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January 16, 2015 by Bob Nikkel, MSW

New CEU/CME Course Available: Psychiatric Medications and Long-term Outcomes for Schizophrenia

bnikkel_miaceThe Mad in America Continuing Education Project is pleased to announce the posting of its second on-line course.

This course qualifies for 3.0 CMEs  approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians and 2.5 CEUs approved by Commonwealth Educational Seminars for psychologists, social workers, licensed marriage and family counselors, nurses and certified addiction counselors.

We are fortunate to have enlisted the expertise of one of the world’s premier researchers, Martin Harrow, PhD, of the University of Illinois Chicago Medical School as he presents his 26-year comprehensive outcome study of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

The course includes a one-hour discussion moderated by Bob Whitaker which includes Dr. Harrow’s chief collaborator, Dr. Thomas Jobe. The two lessons together focus on the improved outcomes for people who stopped taking antipsychotic medications compared to those on antipsychotics.

Instructor

Martin-HarrowMartin Harrow, PhD

Martin Harrow is a psychologist and widely-cited expert on schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. He has published over 250 scientific papers and four books on these and related areas. As Director of the Chicago Followup Study, he has received several national awards for his research on thought disorder, psychosis, long-term adjustment, suicide, and recovery in schizophrenia. Recently his research has focused on longitudinal studies of the long-term effects of antipsychotic medications. He has been on the faculty at Yale University and the University of Chicago, and in 1990, moved to the Medical College of the University of Illinois as Professor and Director of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry. He is now Distinguished Professor Emeritus there.

We look forward to sharing the work Dr. Harrow, Dr. Jobe and other colleagues in better understanding the relationship between long-term use or non-use of psychiatric medications and important outcomes like functional status, psychotic symptoms and rehospitalization.

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March 5, 2014 by Russell Stence, MA

From Adversity to Advocacy

Russell_Stence_headshot

Negotiating with terrorists.  That’s the feeling I came to have in trying to communicate and work with staff in a local acute psychiatric ward who had total control of my adult daughter, and I do mean TOTAL control.  This may sound like hyperbole, and perhaps it is, in a way.  Because I believe these people were, for the most part, well-intentioned.  I don’t doubt that some of them were even kind and caring. It brings to mind the following quote of C.S. Lewis:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”

If they actually were terrorists, I think it would have been easier.  In that case, I could have gone to authorities who would have readily collaborated to get her out.  As it was, there was literally “no exit” (believe me, I checked ALL possibilities) and I had to constantly be “walking on eggshells” in the effort to stay in the good graces of those who held the pills, the needles, the restraints and the electrodes.  I had to suppress the urge to scream at these nice people, although I did plenty of screaming (even bawling like a baby) on my own time.

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August 28, 2013 by Thomas Insel, MD

NIMH Director’s Blog: Antipsychotics: Taking the Long View

One of the first lessons I received as a psychiatrist-in-training 35 years ago was the value of antipsychotic medications. These medicines have been available for the treatment of psychosis for over half a century, beginning with the prototype first generation drug chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and now extending to some 20 different compounds, including several second-generation medications, often called “atypical antipsychotics.” Symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia are reduced reliably by these drugs. Although these symptoms can be frightening and dangerous for patients, family members, and providers, antipsychotics safely and effectively help people through the crisis of acute psychosis.

However, the long-term management of chronic mental illness is another matter. Recently, results from several studies have suggested that these medications may be less effective for the outcomes that matter most to people with serious mental illness: a full return to well-being and a productive place in society.

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