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Five years on, the bush and people are recovering well from the Black Saturday fires. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Five years on from Black Saturday, most survivors are doing OK

Five years on from the devastating Black Saturday fires that swept through central Victoria in February 2009, research shows that people and communities are largely recovering well. In the first major…
A growing body of research suggests placebos may be as good as real drugs for treating depression. Victor/Flickr

Antidepressants may be no better than a placebo, so why take them?

Seventeenth-century Oxford scholar Robert Burton’s lifework, The Anatomy of Melancholy, weighs in at a door-stopping 1,400 pages. But his cure for the “Black Choler” of depression came down to just six…
Silent suffering? The Thinker by Albino Flea

Men, masculine pride and how to cope with depression

Masculinity plays an important role in dealing with problems such as depression. Men often don’t feel able to reach out for assistance because both the symptoms of depression and the act of seeking help…
Robin Williams died at the age of 63. Claudio Onorati/EPA

Comparing depression to cancer doesn’t help anyone

Robin Williams’s suicide has led many to open up about depression in an effort to raise awareness about how many people are living in misery. One of the most common themes in this public discussion has…
You may find yourself talking to a therapist who is completely inappropriate to your needs. James Nash/Flickr

Talking therapies can harm too – here’s what to look out for

People seeking therapy should always talk to a practitioner who provides good quality treatment that’s appropriate to their needs. Because research shows that even the innocuous-sounding “talking therapies…
Antidepressants might actually be underprescribed. Charles Williams/Flickr

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas: antidepressants are not overprescribed

There is a persistent media hype surrounding the notion that the prescription of antidepressants is “at record levels”, and “on the rise”. Yet numerous studies have shown that most people with depression…
Temptation is everywhere. Vivian Viola

Losing weight might make you healthier but not happier

Supermodel Kate Moss' quip that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” captured the sense in society that being thin is the recipe for happiness. Obesity causes a range of health problems, including…
We are only now realising how poor diets impact mental health and well-being. Λ |_ ν-\ Γ Ø/Flickr

You are what you eat: how diet affects mental well-being

Over the last half century, the global food industry has profoundly changed the way we eat. While we understand how these dietary changes have impacted physical health, their effect on mental well-being…
Not just a man’s game. Roonb

Anabolic steroid use is not just about bodybuilding

The use of anabolic steroids has been associated primarily with men. But over the past few decades, we’ve been discovering more about different groups who use these drugs – including women and younger…
People who attribute mental illness to brain disease or genes tend to blame affected people less, but see them as more hopeless and dangerous. lauren rushing/Flickr

Brains, genes and chemical imbalances – how explanations of mental illness affect stigma

Depression, schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions are increasingly linked to abnormalities in the brain and in our genes. Many professionals believe these developments hold the key to better treatments…
Dejected South Korean fans after their team lost against Algeria. EPA/Kim Chul-Soo

Suicide rates and World Cup results: beyond the numbers game

Several studies appear to show quite noticeable associations between hosting and performance at World Cups and suicide rates. When France hosted (and won) the football World Cup in 1998, the suicide rate…

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