Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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.

New Research on Prenatal SSRI Exposure and Autism

Does maternal SSRI exposure increase the chances that a child will develop characteristics associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety

From Brain Pickings: According to philosopher Alan Watts, the antidote to human frustration and daily anxiety is mindfulness and staying fully present in the moment. "He...

Art and Images in Psychiatry

Between 2002 and 2014, JAMA Psychiatry published monthly essays by Dr. James C. Harris exploring the role of visual arts in representing emotional distress, trauma, life...

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...

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...

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...

Benzo Drugs, UK Fudge, Cover Up and Consequences

In 1980, the British Medical Journal published a “Systematic Review of the Benzodiazepines” by the Committee on the Review of Medicines. The committee denied the addictive potential of Benzodiazepines and limited their suggestions to short term use. The results have been devastating.

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.

Review Reinforces Social Connection as Protective Health Factor

Is a lack of social connection in the US harmful to health? In a review of social connection and health literature, researcher calls for a societal shift in values towards interdependence.

Psychiatry: We Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Mental Health

My name is Leah Harris and I'm a survivor. I am a survivor of psychiatric abuse and trauma. My parents died largely as a result of terrible psychiatric practice. Psychiatric practice that took them when they were young adults and struggling with experiences they didn’t understand. Experiences that were labeled as schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder. My parents were turned from people into permanent patients. They suffered the indignities of forced treatment. Seclusion and restraint. Forced electroshock. Involuntary outpatient commitment. And a shocking amount of disabling heavy-duty psychiatric drugs. And they died young, from a combination of the toxic effects of overmedication, and broken spirits.

Review Finds Link Between Recession and Mental Health Issues

A literature review published in BMC Public Health by researchers from Portugal and the Czech Republic summarizes results from 101 studies investigating the effect...

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...

Psychology Must Become a Sanctuary Discipline to Heal Racial Trauma

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

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...

Have We Found The “Overhype Gene”?

-John Horgan criticizes psychiatrist Richard Friedman's effusive portrayal of a study that allegedly identified the "feel-good" gene in humans.

Food Insecurity Linked to Mental Health Globally

Global analysis of 149 countries finds food insecurity is associated with poorer mental health.

Pain Increases Later Risk for Anxiety and Depression

Experiencing moderate to severe pain, or having at least moderate life interference from pain, doubles risk for anxiety or depression.

American Woman

On Thursday, May 31, 2001, a woman whose name is known only to GlaxoSmithKline emailed the company:   "My name is... I was diagnosed with panic...

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.

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.

More Evidence for the Lasting Psychological Impact of Lead Exposure in Childhood

New research points to numerous harmful effects of high-level lead exposure in childhood on adult mental health and personality characteristics.

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.

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?”

Despite Increase in Treatments, Prevalence of Mental Health Issues Climbs

Findings show that despite increases in treatment availability, the prevalence of mental health issues has not decreased.

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