Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

December, 2012

Definition of Delusion

A delusion is traditionally defined as a false belief based on an incorrect interpretation of an external reality, which is adhered to by a person despite evidence to the contrary. But what does this mean? Well, let us consider what a ‘belief’ is. Beliefs We come to believe something through a process. First, we perceive […]

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Auditory hallucinations: a ‘normal’ mental experience?

 Research indicates that the presence of auditory hallucinations is higher in people diagnosed with psychosis, but that they are independently present in the so-called normal population . As a consequence, auditory hallucinations have been explored as a separate mental experience as opposed to a symptom of schizophrenia. Romme and Esher (1993) in the Netherlands have […]

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The major psychoses, symptoms and perception

Psychosis is ‘a severe mental disorder in which the person’s ability to recognize reality and his or her emotional responses, thinking processes, judgement and ability to communicate are so affected that his or her functioning is seriously impaired’ . If you look closely at this thumbnail sketch of psychosis, we can see that we are […]

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Is aromatherapy safe?

Training in the safe use of essential oils is part of all reputable aromatherapy courses. Certain hazardous oils should be avoided, for example wormwood is known to have high toxicity. There are specific contra-indications for example certain oils induce menstruation and thus are contra-indicated in pregnancy. Other oils are thought to trigger epilepsy in susceptible […]

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Is there a role for aromatherapy in mental illness?

Massage in general is mainly used to promote relaxation, and reduce anxiety. There is some evidence that aromatherapy massage reduces anxiety scores in the short term. The healing properties of aromatherapy are claimed to include promotion of relaxation and sleep, relief of pain, and reduction of depressive symptoms, the rationale being that the essential oils […]

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What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is based on the healing properties of essential plant oils. These natural oils are diluted in a carrier oil. Essential oils have been defined as ‘non-oily, highly fragrant essences extracted from plants by distillation’ which evaporate readily and have been used by doctors in France for their antibiotic and antiviral properties for many years. […]

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Is there a role for herbal medicine in mental illness?

There are many trade name products being sold with claims that they are effective in insomnia, stress, anxiety and even depression. Some of these have very seductive and inviting names such as ‘Serenity’. People do find some of these preparations helpful. The risk and benefits of such preparations need to be compared with extant prescribed […]

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What is herbal medicine?

Herbal medicine utilizes the healing properties of plant substances to restore health. Since antiquity, mankind has used plants for healing. In fact, most of our modern drugs are originally derived from plant substances. In earlier times, plants were venerated because they were known to have valuable properties. During medieval times, the use of herbs was […]

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Self-Help Treatment for Depression

There are a number of simple suggestions for self-help for depression. Remember that self-help is the first essential step of any treatment plan for depression, so you might just want to try out some of these to see if they help. However, it is the hardest thing in the world to change your life around […]

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Atypical depression natural treatment

The NICE Guidelines on depression recommend self-help first (Step 1), with counselling as the next intervention (Step 2), with possibly some anti-depressant medication as well (Step 3) in slightly more severe cases These first three steps cover most people with depression. The usual treatment for depression (once it has been identified) is therefore often a […]

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