God Knows Where I Am film

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

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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, and involves an awareness that anyone may have experienced trauma, whether they have 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, … Continue reading How trauma-informed practice can improve mental health care

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What the STAR*D study means for depression treatment

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 which drug they … Continue reading What the STAR*D study means for depression treatment

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Our complicated relationships with medications

I can't think of any other type of health condition that has as polarized a relationship with medication 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.  I … Continue reading Our complicated relationships with medications

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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

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TED Talks: A Mental Health Hodgepodge

Here are a few great TED Talks I've found on a variety of topics related to mental 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, because it would be more curable.  Having the voice she … Continue reading TED Talks: A Mental Health Hodgepodge

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Do antidepressants work? What a new meta-analysis says.

A recent paper published in the Lancet looked at how effective antidepressants are, and this has been reported on in the media.  Since media outlets don't necessarily have strong research literacy, let's take a look at what the paper itself has to say.  My earlier post on research literacy explains some of the terms I'll be using … Continue reading Do antidepressants work? What a new meta-analysis says.

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