Eye contact: eyes really are the windows of the soul.

eleoscounselling, West Sussex_eye contact_blogJust recently we were sent a short video on Facebook, nothing unusual you might say, but this video was quite profound inasmuch as it commented on the very media it was posted on, social media. In the short video, it spoke of how people are becoming increasingly isolated, as we use technology to interact with friends.

One thing that struck us about this video is often people do not give eye contact. Recently we have been looking into creating an anger management program for young people, as part of that study we found how important eye contact actually is.

If a child is denied eye contact it can become socially isolated, and angry. The part of the brain that governs emotions, the limbic system and particularly the amygdala needs input from faces to judge whether something is a threat. Studies have shown that averting your eyes can be a form of silent treatment; basically you’re saying you’re not worth looking at.

Now think how many times you pick up that phone during the day, to look at emails, your head is pointed down and away from people, and people who are trying to make contact with you. You’re saying that this text message or email is far more important than you are or what you are saying, or what you’re showing me.

How many times have you been annoyed with someone who picks up a smart phone and starts texting, whilst at the dinner table?

Fundamentally, the lack of eye contact can make one suspicious and ultimately angry.

Conversely, averting your gaze from someone to look at your smart phone or tablet can actually have a negative effect on you. When you’re looking down at your smart phone you increase the chance of losing the respect and trust because you’re essentially you  are not communicating those attributes to others.

 

The next point we would like to raises is what are we telling  our children, albeit silently. A study carried out in the Netherlands suggests that an infant’s brain is rapidly forming connections and new pathways linking the ancient limbic system to the neural cortex and prefrontal cortex, laying down circuitry which becomes arterial roads for emotion. This delicate and vital infrastructure result in how we interpret social interactions. If part of that interaction is missing, because I contact is not made or given, we do not receive the right information and thus cannot communicate effectively.

Our brains compare the incoming data with memories of past experiences and ultimately facial expressions effectively this is our own trust mistrust gauge or scale. If the infant hasn’t built up suitable knowledge, the default will be to see things as a threat, and thus become angry.

Facebook drug dealer.

Hapless drug dealer Dominic Marshall landed himself with a 12 months’ community service sentence and three months supervision. After posting that he is selling drugs on Facebook.

What is interesting is the judge, justice Hilary Manley recognised that Marshall suffered with depression, due to his drug taking.

The judge pointed out in court, and to Marshall that there was a probable link between drug taking and his depression.

A recent paper by the medical journal The  7fd2df328018104852822dbbacabd4c8_631e35e_image_smoking-a-joint Lancet states that there is a 24% increase in first episode psychosis due to smoking skunk marijuana, the type that Marshall was selling.

Marshall advertised on Facebook he was selling a drug called Lemon Haze, a hydroponically grown, genetically enhanced marijuana that is sometimes up to 8 times higher in THC than normal block marijuana. The idea that this drug is harmless, is clearly not the case.

Marshall was only 20 years old, and although reporting on the article is unclear, there’s a good chance that someone like Marshall would have started using skunk in their early teens, it is at this time that the brain has a growth spurt, preparing for adulthood, as well as a normal hormonal alterations and bodily changes. In our early teens, synaptic connections in the brain are made and pruned back. Adding a chemical such as THC in the quantities skunk marijuana offers at this time in life, can have serious effects and psychological well-being.

Although there is no evidence to support that Marshall has a mental health problem, there is a good chance he may have. After all, what rational person would advertise on social media that he is selling an illegal drug.

 

If  you or someone close to you has a problem with skunk marijuana Eleos counselling can help, just click the link below and  you will be taken to  Eleos Counselling’s  Main website

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