It is absolutely essential that you read this blog post.

 

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Obedience is a funny thing. Some of you will read this blog post because it caught your interest, others will ignore it, and some will read it just because the title told you to (I’m sure plenty of you psychology students/graduates are reading it because they recognise the header image…). But why do we obey orders? And why do some of us rebel against orders? Obedience is relevant to our every day lives – we obey our parents, our teachers, our bosses, members of the emergency services such as policeman and fireman. Even bigger than that, there have been events in recent years where respectable soldiers have been found guilty of committing war crimes just because they were told to…

Focusing on the social psychology side of the process of obedience, this blog post is going to look at what obedience to authority means, the history of the psychological study of it and how it explains a lot of our behaviour. Continue reading “It is absolutely essential that you read this blog post.”

Do you know what it’s like to be sectioned… by the courts?

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So, if you’ve read my previous post then you do know what it means to be sectioned. However, not everyone who has been sectioned has gone down the pathway of “innocence”.

I am the last person to put forward the notion that people with mental health problems are criminals, but, as I have mentioned, before mental health can affect anyone. This includes criminals, and yes, in some cases, mental illness can drive people to crime. In other cases, individuals can commit crimes and have poor mental health but the mental health is not causative of the crime. In both cases, there are laws in place to help and protect these people, and also to protect the public from these people.

In this blog post I will outline some of these laws and sections of the Mental Health Act.

Continue reading “Do you know what it’s like to be sectioned… by the courts?”

Do you really know what it means to ‘be sectioned’?

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You hear it on the news, on soaps, and in magazines. Another celebrity has been sectioned, or that criminal who committed that crime was sectioned when he was younger, or that character is being sectioned against their will because they’re crazy…

The term “sectioned” has been totally demonised by society and the media, when in actual fact for some people being sectioned is the best thing that could have happened to them. If someone is being, or has been, sectioned then they have been through enough without people being scared of them because of them ‘being sectioned’. It’s really not as scary as it seems. Since working as a support worker in a CAMHS (children and adolescent mental health service) low secure hospital, primarily on the PICU (psychiatric intensive care unit) ward, I’ve learnt that not many people understand the work I do, or the reason behind why I need to do it and why my patients are where they are. I also realise that not many people understand the mental health system – this needs to change.

Continue reading “Do you really know what it means to ‘be sectioned’?”

Coulrophobia – Why are we scared of clowns?

If you haven’t heard of the clown craze that has been sweeping the US and now the UK then I’m gonna assume that you’ve been living in the ocean for the past few weeks. People have been dressing up as clowns, going out when it’s gotten dark, purely just to scare people – and it’s working. Some of these ‘clowns’ are wielding weapons, reports are that some have even been trying to lure children into forests, but the majority of them are simply standing in the dark, or chasing people just to scare them. But why? And why are we so scared? Not many people would be totally comfortable when faced with a stranger dressed up as a clown, but why not? Clowns are linked to our childhood, linked to laughter, birthday parties full of colour and joy…right? Perhaps not…

(Trigger warning: clearly there are going to be LOTS of pictures of clowns in this blog post, if you genuinely suffer badly from coulrophobia- the fear of clowns- then just be warned…)

Continue reading “Coulrophobia – Why are we scared of clowns?”

We all have mental health.

mental-health-begins-with-me-world-mental-health-day-picture“If we don’t act urgently, by 2030 depression will be the leading illness globally – Mental Health Foundation, 2016. 

As promised, I’ve written a blog post in honour of #worldmentalhealthday.

 

Anyone who knows me knows that mental health is incredibly close to my heart having suffered with depression and generalised anxiety disorder since I was 16. I also know many people who have suffered/do suffer with their mental health, I work in a children’s and adolescents mental health hospital, and have worked and volunteered in care homes and mental health forensic services in the past.

 

I know firsthand that mental health illnesses do not discriminate; they can affect anyone, which is why it’s important that it’s something that everyone is aware of and open to talking about.

 

This blog post will explain what mental health is and how everyone has one, and as a result of this how mental health affects everyone. I’ll also briefly go over the signs and symptoms for poor mental health in general (however plenty of my other blog posts have the symptoms of specific mental health illnesses written in detail), i’ll talk about mental health first aid and how you can be the first point of contact for help for your loved ones, and then i’ll list several ways as to how you can help your mental health stay as healthy as possible.

Today is world mental health day, so if you haven’t before, today is a good day to start talking, to start listening, and to start breaking the stigma.

Continue reading “We all have mental health.”

The Brain, the Body, the Behaviour – PTSD

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What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is a type of anxiety disorder, therefore a lot of this information will be similar to that in my “The Brain, the Body, the Behaviour – anxiety” post. However I believe that PTSD is an important mental health illness to highlight on it’s own. It is well-known for being diagnosed amongst war veterans; previously known in the two world wars as ‘shell shock’.  Due to the environment and events that occur during wars, PTSD is common among veterans with at least 20% of  veterans of the Afganistan and Iraq Wars and 15% of veterans of the Vietnam war  living with it.
However PTSD is not specific to those in the military. PTSD can occur to anyone who has been faced by a frightening or distressing life event. Those who have been involved in serious road accidents, who have suffered from long term abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, neglect, financial, etc.), those who have been the victim of an assault (again, physical, sexual, etc.), victims of terrorist attacks and natural disasters, or witnesses to violent deaths. PTSD can develop immediately after an event, or even weeks/months/years later, depending on personal circumstances, individual levels of resiliance, and the existence of other co-morbid mental health problems. 

Continue reading “The Brain, the Body, the Behaviour – PTSD”