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...

A wake for the five stages of grief myth.

21 February 2013
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Several recent studies have undermined popular acceptance in the idea of their being five stages in our grieving for loved ones: a theory originating in the 1960s by the work of John Bowlby. A Yale University study highlights the greater importance of acceptance and depression and an overall lack of a recognisable sequence in these feelings. A Columbia University study of elderly, bereaved spouses surprisingly demonstrated that some of the sample showed a marked improvement in mental health and that 45% experienced little distress. Read more here 

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

Parents overestimate their children’s happiness

26 October 2012
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  It has long been recognised that parents tend to exaggerate their children’s intellectual, social and sporting abilities but a recent study indicated that parents are also inclined to see their children as less anxious and more optimistic  than they really are. Kristin Lagattuta’s research indicates that adult’s interpretations of children’s happiness can not be trusted but hopes that it will lead parents to be better attuned to their children’s emotional difficulties. Read more 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:

One quarter of the British workforce have been diagnosed as depressed

09 October 2012
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Despite the highest diagnosed rate of depression in Europe, British workers may be no more likely to suffer from the condition then those in other European countries. Do the results of this study really indicate that the NHS is just better at diagnosing patients with depression? If 26% of the population have been diagnosed, what is the real number of sufferers? “People themselves have got better at recognising it, and doctors have got better at diagnosing it and supporting patients.” Emer O’Neill, chief executive of Depression Alliance Read more in the Telegraph

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...

Fighting Depression worldwide

23 July 2012
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Read this very interesting article published in the New York Times on fighting depression in poor countries. Read here…

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