Although this year has thrown us off, there is much to be thankful for.
From the Chairman
November is the start of the holiday season, with Thanksgiving’s merriment arriving at the end of the month. It is the time of year we usually gather with friends and family and enjoy a bounty of food, comradery, and laughter. There is no question that this year’s feasts and festivities will be different, but the opportunity to reflect and give thanks should still be at the forefront of our minds.
In his commentary, Peter Buckley, MD, does just that. Although the past 6-plus months have been challenging, he found silver linings amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. From teamwork and innovation to more fully appreciating the little things, his article reminds us of the magic that happens when people come together to help others. For those who have worked tirelessly to keep our health care system working, we give thanks.
Meanwhile, Carl I. Cohen, MD, and Jena Lee, MD, explore one of the mixed blessings of the COVID-19 pandemic—telepsychiatry and the seemingly infinite number of virtual meetings. On the surface, “Zoom fatigue” and the inability to see patients in-person seem like another hassle. Yet, technology has afforded us ways to communicate and connect from the safety of our homes for work and pleasure and it has allowed clinicians to “meet” with their patients without exposing the most vulnerable to undue risks. For all those virtual platforms, we give thanks.
Pain continues to be a hot topic in medicine, especially as the fight against the opioid epidemic continues. To that end, a number of articles in this issue investigate the strategies for managing pain in patients with psychiatric disorders. Steven King, MD, leads a fascinating Special Report that examines the roles sleep and posttraumatic stress disorder play in addressing pain. Similarly, Ellen Lockard Edens, MD, MPE, and colleagues explore the vicious “catch-22” of pain and substance use, explaining how chronic pain drives substance use and how the cycle of addiction leads to greater pain interference and poorer outcomes. Although the complications and challenges are ever-present, the articles share solutions to help improve patients’ quality of life. For the increasing options and awareness, we give thanks.
To help address the need for continuing medical education, last month we held our Annual Psychiatric Times® World CME Conference™. The virtual meeting was a huge success, as attendees had the opportunity to hear from leaders in the field and Psychiatric TimesTM contributors and editorial board members. For those who attended and shared their positive feedback as well as for our first-class speakers and staff who ensured a meaningful meeting experience for all, we give thanks.
So, although this year has given us plenty of obstacles, frustrations, and disappointments, I cannot help but look around and think we are relatively fortunate. As we gather around our more intimate holiday table this year, I will be thankful for so much. And, among other things, I am thankful for you, dear reader, for giving Psychiatric TimesTM the opportunity to provide you with the insights and information you need to best treat your patients. May you, too, continue to have a plethora of reasons to be thankful! ❒
Mike Hennessy Sr
Chairman and Founder, MJH Life Sciences