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A Comic That Shows What It’s Really Like To Live With Depression And Anxiety

A Comic That Shows What It’s Really Like To Live With Depression And Anxiety

Most of you have probably seen Nick Seluk’s comics from The Awkward Yeti floating around the internet at some point or another. His simple cartoon style allows him to make comics on all sorts of topics, from social awkwardness, to animals, to philosophy and beyond. The variety of subjects and the simple style of the comics makes them appealing to a large crowd, allowing Seluk to communicate ideas relating to heavy subject matter in a relatable manner.

When Sarah Flanigan, a reader of Nick’s comics, contacted him, he knew she had something important to say. Sarah has been living with depression since age 10, and an anxiety disorder since she was 16. She told Nick about dealing with two mental illnesses at once and how it’s impacted her life, but also what it actually feels like to live with it. Nick knew that Sarah’s description of her inner wars with depression and anxiety painted an accurate picture of what many people without these illnesses often don’t understand.

So, he decided to draw it.

“As someone who’s experienced and has been around anxiety and depression, it was easy to illustrate in a way that complemented the storyteller,” Seluk told Bored Panda in a piece about the comic. “Sometimes those who haven’t experienced the extremes don’t understand what it’s like, almost to the point of resenting it.”

Sarah and Nick hope this comic will help those without these mental illnesses better understand the reality of living with them every day. In particular, Sarah stressed the importance of people understand that it isn’t something you can just “snap out of”. She also notes that it is critical for people to understand that just because someone may currently be having a good mental health day, that doesn’t mean the illness is gone for good. Perhaps most importantly, misunderstandings cause people to hide their mental illnesses, often leaving them feeling isolated and alone, something Sarah says she has experienced.

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“The hardest part of living with depression and anxiety for me is feeling like I have to hide it,” says Sarah, who describes herself as the happy one in her group of friends. “It’s much harder than it should be to say, ‘Hey, I have depression and I’ve been struggling with self-harm since I was 10 and I just really need your support to get me through tonight’.”

Let’s hope this comic is a step towards a better understanding of depression and anxiety. You can check it out below:

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                                  Nick Seluk creates a variety of comics at The Awkward Yeti. Two popular series include one which shares the site’s name, “The Awkward Yeti”, which depicts a yeti named Lars and his experiences of social awkwardness in every aspect of his life. The other series, “Heart and Brain”, follows an anthropomorphic heart and brain as they butt heads (metaphorically, of course) over everyday happenings and philosophical quandaries. The above comic is part of a series called “Medical Tales Retold”, which until recently depicted tales of physical illnesses as told through Seluk’s comics. You can check out that series here if you’re interested in more!

                                  About Nick Seluk:

                                  Awkward Yeti creator Nick Seluk left his job as a senior graphic designer in December 2014 to do The Awkward Yeti full time. He has always loved drawing, especially cartoons, because he finds it’s the best way to explain what he has going on in his head. In school, he used to draw cartoons that represented concepts in his notebooks, and those were always the ones that stuck with him. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University, but finds he learns better on his own. Nick lives in Michigan with his wife, three kids, and a very awkward dog.

                                  Featured photo credit: The Battle/Nick Seluk via tapastic.com

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                                  Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                                  How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                  How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                  Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                                  To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                                  Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                                  1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                                  Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                                  Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                                  To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                                  2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                                  Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                                  If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                                  Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                                  3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                                  Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                                  Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                                  4. Feed Your Brain

                                  Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                                  This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                                  Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                                  Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                                  5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                                  According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                                  Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                                  Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                                  6. Write it Down

                                  If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                                  It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                                  You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                                  7. Listen to Music

                                  Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                                  8. Visual Concepts

                                  In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                                  Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                                  Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                                  9. Teach Someone Else

                                  Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                                  Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                                  10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                                  Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                                  So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                                  Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                                  More About Boosting Memory

                                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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