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Bright Nights Community Forum | What is Neuroscience and How Can it Change Psychiatry?

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 10:19am

As we understand the brain better, we should be able to improve our diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disease. In fact, ideally, neuroscience should lead us to be able to fully understand and possibly even repair brain circuits important for mental health conditions. But how likely are we to achieve that ideal?  What stands in our way?

Through science and technology, we have discovered a great deal about the brain. However, emotional systems and psychiatric disease are incredibly complex. Modern neuroscience has focused its efforts and advances on the brains of experimental animals, but we are still far from moving these highly precise interventions onto humans. The question remains: how do we translate this advanced work into solutions for individuals with mental illness?

Dr. Brendon Watson, Assistant Professor for the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine, gives a brief overview presentation of our current standing in neuroscience in relation to psychiatric practices, and shares where he believes we are going. Dr. Watson speaks about the tension between theory and practice within research and the importance of moving towards non-invasive procedures.

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Bright Nights Community Forum | Postpartum Depression: What You Don't Expect When You're Expecting

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 12:34am

Women frequently experience mild mood changes during or after pregnancy, but if these symptoms become severe, they require treatment. Often misunderstood and conflated with the “baby blues,” postpartum depression occurs in nearly 15 percent of women and can interfere with their ability to care for or bond with their babies. Although highly treatable, many women are reluctant to seek care for a variety of reasons including lack of information about the illness, misconceptions about its treatment, and shame due to stigma and societal pressures.

Samantha Shaw, MD, Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine, gives a brief overview presentation reviewing the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression; treatment options; and strategies to avoid common “traps” of postpartum depression. The presentation is followed by questions and discussion with a panel of experts including Lisa Anderson, MSW, Social Worker, Michigan Medicine; Monica Starkman, MD, Associate Professor Emerita of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School.

This event was a partnership with the U-M Depression Center. For more information on the Center, visit their website or contact Stephanie Salazar, 232-0330, or sawaters@umich.edu

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Bright Nights Community Forum | Self-Help Tools on the Internet for Mood Disorders: A Practical Guide

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 5:12pm

If you or a family member has struggled with a mood disorder, have you ever thought about getting help online?

eHealth is the use of technologies such as online psychotherapy, informational websites, social media, forums, blogs, and video games to educate, provide social support, encourage screening for disorders, offer self-help strategies and psychotherapy, and reduce stigma. By using eHealth technologies, people can access mental health materials whenever and wherever they like, work at any speed that is comfortable in the privacy of their own home, and play an active role in their health. Further research and development of eHealth tools for mood disorders is needed. However, the availability and quality of these tools has increased considerably over the last decade.

In order to provide an overview of self-help tools on the Internet, how to determine the quality of a particular tool, and to share some specific examples of available eHealth initiatives, the University of Michigan Depression Center and the Ann Arbor District Library presented this Bright Nights community forum.

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Bright Nights Community Forum: The Adolescent Brain - Substance Use, Depression, and Recovery

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 3:10pm

Important features of brain development exist during the adolescent period, and this developmental phase matters when we talk about adolescent depression and substance use. Understanding these developmentally specific features of depression and substance use helps with parental monitoring, understanding, responding effectively to youth, as well as knowing more about what to expect and how to discern when more help is needed. It is common for parents to wonder, "are they just being a moody teenager?" or "isn't it normal to experiment with alcohol or drugs during adolescence?" Sometimes parents are unsure which condition, substance use or mental illness, is primary or what needs to be treated first. 

In order to address these and other dilemmas in relation to dual diagnosis in adolescence, The University of Michigan Depression Center and the Ann Arbor District Library present a Bright Nights community forum entitled, “The Adolescent Brain: Substance Use, Depression, and Recovery”.

Dr. Joanna Quigley, Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry; Associate Medical Director for Child & Adolescent Services, Ambulatory Psychiatry & University of Michigan Addiction Treatment Services (UMATS), gives a brief overview presentation reviewing the signs and symptoms of adolescent depression; signs, symptoms and impact of substance use during adolescence; the intersection of these conditions; how they influence one another and what this can mean for long term development. She speaks about the importance of early intervention and prevention, as well as response focused on education and effective dialogue.

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Bright Nights Community Forum: Self-Compassion as a Resilience Factor in Mental Health

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 8:20am

A fast-growing body of research suggests that self-compassion is strongly linked to mental health. Self-compassion has been consistently associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety, perfectionism, fear of failure, and rumination. Self-compassion is also associated with psychological strengths such as happiness, optimism, wisdom, altruism, and healthy interpersonal relationships. Further, self-compassion has been shown to lead to self-improvement motivation in the face of personal weaknesses, failure, and past moral transgressions. Self-compassion is associated with resilience and adaptive emotion regulation in the general population, and in specific populations, including major depressive disorder, adolescents and young adults, elderly residents in a retirement community, adults with spina bifida, and health care providers. Fortunately, interventions to increase self-compassion have been shown to be effective in both normal and clinical populations.

Self-compassion consists of three components: mindfulness, common humanity, and self-kindness. Mindfulness refers to the ability to observe one’s suffering so that one can be can be kind and supportive of oneself, rather than being harshly self-critical. Common humanity promotes the understanding that all human beings are imperfect, and that failure, rejection and adversity in life are part of being human.

Ricks Warren, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, leads a discussion on how mental health can be improved through self-compassion and strategies for building self-compassion with a panel of experts including Kate Baker, MD, Clinical Instructor, U-M Department of Psychiatry; Paulette Grotrian, MA, Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher; Mika Handelman, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan Psychological Clinic.

This event is a partnership with the U-M Depression Center. For more information on the Center, visit their website or contact Stephanie Salazar, 232-0330, or sawaters@umich.edu

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Bright Nights Community Forum: Borderline Personality Disorder, Debunking Myths, and Improving Hope

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 2:48pm

Victor Hong, MD, Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan gives a brief presentation on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and its management, followed by a panel discussion.

BPD is a serious mental illness, but one that is sometimes not well understood by patients and families, clinicians, and society as a whole. It is perhaps the most stigmatized disorder in all of medicine, which creates confusion, poor outcomes, and a sense of hopelessness for everyone involved.

BPD affects an estimated 18 million Americans during their lifetimes and causes numerous stressful symptoms, including unstable mood, suicidal and self-harm thoughts and behaviors, and chaotic relationships. While the disorder causes great distress, treatment varies widely and research is lacking.

Recent research indicates that the prognosis for those with BPD is much better than previously thought, and existing and emerging treatments have demonstrated significant efficacy. The role of medications in those treatments has been further elucidated, the role of families has been made clear, and a better understanding of how to manage safety concerns has developed

This event is a partnership with the University of Michigan Depression Center. For more information about the Depression Center, visit depressioncenter.org or contact Stephanie Salazar, 232-0330, or sawaters@umich.edu.

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Bright Nights Community Forum: Adolescent Depression, Resiliency, and Coping Skills

Thu, 06/01/2017 - 6:03pm

Adolescence is a period of great change and great stress. Academics become more challenging, the number of competing responsibilities increase, and navigating the social world becomes more complex.

Major depression in adolescents is common, with 11% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 experiencing a major depressive episode each year (NSDUH, 2014). When depression is diagnosed and treated early, many people with depressive illnesses are able to achieve remission and maintain wellness. Even without a clinical diagnosis of depression, families and adolescents can benefit in creating a surplus of coping skills.

To learn more about depressive disorders in adolescents, including how families can help generate resiliency in their teen, the U-M Depression Center and the AADL presented this community forum on adolescent depression, resiliency, and coping skills.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, LMSW, Behavioral Health Consultant and member of the University of Michigan Depression Center presents on this topic. This is then followed by questions from the audience and a discussion with expert panelists, including Craig VanKempen, LMSW, MPH, Social Worker and Health Educator, Corner Health Center; Nicole Speck, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, Clinical Manager, Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools; and Amy McLoughlin, Guidance Counselor, Skyline High School.

This event was cosponsored by the U-M Depression Center as part of an ongoing Bright Nights series. For more information on the Depression Center, visit their website or contact Stephanie Salazar, 232-0330, or email Stephanie at sawaters@umich.edu

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Bright Nights Community Forum: An Opioid Crisis in Washtenaw County: What Can We Do?

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 3:05pm

The U.S. Surgeon General recently sent a call out to health practitioners and public health leaders to ask for help in addressing what he describes as “an urgent health crisis facing America”—the prescription opioid crisis.

Washtenaw County is not immune. As the rest of the country, our community is the midst of an opioid epidemic, with dramatic increases in the number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths from prescription medications and heroin. In fact, between 2000 and 2014, the number of opioid related overdose deaths in Washtenaw County increased 1525%, from 4 deaths in 2000 to 65 deaths in 2014.

The Washtenaw Health Initiative (WHI) Opioid Project was formed as a community-based, volunteer organization to help address this problem in Washtenaw County. The success of this initiative depends on community knowledge, support, and involvement.

To learn more about the WHI Opioid Project, the University of Michigan Depression Center and the Ann Arbor District Library present this Bright Nights community forum. Dr. Stephen Strobbe, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Michigan School of Nursing, and Department of Psychiatry, will give a brief presentation, followed by a panel discussion, to raise and respond to the following questions:

· Is there really an opioid epidemic in Washtenaw County?
· What is the Washtenaw Health Initiative (WHI) Opioid Project?
· What can I do in my own home—and community—to help?

For more information on the U-M Depression Center, visit the Depression Center website at www.depressioncenter.org , or contact Stephanie Salazar, 232-0330, or sawaters@umich.edu.

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Bright Nights Community Forum: Understanding Electroconvulsive Therapy

Tue, 10/11/2016 - 2:45pm

Depression is a brain disease that is pervasive in our population, affecting over 20 million American adults. When detected early, it can have high recovery rates.

However there remain a small percentage of patients with serious psychiatric illnesses for whom typical medication or psychotherapy treatments are not effective. One potential treatment option for patients with severe depression who fail to respond to medications or who are unable to tolerate the side effects associated with the medications is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Developed over 75 years ago, use of ECT declined in the 1960s and 1970s due to misperceptions about the treatment and the advent of modern antidepressant medications. ECT, however, never went away because of the profound effect it has on the most severe mental illness syndromes. Due to significant improvements in the way the treatment is administered, it is safer and more tolerable for patients as modern strategies help cut down on memory side effects. Depression is the most common condition treated with ECT, but other syndromes such as bipolar mania, psychosis, or catatonia symptoms also respond well to ECT.

To learn more about ECT and how it may be used to treat severely ill patients, the University of Michigan Depression Center and the Ann Arbor District Library present this Bright Nights forum. Daniel Maixner, MD, Associate Professor and ECT Program Director at the University of Michigan, will give a brief overview presentation outlining the current research, advancements, and the benefits and side effects of the procedure. This will be followed by questions and discussion with a panel of experts including Tricia Suttmann, a retired attorney who had successful ECT treatment at U-M over the course of almost a year; Wael Shamseddeen, MD, MPH, Assistant Clinical Professor, U-M Department of Psychiatry; and David Belmonte, MD, MS, Clinical Assistant Professor, U-M Department of Psychiatry.

For more information about the Depression Center, visit their website at www.depressioncenter.org , or contact Stephanie Salazar, 232-0330, or sawaters@umich.edu.

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Bright Nights Community Forum: Personalized Treatments for Depression and Bipolar Illnesses: Why ‘One Size’ Will Never Fit All

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 4:28pm

Depression and bipolar illnesses can affect anyone: you, a family member, a neighbor, or a friend. Some disorders are mild, while others are more serious and long-lasting, but almost all of these conditions can be diagnosed and treated, and most people can live better lives after treatment. However, no two people have exactly the same kind of depression or bipolar illness.

Medications are an important element in the successful treatment of mental illness, often in combination with psychotherapy, or “talk therapy.” New research about the brain has given scientists hope that in the near future they will be able to personalize the approach to medical management for depressive illnesses, which will treat an individual’s particular symptoms based on their specific genetic background and other biological markers.

Vicki Ellingrod, Pharm.D., BCPP, a Professor in the U-M College of Pharmacy and Medical School, presents a brief overview of the latest research on the emerging field of “pharmacogenetics,” which refers to the genetic basis of response to medications. This is followed by questions from the audience and a discussion with experts Jolene R. Bostwick, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, Associate Chair, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Clinical Associate Professor, University of Michigan College of Pharmacy; and Srijan Sen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan and Depression Center Member.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Depression Center and the Ann Arbor District Library.