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Tag Archives: Mental Health

A ‘smart’ way to spot schizophrenia signs – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34656921

From their website;

Most people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia recognise warning signs that they are getting unwell – for example poor sleep or increased anxiety.

Intervening early can prevent a full-blown psychotic episode. … prompt assistance could avoid months of distress.

I’ll be trialling a smartphone app called ExPRESS. The aim is to help people track their own warning signs of relapse. It asks them a series of personalised questions every week and sends this information securely to their care team. If warning signs increase above a critical level, the patient and their team take action to prevent relapse.


Basic symptoms

  • Being hypersensitive to sounds
  • Straight things appear crooked, and shapes can be distorted
  • Increased indecisiveness about small things
  • Difficulty multitasking
  • Problems understanding or thinking of common words
  • A feeling of disconnection
  • Micropsia or macropsia – things seeming bigger or smaller than they actually are

Sertraline, an Anti-Depressant, May Change Brain Structures Differently in Depressed and Non-Depressed Individuals

Very interesting animal study.

From their own website;

Antidepressants are usually prescribed for individuals suffering from depression, which work by changing one or more of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are one such anti-depressant medication and inhibit the reabsorption of serotonin, thereby increasing the levels of this neurotransmitter. The shift in serotonin levels enables the brain cells to transmit messages better, and as a consequence, improve mood… Since Sertraline is prescribed for both depression and non-mood disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, hot flashes, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the current study was conducted to throw light on the effect of Sertraline on the brains of depressed, as well as non-depressed subjects… The results show:
In depressed monkeys, Sertraline increased the volume of the anterior cingulate cortex in the brain (the anterior cingulate cortex is involved in memory, cognition, learning, modulation of emotional behavior, spatial navigation, etc.).
Sertraline decreased the volume of the anterior cingulate cortex, as well as the hippocampus in non-depressed subjects (The hippocampal region is associated with memory and learning).


Handling Acute Stress – an HBR primer

A Simple Yet Powerful Way to Handle a Stress Episode https://hbr.org/2015/08/a-simple-yet-powerful-way-to-handle-a-stress-episode

This short essay starts with a familiar scenario and reminds us of a useful pair of definitions before an acronym to aside mindfulness.

(1) Acute vs Chronic Stress.
(2) Threat  vs Challenge.
(3) RAIN
Recognition: Consciously take notice of what is occurring in your body and mind. For example, “My mouth feels dry and there is a pit in my stomach. I feel like an idiot.”

Acceptance: Acknowledge that the stress response is present and allow it to be here. This doesn’t mean that you’re happy about it, but giving up the effort to resist it is, paradoxically, the quickest way to help it subside.

Investigation: Ask yourself calmly what thoughts and emotions are present, what stories you are telling yourself. Following this technique, the candidate might have answered, “I can’t believe I sound so lame. I’m afraid that I will lose this opportunity, that I will not be admitted to business school, that I will feel like a failure in front of my family and friends, and that I won’t have a successful career.”

Non-identification: Having recognized, accepted, and explored the implications of your stress symptoms, the final step is to realize that although you are experiencing them, they do not define you. “I am having the thought that I may feel like a failure” is very different from and much more manageable than “I am a failure.”

ADHD Self-Administered Questionairre

Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS v1.1) for ADHD – MDCalc

Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS v1.1) for ADHD Screens for presence of adult ADHD.



The ASRS is presented in an abbreviated form above and this short set of 6/18 questions can be considered as a quick screening tool.


The full ASRS consists of 18 questions is and is accepted under the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) as being a valid tool. a positive result on the full ASRS is not diagnostic of ADHD but indicates that an appointment with a Doctor is needed.