• Surprising signs you could be suffering from a mental health condition
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    Marie Claire Dorking

    Surprising signs you could be suffering from a mental health condition

    The signs of mental health aren't always easy to spot.

  • The women using ketamine to treat depression
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    Cosmo

    The women using ketamine to treat depression

    More and more women are turning to ketamine when antidepressants fail them - and it’s changing their lives.

  • Can tidying up your home really tidy up your mind?
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    The Independent

    Can tidying up your home really tidy up your mind?

    Unless you’ve been living under a huge pile of old newspapers, empty fast food cartons and bags of your own waste, you can’t have failed to notice that one of this year’s big wellness trends is all about being clean. Not just in your body but in your home. Instagram is full of cleanspo (that’s cleaning inspiration), with a niche neat freak to suit every taste and style. From Japan there’s Marie Kondo, a kawaii manga heroine in neat pastel cardigans, whose Insta feed is minimalist perfection. Kondo’s Netflix show – Tidying Up With Marie Kondo – in which she applied her KonMari method to the homes of some of America’s biggest pack rats, saw charity shop donations in the Washington DC area leap 66% as viewers were inspired to declutter. Closer to home, there’s Lynsey Crombie, “the queen of clean”, a 40-something mother of three from Peterborough, offers more realistic aspirations for anyone with children and pets. Her Instagram feed, which has 140, 000 followers, is a riot of colour (mostly pink) and offers such gems as “happiness is a freshly cleaned house” and “being an adult is like folding a fitted sheet. No one really knows how”. I suspect Ms Crombie does. However the current Empress of the Spotless is Sophie Hinchcliffe, aka Mrs Hinch, a twenty-something homemaker from Essex. More than 2.4m people follow her Instagram account which documents her life with picture upon picture of her entirely grey home. Seriously, everything in her home is grey with the exception of her light brown cocker spaniel and the boxes of Zoflora the dog is occasionally posed alongside. I would have thought that the main advantage of a grey house is that it hides the dust, but Hinchcliffe has become the cleaning guru du jour with such tips as using an electric toothbrush to clean a wooden floor. The words “life’s too short” spring to mind but a few weeks ago, Hinchcliffe’s book of cleaning advice/memoir of her life, Hinch Yourself Happy, rocketed to the top of the hardback charts, shifting more than 100,000 copies in a week. It’s not just books that Mrs Hinch is shifting. Every time she features a new cleaning product, she creates a sell-out sensation. Her favourite product is a cloth called a “Minky” (pronounced Minkeh). By the time this column goes on line, they’ll be changing hands at £100 a pop.But the cleanstagrammers aren’t just about merchandising. Both Sophie Hinchcliffe and Lynsey Crombie have spoken about how cleaning has helped them to overcome personal challenges. Hinchcliffe turned to polishing as a way to squash feelings of anxiety and beat panic attacks. Lynsey Crombie used cleaning as a substitute for expensive therapy after her marriage broke down when she discovered that her now ex-husband was a paedophile. Scientific research bears out their experience of finding solace in order. A study by Dr Darby Saxbe, assistant psychology professor at University of Southern California discovered that female subjects who described their homes as “cluttered” were more likely to report feeling depressed than those who described their homes as being tidy. The women who felt their homes were untidy also showed higher levels of cortisol, the hormone linked to stress. Those findings make sense to me. Two and a half years ago, after the sudden death of my father, I found unexpected solace in Marie Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, her first book about the joy of decluttering. It was a difficult time. My grief at losing Dad was compounded by career worries. While life felt like it was on a constant spin cycle, I couldn’t concentrate for long enough to read a novel. Those self-help books that were actually about taking control of life felt too strident. In contrast The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was as soothing as a children’s story. What Kondo’s book offered was the promise of a feeling of control achieved in the simplest of ways. Even at my saddest, I could fold a sock into thirds. I could still do some ironing. Seeing a pile of flat T-shirts wasn’t quite the same as seeing a pile of pages for a new novel spew from the printer, but I built a staircase out of a pit of despair on those tiny achievements. > Even at my saddest, I could fold a sock into thirds. I could still do some ironing. Seeing a pile of flat t-shirts wasn’t quite the same as seeing a pile of pages for a new novel spew from the printer, but I built a staircase out of a pretty deep pit of despair on those tiny achievementsThere was one piece of advice in Kondo’s book that made a particular difference. She recommends that you “thank” any items you decide to chuck out while on a decluttering spree. I found this idea touching and very helpful when it came to deciding what mementoes of my beloved dad to keep. Dad could never visit me in London without bringing with him something from his shed, garage or attic. Like so many war babies, whose earliest memories were of ration books, Dad had an aversion to throwing away anything that might come in handy one day. When he wanted to tidy up his space, the easiest way was to send the things he didn’t want to live at my sister’s house or in my attic instead.Among the many “gifts” Dad had given me over the years was a bag of random cables to devices long since lost or broken beyond repair – CD players, video recorders, old kettles... he suggested I might need some of them for my tech. Since Dad made them my problem, they’d been living in a cupboard under the stairs, taking up premium real estate and gathering dust while awaiting my next visit to the tip. But as daft as it sounds, after Dad’s death that bag of cables might as well have been a bag of puppies. They were suddenly strangely alive to me. I couldn’t just chuck them away! With Marie Kondo’s help, I managed a trip to the dump, where I recycled as much as I could while muttering KonMari style mantras. “Thank you for your service, cable to a CD player I don’t think we ever owned. Thank you for making my family happy, out-dated video connector. Thank you, cable to a long lost Amstrad.”With the cables thanked and passed on, I could focus my attention on taking proper care of the things that mattered, like the birthday cards and books signed in Dad’s handwriting. Handwriting is a funny thing, isn’t it? It seems to be as unique and personal as the iris of an eye. Anyway, suffice to say that even if it only gave me the illusion of control, cleaning my house KonMari style helped me more than my cynical heart might have imagined. Of course I wouldn’t recommend tidying up as a substitute for the advice and care of a mental health professional but for me, knowing that my sadness and frustration was entirely down to the circumstances in which I found myself, it helped enormously. Though naturally as a novelist, I’m going to ignore Marie Kondo’s recent suggestion that one only keeps a handful of books, but if I had to narrow my book collection down, then The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up would definitely make the cut.

  • Mum admits to letting children stay home from school for 'mental health days'
    Style
    Francesca Specter

    Mum admits to letting children stay home from school for 'mental health days'

    "No screens, an adequate amount of fresh air, healthy food before treats.”

  • Does earthing really work and can it improve your health?
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    Caroline Allen

    Does earthing really work and can it improve your health?

    Earthing is walking barefoot outside for a short time each day.

  • The sexual dysfunction men are praised for that may be masking a mental health issue
    Style
    Marie Claire Dorking

    The sexual dysfunction men are praised for that may be masking a mental health issue

    "I wasn't going through sexual satisfaction, I couldn't orgasm."

  • The only two people Harry and Meghan are following on Instagram
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    Danielle Stacey

    The only two people Harry and Meghan are following on Instagram

    They've stopped following other royal accounts - but it's for a good reason.

  • Researchers have uncovered a link between childhood obesity and mental health problems
    Style
    Marie Claire Dorking

    Researchers have uncovered a link between childhood obesity and mental health problems

    "Obesity and emotional problems are intertwined."

  • What happened when I tried a course of reiki
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    Evening Standard

    What happened when I tried a course of reiki

    Sagar has become known in the capital for her so-called reiki facials, but she has invited me to come along for the whole shabang: a three-session course of full-body energy healing. Reiki is a Japanese healing art that works in a similar way to acupuncture to clear blockages and stagnancies of energy flow in your body. "There's only so much you can do in one session," Sagar tells me.

  • Cheryl opens up about having therapy to help anxiety
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    Cosmo

    Cheryl opens up about having therapy to help anxiety

    "I'm actively undoing all the bad thought patterns and traps I used to fall into."

  • The act of smiling can actually make you feel happier, says science
    Style
    Lauren Clark

    The act of smiling can actually make you feel happier, says science

    The feel-good effect of smiling is something you probably thought you were pretty clued up on. Psychologists revealed in the journal Psychological Bulletin that facial expressions can directly influence our mental health. Scientists looked at almost half a century of data exploring whether facial expressions affect mood.

  • Ariana Grande shares brain scan showing PTSD impact from Manchester Arena bombing
    Style
    Caroline Allen

    Ariana Grande shares brain scan showing PTSD impact from Manchester Arena bombing

    Ariana Grande was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

  • Does CBD Oil for Anxiety Actually Work?
    Style
    Women's Health UK

    Does CBD Oil for Anxiety Actually Work?

    'It's helped me get my life back - the effect was instantaneous'

  • Prince Harry teams up with Oprah Winfrey for landmark mental health series
    Style
    Danielle Stacey

    Prince Harry teams up with Oprah Winfrey for landmark mental health series

    “I truly believe that good mental health – mental fitness – is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self."

  • Secondary school boys praised for stopping suicidal woman from jumping off bridge
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    Yahoo Style UK team

    Secondary school boys praised for stopping suicidal woman from jumping off bridge

    The intervention has been hailed as a "miracle"

  • Are cold showers really that good for you?
    Style
    Caroline Allen

    Are cold showers really that good for you?

    Cold showers could be the key to glowing skin, glossy hair, boosted energy and even an improved immune system.

  • Psychiatrists urged to ask under-18s about social media use
    Style
    Caroline Allen

    Psychiatrists urged to ask under-18s about social media use

    Under new guidance NHS psychiatrists are being encouraged to ask under-18s with mental health issues about their social media usage.

  • Feeling anxious? You’re not alone
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    Evening Standard

    Feeling anxious? You’re not alone

    For Franz Kafka it was “the feeling of having in the middle of my body a ball of wool that quickly winds itself up, its innumerable threads pulling from the surface of my body to itself”. Recent research carried out by the Evening Standard with our Future London partner Babylon shows that generalised anxiety disorder is the number one medical condition in every one of the capital’s boroughs bar Islington (where it came in third). “I can’t recall a time when we’ve been talking about anxiety in the volumes that we are now,” says Nicky Leadbetter, CEO of the charity Anxiety UK (anxietyuk.org.uk).

  • More than 10% of young boys ‘likely to suffer from mental disorder’
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    The Independent

    More than 10% of young boys ‘likely to suffer from mental disorder’

    More than one in 10 boys (12.2 per cent) aged between five and 10 are likely to be suffering from a mental disorder, according to new data analysis. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has examined a report published by NHS Digital last year and found that young boys are twice as likely as young girls to suffer from conditions such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. The NHS report, which came out in November, found that one in eight children in England are living with a mental health problem and the new ONS analysis sought to establish what factors contribute to this.

  • 41% Of Men Still Don't Seek Mental Health Support When They Need It
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    HuffPost

    41% Of Men Still Don't Seek Mental Health Support When They Need It

    The research, from Samaritans, suggests men do not seek help because theyprefer to solve their own problems

  • Michael Thalassitis death: The concerning connection between mental health and overnight fame
    Style
    Marie Claire Dorking

    Michael Thalassitis death: The concerning connection between mental health and overnight fame

    Should more be done to support people who witness overnight fame?

  • How to spot if your child is struggling with a mental health issue
    Style
    Marie Claire Dorking

    How to spot if your child is struggling with a mental health issue

    Nine in 10 young people are concerned about their mental health

  • Evan Rachel Wood opens up about self-harm during an abusive relationship, sparks huge Twitter response
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    Marie Claire Dorking

    Evan Rachel Wood opens up about self-harm during an abusive relationship, sparks huge Twitter response

    “Two years into my abusive relationship I resorted to self-harm. When my abuser would threaten or attack me, I cut my wrist as a way to disarm him."

  • Duchess of Cambridge addresses struggles of motherhood: 'I was very naive as a parent'
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    Danielle Stacey

    Duchess of Cambridge addresses struggles of motherhood: 'I was very naive as a parent'

    Kate opened up about her own experiences during a mental health in education conference.

  • MPs debate whether school day should start at 10am to help tired teenagers
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    Marie Claire Dorking

    MPs debate whether school day should start at 10am to help tired teenagers

    It follows a petition calling for a later school day which garnered more than 183,000 signatures