Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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.

Preventing Long-term Benzodiazepine Use

Researchers Identify risk factors for long-term benzodiazepine use to prevent harmful effects.
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.
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.

“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.

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.

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...

Psychodynamic Therapy Revealed to be as Efficacious as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Meta-analytic study finds that psychodynamic therapy outcomes are equivalent to those of CBT and other empirically supported treatments.

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,...
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.

The Paradox of White Americans’ Mental Health

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

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%).

”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...

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

Traumatic Life Events, Not Genetics or Chemical Imbalance Cause Depression and Anxiety

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...

This is What it’s Really Like to Date on Antidepressants

In this essay for Women's Health, one woman shares her experience of dating while on antidepressants. While antidepressants alleviated her anxiety, they also dulled...

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.”

Hypotheses, Scientific Evidence, and On Being Compared to an AIDS Denier

In today’s Boston Globe (April 14), Dr. Dennis Rosen, a pediatric lung and sleep specialist at Children’s Hospital in Boston, reviews my new book,...

“Do I Have to Feel so Badly About Myself?” – The Legacies of Guilt,...

Guilt, shame and anxiety appear in every known culture. Neither children nor adults seem to escape feeling some of these potentially disabling emotions and probably almost everyone has experienced all three. In my forensic experience, even the most hardened criminals who feel no guilt or shame about committing murder are nonetheless likely to feel guilty about something else, such as thinking or talking negatively about their father or mother. They surely feel shame, and overwhelming shame may have ended up fueling, rather than inhibiting, their murderous reactions. Meanwhile, it is highly unlikely that anyone, criminal or not, has avoided feeling anxiety.

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....

Alternative Therapies for Adolescent Depression as Effective as CBT, Study Finds

Brief psychodynamic and psychosocial interventions help maintain reduced depressive symptoms

Research Shows Mindfulness can Decrease Anxiety

A new study explores the impact of a Mindfulness-Based intervention on stress-related biomarkers in individuals diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Study Explores Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence in College Women with Disabilities

A new study explores sexual violence and intimate partner violence in college women with mental health related disabilities.

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.

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...

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