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Global Warming Fears Seen In Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Patients

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Royal Australian and New Zealand Collage of Psychiatrists' Congress at SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland brings together mental health experts in a diverse range of areas; from children and adolescents to old age, mental health across the lifespan will be discussed. Here are some highlights from this morning's program.

Global warming fears seen in obsessive compulsive disorder patients

A recent study has found that global warming has impacted the nature of symptoms experienced by obsessive compulsive disorder patients.

Climate change related obsessions and/or compulsions were identified in 28% of patients presenting with obsessive compulsive disorder. Their obsessions included leaving taps on and wasting water, leaving lights on and wasting electricity, pets dying of thirst, leaving the stove on and wasting gas as well as obsessions that global warming had contributed to house floors cracking, pipes leaking, roof problems and white ants eating the house.

Compulsions in response to these obsessions included the checking of taps, light switches, pet water bowls and house structures.

"Media coverage about the possible catastrophic consequences to our planet concerning global warming is extensive and potentially anxiety provoking. We found that many obsessive compulsive disorder patients were concerned about reducing their global footprint," said study author Dr Mairwen Jones. (9am)

Obesity in psychiatric inpatient populations higher than average

The proportion of obese people within psychiatric inpatient populations is high compared to the general population according to a recent study. Data collected from 508 inpatients of a public mental health service at Fremantle Hospital in Western Australia has found that 30.3% of the inpatient population was obese compared to the general population rate of 21.4%.

A gradual increase in weight over a nine month time period was found in those patients where serial weights were recorded. "Patients with personality disorders had the highest mean body mass index followed by patients with bipolar affective disorder, then patients with schizophrenia.

There is a need to address the obesity issue in this patient group as obesity is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes," said study author Dr Jonathan Laugharne. (9am)

Today's keynote speakers:

Dr Nancy McWilliams, teacher at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and expert on personality structure and personality disorders, psychodiagnosis, sex and gender, trauma and psychotherapy. What Happened to our Shared Understanding of Mental Health? (11am)

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