In this video interview, Dr. Kelly Brogan explains how probiotics, or ‘psychobiotics,’ can directly impact brain, behavior, mood, and cognition. “Brogan recommended consuming 15 to 20 billion units of probiotics with both lacto-bacillus and bfido-bacterium strains daily. She said this variety of the nutrient has the strongest link with improved depression and anxiety.”
Professionals are paid to share their wisdom with those who are, typically, less informed. But, when dealing with mental health professionals in the psychiatric arena, it is wise to retain a degree of skepticism about the words spoken by the doctors and nurses commissioned to help reduce human misery and suffering.
People who survive life-threatening illnesses in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital are at high risk for depression and anxiety and nearly a quarter suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to new research published in the journal of Critical Care Medicine. The study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, found that, following a stay in the ICU, patients who are young, unemployed, female, or who are prescribed opioids longer-term, are at the highest risk for persistent psychiatric symptoms.
Multiple media sources are reporting on new data from the CDC revealing a substantial increase in the suicide rate in the United States between 1999 and 2014, with a steep increase in rates among girls and women. Few report, however, that the percentage of Americans on antidepressants has nearly doubled over this period.
A study, comparing the effects of antidepressants combined with psychotherapy for severe depression to antidepressants alone, has been retracted and replaced by JAMA Psychiatry. The errors, once corrected, “have not changed the final conclusion of this study—that cognitive therapy combined with antidepressant medication treatment enhanced rates of recovery relative to treatment with medication alone,” according to the authors. A related, follow-up study, covered by MIA, including first author, Steven Hollon, also found that “patients with more severe depression were no more likely to require medications to improve than patients with less severe depression.”
I lived through forced ECT from 2005-2006 at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. My experience with ECT was the impetus for me to become involved in the antipsychiatry and Mad Pride movements, although I am not entirely opposed to voluntary mental health treatment. The following is the comment I submitted to the FDA on its proposal to down-classify the ECT shock device.
A new study, published in JAMA Neurology, found that older people who regularly took anticholinergic drugs, including certain cold medicines or antidepressants, had poorer cognitive skills and lower brain volumes. “I certainly wouldn’t advise my grandparents or even my parents to take these medications unless they have to,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Shannon Risacher, told Time magazine.
The medication left me emotionally numb, making it impossible to connect with people or sense the aliveness of the world around me. But after two years on antidepressants, I found something that gave me jolt of feeling strong enough to wake me up for a moment. I then spent the next seven years giving myself daily doses of horror to induce an emotional reaction.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently issued a controversial recommendation that all adolescent and adult patients undergo depression screening in primary care. The Wall Street Journal has published a back and forth on this issue between Richard Chung, a pediatrician, and Allen Frances, the well-known academic psychiatrist, entitled “Should All Teens Be Screened for Depression?”. While Chung argues that early diagnoses may lead to better outcomes, Frances insists that screening will lead to the medicalization of normal adolescence and worries that “teens may be haunted for life by carelessly applied labels.”
Why, despite the fact that the vast majority of people diagnosed with a mental illness have suffered from some form of childhood trauma, is it still so difficult to talk about? Why, despite the enormous amount of research about the impact of trauma on the brain and subsequent effect on behaviour, does there seem to be such an extraordinary refusal for the implication of this research to change attitudes towards those who are mentally ill? Why, when our program and others like it have shown people can heal from the effects of trauma, are so many people left with the self-blame and the feeling they will never get better that my colleague writes about below?
A new study finds that prenatal exposure to antidepressant drugs, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, is associated with higher rates of depression in early adolescence. According to the research, published this month in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, children exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy were diagnosed with depression by age 14 at more than quadruple the rate of children whose mothers were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder but did not take the drugs.
The New York Post reprints an excerpt on antidepressants from the latest book by MIA contributor, Kelly Brogan, MD, “A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives.” “I find it outrageous that drug companies can use any number of tactics to establish efficacy, including the suppression of data, and then use those tactics to legitimize long-term prescribing with no thought or attention to the real side effects over time,” she writes.
“Adolescents whose mothers took certain antidepressants while pregnant with them are more than four times as likely to become depressed by age 15, compared with children whose mothers had psychiatric disorders but didn’t take the medication during pregnancy,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that keep us going, especially when the complicated ones seem so overwhelming; when there’s too much chaos, too many emotions, too many possibilities and impending disasters. No one can give you a reason to live. You have to find it for yourself. Until you do, try simple things. For me, it was a turtle.
Takeda and Lundbeck had prepared to advertise that their latest antidepressant Brintellix (Vortioxetine) could give patients a cognitive boost and help them think and pay attention. While the FDA agreed that cognitive dysfunction in major depressive disorder is "a legitimate target for drug development," they did not approve the claims for this drug.
In the April issue of Science News, Laura Sanders covers recent studies that have begun turning up tantalizing hints about how microbes, the bacteria living in the gut, can alter the way the brain works. “What we need to do,” Bordenstein says, “is add microbes to the ‘me, myself and I’ concept.”
New research coming out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggests that the more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to be depressed. “Participants who spent the most total time on social media had 1.7 times the risk of depression, compared with those who spent less time on social media sites.”
New research published in JAMA Pediatrics reveals that transgender women have more than double the prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses than the general US population. The study found that the women, who had been assigned male at birth and now identified as female, had a high prevalence of suicidality, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, generalized anxiety and major depressive disorder.
Since the 1980s, antidepressant use has risen by at least four-hundred percent and obesity rates have climbed to include thirty percent of the population. Now, researchers from Australia have published a review to determine whether this increased exposure to antidepressants is contributing to the rising obesity rates.
A study released in Translational Psychiatry reports that "Although previous research has supported the individual beneficial effects of aerobic exercise and meditation for depression, these findings indicate that a combination of the two may be particularly effective in increasing cognitive control processes and decreasing ruminative thought patterns."
Canada's Global News reports that "A couple of years after a national initiative began to reduce the use of anti-psychotic medication, some people are saying the move has had an even more positive effect in Alberta than first expected ... 'Lots of teams said, ‘We didn’t realize how much pain [patients] might have been in, and so they were acting out, or having these responsive behaviors' ... 'So when we took down the antipsychotics and gave them more Tylenol … their behaviours are way calmer.'”
“Meditating before running could change the brain in ways that are more beneficial for mental health than practicing either of those activities alone,” Gretchen Reynolds writes in the New York Times. A new study, understanding that depressed participants often presented changes related to focus and concentration in the prefrontal cortex and that exercise and meditation are both known to change this same area, engaged participants in focused meditation and aerobic exercise and found significant improvements.
A recent study questions the existence of seasonal depression after a CDC survey found no evidence that seasons or sunlight exposure increased depression measures. “To be honest, we initially did not question the [SAD] diagnosis,” writes investigator Dr. Steven LoBello, the goal being “to determine the actual extent to which depression changes with the seasons.”
BBC news conducts a video interview with a young man named George. He was prescribed antidepressants when he was 15, after only a five-minute consultation. He explains how the exacerbated his problems.
A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that addictions to mobile devices are linked to anxiety and depression in college students. "People who self-described as having really addictive style behaviors toward the Internet and cellphones scored much higher on depression and anxiety scales," according to the researchers.
Copyright © 2016 Mad in America Foundation.