A review of the literature from 2001 to 2011 on child abuse, neglect, and psychiatric disorders finds that early life stress subtypes can predict the development of psychopathology subtypes in adults. Physical & sexual abuse and unspecified neglect were associated with mood & anxiety disorders. Emotional abuse was associated with personality disorders and schizophrenia, and physical neglect with personality disorders. The research appears in the December issue of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
Britain’s HealthTalkOnline.org offers videotaped interviews with 36 people in their homes, talking about their decision to take antidepressants and the impact of that decision on their work and lifestyle, “both good and bad, the side effects, the things that went well, the things that went less well, the journeys that some of them had to go on to find the right treatment for them.”
The New York Times reports on new research from multiple sources that finds focused attention on insomnia is proving to be a “cheap, relatively brief and usually effective” approach to treating depression. ”If the figures continue to hold up, the advance will be the most significant in the treatment of depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987.”
Will Eberle discusses his personal experience in relationship to psychiatric diagnoses, psychiatric drugs, and the journey to rediscover his sense of self. Will is the Executive Director at Another Way, a “community center in Montpelier (VT) providing voluntary alternatives to conventional mental health services.” Another Way offers a variety of supports and provides resources for individuals to lead vibrant lives as valued members of the community. This is latest in a series of testimonials featured on MadInAmerica.com produced by the “Open Paradigm Project” (more…)
“Rising Up,” a report by the British campaign “Real Bread”, finds that 88% of those with mental health issued surveyed report bread making helps with a sense of achievement, 87% report feeling happier, and 73% felt calmer or more relaxed. “When I’m in the kitchen, measuring the amount of sugar, flour, or butter I need for a recipe or cracking the exact number of eggs — I am in control,” says John Whaite, winner of the U.K.’s Great British Bake-Off. “That’s really important as a key element of my condition is a feeling of no control.”
This blog was prompted by an invitation to do a guest post on the site of one of my favorite bloggers, 1 Boring Old Man. This is my response to the notion that there are certain conditions – Schizophrenia among them – that correspond more directly to biomedical conditions Full Article →
Research from Harvard finds that living in states with higher income inequality makes people, especially women, more susceptible to major depression. The study drew on data regarding 34,653 respondents to the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
Research from UCLA finds that rats exposed to early life trauma showed aberrations of stress hormones, receptors in the amygdala, and inhibited or avoidant behavior, without indications of remembering the specific trauma (foot shock) they had experienced. The researchers conclude “traumatic experience during developmental periods of hippocampal immaturity can promote lifelong changes in symptoms and neuropathology associated with human PTSD even if there is no explicit memory of the early trauma.”
Being morose provides benefits, according to research suggesting that detail-oriented, analytical thinking styles can accompany periods of sadness. Science News reports that people experiencing sad moods have an advantage remembering details, focus better, and are more fair to others than peers in neutral or happy moods. Says one researcher, “It’s shallow and untrue to assume that positive feelings can only have positive consequences and negative feelings can only have negative consequences.”
Researchers from three U.K. Universities analyzed the responses of 32,827 people to online questionnaires, finding that social deprivation and traumatic or abusive life-experiences strongly predicted higher levels of anxiety and depression. However, they note, the relationship between trauma and psychopathology were strongly mediated by psychological processes such as lack of adaptive coping, rumination and self-blame. The study concludes “These results support a significant revision of the biopsychosocial model, as psychological processes determine the causal impact of biological, social, and circumstantial risk factors on mental health.”
Canada’s The Star traces the “chemical imbalance” story’s fall from bedrock scientific principle to marketing device, at the same time that a $70 billion worldwide drug market was built on the theory. “The view among neuroscientists,” says Edward Shorter, a medical historian at the University of Toronto, “is that this emphasis on neurotransmitters as the cause of mental illness is more of a (drug sales) concept than a scientific concept. It helps drug companies sell drugs.”
1.) I found my recovery journey in Texas after multiple failed attempts during the years 2004-2005. I hail from Austin, Texas (ATX) where ALTERNATIVES 2013 is being hosted this December 3-6 at the Hyatt Regency by the NEC. I’m a person with the shared life experience of mental diversity.
2.) I thank NAMI Texas, DBSA Texas, NAMI Austin and many in Texas for helping me get up off my knees, out of bed with the covers over my head, open the shutters and open closed doors where I lived solidly in my disease and walk through the dark tunnel, around the periphery of depression back into the light so to speak.
3.) Service goes a long way. I started out my journey making copies at NAMI Texas and lasted 1 day, basically, thinking this is for the birds, and I lasted half a day at DBSA Texas but that was a paid gig and I was optimistic. I even wore a suit for that job. I helped the NAMI Austin WALK working in the Austin State Hospital Switchboard Building and listened to Dr. Peggy Swarbrick’s story of how school helped her walk and so I did too. I finished my Master’s practicum at ASH and published my findings in the Psychiatric Quarterly Journal.
4.) I’m a psychiatric survivor solidly. I relate to that. I’m a consumer. I’m an Advanced Certified Peer Specialist and Community Health Worker from the State of Texas. I’m no more. No less.
5.) I found life in 2007 when I antied up $990 for my Certified Peer Specialist certification in ATX with DBSA Texas and DBSA National and it changed my life, to be perfectly honest. Profound. I was told that I’d get a job afterwards. It didn’t help. I didn’t. I got volunteering gigs at the old Austin Travis County MHMR (now ATCIC) 2nd Street and I loved it. I was determined to learn more. And so I did.
6.) I somehow got onto the TTAC (via HOPE) Steering Committee in 2010 through hard-headed work and in Texas we put together core competencies, issued an RFP, Larry Fricks’ Appalachian Consulting Group transformative CPS was put into place and voila. A State of Texas CPS certification and process was set into place and the rest is history.
7.) ”The Seed Group” started out of USPRA Texas Windows to Wellness State conferences with Dr. Dan Fisher and local Texas c/s/x interest, hard work, sweat, blood and tears. Now it’s called the Texas Catalysts for Empowerment. I resigned from the group in 2010. It lives on.
8.) I worked street HIV/AIDS/STD/HCV outreach with AIDS SERVICES OF AUSTIN and tested HIV, etc… and published more, presented more on HIV & SMI and Education and then had to work to get out of HIV/AIDS because MH an SA was more of my very real passion and so was peer supports.
9.) I attended AA, NA, CA, SA, SLAA and my partner Pam Hardin stuck by me loyally and I received dangerous invasive “clinically necessary” treatment at the downtown ATX provider of choice for 2.5 years. Painfully. It hurt. I don’t recommend it. It saved my life, I’m told. What it did for me, was take away that urge to kill myself. And Pammy stood by me. And so did my family. 1 friend stuck around that whole time. 1.
10.) I received a Certificate for 2 years of National Service with AmeriCorps working in ATX and Williamson County learning housing from the ground up and I realized quickly that without housing one literally has nothing. Truth.
11.) I project managed in DFW with The Hope Concept Wellness Center helping institute dreams and WRAP driven by Northern Texans and Community Health Workers/Promotora’s. My sister and only sibling died of Cancer on November 20, 2012 and I left Texas for higher ground with a heavy heart, looking for transformative hope and found it in North Carolina and now Georgia.
12.) Coming back to ALTERNATIVES 2013 to co-present with my current work, ideas, hopes and dreams means much to me. I’ll see friends and see the hard work that many have set into motion for years. In Orlando ALTERNATIVES, Texas had the largest contingent. This year, via HOPE, The Texas Department of State Health Services and the University of Texas at Austin’s Hogg Foundation for Mental Health guarantees 300+ Tejano’s. How beautiful is that?
I will be co-presenting on Mobile Crisis Intervention based on the Certified Peer Specialist Perspective, helping out with the multicultural component and hopefully providing a gender-queer Caucus during the conference. See you there.
Researchers at Tufts University exposed rats and their children to early life stress, resulting in depressed maternal care, aggression, increased restlessness and anxiety-related behavior, and alterations in stress hormones and lactation in the mothers. The second generation, in turn, displayed a similar pattern of upon becoming mothers. “. . . This study provides insight into how social stress affects both human and animal behavior in the areas of maternal care, anxiety and lactation, and provides a wealth of observations,” said the study’s lead author.
The Mail sent three women to their doctors, reporting fictional symptoms of short-term, mild depression. Two walked out with prescriptions for medication, despite expressions of reluctance to take the medication. Long waiting lists for therapy, the article says, leads many doctors to prescribe the medication despite guidelines advising antidepressants for moderate or severe depression only.
The idea of spending more time as a bureaucrat in the US Embassy in Iceland did not appeal to me. I longed for the freedom that academics have. While pursuing that dream I stumbled into the world of international media, “chemical imbalance”, book publishing and a greedy professor of psychiatry which was a prelude to my second annus horribilis. Full Article →
While increasing numbers of Americans are being prescribed antidepressants, the Centers for Disease Control reports that suicide rates increased 28% from 1999 to 2010. Trained professionals remain unable to predict who is at risk. Their guess is as good as chance. Full Article →
A study comparing the effects on cognition of major depression (MDD) vs. SSRIs finds that healthy subjects learn significantly better from positive feedback than either medication-naïve or medicated MDD groups. “In contrast,” says the study’s abstract, “medicated patients with MDD learned significantly less from negative feedback than both medication-naïve patients with MDD and healthy subjects, whose learning accuracy was comparable… However, medicated MDD and HC profiles are not similar, which indicates that the state of medicated MDD is not ‘normal’ when compared to HC, but rather balanced with less learning from both positive and negative feedback.”
Michael Wilusz discusses his experience struggling with emotional distress, the ensuing regimen of psychiatric drug treatment, and his process tapering off of the drugs. Michael is a graduate of Salve Regina University and a practicing nurse. He sat down with the Open Paradigm Project on a shoot organized at Another Way in Montpelier, Vermont. Another Way is a community space which serves as a “voluntary alternative to conventional mental health services rooted in community, advocacy, and empowerment”. This is latest in a series of testimonials featured on MadInAmerica.com produced by the “Open Paradigm Project”
An anti-anti-stigma campaign The whole anti-stigma campaign is something of a joke. Google the word “stigma,” see for yourself. Mental health labels are inherently stigmatizing, yet the industry that was responsible for creating and perpetuating them, simultaneously pours money into … Full Article →
We have good reason to despair, to feel anguish, and pain. We have a planet that we are poisoning. We have people populating the planet who like to harm one another. We have families who, in their own pain and trauma, pass on that pain and trauma to their children. We face tragedies of all kinds just by being alive. Being human is DIFFICULT. It’s also the most amazing adventure and it can be very very painful to wake up to just how amazing and outrageous this life we’ve been given is. It’s no small task for any of us. Full Article →
Research from Austria, Italy, and Germany finds that over the last two decades “The public’s readiness to recommend help-seeking from mental health professionals and using psychotherapy and psychotropic medication has increased considerably. Attitudes towards people with schizophrenia worsened, whereas for depression and alcohol dependence no or inconsistent changes were found. The growing divide between attitudes towards schizophrenia and other mental disorders should be of particular concern to future anti-stigma campaigns.” Results appear in the British Journal of Psychiatry
While it may masquerade as ethical practice, or as ‘beneficial’, to say that depression is caused by a serotonergic dysfunction – in order to suggest the cause of a “disorder” – the fact is: stating that this is truth is consistent with deception. With respect to truth telling — philosophically and ethically — if you don’t know something, you must not simply make it up. Full Article →