Category Mental health

Miscarriage, post-traumatic stress and me

‘Miscarriage can lead to post-traumatic stress,’ say the headlines. I have the research paper on my desk top, and I’m reading through it, trying to keep focused. I’m looking for inclusion criteria, drop-out rates and confidence intervals. I’m analysing it. That’s what I do. I’m a medical writer. But every few minutes I catch myself […]


“Mental health issues” and the need for media caution

As author Matt Haig, who has a history of severe depression, pointed out this week, saying that someone has ‘mental health issues’ is like saying they have ‘health issues’ – vague to the point of meaningless. Mental ill-health ranges widely over human experience. Eating disorders, anxiety, depression. Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder. Social anxiety, agoraphobia, […]

What really protects against dementia?

If there’s one disease that sends a shiver down people’s spines in the modern world, it’s dementia. In a society where we place so much value on intelligence and autonomy, the thought of losing our memories, our ability to think and to look after ourselves is frightening. This fear is behind some of the commissions […]

Eat yourself happy?

Can what you eat affect the way you feel? It sounds like a no-brainer. I get grumpy and cross when I’m hungry; I feel better after a healthy meal; I feel a bit sick and guilty after a Christmas session on the Quality Street. But evidence to show that food significantly affects our mood, much less […]

Small study, big news

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a medical journalist, it’s that the size of the study is no predictor of the splash it makes in the media. Last week I analysed two studies which were based on tiny, very specific populations. One added little to our state of knowledge, the other was a scientifically […]