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Found 71 results
  1. News Article
    ChatGPT , the artificial intelligence tool, may be better than a doctor at following recognised treatment standards for depression, and without the gender or social class biases sometimes seen in the physician-patient relationship, a study suggests. The findings were published in Family Medicine and Community Health. The researchers said further work was needed to examine the risks and ethical issues arising from AI’s use. Globally, an estimated 5% of adults have depression, according to the World Health Organization. Many turn first to their GP for help. Recommended treatment should largely be guided by evidence-based clinical guidelines in line with the severity of the depression. ChatGPT has the potential to offer fast, objective, data-based insights that can supplement traditional diagnostic methods as well as providing confidentiality and anonymity, according to researchers from Israel and the UK. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 October 2023
  2. Content Article
    Doctors are dying by suicide at higher rates than the general population—somewhere between 300 to 400 physicians a year in the US take their own lives. This article in The Guardian looks at why so many surgeons are dying to suicide and what can be done to stop the trend. It examines how the culture of working long hours and the expectation to be 'superhuman' leads surgeons to suppress their symptoms and avoid seeking help for mental health issues. The article also tells the story of US surgeon and President of the Association of Academic Surgery Carrie Cunningham, who has lived with depression, anxiety and a substance abuse disorder for many years.
  3. Content Article
    This opinion piece is by Luke* who suffers from post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) after he was prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant.  Luke introduces the condition, drawing on the experiences that others have shared through PSSD communities, to highlight the devastating impact on patients. He calls for widespread recognition, improved risk communication and better support for sufferers.  *Name has been changed
  4. Content Article
    In this podcast episode, Rosie, Sean, Carlton, and Emily share their experiences with Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD), a condition where individuals face persistent sexual side effects and other side effects after taking or discontinuing certain antidepressants. Throughout the conversation, they emphasise the need for increased awareness and research on PSSD, sharing personal stories to shed light on this often-overlooked condition. Despite the challenges they face, they remain determined to advocate for recognition and support for those suffering from PSSD.
  5. Content Article
    In this article, inews columnist Kate Lister looks at the andropause, sometimes called the 'male menopause' that can affect men in their later 40s and early 50s. A gradual decline in testosterone levels can contribute to some men developing depression, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction and other physical and emotional symptoms. She looks at current research and views around the issue, highlighting her own bias in initially dismissing the idea and linking this to the societal notion that 'only women are hormonal'. She highlights that although the drop in testosterone men experience is not like the sudden hormonal changes that causes the menopause, men can still experience severe symptoms that require treatment with hormone therapy. "Despite my scoffing at the idea, it turns out that the andropause is very much a real thing that can impact some men very badly. The treatment is exactly the same as it is for women struggling with menopause and perimenopause. It’s hormone replacement therapy: this time in the form of testosterone."
  6. Content Article
    Sexual dysfunction is a common side effect of Serotonergic antidepressants (SA) treatment, and persists in some patients despite drug discontinuation, a condition termed post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD). The risk for PSSD is unknown but is thought to be rare and difficult to assess. This study, published in the Annals of general psychiatry, aims to estimate the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) and PSSD in males treated with SAs.
  7. Content Article
    A set of enduring conditions have been reported in the literature involving persistent sexual dysfunction after discontinuation of serotonin reuptake inhibiting antidepressants, 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors and isotretinoin. The objective of this study, published by the International Journal of Safety and Risk in Medicine, was to develop diagnostic criteria for post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD), persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) following serotonin reuptake inhibitors, post-finasteride syndrome (PFS) and post-retinoid sexual dysfunction (PRSD).
  8. Content Article
    During pregnancy, and up to one year after birth, one in five women will experience mental health issues, ranging from anxiety and depression to more severe illness. For those women experiencing mental ill-health, barriers often exist preventing them from accessing care, including variation in availability of service, care, and treatment. These are often worsened by cultural stigma, previous trauma, deprivation, and discrimination. This document by the Royal College of Midwives outlines recommendations to ensure that women are offered, and can access, the right support at the right time during their perinatal journey.
  9. Content Article
    This briefing was commissioned by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance who are dedicated to ensuring all women, babies and their families across the UK have access to compassionate care and high-quality support for their mental health during pregnancy and after birth. One woman in five experiences a mental health problem during pregnancy or after they have given birth. Maternal mental health problems can have a devastating impact on the women affected and their families. NICE guidance states that perinatal mental health problems always require a speedy and effective response, including rapid access to psychological therapies when they are needed. Integrated care systems (ICSs) have a unique opportunity to ensure that all women who need support for their mental health during the perinatal period get the right level of help at the right time, close to home.
  10. Content Article
    An evidence review into the scale of the prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal problem in England published by Public Health England (PHE) in 2019 called for support for patients experiencing withdrawal symptoms, including a national 24 hour helpline and associated website. These calls have since been echoed in a recent BBC Panorama episode and other media accounts, but despite the evidence reviews, media interest and public awareness, nothing has changed.  This open letter to the Government published in the BMJ calls for specialist NHS services to support patients harmed by taking prescription medications. Signed by healthcare professionals, it highlights that there are still almost no NHS services to support patients who have been harmed by taking medicines as prescribed by their doctor, such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines. The signatories believe that the NHS has a clinical and moral obligation to help those who have been harmed by taking their medication as prescribed, and are urgently calling upon the UK Government to fund and implement withdrawal support services.
  11. Content Article
    Electro-Convulsive Therapy , or ECT, is a controversial treatment for a number of severe mental illnesses. In essence, an electric current is passed through the brain and induces an epileptic seizure. Though less frequently used these days, it may still be employed in cases of severe depression and mania resistant to other therapies. After treatment, patients may suffer headaches, feelings of confusion and temporary memory loss. In this article, Dr Paul Lambden summarises the treatment, technique used, the risks and side effects, and longer term outcomes.
  12. News Article
    Antidepressants can cause severe, sometimes irreversible, sexual dysfunction that persists even after discontinuing the medication. Sufferers have described it as ‘chemical castration’ – a type of genital mutilation caused by antidepressants, mainly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The condition is known as post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD), a condition largely unrecognised, and the true incidence of which is unknown. David Healy, psychiatrist and founder of RxISK.org said, “I saw my first patient with PSSD in 2000, a 35-year-old lady who told me that three months after stopping treatment, she could rub a hard-bristled brush across her genitals and feel nothing.” David Healy, psychiatrist and founder of RxISK.org said, “I saw my first patient with PSSD in 2000, a 35-year-old lady who told me that three months after stopping treatment, she could rub a hard-bristled brush across her genitals and feel nothing.” Josef Witt-Doerring, psychiatrist and former FDA medical officer said, “This condition is so devastating that it will cause serious changes to your life and to those around you.” Read full story Source: Maryanne Demasi, 13 June 2023
  13. News Article
    Many media stories about ketamine as a treatment for psychiatric disorders such as depression “go well beyond the evidence base” by exaggerating the efficacy, safety and longevity of the drug or by overstating the risks, an analysis has found. Researchers examined 119 articles about ketamine and mental illness published by major print media in Australia, the US and UK over a five-year period. They found articles peaked in 2019, when the US Food and Drug Administration approved a ketamine-derived nasal spray known as esketamine for treatment-resistant depression. Researchers found 37% of articles contained inaccurate information, largely related to efficacy, safety information and the longevity of the effect of the treatment. Ketamine treatment was portrayed in an “extremely positive light” in 69% of articles, the review found. “Overly optimistic statements from medical professionals regarding efficacy or safety may encourage patients to seek treatments that may not be clinically appropriate,” says the paper, published in the journal BJPsych Open. “Disconcertingly, some articles included strong statements about treatment efficacy that went well beyond the evidence base. Conversely, exaggeration of the risks may discourage patients from pursuing a treatment that may be suitable for them.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 8 June 2023
  14. Content Article
    Public and patient expectations of treatment influence health behaviours and decision-making. This study aimed to understand how the media has portrayed the therapeutic use of ketamine in psychiatry. It found that ketamine treatment was portrayed in an extremely positive light, with significant contributions of positive testimony from key opinion leaders (e.g. clinicians). Positive research results and ketamine's rapid antidepressant effec were frequently emphasised, with little reference to longer-term safety and efficacy. The study concluded that information pertinent to patient help-seeking and treatment expectations is being communicated through the media and supported by key opinion leaders, although some quotes go well beyond the evidence base. Clinicians should be aware of this and may need to address their patients’ beliefs directly.
  15. News Article
    A therapy using magnets to treat severe depression is available on the NHS in the West for the first time. Wellsprings clinic in Taunton can now deliver the repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment (rTMS) to NHS patients through a referral. During a session, a strong magnetic field is used to stimulate or inhibit different parts of the brain. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said it had "no major safety concerns" for the therapy. Mark Rickman, 60, from Dartmoor deals with bipolar and depression and said rTMS has had a positive impact on him. Mr Rickman previously tried Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), where electric shocks cause a brief surge of electrical activity in the brain, but said it was "debilitating" compared to rTMS. NICE cleared rTMS for use in 2015, for people who had not responded well to antidepressants, and had "no major concerns" about the therapy. The main side effects were said to be headaches, and patients at risk of seizures are screened. Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 May 2023
  16. News Article
    Nine online talking-therapy treatments for anxiety or depression have been given the green light to be used by the NHS in England. They offer faster access to help but less time with a therapist, which may not suit everyone, the health body recommending them said. There is huge demand for face-to-face services, with people waiting several weeks to see a therapist. The new digital therapies, delivered via a website or an app using cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), provide an alternative way of accessing support, which may be more convenient for some, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says. They could also free up resources and help reduce the wait for care. However, psychiatrists said digital therapies were not a long-term solution. Mental-health charity Sane said they were no substitute for a one-to-one relationship and could leave people feeling even more isolated than before. Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 May 2023
  17. Content Article
    Samuel Howes was 17 when he died by suicide in September 2020. Samuel had ongoing mental health issues including anxiety and depression. This led to his use of drugs and dependency on alcohol, which in turn further worsened his mental health. This blog by his mother Suzanne details her experience of the final day of the inquest into her son's death, which found multiple failings on the part of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), social services and the police.
  18. Content Article
    Technologies to assist with diabetes treatment and care have evolved rapidly over the past two decades. With each new innovation coming to the market, there are hopes that technologies will solve the numerous, complex issues related to diabetes. However, although it has been demonstrated that overall, these technologies—when available—bring major benefits to people living with diabetes, they do not make the condition disappear. This article in Diabetes Epidemiology and Management discusses the interconnections between technologies and diabetes distress, an often under-acknowledged consequence of the continuous demands of diabetes.
  19. Event
    The past couple of years have placed enormous pressures on the mental health and wellbeing of the population. The current cost of living crisis is having a significant impact on people’s state of mind with millions feeling stressed about rising food and energy prices as we head into winter. Delivered by Maximus, the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, can help employees and employers during this difficult time with their mental health. Completely confidential, the service is available at no charge to anyone with depression, anxiety, stress or other mental health issues, affecting their work. Remploy already helped thousands of people across England, Scotland and Wales, to remain in, or return to work, so our expertise speaks for itself. Led by Bethany Kimberley and Kaylena Mushen, this webinar will introduce the service, covering facts and statistics around mental health. It also looks at the service’s aims, eligibility criteria and referral process, plus what support and workplace adjustments are available at home, in an office, or other place of work. The session will also introduce and additional service, offering virtual one-to-one support appointments for employees. Learn how to gain access to fully-funded expert advice and support for up to nine months, which includes – A well being plan to help employees stay in, or attend work. Ideas for suitable workplace adjustments. Tailored coping strategies. Facts and statistics around mental health. Aims of the service. Details of the eligibility criteria and referral process. The support and interventions available. Register
  20. News Article
    About 1 in 10 fathers will experience a depressive episode within the first year after a baby is born but no Scottish health board has any specific measures to monitor their mental health, BBC Scotland has learned. Peter Divers, 39, says he hid his feelings of depression for months after his second child was born in November 2016. "It was the darkest time of my life," he says. "I woke up every morning with a knot in my stomach. I felt like there was a big dark cloud following me about." Peter didn't tell anyone what he was experiencing, including his wife, for five months. He did not feel comfortable going to see his GP. His feelings came to a head one day when he arrived to pick his older daughter up from his mother's house, and started crying on her couch. Dr Selena Gleadow-Ware, a consultant psychiatrist who chairs the perinatal faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said research showed about 8-10% of men experience depression in the postnatal period. "Men may be much less likely to talk about or feel comfortable sharing how they're feeling, so it often goes as an under-recognised or hidden problem," she says. Read full story Source: BBC News, 10 February 2022
  21. News Article
    Millions of people with mild depression in England should be offered therapy, exercise, mindfulness or meditation before antidepressants, according to the first new NHS guidelines in more than a decade. Under draft guidance, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends the “menu of treatment options” be offered to patients by health professionals before medication is considered. Currently, those with mild depression are offered antidepressants or a high-intensity psychological intervention, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The shake-up forms part of the first new recommendations to identify, treat and manage depression in adults since 2009. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), about one in six (17%) adults experienced some form of depression this summer. The rate is higher than before the pandemic, when 10% of adults experienced it. Younger adults and women are more likely to be affected, the ONS found. A 2019 review showed 17% of the adult population in England (7.3 million people) had been prescribed antidepressants in the year 2017-18. Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the centre for guidelines at NICE, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the impact depression has had on the nation’s mental health. People with depression need these evidence-based guideline recommendations available to the NHS, without delay.” Nav Kapur, professor of psychiatry and population health at the University of Manchester and chair of the guideline committee, said: “As a committee we have drawn up recommendations that we hope will have a real impact on people who are suffering from depression and their carers. In particular we’ve emphasised the role of patient choice – suggesting that practitioners should offer people a choice of evidence-based treatments and understanding that not every treatment will suit every person.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 23 November 2021
  22. News Article
    Becoming a father can be the happiest time in a man's life, but for some it can bring unexpected feelings of anxiety, stress and guilt. Until recently, mental health concerns for new dads were little understood and, often, went unaired. But some men who have experienced postnatal depression hope telling their stories will encourage others to open up. When Stephen's daughter was born five years ago he knew he was meant to feel happy but instead began to think his wife and newborn child might be better off without him. "You don't get a chance to sit back, take it in, relax and enjoy it," he said. "I'd come home on a weekend after a long week, tired out, and my wife was back at work, working weekends." "It just affects you, you don't see each other, you don't have the chance to enjoy it, and all the stress and anxiety builds up. I got to such a low point I considered my family were better off without me." An international study in 2010 suggested that as many as one in 10 men struggle with postnatal depression (PND). More recently, in 2015, a survey by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) found one in three new fathers had concerns about their mental health. The NCT has called for more recognition around mental health issues affecting new dads. It has set up Parents in Mind: Partners Project, which offers support to everyone who has an active role raising a child under two. "Becoming a parent is an emotional rollercoaster," said Catherine Briars, who runs the project in St Helens. "Fathers sometimes feel uncomfortable opening up about their feelings but we encourage them to do so if they're struggling. It's often the first step to recovering and regaining good mental health." She said they encourage men to talk to someone they trust or their GP. Read full story Source: BBC News, 19 November 2021
  23. News Article
    The COVID-19 crisis triggered high levels of anxiety and depression among doctors in the UK, Italy and Spain, a new study has found The research of 5,000 survey responses, across the three countries, found Italian doctors were most likely to have suffered during the crisis last year. The study, published in PLOS ONE, measured the mental wellbeing of doctors in Catalonia (Spain), Italy and the UK during June, November and December 2020. It found that around one in four medical doctors in Italy had experienced symptoms of anxiety in June and December 2020, with around one in five reporting symptoms of depression over the same period. In Catalonia around 16% of doctors reported anxiety and around 17% experienced depression. In the UK around 12% of doctors reported anxiety and around 14% had symptoms of depression. The study is among the first cross-country analysis of mental wellbeing among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and the first to focus on medical doctors. Across all countries, female doctors and doctors under 60 were more likely to have anxiety or depression. Professor Quintana-Domeque, professor of economics at the University of Exeter Business School, who carried out the study said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been classified as a traumatic event, with healthcare workers arguably having the most direct and longest exposure to this disease." “The results of this study suggest that institutional support for healthcare workers, and in particular doctors, is important in protecting and promoting their mental health in the current and in future pandemics.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 3 November 2021
  24. News Article
    Women and younger adults were more likely to feel depressed during the second UK coronavirus peak than men and other age groups, Office for National Statistics (ONS) data suggests. Four in 10 women aged between 16 and 29 were affected, compared to 26% of men. One in five adults experienced depression in early 2021 - more than double pre-pandemic levels. But GPs in England diagnosed fewer cases of depression in adults in 2020 compared with the year before. Many people may not be seeking medical help, the ONS says. Health experts have always warned that the combined effects of ill health, isolation and job losses during the pandemic would have a negative impact on people's mental health and wellbeing. Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 May 2021
  25. News Article
    Good quality evidence is urgently needed to inform doctors on how to discontinue antidepressants safely and effectively, a Cochrane review has highlighted. An international team of researchers assessed randomised controlled trials comparing approaches to discontinuation and continuation of antidepressants in patients who had used them for depression or anxiety for at least six months. But the team reached no firm conclusions about the effects and safety of the approaches reviewed because of the low certainty of evidence from the existing studies. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 22 April 2021
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