Today, most psychiatrists rely on their education and experience to choose which of the dozens of FDA-approved antidepressants is likely to work best for a particular patient. But human biology (and especially the brain) is complex. So often, it’s not until a doctor’s second (or third or fourth…) “guess” that they land on a medication that’s effective. Now, psychiatrists can use something far more concrete to guide their antidepressant decisions: a patient’s DNA. Read more 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.
Tragic overdose at University of Pennsylvania Law is part of broader trend of high levels of substance use in law school. Story is accompanied by important message encouraging law students that there are resources/opportunities for them to seek help for themselves and/or colleagues. Read it here.
Dr. Gregory Mattingly, a practicing psychiatrist for over 25 years, offers some insight on the halting and all too commonly ineffective methods used to treat mental illness. As Dr. Mattingly explains, while the initial cost savings insurance companies derive from ‘step therapy’ are desirable, the failure to adequately treat a patient is more expensive over the long run and, most importantly, often fails to alleviate suffering in any measurable way. Read the blog here.
In the wake of the massacre in Texas, this pertinent article looks into how President Trump’s characterization of the shooting as resulting from a “mental health problem” is part of a broader tendency to demonize mental illness in the wake of tragedies. The article lays out why such an approach is both misleading and unhelpful, while also providing some helpful advice for combatting stigmatization. Read it here.
Part of my hometown of Buffalo, NY’s campaign during depression awareness month, this article serves as a reminder that there is always someone to turn to and somewhere to go to for support. We just need to a better job of communicating the message. Read it here.
This new treatment seeks to combat stress and anxiety-as well as related symptoms such as increased blood pressure and racing mental activity-by allowing patients to float in extremely salinated water for around an hour at a time. The treatment is still in its testing phases but has proven to be an attractive alternative to medication for many suffering from PTSD, injured athletes, and those suffering from chronic pain and anxiety. Read the NPR article here.
This article details the symptoms as well as the remedies of a disorder that seasonally affects somewhere between 10-20% of Americans. Read it here.
Douglas Cootey’s latest blog was written with National Suicide Prevention Week in mind. By delving into his own experience with thoughts and feelings of suicide, he is able to give some realistic, important, and ultimately uplifting advice for how to help yourself or someone you know step back from the precipice. Read the blog here.
This article in the Columbian Health Reporter details Todd Walker’s, a middle aged man suffering from major depressive disorder, experience with FDA-approved transcranial magnetic stimulation. Read the article here.