Wednesday, April 1, 2020

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.

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.

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.

New Clinical Guidelines on Deprescribing Benzodiazepines

New guidelines recommend deprescribing benzodiazepine receptor agonists for adults.

New Study Explores Approaches to Discontinuing Antidepressants

Psychiatrist and psychologist outline pharmacological and psychotherapeutic strategies for discontinuing antidepressants.

Amphetamines Have Long-Term Effects on Adolescent Brain, Study Finds

A new study published in the journal Neuroscience finds that rats given regular doses of amphetamines during adolescence have brain and behavioral changes in adulthood....

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Increase with Overdose Deaths

A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health calls for policy level interventions to reduce the use of benzodiazepines, drugs commonly prescribed...

Existential Therapy Assists Patients Withdrawing From Psychiatric Drugs

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

Reducing Antipsychotic Use May Improve Health for People with Mental Health Diagnoses

A new study offers radical solutions for improving the cardiovascular health of people with mental health diagnoses: reducing antipsychotic prescriptions..

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.

Benzodiazepine Use Linked to Dementia and Memory Loss

A recent review of the research found that benzodiazepine use may have long-term effects on memory and increase the risk for dementia. The study,...

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.

Hypnotic Medications Linked to Suicide Risk

A recent review found that hypnotic medications are associated with risks of suicide and suicidal ideation.

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.”

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.

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.

The Paradox of White Americans’ Mental Health

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

Living in One of R. D. Laing’s Post-Kingsley Hall Households

Kingsley Hall was the first of Laing’s household communities that served as a place where you could live through madness until you could get it together and live independently. It was conceived as an “asylum” from forms of treatment — psychiatric or otherwise — that many were convinced were not helpful, and even contributed to their difficulties. By the time I arrived in London in 1973 to study with Laing there were four or five such places. Getting in wasn’t easy.

Matt Samet: Climbing Out of Benzo Madness

Rock climber, author, and MIA Blogger Matt Samet discusses his experience becoming addicted to, and subsequently coming off of, benzodiazepines.

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?
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.

“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.

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.
freedom from antidepressants

My Fight Against Antidepressants, Part III: Breaking Free

I had managed to get off the drugs again, this time with practically no withdrawal reactions other than some disturbances to my sleep which eventually settled down. I truly feel that I have been given a second chance because I am aware of how many people struggle terribly with these drugs just as I did.
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.

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