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Mon
13
Apr

An inside look on how stigma may reinforce denial in ill doctors, part 2.

Thu
02
Apr
Mike Myers, MD

Burnout in Psychiatrists

A review of burnout in psychiatrists.

Mon
02
Mar
Mike Myers, MD

Stigma and the Ailing Physician

An inside look on how stigma may reinforce denial in ill doctors.

Thu
19
Feb
Mike Myers, MD

The Gift of Self-Disclosure

Ode to Dr. Quinn Leslie who has paved the path to accepting non-perfectionism.

Spotlight

Asking the Right Questions to Assess Suicide Risk

J. John Mann, MD, of Columbia University, and Charles Raison, MD, Psych Congress Steering Committee member, discuss which questions clinicians should ask to best evaluate suicide risk.

Exclusives

Misuse of Opioids More Common than Prior Estimates

Rate of opioid misuse/addiction had been underestimated, according to researchers.

Mon
20
Apr

How Cannabis Affects Emotional Maturity

Charles Raison, MD and Andrew Penn, RN, MS, CNS, NP, PMHNP-BC discuss how cannabis use delays emotional maturity.

Mon
20
Apr

Studying the Risks and Benefits of Cannabis for Mental Health

Andrew Penn, RN, MS, CNS, NP, PMHNP-BC and Charles Raison, MD discuss how cannabis can affect mental health.

Mon
20
Apr

Could Acetaminophen Do More Than Just Reduce Pain?

In a recent study, published in Psychological Science, researchers found that acetaminophen does not just diminish pain, it also decreases pleasure.  Acetaminophen is the primary ingredient in Tylenol®, most Midol® forms, and countless other medicines. 

The study included 82 college students who were subject to 40 images. Some photos were enjoyable (children with kittens), others were unpleasant (malnourished kids). A 1000-milligram dosage of acetaminophen was given to 41 students while the remaining 41 were given a placebo. After receiving their dosages, each student was shown the photographs and had to rate them. Researchers concluded that the participants who were under the influence of acetaminophen rated all the positive photos negatively, while the actual negative photos were not seen negatively.

“This means that using Tylenol or similar products might have broader consequences than previously thought,” said lead author Geoffrey Durso, doctoral student, social psychology, Ohio State University. He offered the broad conclusion that “rather than just being a pain reliever, acetaminophen can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever.”

-Alessia D’Anna

References:

1. Durso G, Luttrell A, Way B. Over-the-Counter Relief From Pains and Pleasures Alike: Acetaminophen Blunts Evaluation Sensitivity to Both Negative and Positive Stimuli. Psychological Science. 2015 April 10. PII: 0956797615570366.

2. Study: Acetaminophen reduces not only pain, but pleasure, too [press release]. CNN: April 15, 2015.

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Fri
17
Apr

Insomnia, Depression Increase Risk of Nightmares

Symptoms of depression and insomnia are strong predictors of frequent nightmares, according to new research published in the journal Sleep.

Researchers came to their findings after analyzing data from independent surveys and health exams involving 13,922 adults in Finland. The study found that 3.9% of participants experienced frequent nightmares in the previous 30 days. However, among participants with severe depressive symptoms, the nightmare rate was 28.4%. Among participants with frequent insomnia, the rate of frequent nightmares was 17.1%.

The strongest risk factors for frequent nightmares were insomnia, exhaustion, and a depression-related negative attitude toward self, researchers reported. An impaired ability to work, low life satisfaction, antidepressant or hypnotic use, and frequent heavy use of alcohol were also strongly associated with nightmares.

"Our study shows a clear connection between well-being and nightmares," said lead author Nils Sandman, MSc, researcher in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, Finland. "This is most evident in the connection between nightmares and depression, but also apparent in many other analyses involving nightmares and questions measuring life satisfaction and health."  

While the study did not examine causality, Sandman said the connection between well-being and nightmares is worth further investigation.

"It might be possible that nightmares could function as early indicators of onset of depression and therefore have previously untapped diagnostic value," he said. "Also, because nightmares, insomnia, and depression often appear together, would it be possible to treat all of these problems with an intervention directed solely toward nightmares?"

—Jolynn Tumolo

References

1. Sandman N, Valli K, Kronholm E, Revonsuo A, Laatikainen T, Paunio T.Nightmares: risk factors among the Finnish general adult population. Sleep. 2015:38:507-514.

2. Depression and insomnia are strongest risk factors for frequent nightmares [press release]. EurekAlert!: Washington, DC; April 2, 2015.

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