The Week in Review: October 17-21

From herbal medicine for psychiatrists to the psychiatric implications of the Parkland School massing shooting, here are highlights from the week in Psychiatric Times.

This week, Psychiatric TimesTM covered a wide variety of psychiatric issues and industry updates, from the psychiatric implications of the Parkland School mass shooting to what psychiatrists need to know about herbal medicine. Here are some highlights from the week.

App Intervention May Reduce Insomnia in Health Care Workers

Researchers studied an app-based Yoga of Immortals (YOI) intervention on the mental health of health care workers, including sleep disruption, and found that it produced a measurable benefit. There is a need to help health care workers with sleep trouble, as recent literature suggests that approximately 38% experienced insomnia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is a compelling societal interest in developing interventions targeting the emotional needs of health care workers who are facing a public health crisis,” wrote Currie et al.

The YOI intervention teaches specific practices based on ancient yogic teachings and the 3 core components of the YOI program—breathwork, whole body movements, and postures—have multiple emotional benefits. Continue Reading

Dementia: A Social Death Sentence

On my most recent flight home (I know, I usually end up writing a new article every time I fly), I sat next to a middle-aged woman and her father who seems to be struggling with some kind of cognitive impairment, possibly dementia. I was very impressed with how, throughout our 2.5-hour long flight, that she was quite attentive to his every need and kept him both engaged and entertained. She did that through asking questions and sharing pictures saved on her phone that seemed to fill his soul with joy. Continue Reading

The Parkland School Mass Shooting and Its Psychiatric Implications

Coincidentally, around the same time as the Sandy Hook School shooting trial of Alex Jones ended, a trial about the Parkland School mass shooting ended. We discussed some of the psychological implications of the former in Friday’s column, “The Psychological Heroism of the Sandy Hook Families.” Today we will primarily cover Parkland, with an added overall perspective on mental dysfunction and crime.

In the Parkland School trial, the major mental health issue seemed to be whether whatever mental health problems the shooter had should influence whether or not he got the death penalty. He did not. Continue Reading

Herbal Medicine: What Psychiatrists Need to Know

Herbal medicines have been used to treat mental health disorders since ancient times. Many of the medications used in contemporary medicine originated from plants—salicylic acid from the willow tree, for example, and morphine from poppies. Numerous botanical treatments are useful in general psychiatry. This article discusses the most beneficial and commonly used herbal medicines to treat mental health concerns.

Americans spent $11.3 billion on herbal supplements in 2020, which represented a record increase in spending of 17.3% from 2019 to 2020. According to the 2020 COVID-19 consumer survey of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, among those who increased supplement intake, nearly a quarter cited mental health–related reasons, including stress and anxiety. Continue Reading

See more recent coverage from Psychiatric TimesTM here. And be sure to stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Psychiatric TimesTM E-newsletter.

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