Thursday, 26 February 2015

Depression in Teens

I thought I would write something a little different this week so I decided to post an article about mental health in teenagers that I wrote about 6 months ago. All of the facts in this post have been found on many different sites; however with something like mental health it is very hard to find statistics that are the same across every source. Also this information is changing everyday but I feel like this is a fairly good overview of teenage mental health so... 

All people feel sad or unhappy at times during their lives; however persistent sadness may be depression. Depression is a serious illness that affects 1 out of every 100 adults under the age of 65 (according to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation). It is estimated that approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem and 1 in 4 families worldwide is likely to have at least one member with a behavioural or mental disorder. Not only this, but a quarter of adolescences have a depressive disorder by the age of 18 and yet; although it effects 40 million people per year many people still refuse to say that it is a serious illness and instead they are convinced that these suffers are ‘bluffing’.

This is not true.

Depression comes in many different forms and each of these have an array of different symptoms depending on the form of illness. Each patient who is being diagnosed with depression falls into one of three categories: major depression, dysthym disorder and minor depression. Those with major depression will suffer with multiple severe symptoms. These can range from: feeling sad or empty to feeling very tired. That is not to say that if you are feeling a little bit sleepy you have a form of mental illness – you have to have at least two symptoms to be medically diagnosed as a depressive.
Medical research has recently found that there are three main reasons for depression. Genes play a major part in whether a person will be affected or not, so those how have a history of mental illness within their family are 1.5-3.0 times more likely to suffer with depression (according to Washington University’s medical research team). Another reason is ‘Brain Chemistry’ – this means that the subject may have a chemical imbalance in the brain; this form is normally treated with drugs that affect the hormone levels in the body. The third main factor is stress, and especially stress caused by a recent death or being in a difficult relationship.

Once diagnosed, the patient tends to become a subject to multiple different methods to help them control their illness. There is no cure. The most common method of control is psychotherapy. This form of therapy is very effective and is often referred to as ‘counselling’; however this is a common misconception. Counselling is a form of therapy used mainly with adolescences and adults with minor depression or mental illness. Psychotherapists normally attempt to teach new ways of thinking and they help the patient to communicate their emotions through many different methods. These methods may include writing, drawing or even acting out certain situations. Those in counselling are unlikely be prescribed drugs; whereas those in psychotherapy will often be put on medication such as Cymbalta, Zoloft and Prozac. These drugs, although often hated by the users, have the desired effect of boosting the levels of serotonin to the brain (increasing ‘happiness’ levels).

Another, more extreme way of ‘curing’ depression is Electroconvulsive Therapy (also known as ECT). This type of therapy is famous for treating patients that range from Sylvia Plath to Peter Sutcliffe. However, it is more commonly used for the criminally insane because it is deemed inhumane and should only be used as a last resort due to severe side effects. According to The Royal College of Psychiatrists these side effects include: memory loss, several epileptic seizures and confusion – although they tend to be short-term they can sometimes linger longer. Electroconvulsive Therapy is only used to treat those with severe depression that is very difficult to treat. It is slowly being faded out of practice because new, more effective drugs and treatment are being used.
It is now becoming more common for children and adolescents to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Although their symptoms may be similar to that of adults they tend include: getting into trouble in school, becoming socially withdrawn and it is also very common for a sufferer to feel negatively towards school and refuse to go. Unfortunately children and teenagers with coexisting disorders such as a substance abuse are more likely to be depressed and less likely to respond to the available treatment.

As scientists have discovered that younger suffers of depression are also at risk of heart disease, diabetes and other severe illnesses, doctors are now trying desperately to find some way of treating depression. Current antidepressants – although safe – are not always effective and a lot more under 18’s are being hospitalised because they are a risk to themselves. Psychotherapy doesn’t work in most adolescent cases and it became clear in 2007 that things need to change. Why? In 2007 it was discovered that the suicide was the third leading cause for death in youth. Tragically nothing has changed yet, and hundreds of teenagers continue to kill themselves each week.

A brilliant PDF leaflet about mental health can be seen here:

Monday, 16 February 2015

Lush Haul

I went shopping yesterday and popped into Lush determined to try some new products. I didn't purchase as many as I planned to - the Lush shop near me is exceptionally small as the amount of people in there was a bit overwhelming. Also I tried one of the breath fresheners - big mistake. The majority of these products are permanent so you can pick it up at any time, anywhere!

 The Honey Bee bath bomb. This is meant to smell like honey, aloe vera and something called rhassoul mud which is apparently a clay found near the Atlas mountains. An interesting combination. This bath bomb isn't one of their 'wow' ones but it is meant to be very good for your skin so I am excited to use it.

This is the Amandopondo bubble bar and I have no idea why I bought it. It smells like rose. I don't like rose. It was rather a silly thing for me to buy but I will use it. The lady in the shop told me that this was her favourite bubble bar and it produced a lot of bubbles and she did say the smell wasn't too strong. Damn those Lush assistants who are good at their job! I think that this bubble bar can be used for two baths so it is quite a good deal for £2.75. 

I've had this before and I love it. It's a no thrills, no surprises bath bomb but I find that the strong smell of bergamot and frankincense is brilliant to help me calm down after a day of anxiety and the smell lingers which is an added bonus. Blackberry Bath Bomb.

More rose? Emily what is wrong with you?! Well this one I can justify - it is one of the limited edition mothers day range and I ant to try it out to see if my mum would like. You have to try things out like this for my mum as she isn't one for fuss but she definitely  all about the rose. This one apparently has roses and pink in the center but that was the best the shop assistant should explain it to me. She did say it's perfect for a rose lover - uh oh. The Rose Bombshell.

I am so excited for this one. I have seen photos of this on Instagram and it looks like a crazy little bath party. This is called Secret Garden or something but it isn't on the website! I have no idea why not because it seems to be in all the shops - maybe it's just a shop exclusive but it seems strange. It also makes it hard for me to comment on the ingredients as having new used it before I can't give you a break down of the product. I'll have to update you about this one when I've used it.

I think Granny Takes a Dip is one of the most famous Lush products and it is one I have never used before. It is very fragile and you have to be careful when storing it as I have heard that the things pop off. It is a bit dusty (as you may be able to see due to the state of my bathroom! I am quite excited to use this and confused to why I haven't bought it before. It's smell isn't too strong and I think that it is more of a 'party' bath than a bath bomb that will work miracles for your skin - like Avobath.

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner Review

I rarely wear eye liner as it is a constant reminder of my 'emo phase' - an unfortunate event that happened three years ago that included bad makeup, skin, music taste and clothes. However the one good thing to come out that year was I became very good at applying winged eyeliner and this is a skill that I still use today. Now remember - I am good at the 'emo' eye liner so thicker and it isn't something I would wear now so I haven't had much practice at making it thinner and nicer to wear. I have been trying to learn how to do it thinner so I can wear it out and for it to look okay. I am making progress with this; however it is still a little thick.

My dad bought me this eye liner when he went to New York as Benefit is a lot cheaper over there. I was quite excited about this as I had wanted to try it for a while. When I got it I did try and use it but I found it required a lot more time to apply than other eyeliner so I stopped using it. Then, yesterday, I decided to give it another shot and then to write a review about the product as I was not happy.

I hate this eyeliner. 

Well maybe not 'hate it' as it does work, but it is very frustrating to use, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone nor would I purchase it again. I did have high expectations when I used it as I am in love with the 'They're Real Mascara' and as this is the supporting eye liner I thought it would be brilliant and on par with other Benefit products. But it wasn't. 

I ran into a problem straight away as I found it very hard to get the eye liner onto the tip to apply it. I had to squeeze the rubber a bit and thus too much came out. After about five minutes of huffing and puffing whilst trying to work out how to get the right amount on the end I gave up and just decided to use it as it was. When I  did the wing I was okay with it, it only took one attempt and the line was fairly thin - which is good as I was only doing the outline. Then came the attempt to draw above the lash line. This was an awful experience. The eye liner came out in clumps and it was so hard to join them up. It was so frustrating I just did half of it instead of carrying further down. 

Next I tried to fill in the wing. Can you guess how this went? If you guessed rubbishly you are 100% correct. It came off in clumps and these went in my eyelashes causing them to all stick together. Then I found it impossible to get a thick enough - the wing was very patchy and not black enough - so after about ten minutes and desperately trying to make it look acceptable I gave up. 

As you can see it looks rubbish and not in focus - this is because I didn't have my glasses on so I can't actually see on my view finder whether it is in focus or not. I just have to guess and I am normally just disappointed. I tried to put it above my water line but nothing happened so I just used my (fabulous) mascara to fill it out a bit. 

I was going to finish this post here; however I went to go and take it off and it is pretty hard stuff to remove. I used make up remover and it wouldn't budge so I resorted to my cleanser and this smudged it a bit. It took a good few minutes of painful rubbing to make any progress. After a bit I decided that it wasn't worth hurting my eye to get it off so I currently have black smudges all around my right eye.

I am not saying that this product is a complete waste of money - if you swear by it I would love to know your tips on how to use it (and how to get it off). But for now I am just going to put it away and let my poor eye recover from what I just put it through.

Rating: 4/10
Recommend: Not unless you're a makeup genius with the toughest of makeup remover
Worth the money: Hell no.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Three Essential Beauty Products

this is a very nerve racking post for me as I have never ever done one like this before. I have already accepted that it will be terrible; however I am okay with that as, at it is my first attempt, I see this as a perfect learning experience. All blogs have to start somewhere - yes?

This post is about my three essential beauty products. I can live without eyeliner, blusher, eye shadow etc. however these are the three that I take everywhere with me (overnight). Technically this is a three beauty products and two brushes post; however I feel that brushes are not necessarily needed to do makeup. Sure they help but it isn't like you can't apply foundation without one. This is actually my everyday make up routine (if I am feeling lazy) and I normally wear this to school or if I am just popping out. 

First Product: Foundation

I normally used two different foundations throughout the year. One of these is this: The Rimmel Match Perfection and the other one is the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation. I use the Match one in the winter as I think that it paler so it means that it fits my pale completion better and Wake Me Up means that when I have a slight tan in the summer it suits me better. I have bought other foundations - expensive and cheaper- and these two really are the best. If you have really oily skin maybe go for a more mat one or use a powder. 

 Next I pump two or three pumps on my hand. I use two if I don't need much coverage and three if my skin is bad. I used to not do it this way and instead I would apply the liquid foundation to my face: one pump on each cheek and two on the forehead. I did realise at the time at how much of a waste of make up this was - it did the job but this method has the same amount of coverage.

This is my favourite brush. I love it, it is soft, easy to use and cheap. This is my favourite brush to use for foundation - I have used the foundation brush but I just feel that this does a better job at blending out my liquid foundation. I may change my mind in the future; however that's just how I feel at the moment.

Next I apply this all over my face, building up when needed. (so for the state of my eye brows - a pluck is way over due!). Never forget to do your eyelids if you are not using eye shadow as it then means that you can awful 'tide' lines around your eye. If you are using eye shadow and you don't have primer with you this is a very good alternative. 

 It's concealer time. I need to use concealer quite a bit; however I always try to avoid it when I can. I just love this packaging and I think that is one of the reasons that I love this product - there are probably better concealers for a lot cheaper but I find that this is perfect for travelling so that's the reason I buy it so often. 

On the right is the concealer for your spots and stuff and on the right it's the under eye concealer. One point I have to make with this product is that the concealer isn't actually part of the plastic - instead they are in those annoying cheap metal tins so they can become quite loose. This is so annoying when this happens and it one of the things that I desperately want changed.

I use then use an eye shadow brush (not one that I use for eye shadow!) and apply to areas that need covering. I used to use my fingers to apply this; however I would always recommend that you use a brush as using your fingers can spread really bad bacteria into spots and they will just get worse. Also never press two hard with this brush and don't try and blend it in with this. This is unlikely to work very well. 

Next I apply the darker one around the eyes using a different eye shadow brush (to minimize the spread of germs.) Then I use my facial brush to blend in all the concealer. I find that in areas where you may have a cluster of spots and easier way to fully blend in the concealer is to push down slightly and spread it gently around the area. Not two hard though as you don't want to spread the spots. 

Next it is mascara time - this is my pick at the moment as I am going for more volume and less fullness. This one is perfect for it and it is one of those ones that just feels nice when you are applying it. It is expensive though but so worth it. I will do a before and after pick - I do have done eye liner on my lash line but this is because I was experimenting with the eyeliner from Benefit it is very hard to get off the lash line. (And yes I did remove the mascara above my eye).

And here we have it. I am terribly sorry that I wasn't looking at the camera - ironically I was actually trying to look at the camera; however I was also trying to see if it was in focus ( I haven't got my glasses on so it was very hard to do).

I find that this combination of three products is perfect for the very basic make up, school and when you're first starting with make up. Also I hope you enjoyed this slightly different type of post and I enjoyed making it so maybe I will post some more?

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Book Review: Submarine by Joe Dunthorne

I watched the film of Submarine a few months ago and skim read the book; however I mainly skipped both as when I am feeling bored of a film of a book I jump through sections. This a bad habit of mine which I need to change but any how, I decided to retry reading Submarine and this time to not skip anything. I managed this and I decided to post my opinion on it because I never do book reviews and I read a lot of books. 

This book is set in Swansea, Wales in 1997. The fact that it is set in Swansea excited me (sadly) as I Welsh and a lot of my family live in Swansea so I am very familiar with the place. This meant that when things were mentioned that are so typically Welsh and places that are very important to my childhood I felt very happy. This might have made me enjoy the book a bit more as it was very relatable (in some places) however if you have never even stepped foot in Wales I doubt it would affect your enjoyment of the novel.

The novel is centered around Oliver Tate who is 15 and is obsessed with his parents relationship and a girl called Jordana. He has a few aims, mainly to fix his parents marriage and lose his virginity before he is 16. I won't tell you which he succeeds at and what ones he fails at but those two are a very good idea of what this novel is centered around. 

A warning about this book is that it does contain some more graphic sexual scenes - it's not exactly 50 Shades (thank goodness) however Dunthorne doesn't shy away from teenage sexuality (or any sexuality at that). I have no issue with this as I am very frank about teenage sexuality - I think that more people sound be open about it and more 'realistic' teenage novels should at least touch on the subject as it is a very important part of teenage life - regardless of sexuality or age. 

There are parts of this book that made me feel very uncomfortable and the way more difficult issues were tackled left me a bit annoyed and uneasy. This book is meant to be realistic; however certain aspects of the novel left me wondering how common these events actually were. I think they were there to shock you; however I felt that the were touched on and then left alone. This annoyed me and if you read the book I am such you will understand where I am coming from.

Overall I felt that this book was a good book with an interesting story line. Some parts were a bit boring and I felt myself wondering if I was going to continue with the novel but I am glad that I did as the ending is very satisfying and I have recommended it to a number of my friends. If you shy away from swearing and sex this book isn't for you; however if you like novels that tackle teenage issues (and other harder ones) I would recommend this book in an instance. 

Recommended for 15+. It doesn't have particularly challenging vocab so it is quite an easy read if you look at it that way. Also there is a brilliant film adaption - it isn't that close to the book in some aspects but it is definitely worth a watch.

Which blogs am I reading?

I read quite a few blogs am everyday I check my Bloglovin feed. I would love to follow people on blogger but if I am honest I have no idea how! I also don't understand how people have managed to follow me on here as it is so confusing. Anyway, if you don't know Bloglovin is a lovely way to track your favourite blogs and a fantastic way to discover new ones. Some of the bloggers I am going to mention you may have already heard of and others not. My aim for this post is to inspire my readers to discover other blogs and to gain these people new readers.

1. The Lilac Scrapbook. 

This blog is written by a 19 year old woman called Katy Gilroy who is studying creative writing in university. Her blog is blend of personal posts, life style and little reviews of other products. I don't think she is a very big blogger and she deserves more attention. 

2.The Sunday Girl

I know nothing about the writer of this blog personally - I couldn't even tell you her name! She posts reviews of products and it is a product review based blog. There aren't any life style posts; however it is a great blog as she reviews high end products and things you can pick up in your local Boots. All of her reviews are detailed and they have convinced me to buy some products and shown me which to avoid. 

3. Keep Dreaming

This blog is run by an Irish blogger called Jordan. Her blog posts are very relatable as the majority of them are great first impressions and detailed reviews of products you can pick up anywhere. I love her product reviews and I enjoy her posts when they are about a lot of products - you#ll see what I mean when you look at her blog

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Floating Flower and Unicorn Horn Lush Review

I bought the floating Flower a while ago but the smell put me off using it. I found it caught in the back of my throat and the powder got up my nose and all over my fingers. The only reason I decided to use this bath bomb was to get rid of it because it was filling up my lush box and covering everything it a pink powder. My first impressions were not good. 

Then I used the product and everything changed. Don't get me wrong, this isn't my favourite product by far - it simply doesn't compare to bath bombs like Lord of Misrule and Northern Lights; however it is surprisingly pleasing. It is a bit of a slow fizzer; however for once I saw the advantage of this. Normally I don't save bath bombs for two uses, I do with the bubble bars (obviously) but never before have I done it with a bath bomb. Normally I don't save them because I find that they are too big to store away until next time but the shape of this one allowed my to put it in the corner of my bathroom until next time. Although this bath bomb isn't meant for two uses I don't think you need all of it for one. It turns the bath a lovely pink colour and the smell is strong but not that strong (good). Have half of this bath bomb with some bubbles from the unicorn horn and you're sorted for a lovely evening bath.

 I also managed to get my hands on the last Unicorn Horn bubble bar and I was very pleased with myself. The product its self is very ascetically pleasing but it didn't wow me when I used it. The bubbles aren't that glittery nor do they last that long. You get a lot of bubbles with it but after 25 minutes your bath will be just dotted with a few clumps of semi-glittery clouds. I do think that they last a lot longer than the bubblerooms though. The smell also isn't that strong and I think that I preferred the Chirstmas bubble bars a lot more. Still it was good, I am probably just very hard to impress and I do think I'd buy it again because look how pretty it is.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Music Monthly

Sorry for my recent absence from the blogging world - I have had a lot of work and emotions all getting in my way from sitting down a writing. But here I am tapping away for I am determined to post this blog post today.

I haven't done a monthly music post in a while and it's not because I haven't been listening to much must (I have been) it is just that I always want to give a variety of music as a lot of my choices are very samey. But here it is: the return of Music Monthly.

This is a lovely song; however I completely understand if you do not like his voice - it can begin to grate after a while. Still I think this song is brilliant (despite not really understanding what he is saying) and the music really adds to it and makes the song a lot better and much more enjoyable. I would love to be able to comment on the deep meaning behind this song; however the only thing I could come up with is that it is saying how everything will eventually kill us so we should take risks and enjoy life a lot more. But that's just what I think.

I enjoy the meaning of this song a lot more than this song and that is just because everywhere I go it is playing. I think that if I hand't heard it so much I would listen to it a lot more. Also, the music video should be watched again and again so people understand that this is a reality in 1st World countries like Ireland and this disgusting treatment of gay people isn't restricted to poorer places. When I watched it it stuck with me for day - the brutality of the behavior shocked me - but most of all I was shocked by how realistic it was. 

3. Alt-J

I meant to put Alt-J in this blog post a while ago but those were never published so I don't think I ever really went into how wonderful their most recent album is. It is brilliant. I think that Alt-J is a bit of an acquired taste as their lyrics rarely make sense but they're one of those artists that could just be singing the same word over and over again and it still would be of an award winning standard. I think my favourite song on their new album is 'Intro' or 'The Gospel of John Hurt' but the whole album is great. The only issue I have with Alt-J is that I think it takes a while to get into their songs and to enjoy them thoroughly; however when you do I am certain it will become one of your favourite songs.

This song is great but I do have a bit of a strange relationship with Sia's music as I only like a few of her songs and these are normally the big ones like 'Chandelier' and 'Elastic Heart'. I only began listening to this because I watched the music video and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are several arguments about the subject and context of the video - many of the arguments I completely understand- however my interpretation of this video is that it shows what mental health can do to a family and how hard it is to help someone with it. I will leave it up to you to decide for yourself.

I am going to start a playlist on YouTube (as I don''t use Spotify) where I will add all my favourite songs at the moment so if you are interested or you just want some new music to listen to I will link it below (when I have made it)