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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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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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ADHD in adolescents: Treatment

By Dr Dora Wynchank, Psychiatrist in private practice, Parkview The previous three articles have been about adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): age of onset, clinical presentation, gender issues, comorbidities and non-medication treatment strategies. This is the final article in the series and will discuss pharmacotherapy of adolescents with ADHD. Drug treatment Drug treatment may be […]

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ADHD in adolescents: Patient, family support

By Dr Dora Wynchank, Psychiatrist in private practice, Parkview The previous two articles have been on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during this specific developmental stage. This article will examine non-medication treatment strategies in adolescents with ADHD. Psychoeducation: Sharing knowledge with the adolescent and parents remains a core feature of good treatment. It is empowering for the […]

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PTSD: a clinical conundrum

By Dr Gerhard Grobler, Head: Department of Psychiatry, University of Pretoria and President of the SA Society for Psychiatrists  The violence and injury ‘epidemic’ in SA has resulted in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among other long-term psychosocial consequences. Development of PTSD It is often said that children learn from their parents. Taking operant learning theory into account, […]

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