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By Dana G. Smith Postpartum depression afflicts 10 to 20 percent of the nearly four million women who give birth in the U.S. every year. The condition hits at a vulnerable moment when mother and infant normally begin to bond. Depressed moms pay less attention to their newborns, so the critical attachment between mother and baby does not occur. For some women, postpartum depression can last for years, and the lack of maternal bonding can interfere with children’s development through adolescence. “There's a real need to identify women and treat them, and treat them quickly,” says Samantha Meltzer-Brody, director of the Perinatal Psychiatry Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. “When mom is not doing well, it becomes a crisis for the whole family at this vulnerable time. But like many issues related to mental health, and specifically women's mental health, it has been neglected.” Despite the frequency of postpartum depression, no treatments specifically target it. Many women who suffer from the condition receive standard antidepressants like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac) but it is unclear how well these drugs work because the neurochemical serotonin may play only a secondary role in postpartum depression or may not be involved at all. Instead, researchers hypothesize that a shift in female reproductive hormones during pregnancy is the main cause. Now a new drug that has gone through late-stage clinical trials aims to correct the consequences of these hormonal changes, and early results in human trials suggest it may be working. © 2018 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 25337 - Posted: 08.16.2018

by Antonia Noori Farzan It’s been well-documented that a decreased sex drive can be one of the side effects of antidepressants like Prozac. But the amount of these drugs that end up in sewage plants may also have an impact on the mating habits of wild birds, a new study from the University of York shows. Researchers found that female starlings that had been exposed to small doses of fluoxetine, the generic name for Prozac, became less attractive to male starlings, which sung to them less often and treated them more aggressively. Kathryn Arnold, one of the study’s authors and a senior lecturer in ecology at the University of York, described it as “the first evidence that low concentrations of an antidepressant can disrupt the courtship of songbirds.” That’s problematic because birds that are slow to find a mate may not get the chance to breed, she wrote. “We’re definitely not saying that it’s bad to take antidepressants, but certainly there is a greater need for new technologies to clean out sewage,” Arnold told The Washington Post. Birds like to graze at sewage treatment plants, which are teeming with worms, flies and maggots, she explained. But because antidepressants often make their way through the human body and into sewage plants without fully breaking down, those insects are frequently laced with prescription drugs. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 25320 - Posted: 08.13.2018

There is a new study on the effect treating teens for depression has on their parents. It suggests just treating teens has benefits for parents. LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST: There are estimates that 13 percent of adolescents in the United States experience at least one episode of major depression. That depression can be treated in teens. And new research suggests that it helps not just them but also their parents. NPR's Rhitu Chatterjee reports. RHITU CHATTERJEE, BYLINE: We tend to think of depression as affecting individuals, but Myrna Weissman says... MYRNA WEISSMAN: Depression is a family affair. CHATTERJEE: Weissman is a professor of psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. And she's studied depression in families for years. WEISSMAN: We know that there's high rates of depression in the offspring of depressed mothers. CHATTERJEE: Weissman's previous work has shown that when mothers are treated for depression, their children feel better, as well. That led another researcher, Kelsey Howard, to wonder, could the opposite be true? KELSEY HOWARD: So if kids get better, do parents then feel better? And we found that to be true, as well. CHATTERJEE: Howard is a graduate student at the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University. To answer her question, she and her graduate adviser analyzed data from a previous study that followed more than 300 teenagers getting treatment for depression either through counseling or pills or both. Before and during the course of the study, the researchers had also surveyed one parent of each teenager for symptoms of depression. When Howard looked at that data, she found that... © 2018 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 25319 - Posted: 08.13.2018

Pamela Duncan and Nicola Davis More than four million people in England are long-term users of antidepressants, new figures obtained by the Guardian show. Data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that more than 7.3 million people were prescribed antidepressants in 2017-18, 4.4 million of whom also received a prescription for such drugs in both of the two previous years. 1.6 million people prescribed antidepressants in the past year were “new” users, meaning they were not being prescribed such drugs in either 2015-16 or 2016-17. The figures also show the number of such “new” users of antidepressants is falling. Month-by-month figures show an overall decline from just over 179,000 “new” starters in April 2016 to just over 132,000 in March 2018. Experts say it is not clear what is behind the trend and that there could be a number of factors at play. Scott Weich, a professor of mental health at the University of Sheffield, said the tendency to prescribe antidepressants seems to have gone in phases over recent decades. “Professionals may be becoming slightly less certain about the benefits of antidepressants [for mild depression], and patients themselves may be declining medication,” he said. Weich noted other reasons might be that individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to access GP services to discuss mental health issues, or that the issues are not discussed due to time constraints or other pressures. On the other hand, he said, it could in part reflect the rise in so-called “talking therapies” like CBT. © 2018 Guardian News and Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25318 - Posted: 08.11.2018

Public awareness of the debilitating impact of postpartum depression on new moms has grown over the years, but many people don't realize it can affect men too, mental health experts say. In a series of presentations at the American Psychological Association annual convention this week, a group of psychologists said about 10 per cent of new fathers experience symptoms of depression and anxiety in the weeks before, during or after their babies are born. "One of the main myths is men don't experience hormonal changes, therefore they can't get postpartum depression or anxiety," said Daniel Singley, one of the presenters and a psychologist based in San Diego, Calif. "In fact, plenty of research shows that men do get hormonal changes around the birth of children, and that hormonal changes is just one of a number of bio-psychosocial factors that cause postpartum mood issues," he said. The Canadian Mental Health Association acknowledges that men and women and even parents who adopt can suffer from the condition, noting on its website that "a mother or father with postpartum depression may not enjoy the baby and have frequent thoughts that they're a bad parent." Dealing with the issue of postpartum depression in men is important for the well-being of their children, Singley said, because fathers experiencing it are "much less likely" to be involved with their newborns — which, in turn, can negatively affect the babies' development. ©2018 CBC/Radio-Canada

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25317 - Posted: 08.11.2018

By Pagan Kennedy Nearly 30 years ago, the author William Styron outed himself in these pages as mentally ill. “My days were pervaded by a gray drizzle of unrelenting horror,” he wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed article, describing the deep depression that had landed him in the psych ward. He compared the agony of mental illness to that of a heart attack. Pain is pain, whether it’s in the mind or the body. So why, he asked, were depressed people treated as pariahs? A confession of mental illness might not seem like a big deal now, but it was back then. In the 1980s, “if you were depressed, it was a terrible dark secret that you hid from the world,” according to Andrew Solomon, a historian of mental illness and author of “The Noonday Demon.” “People with depression were seen as pathetic and even dangerous. You didn’t let them near your kids.” “In the popular mind, suicide is usually the work of a coward or sometimes, paradoxically, a deed of great courage, but it is neither; the torment that precipitates the act makes it often one of blind necessity.” The response to Mr. Styron’s op-ed was immediate. Letters flooded into The New York Times. The readers thanked him, blurted out their stories and begged him for more. “Inadvertently I had helped unlock a closet from which many souls were eager to come out,” Mr. Styron wrote later. “It was like the #MeToo movement,” Alexandra Styron, the author’s daughter, told me. “Somebody comes out and says: ‘This happened. This is real. This is what it feels like.’ And it just unleashed the floodgates.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25298 - Posted: 08.06.2018

By Rhiannon Picton-James I was seeing a guy from London, and he told me Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were his favorite couple. He was charming, exciting and “got” me. His choice sounded so romantic, so like him. Obviously I knew who they were, but I wasn’t familiar with the details of their relationship. I lay in bed and Googled eagerly. Was this the kind of great love he envisioned for us? Zelda Fitzgerald was intensely glamorous and hauntingly beautiful. Scott called her the original flapper. Oh, and they had a turbulent relationship wracked with infidelity and excessive drinking: a love affair that ended with her dying after a fire broke out in the mental institution where she was a patient. She was schizophrenic and spent the last of her years hospitalized. Is this how he saw me? I had clinical depression, not schizophrenia. In my head (and, clearly, mine alone) we shared a blind devotion. When the reality of our relationship sank in, he got busy at work fast before disappearing entirely. He told me, over text, that he was “gut-wrenchingly sorry.” Although the devastation passed, his words lingered. I pulled up more articles on the Fitzgeralds. The Guardian wrote that Scott Fitzgerald’s “troubled wife” was a “beautiful and damned” socialite, per the title of his second novel, who would be played by Scarlett Johansson in an upcoming drama. The romanticism was bothersome to me. Elsewhere, on Facebook, an ad for a sale at Skinnydip, a London brand, popped up. It included a cute miniature backpack, emblazoned with the words “I’ve got issues” and embroidered pink roses. The catchy Julia Michaels hit played in my head, her soft voice gently singing, “When I’m down, I get real down,” before breaking into the chorus: “’Cause baby I’ve got issues.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25263 - Posted: 07.28.2018

By Oliver Newlan The number of antidepressants prescribed to children in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland has risen over the past three years, figures obtained by BBC's File on 4 reveal. In England, there was a 15% rise. Scotland saw a 10% increase. And in Northern Ireland the number rose by 6%. In total, there were 950,000 prescriptions issued between April 2015 and March 2018. Experts have linked the rise to waits for specialist mental health services. Antidepressants should prescribed to children only under close supervision. NHS England, NHS Scotland and the Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland all say they are committed to improving child mental health services. NHS Wales was unable to provide prescription figures because it does not hold the data requested. The figures were obtained by Freedom of Information requests and relate to a group of powerful antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The total number of prescriptions rose from 290,393 in 2015-16 to 330,616 in 2017-18. The steepest increase was seen in the youngest patients, those aged 12 and under, where the number of prescriptions rose on average by 24%, from 14,500 to almost 18,000. Dr Bernadka Dubicka, who chairs the child and adolescent faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: "Currently only one in four children and young people are treated for their mental health problems. "The fact that prescriptions for antidepressants are rising could reflect a slow but steady move towards treating everyone who is unwell. "But the importance of giving children access to psychological therapies cannot be overstated. "What we don't know from today's data is why these antidepressants are being prescribed, and how. "It is vital that they are being used judiciously, monitored carefully, and the risks and benefits of taking them are assessed in each individual case." © 2018 BBC

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 25240 - Posted: 07.24.2018

By Rick Strassman The resumption of clinical research with psychedelics is producing preliminary evidence of benefit for a variety of conditions. These include depression, substance abuse and palliative care. Some research also indicates efficacy in attaining quasi-clinical goals such as “mystical-type experiences.” With proper safeguards in place, the frequency and severity of adverse effects are acceptable. These safeguards include careful screening and preparation of subjects, close supervision of drug sessions with specially trained therapists, and careful follow-up. We are now hearing calls to increase psychedelics’ clinical availability; i.e., “legalizing psychedelics.” Michael Pollan’s popular book How to Change Your Mind encapsulates many of the arguments for loosening current regulatory burdens that restrict the drugs’ use to the research setting. But there are some risks as well, and as John Horgan reminds us in his recent blog post in Scientific American, we need to exercise due caution. Psychedelics currently live in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which is reserved for drugs with high abuse potential; no accepted medical use; and lack of safety even under medical supervision. The lower schedules, II–V, are for drugs with greater safety and for which medical uses exist, but they’re still highly abusable; they include oxycodone and amphetamine, for example. Schedule III drugs, including low-dose opiates/painkillers such as Vicodin or Tylenol with codeine, and certain cough syrups, are less so. Advocates of rescheduling psychedelics usually recommend placement into Schedule III. © 2018 Scientific American,

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25221 - Posted: 07.18.2018

Laura Sanders Today’s young women are more likely to experience depression and anxiety during pregnancy than their mothers were, a generation-spanning survey finds. From 1990 to 1992, about 17 percent of young pregnant women in southwest England who participated in the study had signs of depressed mood. But the generation that followed, including these women’s daughters and sons’ partners, fared worse. Twenty-five percent of these young women, pregnant in 2012 to 2016, showed signs of depression, researchers report July 13 in JAMA Network Open. “We are talking about a lot of women,” says study coauthor Rebecca Pearson, a psychiatric epidemiologist at Bristol University in England. Earlier studies also had suggested that depression during and after pregnancy is relatively common (SN: 3/17/18, p. 16). But those studies are dated, Pearson says. “We know very little about the levels of depression and anxiety in new mums today,” she says. To measure symptoms of depression and anxiety, researchers used the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale — 10 questions, each with a score of 0 to 3, written to reveal risk of depression during and after pregnancy. A combined score of 13 and above signals high levels of symptoms. From 1990 to 1992, 2,390 women between the ages of 19 and 24 took the survey while pregnant. Of these women, 408 — or 17 percent — scored 13 or higher, indicating worrisome levels of depression or anxiety. |© Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2018.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 25207 - Posted: 07.14.2018

By John Horgan Last spring, I descended into the basement of a suburban home with two-dozen people and swilled fluid from a plastic cup. It was ayahuasca, a tea brewed from two South American plants, which contains the psychedelic compound dimethyltryptamine, DMT. Ayahuasca has the viscosity of spit, it tastes like beer dregs into which someone has dropped a cigar, and it is nauseating, literally. Our guides gave each of us a plastic pail in case we vomited (which I did). The brew induces visions that can be blissful, excruciating, terrifying, sometimes all at once. As our guides played music and sang, we groaned, retched, cried, laughed, stared open-mouthed into space, retched again. A young man beside me oscillated between giggles and sobs. We each paid $200 for this experience, which lasted about five hours. Why, you might ask, would anyone in his right mind want to do this? I raised this question 15 years ago in Rational Mysticism, my investigation of psychedelics, meditation and other mystical technologies (and I’ll tell you my answer below). That same year, 2003, I proposed in Slate that psychedelics be dispensed by “licensed therapists, who can screen clients for mental instability and advise them on how to make their experiences as rewarding as possible.” © 2018 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 25184 - Posted: 07.09.2018

By Alex Therrien Health reporter, BBC News Think of magic mushrooms and LSD and it's likely that science is not the first thing that springs to mind. Psychedelic drugs are more likely to be associated with hippies and the counterculture of the 1960s than people in white lab coats and clinical trials. But that might soon change. Increasingly, scientists are looking at whether these mind-altering drugs - which also include mescaline and DMT among others - might also have the potential to be mind-healing. A number of small studies have found psychedelics to show promise in treating mental health disorders like depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder, often where other treatments have failed. Now UK researchers are about to take part in the first major trials into whether one of these hallucinogenic drugs could be more effective than a leading antidepressant in the treatment of depression. Researchers at Imperial College London are to compare the magic mushroom compound psilocybin with a leading SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressant, escitalopram, in a large trial expected to take at least two years. "[Psychedelics] have a revolutionary potential, and that's not an exaggeration," says Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, who will lead the study. But it is not the first time scientists have been excited about these mind-bending substances. More than 50 years ago they rapidly came to scientific attention, before research in the field came to a sudden halt. During the 1950s and 60s psychedelics were considered to be a promising potential treatment for numerous mental health disorders, with more than 1,000 studies taking place. © 2018 BBC.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 25165 - Posted: 07.02.2018

Video by Emma Allen Depression is a multifaceted and insidious disorder, nearly as complex as the brain itself. As research continues to suggest, the onset of depression can be attributed to an interplay of the many elements that make us human—namely, our genetics, the structure and chemistry of our brains, and our lived experience. Second only, perhaps, to the confounding mechanics of anesthesia, depression is the ultimate mind-body problem; understanding how it works could unlock the mysteries of human consciousness. Emma Allen, a visual artist, and Dr. Daisy Thompson-Lake, a clinical neuroscientist, are fascinated by the physical processes that underlie mental health conditions. Together, they created Adam, a stop-motion animation composed of nearly 1,500 photographs. The short film illuminates the neuroscience of depression while also conveying its emotive experience. “It was challenging translating the complicated science into an emotional visual story with scenes that would flow smoothly into each other,” Allen told The Atlantic. “One of the most complex issues we had to deal with,” added Thompson-Lake, “is that there no single neuroscientific explanation for depression…While scientists agree that there are biological and chemical changes within the brain, the actual brain chemistry is very unique to the individual—although, of course, we can see patterns when studying large numbers of patients.” As a result, Allen and Thompson-Lake attempted a visual interpretation of depression that does not rely too heavily on any one explanation.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25119 - Posted: 06.22.2018

Rhitu Chatterjee The number of people dying by suicide in the United States has risen by about 30 percent in the past two decades. And while the majority of suicide-related deaths today are among boys and men, a study published Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics finds that the number of girls and women taking their own lives is rising. "Typically there's between three and three times as many suicides among males as among females," says Dr. Holly Hedegaard, a medical epidemiologist at the NCHS and the main author of the new study. In 2016, about 21 boys or men out of 100,000 took their own lives. On the other hand, just six girls or women out of 100,000 died by suicide that year. But when Hedegaard and her colleagues compared the rise in the rates of death by suicide from 2000 to 2016, the increase was significantly larger for females — increasing by 21 percent for boys and men, as compared to 50 percent for girls and women. There's "sort of a narrowing of the [gender] gap in rates," Hedegaard notes. The biggest change was seen among women in late middle age. "For females between the ages of 45 and 64, the suicide rate increased by 60 percent," she says. "That's a pretty large increase in a relatively short period of time." That the increase for women was more than double the increase for men "did indeed surprise me," says Nadine Kaslow, a psychologist at Emory University and the past president of the American Psychological Association, who was not involved in the study. She says she finds the overall trends for both men and women "disturbing." © 2018 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 25086 - Posted: 06.14.2018

Allison Aubrey If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression. More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed. The list includes a wide range of commonly taken medications. Among them are certain types of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (used to treat acid reflux), beta blockers, anxiety drugs, painkillers including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure), and anti-convulsant drugs. "The more of these medications you're taking, the more likely you are to report depression," says study author Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. The study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, included 26,192 adults who participated in a federal survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All of the participants listed the medications they were taking at the time of the survey. In addition, they each completed a depression screening, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), which asks about sleep, mood and appetite. © 2018 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25084 - Posted: 06.13.2018

By Judith S. Beck After a week of devastating news about suicide, there has been much discussion of the need for people who may be thinking of ending their lives to reach out for help. But some people who are suffering may be skeptical that therapy could make a difference. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy, or C.B.T., in treating suicidal individuals and decreasing subsequent attempts. A 2016 review of 15 randomized controlled trials found that C.B.T. “is a useful strategy in the prevention of suicidal cognitions and suicidal behaviors.” Throughout my career I have used this method to treat patients with many different types of problems and diagnoses, including suicidal behavior — which may occur along with problems like depression, addictions, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Medications can be very effective in treating certain diagnoses, but those medications may take some time to take effect. Therefore the suicidality must be addressed before the medications will be helpful. Sometimes individuals will need to be hospitalized in order to keep them safe until C.B.T. or medications can help. But inpatient treatment is not necessary for everyone who has suicidal thoughts. C.B.T. starts with the proposition that people’s behavior, including suicide attempts, make sense once we understand what they’re thinking. A highly suicidal individual might think, for example, that his or her emotional pain will never go away and will only get worse. If the individual believes there is nothing that can alleviate his or her suffering, suicide may seem as if it is the only solution. But in C.B.T. treatment, individuals learn a number of skills. While individual patients’ needs can vary greatly, following is a basic approach. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25083 - Posted: 06.13.2018

by Anthea Rowan When Mike Shooter was in medical school, he suffered the first of what he calls “thunderous depressions.” More followed. Shooter’s efforts to come to grips with these experiences has made him acutely aware of what young people with mental-health problems endure and forged his career as a preeminent child psychiatrist in England. He was the first such specialist to be elected president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a position he held from 2002 to 2005. Recently he published “Growing Pains,” which is based on 40 years of working with young people. The book explains why it’s imperative to differentiate between depression and the ordinary but often intense difficulties some children face. He recently spoke with The Washington Post on these issues. This transcript was edited for clarity and length. Q: Do you think young people are more vulnerable to mental illness now? A: Research suggests that the United Kingdom is the least happy place for a child to be brought up in the Western world; America cannot be far behind. Some of this could be attributed to the grinding effect of poverty. But not all: The frenetic competition, in school, in the scramble for jobs, in peer-group relationships, means many children fall off the bottom of the ladder of competition and feel as if they’ve failed. Or are so unsure of their own worth that they sit up all night searching for “likes” on social media in lieu of proper friendships. But it’s not all bad news. There is currently much research into resilience: what enables some children to cope while others do not. I know from experience that there is one thing that can make all the difference: a relationship with an adult close enough to them, that supports them, listens to their distress and treats them as worthwhile. That person could be a relative, a family friend, a teacher or, dare I say it, a child psychiatrist. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 25074 - Posted: 06.11.2018

By Benedict Carey The deaths of the designer Kate Spade and the chef Anthony Bourdain, both of whom committed suicide this week, were not simply pop culture tragedies. They were the latest markers of an intractable public health crisis that has been unfolding in slow motion for a generation. Treatment for chronic depression and anxiety — often the precursors to suicide — has never been more available and more widespread. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week reported a steady, stubborn rise in the national suicide rate, up 25 percent since 1999. The rates have been climbing each year across most age and ethnic groups. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 45,000 Americans killed themselves in 2016, twice the number who died by homicide. After decades of research, effective prevention strategies are lacking. It remains difficult, perhaps impossible, to predict who will commit suicide, and the phenomenon is extremely difficult for researchers to study. One of the few proven interventions is unpalatable to wide swaths of the American public: reduced access to guns. The C.D.C. report found that the states where rates rose most sharply were those, like Montana and Oklahoma, where gun ownership is more common. It is predominantly men who use guns to commit suicide, and men are much less likely to seek help than women. The escalating suicide rate is a profound indictment of the country’s mental health system. Most people who kill themselves have identifiable psychiatric symptoms, even if they never get an official diagnosis. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25071 - Posted: 06.09.2018

by Amy Ellis Nutt Suicide rates rose in all but one state between 1999 and 2016, with increases seen across age, gender, race and ethnicity, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In more than half of all deaths in 27 states, the people had no known mental health condition when they ended their lives. In North Dakota, the rate jumped more than 57 percent. In the most recent period studied (2014 to 2016), the rate was highest in Montana, at 29.2 per 100,000 residents, compared with the national average of 13.4 per 100,000. Only Nevada recorded a decline — of 1 percent — for the overall period, although its rate remained higher than the national average. Increasingly, suicide is being viewed not only as a mental health problem but a public health one. Nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the United States in 2016 — more than twice the number of homicides — making it the 10th-leading cause of death. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second-leading cause of death. The most common method used across all groups was firearms. “The data are disturbing,” said Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director. “The widespread nature of the increase, in every state but one, really suggests that this is a national problem hitting most communities.” It is hitting many places especially hard. In half of the states, suicide among people age 10 and older increased more than 30 percent. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25068 - Posted: 06.08.2018

By Heather Murphy Reports of Kate Spade’s suicide and struggle with depression have transformed her from symbol of polished prep to a blunt reminder that suffering affects all types. Her death has inspired hundreds to tweet some version of the same message: Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. But deep in the comment threads, some also debated a more uncomfortable question: What do you do when a friend is depressed for such a long time that you’ve started to feel that that nothing you can do will make a difference, and your empathy reserves are tapped out? There are no easy answers. But here are some tips from experts: Don’t underestimate the power of showing up You may not feel that your presence is wanted. But just being by the side of someone who is depressed, and reminding her that she is special to you, is important to ensuring that she does not feel alone, said Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. If she acknowledges she’s depressed, that’s a good sign, said Dr. Rosenthal. He recalled the story of a patient who stopped feeling suicidal after telling people he was close to how he was feeling. “When you shine the light on the shame, it gets better,” Dr. Rosenthal said. Your brother has an enviable job and two lovely children. He’s still ridiculously handsome even though he hasn’t gone to the gym for six months. It’s tempting to want to remind him of all these good things. Not only is that unlikely to boost his mood, it could backfire by reinforcing his sense that you just don’t get it, said Megan Devine, a psychotherapist and the author of “It’s O.K. That You’re Not O.K.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 25067 - Posted: 06.08.2018