Mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is
Mental health

Is Mental Illness Recovery a Choice?

HealthyPlace "Mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is." While this image floating around on Pinterest originated with Healthy Place, I couldn't figure out the original source of the quote (if, in fact, it is a quote from another source), but seems to have been around for a while. Anyway, I don't really agree,… Continue reading Is Mental Illness Recovery a Choice?

Mental health

Early Insane Asylums – Bedlam and Beyond

Public domain This post is a follow-up of sorts to a guest post I did recently on Renard's World.  While that post focused on the dark side of psychiatry in the 1900s, in this post we'll look even further back in history at some of the frightening goings-on in early asylums to "treat" people with… Continue reading Early Insane Asylums – Bedlam and Beyond

God Knows Where I Am film
Mental health, Social justice, Video reviews

God Knows Where I Am: Death By Mental Illness

The disturbing documentary God Knows Where I Am tells the story of Linda Bishop, and her death after being released from a state psychiatric hospital. The film includes readings from Linda's journal, and commentary from people who knew her, including her sister and her daughter.  Their words powerfully captured the pain and frustration of a… Continue reading God Knows Where I Am: Death By Mental Illness

person lying on the floor in a dark room
Mental health, Trauma and PTSD

How Trauma-Informed Practice can Improve Mental Health Care

So, what is it to be trauma-informed?  Trauma-informed practice recognizes the intersectionality of trauma, mental health, and substance abuse, with an awareness that anyone may have experienced trauma, whether they've disclosed it or not.  Trauma-informed practice aims to create environments that prevent re-traumatization and promote a sense of safety.  The individual client's safety, choice, and… Continue reading How Trauma-Informed Practice can Improve Mental Health Care

Ketamine for depression: how it works, side effects, and how it's used
Depression

Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

I love Canada, but sometimes we're a little behind.  Drug approval by Health Canada is slower than in the US, and fewer clinical trials are done here.  I'd be really interested in trying out ketamine, but it doesn't have Health Canada approval for use in depression, there are no clinical trials in my neck of… Continue reading Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

evidence-based treatment
Depression

What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment

geralt on Pixabay The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial studied 2876 people with major depressive disorder to evaluate their response to depression treatment in a real-world setting.  Unlike the randomized controlled trials that are often used to evaluate a drug's efficacy, there were few exclusion criteria, the patient and their physician knew… Continue reading What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment

horde of flying tablets and capsules
Mental health

Our Complicated Relationships with Psychiatric Medications

I can't think of any other type of health condition that has such polarized relationships with medications as mental illness.  In some ways, to medicate or not to medicate has become a moral issue, with various involved parties taking a stance based on principle.  Often this stance is very broad, making sweeping generalizations. Public misconceptions… Continue reading Our Complicated Relationships with Psychiatric Medications

Evidence-based treatment of bipolar disorder
Mental health

Evidence-Based Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: The CANMAT/ISBD Guidelines

In 2013 the International Society for Bipolar Disorders and the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments combed through the scientific literature and put together these guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of bipolar disorder.  Treatments are classified as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd line based on the strength of existing evidence to support their effectiveness.  Also… Continue reading Evidence-Based Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: The CANMAT/ISBD Guidelines

TED Talks logo
Mental health, Video reviews

TED Talks: Mental Illness

Here are a few great TED Talks I've found on a variety of topics related to mental health and illness. Eleanor Longden: The Voices in My Head https://embed.ted.com/talks/eleanor_longden_the_voices_in_my_head A psychiatrist once told Eleanor Longden that she would be better off having cancer than a psychotic illness, as it would be more curable.  Having the voice… Continue reading TED Talks: Mental Illness

The Daily Show Profiles in Tremendousness screenshot
Mental health

Profiles in Tremendousness

Profiles in Tremendousness is a segment on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah that pokes fun at the competency (and lack thereof) of various characters in the Trump White House.  I'm going to borrow that idea to take a look at the less than stellar characters I've come across in my mental health journey. Difficult… Continue reading Profiles in Tremendousness