Depression – rethinking emotional blunting

depression and mental healthTwo hallmarks of depression that go hand in hand are isolation and withdrawal.

While saying things like they want to die, feel completely alone, or have nobody who cares about them are obvious indications of a troubled mental state. General feelings of being helpless or trapped may mean a person withdraws from others and distance themselves from social interaction.

Many people with depression are good at masking their feelings of self-negativity, a colleague may brush off a sudden disappearance from team lunches or department happy hours by blaming an increased workload or other job-related obligations.

Psychiatrists Professor David Castle and Professor Malcolm Hopwood and GP Dr Michael Johnston explain how the CHEER Index tool can help set positive goals for depressed patients; by assessing both positive and negative emotional functioning, the depressed patient’s goal can be adjusted from merely stopping feelings of sadness to regaining feelings of happiness.

Professors Hopwood and Castle have just begun to validate the CHEER Index against the gold standard, the Snaith-Hamilton pleasure scale, in a project that will assess people when they are depressed and well, and rate their emotional responses according to mood rating scales and the CHEER Index.  The results are expected at the end of the year.

The CHEER Index was developed by Professors David J. Castle and Malcolm Hopwood for the PRISM clinical audit, supported by Servier Laboratories (Aust) Pty Ltd. To read more click here.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a steep rise in death by suicide among middle-aged Australians and young woman has driven the national suicide rate to its highest level in 13 years.

Depression and suicide will be discussed at The 17th International Mental Health Conference; Guiding the Change which will be held at the brand new Sea World Resort Conference Centre on the Gold Coast, QLD from the 11 -12 August 2016.

This conference will bring together leading clinical practitioners, academics, service providers and mental health experts to deliberate and discuss Mental Health issues confronting Australia and New Zealand.

The conference program will be designed to challenge, inspire, demonstrate and encourage participants while facilitating discussion. To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.

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