October 30, 2014

10:31 PM | Suboxone Makes Me Fat and Boring and Stupid
Originally posted 3/6/2013 A late post tonight, since my new exercise program has pushed my blogging back by an hour or so each night.  My suspicions about exercise were correct, by the way; it is much easier to suggest exercise to other people than it is to actually exercise.  I’ve been at it since the […]

October 29, 2014

4:43 PM | Peer-Directed Education For Bipolar Disorder The Focus Of A New Tufts University Study
The Mood Disorders Program at Tufts University Medical Center has just completed a pilot study of the Bipolar IN Order peer-directed online education program. They found it to be “the first psychosocial intervention that has improved awareness of mood symptoms (insight) in bipolar illness… If confirmed, these data would indicate that this peer-based psycho-educational intervention […]

October 27, 2014

2:24 PM | Prevention: 2 Ways to Stop Schizophrenia Before it Starts
Over the past week, I’ve come across two very different approaches to schizophrenia prevention. I know to some that may sound like an incredulous possibility. But I believe it’s something that’s achievable within our lifetime. Schizophrenia is uniquely situated to be acted upon by prevention methods. We know it has a larger genetic component than […]
2:25 AM | Fine Tuning ” Positive Thinking” With A Plan
An important article by psychologist and author, Gabriele Oettingen appeared in the New York Times with a misleading title,“ The Problem with Positive Thinking.” Actually what Dr. Oettingen offers is an important fine-tuning of positive thinking. What she suggests based on her research is not that positive thinking is problematic, but that positive thinking about […]

October 26, 2014

10:35 PM | 6 Ways to Convince an Addict to Get Help
Many people who struggle with alcohol or drugs have a difficult time getting better. There are many reasons why these people do not get the help they need. Here are six suggestions on how to convince a person dealing with substance abuse to get help. Family intervention. Family members and an interventionist get together with the […]

October 25, 2014

11:00 AM | Listen: First Nations “Medicine” on White Coat, Black Art
@NightShiftMD, Dr. Brian Goldman, tackled the issue of First Nations’ right to choose traditional treatments for themselves and their children with, I believe, the correct balance between respect and the need to ask tough questions. You can hear his conversations on the subject in the latest episode of CBC’s White Coat, Black Art. We are … Continue reading →

October 24, 2014

10:30 PM | 10 Introductory Questions Therapists Commonly Ask
Therapy is about the fine art of asking directive questions. So what should you expect from your first appointment with a counselor, social worker or psychologist? The answer is simple: You should expect easy, brain-expanding questions, questions and more questions. A “change map” (often called “treatment goals”) is then created to guide you in solving […]

October 23, 2014

6:30 PM | The Ethics of Treating Ebola
Two experts on medical ethics address the most pressing Ebola ethical questions, from performing CPR to the use of medical placebos.
2:20 PM | Smartphone App Boosts Alcoholism Treatment Outcome
Smartphone apps and other mobile technology are emerging as promising tools in medical treatment.A recent randomized study published in JAMA Psychiatry found evidence that a smartphone app improves alcoholism treatment outcomes.David Gustafson and colleagues conducted a study funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.A series of 349 adults with DSM-IV alcohol dependence were enrolled as they entered a alcoholism residential treatment program.Approximately half of the […]

October 22, 2014

5:45 PM | Brain Surgery or Suboxone?
Originally posted 12/31/2012 Today I read about the stereotactic brain surgery used to treat opioid dependence in China over the past ten years.   The procedure is relatively straightforward; the patient’s skull is clamped in place while small holes are drilled, guided by computerized, 3-dimensional maps of the brain.  Probes are inserted deeply through brain tissue to the […]
6:30 AM | Long duration of untreated psychosis is associated with a range of poor outcomes
Joe Judge appraises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis looking at the duration of untreated psychosis as a predictor of long-term outcomes in schizophrenia. The post Long duration of untreated psychosis is associated with a range of poor outcomes appeared first on The Mental Elf.

October 21, 2014

3:45 PM | The Secret to Living with Treatment-Resistant Depression
You’d never suspect this by listening to pharmaceutical ads, but only one-third of people with major depression get better after trying an antidepressant. The others go on to try different drugs, or combinations of medicine and psychotherapy, and usually seven in 10 achieve remission. The other third? They are labeled with the three most dreaded […]

October 20, 2014

2:56 PM | Persistent Insomnia and Alcoholism
Sleep problems complicate the treatment and recovery in alcoholism. Heavy alcohol consumption modifies the nature of sleep architecture.A high blood alcohol concentration at bedtime may promote sleep early in the sleep cycle.However, as alcohol levels decline, sleep is often interrupted with limiting rapid eye movement (REM) sleep duration.Shortened total sleep time with alcohol can produce a lack of feeling well rested on awakening.For those with alcoholism or alcohol dependence, […]

Brower KJ, Krentzman A & Robinson EA (2011). Persistent insomnia, abstinence, and moderate drinking in alcohol-dependent individuals., The American journal on addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions, 20 (5) 435-40. PMID:


October 17, 2014

3:45 PM | Personal Experiences of Depression
Some of the biggest myths about depression are that it’s a character flaw, a sign of weakness, a lack of trying, a lack of will, a choice. You just need to think differently. Remember, happiness is a choice. You just need to suck it up. Be strong! Why aren’t you trying harder? You don’t even […]
2:09 PM | Fear-Mongering & Ebola
There is nothing better for cable news networks — and online news sites — to whip up a storm about an outbreak of a deadly disease. People click furiously to get the latest updates, and then log on to social media and forums to discuss all of the things the government is doing wrong. Ebola […]

October 12, 2014

2:35 PM | Sidestepping Depression Stigma
According to the mental health charity Mind, one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. These figures aren’t too dissimilar to those for cancer; it is estimated that more than one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Despite these statistics regarding the prevalence […]

October 11, 2014

2:36 PM | Withdrawal Symptoms on Suboxone
Originally posted 11/7/2012 I struggle with the length of my posts.   I shoot for 1000 words—an amount of reading that most people can knock off in a typical trip to the bathroom— but I find it difficult to limit posts to that size.  So as I have done in the past, I will break this […]

October 10, 2014

11:24 PM | Room for Misery & Room for Joy: My Story
Most people who have been sober longer than a year are asked to give a “lead” — to tell their story. Mine was structurally simple, covering what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Having only drank for three years, my addiction story is pretty straightforward: I stopped guzzling down mood-altering beverages. […]
4:34 PM | What It’s Like to Live with Schizophrenia
Thirty-one years ago Elyn R. Saks was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her prognosis was grave: she wouldn’t be able to live independently, hold a job or find love. After her hospitalization at 28 years old, a doctor suggested she work as a cashier. If she could do that, they’d reassess her abilities and possibly consider a […]

October 09, 2014

5:35 PM | Amanda Bynes: When Celebrity Mental Health Turns Insensitive Gossip
The 28-year-old actress Amanda Bynes recently told In Touch Weekly that there is a microchip in her brain that allows other people to read her thoughts. “I want a dollar a day from every person who (is) reading my mind,” Bynes said. Now TMZ reports that she was allegedly “going full Winona Ryder” – shoplifting from Barneys on […]
9:30 AM | Why Just Having Goals Isn’t Enough
Why Just Having Goals Isn’t Enough [Article via Psychology Today. Click above for full post] The hardest question in life is asking ourselves what we want. I often say that if we don’t know what we want or where we’re... Read More ›

October 07, 2014

1:35 PM | I have depression and alcoholism. So what?
I find people generally have three reactions when I tell them I am a recovered alcoholic with Bipolar II. They either tell me that they or a loved one has struggled with a mental illness, begin talking about the weather or look at me like I just told them I have a stripper pole in […]

October 04, 2014

3:45 PM | 7 Ways Smartphones Can Harm Your Relationship
“We were texting back and forth about a project we were working on together. Gradually, the texts became a little more familiar. Over time we started sharing more, and … I guess you could say I’m involved in an emotional affair. I want to stay married, but I feel like I love this other person.” […]

October 02, 2014

11:46 PM | Ambivalence and Eating Disorders: Inpatient Treatment, Belonging, and Identity
When Tetyana Tweeted and “Tumblr-ed” (is there a better name for putting something on Tumblr?) a quote from a qualitative research article about ambivalence and eating disorders, I knew I would want to write a blog post about it. Of course, life happened, and so this post is coming a little later than I had intended. Nonetheless, I am happy to be sharing a post about a fresh article by Karin Eli (2014) about eating disorders and ambivalence in the inpatient hospital setting. The […]

Eli K (2014). Between difference and belonging: configuring self and others in inpatient treatment for eating disorders., PloS one, 9 (9) PMID:

10:45 AM | When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go to Therapy (But Needs To)
Going to therapy is hard enough for adults. Stigma stops many of us from picking up the phone and making an appointment. Plus, therapy is hard work. It often requires revealing our vulnerabilities, delving into difficult challenges, changing unhealthy patterns of behavior and learning new skills. So it’s not surprising that kids might not want […]
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