Right at the beginning of Jerome K Jerome's masterpiece "Three men in a boat," the hero picks up a medical dictionary and discovers that he has the symptoms of every disease mentioned with the exception of housemaid's knee. The prescription he is given surprises him. After beer, steak, exercise and early bedtimes, it ends with the words "and don't stuff up your head with things you don't understand."
For many, these fears don't evaporate when they finish treatment. We spoke to post-cancer patients and found that nearly a third (30%*) felt under pressure to 'bounce back' more quickly that they would have liked after treatment. For more than a quarter (28%) the expected 'euphoria' of being given the 'all clear' was actually replaced by the fact they simply felt 'emotionally drained'.
As atmospheric carbon levels reach seemingly implacable heights, the degree to which sustainable solutions must be implemented follows suit. And yet, little headway has been made on this critical issue, at least according to recent forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which released its Fifth Assessment Report earlier this year.
When I'm depressed it's really pronounced - I can go from ok to dangerously low to barely contained anger in a matter of hours. When I'm well, my mood tends to follow those around me - if I'm with people who are in good form, I'm in good form. If there's stress or angst around me, I take it on. As Therapist described it today, I'm a chameleon when it comes to mood.
Dyslexia is characterised by difficultly reading, phonological (auditory) encoding problems, poor processing speed and the inability to use language skills effectively. It's also a reading disorder. Recent Professors from Durham and Yale University have suggested that Dyslexia is a Myth, that dyslexia should be abandoned as it lacks scientific clarity and educational value.
It's easy to point the finger at GPs for not picking up on the signs but are they really to blame? Currently, doctors have no training on eating disorders as part of their seven-year degree. They have approximately 10 minutes - if that - with each patient and hardly sufficient to investigate a patient presenting the symptoms.
The CEOs of the world's biggest chemical and agribusiness companies recently petitioned the Presidents of the EU Commission, Parliament and Council to downgrade the Precautionary Principle and focus instead on a new 'Innovation Principle'. On what grounds? That taking an excessively precautionary approach to policy-making and regulation is holding Europe back in the cut-throat world of global competitiveness.
When I was a child, someone was only mad if they thought they were Napoleon or a teapot, and everyone else was 'normal'. Thankfully, things are a little more nuanced now, but how far from 'normal' do you have to get before you have a 'condition'? The answer seems to be: not very far at all. The latest edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published last month. It lists mental disorders and symptoms, and every edition is fatter than the last. Why is there this boom in new disorders?
It recently came to my attention that the best person to assess a client with mental health needs is in fact, the postman. Firstly, yes I have been taking my lithium. Now, think about it, the postman, if a regular to the same address, ticks the box that good psychiatry practices, but very often fails.
We all know about the insanity that Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath lived with, and we perhaps are guilty of believing their work is made more beautiful because of our knowledge of their suffering. However I tend to wonder if we overlook the integrity of such works in light of their illness, and how condescending this really is.