Psych In The News - Week 26
Catch up on all the news related to psychiatry and mental health from last week!
The Golden Gate Bridge
You may or may not be aware that the Golden Gate Bridge is not only an attraction sought after by tourists, but also by those seeking relief from mental health struggles or crises. The Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most popular suicide spots in the world, second only to Aokigahara, or the Sea of Trees, found at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan.
Due to the ever increasing number of deaths at the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge Board of Directors finally approved plans and funding for a steel net in June in the hopes that it will deter jumpers and prevent further suicides. To find out more about the proposed suicide barrier at the Golden Gate Bridge, check out the articles "Funding for Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier approved" by Stephanie Smith (CNN) or "Suicides Mounting, Golden Gate Looks to Add a Safety Net" by Carol Pogash (New York Times).
For those who wish to gain further insight into the history of the bridge and its connection to suicide, take some time to watch the eerie and emotional, but powerful documentary The Bridge, filmed in 2004 by director Eric Steele, or check out "Jumpers", a 2003 New Yorker article by Tad Friend that inspired the documentary...
"People suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business. This is a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular suicide destination in the world, and those drawn by its call. Steel and his crew filmed the bridge during daylight hours from two separate locations for all of 2004, recording most of the two dozen deaths in that year (and preventing several others). They also taped interviews with friends, families and witnesses, who recount in sorrowful detail stories of struggles with depression, substance abuse and mental illness. Raises questions about suicide, mental illness and civic responsibility as well as the filmmaker's relationship to his fraught and complicated material" (imdb.com).
"Demons Inside: Teens at Risk Can Hide Mental Illness" by Joan Raymond is an important read on the challenges of making mental health diagnoses and providing support to adolescents.
"For teens part of the problem is that "adolescents fundamentally want to fit in, and anything that marks them as different is a problem" says child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Niranjan Karnik of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Added to that issue is that adolescents may not even know what "feeling bad" really means since the have less life experience, and shorter reference points to compare the so-called good days versus bad days."
Put your knowledge and skills to the test with the case of a 42 year old female who is 31 weeks pregnant, originally from Haiti, and presents with a four week history of progressive mutism and psychomotor retardation. She has had a prior episode of mutism and her family is concerned that her husband may be causing her distress because of his "controlling nature".
Can you determine the diagnosis or come up with a treatment plan?
"Pregnant and Catatonic" by Dante Durand, Vasthie Prudent, Aliye Runyan, and Jorge Luis Sotelo (Current Psychiatry)
The Realities of Mental Health
Check out this great infographic by Morningside Recovery for some facts on mental health and recovery and information about the stigma of mental illness and how it impacts those with mental health conditions.
Supporting and enhancing students' and health professionals' knowledge and understanding of mental health and psychiatry