Sunday, November 27, 2005

New York Daily News - Manic-depressives find support, solace on Web

Jimi Hendrix expressed it in music, Vincent van Gogh expressed it on canvas and now an underground subculture of bloggers is expressing it online.

"It" is bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, which afflicts about 1% of U.S. adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. Sufferers are subjected to mood swings that may veer from overly excited highs to soul-crushing lows. Although treatable, it remains, in the institute's words, "a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life." - The Faces of TennCare

"In a small town south of Nashville, the poor, sick and elderly are living—and dying. This Thanksgiving, their stories of tragedy and humanity."

by John Spragens

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Holiday Depression: Myth vs. Reality

The stress of the holidays can cause people at risk of depression to be more vulnerable. So is it true that suicides increase during the holidays?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Promising new drug from Shire Pharmaceuticals?

This is not an endorsement of this medication, but the fact that the study was conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill makes this at minimum worthy of future review.

15 Nov 2005 - Philadelphia, USA – 15 November 2005 – Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers studied the efficacy of carbamazepine extended-release capsules (CBZ-ERC, EquetroTM) in patients with manic or mixed episodes of Bipolar I Disorder over six months. Data from this open label study was presented by UNC researchers last week at the 18th annual U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress in Las Vegas.

These data complement a pooled analysis of data from two, three-week placebo-controlled phase 3 studies of CBZ-ERC, which demonstrated that CBZ-ERC significantly reduced manic and mixed symptoms for patients and was generally well tolerated. CBZ-ERC, manufactured for Shire US Inc., is the only formulation of carbamazepine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of patients with acute manic and mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder. Shire provided funding for these studies.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Study: Bipolar Kids Often More Creative

WebMD: Nov. 14, 2005 -- Children with or at risk for bipolar disorder may be more creative than other, healthy children, according to a new study.

Researchers found that a small group of children of bipolar parents scored significantly higher on a creativity index than other children. They say the findings add to a growing evidence of a link between mood disorders, like bipolar disorder, and creativity.

"I think it's fascinating," says researcher Kiki Chang, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, in a news release. "There is a reason that many people who have bipolar disorder become very successful."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Patty Duke to Speak in Dallas - The Dallas Morning News Robert Miller Column

Nov. 9--Patty Duke, an Oscar and Emmy-winning actress and best-selling author, will speak Monday (Nov. 14) at the Prism Awards Luncheon benefiting the Mental Health Association of Greater Dallas.

Tim Simmons, MHA president and chief executive, said the event at the Wyndham Anatole hotel will also recognize the following award recipients:

--Veletta Forsythe Lill, who will receive the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Award, which recognizes outstanding community service that meets the needs of people with mental illness.

--Dr. Jacqui Stephens, who will receive the Pamela Blumenthal Memorial Mental Health Award for her long-term commitment to quality of care and dedicated delivery of services to those with mental illness.

--Martha Stowe, who will receive the Michael M. Faenza Mental Health Advocate Award, which recognizes consistent advocacy on behalf of emotionally disturbed children and adolescents and adults with serious mental illnesses.

--Lynne McLean, who will receive the inaugural Lightner Sams Foundation Child Advocate Award, which focuses on outstanding and exemplary dedication and service to the mental health needs of children and adolescents.

Mike Griffiths and David Dillard will each receive a Special Recognition Award for their long-term and exemplary dedication to improving the mental health of the community.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Steve Crain: Duckworth Talks About Mental Illness

From, a news service in North Carolina:

“Is Tom Cruise in the audience tonight? More importantly, is Nicole Kidman here?” asked mental health expert Dr. Ken Duckworth of Massachusetts on a recent Tuesday night at Sandhills Community College in Southern Pines.

The audience laughed, probably figuring Kidman might have things to say about her former husband’s state of mind.

An assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Duckworth criticized Cruise for lambasting Brooke Shields who took antidepressants to combat postpartum depression.

Duckworth called his lecture “Tom Cruise has it all wrong — the real truth about mental illness.” NAMI-Moore County (NAMI is the National Alliance on the Mental Illness) co-sponsored Duckworth’s appearance as part of The Ruth Pauley Lecture Series.