Posts Tagged ‘psychotic depression’

Crisis hotlines are one of the oldest suicide prevention resources and are often the only intervention for many suicidal individuals given their unwillingness to seek treatment or the unavailability of treatment. Therefore, maximizing the clinical utility of hotline calls is imperative for suicide prevention efforts. Dr. Barbara Stanley used her AFSP Distinguished Investigator grant to do just that.

Barbara Stanley, PhD talks Safety Planning from AFSP on Vimeo.

The current study assessed the effectiveness of implementing a Safety Planning Intervention (SPI) into crisis calls. SPI is an evidence-based clinical intervention that can greatly reduce suicide risk. Read article here.


The recent article in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry “Suicide Risk Assessment Received Prior to Suicide Death by Veterans Health Administration Patients with a History of Depression” revealed several important findings. Among Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients with a history of depression from 1999 to 2004, 74% of patients who died by suicide had received an assessment of suicidal ideation in the year prior to suicide,1 and this rate was achieved prior to the major initiatives that VHA has put in place over the last 7 years emphasizing suicide risk assessment and prevention. However, only 30% of patients with depression or a history of depression received such an assessment at a time that it might have been especially important—the last health care visit. Furthermore, of those assessed, 85% denied suicidal ideation when asked, and a similar proportion (>70%) denied suicidal ideation even when asked within 7 days of their impending suicide death. Read article here.

If you are a member of the NFL family and are experiencing a personal or emotional crisis, you can talk to someone right now at (800) 506-0078. Trained, professional counselors are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s free, confidential support for the entire NFL family—current and former players, coaches, team and league staff, and their family members. It’s independent. The NFL Life Line is operated by the leading national providers of crisis counseling services and is entirely independent of NFL staff.

No confidential information about individual calls or callers is shared with the NFL, its teams, or any other organization. Read more here.

It has long been established that childhood trauma increases a person’s risk for developing depression and addiction later in life. Now, a small study of teens from the University of Texas offers one possible explanation. The findings reveal that childhood suffering triggers a disruption in particular neural networks, which are linked to a greater chance of developing substance abuse problems, depression, or both in teens. Read article here.

A growing number of Americans are getting dogs for mental health needs, experts say. In the case of psychiatric service animals, they are trained specifically to help people with mental illnesses. Read article here.

Their lives may be far from ordinary, but actors, musicians, athletes, and writers have emotional and mental health issues just like the rest of us.  When a celeb opens up about depression, anxiety, and mental disorders, it can have a major impact on the way people think about these issues. Read article here.

If you are a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine or Veteran experiencing difficulties due to a traumatic experience (for example, combat, deployment experience, or sexual assault), the PE Coach mobile application (app) may be part of the solution.

The app will guide you through the exercises assigned by your therapist and allows you to track and record your progress in treatment. In addition, the app provides you with techniques such as controlled breathing that will help you tolerate and decrease your distress. PE Coach will help you remember and track your upcoming therapy sessions. You and your therapist will be able to audio record your sessions directly onto your phone so that you can review them later as part of your treatment. Read article here.

The Sarasota Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosted a forum today at Selby Library where two men shared their stories as they bike from city to city to speak on the subject.

If you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or another mental illness, you may have many questions for your doctor. To help you organize your thoughts, here is a list of questions to think about asking:

  • What is my illness?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What might have caused my illness?
  • How might this illness affect me over time?
  • What other medical problems often go along with this illness?
  • What are the risk factors for this illness?
  • How can you tell I have this illness?
  • How is this illness treated?
  • What will the treatment do for me?
  • Are there side effects from the treatment?
  • What are my options if this treatment fails?
  • What will happen if I do not do anything about my illness?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • Where can I go for help?
  • Where can I go to learn more about my illness?

Feel free to raise any other questions or concerns you may have about your illness with your doctor. The more you know about your illness, the better prepared you will be to deal with it.

Getting Help
Not sure where to go for more help? Talk to someone who has worked with mental illness, such as a doctor, social worker, or church counselor. Other types of people and places that can help include:

  • Your health plan
  • Community mental health centers
  • Hospital psychiatry departments
  • Social service agencies
  • Private clinics
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Local medical and/or psychiatric societies
  • State hospital outpatient clinics

If your doctor puts you on 1 or more medications for a mental illness, here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • What is the name of the medication, and what is it supposed to do?
  • What are my chances of getting better with this treatment?
  • How and when do I take it?
  • How will I know if the medication is working?
  • How long will I have to take it?
  • Can I take this medication if I am pregnant or planning to have a baby soon?
  • What foods, drinks, other medications, or activities should I avoid while taking this medication?
  • What are the side effects?
  • What should I do if I have side effects?
  • Will this medication affect my sleep, my sex life, or my appetite?
  • How will this medication interact with other medications I’m already taking?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • Can I have beer, wine, or other alcoholic drinks?

Never stop taking a medication without your doctor’s help.

Before you get a prescription, make sure your doctor knows:

  • Your medical history
  • What other medications you are taking
  • If you have ever taken medications for a mental illness in the past
  • If you are pregnant or planning to have a baby
  • Past problems with medications or food side effects
  • Other health conditions you may have (such as diabetes, heart disease, allergies, etc)
  • If you are on a special diet or take supplements
  • If you smoke, drink alcohol, or do “street drugs” (such as cocaine, pot, etc)

It is very important to ask your doctor any questions you may have. The more you know about your mental illness and the medications you will be taking for it, the better prepared you will be to take care of yourself. You should always take medications exactly the way your doctor tells you to. Read article here.

Under the mental health parity law, insurance plans must provide coverage of all medically necessary treatment for nine enumerated severe mental illnesses, including eating disorders as well as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, autism, and serious emotional disturbances in children and adolescents. Read article here.