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‘Tis the season … for shame and guilt?

For many of us, Christmas is our favourite time of year. The glow of decorations, the harmony of carols, the joy of holidays – all of that is a jubilant context for a warm exchange of gifts even if you don’t believe it’s really Jesus’ birthday, or that he even existed. For many others, this is a period of angst-ridden, retail-driven hell, a frenzy of consumerism that brings out the worst in people.

It’s a phenomenon that calls into question something known as homo-economicus (or economic man) – the notion that we make rational decisions, are motivated by profit maximisation, and pursue self-interest above all else. A brief glance at our Christmas spending – our irrational, profit-depleting, selfless expenditure – puts to bed these classical theories of dollars and (non)sense.

This prevailing belief – that we live in accordance with what’s strictly beneficial for us financially – has prompted the invention of a new term, “moral self-awareness”, which was released a couple of months ago but is due to be expanded upon soon in a paper for the Journal of Business Ethics.

Moral self-awareness is said to be present when you’re conscious of the impact your actions have on society. Pretty straightforward, really. To get to that stage, however, you need to go through the “characteristics of the human moral experience” which, according to the scholars, include shame and guilt.

view more on Brisbane Times


Five Reasons To Take A Mental Health Day

Everyone knows the feeling of being overwhelmed. Sometimes, it feels like people simply can’t put two and two together. Even the simple tasks may seem like arduous chores. When this happens, some people find it helpful to take a mental health day.

What are some of the top reasons why people should do this?

It Helps with Stress

This is the biggest reason why people need to take a mental health day from time to time. Particularly for those who work weekends and long hours, the amount of time between days off can be extreme. People need to remember that they are not machines and that breaks are necessary from time to time. Without them, the stress can build up, making it challenging to even think straight. It is important to take mental health days to minimize the stress level.

Change the Scenery

When people take mental health days, it gives them an opportunity to explore other areas of their city (or even travel to somewhere new). This change of scenery also helps to give the mind a break from the monotony of the daily grind. Take some time to explore the neighborhood and see what else is around. There may be someplace new or fun that hasn’t been experienced yet, it could just be the new favorite spot.

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My mental illness has always affected my work, but at last I feel supported

Employers need to create a culture of understanding to make best use of diverse talent, not vilify people for their difference.

With public support from figures like Prince William and Prince Harry, there is a growing public acknowledgement that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. But it doesn’t always feel that way. Even in the charity sector, mental health conditions aren’t often well understood.

That’s despite the evidence that they are becoming more common. According to the mental health charity Mind, one in four people experience a mental health issue each year. In other words, up to a quarter of the voluntary sector workforce may be affected. Many people – regardless of their profession – deal with their mental illness behind closed doors, afraid that talking about it with their manager or colleagues could put their career at risk.

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Why nutritional psychiatry is the future of mental health treatment

A lack of essential nutrients is known to contribute to the onset of poor mental health in people suffering from anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and ADHD. Nutritional psychiatry is a growing discipline that focuses on the use of food and supplements to provide these essential nutrients as part of an integrated or alternative treatment for mental health disorders.

But nutritional approaches for these debilitating conditions are not widely accepted by mainstream medicine. Treatment options tend to be limited to official National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines which recommend talking therapies and antidepressants.

view more on The Conversation


This revolution in our understanding of depression will be life-transforming

The discovery of genes that are linked to the crippling condition throws up exciting new possibilities for its successful treatment.

Depression runs in families, we know. But it is only very recently, and after considerable controversy and frustration, that we are beginning to know how and why. The major scientific discoveries reported last week by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium in Nature Genetics are a hard-won breakthrough in our understanding of this very common and potentially disabling disorder.

If your parents have been depressed, the chances that you have been or will be depressed are significantly increased. The background risk of depression in the general population is about one in four – each of us has a 25% chance of becoming depressed at some point in our lives. And if your parents have been depressed, your risk jumps by a factor of three.

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