Prof. Vijaya Manicavasagar

What are panic attacks and why do they happen? Can panic attacks kill you? Can they make you lose your mind? Or are they just a completely harmless, albeit horrendous natural bodily function?

In today’s episode Prof. Vijaya Manicavasagar joins me to discuss the twin topic of panic disorder and agoraphobia. We discuss how panic disorder and agoraphobia are related, how and why the one develops into the other, and most importantly the various treatments options available, including a couple of self-help suggestions.

Vijaya is Director of Psychological Services and Director of the Psychology Clinic at the Black Dog Institute, associate Professor at the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, and the lead investigator in a series of studies on the development and implementation of wellbeing programs in schools in Australia.

As well being in involved in the development of several apps and online programs with Digital Dog, a research group within the Black Dog Institute working to use technology the solve mental health problems, she is also co-author of the book Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia.

 

Vijaya’s Recommended Links

The Black Dog Institute¬†–¬†a world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

Digital Dog – Improving mental health through technology.

Spark –¬† a mobile phone application which identifies people‚Äôs values, describes them, and then provides steps to improve one‚Äôs life to be consistent with those values.

Books Mentioned in This Episode

     

 

Image courtesy: Arte_ON

Dr. Emma Warnock-Parkes

Dr. Emma Warnock-Parkes (@EmmaWParkes) is a clinical psychologist, accredited BABCP CBT therapist, and a Senior Research Fellow in the Experimental Psychology Department at the University of Oxford and King’s College London, working alongside Professors David Clark and Anke Ehlers developing the models and treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).

In addition to working as a trial therapist, carrying out research and supervising students she also lectures at a number of Universities across the UK.

Today¬†we explore what is apparently the third largest mental health care problem in the world today, social anxiety disorder. So, what’s the difference between social anxiety disorder and plain old shyness?¬†Are people really judging us, and staring at us, or is it just all in our heads? More to the point, why do we even care? What are the irrational thoughts that drive social anxiety? How does it come to affect people’s lives, and most importantly, what can we¬†do to overcome it? All this and more in today’s episode.

 

Emma’s Recommended Links

Oxford Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma (OxCADAT)

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

Find your local psychological therapies (IAPT) services

Books Mentioned in This Episode

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Image courtesy: Lee Haywood

Prof. Elyn Saks

When Elyn Saks was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia as a young women, the doctors gave her a prognosis of ‚Äúgrave‚ÄĚ. In other words, at best she could expect to live in residential care, and work at menial jobs.

Today, Elyn Saks is Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law; Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine; and Faculty at the New Center for Psychoanalysis.

She‚Äôs the author of four books related to mental health, including her¬†best-selling 2007 memoir “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness“.

In 2009 she was awarded a fellowship by the MacArthur Foundation, a $500,000 prize commonly referred to as the genius grant, which she used to establish the Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics, at USC, and her 2012 TED talk “A tale of mental illness – from the inside“, is fast approaching 3 million views. There’s even¬†an opera¬†based on her memoir.

In today’s episode we discuss¬†what it like to have schizophrenia, the nature and content of delusions and hallucinations, Elyn’s experience in psychiatric hospitals in both the US and UK and how they differed,¬†the stigma associated with schizophrenia¬†and whether or not the name should be changed to something less stigmatizing, we talk about Elyn’s study of high functioning people with schizophrenia, such as PhD candidates, teachers, CEOs, and how a parrot played a pivotal role in Elyn eventually finding love.

Elyn’s Website: The Saks Institute

Special thanks to Chris Schneider, Program Associate at the Saks Institute, for fixing all our technical glitches while recording.

 

Elyn’s Recommended Links

Supported decision-making for people with mental illness – Saks Institute research

Bring Change 2 Mind – Non-profit organization working together to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness

Books Mentioned in This Episode

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Image courtesy: Christiaan Tonnis

Prof. Sam Cartwright-Hatton

Samantha Cartwright-Hatton (@SamCH_ClinPsych) is Professor of Clinical Child Psychology and Senior Clinical Research Fellow at University of Sussex. She works as one of the clinical advisors to Anxiety UK, and in 2009 she received the British Psychological Society May Davidson Award in recognition of her research into childhood anxiety.

She’s the author of “Coping with an Anxious or Depressed Child: A Guide for Parents and Carers“, and “From Timid To Tiger: A Treatment Manual for Parenting the Anxious Child“.

In today’s episode we talk about depression and anxiety in preadolescent children, whether nurture or nature plays the biggest role in the development of childhood mental health, how you may be inadvertently teaching your child to be fearful of the world and how to stop doing so, why it‚Äôs more important to praise effort over ability, the seven confident thoughts that children need to grow up happy and confident, and why Sam is in favour of installing a communist dictatorship.

 

Sam’s Recommended Links

Anxiety UK – National charity helping people with Anxiety.

Books Mentioned in This Episode

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Image courtesy: Guilherme Jofili

Prof. Paul Salkovskis

Paul Salkovskis (@psalkovskis) is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science, and Programme Director of the doctorate programme in clinical psychology at the University of Bath .

He is editor of the scientific journal “Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy”, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and in 2006 he received the Aaron T. Beck Award for contributions to cognitive therapy.

Over the course of his academic career he has published over 250 scientific papers, which together boast more than 21,700 citations on Google Scholar, and he is also co-author of the book “Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT“.

In today’s episode we explore what it really means to have OCD, the various manifestations and corresponding behaviours, why OCD is an ‚Äúaffliction of the nice‚ÄĚ, why the average sufferer waits 11 years before seeking treatment, why the media and general public think it‚Äôs okay to mock the condition, and why ultimately OCD is, in Paul’s words, an “unnecessary illness”.

Check out Paul’s blog: psychonoclast.wordpress.com

 

Paul’s Recommended Links

University of Bath Clinical Psychology Department Homepage

Participate in research at the University of Bath

OCD Action – The UK’s largest OCD charity

OCD-UK – Supporting children and adults affected by OCD

Anxiety UK – National charity helping people with Anxiety

No Panic – Helping you break the chains of anxiety disorders

Books Mentioned in This Episode

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Image courtesy: Sheila Sund

David D. Burns, M.D.

Amongst many other achievements in a very long and distinguished career, David D. Burns M.D. is probably most famous as the author of ‚ÄúFeeling Good: The New Mood Therapy‚ÄĚ, a book which more than any other is responsible for thrusting CBT into the public consciousness in the early the 1980s, and has since gone on to sell in excess of 4 million copies in US alone.

This episode was a pretty special event for me. Not only because David is a huge figure in the cognitive therapy movement, while this is still a piddly little podcast with barely any listeners. But on a personal level because this very book had a massive impact on me during the peak of my struggles with mental illness, and gave me the impetus needed to take control of my situation. So it’s crazy that here I am almost two years later, well on the way to recovery, and interviewing him for a podcast.

Dr. Burns is currently Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has received numerous awards, including the A. E. Bennett Award for his research on brain chemistry, the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology through the Media Award, and the Outstanding Contributions Award from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists.

In addition to Feeling Good, which also boasts the distinction of being the book most frequently ‚Äúprescribed‚ÄĚ for depressed patients by psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States and Canada, Dr. Burns has written a number of other popular books on mood and relationship problems, such as “10 Days to Great Self Esteem“, “When Panic Attacks“, and “The Feeling Good Handbook“.

He’s the creator of the Burns Depression Checklist, a 25 point questionnaire used by mental health professionals to detect and measure the severity of patient depression, which some of you may have filled out during the consultation phase with your therapist.

He‚Äôs also hosted a TEDx talk about “Feeling Good” which has so far amassed more than 95,000 views and counting on YouTube.

During the course of today’s episode we discuss the origins and trajectory of David‚Äôs career, the chemical imbalance “myth”, his phenomenally successful self-help book “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy”, the 10 cognitive distortions, his development of a new approach to cognitive therapy known as T.E.A.M therapy, and much more.

 

David’s Recommended Links

FeelingGood.com – David’s website

Books Mentioned in This Episode

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Prof. Alison Yung

In this episode we explore the topic of psychosis, susceptibility and early intervention. What is psychosis? How real are hallucinations and delusions? Are the likes of Fight Club and Mr Robot accurate depictions of psychotic episodes, or just Hollywood hyperbole? Who is most susceptible to this illness, and what can we do to intervene?

My guest for today’s episode is Professor Alison Yung (@alisonryung). Alison is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, and Director of Undergraduate Education for the Institute of Brain Behaviour and Mental Health at the Manchester Medical School.

In 2009 she received the Lilly Oration Award for prominence in psychiatric research in Australia and New Zealand, and in 2010 was the recipient of the Richard J Wyatt Award ‚Äúfor remarkable contribution to the area of early intervention‚ÄĚ.

She is the author of than 150 publications, a body of work which in 2014 helped her make it onto the Thomson Reuters list of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds”, as one of the 100 most highly-cited researchers in the field of psychiatry and psychology.

 

Image courtesy: Theud-bald

Prof. Chris Dowrick

We begin this podcast adventure exploring the topic of Depression. How do we define depression? Is depression the result of a “chemical imbalance”? Can you be genetically predisposed to it? Why are doctors so quick to prescribe medication? And is your GP even trained to spot depression?

My guest for this episode is Professor Chris Dowrick (@cfd1951). Chris is Professor of Primary Medical Care at the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool, general practitioner with Aintree Park Group Practice, an honorary consultant in primary care for Liverpool Primary Care Trust, and a non-executive director for Mersey Care NHS Trust.

He’s also a member of the NICE guideline development group for depression and chronic physical disease.

He‚Äôs the editor-in-chief of the international journal Chronic Illness, and the author of the book “Beyond Depression: a new approach to understanding and management“, which forms the basis for today’s conversation.

Check out Chris’s¬†blog: wellbecoming.blogspot.co.uk

 

Books Mentioned in This Episode

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Image courtesy: Paolo De Angelis