Children and Teens

ER Beds for Kids Lacking, But School Programs Can Help

Everyone who is a front line clinician in an emergency room (ER) knows the hard reality of the lack of psychiatric services available. Discharging someone from an ER into inpatient mental health treatment is virtually nonexistent for adults. For kids, the situation is usually far worse.

The good news is that if we focus more on preventative care in school -- helping kids and preschoolers long before they have a full-blown diagnosis -- we may be able to stop them from ever having to use an emergency room. All we need do is start making mental health a funding priority for both the states and the federal government.

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Martha’s Story: TMS Offers an Alternative to Medication & Electroconvulsive Therapy

I haven’t read many paragraphs that articulate depression as accurately as this one, in Martha Rhodes’s riveting memoir, 3000 Pulses Later:

At that moment, my pain felt equal to -- if not even more than -- what I imagined any physical illness could pose. The constant anxiety, sadness, fear, and despair strangled me. I felt inexorably alone and as if I were dying a slow death of emotional asphyxiation. I may not have been diagnosed with incurable cancer of a vital organ, but I knew I was in the throes of battle with what felt like cancer of the soul.

It appears in her “Medication Merry-Go-Around” chapter right after she lists all the drugs that she's tried, but which failed to give her any relief.
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Brain and Behavior

Why I Prescribe Pokemon Go for My Patients

This week, the parent of one of my patients asked me about Pokémon Go. She was concerned with her child’s obsession and felt like this could lead to social or emotional problems.

Electronics, as with most things, are good in moderation -- but Pokémon Go isn’t your average video game. Unlike games that keep people glued to the couch, Pokémon Go requires people to get up, move around, and interact with others. What that means to me as a child psychiatrist is that it comes with a variety of health benefits. Exercise is as good for the brain as it is for the rest of the body. I’ve seen people walking, riding their bikes, and finding more excuses to get outside because of Pokémon Go.

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Psychology Around the Net: September 17, 2016

Before you run off to enjoy the last weekend of summer, take some time to enjoy the seriously random mix of mental health news and stories I've found for you this week!

Read on to take a look at data on how psychiatric drug advertising affects prescriptions, a study related to how writing down your dreams and goals increases your chances of achieving them, reviews on various self-help books for pet parents (you read...
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Psychology Around the Net: August 20, 2016

A few weeks ago, my beau and I decided to tackle a huge home improvement project together.

According to Amy Kipp, a couples and family therapist in San Antonio, "Working through the ups and downs of a big project helps you hone your communication skills [...] The sense of accomplishment and teamwork that results from a challenging shared experience strengthens a couple’s bond. (Her quote is featured in 7 Relationship Milestones That Are Just as Meaningful as Marriage.)

Thus, it seems working on this project is a way to strengthen our relationship. This project is not an improvement our home needs (i.e. we're not renovating a bathroom with a leaky toilet and busted shower tiles); it's an improvement we -- as the homeowners -- want (basically, we're a large part of our backyard into a sort of outdoor oasis). As such, creative ideas are flying everywhere. We have both collective and separate visions, and we're working to combine those visions while making sure each of us is happy.

We haven't thrown any paint brushes at each other yet, so I'd say we're succeeding so far.

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Ode to the Duke

I saw my shrink today. I call him “The Duke.”

We had a perfectly fine half-hour meeting. He wrote me some scripts and listened to my current take on my life. Mainly, we talked about my son Tommy’s fear of entering sixth grade. The Duke warned me that the junior high years are awful and to brace myself. The Duke is a straight shooter. At the end of the appointment, I asked him how he thought I was doing.

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Video: What’s in a Label? Pros and Cons of the DSM

A recent proposal to remove transgender identity from the ICD, the World Health Organization's manual of medical conditions, has reignited the debate over what should and shouldn't be a mental health diagnosis.
Many feel that classifying transgender identity as a disorder is unnecessarily stigmatizing. Others argue that leaving it as a recognized medical diagnosis has practical benefits. For example, as a New York Times article on the controversy points out, classifying...
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Psychology Around the Net: August 13, 2016

The world is deep in the throes of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and while such competition has to bring a certain level of anxiety and stress to athletes, sports can help to improve both your body and your mind.

Of course, Olympic athletes face much more pressure than those of us who dabble in the occasional friendly tennis match, which is where professionals such as sports psychologists can help. Learn more about these mental health experts, as well as the latest on the mental health benefits of those who volunteer, how you can make performance anxiety work for you, a new non-medical approach to mental health care that's gaining ground but leaving some psychiatrists skeptical, and more.

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Children and Teens

Psychology Around the Net: July 30, 2016

Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's the last weekend of July so I hope you're all going to go out and make the most of it!

Right after you check out our latest mental health news updates, of course, wink wink. Keep reading for new information on the psychology of superstition and luck, research regarding transgender and mental illness, ways to find happiness in today's tumultuous times, and more.

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Psychology Around the Net: July 23, 2016


That's me, readers, sneezing my brains out as I type this. You might remember I mentioned being sick last week? Well, this week, allergies decided to fill the void my common cold left behind.

It's been a rough couple of weeks for me and, as a matter of fact, I'm going to stop here and leave you to peruse this week's latest news about psychiatry and eugenics, using mindfulness to launch your career, some interesting results related to the self-esteem of women around the world, and more, because I'm headed to my pharmacist.

(They're used to people looking like something the cat dragged in, right? RIGHT?!)

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A Journey to a Diagnosis

I knew that I had a mental illness. I had for a very long time. Ever since I was 15 and tried to kill myself I knew that I had a mental illness. But I wasn’t very accepting of it. Don’t get me wrong, I tried all of the meds. I always took them. That was, until I got manic and stopped taking them. Nobody knew that I had bipolar disorder. They thought that I had depression or schizoaffective disorder.

In all fairness, I didn’t tell them all of my symptoms, but then, I didn’t know, either. I thought that mania was normal. I thought that that was how normal, happy people were supposed to be. I didn’t think anything else of it.
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