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Antidepressants: Switching and stopping

Neurotransmitters are associated with depression – particularly serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Most antidepressants relieve depression by affecting these neurotransmitters. Each class of antidepressant affects these neurotransmitters in slightly different ways. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs include fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram and escitalopram. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Examples of SNRI medications include duloxetine, […]

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Diverse causes of ADHD could explain the diverse manifestations of the disorder

ADHD: One or many conditions?

Researchers have been puzzling over how one diagnosis, namely ADHD, can have such different manifestations. How do we understand its marked heterogeneity in symptom presentation and impairments? How does this question relate to the changes seen in the diagnosis of ADHD in DSM-5? (more…)

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Despite strong and long-term evidence that medically assisted treatment saves lives, access to state-funded medication is only offered in one small trial site in the Western Cape

Substitution therapy crucial in fighting addiction

Substance abuse is an enormous problem in SA and affects people from a range of social demographics.  Substances abused include opioids, opiates, alcohol, cannabis and codeine. (more…)

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Coping with the side effects of antidepressants

Meryl Da Costa, SA Depression and Anxiety Group Shouldn’t mental wellbeing be more important than gaining a few extra kilograms or even abstaining from sex? However, when is it too much? What is the price that one has to pay when being diagnosed with depression and prescribed specific medication for it? The irony is, we […]

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Diagnosing and managing bipolar disorder

Bipolar mood disorder, bipolar affective disorder and manic depressive disorder are all interchangeable terms for the same condition. Bipolar involves fluctuating patterns of abnormal highs (mania/hypomania) and lows (depression). There are two main types (bipolar I and II), distinguished by the severity of the highs and the duration of episodes, explained Dr Sheldon Zilesnick, Psychiatrist […]

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Dr Gerhard Grobler

Major depression as a systemic disorder

Dr Gerhard Grobler Major depressive disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterised by mood, behavioural, cognitive and vegetative symptoms. The hallmark of this disorder is loss of the normal, euthymic mood as expressed by either or both a depressed mood or a loss of normal interest in or enjoyment of life, known as anhedonia. While the […]

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What’s the fuss about ADHD

Dr Brendan Belsham’s ADHD handbook – Review by Dora Wynchank, Psychiatrist in private practice, Parkview Dr Belsham’s informative and enjoyable book, What’s the fuss about ADHD? (2012) is currently available, and I highly recommend it for parents and clinicians dealing with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).1 Dr Belsham is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with extensive experience […]

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Anxiety treatment in primary care

Dr Elena Cocolas and Prof Dan Stein Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common disorder in community studies (with a prevalence of between 4% and 7%) and is the most common anxiety disorder in primary care (where its prevalence is even higher). Due to comorbidity […]

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The current state of mental health in SA

By Dr Colinda Linde, Clinical Psychologist, Morningside, Johannesburg A 2008 study by Stein et al’s investigation into the lifetime prevalence for psychiatric disorders in SA yielded figures of 15.8% for anxiety disorders, 13.3% for substance abuse disorders, and 9.8% for mood disorders. Compared with other countries in the 2006 World Mental Health (WMH) Survey, SA had the […]

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Delirium: confused?

By Dr Ian Westmore Delirium is a psychiatric condition that all medical practitioners encounter at some stage of their career, and it constitutes a medical emergency. Psychiatrists are frequently consulted and required to assist in the management of delirious patients, but often only when the patient’s behaviour poses a risk to him-/herself, or others. It has […]

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