Improving the view: Positive psychology in preventing the repeat of psychotic episodes

(Image credit: madamepsychosis via Flickr)
(Image credit: madamepsychosis via Flickr)

Imagine you suddenly felt that everyone around you was conspiring against you. Or if voices in your head were compelling you to do bizarre or even dangerous things. Adolescence can be tumultuous enough, but for some young people, adolescence is made even more turbulent by the onset of psychosis — an experience that can distort life through the lens of a troubling mental illness.

But does having a psychotic episode in adolescence mean that you will inevitably have another? Are there ways of preventing people from having repeated psychotic episodes? And what can psychology offer that potent anti-psychotics perhaps can’t?

I was joined on Up Close a few weeks ago by Mario Alvarez-Jimenez, a clinical psychologist who has been looking at non-drug therapies for preventing psychosis. Check out the podcast or transcript here.


Do sperm have a use by date?

Eggs get old. This is old news and it’s why many an eyebrow is raised at the idea of a woman leaving childbearing to the post-35-years ‘danger zone’ of advanced maternal age. But ageing isn’t just something that affects a woman and her eggs. Men may be able to keep churning out sperm well into their dotage, but research is revealing that quality can suffer. As a man ages, the number of new — or ‘de novo‘ — mutations introduced into his sperm increases. The result is what’s known as the paternal age effect, where certain conditions, such as autism and schizophrenia, are more common in children of older men.

I wrote about men’s biological clock for ABC Health & Wellbeing last week. Check it out here.