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Recent research from Florida Atlantic University and Cleveland State University have found a direct correlation between preventative health care and the number of paid sick leave days a worker gets. Workers with more than 10 paid sick days annually access preventative care more frequently than those without paid sick days. Preventative care, in turn, leads to […]

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I come by many things in my life naturally — my stubbornness, my red hair, and my career. I am very fortunate. Unlike many I am the daughter of a female emergency physician. This is something I never really considered while growing up. Yes, my mom was a doctor. Did she save lives? I guess […]

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Physicians on the front lines of health care today are sometimes described as going to battle. It’s an apt metaphor. Physicians, like combat soldiers, often face a profound and unrecognized threat to their well-being: moral injury. Moral injury is frequently mischaracterized. In combat veterans it is diagnosed as post-traumatic stress; among physicians it’s portrayed as […]

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 38-year-old woman is evaluated in follow-up after recent surgery for endometrial cancer. Her family history is significant for colon cancer in her sister (diagnosed at age 45 years) and her mother (diagnosed at age 65 years). Her maternal grandfather was […]

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Lump-sum payments and boost in mental health services part of $190m relief package

Farmers will get up to $12,000 in cash payments to help them and their communities fight one of the worst droughts of the past century.

The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, on Sunday returned to a farm at Trangie in central New South Wales to announce the $190m relief package which includes a boost for mental health services.

Related: Australia's drought crisis and farmers' stories of anxiety, fear and resilience

Related: Mercy mission: truckers a lifeline for drought-stricken farmers – photo essay

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After having been treated for depression unsuccessfully and asked to leave school, getting the correct diagnosis gave Askar Keen a new lease of life

Askar Keen is waiting for his A-level results after the most turbulent and distressing three years of his young life. At the age of 10, he asked for a medical textbook for Christmas, obsessed with becoming a doctor. It was and still is his passion. Yet when he was 17, he was asked to leave school and tried to end his life.

Keen, now 19, is not what anybody imagines to be the archetypal boy with ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But it was only when he got that diagnosis and started on medication that he could pull the scattering pieces of his life back together.

Related: UK children with ADHD wait up to two years for diagnosis, say experts

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Postcode lottery chaos and misconceptions of mental health condition lead to delayed treatment, harming chances of education and future prospects

  • ‘When I started taking ADHD medication it was as if someone flicked a switch’

Children with ADHD are waiting up to two years for a diagnosis in the UK, harming their chances of education and prospects for the future, say experts.

ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – is a recognised mental health condition. Psychological support and medication can transform children’s lives and those of their families. Yet data seen by the Guardian shows a chaotic situation, with some children being seen by children’s mental health specialists within a couple of weeks but most having to wait for months or years.

Related: Undiagnosed adult ADHD could cost UK billions a year, report finds

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If you’re a student who is estranged from your parents, the last thing you need is the SLC making a fragile situation even worse

Heading off to university offers many students their first taste of adult life: their first adult relationships, the trials of flatsharing, budgeting, managing workloads, as well as drinking to excess and failing to adequately feed themselves. But for some it’s not as simple as mere growing pains: the university culture and student finance system can entrench existing inequalities at every step, with students from wealthy backgrounds able to rent superior accommodation, while students from less affluent backgrounds struggle with money, and students estranged from their families are left without accommodation during the holidays. As if that wasn’t bad enough, now the Student Loan Company has been accused to have been spying on vulnerable students.

A number of students who reported estrangement from their parents when applying for student finance reportedly had their social media monitored, with staff at the SLC searching for proof that the students had disproved their claims by made contact with their parents to disprove their claims. Several students...

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder isn’t just being a neat freak: it’s a struggle for survival taking place inside your mind

The first time I thought someone contaminated my food was at the Paramus Park mall food court when I was 12. As the employee handed me an extra gooey Cinnabon nestled in crinkly tissue, I noticed he had a scab and a Band-Aid crossing his knuckles.

“Thanks,” I said, suddenly feeling like the floor had dropped out from under me.

OCD is often called the 'doubting disease' because deep down, the sufferer knows the thoughts are irrational.

Related: The upside of chronic anxiety: being good in emergencies

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In both the UK and US, services for young people are being cut, leaving those from marginalised groups at greatest risk of suicide

One recent report called the problem a “silent catastrophe” while a survey of teachers labelled it an “epidemic”. But, whatever the language deployed to describe the scale of mental health challenges facing Britain’s young people, it has to be addressed immediately.

NHS figures published last month revealed that almost 400,000 children and young people aged 18 and under are in contact with the health service for mental health problems. According to the figures, the number of “active referrals” by GPs in April was a third higher than the same period two years prior. Those seeking help for conditions such as depression and anxiety showed a sharp increase.

Related: Young people’s mental health: we can build a resilient generation​ | Paul Burstow

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Libby Binks says she felt ‘useless’ at her lowest after developing postnatal depression and anxiety

  • Revealed: new mothers left to cope alone with mental ill-health

Libby Binks had postnatal depression and anxiety after the birth of her daughter Chloe in December 2014. However, despite telling a GP and a health visitor how she was feeling, Binks received no help from them.

Recalling the time after the birth, she said: “I felt more and more useless, inadequate and a burden on my husband, Adam, who seemed to be so much better at parenthood than me.

Related: Revealed: new mothers left to cope alone with mental ill-health

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NHS care too limited to meet needs of pregnant women or those who have given birth

  • ‘I got no help from the NHS’: a new mother on facing mental illness

Thousands of women are having to cope alone with mental health problems caused by pregnancy or giving birth because the NHS cannot provide the necessary help, a leaked report has revealed.

While up to one in five mothers have problems such as postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder linked to childbirth, many are going untreated because specialist NHS care for them is so limited and the “gap” in help so wide, the research found.

Related: 'I got no help from the NHS': a new mother on facing mental illness

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Permit to park freely extended to those with ‘hidden conditions’, including autism

The “blue badge” scheme, which allows people with disabilities to park close to their destinations – including on yellow lines – is to be extended to those with hidden conditions, such as mental health difficulties, in the biggest change to the system in 40 years.

The new rules, which could benefit millions of people, will come into effect early next year, in what ministers say is part of a move to give equal treatment to those with physical and mental health issues.

Related: My daughter is not deemed 'disabled enough' to get free parking | Nicky Clark

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Shortage of beds is one thing, but it’s the reduction in qualified staff and the lack of money that are really crippling the service

The reduction in beds for mental health makes a good headline (“Number of NHS beds for mental health patients slumps by 30%”, News), but it is not the main concern. The article highlights the reduction in qualified mental health professionals: mental health nurses down from 46,155 to 39,358 and a reduction in the number of trainee psychiatrists. This is the real crisis.

It is estimated that mental health is 22.8% of the burden of illness in the NHS but receives only 10.8% of funding. The reduction in qualified professionals means parity of esteem for mental health is a pipe dream as there are not enough qualified people to employ if funding increased. Mental health policy needs to be dynamic and imaginative in addressing this paradox. There needs to be a stratospheric increase in funding. Initially, this should address training of mental health professionals. Funding should be aimed at increasing community provision, not bed-based inpatient solutions. Let’s ensure that inpatient admissions are only necessary after high-quality community alternatives...

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As many of those who have struggled with mental health know, the road to recovery is hard

Drug addiction and mental illness are real, constant struggles for millions of Americans, and Demi Lovato has long been forthcoming about the fact that she is among them.

Her honesty has been a gift to many people who have experienced similar illnesses. And while much of the media will claw to eke out whatever grim details they can of what happened on Tuesday when she was rushed to the hospital after an apparent overdose, we should instead take this as an opportunity to recognize how Lovato’s openness about her struggles with addiction and mental health have shone a light on these issues in ways that celebrities rarely do.

Related: 'I wasn't ready to get sober': how Demi Lovato faces her demons squarely

If you’ve told everyone you’re cured, it can feel like a humiliating failure to admit that you need more help

Related: Drugs alone won't fix our epidemic of depression | James S Gordon

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Years after your death, I still think of the young woman who needed help from the psychiatric department where I worked

Never again will I see you drunk and distressed in the emergency department. And that is sad, because while you were suffering you were alive, and while you were alive there was hope. I don’t want to walk up the corridor to another drunk girl who’s self-harmed and it not be you. But I know I will never see you again.

I first met you when you were in your late teens. I was employed in an eating disorder unit, an undergraduate psychology student charged with distracting 12 young people from the distress of their full bellies after meals. You had arrived with anorexia and were in the advanced stages of starvation, having survived a cardiac arrest. No one was sure if you would live, but you were determined. You recovered to the point of enrolling at university, from where you wrote to me saying you were excited about your course. That was the last I heard for years.

Related: Every doctor has one death they remember. For me, it was you

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Take back control, urges public health body, as it encourages people to abstain or cut down

We’ve got Dry January for anyone tempted to try alcohol abstinence and Stoptober for smokers who want to quit. Now, Scroll Free September will target the use of social media.

The Royal Society for Public Health, which is behind the campaign, is urging everyone to stop using – or reduce use of – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media platforms for the month.

Related: Social media firms failing to protect young people, survey finds

Related: Social media and celebrity culture 'harming young people'

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School work and social media blamed for rise to 13,500 patients from 7,300 in 1997


The number of girls under the age of 18 being treated in hospital in England after self-harming has nearly doubled compared with 20 years ago, according to NHS figures.

The figure reached 13,463 last year against 7,327 in 1997. In comparison, the figure for admissions of boys who self-harmed rose from 2,236 in 1997 to 2,332 in 2017.

Related: Young people’s mental health: we can build a resilient generation​ | Paul Burstow

Related: Sharp rise in under-19s being treated by NHS mental health services

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I sincerely appreciate all your support for my boutique speakers bureau, Physician Speaking by KevinMD. These speakers are both practicing physicians and award-winning speakers that shine on stage. This Fall, we will highlight the following events: 2018 Ohio Dermatological Association Annual Meeting, Columbus OH Richmond Academy of Medicine, Annual Meeting, Richmond VA Maricopa County Medical […]

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Repercussions. Every action that is taken, especially when it comes to healthcare, has ripple effects, which often end up being more far more significant than we anticipate, turning that ripple into a tidal wave. Every time somebody besides actual health care providers steps into the mix and tell those of us taking care of patients […]

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In March 2018, The Collaborative for Healing and Renewal in Medicine (CHARM) published an article titled “Charter on Physician Well-being” in JAMA. The piece describes guiding principles and lists recommendations for promoting well-being among physicians. The charter successfully pulls together, in a 2-page document, a comprehensive approach to preventing burnout and fostering well-being among physicians. One […]

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Scientists hope computer programme which requires no human therapist could be used to treat other mental health problems

  • Daniel and Jason Freeman: Don’t dismiss tech solutions to mental health problems

A fear of heights could be overcome with the help of a virtual therapist, new research suggests, with experts saying the findings boost hopes virtual reality could play a key role in tackling other mental health problems.

According to a 2014 YouGov survey, an aversion to heights is more common in the UK than a fear of spiders, snakes, or being on a plane, with 23% of British adults “very afraid” of heights and 35% a little afraid.

Related: Don't dismiss tech solutions to mental health problems

Related: How virtual reality is changing the game in healthcare

Related: Tests raise hopes for radical new therapy for phobias and PTSD

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Teaching unions say the government’s accountability measures reduce children to tears

The schools minister, Nick Gibb, has rejected accusations that the government’s school accountability measures place undue stress on children, as the results for this year’s national tests showed improved performances in English and maths.

Teaching unions in England have argued that the pressure resulting from standard assessment tasks (Sats) has seen children reduced to tears or suffering panic attacks among 10- and 11-year-olds in their final year of primary school.

Related: Sats for seven-year-olds in England to be scrapped

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Parents of man who died had criticised Tory MP who previously blocked measure

A private member’s bill to ensure that police who are called to restrain patients at mental hospitals wear body cameras has passed through the Commons.

There had been fears that the bill – supported by the parents of a 21-year-old man who died after he was subject to a period of excessive and prolonged restraint – could be blocked by a Conservative filibuster, but it completed its third reading in about an hour on Friday morning with the parents, Aji and Conrad Lewis, watching in the public gallery.

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Archbishop of Canterbury and daughters speak out on disability and mental health

The archbishop of Canterbury has said he has not prayed for his daughter Ellie Welby in relation to her disability because it is part of her and “she is precious”.

However, he prays on a daily basis for another daughter, Katherine Welby-Roberts, who has depression and anxiety.

Related: Faith can't cure depression. But it can offer hope, as Katherine Welby found | Andrew Brown

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With a fifth of English homes officially not decent to live in, health and housing professionals are joining forces to improve residents’ wellbeing

When Billie Dee moved to London after university, a run of unpaid internships meant she could only afford a windowless room in a flat share in Stratford or stay with her boyfriend in Guildford. The room in Stratford made her “horrendously depressed”, she says. “There was no ventilation or natural light. I felt incredibly claustrophobic and my mental health rapidly deteriorated.”

Her boyfriend’s basement room was even worse: “His room was rotting and damp. I actually got whooping cough, which lasted nearly three months. I was so depressed and anxious, and my self-worth was seriously low because my surroundings were so bad.” The situation dragged on for a year until Dee got a new job and could afford somewhere better to live.

Related: Yes, let’s celebrate the NHS at 70. But it isn’t the only service keeping us healthy

Related: 'The NHS would collapse without them': the growing role of volunteers

Related: Sign up for the Society Weekly email newsletter

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Former LSE student counsellor Robert Harris on the psychological horrors suffered by millennials, and Dr Max Davie on worrying cuts to student counselling services

Your article about “perfectionism” and young people in higher education (G2, 17 July) notes, but nimbly skips over, the clear link between neoliberal dog-eat-dog individualism and the psychological horrors suffered by unfortunate millennials who have never known anything but rabid destructive competition. The bullying cultures rife in academia (Report, 17 July) create terrors of rejection and exclusion. Young people are strongly inclined to feel that failure is due to inherent personal weakness, rather than something to be learned from to enhance personal development. A culture that emphasises pleasing those above and keeping up false images of competence and success with peers, rather than the enjoyment and value of pursuing knowledge for its own sake, will inevitably create both internal psychological attackers of guilt and self-blame and external bullies of insecure and anxious managers.
Robert Harris
Former student counsellor and psychotherapist, LSE

• Support for children and young people’s mental health should not...

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To fight a rising tide of depression and suicide, psychiatrists need to do more than just fill patients up with pills

The New York Times recently published an important investigative report shining a long-overdue light on the painful, sometimes disabling experience of withdrawing from antidepressants – drugs that millions of Americans have been taking, sometimes for decades

The recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain threw into stark relief the human toll that depression can take. But the problem is complex, with multiple factors. We are seeing a striking increase in the number of Americans diagnosed with depression, and an accompanying increase in suicides. This is coupled with the promiscuous and sharply increasing prescription of antidepressants to 34.4 million Americans in 2013-2014, up from 13.4 million just 15 years earlier. And this pervasive prescribing continues despite the lack of proof of the drugs’ long-term effectiveness; their mixed results even with short-term treatment; the frequent side-effects – weight gain, gastrointestinal problems and sexual dysfunction – that are themselves depressing. Meanwhile, we are paying the prohibitive financial costs of...

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This episode of our regular podcast focuses on the impact of the modern news cycle on our health and wellbeing, and whether a greater focus on positive, hopeful, solution-based stories could help to mitigate this

What are the effects of negative news on our mental health and sense of empowerment? How does it effect our trust in the media? Why historically has negative news become so prevalent at the expense of positive, solutions-focused, constructive news and could a more balanced picture of the world lead to greater empowerment and individual actions to make things better?

Joining the Guardian’s Executive editor for membership, Lee Glendinning, to discuss this and more is Dr Denise Baden, an Associate Professor within the University of Southampton Business School, whose research has looked into how people are affected by positive and negative news stories, Seán Dagan Wood, the editor-in-chief of Positive News – a current affairs magazine, publishing independent journalism about progress and possibility – and Sean is the co-founder of the Constructive Journalism Project, Giselle Green, Editor of Constructive Voices, an NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) project...

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For many restaurant workers, kitchen culture makes it impossible to recognize the pain, but new services open the dialogue for seeking help

When he was at his most desperate, Jakob Anderson was working himself so hard he couldn’t even think. Every morning and night, the young aspiring chef undertook the almost 90-minute commute from his home in the suburbs of Whitby, Ontario, to the fashionable Italy restaurant in downtown Toronto, where he worked for 12 hours a day.

In the evening, clocking out and heading home at last, he would board his commuter train, chug an extra large cup of boiling-hot coffee, and immediately pass out.

Related: Is being a chef bad for your mental health?

You get to hide from the world, and hide from yourself, by burying yourself in your work for 12 hours a day

Related: Sign up for the Guardian's US daily email

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Critics say shifting counselling resources into ‘wellbeing’ is perverse and dangerous when depression and suicide among students are at worrying levels

Amid mounting concern over student suicides, some universities have found a surprising solution to their long mental health waiting lists – they are reducing or outsourcing their counselling services in a move apparently designed to shift the burden on to the NHS.

Unable to keep up with rising demand, they are rebranding their mental health student support as “wellbeing” services. Some universities plan to maintain a reduced number of counsellors, but others are sending students to local NHS services. Professional counsellors are being told to reapply for jobs as wellbeing practitioners, or face redundancy.

Related: Student mental health must be top priority – universities minister

Related: Let universities alert parents about students' struggles, says father

Related: Bristol University faces growing anger after student suicides

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A new book of photographs challenges the stigma around mental health and captures the light and shade in the lives of Quail’s brother Justin and his girlfriend, Jackie

My brother, Justin, is not a straightforward person,” says photographer Louis Quail, “His otherness is very apparent. I have seen people recoil from him on the bus.” Justin was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 20. Now 57, his adult life has been defined to a great degree by his condition and by people’s reactions to it, whether the public, the authorities or his doctors. “I wanted to challenge the stigma of mental illness,” says Louis, “and one way to do that is to show the light and shade in his life, the small details as well as the dramas.”

Big Brother is a moving, sometimes disturbing and often very funny ode to his schizophrenic sibling, whose fertile creative imagination and extraordinary resilience are evident throughout. It begins with a series of Justin’s watercolours and pencil sketches of birds as well as a handwritten inventory of the 56 species that he observed as a 14-year-old birdwatcher over two days in May 1973. The sense of adolescent curiosity bordering on obsession is...

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There were a record 389,727 ‘active referrals’ in England in April, NHS figures show

Almost 400,000 children and young people a year in England are being treated for mental health problems, the highest number ever, NHS figures show.

There were a total of 389,727 “active referrals” for people aged 18 or younger in April, a third higher than the same month two years ago, according to the latest statistics published by NHS Digital.

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There is a desperate shortage of skilled clinicians to treat mental health disorders. Our study shows how virtual reality could fill the gap

The words “mental health” and “crisis” now appear to be yoked together. About a quarter of us will suffer from a clinical psychological disorder over the next year, but most people will receive no help at all. The question is no longer about whether we have a problem, but what we are going to do about it.

We don’t lack high-quality, evidence-based psychological treatments for many mental health problems. These treatments have been verified by dozens of clinical trials. What we are short of is the skilled clinicians to deliver them.

Related: Automated virtual reality therapy helps people overcome phobia of heights

Related: Virtual reality isn't just for gaming - it could transform mental health treatment

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As medical professionals we often see people at their worst: battered and broken, bothered and in pain, no make-up, bad hair day, naked and too ill to even care about modesty. At those critical moments, in our patients’ hour of desperation, they hand over their lives to us … and the lives of their family. […]

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The doctor-patient interaction is the absolute core of clinical medicine. Maybe I’ll go much further: it’s the core of health care in general. I always try to remember, whenever I’m ever feeling frustrated with the system, the crazy bureaucracy — and of course, the debacle of our clunky electronic medical records and their data entry […]

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Imagine, if you will, that you’re an anesthesiologist. You’ve been part of a successful practice for over 10 years. You can walk down your neighborhood street and run into mothers whose epidurals you’ve helped place. You’ve established a home, a community, and your children are in a great school system. One uneventful day, say Wednesday, […]

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When news broke that Dr. Atul Gawande had been named CEO of the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan Chase health care partnership, industry insiders were quick to raise doubts about his credentials. Some pointed to his limited administrative experience, questioning how someone who has never managed a hospital or health system could oversee the care of some 1 million patient-employees. They […]

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There are 168 hours in a week and 8,736 hours in a year. There are 10,080 minutes in a week, and 524,160 minutes in a year. Residents and fellows working in an academic environment often work close to, if not in large part, more than 80 hours a week, or 4,160 hours a year. They […]

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Many people in our country, or I should say in this world, have been shocked and devastated by recent celebrity suicides. Many wonder how can someone whose life looks so perfect be depressed? Well, people are starting to recognize that anyone, no matter how successful, how rich or how attractive can experience severe depression. Many […]

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For people with Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases, just navigating around the house can be difficult and disorientating. But some pioneering approaches are offering new solutions

One sunflower painting looks like another here, each numberless door is identical and I am hopelessly disoriented; desperate to find an exit, a shaft of light, even. I turn right, up another featureless corridor, and then left and then right again – but is this really the way I came?

It’s a relief when a researcher removes my virtual reality headset, but it takes a few moments for my heart rate to return to baseline. I am at Bournemouth University’s department of psychology, where Jan Wiener and his team are researching the difficulties people with dementia have with wayfinding (orienting oneself in physical space). I have just briefly experienced the spatial disorientation that characterises Alzheimer’s, but for Wendy Mitchell, who lives near Hull in Yorkshire, it’s a perpetual experience. Diagnosed with the condition almost four years ago, when she was 58, she now travels around the country raising awareness of dementia. Her journeys demand precision planning. “I have a pink file that’s stuffed...

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In the US, where I teach, mental health problems are rife. In Nigeria, poverty is common but there’s no hopelessness. Why?

Nigeria, like most African nations, has been taught and dictated to since its independence, largely seen by the rest of the world as a receptacle for ideas rather than a generator of them. But is there something the world could learn from us? During the past few weeks in Nigeria, I’ve interviewed some 40 strangers whose lives, like those of most people in the country, were mired in want and suffering. Everywhere, people ambled about sweating, their skins wearing gradations of deprivation. Everywhere you turned there was a conspicuous lack of opportunities. Beggars walked about naked or in rags, bearing their ailments as banners to request help. Even those who were fully clothed – many looking flamboyant – seemed to be in urgent need of help, aching to achieve a certain dream.

He argued: 'If you lived in a world with no suffering, it will be an abnormality. That would make anyone miserable.'

Related: Focusing on schoolgirl abductions distorts the view of life in Nigeria | Chitra Nagarajan

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Observer columnist Katharine Whitehorn’s son on the difficulties of dealing with decline

So it’s out. My mother, Katharine Whitehorn, has Alzheimer’s disease. She who has lived entirely by her wits has now lost them. Sounds cruel? Try watching a dignified and private person lose everything they value, suffer every humiliation you can imagine, if you want to know what cruelty means.

I can’t remember exactly when Kath told us what was up. We were walking on Hampstead Heath. She had been undergoing various investigations to explain, aside from her deteriorating memory, some troubling episodes of confusion, even hallucination. Now the result was in. I wasn’t hugely surprised, but still the word carried the ring of finality.

Related: My new helper helps my family stop worrying

Related: The writer Katharine Whitehorn would rather die than live like this | Polly Toynbee

Related: A right-to-die law is the only way to prevent another Gosport | Polly Toynbee

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The author on being known for his depression memoir, the dangers of social media, and Winnie-the-Pooh

Matt Haig is a writer of novels and nonfiction books for children and adults, including The Humans and How To Stop Time. He is also the author of Reasons to Stay Alive, a bestselling memoir about his descent into depression, aged 24, and his subsequent efforts to climb out of it. His new book, Notes on a Nervous Planet (Canongate, £12.99), explores how to stay sane in our fast-moving, anxiety-inducing world.

Why did you decide to return to the subject of depression in Notes on a Nervous Planet?
Not wanting to be nauseatingly name-dropping, Stephen Fry warned me after Reasons to Stay Alive not to become Mr Depression, and I thought he must know what he was talking about. So I wrote a book about Father Christmas [A Boy Called Christmas] and a novel, How to Stop Time, and tried to concentrate on other stuff. But the subject kept coming up at readers’ events. What struck me really strongly was, while we acknowledge things like alcohol or drugs can be bad for our mental health, we don’t really understand how more day-to-day stuff affects us. So I thought it might be useful to write a...

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It’s never been easier to open up – but hashtag healthcare doesn’t help people like me

I am bleeding from the wrists in a toilet cubicle of the building I have therapy in, with my junior doctor psychiatrist peering over the top of the door, her lanyards clanking against the lock. Her shift finished half an hour earlier.

An hour later she calls the police, because I have refused to go to A&E or to let her look at me. Four policemen arrive. They are all ridiculously handsome. One of them is called Austin. Austin doesn’t have a Taser like all the others and when I question this, Austin says he hasn’t done his Taser training and all the others laugh. I feel bad for Austin.

Throwing a ball of wool to one another in a circle might be helpful for some people, but it absolutely wasn’t for me

Amy Winehouse, voice of a goddamn goddess. We’ll allow. Kathy, 54, works at Morrisons. Not so much

Enough awareness has been raised. We – the public, health professionals, politicians – need to make our actions count

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Readers respond to news about soaring Ritalin use, the underfunding of child mental health services and the toll GCSEs are taking

As a group of educators, psychologists, mental health professionals, campaigners and politicians, we share Amanda Spielman’s timely recognition (Report, 27 June) that the massive increase in young children receiving prescriptions for powerful stimulant drugs is both “a very big warning signal” and an indication that we need as a society to understand and address the underlying social, behavioural and educational issues that give rise to this pressure.

However, it is also timely and hopefully reassuring that this past week also saw the establishment of a new group of like-minded colleagues called Cope (Challenging over-prescription of psychiatric drugs in education) across education, healthcare and politics to begin to consider these important issues.

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In June 2018, the World Health Organization released its latest version of the ICD-11. Among the new mental health disorders? Gaming disorder

Subscribe and review: Acast, Apple, Spotify, SoundCloud, AudioBoom, Mixcloud. Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The World Health Organization has been working on an update for its diagnostic manual, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). In June 2018 it released its latest version of the ICD-11 for implementation.

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Simon Stevens has said significant expansion required to treat increasing problems

Children’s mental health services will need to expand significantly to cope with the growing problems faced by young people, the head of the NHS in England has said.

Simon Stevens said higher rates of mental illness combined with a greater willingness of people coming forward with problems meant there would have to be a “major ramp up” in services.

Related: What do you think about legalising cannabis in the UK?

Related: 'It consumed my life': inside a gaming addiction treatment centre

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Supreme court president says judges may have contributed to ‘culture of blame’

The Mental Health Act needs to be updated because too many people are being detained in hospital and doctors are becoming increasingly risk-averse, the president of the supreme court has said.

In a speech to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Lady Hale acknowledged that judges themselves may have contributed to a “culture of blame, shame and fear”.

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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