Category: News

American Psychological Association Announces Guidelines for Psychologist Involvement in Pharmacological Issues

In the recent yearly “Reports of the Association” issue of the American Psychologist (December 2011), the American Psychological Association announced “Practice Guidelines Regarding Psychologists’ Involvement in Pharmacological Issues.” This report notes several factors that will make psychologists more involved in medication-management issues. One survey noted that the number of Americans using antidepressants increased from 6.7 […]

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Feds: NYS System Fails Developmentally Disabled

From the Poughkeepsie Journal, January 12, 2012: “ALBANY. A federal report finds the Cuomo administration and previous administrations ran a system to care for the developmentally disabled that not only failed patients and had an alarming number of unexplained deaths, but also excluded public review and ideas that could have protected patients better. “The Department […]

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Special Needs Financial Calculator

Ann Carrns, writing in the January 11, 2012, New York Times, notes a new financial tool, one geared for families with individuals who have special needs: “Families with children who have special needs or disabilities face even bigger hurdles than most people when it comes to planning for their financial futures. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management […]

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Four More Films to Look For

In addition to the seventeen films related to psychiatry posted on this blog, I have been reminded of four others (though technically, one of the four is a series): Crime Doctor (1943; series 1940s) An Angel at My Table (1990) Girl, Interrupted (1999) The Bell Jar (1979, 2013?)

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Year-end Note from Glenn Close

William, Like you I am getting ready to ring in the new year with family and friends. For me that means a night with my heroes: my sister Jessie who lives with Bipolar Disorder and my wonderful nephew Calen who lives with Schizoaffective Disorder. They have become fearless advocates for people living with mental illness, […]

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Condolences

During the past two weeks heart-wrenching tragedies have occurred. One was the killing of a policeman on duty in New York City. His death left four daughters behind. Another was a fire that killed five people on tony Shippan Point in Stamford, Connecticut. In the first case, over 20,000 police officers attended the funeral and […]

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The Violent Person: Guidelines for Service Providers

Your hospital beeper summons you to the emergency room to assess the condition of an assaultive patient. Are you safe as you enter the room? In your private practice office, you are assessing a patient with a known history of organic impairment and impulsiveness. Have you thought to ensure your own safety? You are about […]

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Counsel, Don’t Just Medicate, the Dually Diagnosed

The December 22, 2011, edition of the New York Times brings out another article on the problems and abuses in New York State public groups homes where developmentally disabled persons reside. It is important to note that the focus of the NYT articles has been on “public” rather than private group homes. Many of the […]

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The Meaning of Happy Holidiays

Pope Benedict VI decries the increasing commercialization of Christmas. Indeed, readers of this blog remember that among the films with a strong psychological component, listed in a recent posting, is Miracle on 34th Street. This 1947 classic, though “AMHF-blog worthy” being about the workings of a therapist and a HRD “personality tester,” primarily takes up […]

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More from Glenn Close and Jesse Close

Here is a letter I received from Jesse Close: Dear William: Share your story with Bring Change 2 Mind. I was 47 by the time I was properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For most of my life, my illness went undiagnosed and untreated. Life is much better now. A proper diagnosis and treatment helped tremendously, […]

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Becoming Alexandra Styron

The following is based on interviews with Alexandra Styron. I first met Alexandra Styron at a reading of her new book, Reading My Father: A Memoir (Scribner, 2011). She was appearing at the Quogue Public Library on Long Island. It was one of those beautiful midsummer afternoons that remind one so much of Henry James’s […]

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Facebook Addresses Potential Suicides

Among the millions of Facebook responses generated each day, some are posted by persons who display varying degrees of suicide potential and risk. In an attempt to deal with this constructively, Facebook (according to an article in the December 10, 2001, Boston Globe) will begin a service in which Facebook users can let Facebook know […]

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Street Drugs, Psychiatric Drugs, and Healing

In most cases psychiatric drugs are not valuable commodities on the street: antipsychotics and antidepressants with names such as Thorazine, Haldol, Resperidal, Tofranil, SSRIs, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Lithium, and others generally must build up a therapeutic dosage in the bloodstream to become effective. There is no immediate “rush” or feeling of euphoria. In acute-psychiatric illness, a […]

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Happy Birthday Thea Lucas!

The board of directors sends greetings and best wishes to the loyal and brainy Thea Lucas, long-time secretary of The American Mental Health Foundation. The foundation owes Ms. Lucas a debt for her service, specifically to the late Dr. Stefan de Schill, as well as to the entire organization, which can never be compensated. Ms. […]

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Psychiatric Center Closing Looms

Hudson River Psychiatric Center was a massive development built in the 19th century in Poughkeepsie, New York. The solid-brick buildings, many with iron window bars to prevent escapes, formed a city unto itslef, with capacity being over 5,000 patients who required hospitalization from illnesses we now term schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychotic depression, late-stage alcohol and […]

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Setting Free the Bears: Escape from Thought Suppression

What are mental bears? A person who is asked NOT to think aloud about a white bear will more often than not mention this same white bear: at least once a minute. So “white bears” have come to mean all sorts of unwanted thoughts that cause annoyance to even extreme frustration to those who experience […]

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A Life Restored

For the past several months, the New York Times has been running a series of articles on people who experience severe psychiatric illness; and who, by dint of their own motivation, creativity, and resilience, are able to lead productive lives despite the ongoing burden. On November 27, 2011, the front-cover story features Mr. Milt Greek, […]

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Seventeen Films Related to Psychiatry

The directors and staff of AMHF have discussed a blog, or series of more in-depth blogs, related to films featuring mental health as a central theme. Most of the following seventeen Hollywood movies from various eras (and therefore reflecting their respective times), as well as in a range of genres, include psychiatrists, “mental-health physicians”/neurologists/psychiatric neurologists, […]

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Arthur Miller, “The Crucible,” and Friend of AMHF Madeleine Sherwood

One thing I enjoy about published play-scripts is the inclusion of the opening-night cast. I have recently acquired an edition of The Crucible, and on page 147, fourth cast member “in order of appearance,” is Madeleine Sherwood as Abigail Williams. The drama opened in New York City on January 22, 1953. This play thematically combines […]

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Dick Cavett and Depression

It is a great service to the public when prominent people share their struggles with psychological conditions like depression. This often gives others the courage to seek treatment and acknowledge their need for help. Dick Cavett’s biography in Wikipedia notes: “Cavett has openly discussed his bouts with clinical depression, an illness that first affected him […]

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Order of Malta Meets in NYC

This past week the Order of Malta (Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta) met in New York City. This is a lay religious order of the Roman Catholic Church whose members are dedicated to serving the poor and the sick. They represent a 900-year-old history of helping the […]

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Epilepsy Awareness

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. I want to take a few words to reflect on this baffling, often-misunderstood condition, especially within the mental-health profession. Epilepsy has been known since ancient times. In the New Testament, Jesus cures an epileptic, recommending fasting and prayer. Such might be the genesis of the ketogenic diet, developed since […]

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Introducing Dr. Melissa Wanamaker to AMHF Blog Readers

Dr. Melissa Wanamaker will soon contribute a substantive blog on the subject of depression and Alexandra Styron, daughter of famed author William Styron. Following is Dr. Wanamaker’s biographical sketch. Melissa C. Wanamaker, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.-R., is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, licensed in New York State as a social worker. She is in private practice in Manhattan and […]

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Request from Glenn Close

Glenn Close has requested that we make you aware of this important television program which will be aired on Friday November 4, 2011: Dear William: I want to share with you the exciting news that Bring Change 2 Mind will be featured on tomorrow’s episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I had the honor and […]

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Still More on the DSM Discussion

From the 14th edition of Abnormal Psychology by James N. Butcher, Susan Mineka, and Jill M. Hooley (Boston: Allyn and Bacon): “The concept of mental disorder, as we have seen, suffers from the lack of a truly objective means of what is disordered and what is not. It is also in the financial interests of […]

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American Mental Health Foundation Annual Report November 1, 2011

American Mental Heath Foundation Annual Report November 1, 2010, to October 31, 2011 This is the first Annual Report on the American Mental Health Foundation, a research organization founded in 1924, incorporated in New York State in 1954. The new Vision Statement on the homepage of the Web site: Building a More Compassionate Society. The […]

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AMHF Attends 51st Annual Meeting of New England Psychological Association

AMHF attended the 51st Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association (NEPA), held October 28-29 at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. After a wonderful dinner, hosted by Drs. Robin Crabtree and Susan Franzosa, deans at Fairfield, participants heard child-development expert Dr. James Garbarino speak of “Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience: Confronting […]

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AMHF Attends Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology

On Friday, October 28, 2011, AMHF attended the 17th Annual Meeting of the Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology. This is a group of psychologists, who teach in colleges and universities, dedicated to improving their teaching of undergraduates and graduates. Participants of the group come from a wide range of specialties and interests including developmental, […]

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Happy Birthday William Van Ornum Jr.!

On this special day, the AMHF board of directors sends birthday greetings and all best wishes to William Van Ornum Jr. His considerable abilities have been of incalculable value to AMHF, specifically during the presentation of the second Stefan de Schill Award, to Suicide Prevention International, as well as in the smooth running of our […]

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Pathologizing Normal Behavior II?

I wanted to continue the discussion points Evander Lomke recently raised (following an article published by University of Toronto) regarding what may be a plethora of new categories of pathology in the upcoming DSM V. It would appear that the psychiatric profession indeed is creating labels of “sickness” for many of the woes of everyday […]

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