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Now there’s DBT for BPD

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterised by problems with regulating emotions and thoughts, impulsive and reckless behaviour and unstable relationships with other people. Depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal behaviours can also be part of the picture. I can’t help but think that these symptoms sound remarkably like those of addiction – any addiction – and…

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Schizophrenia proven genetic, claims new US study

A new study published in Nature and widely reported in the mainstream media claims to have ‘removed any doubt’ about a biological cause for schizophrenia. The study claims that more than one hundred genes associated with dopamine, the immune system and heavy smoking are implicated in causing the condition. The researchers, from across many different…

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‘Pursuit of happiness’ is the answer say UK mental health experts

This month, the CentreForum Mental Health Commission concludes what is being described as a ‘landmark study on the state of mental health in England’. The 12-month commission has identified five key priorities for implementation between now and 2020. The final report calls for policy makers to: Establish the mental wellbeing of the nation or ‘the…

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An OCD treatment we’ll keep coming back to?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition characterised by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviours (compulsions). The archetypal example is hand-washing, but there are many different forms. In the case of hand-washing, to ease the fear of contamination, one may compulsively wash one’s hands until they are chapped and sore (i.e….

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Herbal doesn’t always mean harmless; news for St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort has, for centuries, been used as a treatment for mental disorders and nerve pain. Named after St John the Baptist whose feast day on 24 June coincides with its full bloom, its five yellow petals are thought to represent a halo, and characteristic red sap the blood of the martyred saint (St…

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The truth about lies

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as ‘deception literature’ – that is the study of lies in the practice of communication. I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing – good, I suppose, in that someone is actually bothering to take account of mankind’s propensity to deceit, and…

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New help weighing up antidepressants

I have a cousin who has suffered from depression for years. Like many in her position, she’ll go through a period when things are OK, during which time she might stop taking her medication; never a good idea. As a consequence, she’s sampled lots of different antidepressants, with doctors using her lack of compliance to…

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Babies and antipsychotics don’t appear to mix

Drug safety is very much on the agenda in the UK, with the government’s Early Access to Medicines Scheme unveiled to great industry acclaim earlier this year. The scheme allows patients with serious illness to gain access to drugs before they are approved, with lobbyists making much of the popular benefit of ‘greater choice’. A…

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