Newsletter Archive Nutshell


In a NutShell

'In a nutshell’ is an extremely brief guide to conditions or ilnesses that can affect a persons mood or mental health. I will try to include links for further information. In this newsletter I am focusing on: ME (Myalgic Encephalomyselitis)/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) which, in a nutshell, is a serious debilitating chronic multisystem disease that can leave the sufferer house or bed bound. This condition is often misunderstood by many professionals including GP’s and lay people as 'all in the mind’ or viewing it as simply fatigue. This is despite having robust evidence showing it to be a biological illness. Affecting many systems of the body symptoms include profound fatigue, post exertional malaise, sleep disturbance, cognitive impairment, and for some also orthostatic intolerance, muscle pains, sensitivity to sounds, enlarged lymph nodes and IBS. It is diagnosed only after having certain conditions ruled out through medical test such as Lyme’s disease, thyroid disease, anemia, Addison disease etc. It is crucial to obtain a diagnosis from a qualified doctor with an understanding of this condition. The hallmark symptom of ME/CFS isn’t fatigue at all: It’s a dramatic worsening of symptoms after exertion (which for some patients can be as little as lifting a toothbrush). On top of that, patients have cognitive problems, sometimes so extreme they can’t talk or read; within half an hour of standing, their blood pressure drops or their heart rate soars; and sleep makes them feel no better. Most have additional symptoms, too, including pain and neurological and immune problems. Many sufferers will, naturally, also suffer from depression. A recent update and review article: here. A personal blog by ME sufferer here: Link. www.meassociation.org.uk  www.irishmecfs.org/ Reading: Living With M.E.: The Chronic, Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome by Dr. Charles Sheherd. 

'In a nutshell’ is an extremely brief guide to conditions and other areas of interest in Counselling & Psychotherapy. In this newsletter I am focusing on: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) which is a modified cognitive behavioral treatment that combines behavioral science with acceptance and mindfulness. It was originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. DBT involves the learning and practicing of particular coping skills such as self monitoring, emotion regulation and tolerance, mindfulness and interpersonal skills. Extended group based programs are available in the HSE which also include individual therapy and phone coaching session. Resources: http://behavioraltech.org. Previous 'In a Nutshell' articles here.

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