Information for Patients

03 Jan 2015

Fighting stigma against mental illness

Stigma around mental illness is a topic which gets me hot under the collar. Here is a great video by Ruby Wax which I think is worth watching. Hope everyone is enjoying the first few days of the new year. Dr M
23 Jan 2015

What happens to a woman’s brain after pregnancy?

I had to share this link, it explains so well changes which occur in the post partum period. What happens to a woman’s brain when she becomes a mother.      
26 Jan 2015

Thoughts are just thoughts not facts…

  Thoughts are just thoughts – not facts. I’ve had a busy start to the year, and I’ve had to keep reminding myself to just pause at times and think rationally! We get so worked up over thoughts in our minds and the beliefs behind them, that we often forget that it was just a ‘thought’ and not a fact. When people see me, they are experiencing the emotions associated with thoughts that they don’t actually realize they are having. I try to explain to them the concept of ‘Thoughts are just thoughts – not facts’. A common thought is […]
08 Feb 2015

Exercise helps decrease depressive symptoms

When I ask my depressed patients if they exercise, I get groans and sighs of guilt since they have ‘given up’ with their exercise programs. I realize that exercising may be the absolute last thing you feel like doing when you are depressed. However, research shows that exercise is a natural ‘anti-depressant’ and is useful as an alternate or add on to therapy and medication. Many patients don’t want to take medication, or want to keep their medication doses as low as possible. If exercising regularly helps to do this, why not give it a try? At this point, I […]
09 Feb 2015

What are antidepressants?

The term ‘antidepressants’ can get confusing because although antidepressants were originally marketed as treatments for depression, they have been found to work in other conditions. They are used in anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, pain relief, headaches/migraine prevention. The three main neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) they target are serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Different medications affect different neurotransmitters in the brain. Molecules of the antidepressants bind to nerve cells in the brain and affect their basic functioning. Here is a picture of a nerve cell in the brain. Put very simply, it is a […]
28 Feb 2015

Doc, can I have a drink?

The research is out there – if you suffer from a mood disorder (depression or bipolar disorder) and you drink alcohol – it can affect your mood stability. Alcohol been shown to Increase episodes of mood disturbances Worsen the intensity of mood disturbances Cause a relapse of symptoms What does alcohol do to the brain? Alcohol enters the body via the stomach and is absorbed and transported in the blood to the brain (amongst other organs). In the brain, it affects various neurochemicals – particularly in a way that causes euphoria (happiness), slowed thinking, sleepiness and disinhibition. This is a […]