How Animals Improve Mental Health

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.

Since I was spending Thanksgiving break at home with my family, I got to spend some quality time with my family’s dog. I have really enjoyed having her around and have felt my mood lifted. Just having her sitting on my lap relaxes me and makes me feel lighter. Along with this, my parents and I have been watching the new documentary series Dogs on Netflix. This has inspired me to look more into how animals improve mental health, as I see how much they improve the lives of the owners on the show.

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Giving Back

There are going to be a lot of chances to reflect and give back now that the holiday season is in full swing. This doesn’t only include Thanksgiving during November, but other holidays such as Veterans’ Day here and Remembrance Day in places like Great Britain, Canada, and Australia. While reflecting and giving back can be done on a very personal level, such as evaluating how the past year has gone and what can change in the upcoming new year, or participating in local food and gift drives at school or work.

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There’s No Shame in Taking Antidepressants

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.

I was about four years into my battle with depression when I began taking Lexapro. I had been in and out of therapy in the preceding years, and each therapist I visited asked if I’d be interested in taking medication if my condition warranted it. I always said yes, but my mother was less enthusiastic about the prospect of me taking antidepressants. Continue reading There’s No Shame in Taking Antidepressants

A Minority in Mental Health: Asian Americans

The “model minority stereotype” of Asian Americans perceives them to be hardworking, and academically, economically, and socially successful when compared to all other racial minority groups. Because of this, Asian Americans are assumed to be at less risk of mental health problems. Then how do we explain that Asian American college students are 1.6 times more likely to seriously consider suicide than white students? And why is suicide the number one cause of death in Asian American teens?

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Monitoring Time on Instagram

There’s no doubt about it, Instagram is incredibly popular. As one of the most frequently used sites among adolescents, it’s easy to get sucked into the endless photos and videos, as well as the various accounts of friends, peers, celebrities, and influencers. This isn’t even considering the Instagram Stories, Instagram TV, and direct messaging. Basically, Instagram can waste a lot of time.

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Can a Poor Diet Predict Mental Illness?

Food is so much more than gaining energy to get through the day. Many see food as an experience: some see cooking as therapeutic, eating with others as a way to deepen relationships, and taking photos of their food and posting them as a hobby. This doesn’t even account for how good food can taste, given the variety in cuisine and combinations.

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Can You be Extroverted and Have Social Anxiety?

Our minds often give us images of certain types of people when we think about certain things. For example, we tend to think of those with anxiety to be by themselves, preferring to be alone and in the quiet. It can be easy and even confusing to separate introversion and social anxiety, since both include a preference of being alone and away from crowds. Even though there are significant differences, the assumption is that most people with social anxiety are also introverts, and that the two go hand in hand.

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Learning to Fight Thought Distortions

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.

I would consider myself to be on the emotional empath spectrum.  At times it feels like I’m a sponge that absorbs all the emotions, stress, and problems of others. On the surface these emotions manifest as a caring, compassionate person, but when it’s all said and done I often find myself worrying or feeling down days and weeks after seeing the person or friend.

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