A new series of BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind has just kicked off with the first programme looking at mental illness in war zones, the ethics of forcing psychiatric patients to take treatment in the community and whether antidepressants change our moral decision-making.
The discussion on military mental health is particularly good and goes some way to answering why UK troops show much lower rates of mental illness than US troops in the same war zones, as we discussed recently.
Also don’t miss the heated discussion on ‘community treatment orders’ or CTOs, which are a relatively recent innovation but become increasingly popular across the world.
They’re a change to the law that allows patients to told to take treatment in the community, otherwise they can be instantly taken back into hospital to be forcibly treated.
The UK introduced them in 2008 and they have been used ten times more than predicted, leading to a fierce debate about whether they are just being used to over-ride patient autonomy.
The antidepressant research, that has found the SSRIs alter how people respond to moral dillemas like the ‘trolley problem‘, is also an intriguing look into the neurochemistry of ethical choice, making for a strong start to the new series.