Active Shooter Drills May Be Harming Children, but Doctors Offer Help

Gun attacks in classrooms across the nation have led principals and other school leaders to implement “active shooter” drills to try to increase the safety of their students and faculty. The drills can range from staging lockdowns and sheltering in place to quasi dramas with mock shooters roaming the halls. Although the goals of these … Read more

Americans’ Biggest Source of Anxiety? Hint: It’s Not COVID

Anxiety over the US economy intensified in June, with 87% of Americans reporting they are anxious or very anxious about inflation, up eight percentage points from the previous month, results from a new national report from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) show. “The economy seems to have supplanted COVID as a major factor in Americans’ … Read more

Does Schizophrenia Need a Name Change?

The term schizophrenia carries an incredible load with it. It is not just a moniker for a serious mental condition but also a tool to support discrimination, shame, and condemnation, as multiple recent studies and surveys have shown. The evidence suggests that many of the insensitivities of decades and centuries past, though certainly much improved, … Read more

Religious Fundamentalism and Later-Life Anxiety

I was a resident, young and naive, when I bumped into my neighbor in the hospital hallway as he walked out of a psychiatrist’s office. “Why are you here?” I asked, thinking that my neighbor, a theology professor, had some professional reason to be meeting with a psychiatrist, perhaps some type of community project. As … Read more

Gun Safety ‘Wrapped in a Mental Health Bill’: Health Provisions

The gun safety law forged through tense bipartisan talks in the Senate last month has been heralded as the first federal legislation in 30 years to combat rising gun violence. But what often falls below the radar is the new law’s focus on improving mental health services. News has coverage largely centered on the law’s … Read more

How Physicians Can Combat Gun Violence: Lessons From Tobacco

Emotion not reason drives belief. People defend their feelings with reasons, but they are really rationalizations —conscious explanations for unconscious causes. That’s how we vote; that’s how we believe or disbelieve in religion; that’s how we take sides on a myriad of social and cultural issues. A century of psychiatric knowledge and research, including twin … Read more

Will Mental Health Elements of Gun Law Prevent Mass Shootings?

On June 25, President Joe Biden signed into law the most extensive gun safety legislation in decades. Coming after a rash of mass shootings this year, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act expands background checks for gun purchasers younger than 21 years and stiffens penalties against so-called straw purchasers, who buy a gun and sell it … Read more

Asian American Teens at Highest Risk for Suicidal Thoughts

NEW ORLEANS — In an unexpected finding, researchers discovered that Asian American adolescents had the highest rate of suicidal ideation, per a 2019 national survey of high-school students. According to a weighted analysis, 24% of Asian Americans reported thinking about or planning suicide vs. 22% of Whites and Blacks and 20% of Hispanics (P < ... Read more

Hero Physician Slain in CA Attack Remembered as ‘One in a Million’

The murder earlier this month of John Cheng, MD, a family physician who died trying to disarm a shooter inside a Taiwanese church, has left members of the Asian American community in Southern California reeling. Cheng, 52, was struck with three bullets while rushing toward the gunman, according to a witness account published in The … Read more

Don’t Equate Mass Shootings With Mental Illness

Here we go, again, and again, and again. There just aren’t enough tears, and before the bodies of 19 small children are identified, the political noise starts up. Mass shootings are a part of the American landscape, but when they happen at schools, we all feel a distinct sense of violation and gaping grief. Those … Read more