Friday, July 10, 2020

Towards Resilience and Possibilities and Away from Diseases and Symptoms

An interview with Professor Jim van Os who says that, arguably, ‘love is the most powerful evidence-based treatment in mental health’. We discuss his recent paper published in World Psychiatry which envisions a future for mental health that moves away from symptoms and diagnoses and towards peer support and lived experience.
full moral status for psychiatric clients

‘Full Moral Status’ for Psychiatric Clients: How I Fought Back

I was going to leave the 'mental health' system on my terms, with all the paperwork proving them wrong. Or I was going to run for my life with an open diagnosis, hoping I would survive withdrawal. As I surveyed the landscape for any other path, there was only institutionalization. There was no template for what I had to do... so I made it up.

Restricting Pharma Reps Contact with Docs Decreases Prescriptions

Implementing policies that regulate pharmaceutical sales representatives’ interaction with physicians may reduce prescription of promoted drugs.
mental health maze

Functional Medicine: My Path Out of Psychiatry

My blood work indicated a host of issues that had been lurking under the surface of my “psychiatric diagnoses” for years. I’d seen various mental health professionals and none had recommended these types of tests, or stopped to think about any underlying factors, aside from the well-known “serotonin myth.”

Can a Conceptual Competence Curriculum Bring Humility to Psychiatry?

Training for conceptual competence in psychiatry provides a new way forward to address theoretical and philosophical issues in mental health research and practice.

Antipsychotics Associated with High Risk of Death in Children

A new study has found that children and adolescents taking a high dose of antipsychotics are almost twice as likely to die of any cause than children on other types of medications.

Tapering Strips for Benzodiazepines

One size fits all does not work. It is not possible to use the same tapering schedule for all patients who wish to stop with a certain drug. Therefore we had to come up with a flexible solution that was both practical and allowed doctors and patients to make the choice they deemed appropriate.
hand reaching out from pile of pills

The Review on Antidepressant Withdrawal That Cochrane Won’t Publish

Peter Gøtzsche and Anders Sørensen on trying to get a review of methods for safe antidepressant withdrawal published in Cochrane: "They sent us on a mission that was impossible to accomplish" to "protect the psychiatric guild."

Systematic Review Finds Antidepressant Withdrawal Common and Potentially Long-lasting

Prominent researchers conduct a review of antidepressant withdrawal incidence, duration, and severity. Results lead to call for new clinical guidelines.

Go Figure: Study 329

In the light of Study 329, is the consent that people or their families have given to take a medication like paroxetine any more valid than the consent that, after the event, an inebriated woman is claimed to have given?

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.

Mental Health Concerns Not “Brain Disorders,” Say Researchers

The latest issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences features several prominent researchers arguing that mental health concerns are not “brain disorders.”
love power

How Love Can Reformat Our Lives

I say this about myself and everyone I have known in my life and work: No matter how overwhelmed and desperate we feel, recovery and growth depend on becoming open to loving and being loved, and seeming miracles occur when individuals change their life in recognition of these truths. Love wipes the slate clean.
Cruz school shooting

Psychiatrist Says: More Psychiatry Means More Shootings

Psychiatry not only increases the risk of violence by giving violence-inducing drugs, it lulls patients, families, professionals, schools and the public into an unrealistic and even disastrous sense of security. It's an irony of tragic proportions: Cruz was left unsupervised and free to buy a gun because he was faithfully taking psychiatric drugs that can cause violence.

Is the Mental Health System Yet Another Form of Institutional Racism?

With the political tide shifting across the United States and reports of hate crimes increasing daily, examining the systems that promote social control and act as tools of racism is paramount. Is it possible that the mental institution is just another venue for imprisoning Blacks unjustly?

Antidepressant Use Associated With More Violent Suicide Attempts

A new study found that taking an antidepressant medication was associated with a heightened risk of suicide using violent means.
antipsychotic

Duration of Untreated Psychosis Revisited: Response to the Goff Paper

Based on the studies cited, it seems hard to support the assertion that “early initiation of antipsychotics may improve long-term course of the illness.” This raises an urgent question about initial treatment. Doesn’t it make sense to try to capture all of those individuals who might get through a psychosis without drugs?
being with extreme states

Reflections on 25,000 Hours of Being With People in Extreme States

Being with someone in an extreme state or other emotional pain, it feels like we’re two young friends who have ridden our bikes to a quiet place by the river and my friend turns to tell me about awful things happening at home — and they cry or yell in anger while I sit there and wonder what to say or do, and realize that just being quiet is okay.
depressed doctor

The Disillusioned Psychiatrist

Many of us have become disillusioned with our profession. We have experienced a loss of meaning, purpose, connection, and hope. As the field has moved away from the wonder and pathos of human existence, and taken on a model that reduces life to tick boxes and pill dispensing, we have lost touch with what makes us human.

Belongingness Can Protect Against Impact of Trauma, Study Suggests

A new study explores feelings of belongingness as a protective factor for childhood trauma and adult mental health outcomes.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation No Better Than Placebo for Treatment-Resistant Depression

A new study in JAMA Psychiatry found that transcranial magnetic stimulation was no better than placebo for treatment-resistant depression.
puritan

Stimulants: The Long View

When the ADHD literature speaks of scattered attention, it uses terms with historical resonance. Ever since the Puritans, reformers have attached high importance to the regulation of attention. But the standard treatment of ADHD is designed for immediate, not eventual, benefits. It conflicts with its own rationale.

Psychiatrist Calls for Increased Attention to Therapeutic Alliance

Sandra Steingard, writing in the journal Psychiatric Services, reviews a recent article finding that the quality of the therapeutic relationship impacts the efficacy of medication treatment.

Policies to Reduce Antipsychotic use Among Elderly are Failing

Research reveals that rates of antipsychotic prescribing to the elderly in the UK have not dropped despite national recommendations.

Polypharmacy Associated with Cognitive Decline in Elderly Patients

Study finds that elderly patients taking at least 5 medications were at increased risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

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