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Building on the growing body of work surrounding “magic mushrooms” that produce the psychoactive compound psilocybin, a new study suggests that just one dose of a synthetically-made version can help ease the worst symptoms of depression.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the findings from this randomized and double-blind clinical trial — which the study authors call “the largest of its kind” — are pretty, well, trippy.

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The synthetic psilocybin is called “COMP360” by its creator, Dr. Guy Goodwin, who serves as both as an Oxford University professor emeritus of psychiatry and as chief medical officer of COMPASS Pathways, which manufactures the compound, CNN notes in a writeup of the study.

“This drug can be extracted from magic mushrooms, but that is not the way our compound is generated,” Goodwin told CNN. “It’s synthesized in a purely chemical process to produce a crystalline form.”

While COMP360 is not the same thing as eating stems or crushed up mushrooms inside a large DIY pill capsule, its effects appear to be similar — including the post-trip afterglow, which the researchers described as being highest the day after taking the 25 milligram dosage.

Every participant in the 233-person study, which was conducted at 22 sites in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, had treatment-resistant depression, a diagnosis given when an individual doesn’t respond to two or more types of antidepressant medication. All who were on antidepressants were advised to taper off of their medicine prior to the trial because these medications can counteract the benefits of psychedelics, though they were able to go back on them if necessary, CNN noted.

Depression levels in the participants were measured just before their “trips” and then at various points in the days and weeks after. The results were striking: the researchers found that overall, 37 percent of the trial patients experienced an improvement in symptoms and 29 percent were even “in remission” three weeks after the study.

“The maximum effect (was) seen the day after receiving the treatment,” Dr. Anthony Cleare, a psychopharmacology professor at King’s College London who was not involved in the study, told CNN. “This contrasts with standard antidepressants, which take several weeks to reach maximum effect.”

Something unfortunate seemed to happen around 12 weeks after the treatment, however: those who experienced an easing of their depression symptoms said it began to return.

“The effects did start to wear off by three months, and we need to know how best to prevent the depression returning,” Cleare said.

As Dr. Ravi Das, an associate professor of educational psychology at University College London who was also not involved in the study told CNN, “this is not a spectacular response rate for a psychiatric treatment… and we would only expect this to worsen over a longer follow-up period.”

There’s obviously much more research that needs to be done to determine the dosage and frequency of these sorts of treatments — which both boosters and detractors admitted in CNN‘s interviews — to figure out how to fine-tune it as an alternative form of depression treatment and mitigate the classic psilocybin side effects, which include nausea and dizziness.

Nevertheless, this large, first-of-its-kind study has huge implications for the power of psychedelic mental health treatment, and the backing of storied institutions like Oxford and the NEJM to boot.

More on psychedelics: Elon Musk Has Reportedly Been Telling Friends About Benefits of Shrooms and MDMA

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What changes? Scrolling through feedback on WordPress and I noticed I had missed out on this link referring to Michael Comyn KC, Judge, Senator, Geologist et al and also my grandfather…it lifted my spirits this halloween. Recommend other stories of the Four Courts also.

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Sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland

Stories of the Four Courts

Not Putting a Ring on it, 1937

From the Irish Examiner, 26 November 1937:




At Wexford Circuit Court, before Judge Comyn KC, William McC, Wexford, appealed against the decision of the District Court Justice at Wexford, sentencing him to a month’s imprisonment on a charge of larceny by finding of a gold ring the property of Mrs K Delaney, Gardiner’s Row, Dublin.

Mrs Delaney swore that on August 22nd, 1937, she was playing golf at the Rosslare Links and lost her ring.  Some time after she returned to Dublin a Civic Guard called with a ring which she understood was her ring.  It fitted her but she had no proof that the ring was hers.  She believed it was her ring.

When the witness gave this evidence late on Tuesday night the ring was not in court, and when the case was taken up in the morning she was not present.  Mr Kelly, State Solicitor, said that as Mrs Delaney had not gone so far as to identify the ring, the State could not prove ownership, and they could not go on with the case.

The Judge – Apparently she has been thinking about it and she thought perhaps she had sworn too much.  There was no blame to be attached to her.

Mr Kelly said nothing remained except for him to present the ring to Mr Esmonde, TD, who appeared for William McC.

Mr Esmonde said the State had adopted a wise and proper course in withdrawing the case.  The defendant had an absolute and perfect defence to the charge, and had brought from England a girl who had given him the ring.  She was not present in the District Court.

Mr Esmonde applied for the return of the ring to the defendant.  The State solicitor had no objection, he understood.

The Judge – I would like to see the lady that gave a wedding ring to a man (laughter).


Miss Bessie M was sworn and stated that she is employed in England and had been brought over for this case.  The ring belonged to her mother who is dead.  She was wearing the ring when home at her aunt’s last year, and she gave it to William McC, the defendant.  Rumours got about that she was married and she was showing him the ring and he took it from her finger and kept it.  She was 21 years of age.  She had been at service in Dublin and Waterford before she went to England.

William McC was sworn and said Bessie M gave him the ring at Lady’s Island.

The Judge – Was there any witness of the ceremony? (laughter)

Witness said he was 26 years of age.

The Judge – Have you any notion of getting married?

Witness – No, sir.

What do you mean by walking out with a girl of 21 if you don’t intend to marry her?

Witness – I don’t know.

Of course I don’t want you to commit yourself if you don’t know what you meant (laughter).  Did she ever ask you what were your intentions?

Witness – No.


Do you think she was moving towards that when the matter of the ring came up? (laughter).  You must have been slow about giving her a ring when she gave you one (laughter).  How did the Guards discover you had the ring?

Witness – I gave it to another girl in Rosslare.

You got it from Miss M and gave it to another girl.  Are you married yet?

Witness – No sir.

You had great adventures as a bachelor, getting a wedding ring from a fine little girl of 21 because you were too slow about a proposal, and you gave it to another girl you are not married to (laughter) What do you say to that?

Witness – I don’t know what to say?

Well, Mr Esmonde has conducted your case with great courage and success, and you have got free from going to jail, but don’t you think you have great courage to come here and claim the ring?

Witness – I don’t know.

I think I would stick to Miss Murphy if I were you and make a proposal.  I think I will give you back the ring; it just fits her finger (laughter).

Later in the evening the judge said he would not give defendant the ring because he did not seem to be able to make proper use of it (laughter).  He directed that it be sent to Mrs Delaney in Dublin.

Technically speaking, Mr Esmonde was quite right – his client should have got the ring back! Did Judge Comyn decide not to give it back because of doubts about Bessie M’s story – or because he believed her story, felt sorry for her, and wasn’t going to give her mother’s ring back to Mr McC to be passed onto to another girl? Possibly the former – because otherwise why not just give it back to Bessie M herself?

As you can see from the above story, many judges enjoy putting their former cross-examination skills to use on witnesses! The advocacy skills of the Comyn family were unsurpassed – the legal careers of Judge Comyn and his nephew James, yet another Irishman who became an English High Court Judge, make fascinating reading!

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Our Conscious Experience of the World Is But a Memory, Says New Theory. Source: Singularity Hub (Shelly Fan). Personally memory deficits and one dimension resulting from TBI … this makes sense. Living in the now sums it up; it takes hard work to have enough to say in a conversation, gossip and small talk is eroded when memory deficits apply.

Our Conscious Experience of the World Is But a Memory, Says New Theory

By Shelly Fan

October 25, 2022

consciousness brain silhouette man light shadow

Sitting on the Marine Atlantic ferry, I’m watching the Newfoundland skyline disappear on the horizon as I type away. I see the rocking of the ocean waves, inhale its salty breeze, feel and hear the buzz of the ship’s rumbling engine. I try to focus on writing this sentence, but my eyes hopefully scan the ocean for a rogue, splashing whale.

According to a new paper in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, these sights, smells, and glances are mere memories, even as I feel that they’re happening in real time. A team from Boston laid out a new theory of consciousness that inextricably ties it to memory.

In a nutshell: at its core, consciousness evolved as a memory system. It helps us remember the events of our lives—the whens, wheres, whats, and whos—which in turn can help us creatively and flexibly recombine them to predict or imagine alternative possibilities.

It gets more mind-bending. Rather than perceiving the world in real time, we’re actually experiencing a memory of that perception. That is, our unconscious minds filter and process the world under the hood, and often make split-second decisions. When we become aware of those perceptions and decisions—that is, once they’ve risen to the level of consciousness—we’re actually experiencing “memories of those unconscious decisions and actions,” the authors explained.

In other words, it’s mainly the unconscious mind at the wheel.

Thanks to the massively parallel computing power in biological neural networks—or neural circuits—much of the brain’s processing of our surroundings and internal feelings happens without our awareness. Consciousness, in turn, acts as a part of our memory to help tie events together into a coherent, serial narrative that flows with time—rather than snippets from a disjointed dream.

“Our theory is that consciousness developed as a memory system that is used by our unconscious brain to help us flexibly and creatively imagine the future and plan accordingly,” said author Dr. Andrew Budson. “We don’t perceive the world, make decisions, or perform actions directly. Instead, we do all these things unconsciously and then—about half a second later—consciously remember doing them.”

For now, the theory is just that—a theory. But viewing consciousness through the lens of a memory system could provide new clues to brain disorders, such as stroke, epilepsy, dementia, and others that impair memory or consciousness. The theory also raises questions about animal, AI, and mini-brain consciousness, helping neuroscientists further probe how the conscious and unconscious brain work together every second of our lives.

How Am I Aware?

Consciousness has tickled the brains of our greatest thinkers for thousands of years. Why did it develop? What is it good for? How did it emerge? And why is dampening urges (like that second serving of incredibly crispy off-the-boat fish and chips) so hard to resist?

And what exactly is consciousness?

It’s a bit bewildering that we don’t yet have a settled definition. Broadly speaking, consciousness is a personal experience of the world, including our own existence. Mainly conceived of back in the 1890s, this broad sketch of the concept leaves plenty of room for multiple theories.

Two ideas rule in neuroscience, with global efforts to battle it out through carefully designed experiments. One is the global neuronal workspace theory (GNWT), which posits that the brain integrates information from multiple sources into a single data “sketch” on a “global workspace.” This workspace, having knowledge of only items in our attention, forms a conscious experience.

In contrast, the other mainstream theory, Integrated Information Theory (IIT), takes a more connective view. Here, consciousness arises from the neural architecture and interconnectedness of brain networks. The physical and data processing properties of neural networks—particularly, the rear regions of the brain—by themselves can generate consciousness.

Other theories dig deep into the complex web of neural connections, suggesting that information loops between brain regions, extended in time and space, generate consciousness. Some suggest that an awareness of “self” is critical to being conscious of the outside world.

Yup, it’s a zoo of theories out there.

A Dash of Memory

The new theory took inspiration from previous ideas and experimental data, coming to a surprising conclusion: that consciousness evolved as part of memory—in fact, it is the process of remembering.

Scientists have long linked consciousness to episodic memory, a “journal” of our lives encoded by the hippocampus. Intuitively it makes sense: what we consciously experience is essential for forming “life” memories, which associates different aspects of an event in time. But here, the authors argue that consciousness works hand in hand with the brain’s memory networks, together forming a “conscious memory system” that gives rise to consciousness.

The team began with a troubling thought: that conscious perception is incredibly slow, and often fools us. Take various auditory or visual illusions—the dress, anyone?—it’s clear that our conscious perception is influenced by far more than reality itself. So why do we value consciousness as a way to perceive, interpret, and interact with the world?

The answer, suggest the authors, is memory. Consciousness may have evolved together with memory so we can remember. Say you’re walking around a familiar neighborhood and hear a bark. In milliseconds, the bark zaps to our working memory—a mental “sketchpad” to process data. There, it acts as a cue to retrieve a previous memory of the same bark, and the face of an overzealous puppy eager to nip ankles. Upon remembering, you quickly cross the street.

Here, consciousness is absolutely integral for the entire sequence. Hearing the bark—that is, consciously perceiving it—draws memories to consciously remember. The brain then imagines what could happen (another nip?), causing you to dash away. Without the conscious perception of the bark, we wouldn’t link it to potential danger or make an effort to circumvent it.

Ok, so what?

The crux, the authors explain, is that consciousness, as a critical part of memory, can help to flexibly and creatively combine memory to plan future actions. Or in their words, “there is no reason that consciousness needs to operate in real time.”

This means that rather than experiencing the world in real time, we may be perceiving our surroundings and internal thoughts as “memories”—like seeing a night sky full of stars that may no longer, in reality, be there. It further allows us to project into the future or reach into the depths of creativity and imagination, sketching new worlds based on memory, but with new ways of combining those elements.

The brain is famous for its parallel processing capabilities, and much of that happens under the hood. A consciousness memory system makes sense of disjointed unconscious information, time-stamping each bit so that the recollections roll like a movie.

“Even our thoughts are not generally under our conscious control. This lack of control is why we may have difficulty stopping a stream of thoughts running through our head as we’re trying to go to sleep, and also why mindfulness is hard,” said Dr. Budson.

By reframing consciousness as part of memory, the team hopes the theory can help patients with neurological disorders. People with stroke that affects the cortex or surrounding neural highways often have an impaired ability to use memories to solve problems or plan for the future. Those with dementia, migraines, or epilepsy similarly have disturbances that cause disruptions in consciousness and memory, with the two often linked.

The authors are well aware that they’re stepping into controversial grounds. “Many—perhaps even most—of the hypotheses that we are proposing may turn out to be incorrect,” they wrote. Even so, testing the theory experimentally can “bring us closer to understanding the fundamental nature and anatomical basis of consciousness.”

Image Credit: Greyson Joralemon / Unsplash

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Burt Bacharach opens up about daughter’s suicide. Recently I heard someone say that suicide in a family is like a landmine, it leaves schrapnel everywhere. The impact is generational. Denial is one side of the coin; but the other is non diagnosis and lack of provision of proper mental health treatment for children especially. ADHD is diagnosed but by many mis-understood. Wisdom as one gets older can lead you to self-diagnosis ADHD; Autism Spectrum, Body Dysmorphia, anxiety and many of the neuro-typical outcomes via bibliotherapy and curiosity. It is important for people to listen to their elders who have experience. This article is raw honesty but it helps others to be aware of mental illness and the horrors of suicide. Being outside the box needs understanding. Too many people will tell you, if only they had known! Burt Bacharach reminds me so much of the casette in my dad’s car in the 1960’s, 1970’s. I loved his music then, as my dad did and now. I had never known about his daughter until today. I was just going to play some of Burt Bacharach’s music for a sense of calm. Written: USA Today Life … 22nd May 2013

Burt Bacharach opens up about daughter’s suicide


NEW YORK (AP) — Burt Bacharach knew writing a memoir would be emotional — not because of his never-heard backstage tales or his tumultuous marriages. He knew that being honest would force him to come to terms with the death of his daughter.

“It was very tough because I had to revisit what that period was and go deeper into it,” he said of his daughter Nikki’s premature birth, years of emotional issues, and eventual suicide at the age of 40.

The 84-year-old award-winning music composer of such classics as I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, the Oscar-winning Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, and The Carpenters’ (They Long to Be) Close to You, understood that baring his deep, dark secrets was essential to his recently released autobiography, Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music (Harper).

The idea for a memoir came long before Nikki’s death in 2007. Bacharach had Nikki with former wife Angie Dickinson, best known for her role on the ’70s TV drama Police Woman.

“(Nikki) was one pound, 10 ounces at birth, you should know the deck is stacked against you then,” Bacharach said.

According to Bacharach, she grew up with emotional issues, which he later found out was an undiagnosed case of Asperger’s syndrome (the autism-spectrum disorder is a relatively new diagnosis).

“Nobody said she’s got Asperger’s or she’s got autism. (They said) she’s just got behavior things,” he said.

But after suffering for so long, he never imagined she would actually kill herself.

“It’s like the boy who cried wolf. Somebody who says, ‘I can’t stand it. The helicopters are making too much noise and the gardeners and the blowers are making too much noise and if they don’t stop I’m going to kill myself,’ ” he said, his voice cracking. “And you hear that enough and you know it’s never gonna happen and then one day she just goes and kills herself.”

She committed suicide in her southern California apartment.

“When she did kill herself she did it alone, Textbook 101. Bag over her head. Alone. Kind of brave I guess for somebody who (was) scared of so many things and (she) left a note to me.”

He later realized that the signs were always there, but thought that the strong relationship she had with her mother would prevent it from ever happening.

“They had a very connected, symbiotic relationship,” he said, adding, “We all did everything we could. I did what I thought would be the right thing and it wasn’t the right thing and I was just trying to get her better.”

Bacharach was referring to the painful decision to send her away to a special school. He feels he made the decision because Nikki was not properly diagnosed. Because Nikki spent some time away from her mother, he feels she always held that against him.

“There was always that resentment that I kind of imprisoned her and the last thing in the world you know,” he said. “I wish somebody would have just said, you’re not going to heal her, let her be.”

Asperger’s syndrome is a pervasive developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. People with Asperger’s often have high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lack social skills.

With his family struggles hidden from the world, Bacharach continued to make great music.

“I was always able to alleviate the noise, some of the noise with what was going on with Nikki becoming a Sikh, or whatever, because I would go to my music. … It was during that time I scored What’s New Pussycat, I scored the first Casino Royale. I would get engrossed in my music because there’s no other way for me.”

And while he continues to make music (he has an upcoming project for a musical with Elvis Costello), Bacharach is still haunted by Nikki’s death. When they discovered the body, Nikki had left him a note.

“I know exactly what’s in the note. I never read the note. I never will,” Bacharach said as his voice cracked. “There is no need to read it. I already know what she said.”


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Mental illness: A ghost in a shell. The European Sting (Political)

Mental illness: A ghost in a shell

October 21, 2022 by The Sting’s TeamLeave a Comment

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Sadia Khalid, early-stage researcher (ESRs) at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), Estonia. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

In an aspect of today’s slowing economy, the public health and socioeconomic challenges brought forward by Covid-19 make mental health promotion and prevention topics more critical than ever.

1 in 10 of us (and 1 in 5 young people) experience mental health challenges at any given time. More than 100 million in the WHO European Region experience mental illness struggles in silence. Even in higher resource countries, the coverage for common mental health conditions is less than 30% and sadly the coverage is less than 5% in less-resourced nations. Every year 800,000 deaths happen due to suicide globally (140,000 in EURO); suicide is the second leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults.In 2022 if we still think of mental illnesses as an invisible threat then we might be inconsiderate, ignorant, and fooling ourselves. The signs and symptoms of mental illness often set in even before we know it. Even when identified early the concerns get labelled as a phase and are discouraged to take it seriously.

We all need healthy psychological strength and good mental health to flourish in current global challenges. And if you talk about mental health promotion to foster individual competencies and strengthen community assets to prevent it, we understand most countries are ill-equipped to prevent and manage it well.Here we will propose a few strategies and principles to enhance the well-being and quality of life of people and communities. We will discuss a few existing policies, and what we can learn and take from the actions of others.

As sad as it may sound, half of all mental health conditions start at 14 years of age. Mental health difficulties account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in youth 10–19 years (World Health Organization, 2020). WHO establishes a clear and concise overarching aim to improve the well-being of the population and reduce the burden of mental disorders, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups, exposure to determinants, and risk behaviours.

Youth mental health support and services highly vary across sociocultural contexts. We see in Europe an increasing number availability of tools and resources for national suicide prevention and mental health protection strategies been developed and modest resources available for effective strategic planning and implementation. But in less-resourced countries with limited specialists and representative literature, it is important to capture the perspectives of youth with lived experiences of mental illness such as anxiety and depression for planning needs-led interventions and services. Youth with lived experience of mental illness should be involved in service planning, implementation, and monitoring through surveys and interviews that focus on their experience while accessing mental health care services. This approach will reduce power imbalances and enable spaces for youth to be heard. As youth is often marginalized or excluded from service planning and implementation in several countries. (1) Secondary and high schools should introduce special programs where students with mental health difficulties can learn their potential role as future advocates of mental health promotion. Youth can greatly benefit from shared experiences, discussions and awareness that may offer relatable therapeutic engagement and processes, in contrast with professionals who focus on outcomes and service delivery. It is important to capture their shared lived experiences of support across different sociocultural contexts and systems. This will offer a pseudo-multi-modal intervention that potentially addresses the needs of youth across their socioecology and is positioned within a stepped care model.

Mental health awareness and integration of interventions with social support are essential, especially in disadvantaged communities where there is limited access to structural support. Understanding that mental health support can be extended beyond specialist services to family and community networks, schools, religious groups, and social activities is crucial in health promotion as these valuable resources have been found to provide greater accessibility and acceptability, trust, and family engagement.

It’s never too late to introduce an opportunity for Health promotion and suicide prevention fellowship to health care and public health workers. This fellowship should incorporate a mix of experiential learning, reflective practice and group activities, mandatory neuropsychology, and public policy research work with the aim of progressing the next generation of mental health sector leadership. It will be ideal to encourage neuropathologists, neuroscientists, geneticists, behaviour scientists, psychiatrists, public health workers/scientists, policymakers in this respective field, and psychologists to consider a one-year fellowship in mental health promotion and suicide prevention as it will benefit everyone involved. Communication sciences training, which is an important aspect of any fellowship or a research degree in this case, should include a young audience from high school and medical school to attract youth into this profession.

Strategically vital approaches to mental health promotion and protection would be a life course approach, an equitable, rights-based, and person-centred person, an evidence-based approach, and a multi- based approach.

It is important to develop policies where respecting the rights of people with mental health problems is pivotal and offering these people equitable opportunities to attain the highest quality of life and addressing stigma and discrimination must be a priority. Every citizen accessing the mental health system deserves to receive safe care and has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. This calls for the abolishment of the use of restrictive practices such as seclusion and restraint that affect consumers’ right to dignity, therefore it is essential to monitor the frequency of restrictive practices over time as they can provide an indication of the performance of mental health services. Surveys that allow anyone to access mental health services can help mental health services and consumers work together to build better services, by identifying areas where consumers believe improvements can be made. Currently, carers lack a way to contribute to the ongoing improvement of mental health services easily and routinely. In-depth discussions should also be carried out with health care providers about how they think the system could be improved. These inquiries are valuable for identifying and understanding deficiencies in the mental health system. They also provide a unique opportunity for action, and it is critical that governments use the recommendations of these inquiries as the basis for system improvements. Mental health care facilities should make sure to establish accessible, safe, and effective services that meet people’s mental, physical, and social needs and the expectations of people with mental health problems and their families.

The National Mental Health Commission of respective countries should regularly meet with representatives across the full breadth of the mental health sector. They must listen to the experiences of consumers and carers, and understand the significant challenges faced by service providers in mental health. So, when there is an action to bring forward reforms in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, they feel confident in their policies and activities in suicide prevention, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme that it will certainly lead to significant improvements in the mental health system. Although system reform takes time, working together as a team as all these governing bodies and service providers strive towards ensuring that mental health and wellbeing should be a primary focus of all governments, allowing all citizens to lead contributing lives.

A well-coordinated, multisectoral strategy based on good evidence, anchored in human rights, and integrated with other priority programs provides the foundation for enhanced mental health promotion and protection. Innovation and the use of new technologies is a key to accelerating the process of accessing / effective coverage of evidence-based care. Open and easily accessible information is central to raising mental health literacy, as well as monitoring performance and tracking progress towards agreed mental health system goals.

The current focus on mental health and suicide prevention in the world marks a significant turning point in our history. There is an increased awareness of the impacts of mental health and suicide – not only from a health and well-being perspective but also from a social and economic one. There is also a sense of urgency to improve mental health and reduce suicide. I believe we are heading in the right direction.


P. Vostanis, F.Ruby, J. Jacob, Ş. Eruyar, E. Mironga Getanda, S. Haffejee, M. Krishna, J. Edbrooke-Childs,
Youth and professional perspectives of mental health resources across eight countries,Children and Youth Services Review,Volume 136,
2022,106439,ISSN 0190-7409, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106439

Further reading:



About the author

Sadia Khalid, early-stage researcher (ESRs) at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), Estonia. She has been working on her PhD research project “The role of Helicobacter pylori intestinal microbiota in the development of liver diseases. under supervision of Dr. Pirjo Spuul at Faculty of Science, Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology.,TalTech. Previously, she has worked as a research specialist in the institute of biomedicine and translational medicine, University of Tartu (UT), Estonia. She obtained her MD in emergency medicine in 2017 from the Dalian Medical university, China and MBChB in 2013 from the Weifang Medical university, China. Her current research interests include infectious diseases, bacteriology, hepatology, and gastroenterology.

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Mental Illness and rehabilitation in Ireland.


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‘Toxic culture’ of abuse at mental health hospital revealed by BBC secret filming. (Questions need to be raised. Could this happen in Ireland?) Quote: “Dr Van Velsen said the members of staff acted “like a gang, not a group of health care professionals”. “It’s against any policy I’ve ever seen about restraint in doing this,” she said.”

By Panorama team and Joseph Lee
BBC News

‘Toxic culture’ of abuse at mental health hospital revealed by BBC secret filming

By Panorama team and Joseph Lee
BBC News

  • Published10 hours ago 28th September 2022


https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.46.1/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

BBC Panorama goes undercover to film humiliation, verbal abuse and bullying at a psychiatric unit.

Humiliated, abused and isolated for weeks – patients were put at risk due to a “toxic culture” at one of the UK’s biggest mental health hospitals, BBC Panorama can reveal.

An undercover reporter at the Edenfield Centre filmed staff using restraint inappropriately and patients enduring long seclusions in small, bare rooms.

Staff swore at patients and were seen slapping or pinching them on occasion.

Hospital bosses said they have taken immediate action to protect patients.

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the medium secure unit, said it was taking the allegations “very seriously”.

A number of staff members have been suspended, and the trust said it was working with Greater Manchester Police, the independent healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission, and NHS England “to ensure the safety of these services”.

Greater Manchester Police said it has opened a criminal investigation.

The BBC’s undercover reporter, Alan Haslam, spent three months as a support worker inside the Edenfield Centre in Prestwich, near Manchester.

With capacity for more than 150 patients, it is intended to care for people held under the Mental Health Act who are at serious risk of harming themselves or others, including some patients from the criminal justice system.

Whistleblowers had made allegations about poor staff behaviour and patient safety at the hospital.

Wearing a hidden camera, the reporter saw:

  • Staff swearing at patients, taunting and mocking them in vulnerable situations – such as when they were undressing – and joking about their self-harm
  • Patients being unnecessarily restrained – according to experts who reviewed the footage – as well as being slapped or pinched by staff on some occasions
  • Some female staff acting in a sexualised way towards male patients
  • 10 patients being held in small seclusion rooms – designed for short-term isolation to prevent immediate harm – for days, weeks or even months, with only brief breaks
  • Patient observations, a crucial safety measure, being regularly missed and records falsified

Dr Cleo Van Velsen, a consultant psychiatrist, said the BBC’s footage showed a “toxic culture” among staff of “corruption, perversion, aggression, hostility, lack of boundaries”, which was undermining patient recovery.

Prof John Baker, an expert in mental health nursing at the University of Leeds, said: “It doesn’t feel safe. You’re quite clearly seeing toxic staff. There’s an awful lot of hostility towards patients across all of the wards, which is really concerning.”

Warning: This story contains repeated use of highly offensive language

Claire – not her real name – has a history of self-harm and was filmed being humiliated by a female support worker for needing help with going to the toilet.

The staff member complained to her face about “having to look at your arsehole where biohazard fucking waste comes out”.

In a sign that boundaries between patients and staff had broken down, on another occasion Claire sat on the lap of the same support worker, who said: “If you fart I will actually kill you.” The support worker then pulled aside the patient’s clothing and repeatedly slapped her bare skin.

A senior nurse was among those who watched, laughed and jeered as Claire was slapped. Most of the time nurses are in charge of the wards.

One nurse was filmed refusing to check on a crying patient named Olivia, who self-harms and has repeatedly tried to kill herself. The BBC is only identifying patients where they and their families have given consent.

Staff members laughed and joked that Olivia was “only crying” and “if she slit her throat you’d know it” because “she’d tell everybody about it”.

When talking to patients about their bodies, staff used demeaning language, often passing it off as a joke. But patients told the undercover reporter they felt bullied and dehumanised.

Harley being restrained in undercover filming at the Edenfield Centre
Image caption,Experts criticised the use of restraint on patients such as Harley, who gave her consent to be identified

Olivia said staff had called her a “fat cunt”, before claiming they had been joking. The 22-year-old’s mother said Olivia had in the past stopped eating and drinking because she believed she was overweight. “It’s not funny, it’s not a joke,” Olivia said.

Another time, when Claire was due for a weekly injection, she hid her head under a blanket. Support workers and the senior nurse with them did not try to persuade her to comply, but instead were filmed dragging her by the wrist from a chair and into a room down the corridor.

One of the support workers mocked Claire again as staff held her down on a bed and exposed her body for the needle, saying “as if we’d choose to see your arse” and calling her a “cheeky bitch” as she protested.

After giving the injection, the staff locked Claire in the room, telling her they would keep her there for an hour as they laughed at her through the glass in the door – before letting her out a few moments later.

Dr Van Velsen said the members of staff acted “like a gang, not a group of health care professionals”. “It’s against any policy I’ve ever seen about restraint in doing this,” she said.

The code of practice for mental health workers says restraint and other “restrictive interventions” should only be used to take control of dangerous situations and stop anyone being hurt – not for punishment.

But the BBC filmed one patient being restrained after hospital managers said she had been shouting and verbally abusive.

Harley, a 23-year-old autistic woman who was at Edenfield due to self-harm, was sitting on the floor when at least eight members of staff picked her up and dragged her away, screaming.

Harley was being restrained to take her back into seclusion, where she had already spent more than two weeks.

At one point a nurse was filmed saying staff wanted her kept in seclusion because they “need a break from her”.

Reviewing footage of the incident, Dr Van Velsen said: “You cannot deprive somebody of their liberties because staff are fed up of her.”

Undercover filming of Harley in the seclusion room, seen through the observation
Image caption,Some patients were held in tiny, empty seclusion rooms for weeks at a time

Patients are only supposed to be confined to one room and isolated from others for short periods when there is an “immediate necessity” because they are likely to harm other people. It should not be used as a punishment or threat, or because of staff shortages, guidelines say.

Staff told the BBC’s undercover reporter that Alice (not her real name), a patient who had attacked staff, had been in seclusion for more than a year.

Guidelines for psychiatric hospitals say they can keep patients segregated for long periods to protect others on the wards. But the hospital must have the approval of a team of experts, consult the patient’s family where possible and give the patient additional space, including access to an outside area.

Edenfield’s seclusion rooms are small, with a bed, shower and toilet, all of which can be observed by staff from an adjoining room. Some have mould, peeling paint, a smell of sewage and windows that don’t open.

During one 30-minute break from seclusion, Alice asked for her blanket and teddy bears, comforts which she had been allowed before her isolation began. A support worker refused, saying: “You’re lucky you’ve not got a straw fucking bed in there. I’d give you a straw bed like cows have to sleep on.”


Undercover Hospital: Patients at Risk

A Panorama undercover investigation has found evidence that a secure NHS psychiatric hospital is failing to protect some of its vulnerable patients.

Watch on BBC iPlayer (UK Only) or on BBC One at 21:00 on Wednesday 28 September.


On another occasion, staff were filmed trying to give Alice her anti-psychotic medication Clozapine twice, because of an apparent breakdown in communication.

Asked what would happen if she had too much of the drug, a nurse said: “She’d probably just die.”

While the majority of patients filmed being mistreated by staff were women who had been sectioned and had self-harmed, some patients held in Edenfield have been convicted of violent crimes.

Experts said staff showed a worrying lack of boundaries even with these patients.

One patient, a man serving a life sentence for murder, was filmed writhing on the floor and on a bed as a female support worker grappled with him and tickled him.

Afterwards, she said: “You get away with murder here, don’t we? Can you imagine if I got caught by bosses?”

Exterior view of the Edenfield Centre
Image caption,The secure unit is intended to care for people at risk of harming themselves and others

A different female support worker was filmed dancing up against another male patient.

“As well as making herself vulnerable she’s also increasing the vulnerability of the patients,” Dr Van Velsen said. “The one thing you should not do with patients is have a kind of sexualised relationship with them.”

Vulnerable female patients were also seen being mistreated by male staff. A male support worker taunted a woman with a history of self-harm as she undressed, saying he would turn his back because “I don’t want to be mentally scarred again”.

The support worker was also filmed pinching her twice, the second time while bending her arm backwards.

“It’s an assault,” said Dr Van Velsen when she viewed the footage.

Among the staff’s most important duties are patient observations, or “obs”. These are checks to ensure patients are safe, made every 15 minutes – or more frequently for patients at higher risk.

Records of the observations affect decisions about care and can show that patients were being properly looked after, in the event that they hurt themselves or anyone else.

Observations were frequently missed or carried out poorly. A nurse was filmed telling a support worker to falsify the records. “Here, sign some of these things, say you’ve done them,” he said.

He also asked the reporter to join in the falsification. “Want to pretend you were doing obs?” he asked.

Alan Haslam arriving at the Edenfield Centre
Image caption,The BBC’s Alan Haslam spent three months working as a healthcare support worker at Edenfield

Hospital employees complained of understaffing and burnout. Sometimes support workers were left on their own, with no nurse on the ward.

There was a shortage of nurses for adult secure wards on 58 occasions during one five-week period, according to records from the trust which runs Edenfield, seen by Panorama.

Prof Baker said there should never be a shift without a registered nurse on the ward, but added that recruitment problems in mental health care were “no excuse for the abuse we’ve been seeing in the footage”.


Information and support

If you are experiencing issues with mental health or self-harm, details of help and support are available here.


Seven members of staff were seen sleeping on shift by the BBC’s undercover reporter. One nurse went to sleep outside in the sun for about an hour while on duty, in full view of other staff and patients.

The BBC has reported the findings of its undercover investigation to hospital management and the Care Quality Commission.

Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust said senior doctors have undertaken clinical reviews of the patients affected and it had also commissioned an independent clinical review of services at the Edenfield Centre.

“We owe it to our patients, their families and carers, the public and our staff that these allegations are fully investigated to ensure we provide the best care, every day, for all the communities we serve,” the trust said.

The Care Quality Commission, which had previously rated the Edenfield centre as “good”, says that rating is “currently suspended” and it is “reviewing the information” provided by Panorama.

More on this story

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Merging: TBI+Mental Health+Mental Illness. Below is an interesting article from Quantum. Note reference to Tomas Ryan, Trinity College Dublin link in article.


A Good Memory or a Bad One? One Brain Molecule Decides.

When the brain encodes memories as positive or negative, one molecule determines which way they will go.

Read Later
A human figure in a brain landscape stands at a fork in a road. One way goes to pleasant surroundings, the other to an unpleasant place.
When memories are encoded as positive or negative experiences, the records are set up in different parts of the brain. Researchers are now learning what determines which way the information goes.Jason Lyon for Quanta Magazine

You’re on the vacation of a lifetime in Kenya, traversing the savanna on safari, with the tour guide pointing out elephants to your right and lions to your left. Years later, you walk into a florist’s shop in your hometown and smell something like the flowers on the jackalberry trees that dotted the landscape. When you close your eyes, the store disappears and you’re back in the Land Rover. Inhaling deeply, you smile at the happy memory.

Now let’s rewind. You’re on the vacation of a lifetime in Kenya, traversing the savanna on safari, with the tour guide pointing out elephants to your right and lions to your left. From the corner of your eye, you notice a rhino trailing the vehicle. Suddenly, it sprints toward you, and the tour guide is yelling to the driver to hit the gas. With your adrenaline spiking, you think, “This is how I am going to die.” Years later, when you walk into a florist’s shop, the sweet floral scent makes you shudder.

“Your brain is essentially associating the smell with positive or negative” feelings, said Hao Li, a postdoctoral researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California. Those feelings aren’t just linked to the memory; they are part of it: The brain assigns an emotional “valence” to information as it encodes it, locking in experiences as good or bad memories.

And now we know how the brain does it. As Li and his team reported recently in Nature, the difference between memories that conjure up a smile and those that elicit a shudder is established by a small peptide molecule known as neurotensin. They found that as the brain judges new experiences in the moment, neurons adjust their release of neurotensin, and that shift sends the incoming information down different neural pathways to be encoded as either positive or negative memories.

To be able to question whether to approach or to avoid a stimulus or an object, you have to know whether the thing is good or bad.

Hao Li, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

The discovery suggests that in its creation of memories, the brain may be biased toward remembering things fearfully — an evolutionary quirk that may have helped to keep our ancestors cautious.

The findings “give us significant insights into how we deal with conflicting emotions,” said Tomás Ryan, a neuroscientist at Trinity College Dublin who was not involved in the study. It “has really challenged my own thinking in how far we can push a molecular understanding of brain circuitry.”

It also opens opportunities to probe the biological underpinnings of anxiety, addiction and other neuropsychiatric conditions that may sometimes arise when breakdowns in the mechanism lead to “too much negative processing,” Li said. In theory, targeting the mechanism through novel drugs could be an avenue to treatment.

“This is really an extraordinary study” that will have a profound impact on psychiatric concepts about fear and anxiety, said Wen Li, an associate professor at Florida State University who studies the biology of anxiety disorders and was not involved in the study.

Dangerous Berries

Neuroscientists are still far from understanding exactly how our brains encode and remember memories — or forget them, for that matter. Valence assignment is nonetheless seen as an essential part of the process for forming emotionally charged memories.

The ability of the brain to record environmental cues and experiences as good or bad memories is critical for survival. If eating a berry makes us very sick, we instinctively avoid that berry and anything that looks like it thereafter. If eating a berry brings delicious satisfaction, we may seek out more. “To be able to question whether to approach or to avoid a stimulus or an object, you have to know whether the thing is good or bad,” Hao Li said.

Profile photo of researchers Kay Tye and Hao Li of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies smiling and standing back-to-back.
The neuroscientists Kay Tye and Hao Li, a postdoctoral researcher in her laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, identified a small peptide molecule, neurotensin, as the signal that determined whether memories were encoded as positive.Salk Institute

Memories that link disparate ideas — like “berry” and “sickness” or “enjoyment” — are called associative memories, and they are often emotionally charged. They form in a tiny almond-shaped region of the brain called the amygdala. Though traditionally known as the brain’s “fear center,” the amygdala responds to pleasure and other emotions as well.

One part of the amygdala, the basolateral complex, associates stimuli in the environment with positive or negative outcomes. But it was not clear how it does that until a few years ago, when a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology led by the neuroscientist Kay Tye discovered something remarkable happening in the basolateral amygdala of mice, which they reported in Nature in 2015 and in Neuron in 2016.

Tye and her team peered into the basolateral amygdala of mice learning to associate a sound with either sugar water or a mild electric shock and found that, in each case, connections to a different group of neurons strengthened. When the researchers later played the sound for the mice, the neurons that had been strengthened by the learned reward or punishment became more active, demonstrating their involvement in the associated memory.

It’s rare to find a one-to-one relationship between a signal and a behavior, or a circuit and a function.

Jeffrey Tasker, Tulane University

But Tye’s team couldn’t tell what was steering the information toward the right group of neurons. What acted as the switch operator?

Dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to be important in reward and punishment learning, was the obvious answer. But a 2019 study showed that although this “feel-good” molecule could encode emotion in memories, it couldn’t assign the emotion a positive or negative value.

So the team began looking at the genes expressed in the two areas where positive and negative memories were forming, and the results turned their attention to neuropeptides, small multifunctional proteins that can slowly and steadily strengthen synaptic connections between neurons. They found that one set of amygdala neurons had more receptors for neurotensin than the other.

This finding was encouraging because earlier work had shown that neurotensin, a meager molecule just 13 amino acids long, is involved in the processing of reward and punishment, including the fear response. Tye’s team set out to learn what would happen if they changed the amount of neurotensin in the brains of mice.

Tiny Molecule With a Big Personality

What followed were years of surgically and genetically manipulating mouse neurons and recording the behaviors that resulted. “By the time I finished my Ph.D., I had done at least 1,000 surgeries,” said Praneeth Namburi, an author on both of the papers and the leader of the 2015 one.

During that time, Tye moved her growing lab across the country from MIT to the Salk Institute. Namburi stayed at MIT — he now studies how dancers and athletes represent emotions in their movements — and Hao Li joined Tye’s lab as a postdoc, picking up Namburi’s notes. The project was stalled further by the pandemic, but Hao Li kept it going by requesting essential-personnel status and basically moving into the lab, sometimes even sleeping there. “I don’t know how he stayed so motivated,” Tye said.

: A photo of adjacent brain areas, one stained red, one stained green
Neurons from several regions of the brain’s thalamus extend axons into the amygdala, but researchers found that only the paraventricular nucleus region (green) dictates valence.Natsuko Hitora-Imamura

The researchers knew that the neurons in the amygdala did not make neurotensin, so they first had to figure out where the peptide was coming from. When they scanned the brain, they found neurons in the thalamus that produced a lot of neurotensin and poked their long axons into the amygdala.

Tye’s team then taught mice to associate a tone with either a treat or a shock. They found that neurotensin levels increased in the amygdala after reward learning and dropped after punishment learning. By genetically altering the mice’s thalamic neurons, they were able to control how and when the neurons released neurotensin. Activating the neurons that released neurotensin into the amygdala promoted reward learning, while knocking out the neurotensin genes strengthened punishment learning.

They also discovered that the assignment of valences to environmental cues promotes active behavioral responses to them. When the researchers prevented the amygdala from receiving information about positive or negative valence by knocking out the thalamic neurons, the mice were slower to collect rewards; in threatening situations, the mice froze rather than running away.

Researcher Praneeth Namburi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Praneeth Namburi, a neuroscience researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, performed many of the early surgeries that helped to determine where and how the valence of memories is established.Talis Reks

So what do these results suggest would happen if your valence-assignment system broke down — while an angry rhino was charging you, for example? “You would just only slightly care,” Tye said. Your indifference in the moment would be recorded in the memory. And if you found yourself in a similar situation later in life, your memory would not inspire you to try urgently to escape, she added.

However, the likelihood that an entire brain circuit would shut down is low, said Jeffrey Tasker, a professor in the brain institute at Tulane University. It’s more probable that mutations or other problems would simply prevent the mechanism from working well, instead of reversing the valence. “I would be hard-pressed to see a situation where somebody would mistake a charging tiger as a love approach,” he said.

Hao Li agreed and noted that the brain likely has fallback mechanisms that would kick in to reinforce rewards and punishments even if the primary valence system failed. This would be an interesting question to pursue in future work, he added.

One way to study defects in the valence system, Tasker noted, might be to examine the very rare people who don’t report feeling fear, even in situations routinely judged as terrifying. Various uncommon conditions and injuries can have this effect, such as Urbach-Wiethe syndrome, which can cause calcium deposits to form in the amygdala, dampening the fear response.

The Brain Is a Pessimist

The findings are “pretty big in terms of advancing our understanding and thinking of the fear circuit and the role of the amygdala,” Wen Li said. We are learning more about chemicals like neurotensin that are less well known than dopamine but play critical roles in the brain, she added.

The work points toward the possibility that the brain is pessimistic by default, Hao Li said. The brain has to make and release neurotensin to learn about rewards; learning about punishments takes less work.

Further evidence of this bias comes from the reaction of the mice when they were first put into learning situations. Before they knew whether the new associations would be positive or negative, the release of neurotensin from their thalamic neurons decreased. The researchers speculate that new stimuli are assigned a more negative valence automatically until their context is more certain and can redeem them.

“You’re more responsive to negative experiences versus positive experiences,” Hao Li said. If you almost get hit by a car, you’ll probably remember that for a very long time, but if you eat something delicious, that memory is likely to fade in a few days.

Ryan is more wary of extending such interpretations to humans. “We’re dealing with laboratory mice who are brought up in very, very impoverished environments and have very particular genetic backgrounds,” he said.

Still, he said, it would be interesting to determine in future experiments whether fear is the actual default state of the human brain — and if that varies for different species, or even for individuals with different life experiences and stress levels.

The findings are also a great example of how integrated the brain is, Wen Li said: The amygdala needs the thalamus, and the thalamus likely needs signals from elsewhere. It would be interesting to know which neurons in the brain are feeding signals to the thalamus, she said.

A recent study published in Nature Communications found that a single fear memory can be encoded in more than one region of the brain. Which circuits are involved probably depends on the memory. For example, neurotensin is probably less crucial for encoding memories that don’t have much emotion attached to them, such as the “declarative” memories that form when you learn vocabulary.

For Tasker, the clear-cut relationship that Tye’s study found between a single molecule, a function and a behavior was very impressive. “It’s rare to find a one-to-one relationship between a signal and a behavior, or a circuit and a function,” Tasker said.

Neuropsychiatric Targets

The crispness of the roles of neurotensin and the thalamic neurons in assigning valence might make them ideal targets for drugs aimed at treating neuropsychiatric disorders. In theory, if you can fix the valence assignment, you might be able to treat the disease, Hao Li said.

It’s not clear whether therapeutic drugs targeting neurotensin could change the valence of an already formed memory. But that’s the hope, Namburi said.

Pharmacologically, this won’t be easy. “Peptides are notoriously difficult to work with,” Tasker said, because they don’t cross the blood-brain barrier that insulates the brain against foreign materials and fluctuations in blood chemistry. But it’s not impossible, and developing targeted drugs is very much where the field is headed, he said.


  1. Scientists Watch a Memory Form in a Living Brain
  2. Neural Noise Shows the Uncertainty of Our Memories
  3. The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces

Our understanding of how the brain assigns valence still has important gaps. It’s not clear, for example, which receptors the neurotensin is binding to in amygdala neurons to flip the valence switch. “That will bother me until it is filled,” Tye said.

Too much is also still unknown about how problematic valence assignments may drive anxiety, addiction or depression, said Hao Li, who was recently appointed as an assistant professor at Northwestern University and is planning to explore some of these questions further in his new lab. Beyond neurotensin, there are many other neuropeptides in the brain that are potential targets for interventions, Hao Li said. We just don’t know what they all do. He’s also curious to know how the brain would react to a more ambiguous situation in which it wasn’t clear whether the experience was good or bad.

These questions linger in Hao Li’s brain long after he packs up and goes home for the night. Now that he knows which network of chatty cells in his brain drives the emotions he feels, he jokes with friends about his brain pumping out neurotensin or holding it back in response to every bit of good or bad news.

“It’s clear that this is biology, it happens to everyone,” he said. That “makes me feel better when I’m in a bad mood.”

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ADDitude: Awareness: Attention Deficit Disorder or ADHD in adults or passed off as traits. This may be of assistance and guidance.


Your Never-to-Do List: How You’re Wasting Time Every Single Day

Don’t blame your kids, your job, or Instagram for stealing all of your precious hours. These bad habits are killing your productivity and stressing you out. How to stop wasting time.

By ADDitude EditorsVerified Updated on April 13, 2022

A to do list sits unfulfilled as its owner tries to stop wasting time and get things done.

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To Do, or Not to Do?

Chances are, your to-do list is several pages long — and growing! But what about your “never-to-do” list — a list of time and energy wasters you should try to avoid as much as possible? When bad ADHD habits stifle your time management and productivity, it might be a good time to reevaluate what you’re doing. Stop wasting time and stay away from these 9 habits that prevent you from getting things done.

A man with ADHD is wasting time goofing off in his office.

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Avoid Important (But Painful) Tasks

Adults with ADHD are no strangers to procrastination. We’ve all put off important assignments right up until the last minute — a strategy that often ends with a stress-fueled burst of last-minute energy, which is not the healthiest way to operate. The first step of any project is usually the hardest, but once you start, you often find it’s not as hard as you were imagining. For strategies on managing and overcoming procrastination, read this.

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Accept Nothing Less Than Perfection

People with ADHD strike a unique balance — we’re often both procrastinators and perfectionists. Fear of making a mistake leads to procrastination, and procrastination leads nowhere good. In order to keep your perfectionism from holding you back, get in the habit of doing drafts of your work. The first draft can be just the core idea, while the second and third can iron out the wrinkles.

[Free Expert Resource: Keep Track of Your Time]

A woman with ADHD wastes too much time editing the same page of a manuscript over and over until it is perfect.

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Miss the Forest for the Trees

Paying attention to detail is a great trait to have, but don’t let yourself get so obsessed with details that it keeps you from finishing projects on time. If you’re proofreading a document, for example, limit yourself to a set number of read-throughs before you send it on — so you don’t spend all day staring at the same piece of paper.


A woman with ADHD writes a list of goals on her to-do list.

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Ignore Your Long-Term Goals

Do you know what you want to accomplish today? What about this month? This year? It may seem silly to think about something that seems far away, but taking some time to figure out where you hope to be in the future can help you in your day-to-day. Once you work out your goals and priorities — even for the very long-term — it’s easier to push away unimportant tasks and structure your work.

A businesswoman uses a tablet to stop wasting time and get more done.

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Try to Do Everything

Not all tasks are created equal! Trying to do every little thing you “should” do is a recipe for stress and disappointment — and may cause you to miss crucial deadlines because you got caught up in non-crucial tasks. Look at your to-do list and slash the non-essential tasks. You’ll have more energy to devote to the things you really need to do, and you’ll end each day feeling like you accomplished what was really important.


An inbox with six new messages can lead to wasting time for adults with ADHD

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Respond to All Emails (or Texts, or Calls)

It may be tempting to reply to every single email you get — even if it’s just to say thanks — but if you stay stuck in your inbox all day, you won’t have time to get any actual work done. Instead, if you only reply to higher priority emails, you’ll save time, energy, and a whole lot of needless typing.

[Read: The Power of a Well-Crafted To-Do List]

A group of words for procrastinating, wasting time, and putting things off — all surrounding the word now

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Try to Resolve All Problems Immediately

When you get a new task, it can be tempting to drop what you’re doing and work on it right away. But this interruption can throw you out of your groove, making you unable to complete any task at all. Instead of trying to jump on new tasks right away, mark them down in a “do-later” list. Once you finish what you’re working on, take stock of your do-later list and figure out what needs to come next.


A woman with ADHD taking a break to stretch in her office.

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Never Take Breaks

Everyone needs a break once in awhile — especially adults with ADHD, who can sometimes feel overwhelmed by their racing brains or other ADHD symptoms. Make sure you set aside some time every day — whether it’s ten minutes in the middle of your workday, or an hour when you get home — to unwind and do something relaxing that you enjoy. Your work — and life — will be better for it.

A senior man with ADHD lies in the grass and listens to music.

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Try to Please Everyone

You can’t control what others think or how they act — the only person you have any control over is yourself. Put your energy into being the best you can be and spending your time with people who love and respect you — and forget about making everyone else happy.

[Free Resource: 19 Ways to Get Things Done]

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    Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder May Be Detectable Years Before Illnesses Begin. Source: Eurasia Review

    Friday, September 9, 2022

    Eurasia Review

    Eurasia Review

    A Journal of Analysis and News

    psychosis depressed

    Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder May Be Detectable Years Before Illnesses Begin

    Eurasia Review 0 Comments

    By Eurasia Review

    The risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may be detectable years before the illnesses begin, according to new research.

    A University College Dublin led study funded by the Health Research Board has found that 50% of people who developed these mental health disorders had attended specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in childhood.

    Published in the journal World Psychiatry, the findings suggest the possibility of earlier intervention and even prevention according to Professor Ian Kelleher, from the UCD School of Medicine, who led the international study which was carried out in conjunction with the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

    “Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder typically emerge in early adulthood and can have a devastating impact on the individuals affected, as well as on their families,” he said.

    “Our findings show that half of individuals who develop these illnesses had come to CAMHS at some stage in childhood, typically many years before they developed schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

    “We know that early intervention is key to improving outcomes for people with serious mental illness. These findings demonstrate the enormous opportunities to provide far earlier intervention, even while still in childhood, by developing specialist early intervention services within existing child and adolescent mental health services”.

    Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are serious mental illnesses affecting about 65 million people worldwide.   Both disorders are usually diagnosed in adulthood and are often associated with high levels of disability, personal and societal cost. Early intervention, however, is known to lead to better outcomes for people affected by these illnesses.

    The researchers behind the new study used Finland’s world-leading healthcare registers to trace all individuals born in 1987 throughout childhood and adolescence to see if, between birth and age 17 years, they ever attended CAMHS.

    Using unique patient identifiers, the researchers were then able to follow all these individuals up to age 28 years and see who went on to be diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

    They found that the risk of psychosis or bipolar disorder by age 28-years-old was 1.8% for individuals who had not attended CAMHS. For individuals who had attended outpatient CAMHS in adolescence, however, the risk was 15% and for individuals who had been admitted to an inpatient adolescent CAMHS hospital, the risk was 37%.

    “This research shows the power of electronic healthcare registers to answer important questions about human health and disease,” said Professor Mika Gissler, THL.

    “It demonstrates how healthcare register data can be used to better understand pathways to serious mental illness, from childhood into adulthood, and to identify critical opportunities for early intervention.”

    Stressing the importance of early intervention, Professor Ian Kelleher said: “We know it’s crucial to intervene as early as possible to prevent some of the worst effects of these illnesses. But ideally, we would like to be able to intervene even before the onset of illness, to prevent it altogether.

    These findings highlight the possibility of intervening far earlier than we do at present, even in childhood and adolescence, to prevent these serious mental illnesses from emerging”.

    Diagnosed as bipolar and anxiety; these findings are really interesting and whatsmore the Irish research by Professor Ian Kelleher and his team at UCD Medicine.. Ireland needs support. Only 6% is provided to mental health, half that of the UK contribution. We have Cinderella services and some 800 vacant posts in psychiatry.

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