Today’s categories are research, opinion and celebs. There’s a Financial Times op ed that I think e v e r y b o d y ought to read, I’ve commented within the post. I think it defines the pivotal problems of mental health globally and currently incredibly well. I have no idea why I filed it as research. *shrugs and wanders off*


This is what I call sensible research. ECT is the clear front runner in a race where the competitors are still just walking along. We need a sprint.

ECT Beats Drugs for Resistant Bipolar Disorder
However, remission rates were “modest” in both groups, highlighting the need for new and more effective treatment options for this “challenging clinical condition,” the authors, led by Helle K. Schoeyen, MD, PhD, Division of Psychiatry, Stavanger University Hospital, in Norway, note.

And we need more of this too; how can we get better meds unless ‘they’ understand the oldest one we already have? Described as probably the first of its kind, it’s also the kind of research you’d think would have been ongoing since 1970 ish, when lithium was approved for psych use.

Novel integrative genomic tool for interrogating lithium response in bipolar disorder
As a proof-of-concept study, we investigated lithium (Li) response in bipolar disorder (BD). BD is a severe mood disorder marked by cycles of mania and depression. Li is one of the most commonly prescribed and decidedly effective treatments for many patients (responders), although its mode of action is not yet fully understood, nor is it effective in every patient (non-responders).

And here’s a fascinatingly despairing look at the status quo. It’s very worth reading – analyses progress well, against the context of money and cooperation. If you only click one link in this post, make it this one.

Business and the brain: How some scientists hope to cure mental illness
Scientists compete, work in isolation and don’t share data. Pharmaceutical companies, which have all but abandoned mental illness because of costly clinical trials, have no new drugs in the pipeline. They also compete, don’t share data and duplicate research.

Another water-is-wet style academic wankpaper next.

Binge watching TV linked to depression and loneliness
A recent study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that the more lonely and depressed you are, the more likely you are to binge-watch.



Reactions to the fuckwit Tom Sullivan of some teeny show on the fucked Fox radio station have been interesting. Some predictable ones, of course, and some more fascinating, particularly this one by Leonard Pitts Jnr. And please note, the project didn’t receive financial help. Big pharma still sucks troll haemorrhoids.

Science deniers are a growing menace
“I am now the most miserable man living,” the depressed man wrote. “If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth.”

Luckily for him, Abraham Lincoln did not write those words to Tom Sullivan. Sullivan, a Fox “News” Radio host, hasn’t much patience for claims of mental disability.

Here’s another quote I liked very much.

Bipolar disorder, once known as manic depression, is one of the oldest diagnoses in psychiatry. It was first described in 1854 by French doctors Jules Baillarger (who dubbed it “la folie à double forme” or “dual form insanity”) and Jean-Pierre Falret, (who called it “folie circulaire,” or “circular insanity”). Both described it as an affliction characterized by moods that cycled wildly between mountain highs and oceanic lows. So bipolar disorder is hardly a fad.

I prefer circulair to double, circle gives more of a spectrum and less binary.

Grassroots advocacy here from Canadian musician Jamie Greer
Greer posted his photo to Facebook with the message, “this is the face of someone who battles mental illness everyday.”
He invited others suffering with mental illness to come public using the hashtag #‎iamafaceofmentalillness‬. Here is the hashtag use on FB.

Rethinking diagnoses of mental disorders
Mental illness may not differ from other medical conditions in this regard. High blood pressure can occur during numerous illnesses, or even as a normal physiological response to stress. But no one would argue that hypertension isn’t also a “real” medical diagnosis in itself, among individuals meeting certain criteria. Similarly, painkillers can bring effective relief without correcting whatever biological abnormality necessitates their use.
Letters in response to the NY Times’ Redefining Mental Illness

Britain’s NHS never fails to fail
FURTHER concerns have been raised after about an NHS bed shortage after a mental health patient was transported 250 miles to Cornwall for specialist care.

Last time I lived in the UK it took me six months to see a social worker who would assess me to see if I needed a psychiatrist. .



Mary Lambert on using her music to talk about mental illness
“I think it’s really important to de-stigmatize mental illness in any form,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of people that are carrying around guilt and shame and baggage for sh*t that doesn’t matter. Everybody is going through something, everybody has had something that they’ve had to overcome.”

I’m going to google and see whether she’s said anything more ‘stigma busting’ in her music than “I’ve got bipolar disorder, my shit’s not in order” – how is that stigma busting anyway? Okay yes, she’s admitting to it, but she’s also implying .. eh blah blah it’s a sweet pop song and by now the direction that my rants take is predictable enough not to do it again right now.

Kareena Kapoor’s next film
According to the director, the film explores section 84 of the Indian Penal Code, which states that a person of an unsound mind can be deemed not guilty of criminal acts. The film will reportedly go on floors this April.

And remember that Bollywood is bigger than Hollywood. Nollywood (Nigeria) just makes more films. Digressing even further, here is a fun list of more Hollywood inspired nicknames.

Canadian celebrities retweeting mental health video made by Lambton College students​
Members of the college’s chapter released the video – a moving reenactment of a student reaching out for help – on the eve of Bell Let’s Talk Day last week.


In brief

5 real ways to combat stigma – individual and immediate-community based ideas.
Yale students demand mental health reform – we could all do with some of that.
Regional Psychiatric Centre could face eviction under Saskatchewan laws – protest against solitary confinement for mentally ill prisoners.
Deaths of four medical trainees raises questions about study intensity – Australia. Prevalence of stress, depression and suicide in the medical profession.

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