Information for Patients

12 Mar 2015

Self-stigma: what you tell yourself about your mental illness

“Self-stigma is an issue for many, if not all, people with experience of mental illness. When you are struggling to fight the discrimination in your community, how do you deal with the discriminatory voice inside your head?” One area that I don’t think is spoken about enough is the internal distress and shame that someone feels when diagnosed with mental illness. I’ve seen quite a few patients lately who are depressed and anxious due to many reasons. Frequently, one of their big areas of concern is the fact that they have a mental illness and what that implies about themselves. […]
12 Apr 2015

Women and Depression – 6th World Congress on Women’s Mental Health

This blog post is a brief review of the ‘Depression’ topics at the 6th World Congress on Womens Mental Health, which recently held in Tokyo, Japan. Women are twice as likely to develop depression compared to their male counterparts. Depression in women was covered in detail at the Congress. Some of the topics covered were working women and the problems that they have – with the dual responsibility of work and family. One of the Japanese professors Prof. Toshiko Kamo presented a fascinating talk on Women’s Mental Health in Japan, showing how women move through different psychological stages in their […]
24 May 2015

What happens when I quit Anti-Depressants cold-turkey?

Most psychiatric medications are not meant to be stopped abruptly. Discontinuing antidepressants can lead to – Antidepressant Discontinaution Syndrome – A whole range of side effects – from headaches, muscle pains, nausea, vomiting, buzzing sounds, goose flesh and chills. If you need to stop your medication because of – side effects, because you are feeling better, or as I’ve written in a previous post you don’t want to ‘depend on’ medication anymore Please contact your treatment provider to get advice on how to do it safely and how to monitor your withdrawal and mental state afterwards. I am not at […]
24 May 2015

Where does Mental Illness come from?

I have been asked this frequently over the last month, and it can be a difficult concept to explain. Put briefly, mental illness is thought to be due to a combination of your genetic makeup and your environments affect on your developing brain. There is a continual ‘Nuture vs Nature’ debate about mental illness. All mental illnesses (Schizophrenia. Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Substance Disorders etc) have been found to have genetic links. This means that ‘part’ of the illness is most likely inherited. It is not one specific gene that causes mental illness but is thought to be a […]
19 Jul 2015

What is Major Depressive Disorder?

Depression or as it is ‘medically’ known as ‘Major Depressive Disorder – MDD’ is a mental illness that affects your day-to-day mood and ability to function in many different areas. I have written previously on this topic here. I love this website – Black Dog Institute , and I can’t explain it better than they have. Have a look here and understand the in’s and out’s of depression. This is my favorite video on the subject    
20 Jul 2015

Mastering your stress – Part 1

In the next few months, I aim to work through a book called ’10 Steps to Mastering Stress’ by David Barlow et al. I’m reading through it to work on my stress level, as well as to learn skills to share with my patients. I thought it might be useful if I wrote a brief summary for my patients to follow my journey through the book and learn some skills. The key thing emphasized in the introduction, is that the only person who can change your stress level is yourself. It requires motivation and time to implement the change in […]