Category Archives: Mental Health

Small acts of kindness at work benefit everyone

Small acts of kindness at work benefit the giver, the receiver and the whole organisation – July 4, 2017 – By Alex Fradera

In the lab, psychologists have shown how generosity propagates and spreads.

If someone is kind to us, we tend to “pay it forward” and act more generously to someone else when given the chance. But it’s not clear if these findings are realistic.

For example, when we’re juggling priorities on a busy work day, might receiving an act of kindness actually be a nuisance, leaving us feeling indebted to return the favour when we’ve got more important things to do?   Continue reading

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Online Therapy Raises Plenty Of Ethical Questions

Online Therapy Shows Promise But Raises Plenty Of Ethical Questions – May 2017 – by Jessica Goodheart

For pain patients who have trouble transporting themselves to the weekly appointments required for therapy, this could be a solution. However, I have doubts about how effective it could be for the supposed “catastrophizing” for which we are urged to seek therapy.

These were some of the “success stories” posted this month on the website of Sunnyvale-based BetterHelp, one of a handful of online therapy companies that substitutes the often hard-to-access office visit to a therapist’s office with a suite of online offerings.

Many who need mental health care can’t afford it, while many regions suffer a severe shortage of mental health professionals, and even in counties rich with therapists, many lack the time to make the visit.   Continue reading

Half of “low intensity” CBT clients relapse within 12 months

False economy? Half of “low intensity” CBT clients relapse within 12 months – By Christian Jarrett

Heralded as a revolution in mental health care – a cost-effective way to deliver evidence-based psychological help to large numbers – low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is recommended by NICE, the independent health advisory body in England and Wales, for mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

Prior studies into its effectiveness have been promising. However, little research has looked at whether the benefits last.

A new study in Behaviour Research and Therapy has done that, following a cohort of people with depression and anxiety over time.   Continue reading

Why Ketamine Helps Depression

Study Answers Why Ketamine Helps Depression, Offers Target for Safer Therapy – June 21, 2017

UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have identified a key protein that helps trigger ketamine’s rapid antidepressant effects in the brain, a crucial step to developing alternative treatments to the controversial drug being dispensed in a growing number of clinics across the country.

Ketamine is drawing intense interest in the psychiatric field after multiple studies have demonstrated it can quickly stabilize severely depressed patients.

But ketamine – sometimes illicitly used for its psychedelic properties – could also impede memory and other brain functions, spurring scientists to identify new drugs that would safely replicate its antidepressant response without the unwanted side effects.   Continue reading

More Evidence Ketamine Relieves Depression

First Large-Scale Population Analysis Reinforces Ketamine’s Reputation as Antidepressant – Apr-2017

Better known as an anesthetic or as an illicit hallucinogenic drug, ketamine has also long been noted for alleviating depression.

But ketamine has not been tested in a large clinical trial, and all evidence of its antidepressant effects has come from anecdotes and small studies of fewer than 100 patients.

Now, in the largest study of its kind, researchers at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego mined the FDA Adverse Effect Reporting System (FAERS) database for depression symptoms in patients taking ketamine for pain.   Continue reading

One-Time Injection That Can Treat Depression

The One-Time Injection That Treats Depression – PsyBlog – undated, on after 2014

A single botox injection has been found to substantially improve depressive symptoms, research finds.

Botox is typically used to decrease the appearance of wrinkles in the face.

But, researchers have found that it can also help to treat the symptoms of depression.

For the study, 74 depressed people were given an injection to the facial muscles between the eyebrows — those related to frowning.  Continue reading

Metacognitive Therapy for Depression

Frontiers | Metacognitive Therapy for Depression in Adults: A Waiting List Randomized Controlled Trial with Six Months Follow-Up | Psychology for Clinical Settings – January 2017

This small study (39 patients) shows this type of therapy is effective for depression.

This randomized controlled trial examines the efficacy of metacognitive therapy (MCT) for depression.

Participants receiving MCT improved significantly more than the WL group.   Continue reading

Hormone treatment of depression

Hormone treatment of depression – NCBI – Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2011 Mar – free fulll-text PMC article

Disorders of the thyroid axis have been closely linked to psychiatric disorders.  While hyperthyroidism may present with a heterogenous range of psychiatric symptoms and syndromes, clinical hypothyroidism is invariably associated with depressive symptoms.

Although extensive research has shown that the vast majority of patients who present with major depression are euthyroid [normal thyroid], the close association between depression and hypothyroidism led to a large database of studies in which various hormones of the thyroid axis have been used to treat depression as monotherapy or, more commonly, as adjunct to standard antidepressants.

Each of the hormones of the thyroid axis will be reviewed.  Continue reading

Depression rates rise 18 percent in a decade

‘Let’s Talk’, WHO says, as depression rates rise 18 percent in a decade| Reuters – Mar 30, 2017 – By Kate Kelland

Depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday, with more than 300 million people suffering.

Rates of depression have risen by
more than 18 percent since 2005

WHO expressed concern that in many countries there is little or no support for people with mental health disorders, and said only around half of people with depression get treatment in wealthier nations.

On average just 3 percent of government health budgets is spent on mental health, varying from less than 1 percent in poor countries to 5 percent in rich ones, according to the WHO.

 

Overdoing Positive Thinking

Think Twice Before Overdoing The Positive Thinking, Cautions Psychology Study – PsyBlog – Feb 2016

Dreaming about positive events in the future makes you feel better now, but may make you feel worse later on, new research finds.

The more positively people fantasised about the future, the more depressive symptoms people experienced up to seven months later, the study found. The findings kick against the ubiquitous self-help advice to ‘think positive’. 

In a society with increasing economic, social, and mental stress leading to increasing rates of suicide, the insistence that we “think positive” asks us to ignore the reality we live in.   Continue reading