Reading Our Minds by Daniel Barron, a psychiatrist and pain management fellow, explores the incorporation of Big Data to improve the practice of psychiatry. The idea of supporting psychiatric assessment with solid data is an appealing one, but many questions come to mind. I was surprised by an apparent blind spot of the author's that… Continue reading Book Review: Reading Our Minds
Sadly, there are plenty of incompetent mental health professionals and other helpers out there. A degree, a professional designation, and other mental health credentials are indicators of a certain level of knowledge and skill, but that doesn't stop someone from having a bad attitude, having their head too far up their ass to do anything… Continue reading Understanding Mental Health Professional Credentials
The idea of labelling people as attention-seeking is not unique to mental illness, but it's certainly something that seems to come up an awful lot. The labellers might be friends and family, but unfortunately, they may also be health care providers. One of the labels that comes up regularly is "attention-seeking." Physical manifestations of mental… Continue reading The “Attention-Seeking” Label and the Stigma It Represents
When any mental health professional is first getting started in their career, one of the things they need to do is find their therapeutic voice. That therapeutic voice can vary a lot from one professional to another, and there's a tendency to settle into and get very comfortable with it. Some people will use more… Continue reading Therapist-Speak Pet Peeves
I recently saw a tweet about the issue of cell phones on psych wards, and it stirred up a strong reaction for me. A man was writing about how he'd been advocating for his child to be able to have their cell phone on the psych ward, but this was flatly denied due to their no… Continue reading Cell Phones on Psych Wards – Yea or Nay?
This is a follow-up to a recent post on why I think direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs is wrong. This post is going to look specifically at marketing by drug companies aimed at health care professionals. Primarily this relationship between Big Pharma and psychiatry involves targeting physicians, since they're doing the majority of the prescribing.… Continue reading Big Pharma & Psychiatry: Dancing too Close?
An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison is an intimate look into the havoc that bipolar disorder can wreak. The book captures her journey with bipolar, from its emergence in her late teens to its effects on her accomplished career as a clinical psychologist and university professor. The book contains rich descriptions, and is searingly… Continue reading Book Review: An Unquiet Mind
People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) face a lot of challenges. Unhelpful treatment providers shouldn't be among those challenges, but I suspect that all too often, they are. Skills in working with BPD One of my jobs is at a mental health and addictions transitional program. While some of the staff are licensed mental health… Continue reading Borderline Personality Disorder and Health Care Stigma
There are some really good mental health professionals out there. But unfortunately, it's often the ones at the other end of the spectrum. In this post, I'll take a look at the less-than-stellar characters I've come across in my own journey as a psych patient who also happened to be a mental health nurse. Difficult… Continue reading My Negative Experiences as a Psych Patient
How do issues like paternalism vs. autonomy affect the experience of being hospitalized on the psych ward?