Photo Of The Day

Flickr photo by Robert Huffstutter. Freud's couch used during psychoanalytic sessions.

Flickr photo by Robert Huffstutter.
Freud’s couch used during psychoanalytic sessions.

?Letting It All Hang Out … Freud’s Couch

?Freud once said: “Psychiatry is the art of teaching people how to stand on their own feet while reclining on couches.”

Sigmund Freud’s couch, upon which his patients would comfortably recline during psychoanalytic sessions, was normally covered by an Oriental rug throw.?Underneath the throw, it is a plain and simple structure, raised by a scroll and pad at one end, though fully upholstered with springs and horsehair stuffing.?The couch is rather short, so that the patient would not lie horizontally, but with the head quite high, supported by several cushions and pillows.

Why did ?Freud?make his patients lie on couches? Why didn’t he tell them to sit up straight, or psychoanalyse them standing up? In Freud’s day, reclining in mixed company was an extremely risqu? business.?If a visitor is announced, you are to receive him in a standing position – never lying on the chaise longue. Even sitting upright on a couch, rather than a straight-backed chair, was seen as far too forward, and a gentleman would never take a seat on the sofa.

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Fat bastards could lose benefits in UK, what a great policy

David Cameron says UK taxpayers shouldn’t have to??fund the benefits? of fatties?or drug and alcohol addicts who refuse treatment?that could help them get back into employment.

Obese people could have their benefits stripped if they refuse treatment in a bid to ensure they can lead a ?fulfilling life?, David Cameron has said.

A Conservative government will attempt to ensure that tens of thousands of people who claim welfare on the grounds of obesity, drug or alcohol addiction are ?incentivised? to go back to work, the Prime Minister said.

Mr Cameron said that taxpayers should no longer ?fund the benefits? of people who refuse to accept the treatment that could help them get back into employment.

He has asked Professor Dame Carol Black, a senior Government adviser of health, to conduct a review into how best to get people with treatable conditions back into work.

The review will focus on how to incentivise the people to get back to work and consider whether their benefits should be stopped if they refuse treatment.

Currently, almost 100,000 people are claiming sickness benefits because they say they are suffering from conditions such as drug or alcohol addiction, or obesity.

However, there is no requirement for such people to undertake treatment, meaning it is possible to claim without making efforts at recovery.

Of the 2.5 million claiming sickness benefits, around 1.5 million have been claiming for more than 5 years.? Read more »

Could depression just be an allergic reaction?

Could depression actually be nothing more than an allergic reaction?

Our understanding and awareness of depression has, thankfully, evolved some way beyond the old-fashioned “pull-yourself-together” response. Most now know that it’s a multifaceted, shape-shifting, and frequently debilitating condition that transcends race, sex, and creed. But we still don’t know exactly why some become depressed and some don’t.

We know that people may be genetically predisposed to depression and anxiety disorders. We also know that specific life events may trigger depressive episodes in those who have previously been the picture of mental health. But so far we’ve been unable to identify one single, definitive catalyst. However, new research suggests that, for some people, depression may be caused by something as simple as an allergic reaction. A reaction to inflammation?a product of the body, not the mind.

George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, is one of an increasing number of scientists who believe we need to be looking at our physiology to better understand depression?that, perhaps, it’s not all in the head. “I don’t even talk about it as a psychiatric condition anymore,” he told the Guardian. “It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health.”

The thesis is simple: Everyone feels like shit when they’re sick. That ennui we feel when we’re unwell?listlessness, lack of enthusiasm, troubled sleep, tearfulness, and a general feeling of wading through tar?is apparently known among psychologists as “sickness behavior.” Our bodies are pretty intelligent, see?they behave this way so that we stop, lie still, and let our system fight whatever infection of virus has us croaking for Gatorade on the couch.

These kinds of emotional responses are also typical of depression, though. So scientists are asking: If sick people feel and act a lot like depressed people, might there be a link?

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Can mental illness make people less prone to cognitive biases?

One of the usual methods of attack against me and my effectiveness is to attack my mental health status. The left wing, and more recently the ferals on the West Coast, like to say that because I suffer from a mental illness then somehow what I say can be discounted as the mad rambling of a mental idiot.

I have never hidden or shied away from honesty around my depression. My belief is that other can learn from it and they do. Several times a month people email me or phone to discuss my past posts on depression and medication. That honesty and openess though is often held against me.

However there is some evidence to suggest that sufferers from mental illness are less prone to cognitive biases.

Madness and irrationality may seem inextricably related. ?You are crazy!? we say, when someone tells us about their risk-taking behaviour or their self-defeating actions. The?International Classification of Diseases?(ICD-10) and the?Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?(DSM-5) describe people with depression, autism, schizophrenia, dementia, and personality disorders as people who infringe norms of rationality. But not all people diagnosed with a mental disorder behave irrationally, and not all people who behave irrationally are diagnosed with a mental disorder.? Read more »

Sleep and Depression

Sleep plays a massive role in aiding dealing with depression.

Most of us who suffer from depression also suffer from insomnia, and let m tell you when you lie in bed at night and can’t sleep it is a long, long, long night. You don’t dare move in case you wake your partner, you are so tired you can;t move anyway but sleep remains elusive.

Without sleep you turn into a zombie, incapable of cogent thought or performing simple tasks. Drugs don;t work, you just end up addicted to them…and then they don’t work anyway as you become used to them. You name a sleeping tablet and I’ve taken it and been addicted to it.

A new study suggests there is a better way.

Curing insomnia in people with depression could double their chance of a full recovery, scientists are reporting. The findings, based on an insomnia treatment that uses talk therapy rather than drugs, are the first to emerge from a series of closely watched studies of sleep and depression to be released in the coming year.

The new report affirms the results of a smaller pilot study, giving scientists confidence that the effects of the insomnia treatment are real. If the figures continue to hold up, the advance will be the most significant in the treatment of depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987.

Depression is the most common mental disorder, affecting some 18 million Americans in any given year, according to government figures, and more than half of them also have insomnia.? Read more »

Is this the world’s most jealous woman?

Bunny Boiler alert

Bunny Boiler alert

This woman has to be a female sociopath. She had all the hallmarks.

A woman who makes her fianc? take a lie detector test to prove he has been faithful every time he leaves the house has been diagnosed with a rare condition that causes delusional jealousy.

Debbi Wood, 42, of Leicester, is so paranoid that her partner Steve Wood, 30, will stray that she also checks his phone, email accounts and bank statements several times a day for evidence of infidelity.

Mr Wood, who started dating Miss Wood in 2011 after they met through a friend, is even banned from watching women on television or looking at pictures of them in magazines.

Run, Forrest, Run.

Doctors have discovered that Miss Wood is suffering from Othello Syndrome, a psychiatric disorder which causes sufferers to believe their partners have been unfaithful – even without evidence.

She said: ?I?m relieved to finally know what?s wrong with me but I still have a long way to go. Even if Steve pops out for 15 minutes to buy a pint of milk, I make him take a lie detector test as soon as he gets home.? Read more »

Schizophrenia switches, fascinating

An interesting video about finding the switch that can turn off schizophrenia.

Magnetic stimulation and quiet meditation.?The ol? front brain ? mid brain problem.

Schizophrenia is one of the most complex and least understood of all psychological disorders. But now scientists have found a switch of sorts that could change everything.

Fixing Depression via your guts

Could depression be linked to your guts? Might legions of doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists all be barking up the wrong tree and looking in the wrong place?

Are drug companies and insurances companies likewise looking for cures in the wrong place too.

New research suggests that fixing your guts might go a long way to fixing your depression.

[James] Greenblatt?s provocative idea ? that psychiatric woes can be solved by targeting the digestive system ? is increasingly reinforced by cutting-edge science. For decades, researchers have known of the connection between the brain and the gut. Anxiety often causes nausea and diarrhea, and depression can change appetite. The connection may have been established, but scientists thought communication was one way: it traveled from the brain to the gut, and not the other way around.

But now, a new understanding of the trillions of microbes living in our guts reveals that this communication process is more like a multi-lane superhighway than a one-way street. By showing that changing bacteria in the gut can change behavior, this new research might one day transform the way we understand ? and treat ? a variety of mental health disorders.? Read more »

Could this be David Shearer?

Walking Corpse Syndrome


When I first saw that headline I thought, it must be an article about David Shearer after the latest polls…turns out it isn’t.? Read more »

Could Special K help with depression

Yesterday I blogged about my battle with depression with depression medications and the destruction those drugs, forced on me for a number of reasons, which will be explained fully in a book I am planning about the ongoing battle with depression, drugs, the medical and insurance system.

I mentioned that not a single drug was effective in treating my depression, nor chemical cocktails prescribed or forced on me through circumstance. Instead they exacerbated the problem, helped destroy a large portion of my life, the legacy of which continues to this day.

Now researchers at Johnson and Johnson reckon they have possibly found a new and different drug treatment for depression…one based on ketamine or Special K.

Johnson & Johnson said it plans to seek approvals for 11 new drugs by 2017, including a treatment for patients with depression who have failed to benefit from standard medications.

The intranasal drug, called esketamine, is closely related to a pediatric anesthetic called ketamine that has been shown in academic studies to ease symptoms rapidly in such patients, including a reduction in suicidal thoughts.

Ketamine is also the active ingredient of the mood-altering party drug known as “Special K”.? Read more »