Dopamine fasting: why Silicon Valley is trying to avoid all forms of stimulation

Its the most recent developments trend in the worlds tech capital. But is it really possible to cut yourself off from everything in life that excites you and can it be any good for you?

They have done biohacking, clean sleeping and the keto diet, but now Silicon Valley types have coined a new health tendency- dopamine fasting. It is thought that depriving yourself of the neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that motivates us to do things, can help to reboot or rebalance the brain. Fasting might necessitate abstinence from technology, artificial lighting, food, drink, conversation, eye contact- basically anything that an individual discovers inducing. But is there any sense to the fad?

” Retreating from life probably attains life more interesting when you come back to it ,” says David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit in the division of brain sciences at Imperial College London.” Monks have been doing it for thousands of years. Whether that has anything to do with dopamine is unclear .”

It is possible to manipulate the production of dopamine through diet, Nutt says. He mentions the velvet bean, which contains high concentrations of a precursor to dopamine.” There is no question that you can have a dietary influence on the production of dopamine ,” he says. “Starvation would probably reduce dopamine to some extent.”

Dopamine is often thought of as a reward, but Joydeep Bhattacharya, who results the research group of cognitive and neuroscience at Goldsmiths, University of London, points out that dopamine is really” about learning the anticipation of the reward, and not the pleasure itself. It is primarily released in this anticipation phase .”

This could counteract dopamine fasting because abstinence might trigger a greater number of thoughts about the things from which a person is abstaining.” The moment we try to abstain, naturally our brain will crave that- so there will be more of a dopamine release .” Similarly, anyone who abstains and has a sense of occasion about the abstinence would be in danger of triggering the production of dopamine, as would a person who periodically congratulates themselves on their abstinence during the course of its abstinence.

Rather than casting this sort of intense, time-limited disengagement as a dopamine fast, it may be better seen as meditation. But dopamine-related hazards lurk there, too. As Nutt, who has studied the production of dopamine in monks, says:” If you transcend in meditation, you might get euphoria, a release of dopamine .” It would seem nowhere is safe.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Instagram tightens rules on diet and cosmetic surgery posts

Platform responds to concerns about impact of content on mental health of young people

Instagram has announced that tighter limiteds are to be imposed on some posts related to diet products and cosmetic surgery.

The social media platform said that from Wednesday on both Instagram and Facebook, age restrictions would be applied to some such posts while others would be removed.

Concerns have been raised about potential impacts that diet, detox and cosmetic surgery content can have on young people, their mental health and body image.

Instagram said that under its new regulations, posts that promote the use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures, which have an incentive to buy or include a price, will be hidden from users known to be under 18.

In addition, the platform said any content that made a ” miraculous ” assert about a diet or weight-loss product and was linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code, would now be removed from Instagram.

Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager said:” We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media.

” We’ve sought guidance from external experts, including Dr Ysabel Gerrard in the UK, to make sure any steps to restrict and remove this content will have a positive impact on our community of over 1 billion people around the world- whilst ensuring Instagram remains a platform for expres and discussion .”

Jameela
Jameela Jamil:’ This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/ detox industry .’ Photograph: Astrid Stawiarz/ Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

Actor and body positivity campaigner Jameela Jamil, who has repeatedly criticised high-profile online figures including Khloe Kardashian for posting on social media about diet products, said the update was a victory for mental health advocates.

” This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/ detox industry ,” she said.” Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online sends an important message out to the world.

” I’m thrilled to have been able to work towards this with them, alongside a host of other experts who shed light on the danger of these products.

” Instagram were supportive and helpful when I brought them my protests and petitions; they listened, they cared, they moved so efficiently, and communicated with us throughout the process .”

The Good Place actor started the I Weigh movement and a related account on Instagram in response to the amount of content she felt was promoting unhealthy lifestyles and diet products, indicating society was measuring success based on weight.

The account encouraged people to share their achievements regardless of their body shape and has since gained more than 830,000 followers.

” As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for most of my youth, I’ve personally known and suffered the perils of the devious side of the diet and detox industry ,” she said.

” A focus of our advocacy since inception, it is a proud day for I Weigh and a day of hope for our generation, who deserve respect and protection from the celebrities and influencers that they follow .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Ritalin-type medications best to treat ADHD in infants, shows study

Methylphenidate narcotics safest and most effective while adults do better on amphetamines

Ritalin and other drugs of the same class are the most effective and safest medications to prescribe for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder( ADHD ), according to a major scientific review.

The review of ADHD drugs shows that they work, and work well, in spite of concerns among the public and some doctors that children in the UK are being overmedicated. Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, has likened the drugs to a” chemical cosh” and claimed they were being overprescribed, disguising bad behaviour among children that could be better dealt with.

The authors of a major study in the Lancet Psychiatry journal say that methylphenidate, of which Ritalin is the best-known brand, is the most effective and best-tolerated treatment for children while amphetamines work best for adults.

While the number of children on medication has risen as ADHD has become better understood, many do not get the treatment they need to cope in life and get through school, they said. The Guardian has revealedthat getting help in the UK can take as long as two years.

Emily Simonoff, a prof of child and adolescent psychiatry at King’s College London, one of the authors, said the perception that children were overmedicated was not accurate.” Clinicians are very cautious about using drug in this country ,” she said.” The problem in the UK is predominantly about undermedication and underdiagnosis .”

The idea that ADHD drugs were a” chemical cosh” was ” an unfortunate misapprehension” in the UK, she said. The narcotics are stimulants which assistance normal functioning of the brain in children and adults. Proportions of the brain that are responsible for planning and organising activities are underactive in people with ADHD, she explained.

” The drugs run part of the way to normalising and constructing more active those areas of the brain ,” she said.

School
Critics of ADHD medications say behavioural therapies are preferable. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The study compared medications licensed for ADHD, such as amphetamines, methylphenidate and guanfacine, and also some that are used even though they are not licensed for ADHD treatment, such as clonidine and buproprion.

The research supports the recent guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence( Nice ). Nice said that environmental modifications, such as putting the child in the front row at school or doing homework in short bursts of attention at home, should be adopted and medication offered where the doctor magistrates it appropriate.

Critics of the narcotics say behavioural therapies are preferable. Psychiatrists behind the report say the evidence indicates those can help with other problems children may have, such as behavioural issues, but do not impact on the actual symptoms of ADHD. Those symptoms are broadly inattention, overactivity and impulsivity. The condition affects an estimated 5% of children and 2.5% of adults worldwide.

Another author, Dr Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, said their conclusions were robust because they had collected all the published and unpublished data on trials of the medications, which had taken them four years. But trials had not been carried out on long-term use.

” It is important to note that the data available only allow us to compare the effectiveness at 12 weeks, when we know that both children and adults can be on these drugs for longer ,” he said.

Treatment transgresses are occasionally recommended to see whether the narcotics are still necessary, but the team says the adverse effects do not outweigh the benefit that adults and children get from them in being able to concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer and learn and practise new skills.

The drugs cause some weight loss and do have an impact on a child’s growth, but not more than 2cm over the course of their life, said the authors.

While methylphenidate is already the most commonly used ADHD drug in the UK, that is not the case in the US, where a much higher number of children are diagnosed and treated.” Our findings will hopefully help people with ADHD in the USA find the best treatment for them by clarifying which medications should be first, second and third line treatments ,” said Cipriani.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Instagram stiffens rules on diet and cosmetic surgery posts

Platform responds to concerns about impact of content on mental health of young people

Instagram has announced that tighter limiteds are to be imposed on some posts related to diet products and cosmetic surgery.

The social media platform said that from Wednesday on both Instagram and Facebook, age regulations would be applied to some such posts while others would be removed.

Concerns have been raised about the impact that diet, detox and cosmetic surgery content can have on young people, their mental health and body image.

Instagram said that under its new regulations, posts that promote the use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures, which have an incentive to buy or include a price, will be hidden from users known to be under 18.

In addition, the platform said any content that made a ” miraculous ” claim about a diet or weight-loss product and was linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code, would now be removed from Instagram.

Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager said:” We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media.

” We’ve tried guidance from external experts, including Dr Ysabel Gerrard in the UK, to make sure any steps to restrict and remove this content will have a positive impact on our community of over 1 billion people around the world- whilst ensuring Instagram remains a platform for expression and discussion .”

Jameela
Jameela Jamil:’ This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/ detox industry .’ Photograph: Astrid Stawiarz/ Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

Actor and body positivity campaigner Jameela Jamil, who has repeatedly criticised high-profile online figures including Khloe Kardashian for posting on social media about diet products, said the update was a victory for mental health advocates.

” This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/ detox industry ,” she said.” Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online sends an important message out to the world.

” I’m thrilled to have been able to work towards this with them, alongside a host of other experts who shed light on the danger of these products.

” Instagram were supportive and helpful when I bring them my protests and petitions; they listened, they cared, they moved so efficiently, and communicated with us throughout the process .”

The Good Place actor started the I Weigh movement and a related account on Instagram in response to the amount of content she felt was promoting unhealthy lifestyles and diet products, indicating society was measuring success based on weight.

The account fostered people to share their achievements regardless of their body shape and has since gained more than 830,000 followers.

” As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for most of my youth, I’ve personally known and suffered the perils of the devious side of the diet and detox industry ,” she said.

” A focus of our advocacy since inception, it is a proud day for I Weigh and a day of hope for our generation, who deserve respect and protection from the celebrities and influencers that they follow .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

I Present My Poor Relationship With Junk Food And My Own Body Image( 10 pics)

I’m a photographer from the Toronto area in Ontario, Canada. For the past few years, I’ve been shooting strange self-portraits for fun and to learn new techniques. They’ve all culminated in a self-portrait photo series I call DiscomfortFood.

DiscomfortFood is about my body, my self-image, and my mental health through the lens of junk food. Specifically, the junk food that I personally abuse. For me, that is pizza, pasta, potatoes, popcorn, Pepsi, tart. Carbs and sugar, ice cream, burgers, and salted fries!

Since beginning this project I have in fact developed a much happier and healthier relationship with food. I have lost approx 60 lbs in the past few years, all through dietary changes and leaving behind a lot of unhealthy food that are the subjects of some of the images below.

More info: erikmarcinkowski.com | Instagram | Facebook

Sugar

From DiscomfortFood. It was really hot in the studio the working day, and when I was done the sugar had melted into a glaze.

Glazed sour

When I conceived the DiscomfortFood series, this image was one of the most important ones in the whole series. Sour Cream Glazed doughnuts are my 2nd favorite type.

Two beef patties

Double-cheeseburgers are my kryptonite.

Honey crullers

Honey crullers are my absolute most favorite.

Double chocolate dip

From DiscomfortFood. So many doughnut flavors!

I am the nightmare that children think of

Shot before I conceived of the DiscomfortFood series, this image laid the groundwork for the ones that would follow.

Salt

So salty.

DiscomfortFood

This image is the thesis image in the entire series. The aim is to explore weight, food, self-image, mental health through this series.

Flowery self-portrait

The cowl is actually a kitchen curtain.

Glitter

This image is from 3 years ago and I am still finding glitter all over my house.

Since beginning this project I have in fact developed a much happier and healthier relationship with food. I have lost approx 60 lbs in the past few years, and I would like to thank some of my photography for helping me process things.

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