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The Not So Simple Act of Caring

Dr. Fiona Lobban

Dr Fiona Lobban (@fionalobban) is Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Lancaster University, and Co-director of the Spectrum Centre.

She is also co-editor of “A Casebook of Family Interventions for Psychosis“, and the lead researcher in the Relatives Education and Coping Toolkit (REACT) study, to see whether an online intervention is helpful for close friends or relatives of people with bipolar disorder or psychosis.

Lizzi Collinge (@LizziCollinge) is a Labour County Councillor for Lancaster East, representing over 10,000 people, with a particular focus on health, social care, and disability equality.

Lizzi Collinge

She also works as part of the REACT research team, supporting participants to use the REACT toolkit, and has first-hand experience of caring for somebody with a severe mental health issue.

So, what does caring for somebody with severe mental health issues involve, and who typically takes on this role?

In today’s episode we discuss the emotional impact that being a carer can have, such as feelings of self blame, isolation and the threat of social stigma, and thus why carers are more susceptible to developing their own mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

We explore how caring can alter, and sometimes destroy, the dynamics of certain relationships, the impact that caring can have on people’s social lives, the art of knowing when to step in and take control versus knowing when to step back and let go, and why communication is the key to avoiding anger and resentment.

We look at some of the costs involved in caring and how it can sometimes affect a person’s ability to work, the kind of support that already exists for carers and what needs to improve, the importance of speaking to other people with lived experience in keeping up morale, and all-in-all, why carers are ultimately the unsung heros of our mental health system.

 

Fiona’s Recommended Links

REACT – Relatives Education and Coping Toolkit

Young Carers and Getting Help – YoungMinds

Support for Young Carers – ReThink

Books Mentioned in This Episode

          

 

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Image courtesy: Hernán Piñera

Bipolar Disorder: Seeking Peace Between Darkness and Chaos

Prof. Steven Jones

Professor Steven Jones (@lancsspectrum) is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Lancaster University, and Director of the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research (@SpectrumCentre) conducting translational research into the understanding and psychological treatment of bipolar disorder and other related conditions.

He’s the editor and author of a number of books including “Coping with Schizophrenia: A Guide for Patients, Families and Caregivers“, and “Coping with Bipolar Disorder: A CBT-Informed Guide to Living with Manic Depression“.

So what is bipolar disorder, and how does it differ from plain old depression?

In this episode we untangle the various manifestations of bipolar including bipolar types 1 and 2, and cyclothymia. We discuss the nature and duration of mood swings and what triggers them, and we examine the concept of mania and manic episodes and how these affect people’s thoughts and behaviours.

We also explore mixed affective states, where the person experiences depression and mania simultaneously, and why this can increase the risk of suicide in people with bipolar.

We discover why both adolescence and middle age are times when people are particularly susceptible to the onset of bipolar, the causal link between sleep deprivation and mania, the controversial topic of bipolar in children and whether or not it actually exists, treatment options, personality variables, issues of cultural context, and loads more in between.

 

Steve’s Recommended Links

The Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research

Bipolar disorder: assessment and management – NICE

Understanding Bipolar Disorder – BPS

Books Mentioned in This Episode

 

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Please share it with your friends or leave us a positive review on iTunes or Stitcher 🙂

Image courtesy: Al King