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Sleep apnea - what is it, how common is it and how does it affect mortality & physical health?

Sleep apnea is a common, but frequently unrecognised, contributor to psychological difficulties and to health problems more generally.  I would like to look at a series of questions about this disorder - what is it, how common is it, why is it important, how do you recognise it, and what can be done about it?

Health crisis for Britain's middle-aged

Ouch, a very interesting international health survey, that has just been released, reports:

"Middle-aged Britons are experiencing a mid-life health crisis, according to new research from Bupa, which shows that those aged 45-54 are more likely to be obese, more likely to smoke and more likely to suffer from depression than their peers around the world.

The international Bupa Health Pulse study, which asked more than 13,000 people in 12 different countries questions about their health and lifestyles has shown that late-middle age is the toughest time health-wise for Britons. No other country in the survey - which included Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia showed such a consistent range of unhealthy results for this age group.

The study, which questioned more than 2,000 people in the UK, found:

Recent research: 2 studies on child adversity-adult illness links, 2 on prevalence, & 2 on how adversity may lead to resilience

Here are seven recent research studies - largely about the effects of early life adversity on adult psychological health (although I've slipped in one I find important on the prevalence & effects of subsyndromal/subclinical symptoms).  The last two papers touch on the truth or falsity of Nietsche's famous saying "What does not destroy me makes me stronger".

Recent research: mindfulness (mechanisms & practice), prevalence (abuse & suicidality), health anxiety imagery & CBT for kids

Here are half a dozen recent research studies - two on aspects of mindfulness, two on sobering prevalence rates, one on imagery in health anxiety, and one on CBT with children.  Fuller details, links and abstracts for all studies are listed further down this page.  Willem Kuyken and colleagues looked at "How does mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) work?" in helping recurrent depression sufferers.  They came up with some fascinating and provocative findings.  For example it appears that MBCT acts differently from standard CBT, although they are both helpful in reducing risk of depressive relapse.  Standard CBT (and maintenance antidepressants too) reduce cognitive reactivity to experiences of induced low mood, and this appears important in how they lessen relapse risk.  MBCT however seems to act not by reducing cognitive reactivity so much as by decoupling the reactivity from a tendency then to slide into depression.  It appears this decoupling is mediate

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