skipping the therapist interview step, and rushing to the hiring step (or signing up on a mental health app), can make you feel committed or trapped with a therapist that was never the right match for you in the first place. It is true that the year 2020 will likely be known as one of the most stressful years in our time, and the first time that many Americans sought out a therapist. While this is a good thing and shows progress for improving mental health, we now face a lesser-talked about “second pandemic” of mental health issues – of which includes finding the right therapist – that could affect our future perception of mental health and our willingness to seek help.

Compounding this problem is the anxiety, financial stress, politics, substance abuse, isolation, job worries, relationship problems, health concerns and other issues that have intensified since the start of the pandemic, which has overwhelmed therapists with new patients, many of whom go on a waiting list or get referred out to less qualified resources. Mental health professionals are not immune from the stress of the pandemic either, often citing burnout and fatigue from heavy patient loads, while also struggling to handle their own stress at home.

All of these factors contribute to a more complicated and challenging mental health environment that requires increased navigation and guidance from the mental health industry to make sure that those seeking help are receiving evidence-based therapies from qualified professionals who have the bandwidth to invest in the client for the long run. To improve first-time encounters with therapy, I developed a free online matchmaking platform at Thriving Center of Psychology that vets and validates licensed professionals, then matches them to individuals seeking help, based on the person’s specific therapy needs and the professional’s area of expertise and therapy process.

To begin the process of finding the right therapist is simple. Start by filling out a 3-minute questionnaire that helps uncover the style of therapist that may be the best fit for your specific situation and preferred type. Questions cover everything from therapy approach to gender and ethnicity, including what specialty of a therapist are you seeking? Are you looking for a goal-oriented or reflective therapist? Do you want your therapist to have a holistic approach (including recommending yoga, meditation, and journaling)? and so on.

This filter then quickly matches individuals seeking help to a vetted database of qualified therapists who are licensed to work in the state in which the person lives. I developed this therapist matchmaking platform because so many friends and family members would ask me for therapist referrals. What I came to realize was that when people finally decide they should find a mental health therapist, they are often faced with a huge hurdle: finding a qualified therapist. Finding a therapist is not easy, especially if you are not a professional in the mental health industry and do not know all the right questions to ask. Mistakes can be easily made as many people either skip or rush through the research and interview step of finding a therapist.

If it is a person’s first time in therapy and it is a bad experience, it is most likely they will never return to it.
Once you find your therapist match, you should still interview 2-3 therapists before
committing to a paid session with anyone. Face-to-face office visits or video sessions
are ideal. During the interview, be sure to check the therapist’s credentials with state government sites, and have a clear understanding of his or her treatment style, therapy process and verify whether or not that therapy approach is evidence-based as defined by the American Psychological Association. Also, ask the therapist if he or she has ever treated anyone with similar concerns to yours. This will give you a clearer picture on the therapist’s treatment approach. It is important in this initial interview with the therapist, that you do not do all the talking.

You can share at a high level about what is going on (like, I’m grieving from the death of my mother), but do not get into the
details. Let the therapist do the majority of the talking so you can get a really good feel for his or her compatibility to you and your needs. Additionally, make sure that the therapist you select is licensed to work in your state. The increased popularity of virtual sessions since the start of the pandemic has opened many more options for people
seeking counseling, but if you go the virtual route, you still need to make sure the therapist is licensed to work in the state in which you reside. Ultimately, to live a truly fulfilled life, remember that it is just as important to place a high
priority on your mental health as it is for your physical health. You deserve the chance to unlock your true potential and live the life you have always dreamed of so do not let anything get in the way of your mental health, which is part of your overall health.

Start with the research step and find the therapist that is the best match for your specific needs – then the rest of the journey will be less stressful from there.

Dr. Alex Alvarado 

Six Good Reasons to Take a Break From Alcohol

Alcohol is ubiquitous in America. You can’t drive down the freeway without seeing billboards advertising various adult spirits, all of them featuring smiling folks who look like they’re having the time of their lives. 

The reality is often far different. Although many people can enjoy the occasional happy hour cocktail with few negative repercussions, others become addicted. This substance causes biochemical and even structural changes in your brain that grow more severe the more you use, robbing you of your decision-making power. 

You might be among those wondering if you have a problem. A foolproof way to know whether the bottle has you in a stranglehold is to walk away. If the thought of passing up your evening cocktail sends you into a panic, you know it’s time to take action. That’s only one of many good reasons to take a break from alcohol. Here are six more.

1. To Improve Your Nutritional Intake 

Are you worried about your weight? If so, you might be tempted to reduce your caloric intake by restricting meals to save more “room” for alcoholic beverages. Who cares about the calories in that mudslide if you skipped lunch to make up for them? 

Your physiology knows the difference and your health will suffer. Eating well-balanced and nutritious meals is an essential part of maintaining your well-being. Your body needs an array of nutrients to support strong muscles and nurture your organs — including your brain. 

Certain deficiencies might even make you more susceptible to the bottle’s lure, putting you at risk of addiction. For example, those lacking sufficient magnesium intake often experience depression, but they might not recognize that this mineral’s lack lurks behind their bleak mood. 

Alcohol activates your dopamine receptors — your brain’s pleasure system. That’s why you experience a momentary elation when you drink. However, if you use this substance to self-medicate depression, it eventually disrupts your dopamine system, damaging your receptors and making it more challenging to find pleasure in ordinary activities. Before you know it, you rely on the bottle to manage your mood. 

You might engage in behaviors like sneaking miniature bottles to work in your purse or briefcase and sneaking off to the restroom for a little “attitude adjustment.” However, alcohol clouds your judgment, making you more prone to mistakes that could cost you your career. Being caught drinking on the clock is an offense punishable by termination in many industries. 

It’s far better to nurture your neurons through wholesome meals consisting of whole foods close to their natural forms. Get plenty of plant-based foods in every color of the rainbow to increase your antioxidant intake. Nuts and seeds are particularly rich sources of magnesium, selenium and zinc, three “happy brain” nutrients that can help your mind repair itself if you overindulged a bit too much in the past. 

2. To Repair Broken Relationships 

You aren’t fully yourself when you’re drinking. That’s because alcohol overrides your inhibitions, making you say and do things that you wouldn’t do sober. Contrary to folk belief, your words and actions aren’t reflective of your “true” personality. Remember, alcohol causes biochemical brain changes that influence the way you act in a far more complex manner than science currently understands. 

However, you’re still responsible for what you say and do while under the influence. Whether uttered sober or drunk, your words sting just as much and abuse is abuse regardless of your mental state. 

Repairing relationships broken by alcohol isn’t easy or even always possible. The other party might have legitimate reasons to refuse further interaction with you if your past behavior demonstrated a repeated pattern of abuse. 

However, if you’re still in the stage where you’re wondering if you might have a problem, it’s time to hit pause. Taking a break from alcohol will help you see your behavior more objectively. You might find that those harsh words you felt justified in uttering aren’t reflective of your true feelings and are downright hurtful to others. 

Take accountability for your actions and offer a sincere apology with no “buts.” Remember, the best “I’m sorry” of all is changed behavior — taking a break from alcohol might convince your partner, children or friends that you are sincere in wanting to reform. 

3. To Focus on Your Career 

Alcohol can damage your career in multiple ways. It clouds your judgment, leading to decisions that can cost your company money and you a promotion — or even continued employment. 

Furthermore, alcohol makes you lazy. You probably know that you’re not at your productive best when you’re hungover, but guess what? Filling your mental space with thoughts of, “I can’t wait to get out of here and get to the bar,” keeps you from focusing on the task at hand. 

Taking a break from alcohol allows you to concentrate on what’s important. Instead of fixating on how you’re going to relax after work, you give your all, knowing that you’ll enjoy your rest all the more when basking in the rosy glow of a job well done. 

4. To Detox Your Liver 

You probably know that alcohol damages your liver. This organ is primarily responsible for filtering toxins from your blood, but drinking bathes its cells to a glut of damaging free radicals. These can cause cellular damage, mutation and death, resulting in fatty liver disease, cirrhosis or cancer. 

Fortunately, this organ also has phenomenal regenerative powers. However, it takes time to heal. Most experts advise taking a 30-day break to allow your liver to recover, but you might want to go longer if you hope to change your habits, too. 

It can take anywhere from 20 to 185 days to establish a new habit or break an old one — it varies by person. Use mindfulness to judge how long your break from alcohol should be by observing your thought patterns as an objective third party. If you find yourself obsessing over the finish line — “just one more week and I can get smashed” — you probably need a longer recess to counter that maladaptive belief.

5. To Rest and Revitalize Your Brain Receptors 

Even though alcohol causes changes in your brain, these can also heal. However, you might need to refrain from drinking for 90 days or more to reap the maximum benefits. 

You can encourage brain healing by participating in activities that promote neuroplasticity. Dance is particularly beneficial as it combines the endorphin-boosting effects of physical activity with following complex foot patterns. Yoga is another excellent tool, helping you develop mindfulness and the wherewithal to calm your central nervous system through breath, not booze when anxiety strikes. 

6. To Discover the True You Underneath the Haze

Finally, perhaps the best reason for taking a break from alcohol is rediscovering the real you underneath that bleary, boozy haze. After all, you are a unique human being — no one else on the planet shares your gifts. Why would you want to dull your shine? 

The truth is, you don’t need alcohol to have courage in social situations or enjoy a backyard barbecue. You’ll do much better cultivating your innate confidence — you can start by taking charge of the bottle — and basking in the warm fellowship of friends and family. 

Alcohol can be a pleasant accessory to your life. However, if it starts to take over your existence, it’s time to do the smart thing and take a break.

Mental health graphic via 360 MAGAZINE

USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative

As Mental Health Awareness Month kicks off, news and stories about mental health may seem to saturate media outlets. Yet a new report reveals that in top movies, mental health is rarely in the spotlight.

The study, entitled “Mental Health Conditions Across 200 Popular Films” is the second report on mental health in popular media from Professor Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The report is supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and NYT best-selling author, purpose coach, host of the top health and wellness podcast “On Purpose,” and former monk, Jay Shetty. The study provides an update on the prevalence and portrayal of mental health conditions in popular films by examining the 100 top-grossing films of 2019 and comparing the findings to those from the initiative’s report on popular movies from 2016.

Of the 4,502 speaking or named characters across the top films of 2019, 1.5% were depicted with a mental health condition. There has been little change over time, as 1.7% of characters in the most popular films of 2016 had a mental health condition. As a point of contrast, 21% of U.S. adults experience mental illness, according to national population research studies, such as the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey.

“Stories can provide a window into different worlds and experiences, but the results of this study demonstrate that mental health is rarely a focal point in popular film,” said Smith. “With the growing need for mental health care in the U.S., and the ongoing concern about well-being, storytellers and creatives are missing critical opportunities to educate audiences.”

More than half of the films included in the study from 2019 didn’t feature even one character with a mental health condition, and thirty percent had only one character with a mental health condition. A total of seven different mental health conditions appeared across the sample. Those included: addiction, anxiety/PTSD, depression/mood disorders, suicide, significant disturbances in thinking, cognitive impairment, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. There were more depictions of anxiety/PTSD in 2019 than in 2016, while portrayals of cognitive impairment and spectrum disorders declined. The remaining mental health conditions remained consistent with 2016.

More than half (59.2%) of characters with a mental health condition in the most popular films of 2019 were male while 40.8% were female. Three-quarters of the characters with a mental health condition across the films of 2019 were White, while only 16 characters were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Only two characters with a mental health condition were LGBTQ, and 42.3% had a disability. The picture of mental health conditions in popular film remains one of predominantly white, male, straight, and able-bodied characters.

“The portrayal of mental health in film has a powerful role to play especially during this period of global mental health crisis,” said Christine Yu Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Entertainment educates the public, whether it’s with intention or not. And because humans are deeply wired for social connection and imitation, contagion can occur with detrimental effects or with positive impact. Portrayals can not only destigmatize and stop perpetuating dangerous tropes about people who live with mental health conditions, but they can also have the potential to deepen mental health literacy and inspire hope. All people have mental health, and now more than ever, Americans are hungry for information and resources to allow us to not only cope, but to flourish, and to support others’ mental health.”

The study also explored the portrayal and context in which mental health conditions are depicted. Nearly three-quarters of characters with mental health conditions experienced some form of disparagement in the film — either verbally or nonverbally expressed by the character themselves or another character. While disparagement could be general and not connected to a diagnosis, 45.1% of characters with mental health conditions faced derisions specifically about their mental health. More than 40% of characters with a mental health condition were the object of jokes or humor related to their mental health, an increase from 2016 (22%).

“The confluence of these contextual factors means that when mental health is presented in film, it is often stigmatized or demeaned,” said Smith. “For audiences, the nature of mental health portrayals may heighten the possibility of negative effects when it comes to real-world outcomes.”

Characters with mental health conditions were also linked with violence in several ways. More than half of characters with a mental health condition were perpetrators of violence (63.4%), a significant increase from 2016 (46%). Additionally, nearly two-thirds (66.2%) of characters with mental health conditions were victims of violence. Finally, more than one-third (38%) of the characters with mental health conditions died at some point in the film, including by homicide or suicide. Over half (59.3%) of the characters with a mental health condition who perished did so by violent means. Nearly one-quarter (22.2%) of the characters with mental health conditions who died did so by suicide.

Less than one-third (29.6%) of characters with a mental health condition were shown in therapy, including individual appointments, group therapy, addiction, support, and inpatient care. Only 12.7% of characters with mental health conditions utilized medication or other treatments. Films in 2019 showed more characters receiving both therapy and medication or other treatment compared to 2016.

With solution in mind, the initiative brought Purpose Coach, NYT best-selling author, and “On Purpose” podcast host Jay Shetty into the fold as Chief Well-Being Advisor. In this role, he will serve as a resource to the program and entertainment industry at large on issues of mental health and wellbeing, strategizing new ways to approach the subject matter on-screen and on sets, to work towards positive change.

“I am thrilled to be joining Dr. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative as the Chief Well-Being Advisor,” said Jay Shetty. “It has always been my passion to bridge the gap between mental health and entertainment. The access that the initiative has to further explore these important matters on-screen and on sets and make real systemic change within the industry is what excites me the most.”

The study also provides a core solution for depicting mental health in popular entertainment. Building on the Mental Health Media Guide, the study offers a blueprint for a mental health policy that can be adopted by production companies, studios, and other groups. This policy outlines ways that creative talent, executives, and those overseeing production can tell authentic stories, provide opportunities to nurture mental health for those working in production, and provide audiences with more information on mental health.

The report is the latest from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and can be found online here.

brianna colette image for use by 360 magazine

Brianna Colette Q×A

Soulmate Coach, Brianna Colette Launches “Relationship Rehab”

“When people come to me, their love life has become stagnant, and they don’t know why. It usually means they are living in a belief system of fears and old trauma. I work to upgrade their belief system about what is available to them and what they think they deserve. When you don’t know how to love yourself you will end up settling for someone who doesn’t know how to love you either.”

Brianna Colette is an intuitive relationship healer and soulmate medium who helps guide her clients to connect with their inner self to focus more on a higher sense of self love to grow stronger connections and relationships, ultimately leading them to finding and experiencing the most preeminent of bonds: soulmate love.

We got the opportunity to speak with Brianna last week about what she does, providing insight and a chance to learn about the background to this profession.

What led you to this calling?

In 2017, I witnessed a violent murder of a family by their adult son. I was able to save the lives of two people, but I suffered mentally and emotionally as result. At the same time, the relationship that I thought would be my anchor abruptly ended and only further triggered my abandonment issues. I struggled with PTSD, depression, panic attacks, and anxiety. I had sunk so low I started having suicidal thoughts. It was then I knew I needed more than talk therapy. This near-death experience was the catalyst for my spiritual awakening and learning about different healing modalities. I started addressing relationship patterns and healing the relationship I had with myself.

Do you think your past relationships have helped you curate how you help others?

100%. Everything that I guide my clients through, I have personally healed and integrated for myself. From trust issues, attachment dynamics to abandonment trauma. Everything I share comes from real-life experience (negative, positive, etc.).

Do you recommend people who believe they are in solid and grounded relationships to come to see you?

If your relationship has a good foundation of trust, communication, love, and respect with no major issues, congrats! But even the relationship that looks good on the outside can have its issues. If you feel like you’re not getting your needs met, aren’t feeling heard like you’re constantly having the same fight over and over, lines are being crossed and you’re not sure how to shift it, come talk to me.

Do you think relationship issues lie mostly in their past?

Absolutely. Each of us comes to the relationship with a “template” so to speak. It is compiled of all our conditioning, trauma, belief systems, and ideas about love and relationships. And whatever we’re carrying around, whatever it is that’s unhealed ends up being dumped into the relationship.

What about the present?

New variables might come into the mix that is out of our control (loss of a job, family stressors, children, etc.), but how we deal with them is usually based on the tools that we have in our ‘emotional toolbox.’

How in-depth are your sessions?

They can go pretty deep, actually. But it all depends on how in-depth a client is willing to go. I always respect a person’s boundaries but will be as transparent as possible in a kind way if I see something. A lot of our issues are hiding in our subconscious mind- behaviors, patterns etc. And sometimes all that’s needed is the awareness around it to heal it and change the behavior.

Did your journey in helping other people find self-love begins first with finding your own?

For the longest time, I wanted so badly to love and accept myself. I was so critical of myself and had a lot of negative self-talk. I used to feel so unlovable. It’s sad but true. People were always talking about self-love, but I didn’t know how to ‘get’ there. Through my own process of healing my self-worth, I learned what self-love and acceptance really mean. I was able to really lock in a logical and tangible way to heal and create a ‘formula’ so to speak.

Do you think you found self-love by helping others?

No, the self-love came from digging deep and addressing why I had such a low opinion of myself. Why I was willing to accept less. I had to heal myself first before I could help others. In the healing world, we always say you must heal from the scar, not the wound. Meaning you must heal first before you go helping others.

Did you always believe this would be something you saw yourself doing in the future, or did it just kind of come to you?

Absolutely not! If you would’ve told me 5 years ago that I would be teaching and healing others something I had been painfully and quietly suffering with for years, I never would’ve believed you. This kind of work is a force you can’t ignore. It’s a purpose that keeps nagging in your ear until you do something about it.

Did this career always correspond with what you thought you were going to be growing up?

Looking back, yes it makes sense. I was a hairstylist for 15 years and always had a gift for helping people see how beautiful they really are. So many of my clients said sitting in my chair was like a therapy session that you left feeling good about yourself afterward. I’ve always been able to see someone’s inner beauty and potential and bring that to the surface. Help them discover the unique beauty and highlight that for the world to see. And to be honest I think there’s nothing more powerful than a woman who feels beautiful in her own skin.

No matter what form of love complications her clients may have, Brianna first establishes where their inability to achieve happiness stems from so that they may begin with most importantly repairing self-worth. Whether that be past traumas, personal frustrations, or unsuccessful work/life experiences, Brianna highlights the way her clients show up in non-romantic relationships because they can often reflect their limitations within their relationships in general. Examining her clients’ old belief systems allows Brianna to focus on any client’s possible wounds from childhood, inherited family dynamics, or fear surrounding vulnerability.

Once Brianna examines their past, she helps her clients make peace with old wounds and break free from any self-sabotaging toxic patterns, guiding them on how to release fear and create the right conditions for a higher frequency of love. Brianna’s passion stems from her own personal experiences and growth, continuously evolving her ability to intuitively heal and help clients enter a fulfilling relationship and their most aligned love life ever. By fusing modern therapies and energetic healing modalities, her clients can discover their authentic self and rewrite their futures to achieve and experience the kind of relationships & love that we all desire.

brianna colette image for use by 360 magazine

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.