Botox to aenethetise patients from disgust or sadness

12 April 2013
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In an update on our recent post about the social and health impact of smiles, Cardif University has just released a paper at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Harrogate which has confirmed that the use of Botox to reduce facial lines has a significant impact on the feelings associated with the facial expressions which are impacted by the treatment. For example, where crows feet were treated with the toxin, subjects were less able to produce an intense smile, as a result of they reported being more depressed. The same facial feedback loop that effects us when we smile...

Seeing a smile is a reward in itself.

11 April 2013
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Many studies have shown that smiling is ‘contagious’ in both humans and monkeys, to the extent that when presented by a smiling face some test subjects not only naturally smiled, but found it difficult to form a frown. This empathic and automatic social response offers many social and health benefits. Smiling releases endorphins, which can in turn reduce stress, heart rate and blood pressure as well as giving us a feeling of well being. A recent study at the Wayne State University analysed the intensity of smiles of professional baseball players in a 1952 yearbook and compared their...

Last resort treatment for the most severe cases of Anorexia Nervosa

07 March 2013
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A recent, small scale, human trial by the Krembil Neuroscience Centre and University Health Network in Canada, has had measured success in treating patients suffering from severe Anorexia Nervosa, who had failed to respond to traditional treatments. The study, involved providing deep brain stimulation, via implanted electrodes, a treatment which has previously had success with treating Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients as well as those suffering from obsessive compulsive disorders. The results of this study were varied, but with three patients having gained and sustained weight,...

Therapy apps on smart phones. Do they work?

08 January 2013
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With depression on the rise and 50% of the US population owning a smartphone, it is unsurprising that a search on the Apple App Store brings up a huge number of solutions, targeted at relieving stress, or fighting depression. The question is if these techniques work and if mental health practitioners can implement solutions of this kind into their treatment programmes. Read more on the BBC here

The menstrual cyle mood myth dispelled?

29 October 2012
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A recent study led by Gillian Einstein evaluated the results of 47 previous research projects into mood and menstrual cycle: “Taken together, these studies failed to provide clear evidence in support of the existence of a specific premenstrual negative mood syndrome in the general population.” The study did not look at those suffering with PMDD but highlights how negative mood may be falsely associated with the menstrual cycle whilst in fact having other causes. Read the report here

Deterioration in male mental health in the UK linked to recession.

18 October 2012
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A Medical Research Council study, published on BMJ Open on the 17th October,  indicates that levels of anxiety and depression in men rise significantly during times of recession, hitting 16.4% in 2009 and with a similar peek during the 1991-3 recession. The effect can be seen even in those men not directly effected by unemployment or reduced family income. “These recent analyses confirm that the threat of unemployment is in itself harmful” Prof Justine Schneider Read more here:

Mental health workers depressed by discrimination from managers

07 October 2012
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Findings from the study, funded by the UK Department of Health, shows that mental health workers suffer higher levels of anxiety, depression and emotional exhaustion from prejudiced interaction with managers, and to a lesser extent from patient visitors, than from discrimination from patients. “Aggression from relatives and other visitors is, like aggression from managers, viewed as reflecting badly on the procedures and fairness of the organisation. However, aggression from patients is not readily attributed to failings in the organisation,”  Professor Stephen Wood, University of...

Emotional freedom technique

05 July 2012
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Emotional freedom technique is an approach that helps people with severe anxiety. It uses acupressure techniques and visualisation that help to alleviate anxiety.

Children as young as five are being referred for treatment for depression and anxiety

03 June 2012
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Recent Studies in the UK show that there is a sharp increase in children and adolescents referred to specialist services as they suffer from depression and anxiety. This seems to be linked with the impact of family life stressors such as financial difficulties, unemployment, etc. Read more on the BBC website.