Alcohol use disorders and mortality in Nordic countries

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Andrew Jones appraises a recent study of mortality and life expectancy of people with alcohol use disorders in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, which provides some useful insight into the impact of hazardous alcohol use.

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Does depression make us lethargic, or does lack of exercise make us depressed?

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Helge Hasselmann highlights a new cohort study in JAMA Psychiatry, which finds a bidirectional relationship between physical activity and depressive symptoms; strengthening the case for exercise as a recommended intervention for people with mild depression.

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Bipolar disorder, suicide and criminality

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Elena Marcus summarises a double case-cohort study, which investigates the risk of suicide and criminal behaviours in people with bipolar disorder and their siblings, compared with the general population.

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Breastfeeding and postpartum depression

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Clinical Psychologist Sarah McDonald writes her debut blog on a recent cohort study of breastfeeding and postpartum depression, which concludes that the effect of breastfeeding on maternal depression is extremely heterogeneous.

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Prenatal SSRI exposure and autism risk: a dilemma for mums-to-be with depression

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Amy Green summarises a population-based study of young children which looks at prenatal exposure to SSRI antidepressants and the social responsiveness symptoms of autism.

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Mental disorders after critical illness: depression, PTSD and functional disability in survivors of intensive care

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The BRAIN-ICU prospective cohort study published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine looks at mental health outcomes and functional disabilities in a general ICU population. It explores the hypothesis that depressive symptoms after discharge are more often somatic (i.e. bodily complaints) than cognitive-affective (i.e. thought-related and mood-related complaints).

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Lifetime risk of treated mental disorders

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This new study concludes that approximately one-third of the Danish population will receive treatment in secondary care for a mental disorder across their lifetime. Should we be talking about 1 in 3, rather than 1 in 4?

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Preventing serious adverse outcomes in schizophrenia

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People diagnosed with schizophrenia are 7.4 times more likely to be convicted of violent offences, 8.1 times more likely to die prematurely, and 20.7 times more likely to kill themselves.

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Antipsychotics and mood stabilisers may reduce violent crime

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John Baker reports on the first population based report of the positive effects of antipsychotic medication and mood stabilisers on reducing the risk of a conviction for violent crime, published in the Lancet in May.

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Childhood nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking and psychotic experiences

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I was a terrible sleeper as a child. I remember lying awake on one particular occasion because I had read a book about space and thought that the sun might swallow up the earth. I was intrigued then, when I was asked to review a paper for the Mental Elf about parasomnias and childhood psychotic [read the full story...]