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The irony of depression: triple the work load

The great irony of depression is that you feel you have to work so much harder than anyone else. You may feel you need to hide your pains while at the same time feeling totally isolated and ill. You may need to find your own coping mechanisms without any support from society. This all feels massively unfair and unbalanced. The problem is that you have no choice but to try to cope. Where can you find the motivation to carry on?

Pesty depression and pesticides: the link is out there

The ever increasing population of our planet has resulted in farming techniques that frequently focus on bulk rather than quality food production. This focus on bulk has led to the use of pesticides that, according to the USDA Pesticide Programme, are often found in our foods. Many of these pesticides are linked to changes in brain chemistry. These changes correlate with depression and increased suicide rates.

From shamanism to happy pills

From demons being the cause of an unsettled individual to incarceration in prisons built especially for the mentally ill. The history of treatment of mental health issues prior to 1960 is unpleasant. If you weren’t successfully treated with Lithium or Chlorpromazine then you may be forced to undergo ECT. If that failed you would have to undergo the dreaded Leucotomy.

Altruism and mental health: the benefits of being nice.

Having depression is no fun at all, and it can be hard to get started on even the simplest of tasks. However maybe there is a way that you can alleviate the symptoms by helping others. A Study using an MRI scanner shows that the areas of the brain stimulated by altruistic acts are the same as stimulated by sex, food and communal bonding.

To quote Aristotle “What is the essence of life?  To serve others and do good.

Monty Python and the NHS treatment of Mental Health

Finding ways to treat yourself for possible depression is a long and arduous road, especially if you don’t even have an effective diagnosis. Having talked to my GP’s for nearly two decades, 8 years ago I decided that I was going to need to help myself. I cannot claim success at this point but thinking back on my experiences does show that continuity of care and often conflicting expert opinion is a problem.

Is online CBT effective?

A typical Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) session carries a huge overhead in terms of office space, travel and organisation.

Did you know that 55% of any communication is body language and all of that is lost through traditional online mental health therapy systems?

The move to online therapy systems is an attractive idea, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of telephone, email and instant messaging support. What if there was something better where you didn’t lose the important messages given off by your patient’s body language?

5 signs that your insomnia may actually be sleep apnoea

Sleep apnoea can be a devastating disorder that can lead to job loss, relationship breakdown and massive health problems in later life. Up to 85% of people who have sleep apnoea are currently undiagnosed - that's 12 million men in the USA alone! If you have trouble staying awake while reading a book or driving a motor vehicle then you are a candidate for this disorder.

I take a look at 20 scientific studies to work out the effects of sleep apnoea on your health so that you don’t have to do all of that leg work. If you sleep badly then you owe it to yourself to find out more about this now!

Are sleeping pills beneficial? Depression and insomnia

Some studies show that sleeping pills are of dubious value and may only increase sleep time by 22 minutes or less. They come with side effects such as a 2% chance of triggering a depressive episode and a 1.5 times increased risk of mortality if they are taken often. It is up to you to be responsible for your health but could a placebo be almost as effective?

The science behind the effects of blue light on your sleep

Falling asleep to fit into the 9-5 lifestyle can be almost impossible for someone who has a circadian rhythm disorder. A bright blue light, melatonin and blue-blockers can change this for you.

If you suffer from delayed sleep phase disorder then you will know how miserable it can be. Getting only three hours of sleep a night on work days makes it very difficult if not impossible for some people to hold down stable work. They also suffer from far higher instances of clinical depression.

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