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Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

Patients and bloggers often complain about their GPs’ lack of understanding of mental health, so I was interested to come across an article recently that suggests some ways in which the work of GPs (primary care) could be better aligned with mental health care.

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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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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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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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Last week the UK government published its mental health strategy for England. It contains some good news for patients, and some not so good news. It has its critics and its supporters. Whatever your view of it, if your are involved in mental health in the UK its three simple principles are going to be important to you in the coming years.

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booksThe wilful narrowness of much academic training for mental health professionals never ceases to astonish me.

Its worst effect is that those professionals who have the most impressive qualifications and titles can turn out to be be the least skilled treatment providers, which makes it very difficult for patients who are serious about recovery to find a competent therapist.

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At the edge of a state of mental illness, there is a boundary with normality. But where are the edges? These days we see one of the edges of mental illness becoming clearer, and another one becoming fuzzier. Strangely, the clear one is easier to lose sight of than the fuzzy one.

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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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