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Psychiatrists have Started the Process of Mapping Genetic Architecture of Mental Disorders

Research Paper Title

Psychiatrists begin to map genetic architecture of mental disorders.

Background

Mental illness affects one in six US adults, but scientists’ sense of the underlying biology of most psychiatric disorders remains nebulous.

That is frustrating for physicians treating the diseases, who must make diagnoses based on symptoms that may only appear sporadically.

Now, a large-scale analysis of postmortem brains is revealing distinctive molecular traces in people with mental illness.

An international team of researchers reports that five major psychiatric disorders have often overlapping patterns of gene activity, which furthermore vary in disease-specific – and sometimes counterintuitive – ways.

The findings, they say, might someday lead to diagnostic tests, and one has already inspired a clinical trial of a new way to treat overactive brain cells in autism.

Reference

Dengler, R. (2020) Psychiatrists begin to map genetic architecture of mental disorders. Neuroscience. 359(6376), pp.619. DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6376.619

Book: Developing Resilience: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach

Book Title:

Developing Resilience: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach.

Author(s): Michael Neenan.

Year: 2017.

Edition: Second (2nd).

Publisher: Routledge.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Some individuals emerge from grim experiences stronger in mind and spirit than others who suffered the same ordeal. In this updated and revised edition, Michael Neenan focuses on the meanings we attach to life’s adversities in order to understand how we respond to them. This is why different people can react to the same adverse event in a variety of ways such as fighting back or crumbling. Different meanings of what constitutes resilience are also discussed and the author takes issue with the simplistic view of it as bouncing back from adversity which suggests the absence of struggle and emotional pain as well as underestimating how long the process of self-righting can sometimes take.

Developing Resilience shows how people can find constructive ways of dealing with hard times by using the ideas and techniques of cognitive behavioural therapy as well as drawing on the viewpoints and experiences of other writers presented here. This book provides useful guidance and advice on topics including:

  • Managing negative emotions in difficult times.
  • Using an assets and liabilities model to understand resilient behaviour.
  • Distinguishing between what’s within and outside of your control.
  • Identifying and changing attitudes that undermine resilience building.
  • Developing self-belief.
  • Increasing your level of frustration tolerance.
  • Maintaining a resilient outlook.

This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in learning more about resilience as well as for mental health professionals, coaches and therapists looking for guidance in helping their clients to cope better with adversity.

Book: Mental and behavioural state examination: Theory into Practice – A Nurse’s Perspective on Psychiatric Assessment

Book Title:

Mental and behavioural state examination: Theory into Practice – A Nurse’s Perspective on Psychiatric Assessment.

Author(s): Tim Whittard.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1st), Illustrated Edition.

Publisher: The Choir Press.

Type(s): Paperback.

Synopsis:

The ability to carry out assessments of mental and behavioural state is a useful and required skill for those who work within the healthcare industry, as well as in other professions where there is a routine requirement to work with vulnerable members of the public; this includes nurses and therapists of all specialties and backgrounds, midwives, care assistants, doctors, social workers, school teachers and emergency services, including paramedics and police officers (among numerous other professional groups).

This book attempts to break down each aspect of the assessment using psychiatric terminology, definitions and examples in order to provide the reader with a comprehensive guide in how to carry out mental and behavioural state examinations (MBSEs) which is both detailed and concise.

It is an essential handbook for those novices and more experienced clinicians alike, who wish to have a concise directory of some of the basic and core theoretical principles which underpin the process of non-medical psychiatric assessment in the 21st century.

Book: The Empire of Depression: A New History

Book Title:

The Empire of Depression: A New History.

Author(s): Jonathan Sadowsky.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Polity.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Depression has colonised the world. Today, more than 300 million of us have been diagnosed as depressed. But 150 years ago, “depression” referred to a mood, not a sickness.

Does that mean people were not sick before, only sad? Of course not. Mental illness is a complex thing, part biological, part social, its definition dependent on time and place. But in the mid-twentieth century, even as European empires were crumbling, new Western clinical models and treatments for mental health spread across the world. In so doing, “depression” began to displace older ideas like “melancholia,” the Japanese “utsushō,” or the Punjabi “sinking heart” syndrome.

Award-winning historian Jonathan Sadowsky tells this global story, chronicling the path-breaking work of psychiatrists and pharmacists, and the intimate sufferings of patients. Revealing the continuity of human distress across time and place, he shows us how different cultures have experienced intense mental anguish, and how they have tried to alleviate it.

He reaches an unflinching conclusion: the devastating effects of depression are real. A number of treatments do reduce suffering, but a permanent cure remains elusive. Throughout the history of depression, there have been overzealous promoters of particular approaches, but history shows us that there is no single way to get better that works for everyone. Like successful psychotherapy, history can liberate us from the negative patterns of the past.

Book: Lucy’s Blue Day

Book Title:

Lucy’s Blue Day: Children’s Mental Health Book.

Author(s): Christopher Duke (Author) and Federica Bartolini (Illustrator).

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Independently Published.

Type(s): Paperback.

Synopsis:

Lucy is a very special little girl with magical hair.

It changes colour with her emotions. If she is feeling happy, it is purple. If she is jealous, it will turn green.

This charming story is the tale of when Lucy wakes up and her hair is blue, and she does not understand why.

She soon learns that it is #OKNotToBeOK

Book: Man Down: A Guide for Men on Mental Health

Book Title:

Man Down: A Guide for Men on Mental Health.

Author(s): Charlie Hoare.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Vie.

Type(s): Paperback, Audiobook, and Kindle.

Synopsis:

How often do you put on a ‘coping’ front, when in reality you are troubled with insecurities and anxieties?

Do you find it difficult to open up about how you’re feeling?

You might be surprised to learn that you are not alone, and that many men find it challenging to talk about their worries.

From tips on how to reach out, to advice on navigating mental health issues, this volume is full of guidance on how to look out for your well-being. Topics covered include:

  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Stress.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Dealing with traditional gender expectations.
  • Self-care and mindfulness methods.
  • How to open up and communicate.
  • Where to seek help.

With personal experiences and insights, this book will improve your awareness of mental health, offer tools and techniques to enable you to manage it better, and help you to live a happier, healthier life.

On This Day … 26 November

People (Births)

  • 1895 – Bill W., American activist, co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous (d. 1971).
  • 1936 – Margaret Boden, English computer scientist and psychologist.

People (Deaths)

  • 1987 – J. P. Guilford, American psychologist and academic (b. 1897).

Bill W

William Griffith Wilson (26 November 1895 to 24 January 1971), also known as Bill Wilson or Bill W., was the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

AA is an international mutual aid fellowship with about 2 million members worldwide belonging to approximately 10,000 groups, associations, organizations, cooperatives, and fellowships of alcoholics helping other alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety.

Following AA’s Twelfth Tradition of anonymity, Wilson is commonly known as “Bill W.” or “Bill.” In order to communicate among one another, members of “AA” will often ask those who appear to be suffering or having a relapse from alcoholism if they are “friends of Bill”. Although this question can be confusing, because “Bill” is a common name, it does provide a means of establishing a rapport with those who are familiar with the saying and in need of help. After Wilson’s death in 1971, and amidst much controversy within the fellowship, his full name was included in obituaries by journalists who were unaware of the significance of maintaining anonymity within the organisation.

Wilson’s sobriety from alcohol, which he maintained until his death, began 11 December 1934. In 1955 Wilson turned over control of AA to a board of trustees. Wilson died of emphysema complicated by pneumonia in 1971. In 1999 Time listed him as “Bill W.: The Healer” in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.

Margaret Boden

Margaret Ann Boden, OBE, ScD, FBA (born 26 November 1936) is a Research Professor of Cognitive Science in the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex, where her work embraces the fields of artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, and cognitive and computer science.

Boden was appointed lecturer in philosophy at the University of Birmingham in 1959. She became a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University from 1962 to 1964, then returned to Birmingham for a year before moving to a lectureship in philosophy and psychology at Sussex University in 1965, where she was later appointed as Reader then Professor in 1980. She was awarded a PhD in social psychology (specialism: cognitive studies) by Harvard in 1968.

She credits reading “Plans and the Structure of Behaviour” by George A. Miller with giving her the realisation that computer programming approaches could be applied to the whole of psychology.

Boden became Dean of the School of Social Sciences in 1985. Two years later she became the founding Dean of the University of Sussex’s School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences (COGS), precursor of the university’s current Department of Informatics. Since 1997 she has been a Research Professor of Cognitive Science in the Department of Informatics, where her work encompasses the fields of artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, and cognitive and computer science.

Boden became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1983 and served as its vice-president from 1989 to 1991.[9] Boden is a member of the editorial board for The Rutherford Journal.

In 2001 Boden was awarded an OBE for her services in the field of cognitive science. The same year she was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Sussex. She also received an honorary degree from the University of Bristol. A PhD Scholarship that is awarded annually by the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex was named in her honour.

J.P. Guildford

Joy Paul Guilford (07 March 1897 to 26 November 1987) was an American psychologist best remembered for his psychometric study of human intelligence, including the distinction between convergent and divergent production.

Developing the views of L.L. Thurstone, Guilford rejected Charles Spearman’s view that intelligence could be characterised in a single numerical parameter. He proposed that three dimensions were necessary for accurate description: operations, content, and products. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Guilford as the 27th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Do Brain “Globalopathies” Cause Mental Disorders?

Research Paper Title

Brain “Globalopathies” Cause Mental Disorders.

Background

“Consciousness” “mood,” “identity” and “personality” are all emergent properties from whole-brain organisations; these are typically disturbed in psychiatric disorders.

This work proposes that the underlying etiopathology of mental disorders originates from disturbances to global brain dynamics, or “Globalopathies” that are divided into three major interdependent types:

  1. “Resting-State Networkpathies,” in personality disorders;
  2. “Entropiathies” in mood disorders; and
  3. “Connectopathies” in psychosis and schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

Novel approaches of processing signals from the brain are beginning to reveal brain organization in health and disease. For example a “small world network” has been described for optimal brain functions and breakdown of that organisation might underlie relevant psychiatric manifestations.

A novel diagnostic reformulation can be generated based on pathologies of whole brain organisations, such new brain related diagnostic nosology is testable and thus can be validated.

Once validated Globalopathies can provide for “Global-therapies” i.e., interventions that can reorganise the brain and cure psychiatric disorders.

The technology for such interventions is becoming available.

Reference

Peled, A. (2020) Brain “Globalopathies” cause mental disorders. Medical Hypotheses. 81(6), pp.1046-1055. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.09.032. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Book: Wellbeing at Work: How to Design, Implement and Evaluate an Effective Strategy

Book Title:

Wellbeing at Work: How to Design, Implement and Evaluate an Effective Strategy.

Author(s): Ian Hesketh and Cary Cooper.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Kogan Page.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Stress at work is rising year on year, long hours are becoming the norm and presenteeism is increasing across all industries. This is not only having a detrimental effect on employee health, happiness and productivity, but is also impacting the bottom line. HR professionals are uniquely placed to manage this modern workplace crisis by implementing a wellbeing strategy.

Wellbeing at Work is an essential, practical guide to designing and implementing an effective strategy that will reduce employee anxiety, increase staff engagement and improve overall performance.

Written by leading experts in the field, Wellbeing at Work takes readers through the entire process, from explaining why a wellbeing strategy is necessary in a fast-changing world of work and technological transformation to building momentum around it, and monitoring, measuring and evaluating its impact. The book also identifies common pitfalls and problems, and how to avoid them, explores important legislative considerations and provides example exercises and tools to use throughout the process.

Full of advice, tips and insights from real-world case studies, this is the only book you will need to create a happier, more productive and more profitable organisation

Book: Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing

Book Title:

Mental Wealth: An Essential Guide to Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Author(s): Emi Golding and Peter Diaz.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Mental Wealth reveals an approach to workplace mental health and wellbeing that is proven to actually get results.

Despite having a huge impact on the productivity, profitability, and culture of organizations, there is very little guidance currently provided to managers and leaders on how to effectively manage workplace mental health and wellbeing. What does exist is often focused on the legal aspects of minimizing risk that it misses the psychology of workplace mental health and high performance and actually ends up creating risk for workplaces.

Mental Wealth is a guide for managers and leaders on how to manage employees who may be experiencing mental health issues in the workplace. Founders of the Workplace Mental Health Institute, Peter Diaz and Emi Golding, provide an essential foundation for addressing workplace mental health. Some of the essential foundations discussed include dispelling myths about workplace mental health, the factors that cause and contribute to mental health issues, the impact those factors are having on workplaces, the benefits of addressing mental health appropriately, and 7 Pillars for a mentally Wealthy Workplace. Mental Wealth also includes case studies and practical strategies that can be implemented for immediate results.