Monday, April 6, 2020

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%).

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

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...

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,...

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....

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.

Perfectionism May Lead to Significant Psychological Distress, Study Suggests

A new study suggests needing to appear perfect to others leads to mental health stigma and a higher risk of untreated psychological distress.

Phone Addiction Is Real — And So Are Its Risks

From Forbes: Increasing evidence shows that smartphones can be addictive, and that smartphone addiction can have a very negative impact on our mental health, especially...

Trump Anxiety Disorder Is More Fake News

For many people, the current political situation around the world is intensely frightening and not without cause. Depression and anxiety are on the rise, but we need a social model revolution in order to look at why this is happening. Labels like Trump Anxiety Disorder are merely a way to put people’s concerns in a box and leave them unaddressed.

How Psychology Undermines Feminist Activism

In this piece for the Feminist Current, Tove Happonen argues that the therapy model pathologizes women's responses to systemic injustice, aiming to change their emotional reactions...

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...

Psychology Must Become a Sanctuary Discipline to Heal Racial Trauma

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

We Need Ecstasy and Cocaine in Place of Prozac and Xanax

From Aeon: While psychiatric drugs are often ineffective and can have serious side effects, there are many psychedelics and other illicit substances that have proven...

Prozac Nation is Now the United States of Xanax

In this piece for The New York Times, Alex Williams discusses the social, political, cultural, and economic trends that have led to the recent rise in...

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions in Older Adults Used in Rural and Low Income Areas

Benzodiazepine prescription practices may be in response to an epidemic of distress, rather than being used to treat specific mental health diagnoses.

Preventing Long-term Benzodiazepine Use

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

Omega-3 Screening for Psychiatric Symptoms?

There is a substantial body of evidence suggesting that not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet may be connected to a diverse array of psychiatric symptoms. In a new study published this month, psychiatrist Robert McNamara and Erik Messamore provide an overview of the evidence and call for screening of omega-3 deficiency in people experiencing symptoms associated with ADHD, depression, mood disorders, and psychosis.

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...

Positive Explanations for Psychological Problems

I am a clinical psychologist working in an anxiety and OCD Clinic at the University of Oslo, Norway. In this clinic we do almost all the treatment without starting drugs, and for many patients we help them taper the drugs. One of the reasons for this is that taking drugs for psychological problems often may be seen as avoidance behavior, and this is exactly what maintains the anxiety, or in many cases makes it worse.

Is Your Job Bullshit? David Graeber on Capitalism’s Busy Work

From In These Times: Over a third of British workers believe their job makes no meaningful contribution to the world. The rising number of people who have...

Researchers Push for Transparency of Mental Health Outcome Data

A new analysis of UK mental health data suggests the way organizations deliver mental health services can alter patient outcomes.

Your Anxiety is a Political Issue

From Extra Newsfeed: Anxiety is a political issue, resulting directly from marginalization and structural inequality. The solution to anxiety is not self-help culture but activism...

Physical Activity and Exercise May Prevent Depression, Study Finds

Everyday exercise, regardless of intensity, can prevent the development of depressive symptoms.

Experts Question the Benefits of Brain Imaging Research for OCD

Two experts—a leading neuroscientist studying OCD, and a psychiatrist specializing in OCD treatment—question whether expensive brain imaging research has added anything to the treatment of OCD.

Researchers Identify Patterns in Antidepressant and Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use

The researchers found that, of those who were initially prescribed both antidepressants and benzodiazepines, approximately 12% went on to engage in long-term benzodiazepine use.

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