Friday, December 9, 2022

I Want Change

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Only two hours after we got home, Dan fearlessly told me of the suicide plan that he'd devised while in the hospital. He had all that time to think about it while nobody was listening. He'd lost his dignity, his identity and his place in society. He had lost the will to live.

Bipolar Diagnosis Linked to Childhood Adversity

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With the ties between traumatic childhood experiences and mental health issues, should we continue to focus on biological approaches?

The Mountain Man

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Self-acceptance is a very human experience, and a necessary one in the pursuit of personal happiness. In my experience, the mental health field does an abysmal job of addressing this truth.

Many Foster Kids Are Still Being Prescribed Antipsychotic Drugs

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Many experts expressed concern when the rate of antipsychotic prescriptions to children in foster care showed a rapid increase, peaking in 2008, and new recommendations and policies have tried to curb the use of these drugs. While the rate has plateaued, a new study points out that the “new normal” prescription levels are still dangerously high. The data reveals that almost one in ten children in foster care are currently being prescribed antipsychotic drugs with dangerous side-effects, many for diagnoses like ‘ADHD’ and disruptive behavior.

Daughter of a Psychiatrist

75
Here I was, 15 years old and already in a long-term treatment facility. I was, on paper: crazy! This entire time, all the adults in my life had been speaking for me. I never felt like I was any of the things they said, but I went along with it. What else could I have done? Every time I rebelled, it only confirmed to my mother what she thought of me.

Making the Case Against Antidepressants in Parliament

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On Wednesday, May 11, there will be an inquiry by a work group in the U.K.’s Parliament into whether increases in the prescribing of antidepressants are fueling a marked increase in disability due to anxiety and depression in the U.K. I wrote about a similar rise in disability in the United States in Anatomy of an Epidemic, and the All Party Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence, which is the Parliamentary group that organized the debate, asked me to present the case against antidepressants.

“Too Many PA Foster Children are on Psychiatric Meds”

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For Philly.com, 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?

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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.

“Misuse Of ADHD Drugs By Young Adults Drives Rise In ER Visits”

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"It's no secret that stimulant medications such as Adderall that are prescribed to treat symptoms of ADHD are sometimes used as 'study drugs' aimed...

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

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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.

Researchers Call for Reappraisal of Adverse Mental Effects of Antipsychotics, NIDS

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In a study published yesterday, researchers from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo bring attention to a condition known as neuroleptic-induced deficit syndrome (NIDS)...

Different Forms of Childhood Adversity Related to Specific Psychosis Symptoms

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In this month’s issue of Psychological Medicine, researchers from King’s College London found evidence for associations between different types of childhood adversity and specific symptoms associated with psychosis. As current categorical approaches to psychosis and schizophrenia diagnoses come under increasing scrutiny, this study adds support to sociological and psychological theories and treatments.

Experts Decry Dangerous Use of Antipsychotics in Children

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In a featured article for Psychiatric Services, psychiatrists from Dartmouth raise the alarm on the increasing numbers of children prescribed dangerous antipsychotic drugs. Despite the fact that data on the safety of long-term use of these drugs in this vulnerable population “do not exist,” the rate of children and adolescents being prescribed antipsychotic drugs have continued to increase over the past fifteen years.

“Why Are So Many Children on Antipsychotic Drugs?”

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“Do they make people less aggressive? Yes, sometimes they do. Will they sedate people? Absolutely. Will they make kids easier to manage? They will,” Robert Whitaker tells Liz Spikol for Philadelphia Magazine. “But I know of no study that shows that medicating these kids long-term will help them grow up and thrive. The developing brain is a very delicate thing. The narrative is that these side effects are mild, and that’s just not true, and that the benefits are well-established, and so often they’re not.”

“Children Today Suffer From a Deficit of Play”

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Boston College Psychologist Peter Gray writes for Aeon about the impact of the gradual erosion of children’s’ play in the United States. “Over the...

Antidepressants Associated with Increased Risk for Manic Symptoms

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An analysis of medical records in the UK reveals that the use of certain antidepressants for depression is linked to a heightened risk for mania and bipolar disorder. The research, published this week in BMJ Open, found the strongest effect for serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the antidepressant venlafaxine.

Book Review: “Overmedicated and Undertreated”

7
A former pharma executive has broken ranks with the industry in a new book by reporting how multiple psychiatrists, schools, and his desperate hopes pressed him to allow higher and higher doses of antipsychotic medications. The result: his 15-year-old son's death from Seroquel.

“Generation Meds: the US Children Who Grow Up on Prescription Drugs”

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“In America, medication is becoming almost as much a staple of childhood as Disney and McDonald’s,” writes Sarah Boseley in the Guardian. In this piece photographer Baptiste Lignel follows six boys and girls to examine the long-term effects of these drugs.

Emotional Child Abuse Just as Harmful as Physical Abuse

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Different types of child abuse have equivalent psychological effects, according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry. It has previously been assumed that emotional and verbal abuse could have different or less harmful impact on a child’s psychology than physical or sexual abuse, but research now suggests that these forms of abuse can be just as damaging.

“Emotional Child Abuse May be Just as Bad as Physical Harm”

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Reuters covers a new study in JAMA Psychiatry that suggests that children exposed to physical abuse and emotional abuse suffer from similar psychological and behavioral problems. “Even though doctors and parents often believe physical or sexual abuse is more harmful than emotional mistreatment or neglect, the study found children suffered similar problems regardless of the type of maltreatment endured.”

Disease Theory of ‘Mental Illness’ Tied To Pessimism About Recovery

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Researchers recently completed a first of its kind, large-scale international survey of attitudes about mental health and they were surprised by the results. According to their analysis published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders, people in developed countries, like the United States, are more likely to assume that ‘mental illnesses’ are similar to physical illnesses and biological or genetic in origin, but they are also much less likely to think that individuals can overcome these challenges and recover

“Drugs, Greed and a Dead Boy”

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New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, relates the story of Andrew Francesco, a boy who began taking Ritalin at age five and died from complications with Seroquel when he was fifteen. His father, a former pharmaceutical industry executive, reveals the industry’s greed in his memoir “Overmedicated and Undertreated.” Now the industry is pushing for a first-amendment right to market its drugs for off-label uses.

SSRI Antidepressants Increase Surgery Risks

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There is accumulating evidence that taking SSRI antidepressants increases the risk of bleeding and other complications during surgery, according to a review published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.

“How Poverty Affects Children’s Brains”

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New research is investigating how “poverty reduction promotes cognitive and brain development.”

“Antipsychotic Use in Youth Without Psychosis: A Double-edged Sword”

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This month’s issue of JAMA Psychiatry ran an editorial commenting on recent research revealing that the majority of youth prescribed antipsychotics have not been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

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