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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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Vagina Dispatches: what to know in the age of Donald Trump – video

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

The vagina my not be safe. President-elect Trump, who bragged of grabbing women ‘by the pussy’, could well put women’s reproductive rights back several decades, with threats to make birth control and abortions much less accessible. In the age of Trump, knowledge is power. Watch the latest trailer from Mona and Mae’s Vagina Dispatches series, and get informed

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Should women with PMS get free therapy on the NHS?

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

A leading medical society has suggested that sufferers of severe premenstrual syndrome should be offered free cognitive behavioural therapy. Framing it as a disorder is a political act

More than a million women who struggle with severe PMS should be offered free therapy, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It argues that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is more effective than antidepressants. Is this a breakthrough, or yet another way of pathologising femininity?

Four in 10 women report anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings and a dip in confidence in the days leading up to their period. Women, and their partners, often describe a Jekyll-and-Hyde type “me” and “not me” difference. This discourse stems, partly, from the media – women are often portrayed as being “out of control”, and at the mercy of their raging hormones.

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Hit snooze! How a better night’s sleep could save the UK £40bn

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

A new report says sleep deprivation costs British businesses dearly. So what tricks – from nap rooms to healthy canteen menus – can combat tiredness and boost productivity?

Did you sleep well last night? If you didn’t, are you aware of the consequences? Sure, you feel a bit foggy-brained, but there’s more to it than that. According to research by the thinktank Rand Europe, sleep deprivation costs the UK economy £40bn a year. In the US, the estimated cost of poor sleep is US$411bn.

But how can lack of sleep be quantified? “We built an economic model that simulates the real economies of those countries,” says Marco Hafner, the Rand report’s lead author. “Then we looked at three effects. One is mortality, because people who regularly sleep fewer than six hours a day have a 13% greater chance of dying at any point. That has a negative effect on the economy, because those people are then not in the workplace,” he says. Hang on, don’t they just get replaced? “Yes, but that can be costly, because new people are not as effective.”

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