On this week’s edition of Upstate Medical University’s “HealthLink on Air”: Ramsay Farah, MD, discusses melanoma, the diagnosis former President Jimmy Carter recently disclosed. David Keith, MD, goes over theories of family therapy. Meghan Jacobs, MD, discusses the effects of corporal punishment.
The link between mental illness and mass shootings is weak, and predicting who might become a mass killer is probably impossible, despite popular notions to the contrary. That’s the opinion of Upstate psychiatry professor Ronald Pies, MD, who notes that severely mentally ill people commit only 5 percent of violent crimes and 10 percent of homicides. Most mentally ill people are not violent, he said, noting that “we might better spend our time looking at people involved in barroom brawls or domestic violence, not people with schizophrenia.”
Ronald Pies, MD: Don't try to connect mass killings to mental illness, psychiatrist advisesPlay Now | Download
Bipolar disorder, which provokes dramatic mood swings and can wreck one’s life, is not curable but is treatable, said Thomas Schwartz, MD, vice chair of the Upstate Psychiatry Department. The hallmark of the disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a sustained period of elevated mood, energy and activity that can provoke impulsive and destructive behavior, followed by or mixed with a period of depression. Popular media often focus on the extreme aspects of bipolarity, Schwartz said, adding that maintaining a regular sleep schedule as well as medications and psychiatric treatment can help control the disorder.
Thomas Schwartz, MD: Treatments can tame, not cure, bipolar disorderPlay Now | Download
The book, “Peace in the Midst of the Storm” offers an opportunity for reflection and hope during hospitalization, as its title suggests. The paperback includes poems, letters and thoughts from psychiatric patients at Upstate, as well as exercises and blank spaces to write one’s own thoughts, according to the Rev. Terry Culbertson of Upstate’s Spiritual Care Department, which conceived the book project to help troubled patients tap into their creativity and find a measure of self-worth as well as excitement. The book will be available through the Spiritual Care Department.
Rev. Terry Culbertson: Hospital patients create book to ease troubled mindsPlay Now | Download
Omar Mousa, MD, a third-year resident at Upstate, describes his research on a rarely studied topic: depression and anxiety among medical students and medical residents, who are used to checking for such conditions in their patients, not themselves. He explores social stigmas related to depression and stresses the need for those affected to seek help.
Omar Mousa, MD: Checking future doctors for signs of depression, anxietyPlay Now | Download
The goal is to have a community of empathetic adults and no shame regarding mental illness. The Syracuse chpater of the National Alliance for Mental Illness is patiently working toward that by providing curriculum materials for teachers from 4th grade through high school. The materials are called “Breaking the Silence.” Stephen Glatt, PhD, says the curriculum is in about 30 schools in Onondaga County. He is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and of neuroscience and physiology at Upstate. Learn more about “Breaking the Silence” at the Alliance’s website at http://namisyracuse.org/
Stephen Glatt, PhD & Andy Beltran: Removing the stigma of mental illness in the schoolsPlay Now | Download
Upstate psychiatrist David Keith, MD, talks about a recent creativity conference aimed at re-energizing and supporting the inner intelligence of mental health practitioners of all disciplines, medical and non-medical.
As the school year approaches, we are joined by Leonard Newman, PhD, area director of the Social Psychology program at Syracuse University, to discuss the growing stigma attached to mental illness in the wake of recent mass shootings, and why it is so difficult to undermine.
Leonard Newman, PhD: Stigma surrounding mental illness grows in wake of school shootingsPlay Now | Download