Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"20 Secret Signs of Addiction" has an article about the telltale signs of alcohol and drug abuse that should raise red flags if a family member or friend is doing the following:

Building up a tolerance
Hiding bottles around the house
Valuables disappearing
Being unreliable and secretive

Learn about these and more by reading the full article.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Online Book: "How to Find a Good Therapist"

Psych Central has a helpful guide by Ben Butina which starts out by stating: "Therapy works. It seems like such a simple statement, but it’s taken several decades of research to confirm that most people do, in fact, benefit from therapy. Some of this research has also addressed the trickier question of how therapy works. As it turns out, the relationship between the therapist and the client plays a huge role...."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pregnant Women Warned About Depakote

Psych Central News reports this disturbing finding about the commonly-prescribed anticonvulsant, which is also used as a mood stabilizer.

Children born to women who took the epilepsy drug valproic acid (Depakote or Depakene) during the first trimester of pregnancy are much more likely to have serious births defects affecting the brain, heart and limbs, a new study finds.

The review is published in the June 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the review, researchers first looked at eight studies that included nearly 1,600 births and identified some 14 birth defects that seemed to be much more common among the children of women who took valproic acid early in pregnancy.

Researchers then took that information and analyzed data from a large European study that included nearly 4 million births and 98,000 birth defects. They found women who took valproic acid in early pregnancy had two to 12 times the risk of having a baby with one of six specific birth defects compared to women who took no epilepsy drugs. The findings were similar when birth defect rates among those taking valproic acid were compared to the rates for women who took other epilepsy drugs, leading researchers to conclude it was the valproic acid, not some other epilepsy drug, that was to blame.

NOTE: The absolute statistics are not quite as alarming: the chances of having a baby with any of these defects is less than one percent, but women in the first trimester are advised to avoid valproic acid as a precaution.

Thought for the Day, Part 4

"The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions." - Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Real Men Do Seek Out Mental Health Support

This just in from American Forces Press Service:

"Twenty-eight Medal of Honor recipients recently launched the “Medal of Honor – Speak Out” campaign to encourage troops struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries and other health problems to take advantage of services to help them...."

UPDATE: To go directly to where the Medal of Honor warriors have recorded their statements on video, visit

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Americans Prefer Antidepressants Over Talk Therapy

An intriguing MSNBC-Reuters article describes how Consumer Reports conducted a survey of 1,500 readers, only to find out that 80% of patients were prescribed antidepressants, and that SSRIs (such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft) were preferred over SNRIs such as Effexor [and its newer brother, Pristiq] and Cymbalta because of side effects.

NOTE: DBSA's position can be compared to a three-legged stool - we recommend that any person with a mood disorder should consult a psychiatrist for a diagnosis and prescriptions, use a therapist for discussing personal problems and working out coping strategies, and frequent support groups to be around people who understand your situation and can speak from personal experience.