Two Sides to Every Coin

Psychiatric Times, Vol 38, Issue 4, Volume 04,

An introduction to the April issue.

FROM THE CHAIRMAN

A penny for your thoughts, reader? This issue of Psychiatric TimesTM encourages psychiatrists to consider their convictions and assumptions on some tough issues as experts examine both sides of the coin.

First, our experts explore electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Around for more than 80 years, ECT is one of the most hotly contested treatments in modern psychiatry. Although early iterations were not ideal, progress and research made way for improvements—but are these advances good enough? It depends on whom you ask, as passionate advocates continue to debate the risks vs benefits on both sides of the equation. As with good research, the back-and-forth is a positive: A healthy dialogue encourages clinicians to consider the tools at their disposal and find the most appropriate treatment(s) for each patient.

This issue’s contributors remind us that when it comes to diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders, finding the best tool can be the toughest part of a task. It is important to consider and balance the pros and cons, especially in psychopharmacology. Clinicians must consider availability, cost and insurance coverage, interactions with other medications, and potential side effects associated with each drug in question.

In our first Exploring Side Effects Special Report, Sheldon Preskorn, MD, selected several common challenging effects to help readers better choose appropriate medications and manage the “extra” effects they may cause. The good news in all this: Sometimes clinicians flip the coin and find that an unintended effect (like sedation) actually works in the patient’s favor.

What happens when the 2 sides mirror each other? In his conversation with Nev Jones, PhD, Awais Aftab, MD, toys with this notion while exploring how schizophrenia experiences and clinical relationships change when a person plays both roles. According to Aftab, Jones’ insights and unique perspectives have not only advanced the conversation but also empowered and helped countless patients.

We hope these and the other articles in this issue inspire you to look at both sides of the coin as you strive to provide the best care to your patients, and we want to know what you think. Share your two cents by emailing us at PTEditor@mmhgroup.com. ❒

Mike Hennessy Sr
Chairman and Founder, MJH Life SciencesTM

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