Does group CBT treatment reduce social anxiety disorder? Possibly, perhaps, maybe not!

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Social Anxiety Disorder used to be called Social Phobia and is generally regarded as the most prevalent form of common anxiety disorder. Estimates of lifetime prevalence vary but according to a US study, 12% of adults in the US will have social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives (Kessler et al, 2005). According [read the full story...]

Psychological treatment may be useful in reducing depression and anxiety in people with dementia, says new Cochrane review

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Depression and anxiety are both common conditions in patients with dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), with some studies finding around 30% of patients show at least some depressive symptoms (Enache et al, 2011). Similarly, a study on vascular dementia found around 70% of participants had two or more symptoms of anxiety (Ballard et al, 2000). [read the full story...]

Quitting smoking is associated with decreased anxiety, depression and stress, says new systematic review

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It is well known that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world (WHO, 2011). However, the associations between smoking and mental health are less well established. Smokers often want to quit, but the belief that cigarettes can be used to regulate mood can often deter them, and this is especially true [read the full story...]

Adults with mental illness have lower rate of decline in smoking

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It’s well known that individuals with mental illness smoke nearly twice as much as those without a psychiatric disorder (Gfroerer et al, 2013; Lasser et al, 2000), and are more addicted to nicotine, smoke more cigarettes per day, and find it more difficult to quit (Lasser et al, 2000). However, studies have shown that  individuals [read the full story...]

Meditation programmes may improve anxiety, depression and pain but better quality research is needed, says systematic review

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There’s little doubt about it – meditation is in vogue. In fairness, it probably always has been. However, clinical and research interest in the effects of meditation programmes on psychological wellbeing has grown considerably in recent years. The development of mindfulness-based interventions has no doubt driven much of this interest. For example, running a PubMed keyword [read the full story...]

Psychiatric illnesses and some chronic physical illnesses are associated with an increased risk of self-harm and suicide

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Last month, the Department of Health published the ‘Closing the Gap’ report, which highlighted the importance of better integration of physical and mental health care at every level. The report specifically flagged up the need for frontline services to respond better to people who self-harm, and cited statistics that emphasise the cyclical nature of the [read the full story...]

Systematic review identifies key parenting factors associated with adolescent depression and anxiety

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Parenting is a tough gig. As a mum of three, I can honestly say that nothing in my everyday professional life comes close to the trials and tribulations of guiding small people through toddlerhood and beyond. Parenting advice comes thick and fast from all corners, most of it unsolicited, some of it anecdotal, much of [read the full story...]

Expert review suggests that school-based depression and anxiety prevention programmes are effective in the short term

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It is estimated that 20% of children up to the age of 18 will have suffered an emotional disorder of depression or anxiety (Costello et al., 2003). These two mental health conditions commonly occur together and can significantly influence daily functioning, relationships and education in this age group. Effective and evidence-based psychological treatments have been [read the full story...]

Cochrane review finds ‘solid’ evidence for CBT for anxiety in young people, but lacks evidence for long-term benefits

Anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, panic disorder and phobias, are common and affect between 5 – 19% of all children and adolescents (Costello, 2004; as cited in James et al, 2013, pg. 6).  Anxiety problems in childhood or adolescence can disrupt social and educational life, and may persist into adulthood. [read the full story...]

#MindfulnessMonday Mindfulness-based stress reduction can alleviate stress and improve quality of life and mental health

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This month in the woodland (and the Twittersphere) we’ve given you #MindfulnessMonday. It’s been our attempt to highlight some of the potential benefits that mindfulness can have on our mental well-being in a variety of different health conditions including breast cancer, depression and anxiety, and psychosis. This last #MindfulnessMonday blog examines the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress [read the full story...]