The Week in Review: September 19-23

From historic USPSTF draft screening recommendations to the need for novel treatments for bipolar depression, here are highlights from the week in Psychiatric Times.

This week, Psychiatric TimesTM covered a wide variety of psychiatric issues and industry updates, from historic USPSTF draft screening recommendations to the need for novel treatments for bipolar depression. Here are some highlights from the week.

USPSTF Makes Historic Anxiety and Depression Draft Screening Recommendations

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) just released a draft recommendation stating that adults under the age of 65 should be screened for anxiety. The USPSTF draft recommendation is not final; it will now enter a public comment period.

The USPSTF draft “concludes with moderate certainty that screening for anxiety in adults, including pregnant and postpartum persons, has a moderate net benefit,” although the evidence for older adults (65 and older) is insufficient. The USPSTF has not previously made a recommendation on this topic. Continue Reading

Are Psychiatrists Pill Pushers?

In the spring, while the year was still young, The New York Times Magazine published a 7000-word essay entitled “Doctors Gave Her Antipsychotics. She Decided to Live With Her Voices.” Some of it recounted the tragic but ultimately heroic story of Caroline Mazel-Carlton, a woman with a long experience of auditory hallucinations who, after much trauma, has become a powerful advocate for humane support and acceptance of those with similar experiences. The story, in the hands of author Daniel Bergner, is not hers alone, but rather the centerpiece of a quasi-editorial calling for a sea-change in psychiatric practice—a “fundamental paradigm shift” in our treatment of mental health. Continue Reading

The Need for Novel Treatments for Bipolar Depression

Bipolar depression is a condition that proves difficult to treat for many patients. When patients with bipolar disorder (BD) go through a depressive episode, medication adjustment is often the first intervention that clinicians consider. Evidence for standard pharmacologic treatments for bipolar depression shows the strongest support for several dopamine-blocking agents, as well as for lithium and lamotrigine (Lamictal). Recently published treatment guidelines are reflective of this evidence. Pharmaceutical industry support for research on dopamine-blocking medications has contributed to their dominance in the marketplace. Older generic medications are less likely to be included in research trials and thus may not be adopted widely due to a perceived or real lack of evidence. Continue Reading

Nutritional Treatments: The Next Frontier in Psychiatry

Over the last decade, we have seen an exponential increase in research relating diet quality to mental health. The typical Western diet of ultra-processed foods does not adequately meet the brain’s nutritional requirements and is a proven risk factor for the subsequent emergence of mental disorders in both adults and children. Given the strength of the data supporting the role of optimal nutrition for good mental health, psychiatrists are well positioned to introduce their patients to the topic of diet for mental health and the possible benefit of nutrient supplements for psychiatric conditions. 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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