March 10, 2009 at 8:35 am (Bipolar Disorder, Celebrities, Children)
Tags: bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Celebrities, Children, Fall Out Boy, Pete Wentz, Wentz
I’ve written about fellow bipolar sufferer Pete Wentz before here. How has he managed to keep his highs and lows in check?
His son, Bronx.
“While I’ll always be bipolar, I find it easier to deal with now. With marriage and fatherhood, I’ve finally found two fixed points in my life. They’ve taught me patience. They’ve also taught me that I don’t need to feel guilty about being happy. My emotional seasons are less extreme.
“In the past my brain would never stop. Now I’m a father, the world no longer revolves around me.”
I’ve always wondered whether having a child would change the way I deal with bipolar disorder. Of course, I’m not going to have a child simply as a test case in the hopes that he or she would “cure” me but I think having someone so completely dependent upon me would cause me to think twice about trying to kill myself.
February 18, 2009 at 8:11 am (Children, Diagnoses, Mental Health/Illness, Statistics, Suicide)
Tags: adolescents, anxiety, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Children, Depression, health, health coverage, health insurance, kids, mental health, mental health parity, mental illness, parity, SCHIP, State Children's Health Insurance Program, Suicide, teenagers, teens
The new SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) law that President Obama signed significantly increases health coverage for children, which also includes mental health parity. According to Nancy Shute of U.S. News & World Report, health coverage is expanded to:
“4 million more children beyond the 6 million already covered but also brings mental-health parity to the state programs that provide insurance for children in low-income families, requiring that they get the same access to treatment for bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and other serious disorders as they do for physical ailments.”
Then I stumble across this:
“Mental-health needs are nowhere near being met,” says Jay E. Berkelhamer, past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and chief academic officer at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “At least 20 percent of all visits to pediatricians’ offices are related to mental-health problems.“
Normally, though, overworked pediatricians may not ask if a child has a mental-health problem—and may not know where to refer him or her if they do. About 20 percent of children and teenagers have a mental-health problem at any given time, or about 8 million to 13 million people. Two thirds of them are not getting the help they need.
That means out of roughly 40-65 million kids, we have 8-13 million who are “mentally ill.” And then about 5-8 million who aren’t getting proper mental help.
Color me cynical but I think 20 percent is a disproportionately high number to classify children as mentally ill. I think the percentage of adults being classified as mentally ill is exorbitant enough, let alone children who are going through stages in their lives where they’re simply developing, encountering mood swings, being disobedient, and perhaps, being — perish the thought! — normal children.
But let’s address something else here: I don’t think it’s impossible for children to suffer from mental illness but the incidence should be significantly lower.
According to Dr. Louis Kraus, the chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, suicide ranks as the sixth-leading cause of death among ages 5-14 — “although rare.” From ages 15-24, it jumps to number three.
The key word in that last paragraph is suicide is “rare.” The rate of mental illness in children should reflect that somehow. While I’m very happy SCHIP includes widespread mental health parity for low-income families, I’m also concerned children will be overdiagnosed with a “mental illness” when they may simply be dealing with the normal challenges of a difficult life.
“I used to care, but now I take a pill for that.” — Author unknown
Philip Dawdy at Furious Seasons has some great posts on the bipolar child paradigm that further explore the murky world of psychiatry pushing psychiatric illnesses and psychotropic drugs on kids. I’d also recommend reading Soulful Sepulcher as Stephany recounts her and her daughter’s experiences in and out of the mental health system.
(pic from save.org)
August 4, 2008 at 7:37 am (Bipolar Disorder, Children, Depression, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Military, PPD, PTSD, Statistics, Suicide)
Tags: abuse, Afghanistan, Afghanistan War, anxiety, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, calls, Children, Depakote, Depression, drug, emotional abuse, FDA, gel capsule, hanging, Ira Katz, Iraq, Iraq War, manic episodes, med, medication, meds, Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act bill, mental disorder, mental health, mental illness, national suicide prevention lifeline, Noven Pharmaceuticals, physical abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, psych drugs, psych meds, psychologists, psychotropic, PTSD, Stavzor, suicidal, Suicide, suicide hotline, suicide lifeline, toddlers, VA, valproic acid, Veterans Administration, Vietnam, Vietnam War
The mastermind behind Stavzor is Noven Pharmaceuticals (in conjunction with Banner Pharmacaps Inc.). The new “small, easy-to-swallow soft gel capsule” is available in three strengths: 125, 250, and 500 mgs. The pills are are “up to 40% smaller than han Depakote® and Depakote ER® tablets at the 500 mg dosage strength.” From Noven’s PR:
Stavzor is approved for the treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy in the treatment of patients with complex partial seizures that occur either in isolation or in association with other types of seizures, and for prophylaxis of migraine headaches.
The drug will hit the market in mid to late August.
The hotline receives an average 250 calls each day from veterans that have fought in Iraq, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.
The issue of soldiers with mental illness has recently come to light with studies showing that 1 in 5 soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have shown symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The issue of the high suicides rate has been a high priority of the VA since mental health director Ira Katz tried to hide the significant number of suicides committed by veterans.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day by calling 800-273-TALK (8255); veterans should press “1” after being connected.
“We have seen a 60 per cent increase in demand for our child anxiety classes in the past six months,” said [Dr. Kimberley O’Brien, of the Quirky Kids Clinic at Woollahra in Sydney].
It sounds more like the article is speaking of children who are exposed to constant physical and emotional abuse. If that’s the case, shouldn’t there rather be an increase in parenting properly classes?
June 3, 2008 at 10:24 am (Bipolar Disorder, Children, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, News)
Tags: adolescents, Adverse Effects, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, bipolar NOS, child, childhood bipolar disorder, Children, CLPsych, drugs, intueri, medication, meds, mental health, mental illness, Newsweek, psych drugs, psych meds, psychotropics, side effects, teenagers
CLPsych wrote a post on the "Growing Up Bipolar" Newsweek cover story. I agree with most of his points. Especially:
1. Max's problems are described by the journalist as "incurable" and as "a life sentence." It is true that the kid is likely in for a life of trouble. But stating that such difficulties are a certainty for the rest of his life? That's a little too certain and it's not based on any evidence. Show me one study that indicates that 100% of children like Max will always have a high level of psychological difficulties and essentially be unable to function independently.
The article even mentions that "Max will never truly be OK." Apparently, I just learned from my recent viewing of Depression: Out of the Shadows that diagnoses are not static.
Miracles have happened but to say that Max's future doesn't have a grim tint to it is unrealistic. Not because of his diagnoses but because of all 38 different medications that he's already been on.
By 7½, Max was on so many different drugs that Frazier and his
parents could no longer tell if they were helping or hurting him. He
was suffering from tics, blinking his eyes, clearing his throat and
"pulling his clothes like he wanted to get out of his skin," says
By the time Max had reached 8 years old, he was already showing the symptoms of side effects that can occur long-term. Tardive dyskinesia, hyperglycemia, diabetes, akathisia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome are all very real side effects that could develop in Max's teenage years and stick with him permanently. "Max will never truly be OK." Not because of his disorders but because these medications have given him a different "life sentence" — a life sentence of physical, visible afflictions in addition to the emotional and mental disorders he already struggles with.
I haven't really gotten into the child bipolar disorder conversation on this blog because
- it's such a controversial diagnosis that would require lengthy posts that I didn't have time for
- I found the entire diagnosis to be a bunch of hooey
But I will now.
Read the rest of this entry »
May 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm (Bipolar Disorder, Children, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, News, Suicide)
Tags: ADHD, article, bipolar, bipolar child, Bipolar Disorder, BipolarCentral, childhood bipolar disorder, Furious Seasons, Growing Up Bipolar, Health Central, Huffington Post, John McManamy, mania, manic, Mary Carmichael, Max Blake, Newsweek, OCD, oppositional defiant disorder, personality, Peter Breggin, PsychCentral, TAC, Treatment Advocacy Center
If you haven’t been reading the news recently, Newsweek magazine published a feature article on Max, a 10-year-old who struggles mainly with bipolar and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders among other mental illnesses. I read the article and was astounded at what Amy and Richie Blake, Max’s parents, have to contend with. I’m astounded at what Max suffers with.
The article was educational but for all the 8 computer pages that I printed, I didn’t read about Max; I read about his diagnoses:
Max Blake was 7 the first time he tried to kill himself. He wrote a four-page will bequeathing his toys to his friends and jumped out his ground-floor bedroom window, falling six feet into his backyard, bruised but in one piece.
He cried for hours at a time. He banged his head against his crib and screamed until his face burned red. Nursing, cuddling, pacifiers—none of them helped.
Richie carried his son to the backyard and tried to put him down, but Max shrank back in his father’s arms; he hated the feel of the grass beneath his small bare feet. Amy gave Max a bath and turned on the exhaust fan; he put his hands over his ears and screamed. At 13 months, he lined up dozens of Hot Wheels in the same direction, and when Amy nudged one out of order, he shrieked “like you’d just cut his arm off.” At day care, he terrorized his teachers and playmates. He wasn’t the biggest kid in the class, but he attacked without provocation or warning, biting hard enough to leave teeth marks. Every day, he hit and kicked and spat.
By 7½, Max was on so many different drugs that Frazier and his parents could no longer tell if they were helping or hurting him. He was suffering from tics, blinking his eyes, clearing his throat and “pulling his clothes like he wanted to get out of his skin,” says Richie. In February 2005, under Frazier’s supervision, the Blakes took Max off all his meds. With the chemicals out of his system, Max was not the same child he had been at 2. He was worse. … Off his meds, Max became delusional and paranoid. He imagined Amy was poisoning him and refused to eat anything she cooked. He talked about death constantly and slept little more than two hours a night.
During a recent appointment at Frazier’s office, he went into full-fledged mania. Laughing wildly, he rolled on the floor, then crawled over to his parents and grabbed an empty medication bottle, yelling, “Drugs! I’ve got drugs! It’s child safety!” Richie grabbed it back, Max screamed, Richie threw the bottle across the room, as if playing fetch. Max squealed and dove for it, then began to sing into the neck of the bottle: “Booorn to be wiiiiild …” Amy rolled her eyes: “Two kids.” And then: “It’s hard not to laugh.” (I’m not the only one who doesn’t think this is mania.)
All throughout the article, I couldn’t help but think to myself: Who is Max? Max without meds — does he have a personality? What does like to do for fun, even for short periods of time? Karate is mentioned — does he read? He has trouble writing for long stretches. He’s got a friend. What makes Max so charming other than the fact that he’s 10 years old?
(Image from Newsweek)
Read the rest of this entry »
May 29, 2008 at 5:53 pm (Bipolar Disorder, Children, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, News, Opinion/Editorial)
Tags: adolescents, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, child bipolar, childhood bipolar disorder, Children, drugs, Huffington Post, medication, meds, Newsweek, Peter Breggin, pharmaceuticals, psych drugs, psych meds, psychtropics, teenagers, teens, The Huffington Post
Breggin’s post on Newsweek‘s "Growing Up Bipolar" article makes good points but steers clear into wackiness throughout. My only wish is that instead of pointing out the problems of the psychiatric industry, he would have offered some suggested solutions.
Oh, and he flat-out gets some things wrong:
Newsweek makes clear that Max’s parents have serious conflicts over how to raise their son, but they have not pursued therapy, marriage counseling or, apparently, not even parenting classes.
The article DID mention that they tried to pursue marriage counseling but dropped out.
He says he has never been to therapy. But late last year, Amy demanded that the two of them see a marriage counselor. Richie agreed. They went a few times, but there were "scheduling issues," says Richie, and they haven’t gone back. For the moment, they are getting help from the same people who help Max. Anything that makes his life easier makes theirs easier, too.
Then he applies a broad brush from the cases of "out-of-control" children that he’s seen:
In every case of an out-of-control child I have seen in my psychiatric practice, either the parents were unable to reach agreement on a consistent approach to disciplining their child, or a single working mom was trying to raise a young boy without the aid of a male adult in the child’s life.
I like Peter Breggin’s approach to psychotropic drugs for the most part, but sometimes he just gets a little off-base for me.
April 16, 2008 at 11:23 am (Antipsychotics, Bipolar Disorder, Children, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Suicide)
Tags: Antidepressants, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Children, drugs, farm animals, foster homes, generic, J&J, Johnson & Johnson, mania, medication, mental health, mental illness, polygamous sect, psych drugs, psych meds, Risperdal, Schizophrenia, Suicide, suicide rates, Teva, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
If the state gets its way, hundreds of children could be put in foster homes, in what could be a wrenching cultural adjustment that may require intensive counseling.
Wow. That's all I can say. How do you place 400 different children in foster homes and ensure they'll get proper care? You can't.
March 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm (Children, Depression, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Mental Health/Illness, Suicide)
Tags: adolescents, adults, Children, Depression, Deutsches Arzteblatt International, Golden Gate Bridge, infants, medical health, mental health, mental illness, News, online journal, preschoolers, San Francisco, schoolchildren, Suicide, teenagers
In Deutsches Arzteblatt International, a medical health online journal, two researchers contend that depression in children can be manifested through “weeping, irritability, or defiance.” Professor Claudia Mehler-Wex and Dr. Michael Kolch point out the ways to spot depression in children of various ages:
The signs of depression in infants are often screaming, restlessness, and weeping attacks for no clear reason. Preschool children may behave irritably and aggressively, while schoolchildren may be listless and apathetic. The symptoms in adolescents become similar to those in adults.
I’m no professor, doctor, researcher, scientist or expert but here’s what I can tell you: Much of this behavior is normal for children. Infants scream, become restless, and weep because they want attention. Preschoolers can be irritable and aggressive because they didn’t get their nap time. Schoolchildren may be “listless and apathetic” because they don’t like school or they don’t get to play as often. Adolescents are a bit trickier – they’re basically young adults at this point and it’s difficult to tell whether they’re enduring teenage angst or true depression.
But the point of the article is how depression in children is different than that of adults. It is estimated that nearly “3.5% of children and 9% of adolescents in industrial countries are depressive.” It’s scary to think that INFANTS are included in the 3.5% figure.
A man jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in a suicide attempt and survived
. Apparently, the GGB is a popular place for people to commit suicide:
Last summer, Marin County Coroner Ken Holmes released findings from a 10-year study on suicide trends from the Golden Gate Bridge. In his report, Holmes found that 206 people plunged to their deaths from 1997 to 2007, including 59 San Francisco residents, a group that formed the largest percentage — 29.6 — of the jumpers.
Check out the photo to the left. I think it’s incredibly helpful how the government keeps things running these days.
(Image from SFist)
April 22, 2007 at 5:48 pm (Antidepressants, Children, Medicine/Meds)
Tags: Antidepressants, celexa, Lexapro, medications, meds, Paxil, Prozac, remeron, serzone, zoloft
An Associated Press article has reported on how antidepressants have a positive effect on children and adolescents. The upside? No suicides.
Antidepressants used: Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, Serzone, Remeron.
Dr. David Brent from the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine is a flat-out idiot:
‘‘The medications are safe and effective and should be considered as an important part of treatment. The benefits seem favorable compared to the small risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.’’
Screw you, Dr. Brent for not taking meds and taking money from drug companies (probably to fund research studies). All meds listed above – Paxil, namely – have side/withdrawal effects strong enough to fuck an adult up, let alone a developing child. Sure, I recommend alcohol for kids: It’s safe, effective, and the benefits are favorable compared to the small risk of alcoholism and drunk driving.
The prestigious Duke University has a smarter and cautious doctor, Dr. John March, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center.
“He said the suicidal behavior risk, although lower than found by the FDA, demands that doctors and families watch for warning signs.
‘You can’t treat kids with these drugs without taking this information into account,’ said March, who was not involved in the study, but does similar research. ‘You can’t say, ‘Take these and call me in six weeks.’ You have to monitor carefully the benefits and adverse events.’
An addendum: “The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”
Talk amongst yourselves.
February 26, 2007 at 4:49 pm (Children, Mental Health/Illness)
Tags: ADHD, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Children, Dawdy, Furious Seasons, infants, intueri, mental health, mental illness, psychiatry, psychology, Rebecca Riley, toddlers
The new fad? Diagnosing young children with mental illness.
Oh and I mean young.
Originally, I’d written about how psychiatrists are diagnosing mental illness in infants. Mental health blogs now are all over the Rebecca Riley case and rightly so. She was a 2½-year-old toddler diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder. How a psychiatrist can diagnose a child that young is beyond me.
intueri has written a brilliant post about the case and diagnosing children that young:
“We need to stop labeling behavior as pathological just because it causes us inconvenience. We also need to stop using diagnoses as means of absolving us of our responsibilities (”it was the bipolar that made me say those mean things to you; it wasn’t me”). We, as providers, need to stop colluding in these goals: We need to stop the belief that a pill will always cure everything.”
(linkage attribution: Furious Seasons)
January 18, 2007 at 9:18 pm (Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Bipolar Disorder, Children, Depression, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Personal, Pharma)
Tags: anxiety, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, black-box warning, blood sugar, dementia, depressed, Depression, diabetes, Eli Lilly, FDA, hyperglycemia, infant depression, Jack B. Weinstein, Lilly, mania, manic, manic-depression, mental health, mental illness, mirtazapine, off-lable, Olanzapine, psychosis, psychotic, PTSD, remeron, weight gain, zispin, Zyprexa
Starting off with some crazy (npi) mental health news, psychotherapists are now beginning to diagnose depression and anxiety in – infants. Yes, infants. Before you know it, newborns will begin suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after enduring complications during delivery. Fetuses will suffer from depression due to lack of exposure to light.
I’m all for diagnosing mental illness in children, but infant depression? Unless it’s mistreated, the concept is ridiculous.
“He says he doesn’t put babies on the couch. Instead, he observed Jayda through a one way mirror. He was looking for clues on why she wouldn’t bond with her mother, Kari Garza.”
“Psychologist Douglas Goldsmith says ‘even by the first birthday, some of the research is saying we should be able to start to see signs of more serious social disorders.’
There are some warning signs to look out for, such as a lack interest in sights and sounds. Others include of lack of desire to interact; listlessness; or excessive crying.”
I can’t help but think it’s rooted in a physical rather than a mental problem. I excessively cried for six months as an infant; no knew that I’d developed eczema and the itching was unbearable because I wasn’t able scratch.
“Figuring out what’s depression versus normal behavior is hard, according Pediatrician Linda Nelson of the Franciscan Children’s Hospital, because ‘the crankiness and all of that, teasing that out from true depression, it’s very difficult.'”
Josh of “We Worry” writes:
“I may be way off the mark on this one, but if Iâm not mistaken, an infantâs cognitive abilities are incredibly limited and, for the most part, are dictated entirely by instinctual behaviors. It seems that it would be impossible to determine if an infant had depression or anxiety because itâs impossible to ask them.”
Nope, not off the mark at all.
Want to know what dealing with a bipolar is like? The following is dead on
“Bipolar is a hell of a disease, and I wonder if patients [at my community health center job] knew how devastating it is, whether they’d choose to label themselves that way.
Bipolar used to be called manic-depression. People with bipolar disorder are constantly on a roller coast ride between severe depression and mania. On the depressed end, this can include feelings of worthlessness, excessive guilt, changes in eating (over- or under-), changes in sleep patterns (can’t go to sleep or can’t wake up), and recurrent thoughts of death.
On the manic end, bipolar people experience feelings of grandiosity, believing they’re capable of things nobody can do. At this end of the spectrum they often sleep very little, their thoughts race, and they can’t stop talking. They tend to get involved in risky activities, such as unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments. Some feel more angry than expansive in their manic phase, or when they’re on their way up or down.”
Congrats. You get the gold star. You’ve just learned something today (if you’re not bipolar).
I recently read Graham’s Blog
and among a list of meds
, I saw “Zispin.”
It’s trademarked as Remeron in the U.S. and Zispin in Great Britain. The generic name is mirtazapine. Sounds like a name for a German lady – Fraulein Mirtazapine.
According to the wonderful wikipedia, mirta treats “mild to severe” depression.” That’s a wide spectrum of patients to cover. Mirta is as effective for people with mild depression as it is for those who are dang near suicidal everyday? I’m not convinced.
Of course, since it’s a med, it’s used off-label for panic disorder, GAC, OCD, and PTSD among other health problems.
If you’re you suffer from bipolar and get a prescription for this stuff, get another doctor quick: mania is a side effect.
I won’t get into the fine details of how mirta works, but it appears that it enhances neurotransmitter actions rather than affect serotonin levels directly.
There’s my new medication lesson of the day.
I’m late on the bandwagon, here. I’m sure Furious Seasons
, CL Psych
, and other blogs have railed on the injustice of Judge Weinstein’s stupid –
yes, it is stupid –
decision to uphold his gag order
(he imposed it so why would he change it?) that keeps blogs from “dissemination” Eli Lilly’s leaked documents. Basically, the judge wants to block wiki Zyprexa Kills
from showing this info. Any other blog that has the documents, links to it, or publishes it is â well â subject to a gag order as well. *gag*
I have a personal opinion on the matter and since you’re reading this blog, you’ll be subjected to it.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 12, 2007 at 9:04 am (Children, Depression, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Mental Health/Illness, Schizophrenia, Suicide)
Tags: abuse, American Academy of Neurology, Archives of General Psychiatry, biopharmaceutical company, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, business wire, child abuse, CPAP, depressed, Depression, funding, headaches, loose screws, manic-depressive, MDD, mental health, mental illness, mental illness news, migraines, neglect, News, News 24, nightmares, non-profit, non-profit organization, Omeros, Omeros Corporation, pharma company, physical abuse, PTSD, relaxation, researchers, Schizophrenia, sleep apnea, sleep disturbances, sleep problems, SMRI, Spikol, Stanley Medical Research Institute, studies, study, suicidal, suicidal ideation, Suicide, Suicide attempts, Trouble With Spikol, UPI, yoga
I need a new subject header for “Mental health news.” It’s so blah. I need something snazzy. Perhaps “Loose Screws News”? Okay, nevermind… That’s what I get for being a former copy editor. Renamed as of 2/16/2009.
A new study, published in the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology has found that women who experience chronic headaches, namely migraines, are four times as likely to report symptoms of major depressive disorder. Of the 1,000 women surveyed, “593 reported episodic headache (fewer than 15 headaches per month) and 439 had chronic headache (more than 15 headaches per month).” Migraines were diagnosed in 90 percent of the women. Author of the study Dr. Gretchen Tietjen said that more studies are being done to discover whether the a serotonin imbalance in the central nervous system is the cause of chronic headaches, severe physical problems, and major depressive disorder. (source: The Trouble With Spikol)
According to businesswire.com, the non-profit organization Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) will provide up to $9 million to fund Omeros Corporation’s schizophrenia program, which will help the completion of
Phase 1 clinical trials. Business Wire basically listed SMRI’s press release so I’m curious to do some research on SMRI and how this non-profit was able to obtain $9 million. I don’t know much about this organization but a non-profit organization funding a biopharmaceutical company’s program seems out of the ordinary to me. (This may be something normal, but I’m not aware of this.) According to SMRI’s “about us” blurb at the bottom of the PR, they state:
“The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) is a nonprofit organization that supports research on the causes and treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), both through work carried out in its own laboratories and through support of researchers worldwide who are working on these diseases. SMRI has provided over $200 million in funding since 1989.”
Whoa. $200 million since 1989 is not a whole lot. Where in the world did this $9 million come from? Do non-profit organizations actually save up money to blow on a worthy future project? (The cynical patient in me wonders if there’s a drug company like GSK or Wyeth slipping money through SMRI’s back door.)
Liz Spikol usually blogs headlines before I can even get to ‘em so I credit her with discovering the following three links:
According to the Delhi Newsline, yoga can help with cases of severe depression and schizophrenia. (Hm, interesting.) Patients who took yoga classes in addition to meds improved more rapidly than patients only on meds. The connection with yoga seems to be the relaxation component — outdoing counseling and “talk therapy,” which can aid treatment in a mentally ill individual.
Oy. UPI has reported that Swedish researchers have discovered that those who struggle with suicidal ideation have problems with nightmares and sleep problems. Of the 165 patients surveyed, 89 percent of them reported a sleep problem. Nightmares proved to be the highest indicators of those with a high suicide risk. However, lead author Nisse Sjostrom is quick to note,
“Our finding of an association between nightmares and suicidality does not imply causality.”
“Our findings should inspire clinicians to include questions concerning sleep disturbance and especially nightmares in the clinical assessment of suicidal patients.”
My husband thinks I suffer from sleep apnea – he claims I stop breathing sometimes in the middle of the night. I’m going for a sleep assessment sometime in February so I’ll let you know if I come back with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.
I’ve had increased dreams (or nightmares, what have you) on these psych meds. I haven’t been excessively suicidal and I hope it’s no indication of more suicide attempts on the way. *sigh* Were any of the surveyed patients on meds like Effexor and Lamictal?
(ASIDE: Dang working in a medical industry! I’m becoming more familiar with unfamiliar medical acronyms.)
And finally, News 24 reports that children who suffered from neglect and abuse are more likely to develop severe depression as adults. The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, says the data specifically shows that “depression is a consequence of… abuse.” Um, who wouldn’t be depressed after such a traumatic experience? How do physicians differentiate between major depressive disorder (DSM-IV term for clinical depression) and post-traumatic stress disorder? Ah, once we get the answer, we can use it as a Jeopardy! question.
January 5, 2007 at 12:46 pm (Antidepressants, Bipolar Disorder, Children, Depression, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, News, Pharma, Suicide)
Tags: binge drinking, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Chief Justice, Children, Dawdy, Depression, ethchlorvynol, Furious Seasons, hallucinations, mental health, mental illness, paranoia, Placidyl, Prozac, Rehnquist, Spikol, suicidal ideation, suicidal thoughts, the trouble with spikol, Trouble With Spikol, women
Women who are binge drinkers are more likely to be clinically depressed, according to a joint U.S. and Canadian study. I find it funny that they’ve got a photo of a middle-aged (or senior) woman with the captions, “Binge drinking adversely affected women’s mental health, the study suggested.” It’s possible, but HIGHLY UNLIKELY that the woman in the picture is representative of a binge drinker. A picture of a female binge drinker would look more like this:
That’s better. (source: The Trouble With Spikol)
On a Spikol trip, she writes that she questions a bipolar diagnosis in children and young adolescents (as in 14 or 15). I wholeheartedly disagree. Once I received a bipolar diagnosis, I realized that it wasn’t something that I’d developed out of nowhere. I often thought that I began suffering from manic depressive episodes when I was 14. Looking into my childhood, I realized that there was so much more to it: the temper tantrums, the sudden happiness and instant withdrawal. Constant paranoia that no one liked me (which no one did because I was super smart as a child). My parents described me as a “happy” kid, but I remember my tumultous childhood from 6 years old and on. I was raised in Brooklyn until I was 5 and then moved to Long Island. Even though I attended kindergarten in Brooklyn, the LI school district insisted that I was too young for first grade and made me repeat kindergarten. This apparently angered me because my parents claim that the second time around, I didn’t do any of the work because I’d done it before. After an encounter with my teacher (and seeing my father cry for the first time in my life), I shaped up my act in time to move on to first grade.
So I disagree that a bipolar diagnosis in children would erroneous or inaccurate. However, it’s possible they may be misdiagnosed and find out later on in life that they really had ADHD or some other kind of mental illness. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t mentally ill at all; it simply means they weren’t diagnosed properly.
Read the rest of this entry »
December 24, 2006 at 10:10 pm (Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Children, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Pharma, Suicide)
Tags: atypical, big pharma, Furious Seasons, GlaxoSmithKline, GSK, Invega, J&J, Johnson & Johnson, NAMI, Newsday, paliperidone, paroxetine, Paxil, Paxil CR, ping, Risperdal, Risperidone, Schizophrenia
NAMI is touting a new atypical… in the press release for Johnson & Johnson. Michael J. Fitzpatrick, executive director of NAMI lent a statement in J&J’s pr about Risperdal’s sibling, Invega. *sniff, sniff* Something smells fishy about this. Makes me wonder if these non-profits bag money from Big Pharma under the table… (source: Furious Seasons)
An electronic ping sent from Sprint to the police helped save the life of a college student who tried to commit suicide, according to Newsday. A ping also helped save the lives of James Kim’s wife and children after getting stuck in the mountains of Oregon. This ping thing is interesting. Especially since Newsday needs to put quotes around it because ping isn’t a real vocabulary word… yet.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
ADDENDUM: Oooh, ooh, ooh – just found out: Any family that has a minor who may have consumed Paxil or Paxil CR is eligible for a stake in a $63.8 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline. More info about the settlement at paxilpediatricsettlement.com. Apparently, it seems as though GSK covered up information about the medications’ safety and efficacy. This is one I’d like to learn more about considering I’ve been on Paxil. Not as a minor but the settlement raises questions regarding GSK withholding information about Paxil’s safety and efficacy regarding adults.
Is it now fashionable to sue pharma companies for not making all of their information public?
December 22, 2006 at 12:26 pm (ADHD, Children, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness)
Tags: ADD, ADHD, Children, mental illness, New York Times, NYT, parenting, Ritalin
My husband's nephew is an overly active kid. I'm sure that if he went to public school teachers would classify him as suffering from ADHD and recommend that he take Ritalin. This article from the New York Times (the last in their series of covering mental illness in children) gives me hope that most children with ADD/ADHD can be helped without the assistance of a drug.