Catch up with all the news related to mental health and psychiatry from last week!
Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to adequately pump blood to meet the body's demands. A new study presented at the European Society of Cardiology suggests that patients who are admitted to hospital with heart failure who also have moderate to severe depression face a higher risk of mortality compared to patients who are not depressed. To read more about the implications of this association check out this great article recently published in BBC News: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-32846280#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
Dementia can be a truly lonely and distressing experience. It can also be extremely confusing and challenging for family members and caregivers alike, as they watch their loved ones slip away at the hands of this progressive neurocognitive disorder. Poet Sue K. Green beautifully illustrates these painful emotions, as well as reminds those caring for someone with dementia of the importance of love and being simply present with them ...
"Share with me some moments;
Forgive if I forget.
Have patience when I anger;
Please don’t get upset.
Today I might remember
Your name and who you are;
Don’t count on tomorrow
My mind might be afar."
For the full poem, visit: http://allpoetry.com/poem/11641124-Dementia-Takes-Front-Stage-by-Sue-k-Green
Looking for a movie to watch this weekend? How about the new documentary "The Business of Recovery", which explores the drug and alcohol addictions recovery industry. The film investigates various treatment facilities in the United States and the ways in which they operate, as well as the staggering costs and personal impacts these treatments have on those struggling with substance use disorders and their families. It was the hope of director Alan Finberg and producer Greg Horvath, that the film would foster awareness and help educate consumers of these rehab services, in addition to sparking greater interest in addictions and help bring about change in the form of pushing for more government regulations and evidence-based treatments.
"This film follows the true story of several individuals and their families as they embark on their journey to recovery. It reveals their experiences in addiction treatment and includes interviews with multiple treatment “experts” connected to the 35 billion dollar treatment industry. The contrast between the expert statements and the truth is dramatic. The experiences and outcomes of treatment for the individuals interviewed are far less than ideal. The Business of Recovery reveals the extremely low ethical standards of the rehab industry and the truth behind the many unlicensed and unprofessional individuals who run it. The unfortunate reality is that vulnerable families who are seeking help for a loved one in crisis are being met with high-pressure sales tactics rather than compassionate care and reliable information. The self-interest of the addiction treatment industry is shockingly apparent. Be prepared: The client stories in this film are infuriating and heartbreaking."
In Part 2 of the series about mental health and the newsroom, "How Viewing Graphic Content Secondhand Can Lead To Mental Health Issues In Journalists" the impact of viewing graphic images and video footage is explored. As well, though many involved in the news may not like to admit that they are affected by their work, as this piece points out a number of news agencies are working to help protect, support, and enhance awareness of mental health in the workplace ...
"While full-blown PTSD is rare among journalists, other mental health problems -- such as anxiety, stress, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, trouble sleeping and social dysfunction -- are more common.
But what has most surprised Feinstein about journalists and exposure to #trauma is that it’s not always those in the midst of conflict who are most at risk. In a 2013 study, he observed more than 100 journalists whose job required them to view graphic material. What Feinstein found was that people who viewed disturbing images frequently but for short periods of time were more likely to develop symptoms of psychological distress than those who viewed the material for prolonged periods of time. War reporters and photographers who view disturbing material day in and day out become desensitized in a way those who only do so for a few hours a day do not."
Jimmy Piersall was a MLB player back in the 1950s and 1960s, and was well known for his athleticism and time spent with the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, New York Mets, and the California Angels. However, it was in the midst of his budding baseball career that Piersall began to struggle with mental health issues and was diagnosed with "manic depression". In a time when mental illness was considered quite taboo, Piersall was surprisingly open about his psychiatric diagnosis and treatments including ECT and lithium. Through candid interviews, documentaries, and his own writing, Piersall helped to inspire others and pushed people to see that though frightening at times, mental illness was something that could be overcome. You can check out his book "Fear Strikes Out", and learn more about his story at the links here and here.
Baseball fans, sports fanatics, budding sport psychologists/psychiatrists
Catch up with all the news related to mental health and psychiatry from last week!
Artist Liz Obert has experienced first hand what it's like to battle everyday with a mental health condition. In living with bipolar II disorder, Obert began to feel as if she was leading a double life, "one persona that people see everyday, and another that I hide from the world". Though Obert feels that many of us can relate to having a private and public life, she wanted to demonstrate what this was like for people impacted by mental illness. The ultimate goal of her project is to reduce the stigma of mental illnesses by stimulating conversation and by putting "a human face to disorders that affect millions of people." You can check out her photography collection called "Dualities" here.
"Obert feels the dual life she led for so long isn’t unique for people who suffer from mental illnesses and who “must mask their symptoms in order to function in the outside world.”
In 2013, she decided to begin a series that dealt with the realities of what it means to put on a brave face while simultaneously coping with forms of depression. Starting with herself, Obert took two photos: one that showed the person she chooses to present to the world, and a second portrait that presented an image of how she existed behind closed doors when feeling depressed.
“I hope to give a glimpse to the viewer about the internal lives of people who struggle with disorders that are often misunderstood"" (http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2014/10/28/liz_obert_dualities_looks_at_the_hidden_and_visible_worlds_of_people_living.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top).
There is a well-established association between depression and Parksinson's disease, with most people living with the disease experiencing depression at some point during the course of the illness. Such symptoms have often been attributed to the experience of living with a chronic illness. New research, however, has demonstrated that individuals with depression are more likely to go on to be diagnosed with Parksinson's disease. "People who were hospitalized for depression were more likely to develop Parkinson’s, with the likelihood increasing with the number of hospitalizations related to depression...'This somewhat reverses the relationship between Parkinson's and depression,' said Alessandro Di Rocco, the director of the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center at New York University's Langone Medical Center. 'Is it that people who have depression—or some people who have depression—are really people who are developing the first manifestation of Parkinson's disease before the tremors or other motor physical aspects of the disease become obvious?”
To read more about the study's outcomes check out this great article recently published in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/05/is-depression-a-symptom-of-parkinsons-disease/393800/
When the earthquakes struck Nepal almost a month ago, attention focused on the thousands of lives lost, and all the damage that had been done. Disaster relief organizations quickly took action, and with an outpouring of donations from around the world, help came in the form of basic necessities like medical aid, food, and water. But what about the mental toll of such a disaster? In the powerful article "Let’s Stop Nepal’s Mental Health Crisis Before It Happens", the author emphasizes the importance of addressing mental health in the wake of such a disaster and highlights ways that we may be able to intervene and address trauma, to not only help such populations cope, but to prevent long-term mental health consequences as well.
"Everybody expects that survivors will be traumatized by a disaster. But few relief groups specifically address the mental toll of disasters—both natural and man-made. That’s because mental wounds are, in many ways, more difficult to treat than physical ones: They can’t be set right like broken bones, they can’t be inoculated with shots, and they can only be numbed for so long with pills. This makes mental care hard to plan for and hard to raise money for, because its indefinite successes and indeterminate timetables aren’t as appealing to the donors that fund disaster response.
It’s crucial, though, to address survivors’ mental health early and often. These people may not carry their wounds physically at first, but the problems do eventually manifest. If stress goes untreated, it can sabotage short term gains by letting PTSD, anxiety and depression fester. And those can lead to more tangible threats, like diabetes, hypertension, and stroke."
Supporting and enhancing students' and health professionals' knowledge and understanding of mental health and psychiatry