Musings of a phenomenologist

Science, psychiatry and random musings

Archive for the ‘Medicine’ Category

Depression, fad or fact?

Posted by soveda on May 18, 2010

I don’t usually read the Daily Mail’s website but my attention was brought to this article by Janet Street Porter:

Depression-Its-just-new-trendy-illness

Which starts:

There’s a big black cloud hanging over parts of the UK, and it’s not going away. Not volcanic ash – but depression. This relatively new ailment appeared on my radar a couple of years ago, when I discovered that more and more women were claiming they suffered from ‘stress’

Ah yes, depression is terribly new – I believe it was first described in… Mesapotamian texts? or the Old Testament? or possibly Ancient Greece. Practically unknown until recent days as you can see.

Why did I get so annoyed with this article?

Is it because, despite the efforts of psychiatrists to reduce stigma (e.g.: Changing Minds) this sort of article appears to promote that stigma? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, Medicine, mental health | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Is it ethical to lie to patients?

Posted by soveda on October 8, 2009

I ask this question because a number of people have spoken to me about SPECAL care (Specialised early care in alzheimer’s… erm… care- it’s like PIN number). Back in August 2008 there was this article in the Guardian by media psychologist Oliver James. Author of this book: Contented Dementia, which discusses SPECAL and he thinks it is great.

Hang on a mo, have a look at the 4th paragraph:

“There is a desperate need for an alternative form of care. Believe it or not, my mother-in-law has discovered it. I must be the only man in Britain who would like my mother-in-law to look after me if I had dementia. She is called Penny Garner and her method enables family members or professional carers to deliver 24-hour wellbeing to people with dementias. Amazingly, we are still on good terms after spending a year producing a book that now makes her method available to everyone.”

The interesting article he wrote in August 2009 has been commented on by the mental nurse blog which is well worth a read, I have tracked down a copy of the RCN report on SPECAL so I thought I’d blog a bit on the evidence base.

Now read on:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in media, Medicine, mental health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

I’m starting to think they do it on purpose

Posted by soveda on May 8, 2009

Here we go again, the BBC website has some more marvellous reporting of research. This time the article is : Trial drugs “reverse” Alzheimer’s
O rly…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, Medicine, mental health | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The BBC being accurate again

Posted by soveda on April 25, 2009

I know I haven’t been terribly active in blogging recently but this story on the BBC website raised an eyebrow. The story in question is about a crop of daffodils being grown in Wales as a source of Galantamine crystals.
For the uninitiated, Galantamine is an Acetlycholinesterase inhibitor, one of the medications used in Alzheimer’s, more specifically it is one of the three medications that doctors in the UK are allowed to prescribe. It says it right in the NICE guidelines, not according to the BBC’s reporting though. Apparently it is only available in Scotland and then only privately…
I’ve blogged repeatedly about the quality of facts on the Beeb and I will again, hopefully by the time you read this the article will be accurate but I’m not holding my breath.

Posted in bad media, Medicine | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The least worst option

Posted by soveda on February 20, 2009

This post was triggered by a comment about bpsd (behavioural problems and symptoms in dementia) made by The Shrink author of the Lake Cocytus blog (follow the link and read it is a great insight into life as a consultant psychiatrist). Much of what The Shrink writes echoes with me as I have had eerily similar experiences in my practice.

I made a decision when I started blogging to focus on evidence and legislation rather than clinical cases when I started and I’m not going to change that when others do the clinical blogging better than me. Having said that one of the biggest (if not the biggest) challenges presenting to the psychiatrist working with dementia and brain injury is that of so called “behavioural disturbance” and “wanderi

Edit: the rest of post appears to have disappeared into the ether, I will reinstate it if I find my musings elsewhere!

Posted in Medicine, mental health | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s all in the mind surely?

Posted by soveda on January 5, 2009

[BPSDB]

I was navel gazing and having a look at which of my rants was the most read, it seems that it was the one on electrosensitivity. So lets have a talk about medically unexplained symptoms shall we? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad science, Medicine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

But she’s a professor!

Posted by soveda on December 19, 2008

Thanks to Ben Goldacre’s mini blog I came accross this story. It’s a worrying story for me in several ways, the diagnosis by letter being one. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad media, Medicine | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Not smoking can kill

Posted by soveda on November 26, 2008

Another day, another bit of advertising billed as reporting on the BBC website.

To be fair they do aknowledge that this is linked to a programme being broadcast on the 26th November (Today).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Medicine | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Why oh why oh why? (Do I read the BBC news health section)

Posted by soveda on October 3, 2008

I did it again, this was going to be a follow up post about the mental health act but instead here I am ranting about the BBC’s coverage of a health story.

The story in question is: Sick leave link to “early death”.

Why am I picking on this? (the inverted commas are in their title BTW)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Medicine | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Flatliners, the research project…

Posted by soveda on September 18, 2008

I really should stop listening to the Today programme, mind you if I did what would I have to blog about?

Why am I writing again, well today I heard the following story about a research project on “out of body experiences” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bad science, Medicine | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »