July 31, 2008 at 4:11 pm (Antidepressants, Blogs, Depression, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness)
Tags: Antidepressants, Boston Globe, brain cells, brain neurons, chemical imbalance, drugs, Fluoxetine, medication, meds, Prozac, psych drugs, psych meds, PsychCentral, psychotherapy, psychotropics, talk therapy, therapy
Researchers have never been fully confident in the chemical imbalance theory, yet the media continue to purport it as fact. Dr. John Grohol over at PsychCentral recently wrote:
We’ve all heard the theory — a chemical imbalance in your brain causes depression.
Although researchers have known for years this not to be the case, some drug companies continue to repeat this simplistic and misleading claim in their marketing and advertising materials. Why the FTC or some other federal agency doesn’t crack down on this intentional misleading information is beyond me. Most researchers now believe depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
How did we come to this conclusion? Through years of additional research. But now some are jumping on the next brain bandwagon of belief — that depression is caused by a problem in the brain neuronal network.
Grohol cites Jonah Lehrer's article in the Boston Globe in which he posits that researchers now think depression comes from "brain cells shrinking and dying." Lehrer writes:
Read the rest of this entry »
July 30, 2008 at 7:47 am (Celebrities, Depression)
Tags: Celebrities, Depression, Juliana Hatfield, mental health, mental illness
Juliana Hatfield, a singer who enjoyed great success in the 1990s, expressed frustration with the PR machine that covered up her bout with severe depression. So severe that she canceled a European tour. Her publicist spread word that she was suffering from “nervous exhaustion.” However, Hatfield reveals:
[My depression was] so unbearable that I was going to jump out of a window to get away from it . . . I needed to check myself into some kind of psychiatric-treatment facility.
I wondered why my publicist hadn’t simply told everyone the plain truth . . . instead of issuing such a vague, all-purpose ‘nervous exhaustion’ line, which . . . as far as I know isn’t even a real diagnosis.
Hatfield, who has an album due out in mid-August, appears to have sacrificed long-term mainstream success in exchange for her mental well-being. Given the choice she had to make, I’m sure she couldn’t be happier.
(Hat tip: Powerline A.D.)
On another note, George Michael (who is currently on tour) recently divulged his 20-year battle with depression on Good Morning America. He attributed his music to helping him cope with such events as the deaths of his boyfriend and his mother.
July 29, 2008 at 4:36 pm (Christian)
Tags: addicted, addictions, annual conference, behavioral patterns, CCEF, CCEF conference, Christian Counseling Education Foundation, conference, David Powlison, Ed Welch, In Christ Alone, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Mark Driscoll, Mike Emlet, PR, press release, Tim Lance, Winston Smith
I’ve previously mentioned that I receive (currently weekly) counseling at CCEF in Glenside, PA. They hold a conference every year on various topics. Last year’s subject was overcoming fear and my husband and I found it to be immensely helpful. This year’s topic focuses on addiction. I received a PR from them and am posting it below.
Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) Announces
2008 Annual Conference – The Addict in Us All
Addiction sounds ominous, and it is. Addictions to drugs, alcohol, and gambling tear families apart and ruin lives. But this conference is about more than the junkie scoring dope or the alcoholic hiding vodka around the house. Even the average person gets stuck in negative behavior patterns. Overeating, shopping, sexual temptation, people’s approval, even love…everyone struggles with something. And everyone faces moments of despair and thinking that change is not possible.
Read the rest of this entry »
July 29, 2008 at 10:37 am (Personal)
Tags: CAPTCHA, comments, ego, posting, posts, selfish
A few days ago, I was a whiny little 12-year-old asking for people to leave more comments.
Ignore that. It was a stupid attempt to inflate my little ego.
What really matters is that people read some of these posts and find the information helpful. I’d prefer that people walk away from this blog empowered with knowledge rather than just feeling obligated to leave comments.
Naturalgal mentioned that she’s turned off by CAPTCHA. I don’t blame her. I have pretty good eyesight and it’s frustrating for me as well. I’m hesitant to turn it off because my spam filter has caught 301 spam posts in the past 30 days. I don’t have time to sift legitimate comments from a plethora of others that contain words like p***y, d**k, and c**t.
You get the idea.
Leave comments if you wish, but don’t feel the need to do so because I said so. Forgive me for my moment of selfishness.
July 29, 2008 at 7:53 am (Mental Health/Illness)
Tags: mad pride, mental health, mental illness
Maybe I’ve got the whole Mad Pride thing all wrong but I’m not proud of anything I’m dealing with. I just hope I can share my experience and knowledge to help others. Perhaps Mad Pride means being proud to be an activist on this issue?
July 28, 2008 at 12:01 pm (Bipolar Disorder, Medicine/Meds, Schizophrenia)
Tags: Alexza Pharmaceuticals, AZ-004, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, drugs, inhalation, inhale, loxapine, medication, psych drugs, psych meds, psychotropic, Risperdal, Schizophrenia, Staccato stystem
Oh no they didn’t. From Alexza Pharmaceuticals’ recent PR:
Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it has initiated its second Phase 3 clinical trial with AZ-004 (Staccato(R) loxapine). AZ-004 is an inhalation product candidate being developed for the treatment of acute agitation in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Alexza believes the novel, non-invasive nature and rapid pharmacokinetic (PK) properties resulting from inhaled loxapine administration via the Staccato system (click on the photo to the right to see an enlargelarement) have the potential to make AZ-004 a viable product to treat acute agitation.
The supposed benefits:
- Rapid onset
- Ease of use
- Consistent dose and particle size
- Broad applicability
Is this pharmaceutical company really developing a product to treat schizophrenic and bipolar disorder symptoms by inhaling? I thought the injectable Risperdal was bad. Check out how the Staccato system works. It blows my mind that psych drugs are being developed for injection and inhalation.
July 28, 2008 at 5:32 am (Adverse Effects, Antidepressants, Depression, Medicine/Meds, Pharma)
Tags: Adverse Effects, antidepressant, Antidepressants, Daniel Carlat, Depression, desvenlafaxine, drug, Effexor, Effexor XR, estrogen therapy, generic, hormone therapy, hormones, hot falshes, medication, meds, menopausal, menopause, off-label, off-label usage, Premarin, Prempro, Pristiq, psych drugs, psych meds, psychotropic, side effects, vasomotor, venlafaxine, Wyeth
Back in January 2007, I’d mentioned that Wyeth was not only seeking to market Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) for depression but also for the use of vasomotor symptoms in menopausal women.
I just learned that Wyeth produces two major menopause drugs, Premarin and Prempro, that allegedly has produced hormones causing cancer in more than 5,000 women. This added up to a loss of 40 million users and $1 billion annually.
With Effexor going generic in 2 years and the introduction of Pristiq to the market, Wyeth hopes to lure some of those customers back and net an annual $2 billion. However, serious questions linger about Pristiq’s side effects in menopausal women.
Why did two women in the study group taking Pristiq have heart attacks
and three need procedures to repair clogged arteries compared with none
taking placebo? How can Wyeth assure long term safety when 604 of the
2,158 test subjects took Pristiq for only six months and 318 for a year
or more? And what about serious liver complications seen in the studies?
Martha Rosenberg, reporting on Pristiq’s use as a menopausal drug, culled comments from CafePharma’s message boards and found one thread rife with mixed comments on the new drug. From an Anonymous commenter:
Read the rest of this entry »
July 27, 2008 at 4:27 am (Quotes)
Tags: character, H. Jackson Browne, quotations, quote, Quotes
"Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking." — H. Jackson Browne
July 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm (Bipolar Disorder, Celebrities, Depression, Diagnoses, Mental Health/Illness)
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Alanis Morissette, anorexia, anorexic, Beethoven, Billy Joel, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Brooke Shields, bulimia, bulimic, Celebrities, Charles Dickens, Courtney Love, depressed, Depression, Drew Carey, eating disorder, Edgar Allen Poe, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Harrison Ford, Janet Jackson, Jim Carrey, John Nash, Kurt Cobain, Ludwig Von Beethoven, Marie Osmond, Mark Twain, Marlon Brando, mental health, mental illness, mentally ill, Mike Wallace, NIN, Nine Inch Nails, Patty Duke, Paula Abdul, postpartum depression, Princess Diana, Ray Charles, Schizophrenia, Sheryl Crow, Terry Bradshaw, Trent Reznor, Van Gogh, Vincent Van Gogh
The local NAMI chapter has literature all over a counter at my local library. One of the pieces of literature actually was a 5×7 index card with a list of famous people who struggled with mental illness. It was kind of interesting so I figured I’d share it. Some I’d already known about; others were a bit of a surprise. How did they figure out who had bipolar disorder back in the 1800s?
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July 24, 2008 at 12:51 am (Depression, Personal, Statistics, Suicide)
Tags: aesthetic, aestheticism, Art Deco, barrier, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, death, depressed, Depression, Ellington Bridge, Golden Gate, Golden Gate Bridge, impulsive, impulsive act, jumpers, Marin County, San Francisco, San Francisco Chronicle, suicidal, Suicide, suicide barrier, suicide deterrent, suicidee, Taft Bridge
20 people annually or 9,000,000 people annually.
Those are the numbers that the Golden Gate Bridge (GGB) Board of Directors will need to choose between in October.
GGB officials are considering a proposal to erect suicide barriers on the bridge. Public forums were held on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge public reaction to the five options designed to deter suicides. The cost of erecting one of the barriers is estimated between $40–50 million.
Bridge officials have been culling comments about the barriers at the forums and through the site Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Deterrent Barrier. As of Wednesday, July 23, the San Francisco Chronicle reports:
[O]f the more than 900 tallied so far, an overwhelming 75 percent of the respondents said they prefer that no barrier be built at all. But a small, passionate group of proponents – many of them family
members of people who jumped to their deaths from the bridge – insist a barrier is needed. Any barrier.
“Overwhelming 75 percent” prefer no barrier? That’s not good.
Opponents of the barriers say it will ruin the aesthetic view of the bridge for the yearly estimated 9 million visitors.
I stumbled upon a blog, Bookworm Room, yesterday that brought the issue to my attention. This blogger likely represents the sentiment of the “overwhelming 75 percent.”
Read the rest of this entry »
July 22, 2008 at 5:17 pm (Blogs)
Tags: dobro, storms of madness
Stephany at soulful sepulcher stumbled upon Tenuous at Best’s post about how Dobro at Storms of Madness passed away suddenly.
Dobro’s blog was (and has been) an encouragement to me. May she rest in peace. She will be missed not only by family but also by those whose lives she never knew she touched.
July 22, 2008 at 6:28 am (Depression, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Personal)
Tags: CBT, counseling, DBT, Depression, drugs, emotional pain, emotions, medication, meds, out of darkness, pink magazine, psych drugs, psych meds, psychotherapy, psychotropics, quick fix, talk therapy, therapy
Pink magazine has an article called “Out of Darkness” on high-powered, successful women (likely in corporate America) who suffer from depression and try to hide it. There’s an online exclusive but the actual article can only be read in the print version of the magazine.
Apart from the three resourceful sidebars accompanying the article, the one thing that I felt was missing from the article more of an emphasis on psychotherapy. The article seemed to focus heavily on women whose condition improved as a result of medication. There appears to be only one mention of a women whose condition improved with psychotherapy and medication.
While I understand that medication can be an important factor in assisting those with mental illness to recovery, it should not be the sole form of treatment. Mental illness does not only involve the chemical/biological activity of the brain, but it also involves the psyche — the part of us that comprises of our personalities and behaviors. This is why cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialetical behavioral therapy (DBT), among other forms of treatment, can be so beneficial. I’m not a fan of being on medication but I feel that 80 percent of my recovery comes from my weekly Christian counseling sessions. Therapy, medication, or other forms of treatment are not cure-alls, and I’m concerned when I read that people rely solely on medication for treatment. These are the people who are most likely to suffer relapses because after a while, their medication just “stops working.”
Most people today are looking for a “quick fix.” We do this with weight loss (alli), food (McDonald’s), exercise (Fast Abs), and so much more. Then, it should be no surprise that people desire a quick fix to control their emotions. Some people use illegal drugs to dull the emotional pain in their life. Is it possible that psychotropics are the “legal” drugs that accomplish the same purpose?
July 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm (Humor, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness)
Tags: Humor, medication, psych drugs, psych meds, psychiatric, psychotropic, therapy, treatment
As if some psychotropic meds out on the market aren’t bad enough, out from the archives of Neatorama is a post on 10 Mind-Boggling Psychiatric Treatments. Somehow Insulin-Coma Therapy made it to #1 and lobotomy was listed as #10. I don’t know if they were placed in order of craziness. I didn’t even read the text of most of the treatments. The graphics and headlines were enough to make me cringe.
(Hat Tip: Bob Thompson)
July 21, 2008 at 5:00 am (Christian, Personal)
Tags: award, being judgmental, bestseller list. impact, Bible, boast, boasting, Christ, Christians, commandment, commandments, Depression, duty, epic fail, escitalopram, freelance writing, God, gossip, greed, husband, intelligent design, Jerry Bridges, judgmentalism, Lexapro, Lord, New York Times Bestseller, NYT, pride, Pulitzer Prize, purpose, recognition, Respectable Sins, selfishness, selfless, sin, slander, writer, writing
NOTE: This post heavily focuses on God, His impact on my life, and living according to the Bible.
When I talk to my husband about embarking on freelance writing, he often asks me: "What do you define success as?"
Hmm. Good question.
My responses vary:
"It’s educating others and making a difference in other people’s lives."
"Bringing in a decent income."
"Doing what I love to do every day."
But if I’m honest with myself, I define success as writing a brilliant piece, receiving recognition, being lavished with laud and praise over it, and winning a slew of writing and/or journalism awards. I’ve done it in the past. I’d like to do it all over again.
Back in my senior year of college, I won an award as the best student print journalism writer on Long Island. I beat out I-don’t-know-how-many other college students on an island that boasts a population of 2.8 million (as of the 2000 census). Sure, it was just college but it opened my eyes and made me feel as though I had the potential to do that on a bigger scale.
Then comes Epic Fail. (Link provided for your amusement.)
Read the rest of this entry »
July 20, 2008 at 4:26 am (Quotes)
Tags: advice, Erica Jong, quotations, quote, Quotes
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t." — Erica Jong
July 17, 2008 at 11:56 am (Mental Health/Illness, Opinion/Editorial, Statistics, Suicide)
Tags: Chicago Tribune, firearms, gun, Liz Spikol, suicidal, suicidal act, Suicide, Trouble With Spikol
Liz Spikol on The Trouble With Spikol linked to an article in the Chicago Tribune in which author Steve Chapman discusses whether buying a gun is a suicidal act. Chapman argues "not really." Is it?
July 14, 2008 at 11:43 am (Depression, Mental Health/Illness, Personal, Statistics, Stigma, Suicide)
Tags: action, attempt suicide, commit suicide, cry for help, depressed, Depression, Golden Gate Bridge, mental health, mental illness, Statistics, suicidal, suicidal attempt, suicidal behavior, suicidal ideation, Suicide, suicidee, warning signs
I’ve always found it annoying when people say a suicide attempt is
"a cry for help." And the best one — "She’s just looking for
attention." I ran into that quite a bit in high school.
While a suicidal person may not realize it (I certainly didn’t), a suicide attempt is a cry for help. It’s an action that says "I’ve come to my breaking point. I’ve run out of options
and I don’t know what else to do. My problems are too much for me to
handle and the only way out of them is to die." Suicide is the action
which stem from thoughts that likely were never verbalized.
The majority of people who commit or attempt suicide aren’t just
seeking to die "just because."
…[T]wo doctors who are among the most often-cited experts on suicide…readily acknowledged the high degree of impulsivity associated with [jumping], but also considered that impulsivity as simply another symptom of mental illness. “Of all the hundreds of jumping suicides I’ve looked at,” one told me, “I’ve yet to come across a case where a mentally healthy person was walking across a bridge one day and just went over the side. It just doesn’t happen. There’s almost always the presence of mental illness somewhere.”
They feel as though they truly have "run
out of options" and ending their life is the least favorite backup
plan. The common thread that runs through all suicides is hopelessness.
So to wrap this series up, is it possible to prevent someone from committing or attempting suicide?
Read the rest of this entry »
July 13, 2008 at 4:25 am (Quotes)
Tags: Eleanor Roosevelt, quotations, quote, Quotes, strength, strong, woman
"A woman is like a teabag… You don’t know how strong she is until she’s in hot water. " — Eleanor Roosevelt
July 8, 2008 at 5:30 pm (Blogs, Celebrities, Depression, Mental Health/Illness)
Tags: bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Celebrities, celebrity, death, depressed, Depression, famous, mental health, mental illness, Pop-Crunch Show, Schizophrenia, Suicide
The Pop-Crunch Show has a list of 135 Famous People Who Struggled with Depression. I sit on the fence and think that it should probably be retitled "135 Famous People Who Struggled with Mental Health Issues."
But then again, we could throw nearly every celebrity in there, huh? I’m bummed that Tom Cruise isn’t on the list.
July 7, 2008 at 2:25 pm (Celebrities, Depression, Suicide)
Tags: Adam Duritz, anxiety, Celebrities, Depression, DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Heather Locklear, Ruslana Korshunova, Suicide
Heather Locklear, most famous for her roles in T.J. Hooker and Dynasty, checked into an Arizona facility for treatment of anxiety and depression on June 19. As of July 2, rumors reported that she was still checked into the facility. Her publicist issued a statement on June 24:
“Heather has been dealing with anxiety and depression. She requested an in-depth evaluation of her medication and entered into a medical facility for proper diagnosis and treatment,” says Locklear’s rep, Cece Yorke. “This is a confidential medical matter and no further statement will be released.”
It seems that her bout of depression began after her split from rocker Richie Sambora to whom she was married for about 10 years. It appears that her current partner, actor Jack Wagner, has been a strong source of support and encouragement for her.
However, in other upsetting news, 21-year-old model Ruslana Korshunova jumped from the window of her Manhattan apartment in what appears to be a suicide. No one is quite sure what caused it but the based on the poetry that she posted on a website, the New York Daily News has proposed the idea that it was over “a lost love.”
Finally, Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz revealed to Men’s Health magazine that he suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID). John Grohol of PsychCentral quoted an excerpt from the interview:
What makes my case even worse is that every night I go out on stage and have this incredible emotional connection between me, the band, and the audience. Then, just like that, it’s over. I go backstage, back to the bus, back to my hotel room, and sit there all by myself. That deep connection is yanked away in an instant. It’s like breaking up with your girlfriend over and over again, every night.
July 7, 2008 at 9:41 am (Statistics, Suicide)
Tags: death, Depression, emotional, everyminute.org, Family, logic, pain, physican, reason, Statistics, stopasuicide.org, Suicide, suicide statistic, thinking, triggers
“Every minute, a suicide is attempted.” — everyminute.org
“With over 30,000 people dying by suicide each year in the United States, averaging 82 per day, there are almost twice as many suicides as homicides each year.” — stopasuicide.org
82 per day. Despite the fond memories the “Thompson” family will always have of Bob’s grandfather — whom we’ll call Grandpa — he is now logged as a suicide statistic:
- Suicide per minute
- Suicide per hour
- Suicide per day
- Suicide per year
- Suicide in the town
- Suicide in the state
- Suicide in the nation
- Suicide in the world
- Suicide by age (elderly)
- Suicide by gender
- Suicide by firearm
The list likely goes on.
Suicide is the purple elephant in the room that no one likes to talk about. It’s never a pleasant subject, especially when it’s by someone you know. The pain of losing someone by suicide seems to surpass the pain of all other kinds of death. There’s something about suicide in which we feel that the deceased had control.
- “It didn’t have to be that way.”
- “If he’d just gotten help.”
Read the rest of this entry »
July 6, 2008 at 4:21 am (Quotes)
Tags: Depression, Elizabeth Wurtzel, quotations, quote, Quotes, Wurtzel
“I feel like a defective model, like I came off the assembly line
flat-out fucked and my parents should have taken me back for repairs
before the warranty ran out.” – Elizabeth Wurtzel
July 3, 2008 at 12:37 pm (Blogs, Suicide)
Tags: Blogs, human life, life, meaning of life, Suicide, The Last Psychiatrist, thoughts, weblog
I posted a couple of months ago on The Last Psychiatrist’s post on suicide, which is still being hotly debated, and to be honest, is rather depressing. I gather that the majority of people commenting on the post have a general agreement that life has no purpose and as one commenter said, "just *is*." If there are people who think differently, I wish they’d leave comments. It appears that most people seem to think that life is rather wasteful.
A commenter named Jack posted his controversial thoughts. His entire post echoes what I’ve thought in the past (and currently struggle with) and what I’m sure others who attempted or committed suicide have thought too.
Read the rest of this entry »