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Published By  Forum Admin
New research is challenging the assumption that the world's most common mental ailment is just a chemical imbalance in the brain.

"Death was now a daily presence, blowing over me in cold gusts. Mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from normal experience, the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain. But it is not an immediately identifiable pain, like that of a broken limb. It may be more accurate to say that despair, owing to some evil trick played upon the sick brain by the inhabiting psyche, comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room. And because no breeze stirs this caldron, because there is no escape from the smothering confinement, it is entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion." —William Styron

Melancholy is a fertile muse. No sooner had William Styron become the poet laureate of depression after describing his bout with madness in Darkness Visible when all manner of confessions followed. Mike Wallace. Art Buchwald. Dick Cavett lined up to disclose their own struggles with the disabling disorder. It quickly became acceptable, even chic, to publicly confide vulnerability to depression.
At the same time, the world was being made safe for depression, or at least public revelations of it, by another development, the 1988 advent of the so-called SSRIs—Prozac, Paxil and related drugs believed to specifically combat depression by beefing up serotonin and other neurotransmitters that ferry signals between nerve cells. The wild success of psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer's thoughtful Listening to Prozac generated not only new respect for the effectiveness of Prozac but new appreciation of the disorder it was intended to treat.

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Published By  Lindsay
Mental health poll reveals stigma
 Nine out of ten people with mental health problems in England say they are frequently stigmatised - often by those closest to them, a survey has found.

Strangers in shops or public transport were likely to be the most accepting, with family and neighbours more likely to treat them differently.

The poll, by charity Rethink, found discrimination also impacted on carers of people with mental illness.

The charity called for more government funding to fight the problem.


People with mental health problems have enough on their plates without facing additional pressure caused by other people's archaic and bigoted opinions
Paul Corry
Rethink

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Published By  Forum Admin
A study suggests unmarried women living in rural areas have lower self-rated health status than their married counterparts. This lower health status often includes greater instances of self-assessed feelings of depression. The results of the study were recently published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. They suggest that primary care physicians should take a proactive role in addressing health concerns of single women.

 

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Published By  Lindsay
ScienceDaily (May 13, 2008) — The post-university years can start out tough. The good news: it gets better.

A new University of Alberta study of almost 600 of its graduates (ages 20-29 years old) tracked mental health symptoms in participants for seven years post-graduation and looked at how key events like leaving home and becoming a parent were related to depression and anger. Graduates showed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms over the seven years. Expressed anger also declined over time after graduation, suggesting improved mental health.                                                           

 

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Published By  Lindsay
May 11, 2008


In other videos and blog postings, Ms. Spikol, a 39-year-old writer in Philadelphia who has bipolar disorder, describes a period of psychosis so severe she jumped out of her mother’s car and ran away like a scared dog.

In lectures across the country, Elyn Saks, a law professor and associate dean at the University of Southern California, recounts the florid visions she has experienced during her lifelong battle with schizophrenia — dancing ashtrays, houses that spoke to her — and hospitalizations where she was strapped down with leather restraints and force-fed medications.

Like many Americans who have severe forms of mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Ms. Saks and Ms. Spikol are speaking candidly and publicly about their demons. Their frank talk is part of a conversation about mental illness (or as some prefer to put it, “extreme mental states”) that stretches from college campuses to community health centers, from YouTube to online forums.

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Published By  Forum Admin

Wellbeing: a guide to happiness

 What's so good about CBT? Harry Potter author J K Rowling revealed last week that she recovered from serious depression with the help of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This "talking therapy" is now widely used to help people with a range of mental health problems.


What is CBT?
It is a way of discussing how you think about yourself, other people and the world generally (the cognitive part) and how this affects how you feel and what you do (the behaviour bit). It can help you change these things, which can improve your symptoms. Importantly, unlike some other talking treatments, it focuses on "now" and how to improve the way you're currently thinking and feeling, rather than looking back at causes of distress in the past.

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