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Magic mushroom chemical psilocybin could be key to treating depression – studies

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Immediate reduction in depression and anxiety for up to eight months seen in patients with advanced cancer given a single dose of psilocybin

A single dose of psilocybin, the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, can lift the anxiety and depression experienced by people with advanced cancer for six months or even longer, two new studies show.

Researchers involved in the two trials in the United States say the results are remarkable. The volunteers had “profoundly meaningful and spiritual experiences” which made most of them rethink life and death, ended their despair and brought about lasting improvement in the quality of their lives.

Related: Tiny minority of people with depression get treatment, study finds

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Tiny minority of people with depression get treatment, study finds

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

In poorest countries, only one in 27 people with depression receive adequate treatment, according to researchers

Only a small minority of people with depression across the world, just one in 27 in the poorest countries, receive even minimally adequate treatment for their condition, a major study has found.

Researchers from King’s College London, Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that even in wealthy countries only one in five people with depression received adequate treatment.

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The emotional life of men: ‘you’ll be right’ isn’t enough anymore | Louis Hanson

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

We have grown up into a society in which males fear sharing emotion with one another, and we continue to teach boys that emotion is not okay

I love my father. He’s kind and caring.

He grew up in a rural family of boys. He learnt from his father, who in turn learnt from his father, that expressing emotion didn’t coincide with his maleness. Not only was vulnerability not a choice, it just wasn’t an option. Things were left unsaid. The masculine ego left seemingly fortifiable. They were a generation of men strong and powerful but emotionally detached.

Related: Highest Australian suicide rate in 13 years driven by men aged 40 to 44

Related: ‘As boys, we are told to be brave’: men on masculinity and mental health

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CBT ‘should be routinely offered’ to women with premenstrual syndrome

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Gynaecologists advise that cognitive behavioural therapy could help women manage the symptoms of PMS

Women experiencing premenstrual syndrome should routinely be offered cognitive behavioural therapy to help them manage the symptoms, gynaecologists have said.

Around 40% of women experience symptoms of PMS with around 5%-8% having severe symptoms. Physical symptoms can include swollen breasts and bloating, and the psychological symptoms are wide-ranging, including depression, irritability, suicidal thoughts and loss of confidence. The condition can be debilitating, disrupting school, social and work life.

Related: Why is premenstrual syndrome still so badly understood? | Hannah Ewens

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Matt Haig on Christmas: ‘It was an anchor at the bottom of the year. It fixed my childhood in place’

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

The festive period can feel overly sentimental and commercialised, but it also serves as a beacon of hope and joy. Plus: Jenni Murray, John Cooper Clarke, Katherine Jenkins and others on what Christmas means to them

People tend to be snobby about Christmas, and they tend to be particularly snobby about the cultural things it produces: the overly commercialised songs, movies and TV ads. The excess and sentimentality of it, the inclusive, populist spirit, seem designed to bring out the Ebenezer Scrooge in even the most uncommitted of cultural snobs.

I will never join them. Yes, I know Christmas can be a pain. When I was suffering from serious depression, the whole season became a tormenting joke, my own misery highlighted by the contrast with the jollity of my surroundings. But Christmas was also one of the things that helped get me out of that depression. It helped as a marker of progress, since it was always easier to remember Christmases in a way that you can’t remember, say, Octobers.

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Teenage deaths: NSW suicide rate at 19-year high as road deaths decline

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Report finds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have mortality rate 2.3 times higher than non-Indigenous

The teenage suicide rate in New South Wales has jumped to its highest point in 19 years.

At the same time, deaths from road accidents – which used to be the leading killer for 15-17 year olds – has been gradually declining, according to figures in the NSW Child Death Review Team’s 2015 report.

Related: The suicide rate in Australia is a humanitarian crisis that we can no longer ignore | Gerry Georgatos

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Justin Young, Olly Alexander and more pick their songs of hope

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

From punk’s cathartic power to the raw vulnerability of a folk icon – artists involved in Calm’s Torch Songs, a campaign celebrating the music that uplifts us, share their most empowering tracks

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My colleague’s suicide showed how vulnerable medical professionals can be

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

I knew afterwards that my days working as a nurse in the emergency department were numbered

I stood in front of the ambulance bay door. My badge clutched in my hand, knuckles white, jaw clenched. I questioned my attempt at returning to work on this day. I stood in front of the doors grappling with a burning feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew then, right there, that my career in the emergency department was over.

A quiet swollen presence of pain ran down every corridor. The night before, we lost a colleague to suicide. Some of us found the body. Some of us carried out the post mortem care. Some of us stood there as family filed in to the room. Some of us made the calls alerting fellow staff. Some of us, all of us, changed forever that night.

Related: By the end of my first year as a doctor, I was ready to kill myself

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Forget drugs and booze: stars use therapists to cope with stress

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Scathing reviews, stage fright and bullying peers lead to anxiety and depression among many performers

The music industry has always basked in a reputation for hedonism and self-destruction. Stress has traditionally been dealt with by indulging in sex, drugs and alcohol, or possibly the defenestration of a television.

Now, one of the UK industry’s biggest marketing companies believes a new approach is needed. Quite Great Music PR, which has promoted Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, The Doors, Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey among others, is to start offering its clients access to a psychotherapist amid concerns about the mental health of musicians.

Related: Adele: ‘I’d be happy never to tour again’

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Yoga joins Unesco world heritage list

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

Mind-body discipline is added to intangible cultural heritage list along with Cuba’s rumba and Peruvian scissors dance

Yoga, the mind-body discipline based on ancient Indian philosophy and now practised all over the world, has joined Unesco’s list of intangible world heritage.

It was added to the prestigious list in recognition of its influence on Indian society, from health and medicine to education and the arts, the world heritage committee said in a statement.

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