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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Where is Timbuctoo, I wonder, that opulent city of legend, it’s shaded squares alight with the vivid yellow blossom of a thousand Jacaranda trees? In far away China, I suppose. But how shall I convince you? Perhaps I will take you on a journey of discovery.

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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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An animated TV documentary broadcast by the BBC illustrates some useful ideas in counselling and psychotherapy. It’s a bit creepy, too.

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A recent research study that asked CBT therapists to reflect on their own thoughts illustrates unwittingly how poor some CBT training has become.

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The net

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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This month’s draft guideline from the health quango NICE on the long-term management of self harm provides a revealing perspective on the NHS’s inadequacies, which go beyond failures in the treatment of individual cases to NICE itself and the basis for its existence.

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