January 16, 2009

Mental Health

High caffeine intake linked to hallucinations
Irish Health (Thu, 15 Jan 2009)
People who consume high amounts of caffeine may have a greater tendency to hallucinate, the results of a new study indicate. Researchers at Durham University in the UK found that those with a higher caffeine intake, from sources such as coffee, tea and caffeinated energy drinks, were more likely to report hallucinatory experiences, such as hearing voices and seeing things that were not there.

Helping teenagers work it out
Irish Times (Tue 13 Jan 2009)
A new mental health promotion programme is being rolled out in secondary schools in Dublin. Sylvia Thompson reports.

Why work is good for you
Financial Times (Sat 10 Jan 09)
Getting out of bed on a January morning can be tough. It’s cold outside, it’s warm under the duvet and you’re tired after another late night. The very last thing you feel ready for is work. But we should ignore any negative messages our mind and body mischievously send us about having a lie-in – because work is good for us. Indeed, it matters to us far more than we might think.

Misbehaving teens have more probs later
Irish Health (Fri 9 Jan 09)
Teenagers who misbehave at school are more likely to have health and social problems throughout their adults lives, the results of a new study indicate. Canadian researchers examined the health and social problems of UK adults who had displayed mild and severe behavioural problems as adolescents. The participants were aged between 13 and 15 at the start of the study and were followed for up to 40 years.

Mental Illness

Schizophrenia and bipolar link
Financial Times (Fri, 16 Jan 2009)
A long-standing debate in psychiatry – whether schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are genetically distinct diseases or manifestations of a common process – is settled today by a huge Swedish family study, published in the Lancet. The answer is that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression) share a common genetic cause.

Mental Health Service

Psychiatric admissions up after 20-year fall
Irish Examiner (Thu, 15 Jan 2009)
Admissions to psychiatric units and hospitals have increased for the first time since 1986, according to the Health Research Board (HRB).  The figures from the HRB's annual report also show that people who were divorced had the highest rate of all admissions, and agricultural workers had the highest rate of first-time admissions.

Call for more investment in CBT
Irish Times (Tue 13 Jan 2009)
The need for increased resources to be invested in the training of cognitive behavioural therapists (CBTs) is essential for the proper treatment of anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in Irish patients.  This is according to consultant psychiatrist and director of the anxiety programme at St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin, Dr Michael McDonough, who says that treatment with CBT provides the best long-term results for OCD patients.

500 calls made to HSE helpline that targets farmers and rural dwellers
Irish Examiner (Tue 13 Jan 2009)
A total of 500 calls were made between January and November last year to a Health Service Executive helpline targeted specifically at farmers and people who live in rural areas of Cork and Kerry.  The Farm and Rural Stress Helpline is aimed at people who may be feeling down, suffering from stress or depression or those who are concerned about someone.

New service boosts the mental health supports for Galway youth
Galway City Tribune (Fri 9 Jan 2009)
A new service – the first of its kind for young people in Ireland – opened its doors in Galway city yesterday.  Jigsaw Galway is part of a national programme which aims to provide more accessible and responsive services to young people aged between 15 and 25 with emerging mental health problems.

Suicide Prevention

School bullying adds to suicidal tendencies in teenagers, warns expert
Irish Examiner (Thu, 15 Jan 2009)
The fall-out from bullying in schools is causing an increasing number of young people to self-harm and have suicidal tendencies, a psychologist has warned. Fermoy-based psycholo gist Patrick Maher, who has been working as a councillor for about 20 years, said he is seeing a marked-rise in the number of young pet>ple requiring counselling due to being bullied at school

Trials of old age increase risk of drug overdoses
Irish Independent Health & Living (Mon, 13 Jan 2009)
Retirement,  failing health and depression may be behind the significant number of over- 65s who are taking drug overdoses. A new study, which tracked reported poisonings among 575 people from their mid-60s onwards over three years, found as many as 37pc had taken deliberate over- doses.

Postnatal Depression

Overwhelmed by their bundles of joy
Irish Times (Tue, 13 Jan 2009)
More than 10 per cent of mothers experience postnatal depression – an illness with no known cause, writes SHEILA WAYMAN .