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 Encephalomyelitiswhich is a serious debilitating chronic multisystem illness that can leave the sufferer house or bed bound. This condition is often misunderstood by many professionals (GP’s, consultants, physio’s, nurses) 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, postural orthostatic tachycardia, fibromyalgia type pain, sensitivity to sounds, smells, light, enlarged lymph nodes and IBS. It is diagnosed 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 early diagnosis from a qualified doctor and a consultant 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 washing themselves). Cognitive problems can be incapacitating whereby the person 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. Given all the above many sufferers will, naturally, suffer from depression too. Associations: (frequent events with expert speakers). Reading: Living With M.E.: The Chronic, Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome by Dr. Charles Shepherd. For latest research: ME/CFS/PVFS An exploration of the key clinical issues (2017) from Investinme (reseacrh conferences). Other links: ME & Depression.

'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: Previous 'In a Nutshell' articles here.

Article on M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) in the Irish Times Tuesday November 28th ( ME and a new film called Unrest which will have a free screening in Galway on January 16th in NUIG:  Many doctors, psychiatrists, physio's and other professionals lack accurate understanding of ME and it is often misdiagnosed and sufferers given inapproriate and potentially harmful treatment. Here is a link to the differences between depression and ME: Link. And the latest Primer for young people with ME (particular interest to doctors). Link.

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