Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: April 2, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I'm hoping you all ended your week with some funny April Fools' Day shenanigans, and are ready to start the weekend with some of the latest developments in mental health!

Read on for news on how men are more vulnerable to developing stress-related depression, how people with mental health issues fit in when it comes to physician-assisted suicide, ways you can effectively help another person cope with anxiety or depression, and more.

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Disorders

How Solitary Confinement Affects People with Mental Illness

In 1990, Jack Powers was put in prison for robbery. A few years into his sentence, Powers witnessed the murder of one of his friends by members of the Aryan Brotherhood. Powers agreed to be a government witness and testify against members of the Brotherhood in exchange for a sentence reduction, but when he was denied the reduction, he decided to escape from prison in 1999.

He was caught a few years later and put in solitary confinement at ADX, the same place where the Brotherhood members he testified against resided. Even though Powers was diagnosed with PTSD due to his friend’s murder, he never received proper treatment and ended up horrifically mutilating himself several times.
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Disorders

How Do Mental Illness Diagnoses Really Compare to Medical Diagnoses?

One of the common complaints I hear about mental illness diagnoses is that they are "unscientific," based upon a bunch of subjective symptoms that are arbitrary. People who dismiss mental illness as not being "real" say that unlike medicine, the mental health profession doesn't have laboratory tests, biopsies or meaningful imaging tests.

I would suggest, however, that the mental illness diagnostic reference manual, the DSM-5, is actually a good compromise based upon our current but limited knowledge of mental illness and its underlying causes. Moreover, most people's understanding of medical diagnosis is often unrealistic and doesn't take into account the messy reality.

How do mental illness diagnoses compare to more traditional medical diagnoses?

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General

#MindOurFuture: Share Your Mental Health Story

We're happy to share with you this great new project by our friends over at BringChange2Mind (BC2M), the national organization co-founded by Glenn Close that works to combat stereotypes around mental health. It's called #MindOurFuture and the goal is to increase awareness around mental health issues by people sharing their personal stories on YouTube.

Here's the scoop that BringChange2Mind shared with us. We pass it along with our wholehearted recommendation.

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Antidepressant

Don’t Mess with Moms Who’ve Suffered Postpartum Depression #meditateonthis

When you claim there's some sort of global conspiracy against a minority population, you probably should have some, you know, actual data to back up your claims.

Unless, of course, you're New York Times best-selling author Marianne Williamson. Then you can just apparently make a claim without any need for science or data, all the while expressing what to me seems like a prejudiced view against people with a mental illness. Namely, moms with postpartum depression.

How did those angry postpartum moms react on Twitter? With one voice.

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Celebrities

Glenn Close Opens Up About Her Depression

When Jessie and Glenn Close founded their mental illness nonprofit, Bring Change 2 Mind in 2010, all of the focus was on Jessie's battle with bipolar disorder. Glenn was there to lend her name and support to the effort, but I'm not sure anyone imagined she too suffered. Silently.

But, according to a new article in Mashable earlier this week, Glenn was first diagnosed with depression in 2008. Which makes her efforts to help launch Bring Change 2 Mind all the more laudable.

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Depression

Making Sense of the 2016 Depression Screening Guidelines

As it did in 2002 and again in 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has once again recommended that primary care physicians and family doctors routinely screen for clinical depression in their patients. Why? Because undiagnosed and untreated depression remains one of the greatest public health problems of modern times.

For the first time ever, the new guidelines also recommend that screenings be conducted during and after pregnancy, as many women are susceptible to postpartum depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression can crop up not only after birth, but also during a mom's pregnancy.

What do these new depression screening guidelines mean for you?

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General

Free Webinar: So You Want to be a Mental Illness Blogger?

Sharing our experiences with mental illness and its challenges is how we learn about others and grow in our own journeys. Since the Internet's inception, people have been sharing their stories and struggles online.

Blogs have been a staple of the internet for the last decade, with tens of millions of people reading millions of them daily. It’s no surprise that blogs about mental illness are very popular.

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General

Helping People’s Mental Health? $500 Million. Driverless Cars? $4 Billion

When your country has tens of thousands of people dying every year from preventable causes, what would you do about it?

If you're the federal government, you throw money at the problem. But you don't disburse your money equally or to those most in need. Instead, you apparently give the most money to a for-profit industry that has already benefited from government bailouts.

And the poor, homeless, mentally ill folks who have no lobbyists in Washington DC? They get unfairly tied to gun violence. Again.

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Anger

Re-Visioning Strength: What It Really Means to Be Strong and Why It’s Important


In this year’s election cycle, there is understandable anxiety about terrorism. Political candidates are competing to reassure voters that they are the strongest candidate and have the best plan for keeping us safe.

This raises some interesting psychological issues. How do we react when our sense of safety and well-being are threatened? What does it mean to be strong in the face of danger? What is a wise response to a difficult or scary situation?

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