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Antidepressants

Antidepressants are types of medication used to treat clinical depression. However, the name is also somewhat misleading, as many antidepressants are also prescribed for a range of other disorders. read more

Mental health screening of military personnel

The UK has been considering following in the footsteps of the US and Australia by introducing mental health screening of military personnel after they return from deployment. However, there have been question marks over whether screening works, whether it the best way of helping military personnel and whether it is worth the money. read more

CBT – does it really work?

Many people are concerned about over-medicalisation and the use of pharmaceutical therapies such as antidepressants. This concern has coincided with a rise in the use of psychological therapies, particularly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). However, do we know how strong the evidence for CBT actually is? Is it really just talking, or would that even matter as long as it works? Is the evidence only strong for certain disorders and can it cause harm, even when used correctly? read more

expert reaction to genetic associations for major depressive disorder

A group of researchers have attempted to find genetic markers of major depressive disorder by using samples from patients with self-reported diagnosis. Publishing in the journal Nature Genetics the team report a number of markers which they say are associated with self-reporting of clinical diagnosis or treatment for depression. read more

expert reaction to behavioural activation therapy for depression

A comparison between cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and behavioural activation (BA) for the treatment of depression is made in a study published in The Lancet journal. The authors report that the two treatments are equally effective at treating depression in adults and that BA can be delivered by junior mental health workers at a lower cost. read more

Psilocybin – an option for treatment-resistant depression?

Psilocybin, the active component of magic mushrooms, is being seriously considered as a therapy for people with treatment-resistant depression. One in five people suffer from depression at some point in their lives – a significant proportion of whom cannot be helped with any current psychotherapy or drugs. In 2012 researchers published a paper which used fMRI scans to show the effects of psilocybin on the brain. A related paper, published at the same time, suggested that psilocybin could be a useful tool in psychotherapy. The researchers have now gone on to test the safety of psilocybin in a small group of patients with treatment-resistant depression. They are publishing their new findings, funded by the Medical Research Council, in The Lancet Psychiatry. read more

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