Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

September, 2016

Influences on personality development

Influences on personality development As we have seen in earlier chapters, most theories agree that psychological and social experiences in infancy and early childhood are foundational. These experiences, particularly the quality of emotional care an infant receives and infant biological predisposition, are the basis for the individual’s mode of psychological functioning. Infancy is seen as […]

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Recollections of the abuse and neglect

Recollections of the abuse and neglect In parents abused as children the capacity to reflect on and think about the experiences of childhood seems also to have an effect on the risk of repetition of abuse. Parents who are able to recall their childhood experiences and the associated emotions are less likely to repeat the […]

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The consequences of child abuse and neglect

The consequences of child abuse and neglect Children’s normal emotional reactions are undermined by maltreatment, leading to an atypical organisation of emotions and their expression. There is increased risk of insecure or disorganised attachment relationships with caregivers, and a significant effect on social and emotional development and competence. Childhood maltreatment is a significant risk factor […]

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Effect of perinatal mental illness on the infant and family

Effect of perinatal mental illness on the infant and family As has been discussed in earlier chapters, the infant is extremely dependent on the sensitivity and responsiveness of her primary caregivers. Depression and/or significant social or personal adversity interferes with social functioning and emotional availability, and may make parents less contingent and sensitive in interaction […]

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Post-natal depression and anxiety (or non-psychotic depression)

Post-natal depression and anxiety (or non-psychotic depression) Symptoms constituting illness must be distinguished from ‘normal’ reactions to the multiple physiological, psychological and social stresses accompanying the arrival of a baby. A new mother is almost inevitably exhausted, preoccupied with and concerned about herself and the baby, and may be overwhelmed at times with worries about […]

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Post-partum or puerperal psychosis (PPP)

Post-partum or puerperal psychosis (PPP) is a serious, but fortunately rare disorder, occurring after about 0.1–0.2 per cent of deliveries (Kendell, Chalmers & Platz, 1987). The onset is commonly within the first three weeks after delivery, but it may sometimes begin with a prodromal mood disturbance (usually unrecognised) during pregnancy. PPP is usually a diagnosis […]

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baby blues are transient symptoms

The ‘baby blues’ are common, transient symptoms occurring in 50–80 per cent of new mothers (Cooper & Murray, 1995). Symptoms include: mood swings from sadness to elation, with tears likely either way; increased sensitivity; irritability, exhaustion and a variety of aches and pains. Some experts believe that if the predominant mood is positive, the ‘blues’ […]

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The spectrum of disorder

THE SPECTRUM OF DISORDER Mental illness occurring in the perinatal period includes a spectrum of mild to severe problems from the ‘baby blues’ through to florid psychotic illnesses. In between lies what is often called ‘post-natal depression’ (PND), that is, all the depressive disorders that do not fall within the category of the ‘blues’ or […]

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Mental illness or adjustment difficulties?

Mental illness or adjustment difficulties? The transition to parenthood, which occurs at a biological, psychological and social level, and the range of factors that influence the ability of an individual or couple to adjust to the many changes associated with parenthood, have been discussed (see Chapter 5). Many, but not all, of those who have […]

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Occurrence of perinatal mental illness

Occurrence of perinatal mental illness Studies suggest that up to 40 per cent of women experience psychological distress after having a baby. Not only the mother, but also her partner and children may be affected by this and the effects may be transient or long lasting. This distress does not always fit easily into traditional […]

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