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#Mental Illness

# mental-illness - Monday 7 January, 2013

From The42 NBA: Rockets suspend rookie for 'refusing to provide services' Basketball

NBA: Rockets suspend rookie for 'refusing to provide services'

Royce White claims his anxiety disorder is not being addressed properly by Houston.

# mental-illness - Tuesday 6 November, 2012

Men looking after their mental health like never before

Men seeking help for stress, suicidal thoughts and mental health issues have risen by around 25 per cent in Dublin in the past three years.

# mental-illness - Friday 26 October, 2012

Almost one third of mothers in social housing show signs of depression

The study found that a high number of people living in social housing reported mental health illnesses.

# mental-illness - Sunday 12 August, 2012

347 psychiatric patients received electro-shock therapy in 2010

A debate is raging over whether patients should ever be given ECT against their wishes

# mental-illness - Friday 13 July, 2012

Column: Suicide isn’t wanting to die. It’s not being able to bear living.

We have too many misconceptions about suicide. It’s not shameful – it’s the result of a fatal illness, writes Fine Gael TD Dan Neville.

# mental-illness - Thursday 9 February, 2012

Six teens 'injected with malaria' in Austrian psychiatric ward

The alleged victims claim they were deliberately given malaria while being treated psychiatrically at the ward in the 1960s.

# mental-illness - Monday 31 October, 2011

Column: How I lost my husband – a story of dementia

Elizabeth Tierney’s husband Jim was diagnosed with dementia in 1997. Here she describes how the man she loved gradually slipped away.

# mental-illness - Wednesday 14 September, 2011

Two children and four adults killed in brutal axe attack in China

China has experienced a string of rampage attacks at schools, retirement homes and on city streets that have left dozens dead and scores more wounded since the start of 2010.

# mental-illness - Monday 5 September, 2011

‘We branded people lunatics and locked them away’

Patients three to a bed and floors covered in faeces: the full horror of Ireland’s mental institutions is exposed by journalist Mary Raftery.

# mental-illness - Friday 5 August, 2011

Column: Mentally ill patients don’t deserve to be locked up

Locking people alone in rooms isn’t a treatment for mental illness – so why are we still doing it, asks Orla Barry of Mental Health Reform.

# mental-illness - Wednesday 3 August, 2011

From The42 Brandon Marshall has borderline personality disorder Obvious

Brandon Marshall has borderline personality disorder

The Miami Dolphins’man claims to have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. This latest news should come as little surprise.

# mental-illness - Thursday 21 July, 2011

From The42 Football and traumatic brain injury: a secret history of the NFL Research

Football and traumatic brain injury: a secret history of the NFL

The NFL has a serious problem with concussion, one the league is largely refusing to countenance. A small group of scientists and veterans have set about amassing scientific evidence.

# mental-illness - Tuesday 12 October, 2010

Dozens of Irish developers have died by suicide since recession hit

The use of “terror” tactics by the banks has been blamed for rising psychiatric problems.

# mental-illness - Friday 1 October, 2010

New teen mental health unit to open in Dublin

The unit will provide specialist care to young people suffering from anxiety, eating disorders and psychosis.

# mental-illness - Tuesday 3 August, 2010

RESEARCH has concluded that teens who spend are constantly online are more likely to be depressed.

Researchers in Australia and China found that some teens were anxious and nervous when they weren’t online, and those teens were two and a half times more likely to develop depression.

The Telegraph is reporting that over 1,000 teens with an average age of 15 were examined about their internet use. Just over six per cent were found to be pathological users of the net.

None of the teens said they had depression before the survey, but nine months later, those who were patholigical users of the net, were more likely to show signs of depression, than those who were online less.

The authors of the report have called for a screening program for pathological use of the internet in schools. This they say will go a long way to early diagnosis of young people who have depression.

# mental-illness - Saturday 31 July, 2010

THE WOMAN at the centre of the gruesome French infanticide case is reportedly ‘relieved’ that her secret is now out in the open.

Dominique Cottrez, a nursing assistant in her mid-40s, confessed on Wednesday to killing ten of her own children by suffocation, after the new occupants of her old house found their bones in the garden.

Now her lawyer, Frank Berton, says “she doesn’t have to carry this on her conscience any more, and that’s a kind of relief.” He added that she was “tired, worn out and battered down” after facing intensive police questioning.

Cottrez will now undergo psychological tests to determine whether she was fully responsible for her actions, and said he believed that prosecutors may have been “a bit quick” to say she was fully aware of what she had done.

Her two adult children, who had no idea of their mother’s actions, said she was a “doting grandmother … who supported us at all times.”

It is believed Cottrez began smothering her children after enduring difficulties delivering one of her two surviving children, but was able to hide her pregnancies in her 20-stone bulk.

Her husband, a local councillor, also claims to have known nothing of his wife’s actions.

Cottrez’s is the third high-profile case of infanticide in France in the last eighteen months, with all three mothers understood to be suffering from ‘pregnancy denial‘.

Cottrez could face charges of voluntary homicide of the babies.

# mental-illness - Friday 30 July, 2010

DOMINIQUE COTTREZ, Véronique Courjault, Céline Lesage: three seemingly ordinary women who share a grim alliance.

In cases that have horrified people in their native France, and across the world, each woman has admitted to the killing of her newborn babies.

The latest case, that of 45-year-old Dominique Cottrez, was uncovered this week. The new owners of Cottrez’s previous home made a gruesome discovery when digging in the back garden to make a pool: the remains of two tiny bodies.

When police searched the home in which Cottrez now lives with her husband, Pierre-Marie, they found six more sets of remains wrapped in plastic bags.

Cottrez, who has two adult daughters, has admitted to smothering eight newborns between 1989 and 2006.

In a similar case last March, also in France, 38-year-old Céline Lesage was found guilty of killing six of her newborn babies. Last year, 42-year-old Véronique Courjault was found guilty of murdering three of her newborns.

But the cases are not confined to France, and neither is the psychological condition – pregnancy denial – that experts say led these women to committing infanticide.

What is pregnancy denial?

According to experts, pregnancy denial is a complex mental condition which results in a woman having a lack of awareness of being pregnant.

“Denial” is a more serious condition than may first be understood. It is not a simple, dismissive attitude to the news of a pregnancy, but has been described as an “unconscious defence mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings.”

A women suffering from this condition can experience it in a range of forms and to different degrees of severity, according to experts.

What are the forms of pregnancy denial?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are three forms of pregnancy denial:

1.  Pervasive denial

Pervasive denial “occurs when not only the emotional significance butthe very existence of the pregnancy is kept from awareness.”

It can mean that bodily changes and even labour pains can be misinterpreted, meaning the woman can be first consciously aware of having been pregnant only after giving birth. However the trauma involved can mean that a woman can fail to recognise the newborn as a “real” baby.

Speaking to FRANCE 24, president of the French Association for the Recognition of Pregnancy Denial, Felix Navarro said:

One must understand the circumstances under which these situations arise. A woman who has total pregnancy denial suffers terribly painful symptoms that she doesn’t understand. Her water breaks and she sees something coming out of her body: something she can’t fully discern, something that is sometimes inanimate and that the woman doesn’t necessarily identify as a baby.

2. Affective denial

In cases of “affective denial” women are aware of theirpregnancy but they make little emotional or physical preparation for itand “continue to think, feel, and behave as though they werenot pregnant.”

This is commonly displayed in women who have substance abuse  problems and who may continue drinking or taking drugs during their pregnancy.

3. Psychotic denial

This form of denial occurs in women who suffer from psychosis and have previously lost custody of other children.

How common is it?

According to the British Medical Journal (BMJ); “The common view that denied pregnancies are exotic and rare events is not valid.”

The BMJ concludes that the ratio of pregnancy denial is about one to every 475 births, according to a study based in Berlin over a one year period.

Based on that study, the BMJ calculated that:

In about 1600 births the mother would not have been aware of her pregnancy at 20 weeks of gestation, or later—and each year 300 women would not have realised they were pregnant until going into labour.

What causes it?

The causes seem to be wide and varied, but often appear to be rooted in an early trauma or a mental illness.

Speaking to Time magazine, Michel Delcroix, a former gynecologist who served as a court expert in the Véronique Courjault trial, said the condition can be caused by a woman having experienced physical abuse or rape.

A French study of 22 women withthe condition found that the phenomenon was commonamong young women who are experiencing their first pregnancy. The study noted that one-fifth had been abused.

A German study that included65 women with the condition found that some of the women had schizophrenia,personality disorders, diminished intelligence,or substance-abuse disorders.

Various studies into the disorder have concluded that women from a range of socio-economic backgrounds experienced pregnancy denial.

Is there treatment?

Experts warn that many women who have experienced pregnancy denial are never referred for psychological screening.

Many women in denial of their pregnancies present themselves at hospital before giving birth (because of intense pain) and, while drug test are sometimes performed, few ever receive psychiatric evaluations.

Nada Stotland, vice president of the APA, told Medscape that women – and sometimes their partners – need to be referred to psychiatrists after experiencing pregnancy denial, something which rarely happens.

She explained: “It takes some psychic effort not to notice that you are pregnant – or that a family member or loved one is pregnant.”

She appealed to medical staff to refer patients to psychiatrists when they display pregnancy denial.