Thursday, October 27, 2016

iPad Use Before Surgery as Effective as Sedatives for Children

A group of French doctors presented a new study in the area of pediatric anesthesiology at this year’s World Congress of Anaesthesiologists in Hong...

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...

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...

New Trial Finds Trauma-Focused Therapy Effective in Children

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (Tf-CBT) is effective at reducing the symptoms associated with PTSD in children and adolescents, according to a new trial out...

Air Pollution Linked to Mental Health Problems in Children

A new study, published in BMJ Open-Access this week, found a significant link between the level of air pollution in a community and the mental health of the children living there. After controlling for socio-economic status and other potential variables, researchers in Sweden discovered a strong association between the concentration of air pollution in a neighborhood and the amount of ‘antipsychotic’ and psychiatric drugs prescribed to children. The link remained strong even at pollution levels well below half of what is considered acceptable by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Does Your Child Have ‘ADHD’? It Might Depend On Your Doctor

A study published in the journal Pediatrics reveals large differences from one pediatrician to the next when it comes to diagnosing and prescribing drugs for ‘ADHD.’ The researchers found that the percentage of children being diagnosed with ‘ADHD’ varied from as high as 16% of patients at some offices to as little as 1% of patients at others. The data also revealed significant but lower variability in the pediatric diagnosis of anxiety and depression.

Update: Massachusetts Benzodiazepine Bill Hearing

The hearing for Bill H4062: Informed Consent for Benzodiazepines and Non-benzodiazepine Hypnotics took place on Monday – in the middle of an April snowstorm! The discussion clarified some important points in the legislation and gave survivors an opportunity to tell their stories. I was so proud to be there and witness the courage, camaraderie, resilience, advocacy, and vulnerability of fellow survivors. This legislation is our chance to be heard. As one survivor said, through tears, to the committee, “Do not let my suffering be in vain. I beg you to pass this bill.”

“Social Media Use and Depression Linked in Large Study”

New research coming out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggests that the more time young adults spend on social media, the...

Air Pollution Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Childhood

Prenatal exposure to air pollution, known as PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), is associated with ADHD symptoms, anxiety, inattention, and poor self-regulation in children, according to...

“Young Americans Have Been Getting More Anxious and Depressed, Why?”

According to Jesse Singal, “ever since the 1930s, young people in America have reported feeling increasingly anxious and depressed. And no one knows exactly...

 “Why are More Children Being Prescribed Antidepressants? Funding Cuts”

Eleanor Morgan writes in the Guardian opinions that the long waiting times for talk therapy and the increasing use of drugs in the UK...

Relatively Younger Age Leads to ADHD Diagnosis

A study of 378,881 subjects aged 4-17 years by the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database found that the likelihood of receiving an ADHD diagnosis and treatment was...

Is Long-term Use of Benzodiazepines a Risk for Cancer?

A large study of the population in Taiwan reveals that long-term use of benzodiazepine drugs, commonly prescribed for anxiety, significantly increases the risk for brain, colorectal, and lung cancers. The research, published open-access in the journal Medicine, also identifies the types of benzodiazepines that carry the greatest cancer risk.

“Study Links Mobile Device Addiction to Depression and Anxiety”

A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that addictions to mobile devices are linked to anxiety and depression in college students....

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Increase with Overdose Deaths

A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health calls for policy level interventions to reduce the use of benzodiazepines, drugs commonly prescribed...

In Case You Missed This

On November 12th, 2015, the third anniversary of the day that I abruptly stopped taking benzodiazepines, my dear friend, J. Doe, published a two-part article here on Mad in America examining the language that is commonly used to describe benzodiazepine (benzo) iatrogenesis. I wanted a summary of these articles captured in a Youtube video so that those in the thick of benzo neurotoxicity could tune into these ideas in a way that might be more easily digestible. I hoped more benzo sufferers would begin to question how they describe (and allow others to describe) an illness that remains decades behind in understanding and recognition. I also wanted to draw attention to the content again in hopes that more medical professionals would read and understand the crucial distinctions in language surrounding this problem.

“Too Many PA Foster Children are on Psychiatric Meds”

For, staff writer Stacey Burling reports on the PolicyLab analysis of psychiatric drug use among Pennsylvania children on Medicaid.  “Many children in foster...

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.

“Sugar May be as Damaging to the Brain as Extreme Stress or Abuse”

“The fact that drinking sugar or exposure to early life stress reduced the expression of genes critical for brain development and growth is of...

Therapy Changes the Brain, Reduces Anxiety

After undergoing a nine-week cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment for social anxiety, patients show changes to both the physical structure of their brain and its activity, according to a new study published in Translational Psychiatry. The amygdala is most closely associated with the experience of fear and this study found that patients receiving CBT with reduced social anxiety had significant changes to this section of the brain.

“Is It Her Hormones?” A Case of Psychiatry Missing the Mark

The case of “Beth” depicts, almost innocently, the trials and tribulations of a well-adjusted, talented 15-year-old who developed depression, paranoia, panic attacks, and self-injurious and homicidal behavior, and “bipolar disorder” after being prescribed antidepressants, and then antipsychotics. After Beth decided - on her own - to discontinue psychotropic medications in favor of hormone therapy, she remained free of psychiatric symptoms.

“I am 16 and the Education System is Destroying my Health”

“This is an article about how our education system is ruining young people’s lives. Nobody is listening to the teachers who say it, so perhaps someone will listen to me,” sixteen-year-old Orli writes in the Guardian. “Nothing is so important that it’s worth risking your health over, not even the piece of paper you get, age 16, to tell you whether or not you’re good enough.”

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.

Storytelling Therapy for Trauma and Bullying

A study out of the University of Buffalo explores the use of Narrative Exposure Therapy to treat youth PTSD and substance abuse. “Trauma is...

“Cortisol Levels in Children’s Hair May Reveal Future Mental Health Risk”

The Guardian covers research out of Australia that found that levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol in the hair of 70 nine-year-old children corresponded to the number of traumatic events experienced by the child. “Childhood is an imperative and sensitive period of development, and when things go wrong it can have lifelong consequences, not just on mental health, but also on general health.”

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