The Shocking Truth: Severe Mental Illness & Life Expectancy

Allen Francis, Emeritus Professor at Duke University has just published an excellent blog entitled ‘Having a Severe Mental Illness Means Dying Young’ in the Huffington Post. Prof. Francis, who rather refreshingly pulls no punches throughout his article, writes this as his opening paragraph: People diagnosed with serious mental illness — schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe … More The Shocking Truth: Severe Mental Illness & Life Expectancy

Looking Back In Time: An Institutional Insight Into Mental Health

Well, I finally managed to find the time to watch a documentary film I’ve been meaning to watch for some time.  The oddly titled ‘Titicut Follies’ is a 1967 American documentary film directed by Frederick Wiseman.  Centred on the patient-inmates of Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane, a Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Titicut Follies is … More Looking Back In Time: An Institutional Insight Into Mental Health

Bipolar In North Korea: A Frightening Prospect?

Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in the developed world have access to a high standard of mental health care.  Yes, it’s not always perfect, and in some systems our financial situation may preclude access to the full range of available treatments.  But just imagine if you will, living in the Democratic … More Bipolar In North Korea: A Frightening Prospect?

The Value Of ‘Experts With Lived Experience’

Peer counselors, or ‘experts through lived experience’ can be very beneficial in the recovery and rehabilitation phase of mental illness.  Having access to someone who has quite literally ‘been there’ is invaluable, so much so that healthcare providers across the world are gradually waking up to their usefulness and placing them in key patient-focused positions. … More The Value Of ‘Experts With Lived Experience’

Exploring The Link Between Bipolar Disorder & Eating Disorders

I recently came across the very moving and informative US documentary on anorexia treatment entitled ‘Thin’.  Following the highs and lows of several women who were engaged in a desperate battle with a serious, but deeply misunderstood illness, made for difficult watching.  Many of these women were also fighting anxiety disorders and depression.  And so … More Exploring The Link Between Bipolar Disorder & Eating Disorders

Bipolar Disorder Treatment & Management: Looking To The Future

An interesting and informative short article entitled ‘Bipolar Disorder: At The Extremes‘ and published in the highly respected British medical journal ‘The Lancet‘ (Volume 381, Issue 9878, Page 1597, 11 May 2013) summarises three papers which discuss the complexities of future psychiatry. Nick Craddock and Pamela Sklar’s paper provides an detailed review of genetic research, focusing … More Bipolar Disorder Treatment & Management: Looking To The Future

Living With Bipolar Disorder: Advice For Caregivers

‘While you don’t want to overreact at every minor event, the duty of a caregiver is to protect a person from possibly harming themselves if their behavior is getting out of control’. This article, from healthline.com, provides some commonsense advice for caregivers as they navigate the choppy waters of bipolar disorder: http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/caregiver-calibrating-seriousness