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January 9, 2018 by Zenobia Morrill | MadInAmerica

Interventions that Promote Disclosure Among Voice-Hearers

Researchers explore barriers and enablers to the disclosure of distressing voices

Dr. Leanne Bogen-Johnsten and a team of researchers published the results of their new qualitative study on what enables voice hearers to share their experiences with others and what serves as a barrier to disclosure. The perspectives of the voice-hearers featured in the research underscore that stigma and negative perceptions of voice hearing present significant obstacles within early intervention programs.

“It is important that EIP [Early Intervention in Psychosis] practitioners recognize and are able to discuss service users’ voice hearing experiences.” Bogen-Johnsten writes. “Conventional approaches have typically discouraged enquiry into the experience of voice hearing, preferring to focus the hearer toward a more objective reality. Enhancing therapeutic skills may build confidence and help practitioners to engage with clients distressed by voices.”

Bogen-Johnston and researchers argue that early detection of voice hearing symptoms is crucial to buffering against future development of distressing psychosis-related symptoms. This study was part of a larger project involving data collection over a longer period. The data were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

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January 7, 2018 by Kara Gavin | University of Michigan Medical School

After Searching 12 Years For Bipolar Disorder’s Cause, U Michigan Team Concludes It Has Many

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Nearly 6 million Americans have bipolar disorder, and most have probably wondered why. After more than a decade of studying over 1,100 of them in-depth, a University of Michigan team has an answer – or rather, seven answers.

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January 7, 2018 by Johann Hari | TheGuardian

Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?

(TheGuardian) – In this extract from his new book, Johann Hari, who took antidepressants for 14 years, calls for a new approach

In the 1970s, a truth was accidentally discovered about depression – one that was quickly swept aside, because its implications were too inconvenient, and too explosive. American psychiatrists had produced a book that would lay out, in detail, all the symptoms of different mental illnesses, so they could be identified and treated in the same way across the United States. It was called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. In the latest edition, they laid out nine symptoms that a patient has to show to be diagnosed with depression – like, for example, decreased interest in pleasure or persistent low mood. For a doctor to conclude you were depressed, you had to show five of these symptoms over several weeks.

The manual was sent out to doctors across the US and they began to use it to diagnose people. However, after a while they came back to the authors and pointed out something that was bothering them. If they followed this guide, they had to diagnose every grieving person who came to them as depressed and start giving them medical treatment. If you lose someone, it turns out that these symptoms will come to you automatically. So, the doctors wanted to know, are we supposed to start drugging all the bereaved people in America?

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January 5, 2018 by Sandra Steingard, MD | Psychiatric Services

Therapeutic Alliance: Implications for Practice and Policy

In this issue, Totura and colleagues report on a meta-analysis of studies that evaluated the impact of the therapeutic relationship on the outcome of pharmacologic treatment. Noting that the therapeutic alliance has a powerful effect on outcome in psychotherapy, they wondered whether this would also be observed when pharmacotherapy was a dominant component of treatment. They identified eight studies that met their inclusion criteria. A positive therapeutic alliance had a modest effect on outcome.

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January 1, 2018 by Peter Simons |

Mediterranean Diet Improves Mental Health, Study Finds

(MadInAmerica) – A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish has repeatedly been found to improve mental health

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish—and low in processed foods (known as the Mediterranean diet) has been repeatedly suggested to have a positive effect on physical health, mental health, and quality of life (QoL). Now, a new randomized controlled trial has demonstrated that effect yet again for people with depression. The researchers found that depression scores and quality of life were both improved in a group with this diet when compared to a group receiving only social supports.

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January 1, 2018 by Julia Rucklidge, PhD & Bonnie Kaplan, PhD | MadInAmerica

Micronutrients for ADHD Symptoms in Children

Our last blog reported on a study that found that a combination of micronutrients was effective in reducing aggression in children struggling with behavioural problems. Given that this finding replicated several previous studies over the last two decades, we wondered why the cumulative results weren’t impacting clinical practice.

Julia’s lab just published still another study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry confirming the importance of nutrients in reducing aggression, this time in children presenting with ADHD.

So what did this latest study find?

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December 31, 2017 by Bernalyn Ruiz |

New Review Suggests Higher Recovery and Remission Rates for Psychosis

(MadInAmerica) – Meta-analysis gives updated recovery and remission rates for persons identified as having a first-episode psychosis and those diagnosed with schizophrenia

Researchers from King’s College London conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to provide improved rates of recovery and remission for persons identified as having a first-episode psychosis (FEP) and those diagnosed with schizophrenia. The overall rates of both remission and recovery found in this meta-analysis are significantly higher than those reported in previous studies.

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December 28, 2017 by Megan Brooks | Medscape

Healthy Diet Key to Kids’ Well-being

A new study found a bidirectional link between diet quality and psychosocial well-being in young children. Children who were healthy eaters were more likely to be happy and well-adjusted, and those who were happy were more apt to be healthy eaters.

Mounting evidence suggests that diet is an important determinant of mental health. “Our findings suggest that a healthy diet can improve well-being in children,” first author Louise Arvidsson, a PhD student and registered dietician from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said in a statement.

The study was published online December 14 in BMC Public Health.

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December 27, 2017 by Peter Simons |

Reducing Antipsychotic Use May Improve Health for People with Mental Health Diagnoses

(MadInAmerica) – A new study offers radical solutions for improving the cardiovascular health of people with mental health diagnoses: reducing antipsychotic prescriptions.

The researchers, led by Athif Ilyas at King’s College, London, examined the evidence for current approaches to cardiovascular health, and whether they appear to be working. Unfortunately, they found that cardiovascular health (as well as metabolic health), for people with mental health diagnoses, continues to decline.

Ilyas cites a large analysis of people with diagnoses of psychotic disorders, in which nearly every participant was overweight, and 57% were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome—a side effect of antipsychotic drugs that leads to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems. About 20% of the participants had diabetes.

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December 26, 2017 by Zenobia Morrill | MadInAmerica

Researchers Call for Structural Competency in Psychiatry

Structural competency in Psychiatry emphasizes the social factors shaping patient presentations and encourages physician advocacy

(MadInAmerica) – A series of recent Viewpoint articles published in JAMA present a growing body of literature on “structural competency,” a framework for promoting social justice and advocacy in psychiatry. Researchers Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD, Joel Braslow, MD, PhD, and numerous others describe how an approach focused on structural competency serves as an in-depth way to address how systems and policies shape presentations and experiences of people diagnosed with mental illness.

“Structural competency calls on health care professionals to recognize ways that institutions, neighborhood conditions, market forces, public policies, and health care delivery systems shape symptoms and diseases, and to mobilize for correction of inequalities as they manifest both in physician-patient interactions and beyond the clinic walls.”

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The contents of this Headlines page are provided for informational purposes. Any material, conclusions, or opinions presented in the linked articles are not officially endorsed by the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care.