Thursday, June 4, 2020

Existential Therapy Assists Patients Withdrawing From Psychiatric Drugs

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

Relaxation Techniques for Depression and Anxiety in the Elderly

-Time magazine looks at the effects of a number of relaxation techniques on depression and anxiety in elderly people.

Anxiety: The Price We Pay for Consciousness

In his NY Times article “A Drug to Cure Fear,” Richard Friedman noted: “It has been an article of faith in neuroscience and psychiatry that, once formed, emotional memories are permanent.” This has not been a principle of these disciplines, including clinical psychology, for many years. Consolidation-reconsolidation-extinction models have been around for some time now, applied in particular to persons suffering from traumatic memories; e.g., Holocaust survivors, war and genocide survivors, etc.

Little Victories on Breezy

In my most recent blog post, “The Unmedicated Life”, I attempted to answer a question I’m frequently asked by other survivors — “How did you get better from psychiatric medication damage/withdrawal?” But there is also a part two to the question that I didn’t address, which is, “How did you know when you were better?”

“Terror Management Theory and our Response to the Paris Attacks”

In this short audio clip, psychologist Sheldon Solomon discusses what research on our unconscious fears about death can tell us about terrorism, intolerance, and radicalism. “In the wake of the Paris attacks, we examine the worm that some people think is eating away at our core — our fear of death.”

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...

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.”

Pets Play Central Role in Management of Mental Health Problems

Individuals with long-term mental health conditions identify pets as valuable supports in their daily lives.

Students Sue Oxford University for Mental Health Discrimination

From Express: Catherine Dance, a 24-year-old law graduate, is suing Oxford University's Jesus College for refusing to grant accommodations for her mental health disability and forcing...

Hope for Everyone

I am a very optimistic psychologist, but with reason. For 25 years I've been working with people who have had psychological problems in every conceivable area. Many psychologists have problems with burnout, especially early in their careers. For me, this has been very different. By using the treatment techniques that I do, I feel anti-burned out. It is so gratifying to see people get out of their serious problems, that I look forward to every day of clinical work.

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.

The Moving Basis of Mental Health Diagnosis

In this opinion piece for The Chronicle Herald, Dr. A.J. discusses the subjective nature of psychiatric diagnosis and the DSM. Citing research by Paula Kaplan,...

No New Prozacs: A Dry Pipeline for New Psychiatric Drugs

In 1988, the introduction of Prozac was hailed as a breakthrough in the treatment of depression. A quarter of a century later, the prospect of a similar breakthrough in psychiatric medications seems remote. On August 19, 2013, the New York Times ran an article called, “A Dry Pipeline for Psychiatric Drugs".

How Come the Word “Antipsychiatry” is so Challenging?

So here we go again; another meeting with another young person who describes how he is in an acute crisis - you may call it - and is diagnosed and prescribed neuroleptics. He is told by the doctor that he suffers from a life-long illness and he will from now on be dependent on his “medication.” As long as people are met this way I see no alternative than showing that there are alternatives. If that means being "antipsychiatry," then I am more than happy to define myself and our work in that way.

More Research Needed on Climate Change-Related Ecological Grief

Researchers outline the concept of ecologically driven grief due to climate change and recommend future research to better understand the psychological impact of climate change.

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?

The Link Between Poor Mental Health and Low Income

From Metro: Poverty can have a dramatic effect on people's mental and physical health, as it can impact diet, healthcare access, sleep, and socialization. "There are plenty...

Fear is Life Force … (in Clinical Circles it’s Often Called Anxiety) – An...

It’s not just in spiritual circles but also in psychiatric and mental health circles that fear and anxiety are too often medicated away instead of worked with. It’s not easy to work with it and a lot of professionals don’t know how to hold such space for such courageous facing of the dark parts of psyche and so many people don’t learn that it’s actually possible. For those of us who’ve come off psych drugs and faced severe psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome it becomes a necessary and often heinously difficult initiation . . . Learning to embrace my experience and surrender to it was the way through for me.

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...

Psychiatrists Warn Policymakers Benzodiazepine Overuse Could Lead to Next Epidemic

Although opioid addiction and overuse have garnered significant national attention, similar trends in benzodiazepine overprescription and overuse continue to go unnoticed.

“As Suicide Rates Rise, Researchers Separate Thoughts from Actions”

“Suicide rates in the United States have been rising, especially among veterans and members of the armed forces. Traditional assumptions about why people kill themselves have not led to effective strategies for suicide prevention,” psychologist Craig Bryan tells Science News. “So in recent years, psychologists and others have been reconsidering basic beliefs about why people carry out the ultimate act of self-destruction.”

Familial Factors Affect Depression, BD, OCD, PD, and Phobias

A study of 566 families with 1416 bipolar-disordered members, and 675 families with 1726 depressed members by researchers from Johns Hopkins and the University...

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.

Lawsuit Over a Suicide Points to a Risk of Antidepressants

From The New York Times: The recent trial of Wendy Dolin, whose husband died of suicide after starting the antidepressant paroxetine, demonstrates our need for more...

Review of the Evidence: Childhood Adversity High in Schizophrenia and Other Disorders

Researchers from Australia and the UK found that people with a schizophrenia diagnosis almost four times more likely than controls to have a history of...

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