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Analysis and Comment (25)

The game could be as dangerous as the cigarettes. Alvert Barnes

How the stress of playing chess can be fatal

The death of a chess player in the middle of a match at the world’s most prestigious competition may have shocked those who view the game as a relaxing pastime. Kurt Meier, 67, collapsed during his final…
Therapy helps patients gradually confront situations, places and activities they’ve avoided since the traumatic event. Bill Strain/Flickr

Treating post-traumatic stress disorder: confronting the horror

While human beings have always known about the mental health effects of trauma, it was only in 1980 that the term post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, was coined. This acceptance spawned an explosion…
Eating is clearly more than just about getting the right nutrition. Brianna Lehman/Flickr

Health Check: how food affects mood and mood affects food

Eating good food promotes overall health and well-being, but what you eat may also impact how you feel. Research suggests that not only can the food you eat affect your mood, but that your mood may influence…
Friend or foe: what do you see? Kquedquest

Trauma makes us shun kindness when we need it most

It seems intuitive that many of us would fear and avoid emotions such as anger and anxiety. But some people fear positive emotions such as happiness and contentment, and of accepting the compassion, kindness…
That’ll be 42 broken bones and still skiiing. Mike Egerton/PA

The fear factor: coping with anxiety at altitude

The nature of competitive sport involves athletes putting themselves in high-pressure situations in which they are being constantly appraised, and Sochi is no different. So it is unsurprising that the…
For managers, the challenge is in trying to motivate and engage stressed staff. Image from shutterstock.com

Managing stress and mental illness in the workplace

Common mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety disorders, are the second leading cause of disability in Australia and affect around 20% of the working age population at any one moment…
Addressing contrary patterns of thinking, or cognitive biases, could help ameliorate negative feelings. Mira Manns

Feeling anxious? There could soon be an app for that

Cognitive bias modification is a new approach to treating emotional problems. It holds considerable promise for the remote delivery of mental health interventions. The story of how this new approach came…
For people with depression or anxiety, finding an effective medication can be a difficult task. Eddi van W.

Some antidepressants work better than others – now we know why

Three million Australians are currently living with depression or anxiety, and antidepressants are now the third most commonly prescribed class of medication in Australia, after antibiotics and cholesterol-lowering…
That dude doesn’t look like a squid. Fathzer

Surfing on prescription helps kids at breaking point

The NHS is funding a pilot programme that prescribes surfing lessons for young people with depression and low self-esteem. Based in Dorset, the Wave Project is open to people aged between eight and 21…
The trillions of bacteria in your gut can affect your brain – psychologically and physically. Helga Weber

Navel gazing: healthy gut bacteria can help you stress less

Striking new evidence indicates that the gut microbiome, the ecological community of microorganisms that share our body, has a huge effect on brain function – much larger than we thought. It has long been…
Don’t listen to that little devil on your shoulder. Evan Agostini/AP

Feel like a fraud? You might have imposter syndrome

To many people, the actress Emma Watson, who plays Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, has it all. Talent, beauty, brains, and major acting roles at a young age. Yet Emma – like many people, be…
Time for another holiday. Compscigrad

Explainer: how do you die from overwork?

The end of the summer holidays mean office workers will be firmly back to the daily grind of attending meetings, sending emails, organising diaries and paperwork, and overtime. But after a number of cases…
Recent studies show psychedelics can have a positive effect on a range of mental health issues. Shutterstock

Shroom to grow: Australia’s missing psychedelic science

A recent Norwegian study on psychedelic drugs and psychological well-being not only highlighted fewer mental health issues among users of these drugs but also underscored the reinvigoration of scientific…
Stressful times for mum increase the risk of later problems for her baby. Flickr/Roberto Carlos Pecino

Effects of prenatal stress can affect children into adulthood

If we want to understand child development, we need to start before birth. We have known for decades that health depends on an interaction between our genes and our environment. But we’ve also come to…
What makes a fear a phobia? jasonbolonski/Flickr.

Explainer: what are phobias?

A life without fear sounds idyllic but it would be no paradise. Fear protects us from present danger, alerts us to future threat, sharpens our minds and blunts our selfishness. Friedrich Nietzsche once…
Trichotillomania, where individuals pull out their hair, has long been considered a mental disorder, but where does it fit in the DSM-5? Tigresblanco

Don’t pull your hair out over trichotillomania

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. Trichotillomania is a psychological…
Long-term meditators have larger sections of the brain responsible for regulating emotion. Tezatrataz/Phra Ajan Jerapunyo Abbot of Watkungtaphao

Beyond spirituality: the role of meditation in mental health

Meditation has traditionally been associated with Eastern mysticism but science is beginning to show that cultivating a “heightened” state of consciousness can have a major impact on our brain, the way…

Columnists (1)

An English victory in Brazil? Here’s hoping

The England football team goes to the World Cup with the hopes of a nation packed in the undercarriage of their plane. At the last World Cup, hopes were high as a “golden generation” of players at the…

Research and News (8)

Research Briefs (17)

Most musicians suffer pain: study

Australia’s orchestral musicians are suffering for their art, according to new research. Psychologists found that 84% of…