EASA

Early Assessment and Support Alliance

There's a guy who stops me in the street every day on my lunch break from work. He is part of the Krishna movement and makes me smile with his bubbly-ness. Recently he has upset me, though. We got on to the subject of depression and I said that I am on anti-depressants. He looked alarmed. He explained that I was in danger. That they are designed to kill you and I needed to try things like vitamins and john's wart. I don't understand. Are they dangerous?
Anonymous

mh-things:

Religious/spiritual people are always going to have their own strong opinions on subjects like these, which I’m happy to respect if they want to apply those values to their own lives, but I think it’s wrong of people like this guy to spread information that isn’t supported by any legitimate research or evidence. A lot of the time they are only trying to help but they end up doing more harm than good honestly.

Antidepressants, as with any substance (including vitamins, St John’s wort & other ‘natural’ remedies) do have some potential side effects, but medical research has proven that they are generally considered safe & in fact that the effects of an untreated mental illness are far more dangerous. If you’ve been prescribed them by a doctor, he or she would have assessed your situation and determined that the benefits of medication outweigh the potential risks.

As for vitamins, although many people believe that they’re doing themselves good by taking very high doses of multivitamins & such, they are really only helpful in certain situations where a person isn’t able to maintain adequate levels of these vitamins or minerals from their regular diet. If you don’t have a deficiency of a vitamin there is little point in taking one, and the excess levels of the vitamin you consume will actually just end up being excreted from your body as it can only store so much. Your doctor will be able to test you for vitamin or mineral deficiencies & recommend a supplement if you do need one.

St John’s wort is thought to be helpful in treating some cases of depression, but the evidence is limited & as mentioned above it has potential negative side effects as well (natural doesn’t always equal safe!). Whatever you do please don’t start taking St John’s wort while you’re still on antidepressants or if you’ve taken antidepressants recently as there is a high risk of interaction between the two substances, & don’t stop taking your meds without consulting a doctor as stopping suddenly can have harmful effects on you.

My advice would be to carry on taking your antidepressants as prescribed, discuss any concerns you have with your doctor, & if the subject comes up with people other than medical professionals (such as this guy), tell them you’d rather not talk about it with them.

Hope this helps

This is great advice, but I just wanted to point out that the research on antidepressants has generally indicated them to be helpful only in the case of very severe depression. This, in combination with their side effects, makes prescribing them a risk. For those under 25, for example, they are correlated with increased suicidality.

Generally speaking, doctors and primary care physicians do not adequately screen for depressive symptom severity. Administering a valid reliable assessment requires a time commitment that most simply can’t afford, given tremendous patient loads. Antidepressants tend to be over-prescribed as a result. This is why the national shift towards integrated healthcare is so important.

Maintaining a medication schedule is a lot safer than switching off or switching to naturopathic remedies out of the blue. But it may be useful to get a second opinion from a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychologist, or another professionally licensed mental health professional who is trained in differential diagnosis and severity indicators for depression.

      Epigenetics! Probably.

drrodebaugh:

Although I haven’t been able to do anything about it research wise—nor do I expect to any time soon—the findings for epigenetics continue to intrigue. For example: Could the effects of certain types of psychological stressors persist in a family through genes being turned on or off? It’s at least possible.

The theory is certainly supported by monozygotic twin studies analyzing the potential inheritance of schizophrenia. Even when one identical twin has a confirmed diagnosis, the chances of the other receiving the same is only at 50%.

That speaks a lot to the importance of environmental factors and the relevance of the diathesis-stress model, which states that mental health disorders are often products of complex interactions between inherited vulnerability and psychosocial stressors.

The clinical implications of this research are that we need to understand the importance of nurture. If someone has a genetic vulnerability, we need to help them develop a safety plan and social support. Finally, the best thing we can do for serious mental health issues is help people have better less stressful lives.

(via cognitivedefusion)

mh-things:

Notice a trend here? The only time mental illnesses seem to get media attention is when they’re being assigned blame for tragic, violent events that people find hard to comprehend otherwise. Why? Because there’s actually a link between mental illness and violent behaviour? Nope. I think it’s simply because people have an “us vs them” mentality with how they view the mentally ill- ‘they’re not like us, only a crazy person could do such a thing, no one normal would ever do that.’ Because once it’s the crazy people’s fault, they no longer have to consider the fact that the majority of serial killers, rapists and murderers are ‘sane’ people just like them.
The conditions being blamed for these recent killings include Aspergers, OCD, Depression, PTSD and anxiety- relatively common mental health disorders. So I was thinking those of us who have these illnesses and others often associated with violence (schizophrenia, Autism, personality disorders etc) could try expose people to a different, more realistic side of us- the side that actually does a lot of good in society, but is never spoken about. If you’d like to join in, make a sign like above (doesn’t have to have your face in it) & include something positive you contribute to the world even if it’s small, then tag it #notakiller, & share this if you know other people who’d want to join in. :)

This is a great point and a part of a truly important discussion. Thanks so much for sharing! Even the term “mental illness” limits our conversation to thinking about mental as pathology vs. normalcy. In reality, there are many many strengths that come from every person’s unique experience. So many people diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar, severe depression, etc. who have found strength in what makes them different.  And the majority of them, as you noted, do not commit acts of violence. They are far more likely to be survivors of violence themselves.
Why are these factors not discussed? Unfortunately, one key component is politics. There is proposed legislation in New York, for example, that would require counselors to report to the police every threat of violence from their clients. Except that people are people. They will vent. And exaggerate. And, you know, be human. Who would feel safe getting help if they knew honest expression could get them sent to the police?
That’s not to say clinicians don’t screen and clarify to the best of our ability what the clients’ intent is. Most of us do. And we take it very seriously. If we need to call the police, we do it in order to protect the client or others. But the simple fact is that you cannot perfectly predict what someone will do. That doesn’t excuse gross negligence - clinicians who fail to report direct threats and warnings should be held accountable. But mental health is not all-purpose scapegoat.
Which comes to the heavy side politics. If you look at the aftermath of Sandy Hook, a very noticeable shift occurred in the societal conversation. The discussion went very abruptly from gun control to mental health. Now, I’m not advocating a specific political opinion on gun control. That’s a whole different issue. But what’s not debatable is that the gun lobby is a massively massively powerful profitable industry that employs many people. They stand to lose a lot if regulation is passed.
So, how does one change the conversation? Well, mental health is important, right? It sounds good to say we should fund and increase access to mental health more. We should! But if you look at the discussion around the Santa Barbara shootings, there’s a prevalent theme that the broken mental health system - and especially the ‘severely mentally ill’ themselves - are solely to blame. This article, for instance, decries a system in which “mental health laws allow patients the right to self-determination in their treatment of mental illness” and “laws and policies that puts mental health decisions in the hands of the mentally ill.”
Yes. Those people who have at one point or another had a diagnosable disorder shouldn’t have basic rights. Which is to say, MOST EVERYBODY shouldn’t have rights. Show me someone who has never had a mental health challenge and I will show you genuine fear. 
So, to cap this off, these are all just my personal theories, but I hope they lend some perspective from someone working in the field. Thanks again for sharing your voice.
ZoomInfo
mh-things:

Notice a trend here? The only time mental illnesses seem to get media attention is when they’re being assigned blame for tragic, violent events that people find hard to comprehend otherwise. Why? Because there’s actually a link between mental illness and violent behaviour? Nope. I think it’s simply because people have an “us vs them” mentality with how they view the mentally ill- ‘they’re not like us, only a crazy person could do such a thing, no one normal would ever do that.’ Because once it’s the crazy people’s fault, they no longer have to consider the fact that the majority of serial killers, rapists and murderers are ‘sane’ people just like them.
The conditions being blamed for these recent killings include Aspergers, OCD, Depression, PTSD and anxiety- relatively common mental health disorders. So I was thinking those of us who have these illnesses and others often associated with violence (schizophrenia, Autism, personality disorders etc) could try expose people to a different, more realistic side of us- the side that actually does a lot of good in society, but is never spoken about. If you’d like to join in, make a sign like above (doesn’t have to have your face in it) & include something positive you contribute to the world even if it’s small, then tag it #notakiller, & share this if you know other people who’d want to join in. :)

This is a great point and a part of a truly important discussion. Thanks so much for sharing! Even the term “mental illness” limits our conversation to thinking about mental as pathology vs. normalcy. In reality, there are many many strengths that come from every person’s unique experience. So many people diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar, severe depression, etc. who have found strength in what makes them different.  And the majority of them, as you noted, do not commit acts of violence. They are far more likely to be survivors of violence themselves.
Why are these factors not discussed? Unfortunately, one key component is politics. There is proposed legislation in New York, for example, that would require counselors to report to the police every threat of violence from their clients. Except that people are people. They will vent. And exaggerate. And, you know, be human. Who would feel safe getting help if they knew honest expression could get them sent to the police?
That’s not to say clinicians don’t screen and clarify to the best of our ability what the clients’ intent is. Most of us do. And we take it very seriously. If we need to call the police, we do it in order to protect the client or others. But the simple fact is that you cannot perfectly predict what someone will do. That doesn’t excuse gross negligence - clinicians who fail to report direct threats and warnings should be held accountable. But mental health is not all-purpose scapegoat.
Which comes to the heavy side politics. If you look at the aftermath of Sandy Hook, a very noticeable shift occurred in the societal conversation. The discussion went very abruptly from gun control to mental health. Now, I’m not advocating a specific political opinion on gun control. That’s a whole different issue. But what’s not debatable is that the gun lobby is a massively massively powerful profitable industry that employs many people. They stand to lose a lot if regulation is passed.
So, how does one change the conversation? Well, mental health is important, right? It sounds good to say we should fund and increase access to mental health more. We should! But if you look at the discussion around the Santa Barbara shootings, there’s a prevalent theme that the broken mental health system - and especially the ‘severely mentally ill’ themselves - are solely to blame. This article, for instance, decries a system in which “mental health laws allow patients the right to self-determination in their treatment of mental illness” and “laws and policies that puts mental health decisions in the hands of the mentally ill.”
Yes. Those people who have at one point or another had a diagnosable disorder shouldn’t have basic rights. Which is to say, MOST EVERYBODY shouldn’t have rights. Show me someone who has never had a mental health challenge and I will show you genuine fear. 
So, to cap this off, these are all just my personal theories, but I hope they lend some perspective from someone working in the field. Thanks again for sharing your voice.
ZoomInfo

mh-things:

Notice a trend here? The only time mental illnesses seem to get media attention is when they’re being assigned blame for tragic, violent events that people find hard to comprehend otherwise. Why? Because there’s actually a link between mental illness and violent behaviour? Nope. I think it’s simply because people have an “us vs them” mentality with how they view the mentally ill- ‘they’re not like us, only a crazy person could do such a thing, no one normal would ever do that.’ Because once it’s the crazy people’s fault, they no longer have to consider the fact that the majority of serial killers, rapists and murderers are ‘sane’ people just like them.

The conditions being blamed for these recent killings include Aspergers, OCD, Depression, PTSD and anxiety- relatively common mental health disorders. So I was thinking those of us who have these illnesses and others often associated with violence (schizophrenia, Autism, personality disorders etc) could try expose people to a different, more realistic side of us- the side that actually does a lot of good in society, but is never spoken about. If you’d like to join in, make a sign like above (doesn’t have to have your face in it) & include something positive you contribute to the world even if it’s small, then tag it #notakiller, & share this if you know other people who’d want to join in. :)

This is a great point and a part of a truly important discussion. Thanks so much for sharing! Even the term “mental illness” limits our conversation to thinking about mental as pathology vs. normalcy. In reality, there are many many strengths that come from every person’s unique experience. So many people diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar, severe depression, etc. who have found strength in what makes them different.  And the majority of them, as you noted, do not commit acts of violence. They are far more likely to be survivors of violence themselves.

Why are these factors not discussed? Unfortunately, one key component is politics. There is proposed legislation in New York, for example, that would require counselors to report to the police every threat of violence from their clients. Except that people are people. They will vent. And exaggerate. And, you know, be human. Who would feel safe getting help if they knew honest expression could get them sent to the police?

That’s not to say clinicians don’t screen and clarify to the best of our ability what the clients’ intent is. Most of us do. And we take it very seriously. If we need to call the police, we do it in order to protect the client or others. But the simple fact is that you cannot perfectly predict what someone will do. That doesn’t excuse gross negligence - clinicians who fail to report direct threats and warnings should be held accountable. But mental health is not all-purpose scapegoat.

Which comes to the heavy side politics. If you look at the aftermath of Sandy Hook, a very noticeable shift occurred in the societal conversation. The discussion went very abruptly from gun control to mental health. Now, I’m not advocating a specific political opinion on gun control. That’s a whole different issue. But what’s not debatable is that the gun lobby is a massively massively powerful profitable industry that employs many people. They stand to lose a lot if regulation is passed.

So, how does one change the conversation? Well, mental health is important, right? It sounds good to say we should fund and increase access to mental health more. We should! But if you look at the discussion around the Santa Barbara shootings, there’s a prevalent theme that the broken mental health system - and especially the ‘severely mentally ill’ themselves - are solely to blame. This article, for instance, decries a system in which “mental health laws allow patients the right to self-determination in their treatment of mental illness” and “laws and policies that puts mental health decisions in the hands of the mentally ill.”

Yes. Those people who have at one point or another had a diagnosable disorder shouldn’t have basic rights. Which is to say, MOST EVERYBODY shouldn’t have rights. Show me someone who has never had a mental health challenge and I will show you genuine fear.

So, to cap this off, these are all just my personal theories, but I hope they lend some perspective from someone working in the field. Thanks again for sharing your voice.

policymic:

36 men show us what real male activists look like

Ultimately, the #YesAllWomen rallying cry reached more than 1 million tweets in the days since the tragedy.
 But women are not the only ones frustrated by our society’s institutionalized misogyny. So many men, too, reported feeling disgusted by the attitudes of the shooter and his alleged peers, the “men’s rights activists (MRA)” that not only influenced Rodger, but publicly predicted more violence if men aren’t given what they want.
Men deserve their own space to talk back to these “activists.” Here is just a small part of that response, but you can find more responses or post your own on the hashtag #AllMenCan, because all men can have respect for women without ever becoming less of a man.
Read more | Follow policymic
ZoomInfo
policymic:

36 men show us what real male activists look like

Ultimately, the #YesAllWomen rallying cry reached more than 1 million tweets in the days since the tragedy.
 But women are not the only ones frustrated by our society’s institutionalized misogyny. So many men, too, reported feeling disgusted by the attitudes of the shooter and his alleged peers, the “men’s rights activists (MRA)” that not only influenced Rodger, but publicly predicted more violence if men aren’t given what they want.
Men deserve their own space to talk back to these “activists.” Here is just a small part of that response, but you can find more responses or post your own on the hashtag #AllMenCan, because all men can have respect for women without ever becoming less of a man.
Read more | Follow policymic
ZoomInfo
policymic:

36 men show us what real male activists look like

Ultimately, the #YesAllWomen rallying cry reached more than 1 million tweets in the days since the tragedy.
 But women are not the only ones frustrated by our society’s institutionalized misogyny. So many men, too, reported feeling disgusted by the attitudes of the shooter and his alleged peers, the “men’s rights activists (MRA)” that not only influenced Rodger, but publicly predicted more violence if men aren’t given what they want.
Men deserve their own space to talk back to these “activists.” Here is just a small part of that response, but you can find more responses or post your own on the hashtag #AllMenCan, because all men can have respect for women without ever becoming less of a man.
Read more | Follow policymic
ZoomInfo
policymic:

36 men show us what real male activists look like

Ultimately, the #YesAllWomen rallying cry reached more than 1 million tweets in the days since the tragedy.
 But women are not the only ones frustrated by our society’s institutionalized misogyny. So many men, too, reported feeling disgusted by the attitudes of the shooter and his alleged peers, the “men’s rights activists (MRA)” that not only influenced Rodger, but publicly predicted more violence if men aren’t given what they want.
Men deserve their own space to talk back to these “activists.” Here is just a small part of that response, but you can find more responses or post your own on the hashtag #AllMenCan, because all men can have respect for women without ever becoming less of a man.
Read more | Follow policymic
ZoomInfo
policymic:

36 men show us what real male activists look like

Ultimately, the #YesAllWomen rallying cry reached more than 1 million tweets in the days since the tragedy.
 But women are not the only ones frustrated by our society’s institutionalized misogyny. So many men, too, reported feeling disgusted by the attitudes of the shooter and his alleged peers, the “men’s rights activists (MRA)” that not only influenced Rodger, but publicly predicted more violence if men aren’t given what they want.
Men deserve their own space to talk back to these “activists.” Here is just a small part of that response, but you can find more responses or post your own on the hashtag #AllMenCan, because all men can have respect for women without ever becoming less of a man.
Read more | Follow policymic
ZoomInfo
policymic:

36 men show us what real male activists look like

Ultimately, the #YesAllWomen rallying cry reached more than 1 million tweets in the days since the tragedy.
 But women are not the only ones frustrated by our society’s institutionalized misogyny. So many men, too, reported feeling disgusted by the attitudes of the shooter and his alleged peers, the “men’s rights activists (MRA)” that not only influenced Rodger, but publicly predicted more violence if men aren’t given what they want.
Men deserve their own space to talk back to these “activists.” Here is just a small part of that response, but you can find more responses or post your own on the hashtag #AllMenCan, because all men can have respect for women without ever becoming less of a man.
Read more | Follow policymic
ZoomInfo
policymic:

36 men show us what real male activists look like

Ultimately, the #YesAllWomen rallying cry reached more than 1 million tweets in the days since the tragedy.
 But women are not the only ones frustrated by our society’s institutionalized misogyny. So many men, too, reported feeling disgusted by the attitudes of the shooter and his alleged peers, the “men’s rights activists (MRA)” that not only influenced Rodger, but publicly predicted more violence if men aren’t given what they want.
Men deserve their own space to talk back to these “activists.” Here is just a small part of that response, but you can find more responses or post your own on the hashtag #AllMenCan, because all men can have respect for women without ever becoming less of a man.
Read more | Follow policymic
ZoomInfo

policymic:

36 men show us what real male activists look like

Ultimately, the #YesAllWomen rallying cry reached more than 1 million tweets in the days since the tragedy.

But women are not the only ones frustrated by our society’s institutionalized misogyny. So many men, too, reported feeling disgusted by the attitudes of the shooter and his alleged peers, the “men’s rights activists (MRA)” that not only influenced Rodger, but publicly predicted more violence if men aren’t given what they want.

Men deserve their own space to talk back to these “activists.” Here is just a small part of that response, but you can find more responses or post your own on the hashtag #AllMenCan, because all men can have respect for women without ever becoming less of a man.

Read more | Follow policymic

(Source: micdotcom, via youmatterlifeline)