Recent News Items

Brain cells can suppress appetite, study in mice shows, by Smitha Mundasad. BBC, July 27, 2014.  “Scientists have discovered a central hub of brain cells that may put the brakes on a desire to eat, a study in mice shows. And switching on these neurons can stop feeding immediately, according to the Nature Neurosciences report. Researchers say the findings may one day contribute to therapies for obesity and anorexia.”

Study: One in 10 Juvenile Detainees Have Contemplated Suicide, by Hing, Julianne. ColorLines, July 24, 2014.  “One in 10 youth locked up in juvenile detention has experienced suicidal thoughts in the last six months, according to sobering new findings published by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The article is the latest installment in a series from the Northwestern Juvenile Project examining the mental health of youth at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago.”

Study: Financial Education Key For Domestic Violence Survivors, by Jeltsen, Melissa. Huffington Post, July 24, 2014.  “Marina A. has no bruises or scars from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband. That is, unless you look at her bank account. “My husband was in total control of the money,” she told The Huffington Post at a conference on financial abuse Wednesday. “At times, he let me have a debit card but he would tell me where and when I could use it. Other times, he would borrow it and 'lose' it, leaving me with nothing. I couldn’t drive. I had no money to call a cab. I was stuck.””

Bullying: Forget what your mother taught you, by Williams, Carol. Asbury Park Press, July 24, 2014.  “All those ways your mom taught you to deal with bullies — ignore them, walk away, turn the other cheek — they don't seem to work, experts say.”

Suicide survival stories must be told, says Australian mental health chief, by Davey, Melissa. The Guardian, July 23, 2014.  “Survival stories from those who attempt suicide should drive mental health interventions but have been missing from policy discussions, Australia’s national mental health commissioner has said. Prof Ian Hickie said this omission was partly because of society’s often callous view towards suicide”

Mayor Walsh Aims to End Homelessness Among Boston’s Veterans by 2015, by Zeninjor Enwemeka. July 09, 2014.  “The “Boston Homes for the Brave” initiative seeks to house 400 homeless veterans in the city, the mayor’s office announced today.”

How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD, by Rebecca Ruiz. The Atlantic, July 07, 2014.  “Considered a heritable brain disorder, one in nine U.S. children—or 6.4 million youth—currently have a diagnosis of ADHD. In recent years, parents and experts have questioned whether the growing prevalence of ADHD has to do with hasty medical evaluations, a flood of advertising for ADHD drugs, and increased pressure on teachers to cultivate high-performing students. Now Brown and other researchers are drawing attention to a compelling possibility: Inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive behavior may in fact mirror the effects of adversity, and many pediatricians, psychiatrists, and psychologists don’t know how—or don’t have the time—to tell the difference.”

‘I’m a Survivor of Rape and Intimate Partner Violence–And I’m a Man’, by Kelly, John. Time, July 02, 2014.  “The topic of campus rape has been making its way to Congress and the White House, and coverage of this issue has increasingly been making headlines. But conspicuously absent from the conversation is the narrative of male and queer survivors.”

Fueled by social media, ‘thigh gap’ focus can lure young women to eating disorders, by Amanda Mascarelli. Washington Post, June 30, 2014.  “Anne Becker has been studying eating disorders for nearly three decades, but it was from her twin 13-year-old daughters that she learned the term “thigh gap.” Her daughters got their Seventeen magazine and pulled up Web site images to show Becker, a psychiatrist and eating disorders specialist at Harvard Medical School, what a thigh gap looks like. “They said kids at school talk about it offhandedly like, ‘Well, you have a thigh gap, so you can have the extra ice cream,’ ” Becker says. This disturbing ultra-thin-body trend pressures women and girls to achieve a gap between the thighs when they stand with their feet touching.”

Ruling In Horrific LGBT Bullying Case Should Be A Wake-Up Call For Congress To Finally Pass SNDA, by Block, Joshua. June 24, 2014.  “A 13-year-old boy named Jon Carmichael killed himself during spring break in 2010.You would think that this kind of bullying is illegal and schools have a responsibility to stop it.”

Looking after New Mothers, by New York Times. New York Times, June 19, 2014.  “A dozen states have laws that encourage some form of awareness and education about postpartum depression. In three of those states--New Jersey, Illinois, and West Virginia--screening is required by law. Should screening for postpartum depression be mandatory? How can those suffering be assured of treatment?”

Antidepressant suicide warnings 'may have backfired', by James Gallagher. BBC, June 18, 2014.  “US warnings about the risk of suicide in young people prescribed antidepressant medication may have backfired, research suggests. A study, in the British Medical Journal, showed a sudden fall in antidepressant prescriptions and a rise in suicide attempts after media reports of the connection. The team at Harvard Medical School said the unintended effect was "disturbing". Experts said similar changes had been seen in other countries.”

Thinking of Ways to Harm Her, by Pam Belluck. New York Times, June 15, 2014.  “Postpartum depression isn't always postpartum. It isn't even always depression. A fast-growing body of research is changing the very definition of maternal mental illness, showing that it is more common and varied than previously thought. Scientists say new findings contradict the longstanding view that symptoms begin only within a few weeks after childbirth. In fact, depression often begins during pregnancy, researchers say,and can develop any time in the first year after a baby is born.”

For New College Grads, Finding Mental Health Care Can Be Tough, by Maanvi Singh. NPR, June 04, 2014.  “For many young people, college graduation marks the entry into what grown-ups call "the real world." But if you're a new graduate with a mental health condition, the transition can be especially challenging. Many young people start managing their own health care for the first time when they graduate. And while finding and paying for a psychologist or psychiatrist can be difficult at any age, for young people who don't have steady jobs or stable paychecks, the task can be especially daunting. Perseverance and planning ahead help.”

Unexpected death of a loved one linked to onset of psychiatric disorders, by Columbia University. ScienceDaily, May 29, 2014.  “The sudden loss of a loved one can trigger a variety of psychiatric disorders in people with no history of mental illness, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and colleagues at Columbia's School of Social Work and Harvard Medical School. While previous studies have suggested there is a link between sudden bereavement and an onset of common psychiatric disorders, this is the first study to show the association of acute bereavement and mania in a large population sample.”

Brain's reaction to male odor shifts at puberty in children with gender dysphoria, by Frontiers. ScienceDaily, May 28, 2014.  “The brains of children with gender dysphoria react to androstadienone, a musky-smelling steroid produced by men, in a way typical of their biological sex, but after puberty according to their experienced gender, finds a study for the first time. Around puberty, the testes of men start to produce androstadienone, a breakdown product of testosterone. Men release it in their sweat, especially from the armpits. Its only known function is to work like a pheromone: when women smell androstadienone, their mood tends to improve, their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing go up, and they may become aroused.”

More insured, but the choices are narrowing, by Reed Abelson. New York Times, May 12, 2014.  “In the midst of all the turmoil in health care these days, one thing is becoming clear: No matter what kind of health plan consumers choose, they will find fewer doctors and hospitals in their network — or pay much more for the privilege of going to any provider they want. These so-called narrow networks, featuring limited groups of providers, have made a big entrance on the newly created state insurance exchanges, where they are a common feature in many of the plans. While the sizes of the networks vary considerably, many plans now exclude at least some large hospitals or doctors’ groups. Smaller networks are also becoming more common in health care coverage offered by employers and in private Medicare Advantage plans.”

It's getting safer to be a child in the U.S., by Jen Christensen. CNN, May 01, 2014.  “Despite all the national headlines about school shootings and other violence, life has actually gotten a lot safer for American children, according to a new study. Instances in which children were the victims of crimes such as assaults or violence such as bullying have declined significantly, according to the study, which appears in the most recent edition of the JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers compared rates of 50 different types of violence and crime over time. Of those categories, 27 saw significant declines between 2003 and 2011.”

Suppressing Positive Emotions Can Lead to Postpartum Depression, by Rick Nauert. Psych Central, April 30, 2014.  “New research discovers that the suppression of positive feelings can play an important role in the development of postpartum depression. Investigators believe this finding has implications for the treatment of depressed mothers.”

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.