The rising fear in the wake of the terror attacks


The rising fear in the wake of the terror attacks - The Blue Tree Clinic

In modern day society people can be fearful of many different things. Unfortunately in the last few years something which has drastically increased is terror attacks. A terror attack is the use of extreme violence against other human beings.

These attacks are usually calculated and planned however conducted spontaneously to leave a shock factor. These attacks are usually motivated by religion or politics.

Terror attacks can occur in various different ways such as bombings, explosive devices, knife crime, guns, amongst other threatening behaviours. The terrorism threat level that the UK is currently experiencing, ranges from the severe to critical; meaning that an attack is highly likely.

Terror attacks are extremely scary and frightening due to their violent nature and unpredictability. Due to this many individuals are now fearful of becoming victim to a terror attack or witnessing one.

At The Blue Tree Clinic, we cannot predict or stop attacks however we can help you think about the terror attacks in a more balanced and realistic manner. Here are some of our top tips to keep yourself safe and to try and reassure you.

1) Do not avoid situations – continue enjoying life – just be vigilant

2) Talk to each other! AND talk to children about it. It is best to have an open and honest discussion about the best thing to do in those situations. Discuss your worries and fears and work through them together. Better spoken about then left saying nothing!
3) If you are frightened – expose yourself slowly. Make slow steps. Go outside, go to a café, go to a shopping center. Build it up.

4) Be realistic – unfortunately, attacks will continue but being vigilant yet living your life is the best thing to do

5) DO NOT discriminate – often attacks are conducted under the names of religion and politics. These people DO NOT represent their religion so do not hate others who share their religion. Which leads to…

6) LOVE. Show extra kindness and compassion to others. Coming together and uniting defeats all hate crimes!

As well as general tips we have created a quick tip list in case you ever feel in imminent danger!

In an attack

1) If you see anything which makes you feel uncomfortable – Inform the police- better safe than sorry!

2) If you feel in immediate danger call 999 and if you can RUN.

3) If it is SAFE to – inform others that they must run to safety

4) Find cover- behind a strong structure such as a pillar or wall.

5) Look for an exit! – Or hide somewhere safe until you can reach that exit.

6) Don’t let them see or hear you! Try to remain as quiet as you can. Turn your phone to silent and try to remain still

7) Try to be aware of what is going on – in these situations, it can be difficult but you may be able to help yourself or others later on.

8) LISTEN to police officers

9) Breathe – try not to scream. Being rationale and clear is the best thing you can do.

10) If you are safe – let someone know, via text, facebook, social media.

We hope there are some valuable and helpful tips. Look after each other. Stay safe and do not live in fear of the unknown.

Book an appointment today with our no. 1 rated, The Private Therapy ClinicThe Blue Tree Clinic. Our Clinic has locations in London’s Harley Street and in Bristol and the South West. We provide treatments for all your mental health needs.

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What Can You Expect If You Decide To Visit a Consultant Psychiatrist?


What Can You Expect If You Decide To Visit a Consultant Psychiatrist?

Making the first Step to seeing a consultant psychiatrist…

Deciding to see a consultant psychiatrist is a big step and one you should be exceptionally proud of. A lot of people worry about going to see a psychiatrist, as they worry they are going to be judged, and they find the situation extremely intimidating. However, this is something you really do not need to worry about, as a psychiatrist’s job is to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Someone with a lot of experience will empathize with you and understand what you are going through; they certainly won’t judge you.

What can I expect?

Upon your first meeting with a psychiatrist, they will get to know you and thus you can expect general questions about your life, your job, your relationships and any other significant events. Aside from this, the psychiatrist will ask you about your mental health and the issues you are facing, this includes finding out about your symptoms and the impact they are having on your life. It is vital to point out that a psychiatrist can help with virtually any problem relating to mental health, such as stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, depression, chronic pain, anxiety, addiction and much more.

What type of therapy?

Once the psychiatrist has got to know you a bit better, they will assess the effects your mental health problem is having on you. The goal is to determine whether the best course of treatment is therapy, medication or a combination of both. This all depends on your situation. Some people would prefer to deal with the issue without medication, however for some people therapy can be too painful. You can be sure the psychiatrist will be concerned about making things as comfortable yet effective as possible.All in all, you can be sure of a relaxing and non-judgemental environment when visiting a consultant psychiatrist. A lot of people worry that going to a ‘shrink’ means that they are crazy – but there are many individuals all over the world that have problems, and this doesn’t reflect badly on you, yet it’s important that you deal with your issues so you can have a more enjoyable and stress-free life. You may also want written reports and your psychiatrist should be able to provide you with this. They may also liaise with your GP or other medical doctors to ensure your road to recovery is as effective as possible.

Our friendly and private London Based Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Silvert has had over 15 years of successfully treating patients, he will listen to your story and together you’ll make a plan to get back on the road to recovery.When you arrive at The Blue Tree Clinic, our psychiatrists will meet with you and talk to you in general about your life, events, job, and relationships.

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Anti-depressants: Facts v fiction – should you take them?


Anti-depressants: Facts v fiction – should you take them?

Last summer, Heidi Scrimgeour joined the tens of thousands of Britons who are on anti-depressant medication. A combination of factors – family concerns, work, being given notice on a rented house unexpectedly – tipped the 41-year-old over an unexpected edge.

“I’d never thought of myself as someone who would ever need anti-depressants,” says Scrimgeour, a journalist, and media trainer who lives in Ballycastle, Antrim, with her husband and three children. “I had a sort of pride about it. I’m embarrassed to say it now, but I thought it was a kind of weakness. I can’t believe I ever felt that way.”

Scrimgeour is far from unusual in her mixed attitudes towards one of the UK’s most commonly prescribed but misunderstood medications.

Last week, psychiatrists and mental health experts were hailing a new University of Oxford study published in The Lancet, which they say has settled the question of whether anti-depressants work. The researchers analyzed data from 522 trials involving 116,477 people and concluded that 21 common anti-depressants were all more effective at reducing symptoms of acute depression than placebos.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the study “finally puts to bed the controversy on anti-depressants” – but there are many people who will still wonder if over-prescription is an issue.  According to NHS Digital, the number of antidepressant items prescribed has more than doubled in the past decade. In 2016, there were 64.7 million antidepressant items dispensed – that’s 33.7 million (108.5 percent) more than in 2006 when there were 31 million.
And a new book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari, who took anti-depressants for 13 years, queries whether more options around talking cures could be considered as a first-line treatment.In the book, Hari says, “If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs.” Dr Mark Silvert, consultant psychiatrist and medical director of the Blue Tree Clinic in London, understands many people feel conflicted about taking anti-depressants. “I have a lot of sympathy for patients who prefer not to take medication. “The new study really is the gold standard of research so it’s good to see the evidence that the drugs do work better than placebos. But some are better than others and I don’t believe that they should be given to everyone.”

The drugs do work – but which is best?

In the UK, there are several types of anti-depressant recommended for use by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which you are likely to be offered. The first that people tend to encounter are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (known as Prozac), which stop the brain getting rid of serotonin – the neurotransmitter which is connected to feelings of wellbeing.

“This is a first line treatment for anxiety and depression,” says Dr Silvert. “We might also prescribe a little diazepam to help you while your brain adjusts to higher levels of serotonin which can create a little anxiety itself initially.”
For anyone struggling with such low moods that they struggle to get out of the house or bed, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as duloxetine (known as Cymbalta) may be tried. “These increases levels of adrenaline which can help you get back on your feet and therefore encourage other positive behaviours like getting back to work or seeing friends,” says Dr. Silvert.
Other drugs which modulate or stimulate levels of serotonin are being developed; singer Robbie Williams has talked of being on vortioxetine (known as Brintellix and first licensed in 2016). “Things have changed,” he said, “The demons are quiet.”
Dr. Silvert adds: “We do still use amitriptyline, one of the older drugs called tricyclics. But these drugs are much more dangerous than SSRIs and SNRIs as they can be toxic if you overdose.”

What about the side effects?

One of the myths about anti-depressants is that they become impossible to stop. “They are not addictive drugs; in 15 years I have never seen anyone addicted to Prozac.” But he also points out: “They are not a quick fix. They take several weeks to work so you may have to be patient.”

Another myth, says Dr. Silvert, concerns side effects. “They don’t all cause other problems. Many people worry about the loss of libido in particular but there are anti-depressants which don’t have this effect.”

Are anti-depressants enough?

The problem may not lie with the medication at all, he says, but in the way, it is prescribed via busy GP surgeries. “You cannot treat mental health in 10-minute appointments. Spend an hour and a half with a new patient exploring the biological and social aspects to their illness. We talk about the emotional, sexual, financial and familial problems which may have contributed to how they feel. Medication will get you on your way – like paracetamol easing the symptoms of a chest infection. But therapy is like the antibiotic which will make you well.”

Dr. Silvert says there are other approaches worth trying or combining with anti-depressants. “I am keen on good nutrition. Poor food can affect mood. Occupational therapy is important too – helping patients devise a strategy which might include getting a dog, finding part-time work, doing charity work or joining an online course that interests them.
“For a few patients, their brains really aren’t able to produce or use enough serotonin but for the majority, in my opinion, the real cure lies in therapy.”
Of course, waiting times for counseling on the NHS can be up to 12 months. Heidi Scrimgeour was prescribed an SSRI called sertraline and two weeks of Valium to help with her anxiety until it began to work. She was also offered counseling and had to wait seven months to begin it.
“I used to wake up in a panic with all my worries sitting on my chest but once the sertraline started to work, I began to get more control over the issues. It felt like they were outside the bedroom at first, and then downstairs, and finally across the street. The medication created a sense of distance between me and the panic. It helped me to get better and the counseling is teaching me how I can look after myself better in future.”
Whether you’re looking for a private psychiatrist or psychologist in London, a specific treatment or just a chat, our experienced team can help. Book an appointment today with our no. 1 rated private psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Silvert.

The Challenges of Caring For Someone with an Eating Disorder


The challenges of caring for someone with Anorexia Nervosa

Our psychological practitioner, Thea Sundrehagen discusses what it is like for carers of people suffering from Anorexia.

“Anorexia nervosa can be difficult to understand and relate to.

If you think about it, however, perfectionism and a need for control, two personality traits associated with the disorder, are easy to imagine.

Those who suffer from anorexia nervosa are a unique group, facing a series of unique challenges. Engaging with their social and educational/occupational environment can be very difficult due to both the physical and psychological symptoms of the disorder.

Below is a list of some of the psychological and physiological symptoms characteristic of the disorder. Psychiatrists and psychologists at The Blue Tree Clinic hope this list can help you understand a bit more about what your friend or family member is going through.

• One dominant psychological symptom of the disorder is shame associated with eating, which can be experienced as all-consuming and highly disabling in everyday life.

• Patients with anorexia nervosa also report feelings of mental discrepancy in a period of wellness (remission), which can manifest as a sort of identity crisis. To elaborate, they may experience a feeling of not being the person they see themselves as or feel like on the inside, as they don’t think they are “thin enough”. This is often a cause of relapse and is, therefore, a target in e.g. CBT treatment, which focuses on a reappraisal of symptoms as damaging or even life-threatening.

• Due to the positive emphasis they typically place on many of their physiological symptoms, particularly weight loss, the idea of getting better tend to conflict with their wishes. This can result in various treatment-resistant behaviours, and may even result in them refusing treatment all together.

• The physical symptoms and associated medical complications (e.g. infertility, metabolism problems, exhaustion) may have a grave impact on both romantic and social relationships, as well as on general satisfaction with and quality of life.

• Those who suffer from anorexia nervosa typically also suffer from other disorders such as anxiety, depression, and OCD.

In light of this, it is not surprising that caring for patients with anorexia nervosa can be very challenging. Parents report anorexia nervosa to be chronic and disabling.  Caring for someone with anorexia nervosa can be an even larger burden than caring for family members with psychosis.

Ultimately, due to the stress related to the responsibility of caring for someone with anorexia nervosa, it is important that you take care of your own mental health alongside supporting your loved one. Whether you talk to a friend, a family member, or a mental health practitioner, it is crucial that you do not carry the burden on your own.

For more information about anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders, or to book an appointment for your friend or family member, please get in touch with The Blue Tree Clinic through our website.”

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Seasonal Affective Disorder - The Blue Tree Clinic


Seasonal Affective Disorder - The Blue Tree Clinic

London Training Psychologist Maddy Lykourgos from the Blue Tree Clinic describes more information about SAD…

As the winter months draw nearer and the days get shorter, it is inevitable that many of us will start to feel a shift in our mood. However, for approximately 8% of the UK population who have severe Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and a further 21% that have many of the symptoms of SAD, it is a particularly debilitating time of year.

What are the common symptoms of SAD?

  • Persistent low mood during a particular time of year (usually winter)
  • Increased anxiety and an inability to cope with everyday stress
  • Lethargy, trouble waking up in the morning and sleeping for longer than usual
  • Loss of enjoyment in everyday activity
  • Lack of interest in socialising
  • Craving carbohydrates, eating more than usual and weight gain

What are the causes of SAD?

SAD, commonly known as seasonal depression or the ‘winter blues’, is a depressive illness that is categorised by a pattern of mood changes that link with specific times of year. In the UK, this is most commonly, but not exclusively, a lower mood in the winter time compared with spring or summer.

Although the exact cause of the disorder is still fairly unknown, it is believed that it stems from the reduced number of daylight hours, which may disrupt the internal clock. Subsequently, this may be linked with a decrease in the production of serotonin (a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that is closely linked with emotion-regulation) and an overproduction of melatonin (a hormone that helps control sleep patterns).

How to cope with SAD?

There are various treatments that have proven to be effective for SAD, such as light therapy. Research shows promising results for individuals that carry out their everyday activities in front of specialist light boxes. These emit a brighter light than typical bulbs and mimic sunlight without the harmful UV rays. Additionally, dawn-stimulating alarm clocks can help by gradually getting brighter as you need to wake up.

This can ease the process of waking up during the darker, winter mornings. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and reducing stress levels also help to boost your mood during this time.

What can The Blue Tree Clinic do for you?

If the symptoms of SAD are too difficult to manage alone, there are a number of treatments available from our highly-specialized team here at The Blue Tree Clinic. For example, there are a range of talking or psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counseling.

It is beneficial to have a consultation with our Private Psychiatrist,  who may be able to prescribe anti-depressant medications when therapy does not suffice.

For further information or for a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us in order for us to customize a treatment plan that will be most beneficial to you.

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10 Mind Changing Facts About Eating Disorders

10 Mind Changing Facts About Eating Disorders

Dr. Silvert, our founder, and expert psychiatrist is featured in Healthy Magazine. Dr. Mark Silvert is a Consultant Psychiatrist with a special interest in eating disorders working in the NHS, and also privately at The Blue Tree Clinic in London.For starters, they are not about looks. We bust the misconceptions about anorexia and bulimia - which affect a starting 725000 in the UK.

Regardless of whether you eat too little or too much, eating habits are regularly an indication of how we feel within. Our specialists are here to offer professional support in a non-judgemental, caring and collaborative approach to feel good about yourself and to take care of your general wellbeing. We offer help for those suffering from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorders and the families and carers of those that are unwell.

Read about the 10 fascinating facts you didn’t know about eating disorders;



Contact our friendly team of experts for a safe, comfortable conversation.

Please call us on 0800 011 9883 or contact us online here.

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Stress | Help, Support & Treatment |The Private Therapy Clinic, London, UK


Stress | Help, Support & Treatment |The Private Therapy Clinic, London, UK

Life can be challenging. Sometimes the pressures we are under become overwhelming. Let us help you get your life back on track by showing you new ways to manage stress, so that you can reclaim control over your own life.

What is Stress?

Stress is where an individual feels they are under a lot of pressure causing an inability to cope. Stress can arise from a variety of different factors however when the stress cannot be controlled it can cause problems for the individual, mentally, emotionally and physically.

What are the symptoms?

– Tiredness
– Difficulty sleeping
– Loss of appetite
– Lack of concentration
– Headache
– High blood pressure
– Moodiness
– Irritability
– Loneliness
– Unhappiness
– Nervous habits
– Nausea
– Worry

If you believe you are suffering from some of the symptoms stated above therapy may be beneficial to you. Here at The Blue Tree Clinic our therapists and doctors are here and ready to help you deal with your Stress.

What are the types of Stress?

There are many different types Stress which range from mild to extreme;

Acute stress
Episodic acute stress
Chronic stress

How can therapy help?

Therapy can help you to understand the reasons behind why you have a sleep disorders as well as teaching you ways to cope and methods to help you sleep. Therapy has been shown to be extremely effective for individuals with sleeping disorders.

Types of therapy offered for Stress at The Blue Tree Clinic?

– Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
– Cognitive Analytic Therapy
– Psychiatric Assessment

It may be that our team believe you would benefit from medical help as well as therapeutic help in which case we may suggest private psychiatric treatment where a psychiatrist will assess you and decide whether physical tests or medication would help. It has been found that medication can at times be successful in helping individuals suffering from Stress.

How can The Blue Tree Clinic help you?

Stress is a part of everyday life but when stress begins to take over your life you should consider looking for help. At The Blue Tree Clinic, Private Therapy Clinicwe want to help you! Stress is unpleasant for everyone regardless of the cause. Stress is not only problematic for you but also your body, your mind and your mental wellbeing. Here at The Blue Tree Clinic we have professionals who are trained in helping you fight your stress. Our therapists will assess your symptoms and look into providing the best possible care for you.

Your therapist will begin to give you therapy, this may be from one therapy type or multiple. Gradually your therapist will teach you tool and techniques which can help you to relieve your stress and allow you be more relax and calm. Your therapist will ensure that you are able to use these techniques outside of the therapy setting in a way that suits you. We know stress can be hard to control so your therapist will make sure you are well equipped to deal with stressful situations after you have finished your therapy with us.

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