Archive for October, 2020

My no nonsense view on mental health is likely to offend some people:

1. The good news is that you can control your mental health. You are in charge through the pre-frontal cortex in your brain. Lifestyle is very important: sleep, production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, diet, exercise, etc. 

2. Many GPs tell me that they don’t have enough time to talk through mental health problems and educate people on how lifestyle affects mental health. Patients want a quick fix and walk out with a prescription for antidepressants.

3. Antidepressants are overprescribed. Your brain is very powerful and adaptable. If you look after it well, your mental health will improve massively.

4. In some cases, antidepressants are a good idea. Most antidepressants boost the production of serotonin which is the neurotransmitter that regulates general mood. When you come off the medication, you need to know how to produce serotonin naturally to keep the same good mood. Do things that you like doing. Be nice to people and think positively. It will make you feel a lot better.

4. Many mental health “ambassadors, helpers, experts” do not have any qualifications. They suffered mental health problems, feel better and want to earn some money while helping you with your mental health problems. The LinkedIn user “Psychology” is a typical example. It reposts information with the hashtag psychology. Unfortunately it often reposts incorrect information. I had to stop following “Psychology” because it was too frustrating to be confronted with fake news.

5. Even mental health “professionals” on LinkedIn get it wrong. A psychotherapist who set up his practice a month before starting his psychotherapy diploma course last year posted that depression is a genetic mental disorder and that antidepressants are needed because the patient is not in control. Rubbish! Another psychotherapist posted that GPs don’t know anything about mental health because it is not part of their medical degree. Nonsense!

6. If you feel that you need some help with your mental health, do a proper check. Look into their background, qualifications, reviews, recommendations, etc.

You are responsible for your own mental health. Look after your brain. Not sure how? My books “Brain Based Stress Management” and “The Mental Health Survival Guide (Because It’s A Jungle Out There)” have useful tips and techniques that are fun and easy. Want to learn more? BECS delivers talks and courses on mental health worldwide. http://www.becsltd.com

An Swinnen

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