Mental Health Matters - Volume 1, Issue 2, 2014
Volume 1, Issue 2, 2014
Author Dan J. SteinSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 1 –2 (2014)More Less
What is the state of psychiatry and mental health in South Africa - how far have we come, and what remains to be done? What is the role of an organization like the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), and of a journal like "Mental Health Matters"? I'm delighted to have the opportunity to share some thoughts on these questions in this editorial for "Mental Health Matters". I want to argue here that the development of consumer advocacy for psychiatry, with a focus on mental health literacy, has the potential to be a major breakthrough for the field. A local journal aimed at primary care practitioners, and edited by one of the world's largest mental health consumer organizations, is a clear example of the enormous value that consumer advocacy can bring to the field.
Source: Mental Health Matters 1 (2014)More Less
On the 7th September 2014 the 7th annual "Into the Light" Suicide Remembrance and Awareness Walk will be taking place. People will congregate at Durban View Park, Marine Drive Umhlanga from 8:30 and the walk usually ends by 10.30 am. This is a short walk along the beautiful promenade (paved and wheelchair accessible) to the Lighthouse where the release of balloons (with messages to their loved ones) are released in remembrance of loved ones lost to suicide. Everyone in the community are encouraged to walk with us to help create awareness for the cause.
Author Sheldon ZilesnickSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 7 –10 (2014)More Less
The terms Bipolar Mood Disorder, Bipolar Affective Disorder, and Manic Depressive Disorder are all interchangeable terms referring to the same condition. Manic depressive disorder was the older name for the condition, although some people mistakenly presume it to be more sever condition than Bipolar Disorder.
The essential nature of bipolar disorder is the fluctuation of abnormally high moods (mania or hypomania) and abnormally low moods (depression) there are two main types of bipolar - bipolar 1 and Bipolar II - which are essentially distinguished by the severity of the highs and the duration of the episodes.
Author Liane LurieSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 13 –16 (2014)More Less
Eating disorders in adolescents remain some of the most challenging and severe conditions to treat. Associated psychopathology includes high levels of anxiety and depression, low self esteem, maladaptive personality traits, distorted perceptions of body weight and shape as well as interpersonal and familial difficulties. The eating disordered behaviour can also be reinforcing in that it serves as a coping mechanism for developmental transitions such as fear of maturity or distressing life events. The patient may also use the eating behaviours to maintain control. In Anorexia Nervosa physical health is also compromised due to malnutrition. The physical complications of Bulimia Nervosa include hypokalimia, esophageal tears, gastric disturbances, dehydration, cardiac arrhythmias and (like Anorexia Nervosa) death. However such patients are not easily frightened by potential medical complications, which can lead to a number of treatment sabotaging behaviours. Hence the importance of working within a multidisciplinary team (psychiatrist, GP, psychologist, dietician) from the outset of treatment cannot be stressed enough.
Author Nkini PhashaSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 19 –21 (2014)More Less
One of the main roadblocks to recovery for men who suffer from depression is our social tendency to stigmatize mental illnesses.
Many people, particularly men, living with mental illness are often dealt a double blow. On the one hand, they struggle with the debilitating symptoms of the disease and on the other, they are challenged by the stereotypes about typical "real man's" behaviour. As a result of both, men with mental illness are robbed of the opportunities to access treatment needed, and thereby regain a good quality of life.
Author Frans A. KorbSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 23 –25 (2014)More Less
Since the discovery of Methylphenidate (Ritalin) in the late 1950's ADHD had been considered a childhood disorder and treated as such. With advanced research in recent years it has been recognized that ADHD symptoms can persist into adulthood. Consequently, some adults have found that coping with everyday life is considerably difficult and experience much personal suffering - like unstable relationships, poor work or school / university performance, and low self-esteem.
Author Matthew WatkinSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 27 –30 (2014)More Less
The past 15 years has seen an exponential rise in the interest in mindfulness. This has occurred in a number of different contexts, but nowhere more so than in mental health. One major driving force of this interest has come from the development of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for preventing relapse in depression - backed by rigorous theoretical foundation and compelling empirical research demonstrating its efficacy. Currently, there are six randomised clinical trials (n=593) which show that MBCT is associated with a 44% reduction in in relapse risk compared to usual care in patients with three or more previous episodes of depression. This article will explore and explain what mindfulness is; how it is relevant to preventing relapse in depression; and how relapse prevention is taught in the MBCT programme.
Author Neil AmooreSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 33 –37 (2014)More Less
While much attention is focused on the prevalence of alcohol, cannabis and other illicit drug use in South Africa, the non-medical use (NMU) of over the counter (OTC) and prescription medications (PRE) remains a blind-spot for researchers and clinicians alike.
Often regarded as relatively safe in comparison to illicit drugs both OTC and PRE medications are the focus of increasing abuse worldwide, and thus appear to have dropped off the radar screens of many of the healthcare professionals who may unwittingly be faced with it on an almost daily basis.
Opioid dependence has been flagged as a substantial contributor to the global burden of disease, with the authors of that article pointing to the increased incidence in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 40 –41 (2014)More Less
Although suicide has historically been more prevalent among older people, suicide among youth, especially between the ages of 15-19 years, has been increasing at an alarming rate in recent years. According to Prof Laurens Schelbusch of the Univerity of KwaZulu Natal), suicidology expert, South Africa, 9.5% of all non-natural deaths in young people are due to suicide, and 1 in every 5 young people have attempted suicide. The most significant contributor to suicide is an untreated mental illness, and although suicide is in itself not a disease, mental disorders is a major factor associated with suicide. This is particularly alarming since the majority of youth with a mental health disorder do not receive the treatment they require, and less than 1% of mental hospital beds are for children and adolescents. The psychological and social impact of suicide on the family and society is immeasurable. On average, single suicide intimately affects at least six other people.
Author Rykie LiebenbergSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 44 –46 (2014)More Less
We know that depression is twice as common in women of child-bearing age as it is in men. The ratio is two to one, and this holds true across all ethnic and socio-economic divides. It is believed that pregnancy, and childbirth in particular, is probably the most potent trigger that could lead to a mood episode in a woman vulnerable to depression. Pregnancy and childbirth have enormous psychological, physiological and endocrine effect on a woman's body and mind.
Author Dessy TzonevaSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 47 –50 (2014)More Less
When it comes to hospitalisation, it's not often that we think of it as needed for our mental health, but rather for supporting and restoring our physical wellbeing. Patients are also generally far more accepting of the necessity for a medical procedure than they are of a psychiatric or psychological intervention. "There's a lot of stigma and fear surrounding psychiatric hospitals, because of they way they have been portrayed," says PsychMatters clinical psychologist, Sheethal Behari. All of this makes it more complicated to determine when a mentally ill patient needs in-hospital care and how to go about ensuring they receive the kind of treatment necessary.
Author Zane WilsonSource: Mental Health Matters 1, pp 51 –52 (2014)More Less
Mental illness is often perceived as something that happens to someone else. Until it happens to you... I founded the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) 20 years ago from my home after suffering for more than 10 years from crippling, undiagnosed Panic Disorder. As a Director and entrepreneur, working 15 hours a day, meeting targets, and managing staff was the norm. Pressure was what I thrived on - I always had.