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 […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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 […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
I came across this memoir (with its compelling title, somewhat reminiscent of the work of Clarice Lispector) upon learning its author, Carol Hebald, had been awarded (six years before) the same fellowship I had been given as an undergraduate. The foreword is by iconoclast Thomas Stephen Szasz, known for his anti-traditional “anti-views” of psychotherapy. In […]By: Evander Lomke
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 […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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 […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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 […]By: Dr. Melissa Wanamaker
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 […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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 […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
AMHF Advisory Board member Dr. James Quick has authored an extensive comment in the recent American Psychologist, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association. In that journal there has been an extended discussion about the role of psychologists in working with the military as well as questioning as to whether or not psychologists ought […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The DSM was first issued in 1952, during that liberating period that saw, for example, Kinsey’s reports on sexual behavior. The DSM in its various editions guides treatment decisions throughout North America and other continents. The original DSM listed 106 disorders. This was pretty much carried over to the 1968 revision. However, the DSM III […]By: Evander Lomke
The October 9, 2011, New York Times once again brings to our attention the recent suicide of former New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu. Once again, we are reminded of the sadness of Irabu’s death as well as the need for greater research and understanding about suicide from groups such as Suicide Prevention International. The […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Claudia M. Gold, MD, is a behavioral pediatrician who writes for the Boston Globe. She offers some excellent thoughts on the topic of psychiatric medication and children: “In the last chapter of my new book Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums, and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World through Your Child’s […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
No matter what position you take, the effects of abortion on the state of mental health is filled with controversy. The controversy comes from all sides, at root with a theological basis, but also secular: sociological and, of course, psychological in origin. The British Journal of Psychiatry published an extensive study on the subject (uniquely, […]By: Evander Lomke
A stock market that swings erratically every few years is looking to be the new normal: Many even doubt that a ten-year horizon is a safe one for long-term investors or those planning retirement. Economic worries are real. They can be all-consuming. Yet, often unacknowledged is the role of one’s emotional experience in diluting or […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Once focus of American Mental Health Foundation this past year has been to increase awareness and research of suicide. We have done this through our support of Suicide Prevention International. Recently ex-major-league pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead in his home in California. He had apparently committed suicide by hanging himself. What made this even […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The evolution of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM I, II, III, IV, IV-TR) and upcoming DSM V is an interesting one. The first manual was a short volume with a small number of diagnoses. The diagnosis itself was often not as important as the detailed clinical description written about the patient, often written from […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Counseling Today (a journal of the American Counseling Association in their July 2011 issue reports on a survey released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the needs of families who have children experiencing mental illness. The Adolescent Action Center of NAMI did a survey of over 500 respondents. Each of these was […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Peter Kramer, M.D., writing in the July 9 issue of the New York Times Magazine, responded to a number of recent articles in the media that criticize the efficacy of antidepressant medications. One of the reviews mentioned was an essay in the New York Review of Books, wherein Marsha Angell, former editor of the New […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Previously we have written about Marsha Linehan, clinical psychologist who developed dialectical behavioral therapy, and who has worked throughout her career with persons who display severe suicidal behaviors or symptoms of what is called borderline personality disorder. On June 23, 2011, the New York Times presented an intriguing story, Expert on Mental Illness Reveals Her […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Therese Borchard, associate editor of Psych Central, offers everyone 6 Tips to Help Summer Depression. She notes 5 causes of summer depression, as suggested by Dr. Ian Cook of the Depression Research Project at UCLA. The following 5 factors may contribute to summertime depression: disrupted summer schedules, body image issues (i.e., fitting into that swimsuit), […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
I was fortunate to be at the Boat Basin on Saturday morning May 7, 2011, when Evander Lomke, executive director of AMHF, presented Suicide Prevention International (SPI) with only the second Stefan de Schill Award. We were celebrating this at the West Side Boat Basin in Riverside Park. At least one-hundred enthusiastic persons, young and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Catherine Zeta Jones, glamorous wife of actor Michael Douglas, suffers the painful effects of bipolar disorder. As this ABC News article and video explain, bipolar disorder, a cause also closely associated with actress and well-known advocate Glenn Close (whose sister, Jesse, is diagnosed with bipolar disorder), can be brought on during any stage of life, […]By: Evander Lomke
THE STEFAN DE SCHILL AWARD The Second Stefan de Schill Award has been announced. AMHF is honoring Suicide Prevention International. The award and a check to SPI for $5,000 will be presented at the SPI Walk For Life on Saturday, May 7, 2011, rain or shine, to Herbert Hendin, MD, CEO and Medical Director of […]By: Evander Lomke
AMHF is proud to present this year’s Stefan deSchill Award to Suicide Prevention International. To read about the November 2009 award recipient, click here.By: Evander Lomke
On March 18, 2011, Daily News columnist Clem Richardson (who writes regularly on “Great People”) featured Peter Campanelli, chief of Institute for Community Living, a nonprofit that helps people with psychiatric disabilities. Richardson wrote about awards Campanelli had won: but interestingly, he was not yet aware of Campanelli’s most intriguing award. With over 150 submissions, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Although many people confuse perfectionism with obsessive compulsive disorders, many see this as two separate entities that require different approaches in understanding. Most of us reading this will have an intuitive idea of what is being talked about, as most of us possess at least small levels of these two characteristics. Philip Gnilka, assistant professor […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
On the blog for America, I have written about the sad fact that the number of suicides in the United States military exceeded the number of casualties due to warfare last year and the publication of a special issue of the American Psychologist examines this. The current issue of the American Psychologist is devoted to […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
An anonymous letter to the editor appears in the current (February 2011) issue of N.Y. Able Newspaper, “The Newspaper Positively For, By & About The Disabled,” which cuts to the heart of AMHF and its work. “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects six million Americans, two percent of the population. Sadly, OCD is very common and […]By: Evander Lomke
Tragic events this past week in Arizona, involving Jared Lee Loughner, have once again brought to public awareness the question of treatment for seriously disturbed people who live in our midst, and in particular the issues concerning what to do when one of them is a college student and his or her behavior is a […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.