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Archive for the ‘depression’ Category

In a recent TED talk, an expert in the management of chronic pain in children explains neuropathic pain, a form of chronic pain in which the nervous system itself becomes faulty and creates the experience of intense pain, both the sensation of pain in the brain and the side-effects of injury in the affected (but not actually injured) part of the body.

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There’s a neurological model of colour perception that leads to surprising conclusions about colours, and interesting parallels with emotions.

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I noticed today that Depression Awareness Week is coming, according the website of the charity Depression Alliance. This year it’s going to be the week of 11th-18th April — oh — well, I suppose I’m in no position to complain that they don’t update their website very often.

Like many sources of information and self-help about mental illness, Depression Alliance have a fuzzy definition of what mental illness is, and that’s much more serious.

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A recent analysis of patients’ comments about the NHS highlights a widespread problem, but comes to the wrong conclusions about how to fix it.

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Much of the information about mental illness promoted to the public over many years tells a story in which mental illness is a lifelong disability, incurable and hopeless. The mentally ill are fundamentally different from everyone else. They act strangely. They can be dangerous.

The fundamental difference, we have been told, is that the mentally ill have brains that are chemically unbalanced. It is just the way they are. When they take special drugs to restore the balance they can appear normal, but they are not really.

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The subtle assumption behind a date is that he and she know each other a little, but not too much. There has to be enough knowledge of the other to provide a basis for fantasy, yet not so much knowledge as to crowd out fantasy altogether. Somewhere in between there is a delicious just-rightness in which each feeds the fantasies of the other, bringing the date alive with the possibilities of intimacy, of romance, of sex and of love (not necessarily in that order).

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There was a psychiatrist (now retired) whose referrals for psychotherapy would include helpful advice about how CBT treatment should proceed. Alas, this psychiatrist had only the vaguest idea about how CBT works, and the advice invariably missed the point.

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