The Dangers of Meditation Retreats for People With Depression, Anxiety, or Psychosis

Meditation has been seen by many as one of the best ways to manage stress and various mental health issues. However, there are often darker sides to meditation that we don’t always see (the topic is overshadowed by talk of meditation’s benefits, but the negatives are increasingly being covered, such as in some illuminating articles…

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Does Mindfulness Explain the Mental Health Benefits of Mandala Drawing?

Mandalas are intricate designs and symbols that are drawn in geometric forms (mandala is Sanskrit for “circle”). They originated in India, and are pervasive in Buddhist culture – particularly Tibetan Buddhism – as a way to represent the universe, deities, or certain realms. They are a form of spiritual artwork used across the world as…

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Psychiatry’s Moral Dilemma: The Pros and Cons of a Mental Health Diagnosis

The decision to provide a mental health diagnosis to someone experiencing psychological distress – a range of troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviours – often presents a moral dilemma. Of course, there may be an assumption among psychiatrists that diagnoses are, generally speaking, in a patient’s best interest, since they are intended to pinpoint what condition…

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The Curse of Perfectionism

An inability to deal with imperfections can appear innocuous or even beneficial (if it helps to encourage ambition and high standards, which is known as adaptive perfectionism). However, perfectionism is often pernicious. It is closely tied to issues like harsh self-criticism, feelings of inadequacy, depression, and low levels of life satisfaction. For if perfection –…

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Kanna: A Natural Antidepressant With MDMA-Like Effects

Sceletium tortuosum (or kanna, channa, kougoed) is a psychoactive succulent plant native to South Africa. San hunter-gatherers (or Bushmen), as well as Khoi pastoralists (or Hottentots), have used kanna for millennia, before written reports of the uses of these plants by European explorers and settlers emerged. These indigenous peoples have used kanna – the Khoi…

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