Mental Health, Insomnia & Sleep

Tuck Sleep have a primary mission of promoting awareness of sleep health and as part of that, they have researched the connection between sleep and mental health and summarized  findings in patient-friendly online guides.

Their section on mental illness &  sleep is available here:

Sleep is a key pillar of living a healthy  life.  This article has information on the science behind sleep, including what happens to your body while sleeping, why you need it, different types of sleep and how much sleep you need.

 

It also delves into the circadian system, external factors that affect it and disorders caused by disruptions to it.

Abortion, Choice & Mental Health

With a Yes vote now a reality for Ireland in terms of repealing the 8th amendment it is now important to reconsider how we support women no matter what choice they make when facing a decision around their pregnancy.

There are a multitude of studies which have provided results that look at both sides of the debate but what strikes me as most concrete is that it is a big life decision which carries a mental health risk for some women no matter what the choice.

My experience working with women who have made difficult choices around their pregnancy is that even when it seems clear cut it is often not a simple “yes” or “no” answer especially when explored on a more emotional level.

Talk Therapy Dublin aspires to help any client wishing to process a difficult life decision and views the process of counselling/psychotherapy as a useful resource that can help clients move forward with their lives after experiencing distress. .

Below are three links from the USA & UK that look as the topic of mental health & abortion.

http://time.com/4599806/abortion-doesnt-negatively-affect-womens-mental-health-study/

https://www.nhs.uk/news/pregnancy-and-child/abortion-and-mental-health/

 

 

Reliance on medication in Irish Mental Health

While it is important not to dismiss the role medication has in managing mental health it is striking the amount of clients who contact us upset at being prescribed medication without any structured form of assessment.

Many of these clients are upset they are being put on medication first instead of getting offered counselling or alternative supports.  In many of these cases  NICE guidelines actually concur with these client’s views by highlighting that medication should not be the first step in terms of recommended best practice.

We also get a lot of enquiries from those trying to come off medication struggling to find resources beyond their GP appointment.  The below article demonstrates the disparity in investment between medication & counselling in primary care.  It is also worth noting that counselling in primary care (CIPC) is only available on a short term basis to medical card holders leaving many clients struggling with the costs of private therapy generally not covered by private health insurers.

The increase in discussion and awareness about mental health is very welcome but there is a long way to go in terms of seeing the same level of improvement in actual services, supports and resources for clients outside medication.

https://www.rte.ie/news/health/2018/0426/957328-mental-health/

Acknowledging race in mental health services

The 21st March marked International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The following article from the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland blog outlines how race & ethnicity is an area that poses a variety of challenges not only in terms of the mental health of ethnic minorities generally but also in terms of the provision of supports and differences in how that support is experienced.

Talk Therapy Dublin currently  has  40% of active clients born outside of Ireland and these clients often describe issues & experiences affected & augmented by almost constant minority stress.  

Sexuality & Gender are broadly discussed by the mainstream in Ireland and much has been done in terms of acknowledging minority stress in these areas but when it comes to ethnic minorities and their experience of Ireland in 2018 there is a long way to go. Our attitudes to and the experiences of our own indigenous ethnic minority, the travelling community is an example of this.

 

 

 

Parenting – child development & learning about success & failure

The below article from therapist & author Stella O’Malley explores the topic of achievement in children,  and the interaction of their resilience, mental health & exam pressure.

An interesting point is made on fostering a “growth” as opposed to a “fixed” mindset in young people – based on the work of Sanford professor of psychology Carol Dweck.

Talk Therapy Dublin meets clients presenting in their late teens and 20’s struggling with the results of this experience, often with significant depression, anxiety & substance abuse issues.

We also have regular experience of adult clients struggling to do right by their children but this very struggle being the source of issues. One common example is an over the top extra curricular activity schedule from a young age leaving little time for exploratory play, trial & error and indeed family time.  Another common theme is how “failure” is presented & handled within a family.

  • Is it an opportunity to learn & for support?
  •  Should it be avoided at all costs??
  • If a child shows an interest in music, should they immediately be enrolled in formal lessons multiple times a week?
  • What is like for working parents to have to bring children to multiple extra curricular events every week/weekend.
  • Is there much family time after parents work, school, homework & activities?

https://www.independent.ie/life/irish-psychotherapist-stella-omalley-success-isnt-everything-kids-need-to-learn-from-failure-too-36609373.html