Mental Health Issues

Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Eating

Also referred to as “food addiction” and “binge-eating disorder” (BED), compulsive overeating is characterised by an obsessive-compulsive relationship to food. This condition is not only manifested by abnormal (amount of) food intake, but also by the intake and craving for foods that are, in themselves, harmful to the individual. People suffering from this disorder engage in frequent episodes of u... »

Helping Clients Deal with Narcissists

This article focuses on how practitioners can assist clients in dealing with narcissists. You will be introduced to some of the “positive traits” that make narcissists attractive at first sight. You will also learn the criteria for Self-Defeating Personality Disorder (SDPD) and get a range of “survival tips” to help clients deal with narcissists in their life. »

Narcissism: The Basics

This article explores the concept of narcissism and how it manifests in individuals. You will also be introduced to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), including its epidemiology, symptoms and diagnostic criteria. »

Depression and Depressive Disorders

The meaning of the word “depression” varies widely. Some people may say they are depressed when they have a bad day, but the mood passes by the next day; this situation would not be classed as depression in a clinical sense. For others, though, feeling unhappy, “down”, or “low” may persist for weeks, months, or even years, and other symptoms may develop along with it. »

Psychological Interventions for Depression

Treatments (or interventions) for depression fall into one of three categories, and often several are recommended to be taken up at once. These main groupings are: medical interventions; psychological interventions and; lifestyle interventions »

The Five Stages of Addiction

Addiction is a plague that affects individuals and society in an adverse manner. It is a very costly illness that has worldwide prevalence ( If addiction is an illness wherein a person’s drives are operating improperly, then the stages of addiction are the signposts that indicate just how far down the road to addiction the drives have taken the person. Many authori... »

Suicide: Statistics, Characteristics and Myths

Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud called suicide “murder turned around 180 degrees”, or more wryly, “a very poor response to a very bad day”. Also called “self-murder” or “self-killing”, suicide is the act of deliberately or intentionally taking one’s own life. It is an attempt to solve a problem of intense emotional pain with impaired problem-solving skills (Kalafat, J. & Underwood, M., n.d.). »

Responding to Suicide Risk

Suicide is a serious health problem. The World Health Organisation estimates that one suicide attempt occurs every three seconds and one completed suicide occurs approximately every 40 seconds resulting in almost one million people dying from suicide each year; a “global” mortality rate of 16 per 100,000 (WHO, 2000, 2010). »

Family Therapy with Addictions

Addiction affects the whole family. Because of this, it is understandable why some would suggest that treatment should involve the whole family. It is often the case that addicted individuals seek treatment in response to a form of external pressure exerted by family members. Many therapists adopting family therapy to treat substance abuse today have broadened what constitutes family to include ot... »

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioural therapy developed as a treatment for self harming, particularly in borderline personality disorder (Low et al., 2001). Underpinning ideas of DBT suggest that invalidating environments that may have occurred during upbringing can inhibit the effective development of coping methods to deal with sudden intense surges of emotion (Linehan, ... »

Understanding Self Harming

Self harming is a dangerous and pervasive problem especially common among adolescents and young adults (Craigen & Foster, 2009; Craigan & Foster, 2009). Self harming is considered to be a common reason for emergency admission to hospital and also a common reason for suicide (Low, Jones, Duggan, Power & Mac Leod, 2001). »

Psychological Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are highly treatable with psychological therapies, medication, or both. Combination therapies are often used, for example a combination of anti-anxiety medication and cognitive behavioural therapy has been suggested to be more effective than either one alone; however the most effective treatment will depend on each individual person’s needs and associated genetic and environmenta... »

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, or OCPD, is characterised by perfectionism and an excessive concern with maintaining order (Barlow & Durand, 2009). This perfectionism is often dysfunctional because such individuals are always careful not to make mistakes as such, check for minor details and errors. Because they are often preoccupied with trivial details, they use time poorly which can p... »

A Brief Introduction to Dissociation

There are few constructs in psychology that are as misunderstood as those relating to dissociation. There are times when many of us have experienced the sensation of being away from ourselves – so engaged in a book or movie that we lose track of time, or driving somewhere and having no memory of the journey. This is a very basic understanding of the concept however does explain the basic element o... »

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