Catch up with all the news related to psychiatry and mental health from last week!
There are many challenges caregivers face when looking after a loved one with dementia in the community. Some of these challenges include sundowning, increased confusion and agitation in the evening, and day-night reversal which leaves the individual with dementia and their caregiver on opposite sleep schedules. A nursing home in New York City runs an innovative program, titled Elderserve at Night, to help. "Many people with dementia are more alert at night than they are all day—just when their caregivers need to sleep. Rather than try to alter this mismatch, Elderserve At Night embraces it. The program is the brainchild of David Pomeranz, the executive director of the Hebrew Home, who opened the program in 1996. He says the idea came to him after hearing heartbreaking stories from struggling families. 'People were sleeping in front of doorways because they were concerned that mom or dad would wander out of the house,' Pomeranz says." To read more about this overnight camp-style respite program check out this article.
Put your knowledge and skills to the test with a case of a 32 year old man, who pleads not guilty to rape charges by reason of insanity. The patient is assessed by a forensic psychiatrist and reports that since suffering a head injury a number of years ago, he has experienced personality changes, psychosis, and violent behaviour. The patient argues that his actions were beyond his control, and that due to his brain injury he suffered from hallucinations and aggressive behaviour.
Is this a case of malingering?
"Did brain trauma lead to crime?" by Helen M. Farrell and Henry A. Nasrallah (Current Psychiatry)
Recently in January, Yale University lost a student to suicide. Just prior to to her death, the student had posted a worrying tweet that alluded not only to her current mental health state, but also to the withdrawal and readmission policies at Yale that have come under fire in the last year. The article below reviews these policies and how they are viewed by students and more especially, how they affect those with mental illness ...
"Yet, a more cynical interpretation voiced by some students is that Yale effectively treats those with serious mental-health conditions as liabilities rather than as members of the community. A junior studying psychology at Yale who asked to remain anonymous said that the way Yale deals with mental health "creates a culture of shame and silencing and self-silencing," which makes it hard to "feel that you can speak openly and be heard as a student about mental-health issues." She added that Yale’s withdrawal and readmission policies make undergraduates unwilling to be open, above all in regards to suicidal thoughts, self-destructive behavior, and debilitating depression. Discussing these conditions, the student said, may lead officials to question whether a student should be at—or is fit for—Yale."
"When Mentally Ill Students Feel Alone" by Andrew Giambrone (The Atlantic)
From the Humans of Dalhousie University Facebook Page:
"For me, I just tried sleeping it off, but sleeping it off wasn't working. I had some sleeping pills that I was prescribed, but I hadn't taken them in a while. So I took a couple and I laid down and started hyperventilating; it almost feels like you're drunk to be honest. You're just in such a daydream.
I took a couple and nothing really happened so I took a couple more and I started to feel a little loopy and detached from the world, which is what I wanted. Eventually, I just took them all. I was at that point where I was like, 'if I do die, I'm okay with it, but I'm not trying to kill myself' kind of thing. My parents came upstairs and found me in bed, laying in a pool of my own drool and then my dad carried me down the stairs to the car. Watching my parents made it so surreal, like there was a glass wall in between us, like I was in a display case just being looked at.
I remember one moment specifically when we were in the waiting room when the sleeping medication suddenly hit me really hard. I remember I was sitting in a chair in front of the secretary signing in because I couldn't stand, and I remember I was passing out with my head resting on the desk. I remember my heart just stopping or skipping a beat all of a sudden, and that's when it snapped in me, and I thought, 'this is terrifying, this is real.'
Now, whenever I'm really down now I just think of the moment when I was literally about to die."
Catch up with all the news related to mental health and psychiatry from last week!
It is commonly perceived that eating disorders present solely during adolescence and young adulthood. However, eating disorders can present at any age and stage of life. Eating disorders later in life are often underdiagnosed and under-treated as "family members or helping professionals may attribute weight loss, malnutrition or unexplained symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea to a 'normal' aging process or some other medical condition, rather than a mental health disorder."
To learn more about eating disorders in this population as well as the unique challenges faced by older adults living with them check out this interesting article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290023.php
From the Humans of Dalhousie University Facebook Page:
“My mom is my rock. I’m very close to her and I tell her almost everything. She always knows what to say and how to handle every situation, but a couple weeks ago I voiced for the first time that I had been thinking of killing myself with some pills or maybe a sharp turn on the highway, and she was speechless.
She’s the main reason why I didn’t but I didn’t tell her that. She just held me as I painfully cried and for the first time I said,
‘I think I need help,’ and she responded without judgment and as if it was so simple ‘If that’s what you need, we’ll get you help.’ ”
First there was Movember, an annual event starting in the early 2000s involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, including prostate cancer and more recently depression and suicide among men.
However, this year a new event has begun to sweep the nation ... #MulletMarch, where individuals grow mullets during the month of March to help raise awareness of and funds for mental health issues.
"The idea for March Mullet was born in the city of Barrie, Ontario over what started as a casual conversation. It was inspired by the idea that like Mental Health, the Mullet too faces the stigma of being society’s great outcast ... Every cent raised is donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Simcoe County Branch" (http://www.starttalking.ca/march-mullet).
To find out more check out these stories and websites:
Supporting and enhancing students' and health professionals' knowledge and understanding of mental health and psychiatry