The Nocebo Effect

The Placebo Effect: a psychological effect in which a treatment which contains no active medical substance causes an improvement in symptoms. For example, a participant in a trial takes a sugar pill believing it could be real medication and find their back pain goes away. This effect has been well documented and is relatively well … Read more

Resilience – innate or acquired?

Hi everyone, and Happy New Year! I’m back after having a few weeks off blogging, and plan to stick to my schedule of 1 post a week in 2018 (usually posted on Thursdays, 4pm GMT). To start off this year, I thought I’d talk about a concept in psychology which is being applied more to … Read more

Orthorexia – a new type of eating disorder?

You might have heard some of the negativity in the press recently about so called ‘clean eating’ and it’s advocates, who promote a lifestyle which involves cutting out any processed food and often entire food groups (gluten/dairy etc). This is not because of any medical reason, but simply just to be as ‘healthy’ as possible. … Read more

Prevention is better than cure – Youth Mental Health in the UK

In Theresa May’s recent speech to parliament she stated that she wanted to end the stigma of mental illness and improve the state of mental healthcare in the UK. As a researcher into mental health services for children and adolescents, I hear often about the struggle parents have to get an appointment for their child to … Read more

Behavioural Activation

This week’s post is about a technique used as part of cognitive behavioural therapy for people with depression. As you probably know already, symptoms of depression include low mood, low self-esteem, feelings of anxiety and helplessness, and having low motivation and interest in activities which they previously enjoyed. Behavioural activation focuses on the ‘B’ of … Read more

Why more money needs to be spent on improving access to mental health treatments

This week in the UK is Mental Health Awareness Week, so today’s post will be a bit different – what are the main issues about treating mental illness in our society, and how can access to therapy be improved? Firstly: not enough money is being spent to improve access to mental health services in the UK. Fact. … Read more


Post – traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder which is characterised by: reexperiencing the trauma (intrusive thoughts) avoidance and numbing increased arousal It has a lifetime prevalence of about 8%, and is more likely to occur in women than men. It differs from other anxiety disorders as it is anxiety … Read more

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder which is characterised by recurring panic attacks. A panic attack is a brief period of intense discomfort and anxiety, and can cause symptoms like breathlessness and palpitations. During a panic attack, the individual will typically have thoughts such as ‘I’m going mad’ or ‘I’m having a heart … Read more