Depression Guidelines Fall Short in Characterizing Withdrawal

Current depression guidelines offer incomplete guidance for clinicians to identify antidepressant withdrawal, based on data from a review of 21 guidelines. Previous research suggests that approximately half of patients who discontinue or decrease dosage of antidepressants experience withdrawal symptoms, wrote Anders Sørensen, MD, of Copenhagen University Hospital, and colleagues. These symptoms are diverse and may … Read more

Anxiety Sensitivity Fuels Depression in DID

Higher levels of anxiety sensitivity were associated with more severe depression in adults with dissociative identity disorder, based on data from 21 individuals. Xi Pan, LICSW, MPA Anxiety sensitivity refers to fear of the signs and symptoms of anxiety based on the individual’s belief that the signs of anxiety will have harmful consequences, wrote Xi … Read more

Concern Grows Over ‘Medical Aid in Dying for Mental Illness’ Law

Amid growing concern among the public, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals, the Canadian government is seeking to delay the legalization of its proposed medical assistance in dying (MAID) for mental illness law that is slated to pass on March 17. Canada already has the largest number of deaths by MAID of any nation, with … Read more

New Smell Tech Could Make VR Therapies More Powerful

An emerging trend in virtual reality – incorporating smell – could be exciting news not just for gaming but for health care as well. A growing number of hospitals across the country are using virtual reality to help patients manage pain, overcome phobias, and calm anxiety. Providers and patients report mostly good results, save for … Read more

Emotional Eating Tied to Risk for Diastolic Dysfunction

Eating in response to stress — known as emotional eating — was significantly associated with several markers of long-term cardiovascular damage, based on data from 1,109 individuals. “We know diet plays a huge role in cardiovascular disease, but we’ve focused a lot of work on what you eat, not on what makes you eat” — … Read more

German ‘Island’ Aids Children and Adolescents With Addiction

They come from broken homes, from youth welfare organizations, or from the street. These are the addicted children and teenagers who seek help at Germany’s “Teen Spirit Island.” Medscape spoke to the pediatric and adolescent psychiatrist Frank M. Fischer, MD, senior physician of the Addiction and Trauma Therapy Ward at the Auf der Bult Children’s … Read more

Pandemic May Be Limiting ED Access for Sexual Assault

Emergency department (ED) encounters for sexual assault increased before the COVID-19 pandemic, decreased immediately after lockdowns were implemented, and fluctuated as the pandemic continued, an analysis of more than 10,000 such visits in Canada’s most populous province shows. Dr Katherine Muldoon “In 2020, we hoped that the COVID pandemic would only last a few months. … Read more

Antipsychotic Use in Pregnancy: New Data

New data suggests that in general, antipsychotics are not associated with any increased risk of congenital malformations in a growing fetus, new data show. Dr Krista Huybrechts Overall, the findings suggest that antipsychotics are “not major teratogens and are therefore generally reassuring for women who require treatment with antipsychotics during pregnancy,” study investigator Krista Huybrechts, … Read more

With NYC Plan for Mentally Ill, Hospitals Face Complex Task

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s latest plan to keep mentally ill people from languishing in public is billed as a common-sense strategy to get them help. By encouraging police officers and city medics to take more psychologically disturbing people to hospitals, even if they refuse care, Mayor Eric Adams says he’s humanely tackling … Read more

Overdose Deaths up 81% in Pregnant, Postpartum Women

Drug overdose deaths in pregnant and postpartum women rose by about 81% from 2017 to 2020, researchers report in a JAMA research letter published online Dec. 6. Pregnancy-associated overdose deaths were highest in 2020 as the COVID pandemic began, according to the researchers, Emilie Bruzelius, MPH, and Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD, with the department … Read more