Tue, 1 September 2015
Dr Raj Persaud talks to a lady who received ECT or shock treatment after a prolonged and severe bout of depression. What is it like to be treated with this therapy? What kind of problems lead doctors to consider using it? Are there side-effects? In the long-run is it worth it? Does this treatment work? Is the reality of such a treatment anything like it's portrayal in Hollywood films? All these questions and more are tackled in this rare interview with someone who has actually received ECT.
Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen are joint podcast editors for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and also now have a free app on iTunes and Google Play store entitled ‘Raj Persaud in conversation’, which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world.
Download it free from these links:
Direct download: ect_and_raj.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 10:26pm UTC
Sat, 6 June 2015
What can Helen teach us about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Interview with Helen Barbour by Dr Raj Persaud
In the new novel ‘The A To Z of Normal’ by Helen Barbour - Clare Thorpe's need for order and symmetry governs everything she owns - from tins and toiletries, to cushions and clothes. Yet she has always managed to hide the compulsions dominating her world. Until now. When long-distance boyfriend Tom proposes, her secret life begins to unravel. How can she share a future with the man she loves, if she can't even share her space? And when the only way forward brings a threat greater than any compulsive behaviour, do they have a future together at all? A poignant and humorous story of love, family, secrets...and military precision.
The book is available to order here:
Helen's blog 'The Reluctant Perfectionist' is available here:
'Clare loves her boyfriend, Tom. So why is she panic-stricken when he asks her to marry him? Because marriage means living together. And that means he will find out what she’s really like...
In The A-Z of Normal, Clare inhabits a world in which extreme order and ritual rule. She arranges her belongings with military precision. The simplest of acts have to be done in a particular manner with dizzying attention to detail. It’s no wonder that keeping her compulsive behaviour secret from those closest to her proves exhausting. She wants to change. She tries to change. As she searches for a ‘cure’, however, her life becomes ever more complicated and, at times, she appears bent on throwing away her happiness. The way she is going it seems less and less likely she will ever make things work with Tom.
Helen Barbour understands the nature of obsessive behaviour and writes about it brilliantly. She explores a tricky subject with sharpness and humour. I found myself willing Clare on, wishing she could free herself from the stranglehold of her destructive compulsions. The A-Z of Normal is a funny and poignant story. If ever anyone deserves their happy ending, it’s Clare.'
Maria Malone, Author and Ghostwriter (Cheryl Cole, Tony Hadley, Eamonn Holmes, Mica Paris), www.mariamalonebooks.com
‘I loved The A-Z of Normal, by Helen Barbour. The author uses an intelligent blend of both humour and poignancy to journey with the protagonist through something inherently challenging. It's an intriguing exploration and clever observation of a challenging and touching personal struggle that leaves the reader satisfied...and yet hungry for more by the end of the book. I hope there will be a sequel!’
‘The A to Z of Normal is a well-paced book which I found difficult to put down.
Clare is finding it difficult to overcome her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behaviour before she marries Tom. Her family, each occupied with issues in their own lives, know nothing of her struggle so are unable to offer her any help. She joins a group in the hope that others suffering from OCD can offer support and there she meets Michael who creates additional problems in her life.
This captivating story explores the difficulties faced by OCD sufferers in a sensitive and humorous way.’
You can listen to the interview with Helen Barbour via a free app on iTunes and google play store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world. Download it free from these links
Direct download: raj_persaud_talks_to_helen_barbour_about_her_new_book_on_obsessional_checking.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 8:29am UTC
Mon, 16 February 2015
Committed to an Asylum. Claire explains what it's like to be committed to a psychiatric hospital against your will
What is it like to be committed to a psychiatric hospital against your will? This is surely one of the most frightening experiences anyone could endure? Claire was placed under a variety of sections of the Mental Health Act and as a result found herself committed on several occasions to various psychiatric institutions. Raj Persaud talks to her to get her story out to the world on what it's like to be 'sectioned'. The interview was organised thanks to assistance from Mind - the mental health charity. Many thanks to Aimee Gee of Mind for assisting in making this interview possible.
A related article which may be of interest first published in The Huffington Post by Raj Persaud and David James
How Having, or Not Having, an NHS Psychiatric Bed Can Kill You
Direct download: Raj_Persaud_talks_to_Claire_Greaves_about_what_it27s_like_being_sectioned_under_the_mental_health_act.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 7:04am UTC
Fri, 13 February 2015
Hospitalized against your will. Margaret was committed to a Psychiatric Institution against her will
Margaret talks to Raj Persaud about her frightening experience of being admitted to a psychiatric hospital against her will with no idea as to why this was happening. This interview was made possible by 'Mind' - the mental health charity and particular thanks go to Aimee Gee of 'Mind', for her assistance in making it possible.
A related article which may be of interest:
Should Anorexics Be Force-Fed?
Direct download: Raj_talks_to_a_lady_who_has_been_sectioned_under_the_mental_health_act.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 12:00pm UTC
Sun, 14 September 2014
A young woman who suffered one of the most traumatic experiences of all for anybody talks to Dr Raj Persaud.
Raj Persaud in conversation with Victoria, who suffered bipolar illness, sexual assault, self-harm and suicide attempts.
Do Offenders, as in the Rolf Harris Case, Sentence Their Own Families, and Their Victims, for Life?
RAJ PERSAUD AND PETER BRUGGEN
This podcast has been made on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) by Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen
If you are interested in further information on CPD Online or wish to earn CPD credit points, please visit the Royal College of Psychiatrists CPD Online website for further information at www.psychiatrycpd.co.uk
For more general podcasts visit: www.rcpsych.ac.uk/discoverpsychiatry/podcasts.aspx
Direct download: DR-100_0055_1.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 4:46am UTC
Thu, 11 September 2014
Dr Raj Persaud in conversation with Kenny Johnstone about the extraordinary experiences that led to Kenny setting up CLASP
FROM THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRIST'S WEBSITE
Kenny Johnston, Founder of the Counselling, Life Advice and Suicide Prevention charity, CLASP, talks to Dr Raj Persaud about how he set up the organisation after he twice tried, but failed, to take his own life.
Kenny Johnston is 43 and from west London. Having witness domestic abuse, racism, mental illness and a variety of stress-related experiences in his life, many could assume his suicide attempt in October 2010 was due to a build-up of tragic life experiences.
Kenny studied to become a CBT and Suicide Intervention Counsellor in order to help those living with their life traumas and daily trying to overcome the stigma which surrounds mental and stress related illness as well as suicidal thoughts to seek help and feel able and empowered to discuss their emotions and thoughts openly in order to resolve them, see a positive future and save a life.
"I truly believe that, if 50-60 years ago there was a stigma over black and white couples and now there's mixed races children including me; 20-30 years ago we had a stigma about Gay and Lesbians because of HIV and Aids, now there's same sex marriages; then isn’t it time to end the stigma about mental and stress related illness as well as suicide, because the longer it’s there the more lives will be lost"
Founder and CEO, CLASP Charity
After the Robin William’s tragedy – will there be copycats?
Raj Persaud and Professor Sir Simon Wessely (President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists)
Robert Enke, a very famous German football goal keeper, killed himself on the railway on 10th November 2009.
The number of railway suicidal acts, in the following two weeks, more than doubled in Germany.
The study which uncovered this is entitled ‘One followed by many?—Long-term effects of a celebrity suicide on the number of suicidal acts on the German railway net’, and is recently published in the ‘Journal of Affective Disorders’. There was also an increase of railway suicides of 19% in the following two years, as compared to the two years before this tragic event.
The authors of the study,Ulrich Hegerl, Nicole Koburger, Christine Rummel-Kluge, Christian Gravert, Martin Walden and Roland Mergl, found the 25% increase of fatal railway suicides between 2007 and 2010 was signiﬁcantly greater than the 6% increase in the total number of suicides in Germany over the same period.
The authors based at the University of Leipzig, and Deutsche Bahn AG (the German Railway Company), conclude that Enke’s suicide probably led to copycat suicidal behaviour on the railways.
The authors point out that the media attention of the footballer’s suicide was exceptional and enduring, and this may have had an impact. For example, television broadcasts of a public mourning ceremony, held in the team’s stadium, were viewed by almost 7 million German viewers.
30 railway suicidal acts occurred in the two-week interval before Encke’s suicide, 71 railway suicidal acts in the two week interval following this event; an increase of 137%.
But what is more ominous is that this research found an elevated long-term ‘attractiveness’ of railway suicidal acts after Enke’s suicide.
The authors conclude that their ﬁndings are a strong argument for improving media coverage of suicides, and community suicide preventive programs.
A study entitled ‘To What Extent Does the Reporting Behavior of the Media Regarding a Celebrity Suicide Influence Subsequent Suicides in South Korea?’, just published in the journal ‘Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior’, investigated the world record copycat effect thus far. This was the suicide of the Asian star actress Choi Jin-shil; starring in 18 films, she has been described as South Korea’s equivalent of Julia Roberts .
The authors, Jesuk Lee, Weon-Young Lee, Jang-Sun Hwang and Steve Stack, found her death on 2 October 2008 was subsequently associated with 429 additional suicides in South Korea, which is a record copycat effect.
Another recent investigation entitled, ‘Changes in suicide rates following media reports on celebrity suicide: a meta-analysis’, examined 10 studies from around the world, probing for similar copycat effects, examining 98 suicides by celebrities.
The team of authors, led by Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, King-wa Fu, Paul Yip, Daniel Fong, Steven Stack, Qijin Cheng and Jane Pirkis, report a change in suicide rates of on average roughly almost three suicides per 1000 000 population, in the month after a celebrity suicide across the world.
Extrapolating from these figures, the worse case scenario would be an additional almost 200 suicides over the next month, in the UK, with approaching 1000 in the USA. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but these non-celebrity suicides are unlikely to make the headlines.
The study, published in the ‘Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health’, report suicides by an ‘entertainment celebrity’, across the planet, had the greatest impact of all in Europe, in terms of copycat incidents, followed by a slightly smaller impact in the USA.
The authors based at the Universities of Vienna, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Wayne State, found a particular celebrity impact on copycat behaviour by entertainment celebrities, as opposed to other prominent people, such as politicians.
Thomas Niederkrotenthaler and co-authors argue the suicide of an entertainment celebrity is so influential perhaps because of audience identiﬁcation.
Celebrities are revered and may therefore act as particularly strong role models even when it comes to taking their own lives.
Guidelines for media reporting of suicide include that detailed discussion of the particular method should be avoided, and as images of the death scene are highly influential, these should not be broadcast. For details see http://www.samaritans.org/sites/default/files/kcfinder/files/press/Samaritans%20Media%20Guidelines%202013%20UK.pdf. These and similar links may be of special interest for journalists reporting about suicides
But by writing this article are we ourselves violating the media guidelines? Not so, we contend, because the recommendations do not say there should be no media reporting, but that it should be sober and responsible.
Thomas Niederkrotenthaler points out that not all celebrity suicide reporting is associated with increases in suicides subsequently. This is exemplified by the suicide of Rock Star Kurt Cobain. His suicide was widely reported, but there was no copycat phenomenon afterwards, Dr Thomas Niederkrotenthaler maintains.
This may be due to Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, expressing both her sadness and anger about her far too early loss, in the media, and contacts to support services were published, along with her statements, immediately after his suicide. Indeed, research showed that these mental health services experienced an increase in clients, but there was no upsurge in suicides.
Perhaps the celebrity obsession of the media is in fact a reflection of a deeper problem with journalism, of which suicide reporting is merely a symptom. Reporting of celebrities lives in general tends to remain somewhat naïve. Being rich and famous, according to the classic simplistic media analysis, inoculates against any serious psychological problems.
In a study entitled ‘Psychological strains found in the suicides of 72 celebrities’, the tensions experienced throughout the lives of 72 celebrities were systematically investigated.
The authors, Jie Zhang, Jiandan Tan and David Lester found of 72 ‘celebrity’ suicides, only one had no ‘strains’ at all.
The authors, from Shandong University School of Public Health and Central University of Finance and Economics, China, and The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, USA, found the most common pressure was ‘aspiration strain’ – found in 97% of the lives of celebrities who kill themselves.
‘Aspiration strain’ was defined in this study, published in the ‘Journal of Affective Disorders’, as a gap between an individual’s aspiration and the reality of their life. For example, wishing to be much richer than you actually are.
The study found 30 celebrities who killed themselves suffered at least two contrasting life strains, while 36 had endured three different ‘strains’.
Perhaps the take home message should be that despairing sadness may happen to anyone, irrespective of fame or wealth.
But what many people still do not know is that depression, and also other mental health problems, including personal crises, can be treated, and that there is help available.
That should be the headline story.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article you may find the following of help: Samaritans Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 http://www.samaritans.org
Direct download: raj_persaud_in_conversation_with_kenny_johnstone.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 10:21pm UTC
Wed, 10 September 2014
Raj Persaud in conversation with a lady who experienced a bipolar illness
What is it like to suffer from a Bipolar Illness? This lady talks frankly to Dr Raj Persaud about the reality as opposed to what is widely believed.
A related article which may be of interest first published in The Huffington Post:
Raj Persaud is joint podcast editor for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and also now has a free app on iTunes and google play store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world.
Direct download: Raj_Persaud_in_conversation_with_a_lady_who_has_had_bipolar_or_manic-depressive_experiences.mp4.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 10:21pm UTC
Mon, 8 September 2014
Raj Persaud talks to a man whose son developed a severe psychotic illness.
Nick describes an all too familiar battle that carers have of getting NHS psychiatry services to take the concerns of carers and relatives seriously. As a result of being ignored when they tried to inform services, the son became seriously unwell and a series of tragic events unfolded. Nick talks frankly and openly about his experiences and speaks for many carers and relatives in his account of what they have to endure.
Direct download: raj_persaud_talks_to_nick_-_who27s_son_developed_a_serious_mental_illness.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 12:09am UTC
Sun, 7 September 2014
Raj Persaud talks to Annalin who developed severe Post-Natal Depression
Annalin describes how it feels to get severe depression despite what is supposed to be one of highlights of any woman's life - the birth of her first child. She discusses with psychiatrist Raj Persaud possible causes of post natal depression and how recovery is possible.
Direct download: Raj_Persaud_chats_to_Annalin_who_developed_depression_shorty_after_the_birth_of_her_first_baby.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 11:06pm UTC
Sun, 31 August 2014
Dr Raj Persaud talks to a mother of someone with a psychotic illness
What's it like to be a mother of someone with severe mental health difficulties? Mary speaks about her experiences with Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud
Direct download: marypodcastrecordingedited1.mp3
Category:(3) EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES of severe emotional turmoil -- posted at: 9:57pm UTC