National Network of Depression Centers tagged posts

The Future for Depression Is Bright, But We Have to Be Patient

William Z. Potter

William Z. Potter, M.D., Ph.D., Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

Care for Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the American Brain Coalition and the National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

Despite the hurdles that stand in the way of developing new treatments for depression and other mood disorders, I believe we have every reason to be optimistic.

When it comes to science, time is on our side, and the landscape for drug development will look much, much different in 10 to 20 years when we have a better understanding of the brain. But in the meantime, we need to find ways to help the millions of people who are suffering now.

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To Heal Depression, We Have to Learn More About the Brain

William Z. Potter

William Z. Potter, M.D., Ph.D., National Institutes of Health

Care for Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the American Brain Coalition and the National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

With 350 million people worldwide suffering from depression and diagnoses rising steadily since the 1980s, you’d hope scientists would have a thorough understanding of this pervasive condition. Needless to say, we don’t. Not even close.

Despite decades of study, we’re just starting to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding the brain. Its complexity has proved a huge hurdle when it comes to developing effective new treatments for the millions of people dealing with depression.

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Depression Costs the Country Billions in Lost Productivity.   It’s Time We Started Helping People Get Back to Work

Sagar V. Parikh

Sagar V. Parikh, M.D., FRCPC
University of Michigan, Medical Director, NNDC

Care for Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers in developing this post.

Work is a significant part of daily life. Whether or not a person feels comfortable on the job influences their overall well-being—and our society’s economic health. For anyone suffering from depression, work-related productivity is a key indicator of health status, one we can’t afford to ignore.

Depression-related absenteeism and presenteeism (when employees are present for work but less productive due to their illness) have staggering economic consequences: absenteeism alone is estimated to cost U.S. employers upwards of 23 billion dollars per year.

And it’s not just the economy that suffers. Most significantly, patients suffer too. For a large minority, alleviating mood issues isn’t enough. They may have concentration, focus, or fatigue issues, and need additional help in order to get back to feeling like themselves and performing successfully at work.

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Nursing Homes Are Turning Away Patients with Mental Health Issues

Daniel D. Sewell Photo

Daniel D. Sewell, MD, Director, Senior Behavioral Health, UC San Diego Medical Center

Care For Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry in developing this post.

Chemical restraint is a serious problem in nursing homes. History has shown that psychotropic medications tend to be overused in order to keep residents with problem behaviors such as wandering or combativeness subdued or “under control.”

In other words, there are documented instances when serious psychiatric drugs are given to people who might not have needed them.

To address this and other nursing home quality issues, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a Five-Star Quality Rating System. One of the rating criteria is the number of residents at the facility who are receiving antipsychotic medications: the larger the number, the lower the score the facility receives.

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Putting Profits Over Patients: Medicare Part D Changes Mean Disaster for People with Depression

Daniel D. Sewell Photo

Care For Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry in developing this post.

Putting Profits Over Patients: Medicare Part D Changes Mean Disaster for People with Depression
Daniel D. Sewell, MD, Director, Senior Behavioral Health, UC San Diego Medical Center

In older adults, depression can have severe consequences. It’s associated with an increased risk of suicide; decreased physical, cognitive and social functioning; and greater self-neglect; all of which are associated with increased mortality. This is a vulnerable population that needs effective, affordable access to mental health care.

Unfortunately, proposed changes to the Medicare Part D drug program would put older patients living with depression at even greater risk.

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Older Adults Are Being Overlooked When it Comes to Mental Health Care

Daniel D. Sewell Photo

Care For Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry in developing this post.

Daniel D. Sewell, MD, Director, Senior Behavioral Health, UC San Diego Medical Center

For most individuals in the U.S., accessing mental health care is a struggle, but older adults may have it worst of all. Due to stigma, misinformation, and false beliefs about aging, they frequently go without adequate care for depression and other psychiatric illnesses and psychological problems. Too often, doctors offer prescription drugs as a cure-all solution, and fail to address the overall mental health and well-being of the older patient.

The truth is, addressing mental health issues in older populations requires paying more attention, not less. In aging adults, depressive symptoms can point to a physical illness, while physical pain or other physical complaints can often be a sign of mental health issues.

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Why Doctors Can’t Treat Their Patients: Barriers to Mental Health Care for Obstetricians, Pediatricians, and Psychiatrists

Care for Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

Why Doctors Can’t Treat Their Patients: Barriers to Mental Health Care for Obstetricians, Pediatricians, and Psychiatrists

Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd, FACOG, John Straus, MD, FAAP

JohnDoctors have a responsibility to care for their patients, but what happens when they don’t have the resources to do so properly? Historically, this has been the situation that obstetric, pediatric, and psychiatric providers have faced when it came to the mental health of pregnant and postpartum women.

Because most of these physicians haven’t had adequate training, tools, time, and/or support, women with postpartum depression (PPD) have frequently gone undetected or without adequate treatment. Until recently, perinatal depression screening was not clearly recommended as part of routine pregnancy and postpartum care. Even providers who recognized the importance of screening were hesitant to screen, primarily because they had limited support and resources to offer if a patient screened positive.

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What Does Integrated Care Actually Look Like?

A look at one program, and insight into how and why it works

Angela Mattson, DNP, MS, RN
We acknowledge the collaboration of National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

There’s been lots of discussion lately about integrated care, and how bringing behavioral healthcare into the primary care setting is the most effective, efficient, and sensitive way to care for people with mental healthcare needs.

But what’s that actually mean? What does integrated (or coordinated or collaborative) care look like from the patient perspective? As the Nursing Supervisor for Care Coordinat...

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