A study carried out in June of 2011 demonstrated that drinking water contaminated with lithium could actually lower suicide rates. So should lithium be added as a supplement to the water supply, as is done with fluoride?
In the study, 6,460 samples of drinking water were tested across 99 districts in Austria. Districts with higher levels of lithium tended to report lower suicide rates. In some areas lithium occurs naturally in the water supply, likely leached out of rocks and stones.
The results weren’t terribly shocking, as lithium has been used for decades to treat depression. This was the first time its effect was measured based on trace amounts within drinking water, however.
Tag Archives | Mental Health
OK, it sounds crazy, but sociologist Robert Bartholomew believes that Facebook and other social media platforms can give rise to Mass Psychogenic Illness (MPI), also known as Mass Hysteria. Laura Dimon reports for The Atlantic:
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“Eerie and remarkable.”
Those are the words that Robert Bartholomew used to describe this past winter’s outbreak of mass hysteria in Danvers, Massachusetts, a town also known as “Old Salem” and “Salem Village.”
Bartholomew, a sociologist in New Zealand who has been studying cases of mass hysteria for more than 20 years, was referring to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693, the most widely recognized episode of mass hysteria in history, which ultimately saw the hanging deaths of 20 women.
Fast-forward about 300 years to January 2013, when a bizarre case of mass hysteria again struck Danvers. About two dozen teenagers at the Essex Agricultural and Technical School began having “mysterious” hiccups and vocal tics.
Last year, the BBC reported on a case where four family members were found guilty of murder. The victim, Naila Mumtaz, an expectant mother, was found smothered in the home she shared with her husband, Mohammed, in Birmingham, England. Mohammed and his parents, Zia Ul-Haq and Salma Aslan, along with his brother-in-law, Hammad Hassan, denied the allegations and defended themselves by claiming that Naila’s injuries were self-inflicted, and that she was possessed by a jinn (djinn), an Islamic evil spirit, similar to the Christian concept of a demon.
Although it received some media attention, this was not an isolated case. Catrin Nye (BBC) reported a rise of criminal abuse in the UK related to the exorcism of jinn (a practice called “Ruqyah”) in recent years. Some of these cases have resulted in the victims’ death, with the so-called “healer” (“raaqi”) often escaping punishment, being hidden by members of their communities. Even in the majority of cases, where death does not occur, we find victims of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues being denied the proper medical treatment in favor of exorcism.… Read the rest
I’ve heard many people say that they can’t live without their coffee. Turns out that there may be more truth to that than they know, although in my case, lack of coffee tends to bring on homicidal feelings.
According to a new study by the Harvard School of Public Health, subjects who drank two to four cups of coffee daily were 50 percent less likely to commit suicide. This was observed in comparison to those who drink decaffeinated, very little, or no coffee.
Researchers examined data from three U.S. studies evaluating coffee and overall caffeine intake every four years. This included 43,599 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1988-2008), 73,820 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (1992-2008) and 91,005 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (1993-2007). The subjects shared information about their caffeine intake via questionnaires, and the studies involved 277 cases of suicide.
Via Motherboard, Brian Anderson explains how groundbreaking architect Kiyoshi Izumi employed LSD trips in order to create a more humane psyche ward:
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Kiyoshi Izumi was part of a small, federally-granted team of visionaries tasked with developing a province-wide psychiatric hospital overhaul that addressed the affects that clinical environments had on patients. The trick? Get inside the heads of the mentally ill.
The success of the Saskatchewan Plan hinged on mimicking the psychomimetic experience. He’d have to conjure up not only hallucinations but also delusions and perceptual distortions distinct to psychoses. He’d have to eat acid.
It was a bold move. The insights he gleaned from levelling with patients and their surroundings, if we’re to take his word for it, found Izumi envisioning what’s gone on to be called “the ideal mental hospital”, the first of which was raised in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, in 1965.
To the untrained eye, Izumi’s final building likely appeared decidedly non psychedelic.
Curious for some tips on curing demons? In September the Ethnic Health Initiative will present a conference for social workers, psychiatrists, therapists, and other professionals on allmatters of supernatural possession:
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Spirit possession is recognised worldwide across many cultures and by several religions. Spirit possession is often seen as an idiom of distress causing a change in behaviour and mental well being. Spirit possession is also included in the ICD 10 and DSM IV classifications of mental disorders, yet the extent to which it is recognised and discussed in clinical practice is less than we would expect, even in UK cities where there resides a diverse population.
This one day event will consider the critical themes and debates on spirit possession from an anthropological, social, psychological, medical and religious perspective using a range of illustrative case study, clinical practice and research. This conference will be relevant to all professionals in the field of Mental Health and Social Care.
I could care less about any of you! I am joking… Or am I?
Sociopaths aren’t just movie characters and mass murders. Turns out 1 in 25 people suffer from this disorder! Laci looks at what exactly it means to be a sociopath, and whether or not you have anything to fear for yourself.
via New Scientist
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As celebrities become more open about their mental health problems, stigma still ensures most people conceal such illnesses, say two researchers in the field
In recent weeks Ruby Wax and Stephen Fry have once again reminded us that the lives of the famous are not always as perfect as we might think. Not for the first time, these two stars of British TV have publicly discussed their mental health: Wax her depression and Fry his bipolar disorder. Their continued openness furthers a helpful trend among celebrities. But for the vast majority with such conditions, discussion is not the norm.
Stigma and discrimination have long been major barriers to people with mental illness. The same is not true for other conditions: it is inconceivable that a person with asthma or hypertension, for example, would have faeces posted through their letter box to scare them away from the neighbourhood.
via Science Codex
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People with mental illnesses are more than seven times more likely to use cannabis weekly compared to people without a mental illness, according to researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) who studied U.S. data.
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance globally, with an estimated 203 million people reporting use. Although research has found links between cannabis use and mental illness, exact numbers and prevalence of problem cannabis use had not been investigated.
“We know that people with mental illness consume more cannabis, perhaps partially as a way to self- medicate psychiatric symptoms, but this data showed us the degree of the correlation between cannabis use, misuse, and mental illness,” said Dr. Shaul Lev-ran, Adjunct Scientist at CAMH and Head of Addiction Medicine at the Sheba Medical Center, Israel.
“Based on the number individuals reporting weekly use, we see that people with mental illness use cannabis at high rates.
Through the eyes of a young girl suffering from mental illness, CALDERA glimpses into a world of psychosis and explores a world of ambiguous reality and the nature of life and death.
CALDERA is inspired by my father’s struggle with schizoaffective disorder. In states of delusion, my father has danced on the rings of Saturn, spoken with angels, and fled from his demons. He has lived both a fantastical and haunting life, but one that’s invisible to the most of us. In our differing understanding of reality, we blindly mandate his medication, assimilate him to our marginalizing culture, and entirely misinterpret him for all he is worth. CALDERA aims to not only venerate my father, but all brilliant minds forged in the haunted depths of psychosis.