Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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.”

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?

“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.
hospital pills

Catching My Breath After A Panicked Journey

$24,000 later and no one knew what was wrong with me. They sent me home with a bag of pills. After being in the hospital, I developed a fear and mistrust of doctors. My general practitioner suggested antidepressants. More pills. It was all they could recommend. I wouldn’t take them. My anxiety worsened. I was obsessed with the idea that if I slept, I would die. So, I stayed awake as much as I could. For an entire year, this was how I lived.

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.

Most People with Common ‘Mental Disorders’ Get Better Without Treatment, Study Finds

A new study suggests that most people diagnosed with depressive, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders recover without treatment within a year of diagnosis. “This...

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.

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.

JAMA Article Challenges CBT as Gold Standard for Psychotherapy

A review of CBT research findings raises questions about its status as the “evidence-based” psychotherapy of choice.

”Broken Brains” and “Beautiful Minds”

When I first interviewed Brandon Banks, in the spring of 2008, while researching Anatomy of an Epidemic, he had recently entered Elizabethtown Community College...
hospitalization hospital

Prepared, Yet Unprepared: My Involuntary Hospitalization Adventure

Overall I learned a great deal during my hospital adventure. The whole experience seemed like a comedy of errors. For me the only people there who were truly out of touch with reality were staff members. All of the patients were very present, albeit in some distress. The reasons for their distress were not unreasonable.

A Mad World: Capitalism and the Rise of Mental Illness

From Red Pepper: Capitalism produces much of the mental distress that is categorized as "mental illness" by turning human creativity and connectivity into social isolation,...

Massage Therapy May Be Useful in Treating Symptoms of Anxiety

The study finds that twice-weekly massage therapy may be a useful alternative treatment for anxiety in terms of reducing both, psychological and somatic symptoms.

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.

An Alternative Perspective on Psychotherapy: It is Not a ‘Cure’

Kev Harding argues against conceptualizations of therapy as a ‘cure’ to an ‘illness’ and instead offers alternative approaches.

Financial Difficulties Facing College Students Lead to Mental Health Issues

A new study published open-access this month in Community Mental Health Journal finds that the increased financial difficulties facing college students lead to greater...

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...

Neoliberalism Drives Increase in Perfectionism Among College Students

Meta-analytic study detects upsurge in patterns of perfectionism in young adults and explores how neoliberalism contributes to this trend.

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...

Well-Being Therapy: A Guide to Long-term Recovery

If a patient has high cholesterol or sugar, the doctor may prescribe a drug to lower what is too high, but he/she generally adds some suggestions: for instance to avoid certain types of food, to do more physical activity, to refrain from smoking. But if someone has a low mood and sees medical help, the doctor--particularly if he or she is a psychiatrist--will likely just prescribe a drug and not encourage any “self-therapy.” The problem with his approach to care is that psychiatric drugs, even when they are properly prescribed, may help very little in the long run and create a number of additional problems

How Complex Trauma Changes a Person

From GoodTherapy.org: Although not currently listed in the DSM, the diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress (C-PTSD) has gained widespread acceptance in the mental health community. The...

Drug May Lead to Early Death for People With Alzheimer’s

From The Washington Post: A recent study found that benzodiazepines are associated with a greater chance of early death for those with Alzheimer's. "Researchers analyzed data on...
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.

No Support for Antidepressants Over Benzodiazepines for Anxiety

A review of all the relevant research comparing benzodiazepines (BDZ) to antidepressants (AD) for the treatment of anxiety was published Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics this Friday....

Study Finds Racial Differences in Psychiatric Diagnosis and Treatment

Black patients are almost twice as likely as their white counterparts to be diagnosed with schizophrenia while whites are significantly more likely to receive a diagnosis of anxiety or depression, according to a recent study published in the journal Psychiatric Services. The researchers also found that the likelihood of receiving psychotherapy for any diagnosis (34%), regardless of race or ethnicity, was much lower than the likelihood of receiving a psychotropic medication (73%).

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