Veterans Day -- a reminder of mental health prioirities
salute-flag.jpgWith Veterans Day comes a salute to soldiers. And a reminder of the obligations to meet the inner wars many bring home. From a selection of articles addressing the mental health scars of battle, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and suicide. . . []
106,000 Soldiers are prescribed some form of pain, depression or anxiety medications.
Read Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention from the United States Army.... []
A trial, and an ad, featuring Seroquel
. . .evidence vs. spin []
Psychosis and understanding risk
Understanding psychosis for risk, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders is not as straightforward as it was once thought to be. . . []
Bipolar diagnosis mixed bag in youth
With the hike in diagnosing bipolar disorder, and prescribing drugs for kids, researchers wanted to know the circumstances in which these decisions were made. Researchers reviewed 1.3 million insurance claims for youth under the age of 17. . . []
Women's mental health patterns
Anxiety disorders, phobias and major depressions are more common in women than men according to a report from the Office on Women's Health. And while it has long been said that schizophrenia was a male disease, the rates are actually fairly close (1.26 percent for males compared to 1.0 percent for women), in comparison to PTSD, which appears to be twice as common in women and prevalent in women vets. The findings are part of a more intense effort to... []
Economic downturn affects mental health
Experts are expecting an increase in anxiety, depresssion, substance abuse, and suicide as a result of the stress caused by the economic downturn. SAMHSA, the federal agency concerned with substance abuse and mental health services issued a guide with warning signs, suggestions for managing stress, and resources for follow up.... []
States in trouble
South Carolina announced cuts of at least 12 percent to its mental health budget. This will come as a result of closing programs, staff cuts, a freeze on hiring, and eliminaitng 75 in-patient beds. The projected $26 million reduction might increase by another $7.8 million. Advocates worry that the impact of reducing services will be transferred to emergency rooms, jails and homeless shelters. Elsewhere: A spike in anxiety, depression and suicide risks in Denver. In New York, reports the Poughkeepsie... []
New magazine about anxiety and depression
A Buffalo-based publisher launched a new magazine, Esperanza, focusing on anxiety and depression. Mariel Hemingway is on the cover of the premier issue. Esperanza means "hope." ... []
St. John's wort and depression
iStockFor many years the plant St. John's wort was considered a folk remedy to treat depression. Now an analysis of 29 clinical trials (n=5489) concludes Hypericum perforatum L. performed better than a placebo and as well as standard antidepressants and with fewer side effects. The Cochrane Library report sounded a cautionary note because numerous forms and extractions of Hypericum perforatum L. may not be identical to those in the study. Better study outcomes were also apparent in German-speaking countries where... []
FDA lashes Ranbaxy about generic drugs
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) sent warnings to Ranbaxy, a generic drug company based in India, partially restricting imports of some drugs while it was highly critical of the company's sloppy quality control for others. Redactions in the letters make it impossible to know whether the problems cited apply to the anti-anxiety and anti-depressants Ranbaxy makes. While the FDA was coming down on Ranbaxy, Rep. John Dingell, chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, released a statement asking... []
FDA lashes Ranbaxy about generic drugs
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) sent warnings to Ranbaxy, a generic drug company based in India, partially restricting imports of some drugs while it was highly critical of the company's sloppy quality control for others. Redactions in the letters make it impossible to know whether the problems cited apply to the anti-anxiety and anti-depressants Ranbaxy makes. While the FDA was coming down on Ranbaxy, Rep. John Dingell, chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, released a statement asking... []
When the press gets it right. . .
Three items of note []
Psychiatric disorders at Guantanamo
A report released from Human Rights Watch, Locked Up Alone indicates that many of the prisoners at Guantanamo have developed psychiatric symptoms of a thought disorders such as schizophrenia (hallucinations, voices, self-mutilation), or anxiety, PTSD, depression which have led to suicide attempts during their detainment. The YouTube video shows a supervised press visit in March.... []
APA panel: Liaison psychiatry at Walter Reed Hospital
Dr. Harold J. Wain discusses treating one soldier who was flown to Walter Reed Hospital with half her scull resting on her abdomen and another who picked up his severed arm so it could be reattached. These are two of 3,500 combat medical emergencies airlifted to the hospital as a result of the war in Iraq. Wain heads the liaison psychiatry service and he outlined procedures at the American Psychiatric Association for automatically placing psychiatrists on the treatment team prior... []
New York City steps up
New York City opens help for 9/11 victims still struggling with mental health or substance use disorders. []
Barriers to meds for elderly
[]
Bullying hurts
A study in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests that being bullied at a young age is a risk factor for depression, anxiety, social isolation and suicidal thoughts. The research design using identical twins (n=1116) born in England and Wales, between 1994 and 1995, indicates the power of environment in internalizing victimization. ... []
Price tags for care
Americans spent $56 billion for treating mental disorders (including depression) in 2005, making it the fourth most costly of the nation’s medical expenses. When traumatic disorders are added – PTSD, anxiety or panic attacks—it brings the total to $128 billion. The full report is available online at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.... []
Medicaid screening for kids
Controversy in Mass. is flaring over policies to screen kids on Medicaid for psychiatric disorders. Brought on by a law suit resulting in an expansion of Medicaid services, some worry that pediatricians screening for anxiety disorders, ADHD, depression, and other disorders, leads to over use of medications for young children. The debate falls within a larger issue of medicating children, and then of medicating foster children. From Oregon to New York to Florida there are reports that foster children are... []
Telemedicine after Katrina
Professor Ronald Kessler included telemedicine as one option for New Orleans two years after Katrina left the devastated city short of psychiatric services. Kessler, co-author of a recent study published in Psychiatric Services, discussed a range of persistent symptoms -- PTSD, depression, and suicidal thoughts -- plaguing people who are trying to rebuild their lives. Kessler's nine-minute interview with NPR can be heard on their site. ... []
Smoking, dopamine and mental illness
Nicotine has long been known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and cancer, but it also is a gateway to substance abuse and marijuana, and a factor in mental illness. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has now published Tobacco -- The Smoking Gun (for purchase or free pdf download) discussing the damage done to the adolescent brain. Anxiety symptoms are stronger for smokers than for non-smokers, and twice as many (22 percent)... []
Anticipating disaster -- school preparedness
RAND, a nonprofit research organization, released a report saying schools should create programs to anticipate students needs after a hurricane, shooting or earthquake. An assessment of 196,000 students in grades K-12 displaced by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, in 2005, indicated that even where emergency responses were adequate, six months later many programs had disappeared leaving PTSD, chronic stress, anxiety or depression untreated. Lisa H. Jaycox, study director, said schools must follow-up “for the months and years afterward when lingering mental... []
Disaster Mental Health
by Anthony T. Ng, MD
In "Disaster Mental Health," Dr. Anthony T. Ng draws on his extensive experience to discuss challenges psychiatrists face when helping individuals and communities respond to natural or man-made disasters. Dr. Ng is the former chair of the American Psychiatric Association's Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disasters.
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Caffeine induced panic attacks
Medscape, June 22, 2007 A study (N=99) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, found subjects with major depression and panic disorders reporting more anxiety than did controls when challenged with the equivalent of five cups of coffee. The findings were published in Comprehensive Psychiatry (May-June 2007), and also presented in a poster session at the American Psychiatric Association meetings. ... []

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