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Social relationships, food supplements and changing the mind

Social workers have been saying it for years but now it seems the medical community is at last catching up. Commenting on recent research, which found that social relationships can have as big an impact on health and wellbeing as factors such as smoking, the journal PLoS Medicine has called for societies to look beyond the medical causes of disease.

Elsewhere, a small scale survey returned positive results when using a dietary supplement called SAMe alongside antidepressants in the treatment of major depression. I had never heard of SAMe but apparently it may work by increasing the availability of serotonin and dopamine. There are various safety concerns associated with it and about.com says:


People with bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric conditions should only use SAMe under the supervision of their healthcare provider. SAMe has been associated with hypomania and mania.

There’s more information about it on Wikipedia. Proceed with caution. More research needed, I think.

There’s a nice piece on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy on how you need to change your thought patterns if you want to change your life and how that takes real effort.

And finally a research resource for students – a search engine that finds papers that can be quoted in essays.

Simeon Brody

About Simeon Brody

Community Care managing web editor

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