Recent News Items

Army Enlistees Similar to Civilians But Some Disorders More Prevalent, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, October 27, 2014.  “Emerging research suggests that while military enrollees do not share the exact psychological profile as socio-demographically comparable civilians, they are more similar than previously thought. One study found that new soldiers and matched civilians are equally likely to have experienced at least one major episode of mental illness in their lifetime (38.7 percent of new soldiers; 36.5 percent of civilians).”

‘Exposure therapy’ helps patients with prolonged grief, by Kathryn Doyle. Reuters, October 23, 2014.  “Adding one-on-one sessions focused on reliving the experience of losing a loved one to regular group therapy appears to help more patients with prolonged grief, according to a new study. Most people who lose a loved one feel stress, grieve and adapt over time. But seven to 10 percent of people get stuck in the grief phase and have persistent yearning for the deceased, difficulty in accepting the death, a sense of meaninglessness, bitterness about the death and difficulty in engaging in new activities, said lead author Richard A. Bryant of the School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.”

Halting Schizophrenia Before It Starts, by Marvi Lacar. NPR, October 20, 2014.  “That first psychotic break can lead to a series of disasters: social isolation, hospitalization, medications with sometimes disabling side effects, and future psychotic episodes. So, what if you could intervene earlier, before any of that? Could you stop the process from snowballing? The program draws on research suggesting that schizophrenia unfolds much more slowly than might be obvious, even to families.”

The Right Way to Think About Your Ebola Risk, by Alex Lickerman. Psychology Today, October 16, 2014.  “Unfortunately, another well-established fact is that what people believe—and therefore fear—is influenced by many things other than facts. For example, we all tend to arrive at our beliefs about the frequency with which things occur not from statistical analysis but from the ease with which we can recall examples of their happening. (Daniel Kahneman’s research, detailed in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, clearly demonstrates this.) So if we’ve recently heard news about an airplane crash, we’re likely to believe that the likelihood of the airplane in which we’re about to fly crashing is greater than it actually is. Or, if a friend tells us about a complication he suffered following surgery, we’ll believe the likelihood of that complication happening after our own surgery to be greater than statistics would suggest.”

Why Schools Should Screen Their Students’ Mental Health, by Alexandra Sifferlin. Time, October 07, 2014.  “Schools should be a first line of defense for catching young people at risk for mental health issues from depression to ADHD, a pair of new reports says. Kids and adolescents spend a significant amount of their time in school, yet providing mental health screenings and care is not an overarching requirement for many schools. “We need to think about how to embed mental health services so they become part of the culture in schools,” says study author Dr. Mina Fazel, a child psychiatrist at the University of Oxford. “It will take a commitment from health and education.””

How Exercise May Protect Against Depression, by Gretchen Reynolds. New York Times, October 01, 2014.  “Exercise may help to safeguard the mind against depression through previously unknown effects on working muscles, according to a new study involving mice. The findings may have broad implications for anyone whose stress levels threaten to become emotionally overwhelming.”

Predicting future course of psychotic illness, by University of Adelaide. ScienceDaily, October 01, 2014.  “University of Adelaide psychiatry researchers have developed a model that could help to predict a patient's likelihood of a good outcome from treatment -- from their very first psychotic episode. The model is based on a range of factors, including clinical symptoms, cognitive abilities, MRI scans of the brain's structure, and biomarkers in the patient's blood.”

Early memory lapses may be sign of dementia, by Jen Christensen. CNN, September 24, 2014.  “The research suggests that people who feel they are forgetting more things may need to be concerned, even if bigger issues aren't yet showing up on cognitive tests. Participants who reported memory problems at the beginning of the study were more likely to have dementia down the road than those who did not”

Single Dose of Antidepressant Changes the Brain, by Janice Wood. Psych Central, September 19, 2014.  “Just one dose of an antidepressant is enough to produce dramatic changes in the brain, according to a new study. While SSRIs are among the most widely prescribed antidepressants worldwide, it’s still not entirely clear how they work, according to researchers. The drugs are believed to change brain connectivity, but over a period of weeks, not hours, researchers noted. The new study shows that changes begin to take place right away.”

Redefining Race Relations: It Begins at Home, by Erlanger Turner. American Psychological Assosciation, September 18, 2014.  “In the United States, race relations has had its challenges across history. Although strides have been made over the course of history, we continue to battle racism and injustice in the 21st century. The recent incident in Ferguson, Missouri has re-energized efforts to address race relations, racism, and discrimination. If you’ve been avoiding media or hiding from technology, CNN has provided information on their website detailing the events and current status.”

One In Five Workers Has Left Their Job Because Of Bullying, by Kathryn Dill. Forbes, September 18, 2014.  “Nearly one third of workers report having felt bullied at work, according to a study released today by CareerBuilder. Even worse? Roughly 20% ended up leaving their job because of it. The study is based on data from a nationwide survey conducted by Harris Poll of nearly 3,400 full-time, private sector employees throughout various industries and company sizes.”

World Suicide Prevention Day, 2014, by John Grohol. Psych Central, September 10, 2014.  “Every day around the world, families and friends grieve the loss of a loved one due to suicide. Not once. Not twice. But over 2,000 times per day someone takes their own life. Can you imagine? If Ebola took 2,000 people’s lives per day, we’d hear a world outcry and an immediate call to action. But since it’s just suicide, we turn a blind eye. We go on with our merry lives, and pretend it couldn’t happen to us. It couldn’t possibly happen to someone we know.”

10 Depression Myths We Need To Stop Believing, by Alena Hall. Huffington Post, September 03, 2014.  “In recent weeks, the global conversation surrounding death by suicide has taken center stage, and now more than ever, we're acknowledging the effects of undiagnosed, untreated and mistreated depression on those rising numbers. Approximately two out of three people who commit suicide suffer from major depression first. In the past, we have spent more time focusing on suicide than on this dominant root cause. And that's finally changing. Here are 10 myths and misconceptions about depression that hinder us from truly understanding the disease.”

Mental Health Care System Is Failing At Suicide Prevention, Advocates Say, by Alana Horowitz. Huffington Post, September 03, 2014.  “Nearly 40,000 people die from suicide in the U.S. every year -- a number that has climbed recently. CDC data show that in the first decade of the millennium, the suicide rate among U.S. adults rose 28 percent. As researchers told The New York Times last year, this figure may be even higher due to under-reporting. a pending piece of legislation in California that would mandate suicide prevention training for all licensed mental health professionals, including psychologists, social workers and even marriage counselors. Such a requirement is startlingly rare: Only two other states have laws similar to the proposed California bill, despite evidence that suggests such training can lower rates of suicide among at-risk groups.”

In our digital world, are young people losing the ability to read emotions?, by University of California - Los Angeles. ScienceDaily, August 22, 2014.  “Children's social skills may be declining as they have less time for face-to-face interaction due to their increased use of digital media, according to a UCLA psychology study.”

Postpartum Difficulties Not Just Limited to Depression, by Traci Pedersen. Psych Central, August 19, 2014.  ““Both mothers and fathers need to pay attention to their mental health during the perinatal period, and they need to watch for these other types of conditions, not just depression,” said Carrie Wendel-Hummell, a doctoral candidate in sociology. “Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, and bipolar disorder are all shaped by circumstances that surround having a baby.””

Childhood mental health disabilities on the rise, by Val Wadas-Willingham. CNN, August 18, 2014.  “Over the past half century, the prevalence of childhood disabilities in the United States has been on the rise, possibly due to an increased awareness about these issues. Now a study published in this week’s online issue of Pediatrics suggests the nature of those newly diagnosed disabilities is changing. The report, “Changing Trends of Childhood Disability, 2001-2011" found the number of American children with disabilities rose 16% over a 10-year period. While there was a noted decline in physical problems, there was a large increase in disabilities classified as neurodevelopmental conditions or mental health issues, such as ADHD and autism.”

Duration of undiagnosed bipolar disorder unrelated to treatment response, by Joanna Lyford. August 06, 2014.  “The duration of undiagnosed bipolar disorder is unrelated to patients’ clinical status or their response to mood-stabilising medication, study findings indicate.”

It’s Not Just What You Say, It’s How You Say It, by Aimee Swartz. August 03, 2014.  “Even the savviest city dwellers would be lost in a maze of detours and one-way streets without navigation apps. But what about GPS for your mental health—technology that could navigate the peaks and valleys of bipolar disorder? Yep, there’s an app for that, too.”

New Research Shows Why Some People Are More Vulnerable to Stress, by Janice Wood. Psych Central, August 02, 2014.  “A new study may explain why some people are more vulnerable to stress and stress-related psychiatric disorders.”

Everything we think we know about being the child of divorce is wrong, by Danielle Teller, M.D. and Astro Teller. July 31, 2014.  “It is common knowledge that research studies have demonstrated the harmful effects of divorce on children. Surprisingly, that common knowledge turns out not to be supported by evidence. Although proponents of marriage would like us to believe that kids with divorced parents have more emotional, academic and psychological problems than they would have had if their parents had stayed together, no credible data exist to back up those claims.”

Preschool Depression May Continue for a Decade, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, July 31, 2014.  “New research discovers early childhood depression increases the risk that a child will be depressed throughout their formative school years. Washington University researchers discovered children who had depression as preschoolers were 2.5 times more likely to suffer from the condition in elementary and middle school than kids who were not depressed at very young ages.”

Disclaimer: Material on the MSPP INTERFACE® Referral Service website is intended as general information. It is not a recommendation for treatment, nor should it be considered medical or mental health advice. The MSPP INTERFACE® Referral Service urges families to discuss all information and questions related to medical or mental health care with a health care professional.