WBEZ | depression http://www.wbez.org/tags/depression Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en How Stereotypes of Mental Health Affect Us http://www.wbez.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/2015-11-06/how-do-stereotypes-mental-health-affect-us-113672 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/alixgen.JPG" alt="" /><p><div id="res453994994" style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="http://embed.ted.com/talks/alix_generous_how_i_learned_to_communicate_my_inner_life_with_asperger_s.html?zone=npr2" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="560"></iframe></div><div id="res454901983"><br /><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><em>Check out part two of the&nbsp;TED Radio Hour&nbsp;episode&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/453993626/headspace" target="_blank">Headspace</a>.</em></p><hr /><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>About Alix Generous&#39; TED Talk</strong></span></p><p>Twenty-three-year-old&nbsp;<a href="http://www.alixgenerous.com/" target="_blank">Alix Generous</a>&nbsp;describes her years-long journey through misdiagnosis in the mental health system and how it affected her sense of confidence and self-worth.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/generousalix" target="_blank">Alix Generous</a>&nbsp;is a student, mental health advocate and researcher who is passionate about molecular biology and neuroscience. She encourages people like her to share their intelligence and insights.</p><p>She is co-owner of the startup&nbsp;<a href="http://www.autismsees.com/" target="_blank">AutismSees</a>, which develops technology to help all kinds of people give presentations and be better prepared for job or college interviews.</p><p>As a student, Generous has published her research on coral reefs in the journalConsilience. She has also served as a youth delegate for the UN Convention of Climate Change (COP19).</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 06 Nov 2015 10:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/2015-11-06/how-do-stereotypes-mental-health-affect-us-113672 What happens if you try to prevent every suicide? http://www.wbez.org/news/what-happens-if-you-try-prevent-every-suicide-113595 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Maria Fabrizio for NPR.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res453154484" previewtitle="Maria Fabrizio for NPR"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Maria Fabrizio for NPR" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/30/npr_prevention_wide-676c542689c0117864e3b29f6560be48c17151cd-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="(Maria Fabrizio for NPR)" /></div><div><div>Each year, nearly three times as many Americans die from suicide as from homicide. More Americans kill themselves than die from breast cancer.</div></div></div><p>As&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/bio/index.shtml">Thomas Insel</a>, longtime head of the National Institute of Mental Health, prepared to step down from his job in October, he cited the lack of progress in reducing the number of suicides as his biggest disappointment. While the homicide rate in the U.S. has dropped 50 percent since the early 1990s, the suicide rate is higher than it was a decade ago.</p><p>&quot;That to me is unacceptable,&quot; Insel says.</p><p>It hasn&#39;t been for lack of trying. The U.S. has a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/">national suicide hotline</a>, and there are suicide prevention programs in every state. There&#39;s screening, educational programs, and midnight walks to raise awareness. Yet over the past decade or so, the national suicide rate has increased. In 2003, the suicide rate was 10.8 per 100,000 people. In 2013, it was 12.6.</p><p>An effort that began in Detroit in 2001 to treat the most common cause of suicide &mdash; depression &mdash; is offering hope. With a relentless focus on finding and treating people with depression, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.henryford.com/">Henry Ford Health System</a>&nbsp;has cut the suicide rate among the people in its insurance plan dramatically. The story of the health system&#39;s success is a story of persistence, confidence, hope and a strict adherence to a very specific approach.</p><p>That approach saved the life of a woman who prefers to be known only by her first name, Lynn. She agreed to share her medical history on the condition that we not use her full name to protect her privacy.</p><p>Lynn, who&#39;s now in her mid-50s, has had&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder-in-adults/index.shtml">bipolar disorder</a>, also known as manic-depressive illness, for nearly 30 years. The depressive part of her illness &quot;is like the pain of having a cancer,&quot; she says. About 15 years ago, she started getting irresistible urges to take her own life and she started making serious attempts &mdash; at times almost monthly.</p><p>&quot;When I was in the depths of depression, I was being pulled and sucked into this black tunnel,&quot; she says. &quot;I was desperately trying to grab onto something to stop from being sucked in.&quot; Sometimes she couldn&#39;t find anything to hang on to. &quot;Those are the times when I finally let go and attempted suicide,&quot; she says.</p><p>The program that saved Lynn almost didn&#39;t get off the ground.</p><p>Fifteen years ago, suicide prevention care at Henry Ford, like in many places, was mostly reactive. When patients came in talking about suicide, health providers took notice. But little was done to find people before they reached that point.</p><p>Some of the health providers in the psychiatric division decided they could do better. So they applied to a foundation for a grant to provide something they called &quot;perfect depression care&quot; for the 200,000 patients in the health system. The goal: zero suicides.</p><p>The mental health division failed to win the grant, but the health system went ahead with the proposed changes anyway.</p><p>The plan it developed is intensive and thorough, an almost cookbook approach. Primary care doctors screen every patient with two questions: How often have you felt down in the past two weeks? And how often have you felt little pleasure in doing things? A high score leads to more questions about sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, thoughts of hurting oneself. All patients are questioned on every visit.</p><p>If the health providers recognize a mental health problem, patients are assigned to appropriate care &mdash; cognitive behavioral therapy, drugs, group counseling, or hospitalization if necessary. On each patient&#39;s medical record, providers have to attest to having done the screening, and they record plans for any needed care.</p><p>Therapists involve patients&#39; families, and ask them to remove guns or other means of suicide from their homes. Clerks are trained to make sure that patients who need followup care don&#39;t leave without an appointment. Patients themselves come up with &quot;safety plans.&quot;</p><p>Lynn has two copies, one by her nightstand and one in her kitchen. Each lists things she can do when she feels depression coming on. She could sit on her balcony, or do some drawing or painting. The list includes her therapists&#39; phone numbers. And there&#39;s a reminder that the feeling will pass &mdash; it has before.</p><p>Before the zero suicide plan went into effect, says psychiatrist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.henryfordmacomb.com/body.cfm?id=38441&amp;action=detail&amp;ref=3475">Doree Ann Espiritu</a>, acting head of the zero suicide program at Henry Ford, you might make a contract with a patient where the patient agrees not to commit suicide. Studies show it doesn&#39;t work very well, she says.</p><p>Today, providers are trained to be comfortable asking their patients about suicidal thoughts. &quot;There is a fear among clinicians that if you ask questions about suicide, you are giving the patient an idea that this could be an option,&quot; says Espiritu, &quot;and if you ask about guns or pills, that you are giving them some hints on how they can carry out a plan.&quot; The Henry Ford therapists are trained to break that barrier.</p><p>For Lynn, the key was persistence &mdash; her therapists&#39;, and her own. &quot;I recall one time with my psychiatrist, who kept trying to encourage me and help me find ways of coping, and I can remember saying, &#39;I don&#39;t believe there&#39;s hope, I don&#39;t see it, I don&#39;t feel it, I need you to hold on to that for me because it&#39;s not there,&#39; &quot; she recalls.</p><p>Her therapists never gave up. &quot;There is no question that the message I got from Day 1 is that they knew they could help me, and they would help me,&quot; Lynn says. Over the years she&#39;s been in group therapy, day treatment, and, when things got bad, the emergency room.</p><p>The Henry Ford approach is catching on. A stream of visitors from U.S. health insurers and from the United Kingdom have made site visits.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sprc.org/">The Suicide Prevention Resource Center</a>&nbsp;has run two zero suicide training academies for teams from health care systems based on the Henry Ford principles. Other health systems have adapted the plan, including&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ghc.org/">Group Health Cooperative&nbsp;</a>in Seattle and the behavioral health provider<a href="https://www.centerstone.org/locations/tennessee">Centerstone</a>&nbsp;in Tennessee.</p><p>Espiritu started work at Henry Ford just as the program was starting, and she remembers the initial staff meetings: &quot;There was a lot of, &#39;How can you do this? How can you aim for zero? How can you expect your clinicians to be perfect and follow this protocol?&#39; &quot; Some people didn&#39;t think it could be done, she says, or even attempted.</p><p>Still, the health system went ahead, and the rewards were nearly immediate. Henry Ford epidemiologist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.henryford.com/body.cfm?id=38441&amp;action=detail&amp;ref=4563">Brian Ahmedani&nbsp;</a>studies the numbers. In 2009, for those being actively treated for a mental health problem or substance abuse, &quot;we had a rate of zero per hundred thousand,&quot; he says. It&#39;s crept up to 20 per 100,000 per year, but that&#39;s still 80 percent lower than it was when the program began. The rate is five per 100,000 in the organization&#39;s general population, which is well below the national average and has remained steady despite an increasing rate of suicide statewide.</p><p>There&#39;s reason to think a full-bore effort to treat depression could reduce health costs, because untreated depression is associated with higher medical bills for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. But there are training costs involved, and the Henry Ford system has had to keep its staffing up to be able to provide care for people who need it.</p><p>Officials at Henry Ford say they haven&#39;t analyzed the costs. But&nbsp;<a href="https://www.centerstone.org/">Centerstone</a>&nbsp;has. The behavioral health provider in Nashville implemented the Henry Ford approach for nearly 200 patients who&#39;d already made a suicide attempt. Reductions in emergency room visits and hospitalizations over the course of a year resulted in savings of more than $400,000.</p><p>Why push for zero, rather than just a reduction? &quot;Because if you say we&#39;re OK with five a year, one of those might be your brother or your friend,&quot; says Espiritu. &quot;We aim for zero because it reminds all of us of what we would want for ourselves.&quot; Maybe it is not possible, she says. But it is a goal.</p><p>And as for Lynn, she doesn&#39;t consider herself cured. She says with the treatment she&#39;s received at Henry Ford, she&#39;s learned to live, even thrive, with bipolar disease. And she&#39;s alive. That, she says, makes her a big success story.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/02/452658644/what-happens-if-you-try-to-prevent-every-single-suicide?ft=nprml&amp;f=452658644" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 02 Nov 2015 12:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/what-happens-if-you-try-prevent-every-suicide-113595 Could depression be caused by an infection? http://www.wbez.org/news/could-depression-be-caused-infection-113501 <p><div id="res451173785"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="Katherine Streeter for NPR" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/23/depression_wide-aaf85ea35870f9cd4b15bbe3e103b18dddd3a80c-s400-c85.jpeg" style="height: 347px; width: 620px;" title="(Katherine Streeter for NPR)" /></div><div><div style="text-align: justify;">Sometime around 1907, well before the modern randomized clinical trial was routine, American psychiatrist Henry Cotton began removing decaying teeth from his patients in hopes of curing their mental disorders. If that didn&#39;t work, he moved on to more invasive excisions: tonsils, testicles, ovaries and, in some cases, colons.</div></div></div><p style="text-align: justify;">Cotton was the newly appointed director of the New Jersey State Hospital for the Insane and was acting on a theory proposed by influential Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Adolf Meyer, under whom Cotton had studied, that psychiatric illness is the result of chronic infection. Meyer&#39;s idea was based on observations that patients with high fevers sometimes experience delusions and hallucinations.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Cotton ran with the idea, scalpel in hand.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In 1921, he published a well-received book on the theory called&nbsp;The Defective Delinquent and Insane: the Relation of Focal Infections to Their Causation, Treatment and Prevention. A few years later&nbsp;The New York Times&nbsp;wrote, &quot;eminent physicians and surgeons testified that the New Jersey State Hospital for the Insane was the most progressive institution in the world for the care of the insane, and that the newer method of treating the insane by the removal of focal infection placed the institution in a unique position with respect to hospitals for the mentally ill.&quot; Eventually Cotton opened a hugely successful private practice, catering to the infected molars of Trenton, N.J., high society.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Following his death in 1933, interest in Cotton&#39;s cures waned. His mortality rates hovered at a troubling 45 percent, and in all likelihood his treatments didn&#39;t work. But though his rogue surgeries were dreadfully misguided and disfiguring, a growing body of research suggests that there might be something to his belief that infection &mdash; and with it inflammation &mdash; is involved in some forms of mental illness.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Symptoms Of Mental And Physical Illness Can Overlap</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Late last year, Turhan Canli, an associate professor of psychology and radiology at Stony Brook University, published a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.biolmoodanxietydisord.com/content/4/1/10">paper</a>&nbsp;in the journal&nbsp;Biology of Mood and Anxiety Disorders&nbsp;asserting that depression should be thought of as an infectious disease. &quot;Depressed patients act physically sick,&quot; says Canli. &quot;They&#39;re tired, they lose their appetite, they don&#39;t want to get out of bed.&quot; He notes that while Western medicine practitioners tend to focus on the psychological symptoms of depression, in many non-Western cultures, patients who would qualify for a depression diagnosis report primarily physical symptoms, in part because of the stigmatization of mental illness.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&quot;The idea that depression is caused simply by changes in serotonin is not panning out. We need to think about other possible causes and treatments for psychiatric disorders,&quot; says Canli.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">His assertion that depression results from infection might seem far-fetched, or at least premature, but there are some data to bolster his claim.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Harkening back to Adolf Meyer&#39;s early 20th-century theory, Canli notes how certain infections of the brain &mdash; perhaps most notably&nbsp;Toxoplasma gondii&nbsp;&mdash; can&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/07/02/156142214/a-parasite-carried-by-cats-could-hurt-humans-sanity">result in emotional disturbances</a>&nbsp;that mimic psychiatric conditions. He also notes that numerous pathogens have been associated with mental illnesses, including Borna disease virus, Epstein-Barr and certain strains of herpes, including varicella zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles.</p><div id="res451199727"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="Toxoplasma gondii, a parasitic protozoan, afflicts cats and other mammals. Acute toxoplasmosis produces flu-like symptoms and has been linked to behavioral changes in humans." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/23/toxiplasmosis_wide-03cfc129c5a3ebbe4bf911771f2499fade041875-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Toxoplasma gondii, a parasitic protozoan, afflicts cats and other mammals. Acute toxoplasmosis produces flu-like symptoms and has been linked to behavioral changes in humans. (Courtesy of Eye of Science/Science Source)" /></div><div><p style="text-align: justify;">A Danish&nbsp;<a href="http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1696348">study</a>&nbsp;published in&nbsp;JAMA Psychiatry&nbsp;in 2013 looked at the medical records of over 3 million people and found that any history of hospitalization for infection was associated with a 62 percent increased risk of later developing a mood disorder, including depression and bipolar disorder.</p></div></div><p style="text-align: justify;">Canli believes that pathogens acting directly on the brain may result in psychiatric symptoms, but also that autoimmune activity &mdash; or the body&#39;s immune system attacking itself &mdash; triggered by infection may also contribute. The Danish study also reported that a past history of an autoimmune disorder increases the risk of a future mood disorder by 45 percent.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Antibodies Provide A Clue</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">The idea that there could be a relationship between the immune system and brain disease isn&#39;t new. Autoantibodies were&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766578/">reported</a>&nbsp;in schizophrenia patients in the 1930s. Subsequent work has detected antibodies to various neurotransmitter receptors in the brains of psychiatric patients, while a number of brain disorders, including multiple sclerosis, are known to involve abnormal immune system activity. Researchers at the University of Virginia recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v523/n7560/full/nature14432.html">identified</a>&nbsp;a previously undiscovered network of vessels directly connecting the brain with the immune system; the authors concluded that an interplay between the two could significantly contribute to certain neurologic and psychiatric conditions.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Both infection and autoimmune activity result in inflammation, our body&#39;s response to harmful stimuli, which in part involves a surge in immune system activity. And it&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3626880/">thought</a>&nbsp;by many in the psychiatric research community that inflammation is somehow involved in depression and perhaps other mental illnesses.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Capture_3.JPG" style="height: 542px; width: 350px; float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid;" title="(via Library of Congress)" />Multiple studies have linked depression with elevated markers of inflammation, including two analyses from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20015486">2010</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21872339">2012</a>&nbsp;that collectively reviewed data from 53 studies, as well as several postmortem studies. A large body of related research confirms that autoimmune and inflammatory activity in the brain is linked with psychiatric symptoms.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Still, for the most part, the research so far finds associations but doesn&#39;t prove cause and effect between inflammation and mental health issues. The apparent links could be a matter of chance, or there might be some other factor that hasn&#39;t been identified.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Dr. Roger McIntyre, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, tells Shots that he believes an upset in the &quot;immune-inflammatory system&quot; is at the core of mental illness and that psychiatric disorders might be an unfortunate cost of our powerful immune defenses. &quot;Throughout evolution our enemy up until vaccines and antibiotics were developed was an infection,&quot; he says. &quot;Our immune system evolved to fight infections so we could survive and pass our genes to the next generation. However, our immune-inflammatory system doesn&#39;t distinguish between what&#39;s provoking it.&quot; McIntyre explains how stressors of any kind &mdash; physical or sexual abuse, sleep deprivation, grief &mdash; can activate our immune alarms. &quot;For reasons other than fighting infection, our immune-inflammatory response can stay activated for weeks, months or years and result in collateral damage,&quot; he says.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Unlike Canli, McIntyre implicates inflammation in general, not exclusively inflammation caused by infection or direct effects of infection itself, as a major contributor to mental maladies. &quot;It&#39;s unlikely that most people with a mental illness have it as a result of infection,&quot; he says, &quot;but it would be reasonable to hypothesize that a subpopulation of people with depression or bipolar disorder or schizophrenia ended up that way because an infection activated their immune-inflammatory system.&quot; McIntyre says that infection, particularly in the womb, could work in concert with genetics, psychosocial factors and our diet and microbiome to influence immune and inflammatory activity and, in turn, our risk of psychiatric disease.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Trying Drugs Against Inflammation For Mental Illness</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">The idea that inflammation &mdash; whether stirred up by infection or by other factors &mdash; contributes to or causes mental illness comes with caveats, at least in terms of potential treatments. Trials testing anti-inflammatory drugs have been overall mixed or underwhelming.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">A recent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4559013/">meta-analysis</a>&nbsp;reported that supplementing SSRIs like Prozac with regular low-dose aspirin use is associated with a reduced risk of depression, and ibuprofen supplementation is linked with lower chances of obtaining psychiatric care. However, concomitant treatment with SSRIs and diclofenac or celecoxib &mdash; two other anti-inflammatories often used to treat arthritis &mdash; was associated with increased risk of needing hospital care due to psychiatric symptoms.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">A 2013&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22945416">study</a>&nbsp;explored the antidepressant potential of Remicade, a drug used in rheumatoid arthritis. Overall, three infusions of the medication were found to be no more effective than a placebo, but patients whose blood had higher levels of an inflammatory marker called&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003356.htm">C-reactive protein</a>&nbsp;did experience modest benefit.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&quot;The truth of the matter is that there is probably a subset of people who get depressed in response to inflammation,&quot; says lead author Dr. Charles Raison, a psychiatry professor at the University of Arizona. &quot;Maybe their bodies generate more inflammation, or maybe they&#39;re more sensitive to it.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">How infection and other causes of inflammation and overly aggressive immune activity may contribute to depression and other mental illnesses &mdash; and whether or not it&#39;s actually depression driving the inflammation &mdash; is still being investigated, and likely will be for some time. But plenty of leading psychiatrists agree that the search for alternative pathologic explanations and treatments for psychiatric disorders could help jump-start the field.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&quot;I&#39;m not convinced that anti-inflammatory strategies are going to turn out to be the most powerful treatments around,&quot; cautions Raison. &quot;But I think if we really want to understand depression, we definitely have to understand how the immune system talks to the brain. I just don&#39;t think we&#39;ve identified immune-based or anti-inflammatory treatments yet that are going to have big effects in depression.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">But the University of Toronto&#39;s McIntyre has a slightly brighter outlook. &quot;Is depression due to infection, or is it due to something else?&quot; he asks. &quot;The answer is yes and yes. The bottom line is inflammation appears to contribute to depression, and we have interventions to address this.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">McIntyre notes that while the science of psychiatry has a long way to go, and that these interventions haven&#39;t been proved effective, numerous approaches with minimal side effects exist that appear to be generally anti-inflammatory, including exercise, meditation and healthy sleep habits.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">He also finds promise in the work of his colleague: &quot;Like most cases in medicine, Charles Raison showed that anti-inflammatory approaches may benefit some people with depression, but not everybody. If you try on your friend&#39;s eyeglasses, chances are they won&#39;t help your vision very much.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&mdash; <a href="http://Symptoms Of Mental And Physical Illness Can Overlap Late last year, Turhan Canli, an associate professor of psychology and radiology at Stony Brook University, published a paper in the journal Biology of Mood and Anxiety Disorders asserting that depression should be thought of as an infectious disease. &quot;Depressed patients act physically sick,&quot; says Canli. &quot;They're tired, they lose their appetite, they don't want to get out of bed.&quot; He notes that while Western medicine practitioners tend to focus on the psychological symptoms of depression, in many non-Western cultures, patients who would qualify for a depression diagnosis report primarily physical symptoms, in part because of the stigmatization of mental illness. &quot;The idea that depression is caused simply by changes in serotonin is not panning out. We need to think about other possible causes and treatments for psychiatric disorders,&quot; says Canli. His assertion that depression results from infection might seem far-fetched, or at least premature, but there are some data to bolster his claim. Harkening back to Adolf Meyer's early 20th century theory, Canli notes how certain infections of the brain — perhaps most notably Toxoplasma gondii — can result in emotional disturbances that mimic psychiatric conditions. He also notes that numerous pathogens have been associated with mental illnesses, including Borna disease virus, Epstein-Barr and certain strains of herpes, including varicella zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles. Toxoplasma gondii, a parasitic protozoan, afflicts cats and other mammals. Acute toxoplasmosis produces flu-like symptoms and has been linked to behavioral changes in humans. Toxoplasma gondii, a parasitic protozoan, afflicts cats and other mammals. Acute toxoplasmosis produces flu-like symptoms and has been linked to behavioral changes in humans. Eye of Science/Science Source A Danish study published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2013 looked at the medical records of over 3 million people and found that any history of hospitalization for infection was associated with a 62 percent increased risk of later developing a mood disorder, including depression and bipolar disorder. Canli believes that pathogens acting directly on the brain may result in psychiatric symptoms, but also that autoimmune activity — or the body's immune system attacking itself — triggered by infection may also contribute. The Danish study also reported that a past history of an autoimmune disorder increases the risk of a future mood disorder by 45 percent. Antibodies Provide A Clue The idea that there could be a relationship between the immune system and brain disease isn't new. Autoantibodies were reported in schizophrenia patients in the 1930s. Subsequent work has detected antibodies to various neurotransmitter receptors in the brains of psychiatric patients, while a number of brain disorders, including multiple sclerosis, are known to involve abnormal immune system activity. Researchers at the University of Virginia recently identified a previously undiscovered network of vessels directly connecting the brain with the immune system; the authors concluded that an interplay between the two could significantly contribute to certain neurologic and psychiatric conditions. Both infection and autoimmune activity result in inflammation, our body's response to harmful stimuli, which in part involves a surge in immune system activity. And it's thought by many in the psychiatric research community that inflammation is somehow involved in depression and perhaps other mental illnesses. Multiple studies have linked depression with elevated markers of inflammation, including two analyses from 2010 and 2012 that collectively reviewed data from 53 studies, as well as several postmortem studies. A large body of related research confirms that autoimmune and inflammatory activity in the brain is linked with psychiatric symptoms. Still, for the most part the research so far finds associations but doesn't prove cause and effect between inflammation and mental health issues. The apparent links could be a matter of chance, or there might be some other factor that hasn't been identified. Dr. Roger McIntyre, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, tells Shots that he believes an upset in the &quot;immune-inflammatory system&quot; is at the core of mental illness and that psychiatric disorders might be an unfortunate cost of our powerful immune defenses. &quot;Throughout evolution our enemy up until vaccines and antibiotics were developed was infection,&quot; he says. &quot;Our immune system evolved to fight infections so we could survive and pass our genes to the next generation. However, our immune-inflammatory system doesn't distinguish between what's provoking it.&quot; McIntyre explains how stressors of any kind — physical or sexual abuse, sleep deprivation, grief — can activate our immune alarms. &quot;For reasons other than fighting infection, our immune-inflammatory response can stay activated for weeks, months or years and result in collateral damage,&quot; he says. Unlike Canli, McIntyre implicates inflammation in general, not exclusively inflammation caused by infection or direct effects of infection itself, as a major contributor to mental maladies. &quot;It's unlikely that most people with a mental illness have it as a result of infection,&quot; he says, &quot;but it would be reasonable to hypothesize that a subpopulation of people with depression or bipolar disorder or schizophrenia ended up that way because an infection activated their immune-inflammatory system.&quot; McIntyre says that infection, particularly in the womb, could work in concert with genetics, psychosocial factors and our diet and microbiome to influence immune and inflammatory activity and, in turn, our risk of psychiatric disease. Trying Drugs Against Inflammation For Mental Illness The idea that inflammation — whether stirred up by infection or by other factors — contributes to or causes mental illness comes with caveats, at least in terms of potential treatments. Trials testing anti-inflammatory drugs have been overall mixed or underwhelming. A recent meta-analysis reported that supplementing SSRIs like Prozac with regular low-dose aspirin use is associated with a reduced risk of depression, and ibuprofen supplementation is linked with lower chances of obtaining psychiatric care. However, concomitant treatment with SSRIs and diclofenac or celecoxib — two other anti-inflammatories often used to treat arthritis — was associated with increased risk of needing hospital care due to psychiatric symptoms. A 2013 study explored the antidepressant potential of Remicade, a drug used in rheumatoid arthritis. Overall, three infusions of the medication were found to be no more effective than a placebo, but patients whose blood had higher levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein did experience modest benefit. &quot;The truth of the matter is that there is probably a subset of people who get depressed in response to inflammation,&quot; says lead author Dr. Charles Raison, a psychiatry professor at the University of Arizona. &quot;Maybe their bodies generate more inflammation, or maybe they're more sensitive to it.&quot; How infection and other causes of inflammation and overly aggressive immune activity may contribute to depression and other mental illnesses — and whether or not it's actually depression driving the inflammation — is still being investigated, and likely will be for some time. But plenty of leading psychiatrists agree that the search for alternative pathologic explanations and treatments for psychiatric disorders could help jump-start the field. &quot;I'm not convinced that anti-inflammatory strategies are going to turn out to be the most powerful treatments around,&quot; cautions Raison. &quot;But I think if we really want to understand depression, we definitely have to understand how the immune system talks to the brain. I just don't think we've identified immune-based or anti-inflammatory treatments yet that are going to have big effects in depression.&quot; But the University of Toronto's McIntyre has a slightly brighter outlook. &quot;Is depression due to infection, or is it due to something else?&quot; he asks. &quot;The answer is yes and yes. The bottom line is inflammation appears to contribute to depression, and we have interventions to address this.&quot; McIntyre notes that while the science of psychiatry has a long way to go, and that these interventions haven't been proved effective, numerous approaches with minimal side effects exist that appear to be generally anti-inflammatory, including exercise, meditation and healthy sleep habits. He also finds promise in the work of his colleague: &quot;Like most cases in medicine, Charles Raison showed that anti-inflammatory approaches may benefit some people with depression, but not everybody. If you try on your friend's eyeglasses, chances are they won't help your vision very much.&quot;"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 26 Oct 2015 12:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/could-depression-be-caused-infection-113501 Is the resilience of millennials underrated? http://www.wbez.org/news/resilience-millennials-underrated-113281 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Katherine%20Streeter%20for%20NPR.jpeg" style="height: 336px; width: 600px;" title="(Katherine Streeter for NPR)" /></div><div><p>I&#39;m a member of Generation Y, or the millennial generation. People like me were born in the &#39;80s and early &#39;90s. But I don&#39;t like to broadcast that fact. Millennials tend to get a bad rap.</p><p>Journalists and commentators love ragging on us. They say we&#39;re ill-prepared to deal with life&#39;s challenges. And that, as a result, we have higher rates of mental health issues like depression and anxiety.</p><p>These ideas have been coming up over and over again for almost a decade now. There&#39;s psychologist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jeantwenge.com/">Jean Twenge</a>, for instance, who in 2006 published a book called<em> Generation Me: Why Today&#39;s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled &mdash; and More Miserable Than Ever Before</em>. &quot;In past generations, suicide and depression were considered afflictions of middle age,&quot; she writes. &quot;But for Generation Me, these problems are a rite of passage through adolescence and young adulthood&quot;</p><p>Then there&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/12/millennial_narcissism_helicopter_parents_are_college_students_bigger_problem.html">the Slate article</a>&nbsp;from a couple of years ago, titled &quot;Why Millennials Can&#39;t Grow Up.&quot; The explanation, according to psychotherapist Brooke Donatone: &quot;Their biggest challenge is conflict negotiation and they often are unable to think for themselves.&quot; Last year, in&nbsp;<em>Vanity Fair,</em> Bret Easton Ellis&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vanityfair.fr/culture/livre/articles/generation-wuss-by-bret-easton-ellis/15837">called us</a>&nbsp;&quot;Generation Wuss.&quot; Even NPR has asked: Are millennials&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/10/14/352979540/getting-some-me-time-why-millennials-are-so-individualistic">too narcissistic</a>? Do they&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/04/16/303741790/debate-millennials-dont-stand-a-chance">stand a chance</a>?</p><p>And now we&#39;re starting to turn against ourselves. In a recent&nbsp;Telegraph&nbsp;article reporter Rachael Dove, a self-identifying millennial, wrote&nbsp;<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/11534390/Anxiety-the-epidemic-sweeping-through-Generation-Y.html">a piece</a>&nbsp;titled &quot;Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y.&quot;</p><p>My friend Jay and I recently had a good laugh as we read through these articles together. &quot;Harsh,&quot; he said. &quot;But also kind of ridiculous.&quot;</p><p>Still, I wondered: Could it be true? Could it be that millennials really are more depressed and anxious than young people from generations past?</p><p>&quot;I&#39;ve definitely heard reports regarding increased levels of psychopathology among millennials,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://mitch.web.unc.edu/">Mitch Prinstein</a>, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. &quot;But I&#39;m not sure there are data to support that.&quot;</p><p>It&#39;s true that young adulthood can be a turbulent time &mdash; for folks from any generation, Prinstein says. So young people are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml">more likely</a>&nbsp;than older adults to say they experienced a depressive episode in the past year.</p><p>But we can&#39;t really compare how depressed millennials are with how it was for our parents and grandparents when they were young. That&#39;s because researchers weren&#39;t very good at collecting data on mental illness back in the &#39;60s and &#39;70s, when the baby boomers were in their late teens and 20s. The federal government does have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHmhfr2013/NSDUHmhfr2013.pdf">data</a>&nbsp;going back to the early 2000s, and depression rates haven&#39;t increased since then.</p><p>There are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/statistics/aag.html">better stats</a>&nbsp;on suicide among young people. Suicide rates for young adults increased through the &#39;70s and &#39;80s, but started dropping off in the late &#39;90s and have continued to decrease. So, it seems young people these days don&#39;t have higher rates of suicide than generations past.</p><p>So where does this idea that millennials&#39; mental health is declining even come from? Prinstein thinks people get that impression because we milliennials are full of angst. That&#39;s not new. But unlike past generations,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/10/14/352979540/getting-some-me-time-why-millennials-are-so-individualistic">we like to broadcast</a>&nbsp;our angst.</p><p>&quot;Millennials are certainly using social media in a way that we haven&#39;t seen with other generations,&quot; Prinstein says. &quot;They&#39;re not as shy about sharing their anxieties online.&quot;</p><p>And we do have a lot of things to stress about, he says, like an uncertain employment future and student loans. But stress doesn&#39;t necessarily equate to depression.</p><p>&quot;Depression is a biologically and psychologically driven form of mental illness that is remarkably common,&quot; Prinstein notes, &quot;but that is not necessarily experienced by everybody who is experiencing distress.&quot;</p><p>Still, some, like&nbsp;<a href="http://cacsprd.web.virginia.edu/Psych/Faculty/Profile/Joseph-P-Allen">Joseph Allen</a>, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, are concerned. Allen, who specializes in adolescent psychology, says in many cases, parents have worked too hard to make it too easy for their millennial children.</p><p>Parents haven&#39;t challenged millennials to support themselves, he says, and millennials may find it difficult adjusting to adulthood. &quot;If you&#39;re living in the basement and playing video games because you can&#39;t get a job or you haven&#39;t been pushed to get a job, that&#39;s going to leave you feeling aimless and a bit at sea whether or not it counts as clinical depression in a formal way,&quot; Allen says.</p><p>But again, at this point there isn&#39;t any conclusive research to prove that millennials feel especially listless or unfulfilled.</p><p>In any case, Gen Y is doing some things right when it comes to mental health, Prinstein says. Young people are generally more comfortable discussing mental health these days, he notes. And that helps reduce stigma so more people who really need mental health care are getting it.</p><p>&quot;So I&#39;m not sure if it&#39;s fair to characterize millennials as a group as poorly prepared to deal with life,&quot; Prinstein says. &quot;They&#39;re differently prepared.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/12/446928518/is-the-resilience-of-millennials-underrated?ft=nprml&amp;f=446928518" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/resilience-millennials-underrated-113281 The Bloggess is determined to be "Furiously Happy" http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-05/bloggess-determined-be-furiously-happy-113184 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1005_the-bloggess-624x407.jpg" title="Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness in “Furiously Happy.” (Courtesy Maile Wilson)" /></div><p style="text-align: justify;">Jenny Lawson&nbsp;is the creator of the wildly popular blog &ldquo;<a href="http://thebloggess.com/" target="_blank">The Bloggess</a>&rdquo; and author of the bestselling &ldquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Pretend-This-Never-Happened/dp/0425261018?tag=wburorg-20" target="_blank">Let&rsquo;s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir</a>.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img 2015="" a="" about="" alt="" book="" by="" class="image-original_image" flatiron="" funny="" furiously="" happy:="" horrible="" jenny="" lawson.="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1005_furiously-happy.jpg" style="height: 304px; width: 200px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="(Cover, &quot;Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things&quot;, by Jenny Lawson. 2015 Flatiron Books.)" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">In her latest book, she writes that clinical depression, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, mild OCD and trichotillomania (the urge to pull one&rsquo;s hair out) are all part of her life. But Lawson is determined to be what she calls &ldquo;furiously happy&rdquo; in the moments when things are fine and to find joy, in spite of her illnesses and ailments.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In being open not only about her moments of joy but also her moments of terror and depression, Lawson has found a community on the Internet that&nbsp;supports her and each other.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Jenny Lawson joins&nbsp;Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s Robin Young to talk about her book &ldquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Furiously-Happy-Funny-Horrible-Things/dp/1250077001?tag=wburorg-20" target="_blank">Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things</a>.&rdquo;</p><h4>&nbsp;</h4><h4><strong><em>Book Excerpt: &lsquo;Furiously Happy&rsquo;</em></strong></h4><h4><strong><em>Excerpted from the book FURIOUSLY HAPPY by Jenny Lawson. Copyright &copy; 2015 by Jenny Lawson. Reprinted with permission of Flatiron Books.</em></strong></h4><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_91459" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/283704871/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="615"></iframe></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/05/jenny-lawson-bloggess-furiously-happy" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-05/bloggess-determined-be-furiously-happy-113184 Club drug ketamine gains traction as a treatment for depression http://www.wbez.org/news/club-drug-ketamine-gains-traction-treatment-depression-113087 <p><div id="res443482399" previewtitle="Ketamine"><div data-crop-type="">A mind-altering drug called ketamine is changing the way some doctors treat depression.</div></div><p>Encouraged by research showing that ketamine can relieve even the worst depression in a matter of hours, these doctors are giving the drug to some of their toughest patients. And they&#39;re doing this even though ketamine lacks approval from the Food and Drug Administration for treating depression.</p><p>&quot;It became clear to me that the future of psychiatry was going to include ketamine or derivatives of ketamine,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://psychiatry.ucsd.edu/About/faculty/Pages/david-feifel.aspx">David Feifel</a>, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, who began administering the drug to patients in 2010.</p><p><img alt="" ap="" class="image-original_image" photo="" special="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_97010103697.jpg" style="float: left; height: 218px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="This is a vial of the drug ketamine hydrochloride, better known in the drug culture as &quot;Special K.&quot; (AP Photo/Victoria Arocho)" victoria="" />Ketamine was developed as an anesthetic and received FDA approval for this use in 1970. Decades later, it became popular as a psychedelic club drug. And in 2006, a team from the National Institute of Mental Health published a landmark&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16894061">study</a>&nbsp;showing that a single intravenous dose of ketamine produced &quot;robust and rapid antidepressant effects&quot; within a couple of hours.</p><p>Since then, thousands of depressed patients have received &quot;off-label&quot; treatment with ketamine.</p><p>One of those patients is Paul, 36, who lives in San Diego and is a patient of Dr. Feifel. We&#39;re not using his last name to protect his medical privacy.</p><p>Paul&#39;s depression began with anxiety. &quot;I was an extremely anxious child,&quot; he says. &quot;I would always make choices based on fear. My life was really directed by what was the least fearful thing that I could do.&quot;</p><p>As Paul grew up, his extreme anxiety led to major depression, which could leave him unable to get out of bed for days. &quot;I lived in pain,&quot; he says.</p><p>Paul managed to get through college and a stint in the Peace Corps. But most days were a struggle. And Paul has spent much of his adult life searching for a treatment that would give him some relief.</p><p>He tried just about every drug used for depression, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, and even electroconvulsive therapy, which induces a brief seizure. But nothing worked &mdash; at least not for very long.</p><p>Paul says he was increasingly haunted by &quot;this comforting thought of pressing a cold gun against my forehead where I felt the pain the most.&quot;</p><p>Then one day, while investigating depression on the Internet, Paul discovered the research on ketamine. &quot;It was clear to me that this was real,&quot; he says.</p><p>Ordinarily, there would have been no legal way for Paul to get ketamine. He didn&#39;t qualify for most research studies because of his suicidal thoughts. And doctors usually won&#39;t prescribe a mind-altering club drug to someone with a mental illness.</p><p>But the studies of ketamine have produced results so dramatic that some doctors, including Feifel, are bypassing the usual protocols.</p><p>By the time Feifel began hearing about ketamine, he had become frustrated with existing depression drugs. Too often, he says, they just weren&#39;t helping his patients.</p><div id="res443483905" previewtitle="David Feifel, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, has treated about 100 people with ketamine."><div><p>A major&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2253608/">study</a>&nbsp;on antidepressant medication published in 2008 seemed to confirm his suspicions. It found that current antidepressants really aren&#39;t much better than a placebo.</p></div></div><p>Many psychiatrists criticized that study. But not Feifel. &quot;I was kind of like, I&#39;m not surprised,&quot; he says. &quot;These really don&#39;t seem like powerful tools.&quot;</p><p>Feifel remembers feeling &quot;professionally embarrassed&quot; that psychiatrists didn&#39;t have something better to offer their depressed patients. Something like ketamine.</p><p>He knew the drug had risks. It could be abused. It could produce hallucinations. And it didn&#39;t have the FDA&#39;s OK for treating depression.</p><p>But he also knew that doctors had a lot of experience with ketamine. It&#39;s been used for decades as an anesthetic that can rapidly stop pain without affecting vital functions like breathing. And ketamine&#39;s safety record is so good that it&#39;s often the painkiller of choice for children who arrive in the emergency room with a broken bone.</p><p><img alt="David Feifel, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, has treated about 100 people with ketamine." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/25/david-feifel-a840fba065cef2c5a1f9b02b005f823b760acd55-s300-c85.jpg" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="David Feifel, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Diego, has treated about 100 people with ketamine. (Courtesy of David Feifel)" /></p><p>So in 2010, Feifel decided he wanted to offer low doses of the drug to some patients. The decision put him at odds with some prominent psychiatrists, including Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. &quot;While the science is promising, ketamine is not ready for broad use in the clinic,&quot; Insel&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2014/ketamine.shtml">wrote</a>&nbsp;in his blog a few months ago.</p><p>&quot;There are a lot of pundits who remain skeptical or feel we need to research this ad infinitum before it&#39;s ready, which doesn&#39;t make sense to me,&quot; Feifel says. It&#39;s hard to take the wait-and-see approach when you&#39;re treating patients who are desperate for help, he adds.</p><p>Paul was one of those desperate patients when he was referred to Feifel in March of 2014. The referral was from a local psychiatrist who had run out of ideas, Feifel says.</p><p>And Paul jumped at the chance to try ketamine. &quot;If there was even a 1 percent chance that this worked, it would have been worth it to me,&quot; he says. &quot;My life was hanging in the balance.&quot;</p><p>And for Paul, the benefits of ketamine became obvious soon after one of his early injections.</p><p>&quot;I remember I was in my bathroom and I literally fell to my knees crying because I had no anxiety, I had no depression,&quot; he says</p><p>For the past year, Paul has been getting ketamine every four to six weeks. He feels an altered sense of reality for an hour or two after getting the drug. The effect on depression and anxiety, though, lasts more than a month.</p><p>Ketamine doesn&#39;t always work that well, Feifel says. After treating more than 100 patients, he&#39;s beginning to understand the drug&#39;s limitations.</p><p>One is that its ability to keep depression at bay can fade pretty quickly. Feifel recalls one patient whose depression would disappear like magic after a dose of ketamine. But &quot;we could never get it to sustain beyond maybe a day,&quot; he says.</p><div id="res443485663"><div>Also, ketamine treatment is expensive because patients need to be monitored so closely. Feifel charges about $500 for each injection and $1,000 for an intravenous infusion, which takes effect more quickly. Insurers don&#39;t cover the cost because the treatment is still considered experimental.</div></div><p>Even so, ketamine clinics are popping up around the country and they have already treated thousands of patients willing and able to pay out of pocket. Some of the clinics are run by psychiatrists. Others have been started by entrepreneurial anesthesiologists and emergency room doctors, who are familiar with ketamine but may not know much about depression.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;ve seen ketamine clinics open up as pure business models,&quot; Feifel says. &quot;I&#39;m a little bit concerned about that.&quot;</p><p>Feifel fears something bad will happen to a depressed patient at one of these clinics. And that could set back efforts to make the drug more widely available.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/28/443203592/club-drug-ketamine-gains-traction-as-a-treatment-for-depression?ft=nprml&amp;f=443203592" target="_blank"><em>via NPR Shots</em></a></p></p> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 12:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/club-drug-ketamine-gains-traction-treatment-depression-113087 After suicide attempt, college student helps others deal with mental illness http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-suicide-attempt-college-student-helps-others-deal-mental-illness-109943 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 1.43.50 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Three years ago, Wesleyan college student Molly Jenkins tried to take her own life&mdash;twice.</p><p>Molly told her mom that her suicidal thoughts first began while recovering from a major surgery that left her bedridden.</p><p>After 6 months of therapy at Chicago&rsquo;s Rush Hospital, she returned to college and became a mental health advocate.</p><p><strong>Molly: &ldquo;It was really important for me to come out with this stamp on my forehead that said, &lsquo;I&rsquo;ve attempted suicide and I don&rsquo;t care what you guys think&rsquo; because I knew there were other people who, like me, were suffering in silence.&rdquo;</strong></p><p>To hear Molly and her mother discuss this trying period in their lives for the first time, check out the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer. </em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-suicide-attempt-college-student-helps-others-deal-mental-illness-109943 Daughter tries to come to terms with father's suicide http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/daughter-tries-come-terms-fathers-suicide-109826 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/storycorps ann tom.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A few years ago Anne Emerson decided to visit her mom in Boston while on break from law school. One early morning during her stay they got a phone call. It was about her father &hellip; and the news wasn&rsquo;t good. What happened next gave Anne a greater perspective on illness, abandonment, and the will to live. She shared her experience with partner Tom Gallagher at the Chicago StoryCorps booth.</p><p><strong>ANNE:</strong> Everyone has something, that if they had to live without it, it wouldn&rsquo;t be life anymore.</p><p>For her father, she said, it was losing his mental faculties after developing dementia. Anne already had abandonment issues with her dad from an early age.</p><p><strong>ANNE: </strong>The only really big problem I have with his &lsquo;method of exit&rsquo; if you will, is that&hellip; just when you think someone can&rsquo;t find a new way to leave you&hellip; they do.</p><p>To find out how Anne grapples with her loss, listen to the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer. </em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 19:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/daughter-tries-come-terms-fathers-suicide-109826 Morning Shift: The emotional expense of unemployment http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-16/morning-shift-emotional-expense-unemployment-109526 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/unemployment Flickr by theseoduke.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&#39;s easy to see the financial strain caused by long-term unemployment. Now, new research is shedding light on the less understood but equally damaging emotional cost. We delve into mental health and unemployment with professor Timothy Classen and therapist Keith Renfroe.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-emotional-expense-of-unemploymen/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-emotional-expense-of-unemploymen.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-emotional-expense-of-unemploymen" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The emotional expense of unemployment" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 08:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-16/morning-shift-emotional-expense-unemployment-109526 A father decides to be a different kind of father than his was http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/father-decides-be-different-kind-father-his-was-107790 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/storycorps dave and tom.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>After losing his mother to cancer, David Wartowski is finding his relationship with his father, Tom, even more important.</p><p>Tom has had his own struggles with cancer and depression.</p><p>The pair visited the Chicago StoryCorps booth to remember David&rsquo;s mother, whom they affectionately called Musiu, and to talk about their own relationship.</p><p>Tom: &hellip; My father was very, very strict (crying). He would always criticize what I did, and he thought by calling me lazy and stupid that I would turn out to be industrious and hardworking and smart. But really, it had the counter effect. He pretty much convinced me that I wasn&rsquo;t bright and that I was lazy.</p><p>David: You know, it turned out your relationship with me, with your son, was very little, I think, like the relationship you had with your father.</p><p>Tom: Yeah, there were some things I said I wasn&rsquo;t going to do - corporal punishment my father used a lot. I wasn&rsquo;t going to use that.</p><p>Tom tells his son he struggled with depression, but that his wife, David&rsquo;s mother, changed his life.</p><p>David: You were diagnosed with cancer in..</p><p>Tom: 2001</p><p>David: Shortly after Musiu died of cancer &hellip; I was in my roughly mid-20s thinking I would lose both of my parents without any siblings.</p><p>Listen to the audio above to hear more of David and Tom&rsquo;s story.</p><p><em>Katie Mingle is a producer for WBEZ and the Third Coast Festival.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/father-decides-be-different-kind-father-his-was-107790