Post Of The Week – Saturday 14th November 2015

1) Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration

One of the issues we look at when considering classification, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders is co-morbidity. Put simply, people tend not to have conditions in isolation but have more than one thing wrong with them at a time. This becomes awkward when doctors are diagnosing conditions because they have to work out what is fundamentally wrong and when assessing the effectiveness of treatment because someone may not recover from depression because there is something else wrong with them which makes them depressed.

This article looks at what happened when CBT, including behavioural activation, was delivered alongside other interventions for people suffering from depression and a range of other illnesses. It worked, at least a bit. The article makes reference to investigator effects as a possible extraneous variable.

2) Henry And George

We’ve been thinking a lot about autism in Year 13 this week as we finish the Cognition And Development topic. We tend to get wrapped up in academic debate, losing focus on the human stories. Here’s a piece about two boys, one diagnosed with autism and one not, and their friendship.

3) Solving Long Running Conflicts

This article links to a programme broadcast on BBC Radio 4 last week.

It looks at the way in which Psychology can be used to understand and to reduce conflict. Changing attitudes to conflicts might be seen as part of social change. We’re thinking about that soon in AS Social Influence. Here is the link to the programme

There’s one about homosexuality here too, a topic which sometimes comes up in social change questions.

4) Asylum Art

A couple of years ago, I was involved in a project looking at the history of asylums in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

This is a piece about the art of Richard Dadd who was condemned to an asylum after murdering his father. From this desperate place, the artwork is extraordinary.

5) Computer Based CBT

Most of this article relates to a study just published on the effectiveness of computer based CBT. It suggests that as a low intensity intervention for young people identified in school as experiencing symptoms of depression, it works quite well.

A couple of key points worth noting are firstly that the outcome measures went beyond self-reports of symptoms to count numbers of days off school as an indicator of good health and secondly that by delivering the intervention in a school based context, stigma was reduced. As with many such studies, the follow up period was only six months so longer term effectiveness could not be monitored.

6) Islington Community Theatre

Here’s a piece about Islington Community Theatre. They feature in the Sarah-Jayne Blakemore video we watch at the start of the Cognition And Development topic.

Their work will be broadcast by the BBC via iPlayer here tomorrow.

7) In The Media

When this blog started two and a half years ago, media stories about attitudes to mental illness were rare enough to be worthy of a post and comment by themselves. They are now so common that there are too many for individual analysis. Here are three which have caught my eye this week.

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