Fox 5 Atlanta featured a back to school story about the growing percentage of preteens and teens being prescribed antipsychotic medication for ADHD. They report: "Nobody, whether you're a mom trying to advocate for your child, or you're a physician trying to decide what's best for the child, nobody wants a child on a medication with long-term side effects that may even affect their development. Nobody wants that. We have to create a system that really digs and looks for other options for these kids."
Research published in the May 2015 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry questions the use of exposure therapy, the "gold standard" treatment for patients with PTSD. Exposure therapy attempts to lessen the power of memories, thoughts, and feelings related to the trauma through the repeated discussion of the trauma-related situations with a therapist. While prior studies have reported that it is efficacious, exposure therapy has also been called the “cruelest cure” and criticized for inducing suffering in victims of trauma.
On The New York Times Opinionator Blog, Diana Spechler has written a series entitled “Going Off,” relating her experience transitioning to a life without prescription medications for her anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
This week’s installment, “10 Things I’d Tell My Former (Medicated) Self,” marks Diana’s final entry for the series which began in February. In it she she gives voice to her own confessions and reminiscences and encourages others to do the same.
Research lead by Richard Bentall of the University of Liverpool finds that the quality of the therapeutic alliance (TA) in treating early psychosis, long known to be instrumental in achieving positive outcomes, can also lead to poorer outcomes when the quality is negative. "This is the first ever demonstration that TA has a causal effect on symptomatic outcome of a psychological treatment, and that poor TA is actively detrimental, these effects may extend to other therapeutic modalities and disorders," the authors conclude.
Two years after Johnson & Johnson received a fine of $2.2 billion from the U.S. Department of Justice for "misbranding" Risperdal, the Cherokee Nation is suing the company for its misrepresentations of the drug as safe and effective for the elderly. J&J marketed Risperdal as a treatment for older people with agitation from dementia, a practice the FDA warned is dangerous for older people.
The image is so familiar it is a stereotype: The physician’s desk, piled high with copies of medical journals, where she or he reads the latest research updates between patients. Medical science, it is said, progresses so quickly that if practitioners do not keep up their knowledge base will be obsolete within five years. But is the reading of journals useful? Can it potentially inculcate misinformation as much as progress? Is the knowledge gained worthwhile?
"I’ve eaten mushrooms ... dropped LSD ... taken MDMA ... I’ve done everything adults always told me not to do in my youth, and I ended up fine. And now, the only drug to ever have an addictive and negative effect on me, is the one that has been shoved down my throat by dozens of medical professionals and teachers throughout my adolescence," reports Daniel Tobin on the website Elite Daily.
A study of 34,553 patients with dementia by the Danish Dementia Research Centre finds that more than 75% of patients with dementia who are treated with an antipsychotic medications are also given at least one other psychotropic drug. Patients who were younger, female, resided in nursing homes, took other medications, and had a prior psychiatric diagnosis were more likely to be treated with more than one psychotropic. The researchers concluded “The potential consequences for patients' safety calls for further investigations.”
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