Hello everyone! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend. Let’s start our busy week some interesting articles on mental health. Here we go!
It’s a major milestone in the fight to recognize mental health and mental illness as global issues: a comprehensive report from the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health, three years in the making, released this past week at a London summit with royals Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, in attendance to show their support for the cause.
But it was not a celebratory event. Threaded throughout the 45-page report is a lament that the world is ignoring millions of suffering people.
That neglect is reflected in “pitifully small” levels of financial support from governments and assistance groups for research and patient care, say the 28 mental health researchers, clinicians and advocates from across five continents who authored the report. And there are far-reaching economic as well as psychological consequences, the report notes: Untreated patients are often unable to support themselves, and sometimes their caretakers can’t work as well.
Let’s be ambitious about ending poverty and improving mental health. If we did end poverty, then all of us, not just those who are poor now, would see benefits for our mental health.
More unequal societies have a wider gap between the richest and poorest. That leads to worse mental health for everyone in that society. But, as with most things, it is the poorest that suffer the most and the 20% least well off people in the UK are two to three times more likely to develop mental health problems than the richest 20%.
The benefits and risks of antidepressants continue to be hotly debated, both in the scientific literature and in the media.
An adverse effect that has been frequently discussed in the past year has been withdrawal symptoms, experienced when stopping antidepressants.
Recognition of these symptoms in the scientific literature is not new; they have been recognised since the early use of tricyclic antidepressants, though there has been debate around their prevalence, severity, and how quickly they resolve.
An influential psychological model of persecutory delusions proposed that they are caused by a bias towards holding others responsible for negative events (an externalising attributional bias), preventing the individual from becoming aware of underlying low self-esteem. An early version of the model predicted self-esteem would, therefore, be preserved in people with these delusions, but a later version suggested it would be unstable, and that there would be a discrepancy between explicit and implicit self-esteem, with the latter being lower. We did a comprehensive meta-analytical test of the key predictions of this model and assessed the quality of evidence.
Adolescents universally communicate on social media platforms. The instantaneous sharing of internal experiences is now a common behaviour for so-called digital natives, who have grown up immersed in technology with no memory of a time before the internet.1 Clinically, an increasing number of adolescents and their families cite social media as a key stressor related to psychiatric symptoms and presentations. Social media use appears to have a pervasive influence on many aspects of adolescent life. However, inquiries regarding its use are not incorporated as standard psychiatric practice.
Thank you and see you tomorrow for more articles.