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.
DNA Tests Can Take Some of the Guesswork Out of Treating Depression
Five Common Factors That Foster Recovery From Mental Illness
Great Blog on Psychology Today detailing the holistic approach to recovery from mental illness. Going far beyond a narrow focus on symptom remission, this blog outlines new research that looks at the interconnected components a meaningful recovery entails and the hope such a recovery can bring meaning, success and joy back into the lives of those currently suffering from mental illness. Read it here.
Trump Said Mental Illness Leads to Gun Violence. Here’s Why Doctors Disagree
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.
T14 Law Students Death Ruled Drug Overdose
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.
When It Comes To Treating Depression, ‘Step Therapy’ is a Costly Misstep
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.
How To Deal With Stigmatizing Remarks About Mental Illness
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.
Depression: There’s Help and Hope
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.
Floating Away Your Anxiety and Stress
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.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder, What are the Symptoms and is SAD Different from Depression?
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.
Four Things You Can Do to #StopSuicide
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.