Tag Archives: depression

“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, […]

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 […]

Exercise and depression: unpicking the evidence

The belief that exercise is a simple, non-pharmacological treatment for depression is so attractive, that it’s been received pretty much uncritically. When a study last year seemed to question the use of exercise as an ‘add-on’ treatment for depression, there was a mini-outcry, with many people (including people who’ve had depression) loudly proclaiming how much […]

A lot more complicated

The great Bad Science blogger, Ben Goldacre, once produced teeshirts proclaiming: ‘I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that.’ It’s a sentiment that can be applied to just about every medical story, and one that may yet lead us in some weird directions. On Monday, I was at the Royal Society, to […]

No, the internet doesn’t make you depressed. But this story might.

Contrary to yesterday’s front pages, the Internet doesn’t cause depression. However, half-baked, scaremongering research, uncritically disseminated all over the newspapers, does rather get me down. How is it half-baked? Let me count the ways. The Leeds University researchers didn’t interview a randomly chosen, representative sample of the population. ‘Internet addiction’ isn’t a  recognised medical condition. And the […]