Post Of The Week – Saturday 30th May 2015

1) The Talking Cure

Here is a well made programme about talking therapies, interspersing interviews with critical commentary. There is a really good section on psychoanalysis which I was going to use for the A Level course until I realised that there is no reference to psychoanalysis in the specification. There is however a section on CBT which is very good and which I will be using again.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/the-talking-cure/6478848

 

2) State Of Origin

It is the time of year when New South Wales plays Queensland at rugby league. This series of matches is used as a focus for promoting awareness of mental health. You can see the website for this here.

http://www.nrlstateofmind.com.au

I like this piece of video.

On the theme of rugby league, this profile is interesting.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-30/darius-boyd-changed-man-after-battle-with-depression/6508218

 

3) Hearing Emotion

For a while, it has been known that people with depression find it easier to remember negative rather than positive stimuli.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/294329.php

This study however suggests that people with depression have more general problems with remembering emotional speech. Participants were required to listen to and repeat sentences which were masked by distracting noise. People with depression found this difficult regardless of whether the sentences were negative or positive. It is not quite clear what this tells us about how depression develops. Perhaps people develop this inability to pick up the conversations of other people which leads to social isolation which leads in turn to depression. Alternatively, depression could be causing changes in brain function, a consequence of which is that people find it hard to process conversations. However this turns out, it seems to offer an entry point for helping people deal with their depression and cope better.

 

4) Three Things On Autism

First, here is a general overview of an international research conference on autism from ARC researchers at Cambridge University.

http://www.psychiatry.cam.ac.uk/blog/2015/05/27/the-international-meeting-for-autism-research-2015/

Secondly, here is a link to a piece of research from Israel.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150526124854.htm#.VWXY_ikpMfg.twitter

Autism is defined as the absence of a theory of mind. This does not however tell us what people with autism find so confusing about the world. The answer from this research seems to be that people with autism rely on what is in front of them rather than on observing patterns based on past experience.

Finally, when we study autism as a lack of they of mind, we consider the question of what can be done about teaching people with autism to interact with others. One project uses lego as a means of doing this. You can read about that here.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/the-rise-of-lego-clubs-how-toys-are-helping-children-struggling-with-social-interaction-to-build-better-relationships-10279678.html

 

5) British Association Of Psychopharmacology Guidelines For Depression

This is an incredibly complex document but worth dipping into for an understanding of where medical practice in relation to antidepressants is right now.

http://www.bap.org.uk/pdfs/antidepressants.pdf

From just a brief look, I picked up a couple of things. Firstly, the idea of dividing depression into a number of categories is no longer seen as valid. The document talks of a continuum from mild to severe. Secondly, the choice of antidepressant is based more on avoiding harm than on matching particular symptoms to a particular antidepressant.

 

6) Mother’s fury as son with mental health problems is moved 270 miles away

This happened near where we live and we should be concerned about it.
http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Mother-s-fury-son-mental-health-problems-moved/story-26573118-detail/story.html#ixzz3bhMKFD7J

7) Age As A Risk Factor In Addictive Behaviour

We are familiar with the idea that age is a risk factor in the development of addictive behaviour from the A2 course. Younger people find behaviours which could lead to addiction more intensely enjoyable and lack effective ways of inhibiting the impulse to take risks.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/29/middle-aged-are-riskier-drinkers-than-young-adults-study-finds

This piece of research is therefore interesting in that it suggests that older people take more risks in relation to abusing alcohol.

 

8) Thinking Ahead To A Psychology Degree

This piece of video was produced by the BPS a few years ago but they are still promoting it.

It says some important things. I still like this video from Cambridge University. What they say here applies to many other Psychology courses.

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