Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Articles published by guardian.co.uk Society about: Mental health

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Kindness can be cruel: experiencing trauma by proxy

22nd April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Compassion and empathy essential emotions for humanitarian workers can also lead to stress and trauma. How can you recognise the signs of mental ill-health?Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) defines humanitarian assistance as "aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies". It should be governed by the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, GHA adds. But in practice it is almost impossible for humanitarian workers to be emotionally neutral when dealing with extreme human suffering. The healthcare author Rachel Naomi Remen said: "The expectation that we can ...

Human Rights Commission to look for ways to reduce youth suicide

22nd April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

More than 10,000 young people are admitted to hospital in Australia each year after deliberately harming themselvesThe Human Rights Commission will investigate ways to protect young people against suicide and self-harm, the leading cause of death among Australians aged between 15 and 24 years.After declining for some time, the suicide rate among young people has plateaued and remains stubbornly high, the childrens commissioner, Megan Mitchell, said. Continue reading...

Should I stop being a perfectionist?

20th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Striving to be the best you can is often positive, but studies show that this personality trait can cause stress and depression if taken too farDo you set yourself high standards? Did receiving anything less than an A grade at school trigger a meltdown? If you stress out about being anything less than truly excellent, you may be a perfectionist.Rather than being a cause of celebration and high achievement, this trait can put you at risk of emotional pain and cause you to procrastinate. While striving to be the best you can be sounds laudable, research increasingly suggests that this pattern of ...

The Man Who Couldn't Stop review David Adam's compelling study of OCD

20th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Case studies including Churchill, Nikola Tesla and Hans Christian Andersen offer fascinating insights into OCD"Only a fool or liar will tell you how the brain works," says the author, midway through this fascinating study of the living nightmare that is obsessive compulsive disorder. And rest assured, Dr David Adam is neither. Indeed, he has written one of the best and most readable studies of a mental illness to have emerged in recent years.What makes this book compelling reading is its openness. I mean that in every sense. The author is candid not only about the inevitable limitations of any book ...

Great-Aunt Dolly was a thief, a rough sleeper and my inspiration

19th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Lillian Pizzichini's great aunt brought welcome relief from the tense relationship between her parents and taught her not to take life too seriouslyAs I get closer to 50, I finally understand the choices I have made. I am single and I live alone. I keep my family at a comfortable distance in order to maintain my peace of mind. I write and I have two cats and a muse: my great-aunt Dolly. She died when I was 17. She was a thief, a rough sleeper, a paranoid schizophrenic, and my earliest inspiration. In her youth, she was a silver-service waitress ...

Brainville at Night review a brave, positive work about dementia

19th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Old Red Lion, LondonA warm and touching performance from Illona Linthwaite is at the heart of this ambitious new playAt the centre of this ambitious play is Ingrid, who suffers from dementia. She is beautifully played by Illona Linthwaite, who gets the distant look in the eye exactly right as if she knows, with part of herself, that she has lost something and wonders whether it might be about to appear on the horizon. It's a subtle, warm, touching performance that manages, against the odds, to emphasise the preciousness of the person she is and was.For that reason, this is ...

Good to meet you ... Paul Kingston

18th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

A reader who researches ageing and mental health would like to see more coverage of social issues in the GuardianI live in Stafford but I was born in Stoke-on-Trent. I'm the director of a new research centre called the Centre for Ageing Studies, which was launched in December 2013. Our main aim is to enhance research and we are particularly concerned about mental health in an ageing society. Continue reading...

Is rock's flippant attitude towards mental health changing?

18th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Prog band Kitten Pyramid's tour of psychiatric hospitals suggests a more enlightened approach to mental illness in musicReading this on mobile? Click here to view"Heaving, crackle, slinky, dormy, roofy, wham/ I'll have them, fried bloke". That stream of cobblers, from Syd Barrett's Rats, is perhaps the closest that rock music has come to documenting a mental breakdown. Soon after recording it, Barrett became the poster child for rock casualties, walking from his London flat to Cambridge to live as a virtual recluse. The fact that fans and record companies badgered Barrett up to his death in 2006 (one label reportedly ...

Dispelling the nightmares of post-traumatic stress disorder | Dispelling the nightmares of post-traumatic stress disorder | Daniel and Jason Freeman

17th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder can take months, but an intense course may relieve symptoms in just a weekOn Wednesday morning we woke to the news that a passenger ferry had sunk off the coast of South Korea, with at least four people confirmed dead and 280 unaccounted for. Meanwhile, though the search has continued for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, relatives' hopes of a safe landing have long since been extinguished.Human tragedies like these are the stuff of daily news, but we rarely hear about the long-term psychological effects on survivors and the bereaved, who may experience the symptoms ...

The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD, and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought review

16th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

David Adam's punchy explanation of the mental torment of OCD is well-intentioned, but lacks subtletyAn Ethiopian schoolgirl called Bira, David Adam begins his story, once ate a wall of her house. "She didn't want to, but she found that to eat the wall was the only way to stop her thinking about it By the time she was 17 years old she had eaten eight square metres of the wall more than half a tonne of mud bricks." She had parasites, constipation, a lot of pain and sores in her throat from all the swallowing. "In tears, she walked to ...

Sluggish cognitive tempo: the ADHD-like disorder that explains daydreaming?

15th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

According to emerging research, many children previously diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could be living with another condition entirely but not everyone agreesThe tough-minded call it naughtiness. Some parents blame dull teaching. More than a century after it was first described, there are still plenty of people who wonder whether children who can't concentrate at school are really suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Now a group of researchers think that millions of them are not, but that they are living with something else instead.Sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT), as the condition has been called, was the big story in the January ...

Baby in Alessandra Pacchieri forced caesarean case adopted

15th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Judge announces adoption in UK of child born to Italian woman who was forced to undergo a C-section in 2012The daughter of an Italian woman who had a forced caesarean section while in the UK has been adopted by "good and loving people", the country's top family judge has announced.The case, which first unfolded in secrecy, was later reported and commented on around the world and led to Sir James Munby, president of the family division of the high court, calling for "radical changes" and greater transparency in the family courts. Continue reading...

Teachers left to pick up pieces from cuts to youth mental health servicess | Mary O'Hara

15th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Schools are struggling to cope with pupils' problems as council spending on therapy and counselling dries upBergistra on staff under stressAs the headteacher of large primary school in the west of England, Joan Cunningham is accustomed to the demanding aspects of managing an intake from a mainly disadvantaged area. However, for the past couple of years, she says, one issue has escalated so dramatically that it is nearly at crisis point. "There is so much more pressure on schools and teachers to deal with children's mental health and behavioural problems," she says. "We provide as much support as we can ...

Ofsted inspections and targets harming teachers' mental health, finds survey

14th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

More than half of teachers surveyed by ATL union say work pressures having detrimental effect on their mental wellbeingA relentless inspection regime and culture of target-setting is damaging teachers' mental health, with many reporting stress and exhaustion, a survey by a teaching union has found.More than half (55%) of those questioned by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) say work pressures are having a detrimental effect on their mental wellbeing, while almost four in 10 have noticed a rise in mental health problems among colleagues over the past two years. Continue reading...

Are we using antidepressants to paper over the cracks of a fractured society?

13th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Use of antidepressant drugs has become more common than ever before. Perhaps it's time that we looked at the wider causes of this trendThe chances are that you know someone who takes antidepressants. Or maybe you take them yourself. If so, you are in good company. More than 50m prescriptions for antidepressants are written in the UK every year and, although the not all of the pills will be swallowed taking into account repeat prescriptions and failure to collect from pharmacies the figure is still staggeringly high.There's a positive side to the 50m statistic, though. It suggests that as the stigma ...

Art therapies have become a mainstream partner to medicalised healing | Ruth Wishart

11th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Murals in hospitals, personalised musical memories for dementia sufferers, a Hillsborough memorial symphony all give respite to troubled soulsThere is a fire extinguisher featured in Bridget Riley's latest artwork, unveiled earlier this week. Several in fact, given they are an obligatory part of the furniture in hospital corridors. And the 56 metres of this arresting mural, with characteristic horizontal lines in bold colours, adorn the 10th floor of St Mary's Hospital in London.The charity that commissioned it, Imperial College Healthcare, reasons that the impact is therapeutic on staff as well as the more transient audience of patients. It says high-quality ...

My father's death has left my confidence in tatters especially when it comes to relationships

11th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

My dad's death and a long period of unemployment have left me feeling incredibly anxious particularly when it comes to dating. What should I do?Since my father killed himself, I've lost all self-confidence, amplified by a long period of unemployment. After my doctor prescribed antidepressants, I managed to get my head together and have been employed full-time for the past 20 months, and am now off the medication (as agreed with my doctor). The quality of my life has improved, but despite this, my self-confidence has been shot down. I'm in my late 20s but I feel like an anxious ...

Abused violinist Frances Andrade's suicide 'could have been prevented'

10th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

Andrade was "let down" by mental health services as she fought to bring her abusive music teacher to justice, report findsThe suicide of a violinist days after she testified in court against an former choirmaster "could and should" have been prevented, a report has said.Frances Andrade, 48, killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence against former music director Michael Brewer. Continue reading...

Mental health service users should help shape support services

9th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

A new handbook offers guidance to Healthwatch organisations on how to involve service users in improving mental health provisionLike the rest of the Health and Social Care Act changes, Healthwatch has just celebrated its first birthday.Supporting people with mental health conditions across England, we at the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) have worked with a lot of the new local consumer champions and found great enthusiasm, dedication and ambition. Many local Healthwatch organisations have chosen to prioritise mental health, though this reflects the neglect of the sector with only a quarter of people with a psychological condition receiving treatment. Of ...

Interview with Lucy Bennett, artistic director, Stopgap Dance Company | Arts head

8th April 2014

Society: Mental health | guardian.co.uk

The creative chief on diversity in dance, challenging the artform's accepted rules and why the best ideas begin over a cuppaHi Lucy, what can you tell me about Stopgap Dance Company?Stopgap Dance Company makes evocative dance productions with exceptional disabled and non-disabled artists. We nurture and work with expressive artists who have strong personalities and stories to tell. When they get together to devise original works, the outcome has a real emotional punch, which pushes you to look at the world in a different way. Continue reading...