The Glass Is Half Full

August 7, 2020

With everything going on in the world, this lesson has become abundantly clear—our attitudes will help us ride the ups and downs and the slings and arrows that present themselves and propel us to better times.

From the Chairman

It is hard to believe it is already August. Soon children will return to school, in 1 form or another; the days will grow shorter and colder, and the leaves will change color. To some it marks the end of summer, and to others it marks the beginning of the autumn holidays and cozier days. It depends on how you look at it.

Several of this month’s contributors share these sentiments, reminding us that both the half-full and half-empty views can serve as important wake-up calls. In our Psycho-Oncology Special Report, the authors celebrate advances in cancer care, but they also recognize we can do more to help patients. For instance, Wendy G. Lichtenthal, PhD, and colleagues explore how meaning-centered psychotherapy (MCP) can serve as a buffer against the depression and hopelessness reported by patients with metastatic disease. According to the authors, this brief, structured, manualized intervention enhances patients’ sense of meaning and purpose by reflecting on what matters most to them and facilitating reconnection, even during the most challenging of times. Similarly, Lawrence E. Kaplan, DO, sheds light on the lingering neuropsychiatric sequalae, either due to the specific cancer or adverse effects of treatment. With improved screening and awareness, interdisciplinary approaches and interventions can address these issues to improve patients’ lives.

Similarly, in the front cover article discussing racism, 7 psychiatrists come together to challenge the status quo. We can—and should—do better, they say. Not only do the authors identify areas that need to be addressed, but they provide measures to help us ensure we are indeed moving forward.

Also in this issue, leaders in psychiatry discuss the need to push the envelope to do more for patients. Jerald Kay, MD, and Joel Yager, MD, lament the Yawns and Duhs often seen in psychiatric literature. After diagnosing the problem, they share potential cures, identify future steps to remedy the situation, and challenge the field to do better.

Although our editor in chief, John J. Miller, MD, agrees with many of those sentiments, he reminds us of the Wows and Awesomes. From pharmacogenomics to neuroimaging and brain circuitry, ever-evolving research propels psychiatry into new areas to improve patient care and outcomes. His “glass half full” assessment reminds us that while progress has been made, we need to continue pushing for more.

With everything going on in the world, this lesson has become abundantly clear—our attitudes will help us ride the ups and downs and the slings and arrows that present themselves and propel us to better times. And, we hope, this issue of Psychiatric Times® will provide you with the tools and knowledge to achieve successes for you and your patients. ❒

Mike Hennessy Sr

Chairman and Founder, MJH Life Sciences

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