This News in Mentalists – Disgracefully Late Edition

I suddenly remembered I was supposed to do TNIM two days ago. Oops.

Since we’re running late and therefore in hurry, let’s get started.

Triggers for suicidal ideation and misogyny.


Best wishes to Sinead O’Connor, who is reported to be suffering from depression.

O’Connor has been open about her mental health problems, asking over Twitter for referrals to a psychiatrist. She reportedly attempted suicide earlier this month. “God obviously wants me around – though I can’t think why,” she told the Sun. “I just had to make a cry for help.” Over the past week, O’Connor has written almost 3,500 words on her blog, meditating on fame, family and depression. “I find it terribly lonely being ‘Sinéad O’Connor’ in Ireland,” she wrote. “I’m 45 yrs of age. All my life I [have] been beaten up for being me, and beating myself up for being me. [And] causin a whole lot of fuckin trouble. An [feeling] like im a total piece of worthless shit and good for nothing but fucking everything up.”

Also speaking publicly about depression is fooballer Dean Windlass.

The former Hull City striker admitted to The People this week he is battling booze and depression after retiring from the game he adored.

Dean, 42, is the same age as Wales manager Gary Speed who killed himself in November.

He said: I have cried every day for the last two years since retiring.

People outside football think we have it all. But I was in a hole that I honestly didn’t know how to get out of.

A warning about SSRI antidepressants. They increase risk of falls in elderly people.

Many dementia patients also suffer from depression and drugs known as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are frequently prescribed.

But the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that the risk of injuries from falls was tripled.

The Alzheimer’s Society called for more research into alternative treatments.

Concerns have been raised about conditions in a mental health unit for women prisoners.

A special unit for women with mental health problems at a jail in Cheshire is “wholly unsuitable”, an inspection has found.

Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said an unannounced visit found Styal prison had improved.

But he said the condition of the women in the mental health unit was “more shocking and distressing than anything I have yet seen on an inspection”.

The Ministry of Justice said the unit could be supplemented or replaced.

The Daily Mail has this week’s “X health problem is worsened/improved by Y”.

Children with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to suffer from depression, claim scientists.

Those with the highest levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ have a 10 per cent lower risk of developing the mental health problem.

The findings come from the Children of the 90s research project run by the University of Bristol.

Story to be ripped to shreds by Ben Goldacre in 10…9…8….

A proposed centre for children with mental health problems is being opposed by the usual thicko nimbys.

BURNLEY residents are campaigning against plans to convert a once-thriving landmark hotel into a home for children with mental health issues.

Dr Saleem Khan, from Cheshire, and his wife have applied to Burnley Council to transform the Alexander Hotel (right), in Leven Street, as part of a £450,000 scheme.

But residents living in the area have expressed concern, saying those living closest to the development have not been properly consulted, the plans are vague and they have not been provided with full details of the proposed scheme.

Around 130 people turned out to a public meeting about the proposals at the Terracefields Community Centre with ward councillors Jeff Sumner and Karen Heseltine.

You think that’s bad? A bunch of Daily Express readers were allowed to be housed in my neighbourhood, and nobody consulted me. Have they no regard for the local community?

Concerns are being raised about the revisions to the definition of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the skyrocketing rate at which the disorder is diagnosed and might make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, a new analysis suggests.

The definition is now being reassessed by an expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association, which is completing work on the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the first major revision in 17 years. The D.S.M., as the manual is known, is the standard reference for mental disorders, driving research, treatment and insurance decisions. Most experts expect that the new manual will narrow the criteria for autism; the question is how sharply.

The results of the new analysis are preliminary, but they offer the most drastic estimate of how tightening the criteria for autism could affect the rate of diagnosis. For years, many experts have privately contended that the vagueness of the current criteria for autism and related disorders like Asperger syndrome was contributing to the increase in the rate of diagnoses — which has ballooned to one child in 100, according to some estimates.

The wildcard is from a blog that I’ve recently discovered and I’ve been absolutely loving. The (male) author of Manboobz spends his time tracking down and ridiculing online misogyny. What he uncovers can be both shocking and hilarious. This week he skewers some Mens Rights Activists (MRAs) with some charming views on the old “women and children first” tradition of abandoning ship.

Nonetheless, some MRAs are using the Costa Concordia disaster as an opportunity to deliver a big “told you so!” to the … imaginary feminists who live in their head.

Over on The Spearhead, where one familiar commenter actually described Wilson’s Daily Mail article as “feminist,” guest poster Lyn87 wrote:

The MRM is getting more vocal, and a lot of guys are now saying, “You wanted equality. This is what it looks like.” And they are saying it aloud and in public. Even a few women chimed in, saying that men have no obligation to die for women if women want equality. (Somehow I suspect there wasn’t much, “I am woman, hear me roar, watch me drown” on the Costa Concordia itself, but hey, it’s a start.)

MRAs: Always up-to-the-minute with their pop culture references!

This post was helpfully illustrated with a stock photo of a woman drowning.

Manboobz notes a whole slew of knuckle-dragging responses from anti-feminist “activists” (through what they’re doing seems to consist more of whining online rather than actual activism)

Aharon told both ladies and fish what’s what:

I eat fish. Fish don’t eat me. My life is too precious to sacrifice it so some spoiled bitch can have a pussy pass into the life boats.

Anti Idiocy got all hypothetical-cruise-ship tough guy on us:

Anyone who attempts to keep me on a sinking ship because of the genitals with which I was born is attempting to murder me. I have the right to respond accordingly.

And Thomas Tell-truth kicked chivalry – not to mention basic human decency — to the ocean floor:

Equality means that when the ship is going down and you are a woman, you had better get out of my way or you are going to drown with my footprints on your back.

Delightful stuff. Fortunately the author of Manboobz has a tendency to counter the misogyny by illustrating points with kitten videos. Kitteh vids take the hate away.

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About Phil Dore

Trained as a nurse, currently working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). All views expressed are in a personal capacity and not necessarily the views of my employer.

3 Responses to “This News in Mentalists – Disgracefully Late Edition”

  1. This might sound scary, but there probably is some truth to that Daily Mail article (well, they have to get it right some time ;)). Low vitamin D levels are known to cause depression (and other things like joint pain, fatigue and rickets) by doctors, and many children (and adults) in the UK (especially Scotland) don’t make enough as they don’t spend enough time in the sun, and are often covered in sun cream when they are. It’s so bad in Scotland the government there is being urged to supplement the entire country (it’s worse there because they get less direct sunlight because of how north they are).

    Having read the article, for the Daily Mail it’s scarily close to sensible. There were also two articles recently that I completely agreed with. Do they finally have journalists that do their jobs? 😛

    • Crikey, that one might actually be true? Oh well, I suppose it had to happen one of these days.

      Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

  2. I believe there is something in this, D deficiency & rickets is known and it’s also been linked to certain cancers but I’m unsure how robust that evidence is for that. Vitamin D is needed for the absorption of calcium hence why osteoporosis sufferers are prescribed calcium with vitamin D. I had a vitamin D deficiency and would never have known if not for the dexa scan which prompted testing for it.
    Incidentally that is pertinent for mental health service users because antipsychotics can raise prolactin which impacts on bone density, long term usage resulting in osteoporosis is a hidden potential consequence [NICE Schizophrenia guidance].
    People who cover up a lot such as women who wear traditional Islamic dress are at higher risk of D deficiency. It also got me thinking that those of us who are scarred from self-injury who cover up all year round might also be at increased risk of D deficiency.
    People who suffer from SAD get depressed and need light boxes and that has also been linked to vit D deficiency.
    A diet rich in all vitamins and minerals has to help mental wellbeing, I would imagine being deficient in any could impact on mental as well as physical health even if it doesn’t directly cause or exacerbate depression.

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