Post Of The Week – Thursday 8th August

1) BBC3 – It’s A Mad World

The season of programmes on mental health is now at an end. If you have missed any, please go to

You might like to see this commentary from Mind which I think sums up well why these programmes have been so important.

2) Status And Stress

I’m becoming aware that this blog has a bias towards A2 at the expense of AS. It’s in the A2 topics – Depression, Eating Behaviour, Addictive Behaviour, Cognition And Development (particularly in relation to autism) – that the interesting research seems to be happening. To redress this imbalance, here’s an article on status and stress by Michael Marmot.

For those of you who haven’t done AS Stress yet, we spend some time looking at Marmot’s research in relation to workplace stress. Here’s the link to a programme Michael Marmot took part in a couple of years ago.

Here’s a more recent one.

This is what he’s working on now.

3) What Exactly Is CBT?

CBT is so widely used now that it is easy to get confused about what exactly it is. This link on the BBC website gives a very clear explanation and has a link to some intriguing research about the effect of CBT on the brain.

That’s interesting because it closes the perceived gap between biological therapies which work on the brain and psychological therapies which work on the mind.

4) Depression – More Like Asthma Than Appendicitis.

We are often encouraged to think of depression as an illness. With that idea comes a number of assumptions. If you’ve got the same illness as someone else, it will be the same for both of you in several important respects. If you’ve got the illness, you’ll know somehow that you have got it. You’ll be ill for a while but with luck you’ll get better and know you are better.

This paper suggests that depression isn’t like that. Instead, it’s more like a chronic condition such as asthma. I’m no expert on asthma and I apologise here for any inaccuracies in what follows. People with asthma have very different symptoms and experiences from each other. Asthma is often undetected and misdiagnosed. People can often manage their asthma successfully with medication but for many, it never really goes away.

All of this might be said about depression. This is important because when we look at classification, diagnosis, explanations and treatment of depression, we need to examine the idea that it is really a disease and to examine critically the assumptions which this entails.

If you’d like to know more about the University Of Michigan Depression Center, please follow this link.

5) Eli Finkel And The Marriage Hack

We look at some of Eli Finkel’s research when we study relationships. Here he is talking about some recent work.

6) Eleanor Longden At TED

No explanation or comment needed from me. Just brilliant.

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