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Little evidence that chemical imbalance causes depression; UCL scientists find

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Little evidence that chemical imbalance causes depression
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Researchers question the use of antidepressants, prescribed to one in six UK adults

Scientists have called into question the widespread use of antidepressants after a major review found “no clear evidence” that low serotonin levels are responsible for depression.

Prescriptions for antidepressants have risen dramatically since the 1990s, with one in six adults and 2% of teenagers in England now being prescribed them. Millions more people around the world regularly use antidepressants.

“Many people take antidepressants because they have been led to believe their depression has a biochemical cause, but this new research suggests this belief is not grounded in evidence,” said the study’s lead author, Joanna Moncrieff, a professor of psychiatry at University College London and consultant psychiatrist at North East London NHS foundation trust.

 

“It is always difficult to prove a negative, but I think we can safely say that after a vast amount of research conducted over several decades, there is no convincing evidence that depression is caused by serotonin abnormalities, particularly by lower levels or reduced activity of serotonin.

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“Thousands of people suffer from side-effects of antidepressants, including the severe withdrawal effects that can occur when people try to stop them, yet prescription rates continue to rise. We believe this situation has been driven partly by the false belief that depression is due to a chemical imbalance. It is high time to inform the public that this belief is not grounded in science.”

The new review of existing studies found that depression is not likely to be caused by a chemical imbalance and said people should be made aware of other options for treating it.

However, other experts, including from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, questioned the findings and urged people not to stop taking their medication in light of the study, arguing that antidepressants remained effective.

In the new analysis, researchers said 85% to 90% of the public believed depression was caused by low serotonin or a chemical imbalance.

Most antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), originally said to work by correcting abnormally low serotonin levels.

The review, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, looked at studies examining serotonin and depression involving tens of thousands of people. One of the findings was that research comparing levels of serotonin and its breakdown products in the blood or brain fluids did not discover any difference between people diagnosed with depression and healthy people.

The authors also looked at studies where serotonin levels were artificially lowered in hundreds of people and concluded that lowering serotonin in this way did not produce depression in hundreds of healthy volunteers.

Other studies looked at the effects of stressful life events and found that the more stressful life events a person had experienced, the more likely they were to be depressed, showing the importance of external events.

According to the research, there is also evidence from other studies that antidepressants may actually induce low serotonin in the long term.

“Our view is that patients should not be told that depression is caused by low serotonin or by a chemical imbalance, and they should not be led to believe that antidepressants work by targeting these unproven abnormalities,” said Moncrieff.

“We do not understand what antidepressants are doing to the brain exactly, and giving people this sort of misinformation prevents them from making an informed decision about whether to take antidepressants or not.”

A spokesperson for the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: “Antidepressants are an effective, Nice-recommended treatment for depression that can also be prescribed for a range of physical and mental health conditions. We would not recommend for anyone to stop taking their antidepressants based on this review, and encourage anyone with concerns about their medication to contact their GP.”

Dr Michael Bloomfield, a consultant psychiatrist and principal clinical research fellow at University College London, who was not involved in the study, said: “Many of us know that taking paracetamol can be helpful for headaches, and I don’t think anyone believes that headaches are caused by not enough paracetamol in the brain. The same logic applies to depression and medicines used to treat depression.

“There is consistent evidence that antidepressant medicines can be helpful in the treatment of depression and can be life-saving.”

… we have a small favor to ask. Millions are turning to the Guardian for open, independent, quality news every day, and readers in 180 countries around the world now support us financially.

We believe everyone deserves access to information that’s grounded in science and truth, and analysis rooted in authority and integrity. That’s why we made a different choice: to keep our reporting open for all readers, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. This means more people can be better informed, united, and inspired to take meaningful action.

In these perilous times, a truth-seeking global news organization like the Guardian is essential. We have no shareholders or billionaire owners, meaning our journalism is free from commercial and political influence – this makes us different. When it’s never been more important, our independence allows us to fearlessly investigate, challenge and expose those in power.

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Bereavement Leave in the Philippines

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Bereavement Leave in the Philippines
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Grieving the loss of a loved one is an incredibly challenging experience, and when it happens, having the support and understanding of your workplace can make a significant difference. In the Philippines, the provision of Bereavement Leave is a crucial aspect of the employment landscape that aims to offer employees the necessary time and space to cope with such profound personal losses.

Overview of Bereavement Leave

Bereavement Leave, also known as compassionate leave or funeral leave, is a type of time-off granted to employees in the event of the death of a family member or a close relative. It recognizes the emotional toll such situations can have on an individual and acknowledges the need for dedicated time to grieve, make necessary arrangements, and find solace with family. Understanding how this form of leave operates within the legal framework is essential for both employers and employees.

Importance of Understanding Legal Aspects

Navigating

the legal aspects of Bereavement Leave is vital for all parties involved. For employees, it means knowing your rights, understanding the eligibility criteria, and being aware of the support your employer is obligated to provide during such challenging times.

Employers, on the other hand, must comprehend their responsibilities under the law. Establishing clear, compassionate, and legally compliant policies ensures a supportive work environment and helps foster a sense of understanding and empathy within the organization.

This blog post aims to shed light on the legal intricacies of Bereavement Leave in the Philippines, guiding both employees and employers through the nuances of the system. By delving into the legal framework, we hope to empower you with the knowledge needed to navigate this challenging aspect of the workplace with sensitivity and clarity.

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Legal Framework in the Philippines

Understanding the legal foundation of Bereavement Leave in the Philippines is crucial for both employers and employees to ensure a fair and supportive work environment during times of loss.

Philippine Labor Code Provisions

The Philippines, recognizing the importance of providing compassionate support during bereavement, has specific provisions in the Labor Code addressing this matter. Section 6, Article 94 of the Philippine Labor Code outlines the regulations related to the grant of special leave benefits, including Bereavement Leave.

According to this provision, employees are entitled to a certain number of days of leave with full pay, specifically allotted for the death of a family member. The specific details, such as the duration and coverage, are typically outlined by the employer’s internal policies or collective bargaining agreements.

Recent Updates and Amendments

It’s important to stay informed about any recent updates or amendments to the labor laws governing Bereavement Leave. Legislation can evolve to better address the needs of employees and align with the changing dynamics of the workplace.

Who Qualifies for Bereavement Leave?

Understanding who qualifies for Bereavement Leave is a fundamental aspect of navigating this compassionate benefit in the Philippines. Let’s break down the key elements that determine eligibility and the necessary documentation.

Employee Categories and Eligibility

Bereavement Leave is generally available to employees across various categories, but the specific eligibility criteria can vary. In most cases, eligible employees include those in regular employment, whether on a full-time or part-time basis Additionally, some companies may provide this benefit only after a certain period of service, so tenure could be a factor.

Documentation Requirements

Clear communication between employees and employers during these challenging times is key. Employers should strive to create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their needs and seeking guidance on the required documentation. Sim

ultaneously, employees should familiarize themselves with the specific requirements outlined by their employer to facilitate a compassionate and efficient process during moments of grief.

In the subsequent sections, we will explore the duration and scope of Bereavement Leave, shedding light on how this benefit can be effectively utilized to support employees during difficult times.

Duration and Scope of Bereavement Leave

Navigating the duration and scope of Bereavement Leave is essential for both employees seeking time for grieving and employers aiming to provide adequate support. Let’s delve into the key aspects of how this leave is structured.

Maximum Leave Period

Bereavement Leave typically comes with a predefined maximum leave period, and this duration can vary based on company policies, collective bargaining agreements, or even the specific circumstances of the loss. In the Philippines, it’s common for employers to grant a certain number of days for Bereavement Leave, allowing employees sufficient time to attend to the funeral, make necessary arrangements, and cope with the initial stages of grief.

Employees should be aware of the maximum leave period specified by their employer and understand any additional conditions that may apply, such as whether the leave is granted consecutively or non-consecutively. Clear communication with the human resources department can help address any uncertainties and ensure a smooth process.

Coverage of Leave (Immediate Family, Relatives, etc.)

The scope of Bereavement Leave often extends beyond immediate family members, but the specific coverage can vary. Immediate family members commonly covered include parents, siblings, spouses, and children. Some employers may also include grandparents, grandchildren, or in-laws in their policies.

Understanding the breadth of coverage is crucial for employees when they need to request Bereavement Leave. Employers should clearly communicate the eligible relationships in their policies, allowing employees to navigate the process with ease during emotionally challenging times.

It’s worth noting that some companies may have more inclusive policies that consider the unique circumstances of each employee.

Employer Obligations and Responsibilities

When it comes to Bereavement Leave, employers play a pivotal role in providing not just a policy but a compassionate and supportive environment for grieving employees. Let’s explore the key obligations and responsibilities that employers bear in facilitating Bereavement Leave.

Notification and Approval Procedures

Timely and transparent communication is crucial during times of grief. Employers should establish clear procedures for employees to notify them about the need for Bereavement Leave. This notification process may include specifying whom to contact within the HR department, the preferred method of communication, and any required documentation.

Once notified, employers are responsible for promptly processing and approving Bereavement Leave requestsCreating a culture that encourages open communication and understanding can contribute significantly to this process. Employees should feel comfortable reaching out to their supervisors or HR representatives, knowing that their needs will be handled with empathy and efficiency.

Ensuring a Supportive Work Environment

Beyond the procedural aspects, employers have a broader responsibility to foster a supportive work environment that recognizes the emotional challenges associated with bereavement. This involves not only complying with legal requirements but going above and beyond to accommodate the needs of grieving employees.

Demonstrating empathy and understanding can contribute to a positive workplace culture that values the well-being of its members.

This collective effort contributes to a workplace where compassion is not just a policy on paper but a lived experience.

In the subsequent sections, we will delve into the comparison of Bereavement Leave with other types of leave and explore best practices for both employers and employees in navigating this sensitive aspect of the workplace in the Philippines

Comparison with Other Leave Types

Understanding how Bereavement Leave differs from other types of leave is crucial for both employees and employers. Let’s explore the distinctions between Bereavement Leave, Sick Leave, Vacation Leave, and the role of employer discretion in shaping these policies.

Contrasting Bereavement Leave with Sick Leave and Vacation Leave

  • Bereavement Leave:

  • Bereavement Leave is specifically designed to provide employees with time off to cope with the death of a family member or close relative. Its primary focus is on providing emotional and practical support during times of grief. The duration is usually short-term, addressing the immediate needs surrounding the loss.
  • Sick Leave:

  • Sick Leave, on the other hand, is intended for situations where an employee is personally unwell or needs medical attention. It addresses health-related issues and is often taken for the employee’s own illness or medical appointments.
  • Vacation Leave:

  • Vacation Leave is granted for the purpose of rest, relaxation, and personal time away from work. It is typically planned in advance and allows employees to take a break for leisure, travel, or personal pursuits.

Employer Discretion and Policies

Employers have the discretion to shape these policies based on the unique culture and values of their organization.

  • Consideration for Grieving Employees:

  • Compassionate employers may exercise flexibility in applying Bereavement Leave policies. This could involve providing additional days of leave or considering special cases where employees experience loss outside the defined policy parameters.
  • Communication and Transparency:

  • Employers should communicate their Bereavement Leave policy clearly to all employees. Transparent communication helps set expectations, reduce ambiguity, and ensures that employees are aware of the support available to them during times of bereavement.

In the following sections, we will explore how to handle disputes related to Bereavement Leave and share best practices for both employers and employees in creating a compassionate and understanding workplace in the Philippines.

Handling Bereavement Leave Disputes

In an ideal world, the process of requesting and granting Bereavement Leave would be smooth and understanding. However, disputes can arise, and it’s important for both employees and employers to know how to navigate these situations with empathy and effectiveness.

Resolving Issues Amicably

Disputes regarding Bereavement Leave can often be emotionally charged, given the sensitive nature of the circumstances. To resolve issues amicably:

  • Open Communication:

  • Encourage open communication between the concerned employee and the HR department. Establishing a platform for dialogue allows for a better understanding of each party’s perspective.
  • Reviewing Company Policies:

  • Both parties should refer to the company’s Bereavement Leave policy. Reviewing the policy together can help clarify any misunderstandings and ensure that the process is fair and consistent.
  • Flexibility and Empathy:

  • Employers should approach these discussions with flexibility and empathy. Grieving employees may be navigating complex emotions, and a compassionate approach can contribute to a more positive resolution.

Seeking Assistance from Labor Authorities

In cases where disputes persist and cannot be resolved internally, seeking assistance from labor authorities is an option. Here’s how to approach this process:

  • Understanding Legal Recourse:

  • Familiarize yourself with the labor laws and regulations related to Bereavement Leave in the Philippines. This knowledge is crucial for understanding your rights and responsibilities.
  • Documenting the Dispute:

  • Both employees and employers should document the nature of the dispute, including communication records, relevant policies, and any additional supporting documents. This documentation can be valuable when seeking external assistance.
  • Contacting Labor Authorities:

  • If internal resolution attempts prove unsuccessful, either party can contact relevant labor authorities, such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). They can provide guidance, mediate discussions, and, if necessary, enforce compliance with labor laws.

Handling Bereavement Leave disputes requires a delicate balance of legal understanding, empathy, and effective communication. The goal should always be to find a resolution that acknowledges the unique circumstances surrounding bereavement while ensuring fair and consistent application of company policies.

  1. Best Practices for Employers

In times of loss, the support employers provide can make a significant impact on the well-being of their employees. Here are some best practices for employers to create a compassionate and understanding environment surrounding Bereavement Leave.

Creating a Compassionate Bereavement Leave Policy

  • Clear and Inclusive Policies

  • : Develop clear and inclusive Bereavement Leave policies. Specify the eligible relationships, the number of days granted, and any additional support offered. Transparency is key to helping employees understand and navigate this benefit.
  • Flexibility and Understanding:

  • Infuse flexibility into the policy to accommodate the diverse needs of your workforce. Recognize that each employee’s grieving process is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach may not be sufficient.
  • Communication:

  • Effectively communicate the Bereavement Leave policy to all employees. Make sure they are aware of the support available to them during difficult times. Regularly update and reiterate these policies to ensure everyone is informed.
  • Training for HR and Management:

  • Provide training for HR professionals and management to handle Bereavement Leave requests with empathy and understanding. Sensitivity in these situations is paramount, and proper training can equip staff to offer the support needed.

Supporting Employees During Grieving Periods

  • Check-In and Offer Condolences:

  • Reach out to employees who have experienced a loss. A simple message of condolence and support can go a long way in expressing care and empathy. Offering condolences also reinforces a culture of compassion within the workplace.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements:

  • Consider offering flexible work arrangements for employees returning from Bereavement Leave. This could include modified schedules, remote work options, or reduced workloads to help individuals ease back into their professional responsibilities.
  • Access to Counseling Services:

  • Provide access to counseling services or Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Grieving employees may benefit from professional support, and making these resources available demonstrates a commitment to their overall well-being.
  • Memorial Policies:

  • Consider implementing memorial policies or practices within the workplace, such as moments of silence or
  • memorial events. These initiatives can help create a supportive community and acknowledge the impact of the loss on the entire organization.

Conclusion

In navigating the sensitive terrain of Bereavement Leave in the Philippines, understanding both its legal aspects and the human dynamics involved is paramount. Let’s recap the key legal insights and discuss how empowerment can become a cornerstone for both employees and employers.

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Dermatologist Personalized and Custom Skin Care Routine

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Skin type quiz
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Nowadays, there are a lot of websites out there claiming to personalize, and customers give the best skincare routine for their skin health. The reality is that they just try to sell their brand through this promotion. Most of them use AI to customize a better skincare routine, but AI is not enough when it comes to giving reality-based skincare suggestions based on individual requirements or skin textures. Thus, you need to always consult with the best dermatologist you can first diagnose your real skin type. Most doctors prefer to use the one and only recommended Skin type quiz that provides the best and most accurate results.

This type of quiz is mostly found in medical textbooks and is mostly used by expert dermatologists around the world. Through this quiz, they can diagnose any person’s skin type accurately. Basically, this skin type quiz was initially developed in 2005 by one of the most famous, Dr. Leslie Baumann, who is a dermatologist at the University of Miami. It is known to be a gold standard skin diagnosing quiz which is used worldwide for skin care researching and diagnosing trials.

This type of skin type can diagnose the nature of skin and identify up to 16 different skin types. It can even reveal the accurate type of skin along with the sensitivity ratio you have among the basic 4 types. After diagnosis, the dermatologist matches our skin type with a 40,000 skincare template that has been diagnosed on different Baumann skin types for years. This entire process is performed by an expert dermatologist who can tackle the process complications easily. Thus, finding the right and accurate skin care product could be difficult for common doctors. This skin care quiz is designed to provide advanced results that ordinary skin diagnosing systems are unable to identify.

In this digital era, everything is performed with software guidance. Thus, you can easily get your perfect skincare routine based on the quiz result to get the ultimate benefit. You will achieve the best skincare routine along with the best medical grade skin care brands that are suitable for your skin type. You can find out many options for your skincare and choose the one based on your skin requirements. You can get a personalized skincare routine along with dermatologist recommended skincare brands product easily.

But what if you are vegan? Well! It doesn’t matter if you are vegan or not. If you want luxury skincare, recycled packaging for every skincare product or need to invest in an affordable skincare brand, you can get many options. You don’t need to worry about costly skincare items. All you need is to scroll and choose the best and required skin care products that meet your requirements for your skin type. You can even find drugstore brands in the list. After getting the results of the skincare routine quiz, you will be able to manage your skin health by following a custom skincare routine based on your skin type!

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