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 Some 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, 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 word for…

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The Mistake of Viewing Psychedelics as a Panacea for Mental Distress

As much as psychedelics hold great promise in alleviating all kinds of psychological distress, they are not a mental health panacea, which they are sometimes touted to be. Based on positive media stories surrounding psychedelic research and anecdotal reports of people being forever cured of chronic, severe mental illnesses, it’s easy to get the impression…

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Can Philosophy Harm Your Mental Health?

The psychology of philosophy is a relatively new field. It refers to the relationship between psychological traits and philosophical beliefs. This field garnered significant attention recently with the publication of a new study from the psychologist David B. Yaden and the philosopher Derek E. Anderson.  Published in the journal Philosophical Psychology, this study asked 314…

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