Tag Archives: mental wellness

Short-lived impulses – Irish Times comments on US study on suicide

14 Feb

Reported in the Irish Times today, research by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US indicates that it is possible that in many cases of suicide the person who died had no intention of taking their life until a very short time before the event itself.

Almost 25 per cent of the 15-34 year olds studied said they decided to kill themselves less than five minutes before their ‘nearly lethal’ attempt. Only one in eight had made the decision a day or more before attempting suicide.

The study indicates that many attempted suicides are reactions to a temporary crisis.

Writing about the study, Padraig O’Morain, who is accredited as a counsellor by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, suggests that young people need to be educated on how to handle distress in non-lethal ways – before the impetus for an impulsive suicide attempt arises.

Read the article, which links to the US study, here

Nutrition and mental health – feed your brain

13 Feb

Beans growing
Also speaking on Newstalk’s Global Village programme on Saturday night was naturopath and nutritionist Anne D’Arcy, who gave some fascinating insights into the influence of diet on mental health.

Anne made the obvious but often overlooked point that food is the raw material making up brain chemicals. It follows that not consuming the correct food and not being able to digest that food properly can lead to problems with brain chemicals and mental wellness.

Anne talked about the influence of such substances as zinc, vitamins B6 and C, iron and magnesium on serotonin levels and mood.

Caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and processed foods are generally recognised as being bad for our mood, whereas foodstuffs such as Omega 3 oil-rich fish, some green vegetables, bananas and certain nuts and seeds, including Brazil nuts, which are rich in selenium, can be beneficial for some.

Protein-rich foods can keep our serotonin levels balanced. As our bodies cannot produce the essential amino acid tryptophan, which is converted in our bodies into serotonin, we need to obtain this through food. Protein and tryptophan-rich foods, which include turkey, tuna, beans and seeds, can be effective in this respect when eaten alongside slow-release carbohydrates.

Read more on the website of Food for the Brain, a non-profit educational charity that promotes the link between nutrition and mental health

An article in The Independent on beating depression through diet