The Week in Review: October 24-28

From complementary and alternative approaches in the COVID-19 era to mental health’s most toxic myth, here are highlights from the week in Psychiatric Times.

This week, Psychiatric TimesTM covered a wide variety of psychiatric issues and industry updates, from complementary and alternative approaches in the COVID-19 era to mental health’s most toxic myth. Here are some highlights from the week.

COVID-19 and Mental Health: Global Consequences and CAM Approaches

As the virus that causes COVID-19 illness (SARS-CoV-2) continues to mutate, we continue to see high rates of COVID-19 illness with concomitant neuropsychiatric symptoms including depressed mood, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health problems. Medical and psychiatric comorbidity are expected to have serious long-term consequences for global public health and mental health.

Although there is no evidence that natural supplements or other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions prevent or treat medical illnesses caused by SARS-CoV-2, preliminary findings suggest that select supplements and other CAM approaches may have beneficial effects on mental health problems associated with the pandemic. Continue Reading

Prior Authorizations and (Micro)managed Care

During my first year working at a community mental health center (CMHC) in New Hampshire, there was a moratorium on prior authorizations for patients with state Medicaid insurance. This was due to strong advocacy efforts with state legislature by one of my psychiatrist colleagues at the CMHC, and other dedicated stakeholders. This was great… until it ended.

My nurse practitioner program prepared well me for many facets of patient care, but an area that was not addressed was the concept of prior authorizations and the potential challenges faced by insurance formularies. My first experiences left me thinking, What do you mean I went through all of this training to select the best possible medication for my patient, and now I am being told I cannot prescribe that? The idea of someone who has never met or assessed the patient making these judgment calls is difficult to sit with, especially when medications that have proven to be efficacious for a patient when nothing else has are no longer covered or the coverage is declined. Continue Reading

Examining the Increasing Number of Adult Women With ADHD

“So many adult patients—women—come in and are being newly diagnosed with ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder] for the first time,” Pamela Wall, PhD, PMHNP, FAANP, told attendees of the American Psychiatric Nurse Association 36th Annual Conference. The goals for the session were to explain the reason for this phenomenon and to share some of the unique issues associated with ADHD in adult women.

Implicit bias was a top reason for missing the diagnosis earlier in women, Wall explained, as she conducted a mini-experiment with attendees. After asking attendees to visualize a child who is hyperactive, Wall surveyed the group to see what gender they saw; most of the audience pictured a boy. Continue Reading

Mental Health’s Most Toxic Myth

The biggest and most deeply destructive myth of mental health is the twisted notion that there is a group of people called the “mentally ill” who are somehow different and separate from the rest of us. “We,” the majority composed of “normal” people, are not like them, the mentally ill. They are different from the rest of us, worthy of pity and curiosity. But since we are good, sympathetic people, we all want to help “those people” who suffer from such illnesses out of the goodness of our hearts.

What is wrong with all of this? The delusional idea that we are separate in any way from the mentally ill. In fact, there is no them because the people who deal with mental illness are us. All of us. Literally all of us deal with mental illness. Every single one of us does. How can this be true? Because massive, carefully performed studies tell us that half of our population experiences some form of mental illness over the course of their lives. Fifty percent of us experience mental illness directly. And what about the other 50% of us? The other 50% have the experience of seeing someone we love suffer from mental illness. Whether it is a friend, a family member, or a close coworker, every single one of us loves someone who experiences mental illness. All of us are affected by mental illness, directly or indirectly. There is no them; we are them. 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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