Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

June, 2013

The depressive spiral

This was mentioned earlier in the section “Working with depression”. One of the ways that we stay in a depression is because we have continuous negative thoughts that keep us from feeling better. They have the effect of keeping us in the depressive spiral. These thoughts are semi-automatic: they seem to just happen. However, they […]

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PTSD Case Example

James, a 27-year-old city banker, was caught up in the July 2005 London bombings. He was on an underground tube train near King’s Cross when the train carriage exploded next to where he was sitting. Luckily, James escaped with minor injuries, but he is still disturbed by the sights and sounds that he encountered immediately […]

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What is Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extreme reaction to witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event in a person’s life and can happen to anybody. The American Psychiatric Association’s (1994) definition of a traumatic event, as cited in Lovell and Richards, suggests that two major issues are present: first, that the events involved actual or threatened […]

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Nursing someone who self-harms

Understanding – mechanism and meaning The first stage in nursing someone who has self-harmed is to understand what meaning the act has for them. In order to do this we have to ask about and explore with the client what happened and how they felt, before, during and after they self-harmed. This requires us to […]

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What is emotional disorders

Emotional, or internalising, disorders may be less easily recognised by parents, teachers and other adults caring for children, because the symptoms are more subtle and less likely to impinge on adults. Children may not recognise their experiences as symptoms and may not share them with parents or other adults. It is, therefore, particularly important to […]

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Behavioural phenotypes

Within each syndrome there is a degree of variability. Given that behavioural phenotypes involve probability statements, not everyone with a given syndrome will exhibit that syndrome’s characteristic behaviours. For example, studies have found that patients with Down syndrome (both children and adults) are more likely to show specifi c deficits in grammar, expressive language and […]

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What is Eating disorders

The eating disorders anorexia and bulimia nervosa frequently commence during the teenage years, with a minority of cases of anorexia nervosa having onset pre-pubertally. Patients tend to be secretive about their symptoms, so these may have been ongoing for some time before coming to clinical attention. Concern is usually raised by parents, and young people […]

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Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and adolescents

Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and adolescents shares its clinical features with the disorder as seen in adulthood, although the nature of the obsessions and compulsions may be different. Children may be more prone to magical thinking and may show simpler thoughts and rituals. Unlike in adults, where the symptoms of OCD are recognised as […]

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What is Phobias?

While specifi c phobias (dogs, the dark, lifts) are the most common psychiatric disorder of childhood, probably only a third of these cause psychosocial impairment. Nevertheless, most are readily treatable by a behavioural nurse or psychologist using desensitisation and graded exposure to the feared stimulus. Without treatment, symptoms may be persistent. Other phobias, including social […]

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What is ‘engagement’?

Engagement can be defined broadly as providing a service that is experienced by service users (including carers) as acceptable, accessible, positive and empowering. If clients perceive a mental health service in this way they are more likely to use it. Creating such a service has implications for both the quality of the relationships that service […]

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