The week in review: April 3-7

This week, Psychiatric time® has covered a wide variety of psychiatric issues and industry updates, from over-the-counter naloxone to the real connection between gun violence and mental illness. Here are some highlights from the week.

Changing the Narrative: Mental Illness and Gun Violence

Another day, another shooting, another finger pointed at mental illness. With the vast media coverage of gun violence, it seems there is a mass shooting in the United States every day, but the reality is much worse.

According to Gun Violence Archive, there were 44,313 gun violence deaths in the United States in 2022. Of these, 20,223 deaths were due to homicide, murder, accident, or defensive use of firearms. fire and 24,090 to suicides. Additionally, 647 were classified as mass shootings, broadly defined as incidents in which 4 or more people, not including the shooter, are shot. Alarmingly, gun violence is now the leading cause of death among American children and adolescents. Continue reading

Over-the-counter naloxone: a step in the right direction?

The news that Narcan has been approved for non-prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) use can be interpreted in various ways by the public and medical professionals. At first glance, this may appear as acceptance and approval of drug use. However, opioid use disorder continues to claim many lives here in the United States each year. More and more illicit drugs are contaminated with fentanyl, which has contributed enormously to overdose deaths.

The ideal approach to drug treatment outcomes is complete abstinence and sobriety. Let’s not forget that addiction is a chronic disease. Like any chronic disease, there can be – or there will be – acute exacerbations that require care and stabilization. In the case of an opioid use disorder, a break and/or a relapse can be fatal. Continue reading

The Black Youth Mental Health Epidemic: A Crisis in Itself

The recently released Youth Risk Behavior Survey report shows us that markers of poor mental health, ranging from feelings of hopelessness to suicide attempts, have worsened over the past decade among adolescents or , at best, remained the same. Indeed, we are in the midst of a teen mental health crisis. But if you look at the media coverage, that seems to be code for the “white teen mental health crisis.”

From images used to discuss mental health statistics surrounding teenage girls to highlighted personal accounts of troubled teens, the plight of white children has typically centered on the norm, delegating black teens to the periphery. Continue reading

Yes, it’s all in your head


Interesting human behavior is to marginalize or stigmatize anything that elicits feelings of helplessness, frustration, or ignorance. A good example of this phenomenon is the phrase “It’s all in your head”, which is commonly used when a healthcare provider, friend or family member feels helpless or frustrated by a patient’s symptoms. that seem to defy explanation and treatment.

Those of us in the psychiatric profession hear this too often about our patients. Unfortunately, this judgment usually extends to people with an established psychiatric diagnosis when they present to an emergency department with symptoms or physical complaints. Continue reading

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