Great blog in which a man discusses his experience with depression and then his subsequent experience with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS); an innovative and relative new form of treatment that uses a pulsed magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. This new treatment offers a lot of promise and yet there are still a lot of questions to be answered regarding its efficacy and side effects that may result from the treatment. Read more here.
A growing number of researchers and psychiatrists are calling for a comeback for shock therapy. The treatment, which largely fell out of fashion after negative portrayals in Hollywood films and elsewhere in popular culture, should be considered a viable, effective treatment for some mental health conditions, the scientists said. Read more here.
The story of a lawyer who is dealing with bipolar disorder. What it meant to him before, during and after his diagnosis as well as moving forward in his life. Read it here.
Great blog from Jeanne Crouteau covering topics from stigma to coping strategies. Really loved the last piece of advice; to paraphrase: “stay true to you-No matter what anybody says, you know the truth about your journey…(and) Whatever you do, just don’t give up!” Read more here.
Depression makes everything harder: motivation is low, we get little pleasure from things we normally enjoy, we have no energy, and relationships tend to be strained. Small wonder it’s the leading cause of disability in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
Several treatment options are effective in reducing depression. The majority of psychological treatments with strong research support are cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and focus on changing thoughts and behaviors to improve mood. Some forms of medication, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can be as effective as CBT, at least for as long as a person takes them.
So, which treatment option should a person choose? Obviously, it’s an individual choice and one that should be made in consultation with one’s doctor. For those who prefer to start with a psychological treatment—either because they’ve not found medications to be helpful and/or the side effects weren’t tolerable—CBT is a good candidate given the strong research support.
A recent study, the largest of its kind—showed that a simple treatment requiring less
I recently interviewed a friend and former co-worker who lost a career and a 13-year job due, in large part, to a bout of severe depression and anxiety that was not being managed well by her behavioral health specialist. This friend has depression in her family and had been through several depressive episodes in her life, but had come out of each of them with a combination of medication, support from friends, therapy, and self-exploration. In her 30+ years of working, she had never before lost a job because of her mental health issues.
Prior to this episode, she had been widely praised at her company for over a decade, and most of the time had received praise, bonuses, and regular raises. Her social security reports showed a steady upward trend in her compensation over the years that she had been in the workforce, the way it was supposed to. She felt she had done well professionally.
But then, things got hard. She had just left an abusive relationship, and the combination of trauma and her genetic predisposition to depression had sent her into a spiral of sometimes-suicidal depression, for which she sought professional help.
Great Podcast discussing issues related to mental illness conducted by Dr. Kaz, a medical professional at the University of Minnesota, with her brother George. The siblings serve as effective translators between the psychiatric and non-medical community as they discuss a broad array of topics. Listen here.
Obviously part of a huge debate across the country right now, mental illness has been unfairly scapegoated as the chief reason for gun violence in America. In this article doctors point out that, while additional recognition and resources for treating mental illness are welcome, the health epidemic resulting from deaths and injuries inflicted by assault weapons is staggering and cannot be alleviated by “treating mental illness.” Read the article here.
Connecting Patients to the drug that best fits their genetic makeup-a discipline called pharmacogenetics-is gaining in popularity, including amongst those suffering from mental illness. Recent research suggests that 2 in 3 Americans suffering from mental illness are interested in taking a genetic test to determine their best treatment plan. Read more here.
New Research hub will focus on populations suffering from developmental disabilities and/or psychiatric disorders, becoming the first in Canada to do so. Experts say research conducted at the center will help doctors to stop conflating disability and mental illness, in so doing allowing for more effective diagnoses and treatment options. Read about it here.