This Instagram model's video of her panic attack is hard to watch. And absolutely necessary.

When you scroll through Malaysian Instagram model Kharina K's photos, it appears she lives her best life most of the time.

After all, that's why she's paid the big bucks to endorse various products — brands want to be associated with a beautiful woman who seems to lead an awesome, charmed life. But there's a lot going on behind Kharina's smile and fun-loving demeanor, and not all of it is "rainbows and sunshine," as she puts it.

Two days ago, Kharina posted a video of herself in the midst of an intense panic attack, in fact, she called it one of "THE WORST panic attacks I’d ever had." If you've experienced a panic attack before, you know how terrifying it can be and how vulnerable it can make you feel. You can have symptoms that are akin to someone having a heart attack — sweating, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, pain in your chest, and an overwhelm sense of doom.  


Considering all that, it's somewhat surprising that an Instagram model, who makes a living off of having a seemingly perfect life, would show herself in such an "imperfect" light. However, she did it for an important reason — to help dispel the stigma that still exists around mental illness in parts of the world, especially in her home country of Malaysia.

"You guys see most of my life as rainbows and sunshine (cuz no one likes to post the bad parts anyways) , however this is my reality," she writes in her Instagram post alongside the video. "Constantly having anxiety and being fine one minute, and like this the next. I try to post as much as I can about mental health to bring AWARENESS to it because it is REAL, and is not taught very well in Malaysia, however I have never been able to show you guys until now."

She goes on to say that she's incredibly lucky to have such a strong support system around her, but it's hard to have an illness that people rarely see manifest on the outside. It can leave those who live with it feeling incredible isolated and like they don't deserve care.

However, the more public figures who post candid things like this are not only reminding other sufferers that they're not alone, they're helping to keep what many seem like a difficult subject in the foreground of the global conversation. And the more a subject's talked about the faster the remaining stigma will dissipate into nothing.

As of this writing, Kharina's video on Twitter has over 3.82 million views and 67,000 shares. But she's far from the only one who's taken the courageous step to share their mental health journey.

This May, in honor of Mental Health Awareness month, hundreds of thousands of people have already created similar posts where they reveal what mental illness they struggle with daily. The posts, many of which you can find tagged #mentalhealthawareness and #mentalhealth and #fightintheopen, advocate for better awareness around these "hidden" illnesses so that people living with them can feel more supported and seen.

If you've got some time after reading this, whether or not you live with a mental illness, it would do you good to scroll through some of the posts, and remember, you never know what someone's grappling with behind their curated social media presence.

Family
Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

"Can I buy you a drink?" is a loaded question.

It could be an innocent request from someone who's interested in having a cordial conversation. Other time, saying "yes" means you may have to fend off someone who feels entitled to spend the rest of the night with you.

In the worst-case scenario, someone is trying to take advantage of you or has a roofie in their pocket.

Feminist blogger Jennifer Dziura found a fool-proof way to stay safe while understanding someone's intentions: ask for a non-alcoholic beverage or food. If they're sincerely interested in spending some time getting to know you, they won't mind buying something booze-free.

RELATED: States are starting to require mental health classes for all students. It's about dang time.

But if it's their intention to lower your defenses, they'll throw a mild tantrum after you refuse the booze. Her thoughts on the "Can I buy you a drink?" conundrum made their way to Tumblr.

via AshleysCo / Tumblr


via AshleysCo / Tumblr

The posts caught the attention of a bartender who knows there are lot of men out there whose sole intention is to get somone drunk to take advantage.

"Most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality," the bartender wrote. "They're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down."

So they shared a few tips on how to be safe and social when someone asks to buy you a drink.

From the other side of the bar, I see this crap all the time. Seriously. I work at a high-density bar, and let me tell you, I have anywhere from 10-20 guys every night come up and tell me to, "serve her a stronger drink, I'm trying to get lucky tonight, know what I mean?" usually accompanied with a wink and a gesture at a girl who, in my experience, is going to go from mildly buzzed to definitively hammered if I keep serving her. Now, I like to think I'm a responsible bartender, so I usually tell guys like that to piss off, and, if I can, try to tell the girl's more sober friends that they need to keep an eye on her.
But everyone- just so you know, most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality, they're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down.

Tips for getting drinks-

1. ALWAYS GO TO THE BAR TO GET YOUR OWN DRINK, DO NOT LET STRANGERS CARRY YOUR DRINKS. This is an opportune time for dropping something into your cocktail, and you're none the wiser.

2.IF YOU ORDER SOMETHING NON-ALCOHOLIC, I promise you, the bartender doesn't give two shits that you're not drinking cocktails with your friends, and often, totally understands that you don't want to let your guard down around strangers. Usually, you can just tell the bartender that you'd like something light, and that's a big clue to us that you're uncomfortable with whomever you're standing next to. Again, we see this all the time.

3. If you're in a position to where you feel uncomfortable not ordering alcohol:
Here's a list of light liquors, and mixers that won't get you drunk, and will still look like an actual cocktail:

X-rated + sprite = easy to drink, sweet, and 12% alcoholic content. Not strong at all, usually runs $6-$8, depending on your state.
Amaretto + sour= sweet, not strong, 26%.
Peach Schnapps+ ginger ale= tastes like mellow butterscotch, 24%.
Melon liquor (Midori, in most bars) + soda water = not overly sweet, 21%
Coffee liquor (Kahlua) +soda = not super sweet, 20%.
Hope this helps someone out!

RELATED: Permit denied for 'straight pride' parade in California

If you do accept a drink from someone at a bar and you want to talk, there's no need to feel obligated to spend the rest of the night with them.

Jaqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, says to be polite you only have to "Engage in some friendly chit-chat, but you are not obligated to do more than that."

If someone asks to buy you a drink and you don't want it, Whitmore has a great tip. "Say thank you, but you are trying to cut back, have to drive or you don't accept drinks from strangers," Whitmore says.

What if they've already sent the drink over? "Give the drink to the bartender and tell him or her to enjoy it," Whitmore says.

Have fun. Stay safe, and make sure to bring a great wing-man or wing-woman with you.

Well Being
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Jasmine has been used as a natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress for thousands of years. Oil from the plant has also been used to treat insomnia and PMS, and is considered a natural aphrodisiac. It turns out, our ancestor's instincts to slather on the oil when they wanted a little R&R were correct.

A study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and according to Professor Hanns Hatt of the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, revealed that jasmine can calm you down when you're feeling anxious.The results can "be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy."

"Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help, according to researchers in Germany. They have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol," says the study.

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Nature


Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is a name you should remember. If you don't follow politics closely, remember his name because he's the first Republican in Congress to openly join the call for a renewed federal ban on assault weapons.

If you're a Democrat or a diehard progressive partisan, remember his name because it's proof that as a nation we can put principles before party and walk across the political aisle to get things done.

If you're a Republican, remember his name as evidence that real leadership in politics sometimes means risking your reputation to do what is right even when most of your colleagues disagree or lack the political courage to go first.

But let's allow Rep. King to explain himself in his own words:

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Democracy