Friday, February 26, 2021

Is Long-term Use of Benzodiazepines a Risk for Cancer?

A large study of the population in Taiwan reveals that long-term use of benzodiazepine drugs, commonly prescribed for anxiety, significantly increases the risk for brain, colorectal, and lung cancers. The research, published open-access in the journal Medicine, also identifies the types of benzodiazepines that carry the greatest cancer risk.

United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

In a new report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Dainius Pūras, calls for a move away from the biomedical model and “excessive use of psychotropic medicines.”

Existential Therapy Assists Patients Withdrawing From Psychiatric Drugs

Confronting existential anxiety through “Basal Exposure Therapy” shows promising results in people withdrawing from psychotropic drugs.
drowning in antidepressants

Ambushed by Antidepressants for 30 Years

They helped me function for a while, but the debilitating side effects of antidepressants held me prisoner. I'm still having a hard time understanding how this could have happened. It's been suggested to me by a therapist that what I'm going through now is another kind of PTSD: the ongoing trauma of realizing what antidepressants did to me for 30 years.

Zoloft Does Not Improve Depression, Even in Severe Cases, Study Finds

Despite their finding, the researchers suggest that SSRIs be given to people who do not meet criteria for depression or anxiety.

German Psychologists Declare “the Drugs Don’t Work”

Jürgen Margraf and Silvia Schneider, both well-known psychologists at the University of Bochum in Germany, claim that psychotropic drugs are no solution to mental...

The Paradox of White Americans’ Mental Health

Are White Americans’ poor mental health outcomes caused by Whiteness?

Dehumanization Linked to Poorer Mental and Physical Health

A new review finds that dehumanizing language, including self-dehumanization, is connected to anxiety, depression, and disordered eating.

Brain Scans Cannot Differentiate Between Mental Health Conditions

A new study analyzing over 21,000 participants found that differences in activation of brain regions in different psychological “disorders” may have been overestimated, and confirms that there is still no brain scan capable of diagnosing a mental health concern.

Benzodiazepines Linked to Treatment Resistant Depression

Prior use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Librium, or Ativan, may increase the risk of treatment-resistant depression (TRD), according to a new study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Flibanserin’s ‘Effects’ Do Not Outweigh Harms, Review Finds

Despite concerns about the risk to benefit ratio, the FDA approved flibanserin (Addyi) to treat low female sexual desire in August. In a new...

Still Mistreating the Elderly with Psychiatric Drugs: Benzodiazepines

Despite safety concerns, a new study reveals that there has been no change in the use of benzodiazepines in the elderly from 2001 to 2010.

“Silent” Forms of Child Abuse Strongly Tied to Depression

Psychological abuse and childhood neglect are strongly associated with depression in adulthood, according to a meta-analysis of childhood trauma and depression published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders. “The findings clearly highlight the potential impact of the more ‘silent’ types of childhood maltreatment (other than physical and sexual abuse) on the development of depression,” the researchers conclude.

D-Cycloserine Supplement Does Not Add Much to Exposure Therapy

A closer look at a new study reporting that the supplement D-cycloserine improved anxiety when used with exposure therapy.

After the Black-Box: Majority of Children Starting SSRIs Still Receiving Too High of Dose

In 2004, the FDA added a black-box warning to SSRI antidepressants on the increased risk of suicide among children taking these drugs. A new study suggests that this warning has increased the proportion of children who begin an antidepressant on a low dose, but the majority are still receiving higher than recommended doses.

An “Epidemic of Anguish” on College Campuses?

The Chronicle of Education has called the soaring rates of anxiety and depression among college student an “Epidemic of Anguish.” PBS interviews Jennifer Ruark, the editor of the Chronicle series, and Micky Sharma, the director of counseling at Ohio State University. Ruark reports that about “1 in 4 students reporting to campus counseling centers now are already on some kind of psychotropic medication.” Sharma adds that “just because a student is crying does not mean he or she needs psychotherapy. Sometimes that’s actually the type of emotional response that I would want to see.”

Nonclinical Factors are Associated with Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use in Older Adults

White race and size of initial prescription, along with poor sleep quality, are associated with long-term benzodiazepine use in older adults.
anxiety

The Meaningfulness of Anxiety

Anxiety can be a clarion call from our better self, a nagging inner tension that will persist until real-life changes are made that attend to deeper needs. When anxiety is reduced to a symptom to be medicated away, or an aberrant emotion based on cognitive distortions in need of correction, the all-important representational value of that anxiety can be lost.

Royal College of Psychiatrists Accused of Misleading Claims

From The Herald: A group of mental health experts and patients have submitted a formal letter of complaint accusing the Royal College of Psychiatrists of...

Psychotherapy Less Effective for People in Poverty and Those on Antidepressants

A new study finds poorer depression and anxiety outcomes in psychotherapy for people in economically deprived neighborhoods and those on antidepressants.

Researchers Set the Record Straight on Controversial Zoloft Study

An issue of Lancet Psychiatry is devoted to clarifying the lack of efficacy for Zoloft (sertraline).

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Halves the Risk of Repeated Suicide Attempts

A new study suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may halve the likelihood of re-attempting suicide, for those who have attempted in the past.

What If We Are All Wrong About Mental Illness?

From Thoughtful Living: The biomedical model of psychiatry, along with the DSM, is deeply flawed and can often be misleading. To improve, mental health services...

Is Xanax Really the Bad Guy?

While any effort to generate awareness and potentially curb the benzodiazepine epidemic is commendable, we have to ask ourselves, is Xanax just the scapegoat in this situation? Will legislative action and media attention for only one benzodiazepine out of so many make any difference?

Psychology Must Become a Sanctuary Discipline to Heal Racial Trauma

Researchers explore pathways of healing racial trauma in Latinx immigrant communities.

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