Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label mental health

Mental Illness and the Poor

People from Scotland's most deprived areas are more than three times as likely to be treated for mental illness than those in more affluent communities, according to a report.
The study looked at the numbers of people treated for mental health problems during 2013 and 2014. Official figures stated a discharge figure of 649 in 100,000 people in the most deprived areas This compared to a figure of 197 per 100,000 people in affluent communities.

The report stated there was "a strong and consistent relationship with deprivation", adding: "The more deprived an area, the higher its rate of psychiatric inpatient discharges".

The Depressing Fact of the Day

Depression is the second most common cause of disability worldwide after back pain, according to research. Globally, only a small proportion of patients have access to treatment, the World Health Organization says.The disease must be treated as a world public health priority, experts report.

Commenting on the study, Dr Daniel Chisholm, a health economist at the department for mental health and substance abuse at the World Health Organization said depression was a very disabling condition.

"It's a big public health challenge and a big problem to be reckoned with but not enough is being done. Around the world only a tiny proportion of people get any sort of treatment or diagnosis."

The Middle East and North Africa suffer the world’s highest depression rates, according to a new study by researchers at Australia’s University of Queensland -- and it’s costing people in the region years off their lives.

Crazy Capitalism

Few visitors to the Socialist Courierblog will need to be told of the great frequency and seriousness of mental and emotional disturbances which afflict large masses of the working population, including not only those who receive psychiatric treatment but also the members of the families living in the same household.

Marxists approach the topic of illness as a whole in society, rather than dividing it along the traditional line between body and soul. It means recognising the unity of the physical and mental sides of a person, and talking about whole ranges of different types of ‘illness’ which may be neither particularly physical nor psychological. This approach would reveals how mental and physical health stems more from the economic demands of the system of production. Mental illness is always a sign that basic human needs are not being satisfied; that there is a lack of love, a lack of reason for being, a lack of justice; that something important is missing and, because of this, p…

Alienated Lives

Why are Scots sicker than the rest of the UK?

Dr Phil Hanlon and researchers at the Centre for Population Health have compared life, incomes and health outcomes in Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. They found “deprivation profiles” were almost identical, but premature deaths in Glasgow were 30 per cent higher.

This excess mortality ran across almost all ages, males and females and deprived and non-deprived neighbourhoods. It was not, surprisingly, lung cancer, heart and liver disease were not the factors tipping Glaswegians over the UK average.  It was higher levels of drug and alcohol misuse, suicide and death through violence.

Why are some Glaswegians so prone to self-harming and life-shortening behaviours?

Chief Medical Officer Harry Burns cites the work of Aaron Antonovsky, who maintained that a sense of coherence (SOC) is necessary for adult health. The  medical sociologist defined the SOC as “the extent to which one has a feeling of confidence that the stimuli deriving from on…

Suicide system

Suicide rates in older men in Northern Ireland have jumped significantly over the past decade. Austerity measures, job losses and mortgage payment difficulties have been blamed for a rise in the number of men aged in their 30s, 40s and 50s taking their own lives, the suicide prevention charity Public Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide and Self-harm (Pips).

"Today it is older men who are attempting to take their own lives. I have no doubt the recession has a major part to play.” Pips founder Philip McTaggart said. 

The Tyranny of Work

The mental health of Scottish workers is being put at risk thanks to the "relentless pressure" of management systems meant to increase their productivity. Unions and researchers claim workers have suffered extreme stress, depression and in a few cases threatened suicide.  Austerity has allowed some firms to use management techniques to make their staff's lives a misery.

The impact on the mental health of employees was highlighted in the report Performance Management And The New Workplace Tyranny. Phil Taylor, professor of work and employment studies at the university in Glasgow, carried out the research.  He said performance management had evolved into a "continuous, all-encompassing" process of "tight monitoring and strict target compliance".

Taylor said: "Many who have been in the workplace for 10, 15, 20 years, talk with great pain about how the workplace they joined has been transformed beyond all recognition over those decades and the asp…

Depressed Scotland

The number of people in Scotland prescribed antidepressants has reached record levels, with more than one in seven people taking the drugs. There has been a steady rise in usage. There were 1.26 million drugs dispensed in 1993/94, increasing to 5.01 million in 2011/12.

The diagnostic criteria for depression as two weeks of low mood, irrespective of any change in the circumstances of the patient which might have left them feeling down. It even proposes that being low two weeks after bereavement should be considered depression.

Glasgow GP Des Spence argues treating depression like a medical condition is distracting attention from what really makes patients unhappy. "I think we use antidepressants too easily, for too long and that they are effective for few people (if at all)." Dr Spence's  concern about the widespread use of antidepressants is they leave the real reason for someone's poor mood unexplained. He said: "Improving society's wellbeing is not in the …

A happy new year?

A third of young people in Scotland feel down or depressed either always or often, a youth charity claimed. 

One in ten young people feels unable to cope with day-to-day life.

28 per cent of young people believe their prospects have been permanently damaged by the recession.

21 per cent feel they have no  future as a result of the economic crisis.

The old and the lonely

10,000 over-75s in Scotland will spend Christmas Day alone because their children are too busy to visit them, a new report claimed today. Across the UK, the survey found a total of 363,176 older people had children too busy to see them. The study by the older people’s charity WRVS said many elderly people were left isolated and lonely because their families had moved away, often to find work. But almost two-thirds of older people said they would not tell their children they were lonely because they did not want to “bother them”. In the Lothians, around 1700 over-75s will be on their own on Christmas Day.

Earlier research from the WRVS showed 27 per cent of Scots over-75s feel lonely – more than in any other part of the UK. 11 per cent of older people in Scotland lived at least one hour’s drive away from their nearest child, which meant almost half were visited just once every two to six months. The survey found lack of job security and changes in the labour market had increased the pr…

Keeping up with the Jones and suicide

It turns out trying to keep up with the Joneses can lead to your own death.

The more money your neighbors make, the more likely you are to take your own life. These findings come from a new paper published at the San Francisco Federal Reserve titled “Relative Status and Well-Being: Evidence from U.S. Suicide Deaths.” According to the results, your risk of suicide increases by 4.5 percent if your own paycheck is less than 10 percent of your county’s average income.

When looking at income levels and increased risk of suicide, Fed researchers found that $34,000 is the tipping point for dramatic increases in rates of suicide. Those who earn less than $34,000 see an increased risk of suicide of about 43 to 50 percent. Meanwhile, those with incomes between $34,000 and $102,000 increase their risk of suicide by only 10 percent. It’s not surprising to hear that those who are unemployed or unable to work due to disability face higher rates of suicide. Those who are unemployed increase their ris…

Capitalism drives us mental

Scots are suffering more mental health problems because of the economic downturn, according to the largest ever study on the subject. Living in the most deprived areas of Scotland places people at a higher risk of poor mental health, researchers concluded.

A report published by NHS Health Scotland today examines more than 50 indicators which help make up a picture of the nation's mental health, covering factors such as working life and community, chronic physical health problems and misuse of alcohol or drugs. 42 indicated a direct link between greater socio-economic disadvantage and a poorer state of mental health. Only two were more prevalent in better-off areas than poor areas – drinking outside the recommended limits and overwork. Alcohol intake is excessive across the classes, but it causes more health problems in deprived areas.

Andrew Fraser, director of Public Health Science said problems were likely to worsen in a context of austerity. He added: "We can reliably exp…

Fact of the Day

Men from low socio-economic backgrounds living in deprived areas are ten times more likely to die by suicide than men from high socio-economic backgrounds living in the most affluent areas.

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-09-uk-middle-aged-men-die-suicide.html#jCp

scotland's health shame

Scotland's suicide rate is almost 80% higher than England and Wales. More people die by suicide than from road accidents and drug deaths put together. It is the leading cause of death in young men. Over the past year, Tayside Police has collected information about every call where someone was at risk of suicide. It attended about 150 attempted or threatened suicides every month. On average, four suicide deaths a month in just Tayside.

 Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Milne said of the figures: "Extend that out across the whole of Scotland; there is a significant number of calls every day, every week, every month, every year, involving people who are in mental health crisis."

The mental health charity SAMH said even these latest figures from Tayside were still just the tip of the iceberg. Kirsty Keay, the charity's national programme manager for suicide prevention, said: "Suicide devastates Scotland's communities..."

A quarter of patients who end up in in…

working class blues

Job insecurity is nothing new for those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. Since the '70s and '80s, a shifting labor market and anti-worker policies have been fraying the ties between employers and employees, fueling the perception that a job is a temporary affair. Globalization, outsourcing, contracting, downsizing, and recession have conspired to make confidence in a stable, long-term job a privilege that few can enjoy. But the recession has raised the numbers experiencing persistent job insecurity through the roof. Workers are feeling increasingly stressed, often trapped in low-wage and temporary employment with few benefits.

Capitalism wasn’t supposed to be like this. Hard work and endeavor was supposed to make us safe from the vagaries of arbitrary events that harassed our ancestors. But somehow we’ve ended up more worried than ever. American Psychological Association paints a picture of workers on the verge of a nervous breakdown:
    Sixty-two percent say work …

A real drug problem

More than one in 10 adults in Scotland are taking anti-depressants every day, according to official statistics.

Ten years ago it was estimated that 6% of the Scottish population were regularly taking anti-depressants and this figure has been climbing for a decade. NHS Scotland said: “It is estimated that 10.4% of the Scottish population aged 15 and over make daily use of an anti-depressant drug.”

Billy Watson, chief executive at the Scottish Association for Mental Health, said: “The high numbers of people taking anti-depressants reflects the prevalence of mental health problems generally: one in four of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives."

The Scottish Government’s goal, to stop the rise in anti-depressant prescribing by 2009-10 and prepare the ground for a 10% reduction in future years, has been abandoned. It has been replaced by a waiting time guarantee for psychological therapies of 18 weeks by 2014.

A survey carried out jointly by the Office of…

It's a sad society

According to the Depression ­Alliance Scotland, 16% of Scots will be diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives.Around one in 10 Scots is believed to be taking antidepressants at any one time, but the figures show some areas are more likely to dispense them than others.

People in Glasgow are 50% more likely than those in Edinburgh to be prescribed antidepressants. The NHS handed out mood-enhancing medicines 1,145,381 times in Greater Glasgow and Clyde last year, compared to 521,944 in Lothian.

Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire and Arran were the next biggest users relative to population.

sleepless nights

Three out of four workers are losing sleep worrying about job security, performance at work and finances, with civil servants, bankers and factory workers the worst affected.

Leigh McCarron, sleep director at Travelodge, said: “It is no surprise that those industries facing spending cuts and potential job losses came top. Job security and money worries are key drivers of stress.”

Children at risk ?

A series of studies published reveals child poverty may be more serious for many families than had been previously believed.the Scottish government's latest estimate is that 20% of children live below the low-income threshold ( calculated at £17,000 a year for two adults living with two children or £13,000 for a lone parent with two children.)

But researchers on the Growing Up in Scotland programme, which has been tracking children of 8,000 families since 2005, said the figure was actually higher-they calculate it at 24%.It showed that children growing up in poverty are more likely to be obese, suffer more accidents and injuries, and are more than twice as likely to suffer behavioural, emotional and social problems.Also found was that a third of Scottish mothers suffered mental health problems in the last four years.

recession is bad for your mental health

First discussed here , we now read that the UK government are now going to finance similar therapy services in England to help identify those who might be suffering from depression due to the downturn. Support workers will help those who have lost their jobs and suffer from depression and anxiety .
The BBC's Mark Sanders said the announcement was, in effect, an acknowledgement by the government that mental health problems could be caused by the recession.

capitalism makes you sick

Long working hours may raise the risk of mental decline and possibly dementia, research suggests
The study found that those working more than 55 hours a week had poorer mental skills than those who worked a standard working week.
Lead researcher Dr Marianna Virtanen, from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, said: "The disadvantages of overtime work should be taken seriously."

It is not known why working long hours might have an adverse effect on the brain. However, the researchers say key factors could include increased sleeping problems, depression, an unhealthy lifestyle and a raised risk of cardiovascular disease, possibly linked to stress. The effects were cumulative, the longer the working week was the worse the test results were. Employees with long working hours also had shorter sleeping hours, reported more symptoms of depression and used more alcohol than those with normal working hours.

Professor Mika Kivimäki said "It is particularly important to exami…