Jagged Little Pills

More Americans than ever before are taking psychotropic medication. The number of people on antidepressants doubled between 1996 – 2006, yet the number of people seeing mental health professionals declined during that time period. Over 80% of prescriptions for psychotropic drugs are written by primary care physicians. I find these trends a little hard to swallow.

The overuse of psychotropic medication and the corresponding underutilization of behavioral and psychosocial treatments are disturbing on several levels. First, these trends….

 

Read More : Jagged Little…

Military Suicides

When American men and women make the courageous choice to join the armed forces, they realize that they may sacrifice their lives for their country. What they may not realize is that they are now more likely to commit suicide than they are to die in military combat.

The incidence of suicide in the military has increased steadily since the Iraq war began in 2003. There were 67 suicides in 2004, followed by 85 in 2005, 102 in 2006, and 115 in 2007. The 2008 statistic – 128 suicides – is the highest we’ve seen since record keeping….

 

Read More : Military…

Biologically-Based Mental Illnesses

As a result of the Mental Health Parity Act, many health insurance companies are now providing the same coverage for biologically-based mental illnesses as they provide for other medical illnesses. A biologically-based conceptualization of mental illness allows advocates to frame parity legislation as antidiscrimination legislation. Using PET scans and MRI’s, researchers have testified before Congress and state legislatures that mental illness is directly linked to brain dysfunction. In light of such evidence, policy makers have been persuaded….

 

Read More : Biologically-Based Mental…

Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed

Unless we are mindful and deliberate in leading lives of conscious action, our fate is determined largely by our inborn temperament; that is, what we find rewarding. The majority of people live lives of unconscious reaction. They are not mindful of their thoughts, feelings, or actions, or the consequences thereof.

For people living with mental illness, this tendency is particularly devastating and self-reinforcing. To the person suffering from alcoholism, it is far more rewarding to pick up a bottle than to endure painful withdrawal….

 

Read More : Living Is Easy With Eyes…

Informed Consent

The American Psychological Association’s ethical guidelines require that psychologists obtain informed consent for treatment from all patients and parents of minor patients. But what does it mean for consent to be truly informed?

In standard practice, informed consent generally amounts to a frazzled patient or harried parent signing a consent form after a perfunctory glance. Patients and parents are often in crisis when they first present for treatment, and signing the form is just one more hoop to jump through before getting into….

 

Read More : Informed…

10 Common Mistakes in Eating Disorder Treatment

Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to treat and have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. With traditional treatment, average time to recovery is 5-7 years, relapse is the norm, and many patients continue to suffer from chronic physical and mental illness for decades. Fortunately, new research has shed light on how we can help patients recover more quickly, prevent relapse, and live healthy, fulfilling lives. Below are 10 of the most common mistakes I’ve observed in the treatment of eating disorders.

1.) Setting….

 

Read More : 10 Common Mistakes in Eating Disorder…