How to Identify a Possible Mental Health Issue

By Roz Jones

It had been painstaking for some to identify the real deal behind mental health. Some may experience a glitch of being depressed or aggressive then go back to normalcy. While others show some behaviors that are quite odd and uncertain, which may indicate that there is a shifting of attitude in the person and can result in mental disorders.

Mental health providers are capable of distinguishing the difference between being mentally healthy and mentally ill. They diagnose based on symptoms that the client may or may not manifest when going through the evaluation process. There are a lot of approaches and here are some:

1. One’s own perception

Here, you have to assess yourself internally. Are you having morbid thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself or others? Your behaviors, thoughts, and functioning can determine if you are mentally healthy or mentally ill. If there is a sudden shift in your daily habits and routines which you used to enjoy, then there might be something wrong.

In severe cases of mental illness, people can go on with their lives without doing chores or even bathing themselves. Therefore, it is important to assess yourself. If you can no longer pinpoint what is wrong, it may be time to seek professional help.

2. Other people’s perception

It is important to rely on those you trust for opinions on changes in your behavior. People around you may be the best source for an objective opinion. You may see yourself to be perfectly fine while others may disagree. Schizophrenia is one very good example of this, wherein a person may admit seeing or hearing things where in fact nothing’s there.

3. Ethnic and cultural norms

Oftentimes, a person’s normalcy is defined by their culture. Because people are living within different boundaries and cultures, what is normal for others may not seem normal for you. For example, when a person hears or sees things that others cannot, some people may call this insanity, but for some religions, this is normal and is a sort of divine intervention. Culture within the family may also affect the way you see others. What you normally do within your home may not be the same as others.

4. Based on statistical numeric

“Within the range” –a term often used to describe normalcy. Generally, the average or range defines what is normal. However, statistics can change. For instance if they go higher or lower, the range of normalcy shifts.

The information above is not meant to be used as a tool to diagnose yourself or others with a mental health disorder. However, it can be used as a gauge for when to seek medical help for yourself or your loved one.

When Anxiety Strikes

By Roz Jones

Panic attacks can be the bane of your existence, and can make caring for a loved one or even living your daily life,  extremely daunting. Never knowing when – or why – an attack can hit makes life unpredictable. Searching for a way to control your anxiety is a natural step to take. 

Most anxiety attacks come on suddenly – however, there are usually warning signs. It may only be a few seconds’ warning, but if we try to identify the signs, we may be able to lessen our symptoms. Some people experience chest tightening, lightheadedness, or shaking – all are the immediate signs of a rush of adrenaline. Adrenaline is one of the main identifiable reasons for an anxiety attack.  

As soon as you feel an attack beginning to develop, stop what you are doing. If you’re driving, pull over. If you’re standing or walking, sit down. As the attack begins to flower, take slow, steady breaths. Breathe in for five seconds, and out for five seconds. One of the main things people do when they are experiencing an anxiety attack is to breathe in short, sharp gasps; by slowing and focusing on your breathing, you are distracting your mind and resetting the scales. 

Keep breathing in this fashion. If necessary, close your eyes and tilt your head back so you have a clear throat passage for air to move through. You may also find some form of self-comforting useful; try rubbing the side of your wrist with a fingertip. Remain calm, focus on your breathing and rest until the feeling has passed.

5 Ways Caregivers Can Address Inner Conflict

By Roz Jones

Is inner conflict holding you back? When we struggle with inner conflict, it is basically a battle between our emotions and thoughts. If a situation doesn’t turn out how we expected, it can release feelings of anger, stress, fear, and frustration. 

There are many types of inner conflict. You may know you need to set better boundaries as a caregiver, but you keep avoiding the difficult conversation. You may know you need to adopt a healthier diet but eating the foods you love is the only thing that gives you pleasure right now.  Whatever the inner conflict is, it could be holding you back from a happy, healthy life. Below, discover 5 ways to address inner conflicts, in order to be a happier and more fulfilled caregiver.

1. Identify and confront inner conflicts.

You’re going to find it hard to address your inner conflict if you aren’t fully aware of it. However, identifying and being aware of inner conflict isn’t always easy. After all, it is much easier to ignore confrontation and the things that make us uncomfortable. 

The trouble is, when you ignore your inner conflicts, they simply get worse over time. So, start by writing down what you want and the things that are holding you back. Then, delve into your inner conflict and try to understand where it comes from. For example, is it coming from a place of fear or comfort? Often, we stay stuck in routines because it is our mind’s way of protecting us. 

2.Balance your rationale and emotions.

To address inner conflict, you need to be able to balance rationale and emotion. If you tend to focus more on your emotional needs and desires, your rational thinking will be compromised. Similarly, if you were to focus only on being rational, your emotional needs would suffer. To make the best choices, learn how to balance reason and emotion.

3. Avoid making rash decisions

When you are going through an emotional time, be sure not to make any rash decisions. Think about what is best for you, but also remember the impact your decisions will have on others. 

It’s easy to make rash decisions when you are dealing with inner conflict. However, staying calm and really thinking things through is going to lead to the best decisions.

4. Think about what you really want

What is it you really want? Often our inner conflict comes from not doing the things we desire. If you are trying to please everyone else, you are only going to end up feeling miserable. As caregivers, we often have a difficult time putting our needs before others. So, if you feel like you aren’t being true to yourself, take a step back. Think about what you truly want and then focus your energy on that.

5. Practice meditation

Finally, meditation is a great way to address inner conflict. It gives you the peace and mental clarity to reflect on your life and opportunities for growth. It may take a while to get used to it, but you’ll find great beginner videos online to help.

As caregivers, we have to ensure we are deterring our inner conflict to practice self care, all while caring for others. These are just a few ways to deal with inner conflict. What are some of your inner conflicts and how do you cope?

Guest Feature: It’s Time To Be More Mindful of Instagram

By Hannah & Adriana, Our Mindful Marketing 🍃

“If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.” 

Instagram is a ‘free’ social platform, but have you ever considered to what extent (and at whose expense) it really is “free?” 

Instagram is a business, therefore, they have to make money, and even being free for us to utilize as a social platform, they make money through users like you and I. 

How do they do this you ask? 

Simply put, through advertising. 

And the more advertising that they can filter to your feed (+ the actionable steps you take after viewing the ad) the more money that they make off of you. Therefore, in order for them to optimize their monetization they need users to spend more time on the platform. 

The entire business model is to figure out how to get as much of your attention as they possibly can get. Or really, to figure out how much of your life are you willing yet, unknowingly, giving to them? 

Do you often find yourself spending hours on end on Instagram? Putting in countless hours and time and effort only to be left feeling vacant and unsatisfied? 

Yeah, you’re not alone. 

It’s so easy to get lost in the world of Instagram and honestly that’s because the algorithm is literally set up this way. A team of designers has curated the algorithm in such a way that subconsciously you end up wanting to spend more and more time on the app. 

It is set up so perfectly and intentionally so that you end up spending hours on end scrolling through an overload of content. 

How is this, you ask? 

Every single action that you make on any platform is carefully tracked, monitored, recorded, and measured. Every click. Every image and every video you look at. Even down to the millisecond of how long you spend looking at any piece of content. 

The algorithm filters content based on your history on the app. This means that the more that you ‘like’ a certain piece of content or spend time watching videos/reels, the more that the algorithm will filter this type of content to your feed. 

All of this data is being fed into systems and the more data that is collected the more that these systems learn about us and are able to make more efficient predictions about what type of content to filter to our feeds. The algorithm is so powerful that it can correctly predict what emotions trigger you and then will filter this type of content to you to trigger those emotions.

You might not have much control on Instagram (which is why we feel there is no need to waste your energy being stressed over the algorithm) however, one of the things that you can control is the content that you see on your own feed and Explore page. 

It’s easy, continue to ‘like’ a certain type of content and you will slowly see your feed be filtered and overloaded with said content. 

We’re constantly faced with content overload. And who can handle all of this or even retain half of it? 

And it makes sense, as a content creator, there is a demand to produce content. 

Every. Single. Day. 

We’re told that we need to be consistent and show up and not only produce content, but to produce good, no, great content in order “to beat the algorithm.” 

Is this even possible? No. Because there is no way to “beat the algorithm.” 

As we previously stated, the algorithm is very powerful. And it has three goals in mind: an engagement goal, a growth goal, and an advertising goal. 

Each of these are powered by algorithms and the main goal is to figure out what to show you to keep these goals going up (which means what to show you to keep you showing up and spending more time on the platform). 

The algorithm is not set up for us to live a normal social life. Think about it, it’s not normal to have to spend countless hours engaging, commenting and liking hundreds of other profiles in order to receive only a small percentage of engagement in return. 

However, in order to organically grow your account on the gram you absolutely have to spend time engaging. Engagement is one of the most important factors in your strategy when it comes to how to grow your account. It is also one of the most time consuming and mind numbing processes. 

So, it takes us back to how the algorithm is set up, and in order for us to be successful then we need to receive high engagement on our feed. 

Well, in order to receive high engagement on our own feed this means that we have to spend time engaging with other users’ feeds. And the more time you spend on the platform and engage with new people, the more that the algorithm will boost your content to more people which can mean new eyes on your content which then means you increase the chance of organic growth. 

BUT it makes perfect sense. Instagram is a money making conglomerate and they are a business just like you and I, which means that they too need to make money. 

So, in order to grow organically, you have to spend time engaging which means spending more and more time on the app commenting and liking things that you are genuinely interested in or drawn to, which then means the algorithm continues to filter this type of content to your feed and you get stuck in a never-ending cycle. 

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So, how do you break this cycle? 

First and foremost, become aware of it. 

Become aware of the fact that we are all stuck in this vicious cycle where we curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection because we feel rewarded by any short term signals, including, ‘hearts’ and ‘likes’ and then we associate that with value which we then associate with truth and some sense of validation, when in reality it’s all a facade. It’s a screen that we have been programmed to become addicted to and then after spending hours and hours on the platform, we are left feeling more vacant, more empty, and more invalidated than ever before. 

More than ever do we need to address the awareness of the correlation between mental health and social media. 

We are currently training a whole generation of people that when you feel uncomfortable or uncertain or afraid that you have a digital compass that you can turn to for support and this is simply just not true to today’s reality. 

More than ever are children and society as a whole more anxious, fragile and depressed. Since 2011, the rate of young girls being sent to the emergency room due to self-inflicted pain has increased dramatically to 62% in girls between the ages of 15-19 and 189% in girls between the ages of 10-14. This is the same pattern in suicide rates. Suicide rates have increased by 70% in girls between the ages of 15-19 and 151% in girls between the ages of 10-14. (The Social Dilemma Documentary Film, 2020). 

All patterns point to social media. 

Secondly, decide to do something about it. 

Remember that algorithms are literally opinions built into code. Essentially, we have allowed a team of approximately 40 white 30-something-year-old males who developed an algorithm in Silicon Valley set the standard of what we deem as beautiful or socially acceptable. 

Be mindful of the platform. Become aware of how much time you are spending on the app, and be honest about what you are doing while you are on the app. 

We’re serious when we say that you need to be 100000% intentional when it comes to being on any social platform. 

Set your intentions and your goals before you click on that app each day, literally ask yourself, “what is it that I need to accomplish on this app today?” 

Is it:

  1. To respond to comments 
  2. To answer DM’s 
  3. To post to your feed 
  4. To batch record reels 
  5. To add to your stories 
  6. Engage with other accounts 

You need to be so intentional and so purposeful about everything you do while you’re on the app because before you know it, more than an hour has gone by and you’ve done nothing but mindlessly scroll (which is EXACTLY what they want you to do). 

If you’re interested in learning more tips and tricks on how to go about social media mindfully, efficiently and effectively — feel free to schedule a call with us and we will be happy to help you strategize a plan! 

Find out more amazing articles like this on the Our Mindful Marketing blog.

See a Resource, Share a Resource

By Roz Jones

In honor of mental health awareness month, I wanted to challenge my network of caregivers and medical professionals to share these life saving mental health resources listed below. Each time you see a mental health resource, share a mental health resource!

Don’t forget to tag us on social media when you share your resources!

#seearesourcesharearesouce #mentalhealthawarenessmonth

  • Crisis Text Line
    • Text HOME to 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • (800) 273-8255
  • The NAMI Helpline
    • (800) 950-NAMI
  • Postpartum Support Intl.
    • (800) 944-4773
  • National Hopeline Network
    • (800) 442-4673
  • Veterans Crisis Line
    • (800) 273-8255 and Press 1
  • Disaster Distress Helpline
    • Text MHA to 741741
  • US National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    • (800) 273-8255