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Does Teen Loneliness Lead to Internet Addiction?

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Does Teen Loneliness Lead to Internet Addiction
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By Arastou Aminzadeh, M.D., Founder, BNI Treatment Centers

One of the most distressing effects of the pandemic has been its affect on teen mental health. Young people spent a significant amount of time cooped up at home, forced to give up most of their social activities due to lockdowns. This resulted in increased teen loneliness.

At a time in their development that social interactions play a key role in helping adolescents acquire healthy social skills, teens were left few options this last year. Most would default to the Internet to find peers to chat with on social media platforms and forums, or to kill time with online activities. In fact, the majority of a teenager’s social life has occurred online for a year now.

Teen loneliness was already a common problem prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research from Italy and Iran had previously studied the connection between loneliness among young people and subsequent internet addiction. Both studies demonstrated a positive correlation between these two factors.

Now, a new study out of Finland further cements this relationship between teen loneliness and compulsive internet use. The new variable in this recent study is the pandemic and how it has exacerbated teen loneliness, and therefore, internet addiction. The fallout from the excessive time online is an increased sense of loneliness because it replaced real life social interactions.

About Teen Loneliness During COVID-19

Ask any teen if they sometimes experience loneliness and they are likely to nod their head in the affirmative. All young people sometimes feel left out or lonely. However, teens who suffered from more pronounced feelings of loneliness may have been struggling with depression or another mood disorder, social anxiety, or a personality disorder. Some loneliness is normal, but intense chronic loneliness is typically associated with a mental health challenge.

During the pandemic, however, loneliness became its own epidemic that affected everyone of all ages. Teens, though, were hardest hit by the effects of the social distancing policies because of the significant role socializing plays in their daily life. Where adults had plenty of other distractions, teens were left with a gaping void in their life.

Study Shows Increase in Internet Addiction Among Lonely Teens

According to the Finnish study that was published in February 2021 in the Child Development journal, compulsive internet use has increased at a statistically significant rate. Dysfunctional internet behavior would include online gaming addiction, copious amounts of time on social media sites, and consumption of online pornography.

Further, the study found a direct connection between compulsive online behaviors and depression. This went both ways. A teen that was depressed may have spent more time online, as a distraction or salve, while teens that spent copious amounts of time online were more prone to develop depression. In either scenario, depression was the link.

In addition to the mood disorder, adolescents that engaged in excessive online activity had poorer academic performance. This is attributed to the amount of time that is consumed by online activities, which cuts into the time available to study.

The study determined that it wasn’t only due to a lack of social time with their friends this last year that has resulted in compulsive online behavior. The authors found that teens whose parents were not around, or who were inattentive, were also likely to turn to the Internet to fill their sense of loneliness.

COVID-19 and Teen Mental Health

There is no denying the serious impact the pandemic and lockdowns have had on our young people. Major milestones have been skipped over, social events radically altered or cancelled, schools closed, and, of course, the loss of live, in-person social interaction.

Teens need structure, predictable daily routines, and a sense of safety. During the past year these basic needs are not being met. Many kids have lost loved ones to the virus, or seen their parents become unemployed. All of this is very difficult for a teen to process and manage, as their limbic system is not fully developed at this age. Brain functions like impulse control, emotion regulation, and decision-making will be under construction until age 25.

As a mental health practitioner, I can confirm that our teens are struggling at higher rates than usual. Anxiety and depression are definitely on the rise in this cohort. When the dust settles we will have to face the statistics head on and provide additional services for struggling adolescents.

Other Causes of Teen Loneliness

At first glance, it may seem that teen loneliness is simply caused by a lack of friends. Maybe the teen struggles socially and has trouble establishing or maintaining sound friendships. But in reality, there are many other factors that can contribute to feelings of loneliness. Consider these 5 things that can cause loneliness:

  1. Moving. Possibly the family has recently relocated. Even if the new home is not that far from their former home, the unfamiliar surroundings can triggers feelings of loneliness. This even more so if the move is quite a distance away from their old friends and school.
  2. Social anxiety disorder. Some teens have a heightened or irrational fear of being judged by their peers. Because of the fear of being publicly criticized or mocked, the teen chooses to isolate, leading to loneliness.
  3. Feeling excluded. Teens are very sensitive. Most teens have the “fear of missing out,” or FOMO, which means they crave the feeling of belonging and being included in social gatherings. When they are passed over repeatedly it can lead to feelings of loneliness and even depression.
  4. Social media. While the word “social” in social media may sound like it is all about connecting with others, in fact social media can enhance feelings of loneliness in teens. This is due to the unnatural, shallow, and sometimes toxic “relationships” made on social media platforms.
  5. Being bullied. Cyber-bullying is extremely damaging to a teen’s self-esteem. When they happen to be the target of a bully who uses social media to embarrass or shame them, they will feel marginalized and isolated.

At this time in history it is essential for parents to be fully present for their children, and tuned into their mood states. If the teen is exhibiting signs of depression due to loneliness, and seem to self-medicate by engaging in compulsive internet use, it would be a good time to have the teen evaluated. Parents truly hold the key.

About the Author

Dr. Arastou Aminzadeh is a triple board certified physician in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and addiction medicine, and is the co-founder of BNI Treatment Centers in Agoura Hills, California.  Dr. Aminzadeh is a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and also a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  A well respected leader in the field, he also holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, where he completed his residency and fellowship.

My name is Dr. Arastou Aminzadeh, M.D. I am a adolescent psychiatrist and co-founder of BNI Treatment Centers a comprehensive residential behavioral health treatment program for ages 12-17. https://bnitreatment.com/

A - Z Health Guides

What You Need to Know About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Menstrual health is different for each woman. For that reason, it is important to trust your gut and not overlook any concerning symptoms you might have. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a commonly misdiagnosed hormonal condition that affects at least one in ten women. As the name indicates, this hormonal imbalance can lead to changes in the ovaries. Symptoms include cysts in the ovaries, irregular periods, acne, weight gain, etc. These symptoms can be managed, but there isn’t just one approach to take to effectively manage your PCOS. You should always talk to your doctor about the right treatment and the lifestyle changes needed to help your body. 

What You Can Do to Naturally Treat Your PCOS

Healthy lifestyle choices can make a world of difference in the symptoms of PCOS. Most women with PCOS suffer from insulin resistance, which causes their blood sugar levels to be higher than normal. Uncontrolled, this resistance can lead to diabetes. Most doctors recommend adding more anti-inflammatory foods to your meal plans, including fish, leafy greens, nuts, berries, etc. Try to eliminate all processed foods from your diet. Natural and whole foods are the way to go. This doesn’t mean going to extremes and eliminating all sugar from your diet. Instead of low-carb diets, it could be better to focus on adding more protein to your meals. This will improve your insulin sensitivity. 

Another healthy habit is to create a regular exercise routine that works for you. As most women with PCOS can struggle with losing weight, it can be difficult to find the motivation to push themselves. Still, it begins with small steps toward becoming more active. You can go on walks to the park, do a cardio routine from YouTube, or head to the gym to try weightlifting. Losing weight equivocates to reducing your insulin, and it allows your estrogen production to regulate itself more efficiently. 

Most people tend to underestimate how much sleep they need. Establishing a habit to sleep eight to ten hours a night will help you lose weight and reduce the chances of interrupting your hormone regulation. 

How to Maintain an Enriched Life with PCOS

Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all for the treatment of PCOS. You can be an active participant in your health by figuring out what methods work for you. Researching the different types of treatments available from credible sources will aid you in your journey of healing and self-fulfillment. 

Keep in mind that even though birth control pills are the most likely recommended method of treatment for PCOS, it is still just an option. Birth control pills, usually given at an abortion clinic Dallas, tend to mask the symptoms of PCOS, but it doesn’t cure it. For some women, it may also lead to stronger insulin resistance. Again, it all depends on the way you track your progress with your doctor, making sure that birth control pills are a good fit for you. 

As you make active efforts to manage your PCOS, you will find yourself with greater confidence as you face your condition head-on. Keeping a journal to track your periods and your goals will help you stay consistent and focused. Please seek mental health counseling if you begin struggling with depression or anxiety. Be kind to yourself. 

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A - Z Health Guides

Cell Line Development: The Key to Human Health

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Human Health

Over the past few years, we have all become increasingly aware of the need for vaccines to combat viruses. We have learnt how quickly things can go from normality to worldwide lockdowns. The need for a new vaccine could become humanity’s only way of moving forward. This is where cell line development comes in.

In this article, we’ll look at how stable cell lines are essential in the production of these all-important biotherapeutics, what challenges are involved, and how the future looks in this state-of-the-art scientific field.

The History of Cell Line Development

Let’s start off by looking at the history of cell line development and how it all began.

The history of cell culture dates back to 1948 when the first “L” cell line was established. The cell line was extracted from subcutaneous mouse tissue.

It wasn’t until 1957 that the first Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line was established. To this day, CHO cell lines are the most common mammalian cell line used in the mass production of therapeutic proteins. They are widely used in studies of toxicity screening, nutrition and gene expression, genetics, and particularly to express recombinant proteins. Much is known about their growth characteristics. This growth and adaptability to media and culture conditions make CHO cells a big asset in the pharmaceutical industry.

How the Process of Cell Line Development Works

Stable cell lines are developed by a process that generally starts with transfecting selected host cells, mainly CHO cells, with the desired plasmids. Plasmids are cells that can replicate independently of the chromosomes, hence their wide use in the laboratory manipulation of genes. Once transfecting has taken place, researchers must then manually screen and quantify high-yielding clones. Only after identifying the high producers can the cell lines produced by the cells be validated.

Until very recently, the process was slow and arduous taking anywhere between 6 to 12 months to complete a single cell line. This is because of the manual screening methods traditionally used for cell line development. What is needed is an automated and much more efficient approach to cell line development. This is where cell line development companies come in.

The Future of Cell Line Development

Cell line development companies are critical in bringing cell line development to the next level. Time is of the essence and these companies are the answer to providing automation and efficiency in cell line development.

Using state-of-the-art machinery, these Cell line development companies are dramatically reducing the time it takes to complete the cell line development process.

An example of this machinery is the ClonePix 2. The ClonePix 2 System does two jobs in one. It provides an automated way of screening huge amounts of cells. This increases the chances of finding rare high-producer cells. It also allows for single-cell isolation, dramatically reducing development times.

The consistency and high production of the target therapeutic protein are essential. These must be single-cell derived clones. With microplate readers like the SpectraMax i3x, these clones can be characterized much more quickly. The future of cell line development is already underway thanks to this cutting-edge machinery and the companies dedicated to its growth. Thanks to these advances, there’s no doubt that cell line development will continue to become a faster and more efficient process.

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HEALTH

Anxiety Management Tips That Will Make A Difference

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Anxiety Management Tips That Will Make A Difference

Anxiety is one thing that so many people suffer with every day. It is not something that ever really goes away, but you can learn ways to gain a bit of control over it. Read the following article to gain some knowledge of methods of coping to get some control over the anxiety you feel.

Have a trusted resource to call on, whenever you may be subject to an attack. Be it a relative or friend, you should have someone who is aware of your condition and can help talk you through an attack. cenforce Having to face one alone is very overwhelming, and you will work through them quicker if you have someone to help.

To help you ensure anxiety is not taking control of your life, speak to your doctor about medications you can take to restore potential chemical balances. Medications are often prescribed for people dealing with anxiety disorders and the results have proven to be very effective in most cases.

Get adequate exercise. You can feel happier and distract yourself from your worries when you bathe your brain in activity-induced endorphins. In addition, physical activity is recommended for your general well being.

Take control of your emotions. The way you feel can often cause anxiety. Once you have the discipline to control your emotions, you can rid yourself of anxiety. You may have to learn to emotionally detach yourself from feelings to gain control of your emotions and eliminate anxiety for good.

One of the ways that you can feel better during

the day and help reduce anxiety is to stretch the moment that you wake up. This can help limit any strain on your body when you go to work or school and can help generate the relaxation of all your muscles.

Soda is one of the worst things that you can drink during the course of the day ang you should avoid this beverage at all costs. Soda contains a lot of sugar and caffeine that can exacerbate your mood and dehydrate your body of essential nutrients, causing more tension and anxiety.

Keep yourself as busy as you possibly can. Being very active helps prevent any anxiety that may occur. As soon as you get up in the mornings, begin doing something immediately. Make sure you keep yourself busy all day long. Clean up the house, walk the dog, clean up your garden, read, or exercise. All these things can decrease your anxiety. Remaining idle just causes you to think about the negative things that are occurring in your life, which makes your anxiety worse.

Don’t sit for long periods of time if you can avoid it.

If you sit at a desk all day, take a walk when you have your break, and even do a little exercise. Simply standing up throughout the day is beneficial as well. When at home, keep yourself active with walks or jogging and reduce the amount of TV watching or inactive sitting. Everyone’s body needs to rest, but when you relax too much it can actually start to increase your anxiety.

If you are worried about taking prescription drugs to ease the symptoms of your anxiety, you should consider homeopathic remedies. These are available at most health food stores. If you cannot find anything, then you should consider going to a homeopath in your area to see if they can give you something.

Learn how to meditate. There are many different ways to meditate, and they all have the effect of releasing your mind from anxious thoughts. Meditation is not something that you ever conquer, so do not worry about doing it right.

An easy way to practice meditation is to light a candle and gently gaze at the flame for 10 minutes. Sit quietly, and just let your thoughts pass through your mind without stopping them.

Some great supplements to take if you are experiencing anxiety

are cod liver, krill or fish oil. There have been studies that have shown that these three oils are as effective as many of the prescription medications that are available on the market for treating anxiety and depression.

A good rule of thumb is 1,000 to 2,000 mg, per day.

A great tip to help reduce the amount of anxiety you feel is to cut back on your caffeine intake. Caffeine is a stimulant which only increases the anxiousness or nervousness you are already feeling.

Reducing the amount of caffeine you take will help reduce the amount of anxiety you feel.

You may need to see a doctor because anxiety can be too much to deal with on your own. You may want to consider seeking assistance from a professional. If at all possible, visit a doctor who is already familiar with your medical history. He or she will be better equipped to advise you about what to do next.

Consider alternative remedies. There are a number of things you can do to deal with your anxiety that fall outside of mainstream medicine. Give acupuncture a try, or perhaps some nutritional supplements. If you do practice these methods, be absolutely sure to notify your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to do.

You should probably consider visiting a therapist.

When you suffer from anxiety, it can be difficult to get better without help from a medical professional. A good therapist could help you to get your anxiety levels back under control, so that you can start enjoying life again. Furthermore, many health insurance providers will cover the cost of any visits to a licensed therapist.

Take a few deep breaths. Anxiety attacks can strike at the worst times. If you find yourself experiencing one, don’t panic. fildena Stop and take three deep breaths. It will have a cleansing and calming effect on your body. Slow your breathing, and try to think about something else, if your mind starts racing.

You do not have to allow your anxiety to rule your life. Use the advice in the article above to gain control over your life. Get out and experience what the world has to offer without suffering from anxiety attacks that can destroy a good day out with the family.

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