|News & Information for January 25-26, 2020
Wendy Dolin – Making Akathisia a Household Word
This week on MIA Radio, we interview Wendy Dolin founder of the MISSD foundation. MISSD stands for Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin. In 2010, Wendy’s husband Stewart Dolin was prescribed Paxil (paroxetine), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (“SSRI”) for mild situational anxiety. Within days, Stewart’s anxiety became worse. He felt restless and had trouble sleeping. On July 15, 2010, just six days after beginning the medication, following a regular lunch with a business associate, Stewart left his office and walked to a nearby train station, despite not being a regular commuter. A registered nurse who was also on the platform later reported seeing Stewart pacing back and forth and looking very agitated. As a train approached, Stewart ended his life.
Mental health of school-aged children has worsened, according to national study
The mental health of secondary school-aged children has worsened over the past four years, according to the latest Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) in England National Report, which has been released today. The study, hosted by the University of Hertfordshire in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, captures data on the health, health behaviours and social environment of young people aged 11, 13 and 15 every four years. The report found that over a fifth of young people had experienced a high level of emotional problems during the last six months of the study.
There was also a substantial increase (25%) in the number of 15-year-olds who had felt low at least once a week since 2014 (40% vs. 50%). A decline in the emotional wellbeing of boys was also reflected in data on self-harm; 25% of 15-year-olds reported ever self-harming, with boys reporting a greater increase since 2014 (11% vs. 16%) than girls (32% vs. 35%). Young people were also asked about their relationship with social media and gaming. The report found that one in 10 have a problematic relationship with social media, with girls (14%) more likely than boys (9%) to report problematic use. It was most common among 13 and 15-year-old girls. Over a third (37%) of 15-year-old girls said they contacted their close friends through electronic communication “almost all the time throughout the day”.
Can psychiatry respond to mad activism?
A recent article published in the Journal of Medicine and Philosophyoffers a response from psychiatry to the “Mad activism” of service users and psychiatric survivors. Dr. Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed argues for a move away from narratives of illness in psychiatry, toward alternative methods of cultivating insight and engaging in “identity-making,” with psychiatrists acting as guides rather than experts who dispense bio-medical treatments. “A key difference between Mad activism and treatment-focused endeavors is the former’s formulation of the problem in terms of respect and recognition. What is at stake is the way in which people’s identities are publicly represented and valued, with the dominant view of madness as a disorder of the mind being seen as an affront to a positive identity. The goal is not only to reform psychiatry but to effect cultural change in the way madness is viewed,” writes Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed.
Tenuous links between late-life depression and mortality
A higher risk of mortality in elderly patients with late-life depression may be related to older age, memory trouble, physical disabilities, and mirtazapine use, according to study results published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. […] The investigators looked at sociodemographic data, physical illness and disability comorbidity, depressive symptoms, and antidepressant and antipsychotic medication use to determine predictors of mortality. […] The investigators found no consistent evidence of significant associations between mortality and depression severity; use of antidepressants or antipsychotics other than mirtazapine; or depressive symptoms such as helplessness, hopelessness, anhedonia, poor motivation, and agitation.
10 drug-free ways to treat depression
It can seem simpler to just take a pill, but alternative approaches often bring about powerful relief from depression symptoms while also yielding other desired changes. They can be subtle and take a little longer to see the results, so if you feel inspired, keeping a journal of your progress is a good idea. The world is struggling with depression. In fact, depression is now the world’s leading cause of disablement and suicide. Here are 10 ways you can deal with depression using natural remedies:
Mental health-related ER visits are increasing among teens and young adults
A new study led by fellows at the USC Schaeffer Center shows mental health-related emergency department (ED) visits have increased substantially since 2009, a trend driven by large increases in adolescent and young adult visits to the emergency room for behavioral health-related diagnoses. […] The data showed that not only did the proportion of behavioral health visits increased, the average length of stay for these patients, across all age groups, increased from 6.5 hours in 2009 to 9.0 hours in 2015. This increase was due almost entirely to patients who were admitted or transferred to a psychiatric facility rather than to those discharged home. Patients who were eventually admitted or transferred to a psychiatric facility averaged the longest stays, increasing from 8.0 to 11.4 hours. “Emergency departments are increasingly serving as a key place to initially treat children and adolescents experiencing mental health or behavioral crises. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more patients with the most serious crises – those who have to be admitted to the hospital – and these patients are staying longer and longer in the ED,” said study co-author Michael Menchine.
More than a quarter of children not getting enough sleep
More than a quarter of young people aren’t getting enough sleep, a World Health Organisation study has suggested. The research found one in four 11 to 15-year-olds in England are failing to get enough shut eye, which is leaving them feeling sleepy and unable to concentrate on their schoolwork. They found that 27% of young people report not having enough sleep to feel awake and concentrate on their lessons, with teenagers more likely to struggle with the issue as they get older. While 17% of 11-year-olds said they battle with sleep, this rose to 28% of 13-year-olds and again to 42% of 15-year-olds. […] It’s possible that the lack of sleep could be linked to a reduction in physical activity with the report revealing just one in six of the youngsters are physically active for at least one hour a day.
Study links kindergartners’ behavior, gut microbiome
A study of early school-aged children shows a connection between the bacteria in their gut and their behavior, and that parents play a key role in their kids’ microbiome beyond the food they provide. The analysis showed that children with behavioral problems and higher socioeconomic stress had different microbiome profiles than those who didn’t […] “Most studies to date have linked microbiome composition to infant and toddler behaviors, such as extroversion, fear and cognitive development,” said Sharpton, the study’s corresponding author. “It hasn’t been clear, though, that the microbiome associates with other forms of behavioral dysregulation or if it links to the onset of psychiatric disorders and problem behaviors.”
★ Exposure to aluminum linked to familial Alzheimer’s Disease
A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD) supports a growing body of research that links human exposure to aluminum with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Researchers found significant amounts of aluminum content in brain tissue from donors with familial AD. The study also found a high degree of co-location with the amyloid-beta protein, which leads to early onset of the disease. “This is the second study confirming significantly high brain accumulation in familial Alzheimer’s disease, but it is the first to demonstrate an unequivocal association between the location of aluminum and amyloid-beta in the disease. It shows that aluminum and amyloid-beta are intimately woven in the neuropathology,” explained lead investigator Christopher Exley […] The results were striking. The aluminum content of the brain tissue from donors with the genetic mutation was universally high, with 42% of tissues having a level considered pathologically significant, and the levels were significantly higher than those in the control set.