France’s 3x Death Rate from Alcohol & 6 Other “Pro” Alcohol & Drug Myths Refuted

While there are numerous alcoholic myths are out there, like how to get sober quickly, it’s really worth discussing the few “pro alcohol” myths which encourage drinking. Consider the global risks of alcohol..:

  • Alcohol is the 5th most common killer in the world
  • Alcohol causes 3+ million deaths per year
  • Alcohol is the #1 killer for ages 15-49
  • Alcohol causes 1 in 4 deaths

With those sobering stats in mind, let’s look at the myths that contribute to alcohol consumption, because as long as there are any perceived benefits for drinking a few beers, the rate of use and abuse are likely to be higher than they are.

1. The French have lower alcoholism rates because their children are introduced to wine at an early age.

Verdict: False

Death rates are much higher in France (50k):  Since the US is around 80-90k alcohol deaths per year, but considering the relative population of each, the death rate is more than 3x higher in France than in the USA:

“The reputation of the French for drinking in moderation appears slightly misleading after a worrying report released on Monday revealed alcohol is responsible for around 49,000 deaths in France each year – around 134 each day.”

“The study, carried out by the Service for Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Institue Gustave Roussy, near Paris found that around 36,500 French men die each year from alcohol-related illnesses, around 13 percent of the overall male mortality rate.”  – TheLocal.fr

Comparing to the USA is just one angle, but what about the rest of the world? According to Global Information System on Alcohol and Health, and visualized by a news site, France leads the world in youth binge drinking rates:

french drinking rates

Go Africa!

Looking at another range, 15-16 year olds show a similar trend, and many European countries have more than double the rate of binge drinking compared to the USA, thereby discrediting another myth that we (USA) should just copy Europe in all their programs.

2. Drinking red wine is healthy because of resveratrol:

If resveratrol is due to the grape skin, then would grape juice be just as effective? According to MayoClinic, the answer is “It’s possible” as several studies support it. But even the stidoes on mice would require an equivalent dosage of 750 – 1500 bottls of wine every day.

Besides, Harvard says other studies do not show any benefit to resveratrol but we should not be surprised as there are usually contradicting studies in all areas of medicine. E.g. Fiber may not be important after all.

If ingesting more “resveratrol” is really a concern, then you could either: eat healthier “You may already consume a fair amount of resveratrol […] found in foods such as peanuts, pistachios, grapes, red and white wine, blueberries, cranberries, and even cocoa and dark chocolate.” ; or, you could just buy some resveratrol supplements.

It is bizarre to think that somehow scientists got so excited to promote resveratrol that they failed to even consider the negative risks of promoting drinking, which has far worse consequences for many people.

There are other possible health benefits to consuming occasional glasses of wine, like minor improvements to blood-sugar, and dementia risk, but only for moderate drinkers–again, which studies are reliable? Besides, there are probably hundreds of ways to accomplish the same health goals, especially considering when one considers the asymmetrical risks associated with alcohol.

 

3. Drinking wine is safe:

“We have normalized drinking,” says journalist Ann Johnston. “We look at red wine like it’s dark chocolate.” It would appear that a normalizing view of alcohol is occuring.

While there may not be studies that show the switch between casual wine and alcoholics/binge drinking, women drinking patterns in general may be useful as women are typically the “wine drinkers” in today’s society.

A review of national surveys (2002) shows dramatic increases of alcohol use among women, regardless of race:

White: 47% up from 37%
Black: 30% up from 21%
Hispanic: 32% up from 24%.

More recent data suggests the same trend. “Heavy drinking is on the rise in many parts of the U.S. — up more than 17 percent since 2005, researchers reported Thursday. And rates are rising faster among women than among men.” and “Nationally, 18.3 percent of Americans were binge drinkers in 2012, an increase of nearly 9 percent since 2005. “

The future trends are equally cloudy as the mortality rates of white women, ages 35 to 54, have more than doubled in the last two decades according to the Washington Post.

 

4.  Social drinking is not harmful:

The rate of non-drinkers that eventually became alcoholic is exactly 0%.

no one can predict if a person will become an alcoholic, predisposed or otherwise, therefore, any drinking always presents risks of dependance

So while social drinking may be true for some, no one can predict if a person will become an alcoholic, predisposed or otherwise, therefore, any drinking always presents risks of dependance. The message to kids, and people who have never drank, should be: Do not start drinking alcohol as it is the only guaranteed way to avoid abuse. Not a popular message today, but binary (do vs. do not) approaches to potentially addictive behaviors is the only guaranteed way to prevent habits from being able to form. Likewise, for those already dependant on alcohol/drugs, complete abstinence is usually critical, and the only effective means to prevent relapse. So if it works for them, it can work for non-drinkers.

Also realize that the term “social drinking” does not necessarily mean drinking in low-volumes. Is it safe to assume that “peer-pressure,” acceptance, and conformity are among the top reasons people use drugs? If so, then we can infer that main cause of alcoholism is “social” drinking, or “social binge drinking.”

 

5. Legalizing more drugs = Freedom, and will reduce abuse:

Before looking specifically at alcohol, it’s worth a detour to consider other drugs in the same light.

No limits on drugs are a core doctrine of libertarianism and generally progressive society, and so there must be nothing that would free society more than to have a liquor store, a cigarette  vending machine, and a meth dispenser, on every street corner; and let’s not forget the children either. I am not against the idea that the entire population should be continually freer to enslave themselves at their own choice, but is there a point of diminishing returns, or unnecessary risk, especially when those that do not want such risks nearby are subjected to them?

While the idea of “freedom” has merit, the more access we have to drugs/alcohol via cost, convenience, communication/promotion (basically the 4 C’s of marketing), the higher the usage, and the higher the net enslavement. Much like expecting internet addiction to decline when it is becoming easier and easier to access (your pocket); or expecting sugar food addiction to decline when you have a shelf full of cookies in your pantry. There are few taboos against many of these lesser addictions, which has not helped to decrease addiction rates.

Should we be surprised that the places with the highest alcohol restrictions, limited access to alcohol, also have the lowest alcohol abuse rates? If you want help to stop drinking, your best bet might be central Saudi Arabia, or Kuwait, where drinking rates are well under 1% and also illegal, making it difficult to access.

acohol use rates around world

Source: OurWorldInData

So let’s look at the “open market” approach. On one hand, the USA is in an opioid crisis, and on the other hand, the general population wants more drugs–recreational marijuana, which tends to follow medical marijuana, as Colorado has shown us. But it may be worth saving the time in copying the 40-year Dutch experiment, because marijuana is really a large export market for tourists (up to 80%), and are possibly a growing narco state; and Holland is now the new Mexico, as reported by the EU Drug Markets Report:

  • Over half of Europe’s $5.7 billion dollar cocaine supply travels through Rotterdam.
  • Europe’s leading producers of synthetics like ecstasy and amphetamines are Holland and Belgium.
  • Most ecstasy used in Europe and the US comes from labs in southern Holland.
  • The Netherlands and Spain are chief countries for cocaine trafficking.
  • A tripling of heroine addiction rates, and 2x that of England, along with a myriad of other possible negative outcomes too numerous to mention here.

Besides, with the impossibility of cross-comparing a single culture, economics, uselessly data sets, cherry-picking, continually changing and dynamic culture/demographics, the inability to test society in a vacuum, the jury will always be out on what effect certain policies have.

Christian Hoofer weighs a lot of these problems at a high level, which is definitely worth a read. So are the latest failures of Colorado legalization.

Besides, I am still not sure what “medical marijuana” is, as at least one analysis of 24 studies (A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Medical Cannabis for Psychiatric, Movement and Neurodegenerative Disorders) said a “definitive conclusion on its efficacy could not be drawn.” So medical marijuana may be a myth too. I doubt most people who are voting for it have done a systematic review of the research either, which brings me back to “medical marijuana” simply being a stepping stone, but I digress.

One final note: 20% of young adults are currently binge drinking in the USA, so legalizing more drugs may not lead to lowers rates of abuse.

 

6. Using alcohol/drug taxes to generate government revenue is better for society:

It is interesting to consider how many addictive and former black-markets shifted hands from private entrepreneurs (the growers and dealers) to govt programs, usually in the name of public safety.

Take for example lotteries, a form of gambling. It is considered beneficial when a govt does it, yet 2.2% of the population is hooked on gambling. If the governement truely cared, they would at least use those proceeds entirly for helping addicted victims.

Some would argue, if the government did not allow gambling then citizens would resort to gambling black markets, which may be true to some degree, however this chart shows the strong relationship between the most addicted states along-side their “gambling friendly” rank: The more gambling friendly a state is, the higher the addiction rates. Surprised? See point #4 above again.

(Data)

Maybe a second,  deeper reason to regulate vice industries is that it helps keep more revenue at home, instead of in poorer areas of the world where much of it is currently sourced. Just looking at Mexico, the Wachovia wire fraud scandal alone imported the equivalent of 1/3 of Mexico’s GDP over a few years, basically drug money (1, 2), while other estimates say “The amount of money pouring into Mexico […] estimated to be about $35 billion to $40 billion each year”.  Finding new revenue sources is increasingly important in a country where the economy and especially its govrnment are increasingly having financial challenges.

 

7. Lies, Bigger Lies, and Advertising

All advertising uses some sort of message to communicate its benefits. According to the Center for Media Literacy, these include:

1. Risk does not exist, as commercials fail to portray signs of addiction, nor destroyed lives.

2. Alcohol is necessary for survival.

3. Some messages even subtlety promote alcoholic behavior, such as suggesting that daily trips to the bar are part of life

4. Alcohol can improve your life: “happiness, wealth, prestige, sophistication, success, maturity, athletic ability, virility and attraction”

5. Alcohol is not dangerous: Legal drugs (alcohol, cigarettes) may kill far more people than illegal drugs, so maybe the war on drugs should also include a war against alcohol and its advertising. Who could imagine seeing ads for meth, cocaine, and heroin, so why allow alcohol ads?

6. Alcoholic beverage companies innocuously promote alcoholism with such phrases as “drink responsibly,” giving people the false sense of control. No one sets out to become an alcoholic, yet 1 in 10 drinkers do.
While much advertising uses the direct, or central route of persuasion, the largest budgets in advertising are often devoted to a far less understood approach: the periphery route. In a well-established piece published in 1983, “Central and Peripheral Routes to Advertising Effectiveness: The Moderating Role of Involvement”, it outlines:

“Attitude changes that occur via the second or peripheral route do not occur because the person has diligently considered the pros and cons of the issue; they occur because the person associates the attitude issue or object with positive or negative cues or makes a simple inference about the merits of the advocated position based on various simple cues in the persuasion context. For example, rather than carefully evaluating the issue-relevant arguments, a person may accept an advocacy simply because it is presented during a pleasant lunch or because the message source is an expert.”

Just think, Super Bowl commercials, and any commercial that is just designed to make you laugh or love. Have you ever wondered what talking frogs, “Whazzup” ads, and Clydesdale horses have to do with the benefits of drinking beer? and what do talking lizards and cavemen have to do with saving money? Nothing,, but you love the commercials, therefore you are more likely to associated positive feelings about the brand.

Of all the problems out there, perhaps the largest is the legalized drug dealing promoted through media, destroying countless lives in the name of profit.

So, the next time someone says “alcohol is good for you,” you might want to reconsider. And if society takes an increasingly negative viewpoint of alcohol, maybe that will lower rates too, like the campaign against tobacco in recent years.

Panic Attacks – What They Are and How to Overcome Them

When we find ourselves in an anxiety provoking situation or facing a threat to our safety, it’s normal to experience sensations of panic. When we panic we have a fight or flight response, meaning our body gears up to defend itself or to flee. This involves a release of adrenaline, increased heart rate, rapid breathing and a number of other physiological changes designed to provide us with a boost in energy so that we can survive in a life-threatening situation. However, many people (around 11% annually in the US) experience episodes of panic in the absence of any tangible threat. This is known as a panic attack and can often occur completely out of the blue. Whilst it’s very helpful for the body to go into fight or flight mode when faced with a would-be assailant, when standing in line at the grocery store it can be extremely distressing!

Due to the physiological changes that occur when we panic, attacks are often experienced by the sufferer as indicative of a heart attack or other serious physical health problem. It is common for sufferers to feel that they may be dying – indeed, a sense of impending doom is one of the symptoms of an attack – resulting in trips to the emergency room. If the psychological cause of the episode is not identified, it can leave a sufferer searching for a physiological answer for their experiences and convinced that they are seriously ill.

Whilst panic disorder refers to regular and recurrent experiences of panic attacks, attacks can also be present within other emotional and mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, phobias and depression. As such, panic attacks are not a diagnostic category in themselves, but rather a feature of other diagnostic categories depending upon the particular contexts in which they manifest. It is often the case that a panic attack can be an isolated or rare event associated with a period of stress or a particularly anxiety provoking situation and not necessarily indicative of a mental health disorder.

The diagnostic criteria for a panic attack (see The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition) includes a period of intense fear or discomfort, in which four (or more) of the following symptoms develop abruptly:

  • Palpitations, and/or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or being smothered
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  • De-realization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or going insane
  • Sense of impending death
  • Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Chills or hot flashes

Panic attacks can also be a feature of, or mimic, some physical health conditions and therefore it is also worth investigating if there is a medical issue causing or contributing to your symptoms. Assuming you’re assured it’s a panic attack you’re having, here are some ways to help yourself:

Educate yourself:

Simply knowing that you are experiencing a symptom of anxiety rather than suffering a medical emergency can itself offer significant comfort. Learning about panic attacks, their causes and effects and in particular, the fact that they are not causing harm to you can help prevent escalation of panic and reduce anxiety between episodes.

Avoid avoidance:

It’s easy after a panic attack to avoid situations that are associated with the trigger for an episode or evoke similar physiological responses (such as avoiding exercise due to breathlessness). Although understandable, avoidance as a strategy is flawed in that it prevents us from learning that such situations are not in fact dangerous and that experiences of anxiety, whilst unpleasant, do not harm us. Whilst avoidance may minimize the regularity of panics, it doesn’t do anything to support us to learn to manage them. Instead, move towards the discomfort, and expose yourself slowly to the thing which you are afraid of.

Step back:

Another helpful way of managing panic is by recognizing that it is just a feeling and a collection of sensations. Panic escalates when we ascribe meaning to these responses, such as by moving from the experiences of physical sensations to the interpretation that we are dying or having a heart attack. Learn instead to observe the feeling, without judging it, fighting it or interpreting it. Mindfulness exercises help with developing this capacity to observe and accept feelings.

Breathe:

Deep breathing has the effect of calming the parasympathetic nervous system. The simplest way of achieving this is through abdominal breathing. This means breathing into the abdomen, rather than high in your chest. To check you’re doing it correctly put one hand on your belly and one on your chest. The one on your belly should move up and down and the one on your chest stay still.

Be curious:

If you are experiencing panic attacks it’s likely there is something else going on that you need to pay attention to. While you are flooded with anxiety during the panic moment, it may be that you are disconnected at other times. It may be that you are under stress and not taking steps to address it, or you have developed a habit of excessive worrying. Ask yourself, what is this experience trying to tell me?

De-stress:

Even if you don’t know the exact cause of your panic attacks, undertaking stress reducing activities can help to minimize your overall anxiety levels and enhance your capacity for relaxation. Simple strategies such as exercising, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding excess alcohol and caffeine can all make a difference.

Seek help:

If you’re struggling to understand why you feel like you do, or find your anxiety attacks are impacting on your ability to feel comfortable and enjoy life, then it might be wise to seek help. This could be by talking to a trusted friend or family member or by seeking out a licensed professional who can work with you to help you understand why you feel like you do and teach you techniques to manage your anxiety more effectively. Most of all, don’t suffer in silence, panic attacks can be overcome and treated successfully. They can even be a useful opportunity to learn more about yourself and how to use your emotions to guide you rather than overwhelm you!

 

References

Medina, J. (2016). Panic Attack Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/disorders/panic-attack-symptoms/

American Psychiatric Association (2013), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.), Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing, pp. 214–217, 938, ISBN 0890425558

Nonmedical Use of Stimulant Medication Among College Students

Over the last decade the popularity of using prescription stimulant medication, officially used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to help keep up with the academic responsibilities of college students has grown exponentially. We all know that college comes with challenges, as there are academic demands that can be overwhelming to college students as they teeter between their teenage years and adulthood. College comes with many new experiences, some empowering, and others misguided, but all life changing. Being considered “smart drugs” or “smart dope”, the social and medial influences have given stimulant medication the reputation of being “performance enhancers”, thought to improve concentration on schoolwork, help the user stay awake for prolonged periods of time and even achieve the feeling of euphoria or enhance the experience of other drugs. (Arria & DuPont, 2010). Currently, nonmedical stimulant medication is the one of the most misused and abused drug among college students, following only alcohol and marijuana, and continues to grow in popularity as it becomes more normalized by social, societal, and medial influence (Lakhan & Kirchgessner, 2012).

What is ADHD medication?

Some of the more common forms of medication used to treat patients with ADHD are Adderall and Dexedrine(dextro- amphetamine), and Ritalin and Concerta (methylphenidate). These medications are used to reduce hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsive or sporadic behavior in those who suffer from ADHD (Lakhan & Kirchgessner, 2012). Despite its potential for misuse and abuse, there is evidence that supports that those who are prescribed stimulant medication as a means to treat ADHD do see significant improvement in their ability to focus and feel more grounded in their day-to-day tasks (Lakhan & Kirchgessner, 2012).

All stimulant medications are considered Schedule II drugs because of their potential for abuse despite their effectiveness for the treatment of ADHD. These medications work by targeting the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. These two neurotransmitters have critical roles in brain functions, as dopamine is used for reward-motivated behavior and feel-good responses, and norepinephrine is responsible for attention, alertness, and concentration. The stimulant medication blocks the reuptake of these neurotransmitters, which causes the effects and feelings to last longer and prolongs the ability of the user to stay focused (NIDA, 2014).

Is it addictive?

Well, the short answer is yes, people who abuse stimulant medication have the potential to become addicted. The reason is that when we take reuptake blockers to prolong the effects of dopamine and norepinephrine we develop a tolerance for higher levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain. When one uses a stimulant drug consistently or frequently the cellular functions need to change to accommodate the drug use. Therefore less of the neurotransmitters are produced, and when less is produced there is less to supply, leaving the user deprived of these sensations that the neurotransmitters are responsible for, triggering the need to take more and more to find the same effect, resulting in a dependence.

With something that has such a potential for misuse and dependence, why is it available to those who suffer from ADHD? Well, the answer is simple: They have doctors and therapists to help manage their medication and treatment. Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA, stated, “Studies to date suggest that prescribed use of methylphenidate in patients with ADHD does not increase their risk for subsequent addiction. However nonmedical use of methylphenidate and other stimulant medications can lead to addiction as well as a variety of other health consequences” (Older, 2009). Without the constant monitoring of the intake and effects of the medication by medical staff, nonmedical users put themselves at risk for not only addiction, but also side effects including psychosis, seizures, hypertension, tachycardia and other cardiovascular problems, and even sudden death. (Arria & DuPont, 2010)

Does it work?

So far we’ve reviewed what stimulant medication is, why it exists, why it is misused and its potential for addiction and other consequences of misuse, but does it work? Does it help people who do not have ADHD focus and perform better academically? Research has found little evidence in support of its effectiveness in improving academic performance. There has been minimal evidence to support that it may improve the performance of rote-learning tasks, which consist of repetitive recall by means of memorization, but has no effect on complex memory, which is the ability to understand complex concepts, correlate pieces of information, draw conclusions, and reason (Lakhan & Kirchgessner, 2012). Furthermore, to date there has been no evidence to support the effectiveness of improving cognitive function on the sleep-deprived (Lakhan & Kirchgessner, 2012)

Not only does evidence support the ineffectiveness in improving academic performance, but it also supports that users with lower GPAs are more likely to use than those with higher GPAs. (Arria & DuPont, 2010). Evidence supports an inverse relationship between nonmedical stimulant medication use and GPA, meaning that students with lower GPAs have a stronger history of stimulant use than higher GPAs. This study also supports a positive correlation between high alcohol and illicit drug users and their likelihood to use nonmedical stimulant medication, meaning those who heavily use drugs and alcohol recreationally are more likely to use nonmedical stimulant medication than those who do not.

It is without question that misuse and abuse of any drug has the potential to have devastating effects on the life of the user. However, the popular belief of nonmedical stimulant medication is that you will not get addicted, it will help you perform academically, and there are minimal risks. Despite the evidence to the contrary, nonmedical users continue to justify their own using and the use of other nonmedical users, but realistically, is that the right attitude to have? Stimulant medication is a Schedule II drug that not only contains amphetamines, which have a high potential for dependence, but also have qualities that are very closely related to cocaine. Many who misuse stimulant medication use it on an as-needed basis which does lower the risk of physical addiction, but dependence is still a high possibility: they will begin to rely on the nonmedical drug use to perform. At this point in our society there is little information of the consequences of nonmedical stimulant medication use, so it is imperative that people begin to look at the facts when considering following this trend that has misguided so many college students. Are the risks worth the reward? As evidence shows, it is unlikely that the nonmedical use will help improve performance, so consider the consequences carefully if ever confronted with this challenge.

References

Arria, A. M., & Dupont, R. L. (2010). Nonmedical Prescription Stimulant Use Among College Students: Why We Need to Do Something and What We Need to Do.Journal of Addictive Diseases,29(4), 417-426. doi:10.1080/10550887.2010.509273

Lakhan, S. E., & Kirchgessner, A. (2012). Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects.Brain and Behavior,2(5), 661-677. doi:10.1002/brb3.78

NIDA (2014). Stimulant ADHD Medications: Methylphenidate and Amphetamines. (2014).National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved January 2, 2017.

Older, S. (2009). NIDA study shows that methylphenidate (Ritalin) causes neuronal changes in brain reward areas: Similarities and differences compared to cocaine were found. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e512222009-001

Postpartum Depression: When It Is More Than Just the “Baby Blues”

It is estimated that postpartum depression (PPD)  affects as many as one out of every even women according to the American Psychological Association.  The vast majority of women never report symptoms and it is a huge public health problem. Unfortunately, its causes are complex and not fully understood.

Postpartum depression can be defined as symptoms of major depression developing within the first month after delivery, but the risk can persist for much longer. It is differentiated from the “baby blues” by duration and severity of symptoms.  It is thought that a complex web of physical, emotional and identity changes in a new mother contribute to postpartum depression at least in some part. Fluctuating hormonal levels, an absence of sleep, feelings of anxiety about motherhood, and feelings that you are less attractive and have lost control of your life may predominate.

New research is shedding light on the role of emotional fluctuations  that may increase a woman’s likelihood of developing PPD post delivery.  Emotional fluctuations, swinging from anxiety, tearfulness, joy and back again are one of the hallmarks of PPD.  What is often less clear, is that for many women, these mood swings begin during the pregnancy itself.

For many women, pregnancy itself can be a time of great changes physically, emotionally and in terms of self esteem, especially during the second and third trimesters. Research shows that fluctuations in self esteem during these critical periods, puts a woman at  higher risk for becoming depressed postpartum.

Because it is estimated that the vast majority of women do not receive the help they need for PPD, there is important for doctors and nurses to conduct early perinatal screenings for the disorder. It is advised to conduct screenings during pregnancy, and for several months post-delivery.

And while society portrays birth as a joyous event, it is also a highly stressful transition over a protracted period of time.  Prolonged stress can make it easy for pregnant women and new mothers to develop negative thoughts and beliefs about how they are doing as new mothers. This in turn eats away at self-esteem, leading to depression.

So what should a mother or mother-to-be do in light of these new findings?

  • Be candid with your doctors and nurses. If they have screening tools, use them. If not, ask for them. Seek help early.
  • Know that postpartum depression varies from woman to woman. Some women tend to feel more anxiety, others feel more symptoms of depression.
  • Psychotherapy may be the answer for those who are unable to take medications during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Cognitive behavioral therapy or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy tend to work well for postpartum depression.
  • Remember that those women who have suffered from a major depression or from bipolar disorder are more at risk for postpartum depression. Seek help early to help manage your symptoms.
  • Many women who suffer from postpartum depression have thoughts of self-harm. If you have a therapist, talk about these feelings with your therapist. Keep your local suicide hotline number handy.
  • Seek peer and partner support. Support can decrease the likelihood of depressive symptoms.

Screening and affordable early therapeutic intervention are key in the diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression.  Watch for changes in yourself and in your loved ones. And remember, that you are not alone.

 

 

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2013/03/surprising-rate-of-women-have-depression-after-childbirth

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/basics/causes/con-20029130

Erin K. Smith, Priya Gopalan, Jody B. Glance, Pierre N. Azzam. Postpartum Depression ScreeningHarvard Review of Psychiatry, 2016; 24 (3): 173 DOI: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000103

 

Identifying And Treating Maternal Depression: Strategies & Considerations for Health Plans, National Institute for Healthcare Management Foundation Issue Brief, 2010

Int J Womens Health. 2011; 3: 1–14.; Published online 2010 Dec 30. doi:  10.2147/IJWH.S6938; PMCID: PMC3039003; Treatment of postpartum depression: clinical, psychological and pharmacological options;  Elizabeth FitelsonSarah KimAllison Scott Baker, and Kristin Leight

 

Marijuana Use Soars Among Twelve and Older

(St. Petersburg, FL) The National Survey on Drug Use and Health was released today and indicated that 1 in 10 Americans aged 12 or older have used an illicit drug in the past month. Of the 27 million past month illicit drug users, 22.2 million were using marijuana. Past month marijuana use in this group jumped from 6.2 percent in 2002 to 8.4 percent in 2014.

“Frequent marijuana use is at an all-time high, with limited prevention dollars available, to read more, click here.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!