Category: Mental Health

Why Did This Take So Long???

Check this out. What you will see are descriptions of new high-tech hospital “behavioral health areas” being instituted by some hospitals to promote “calmness” in young, agitated patients awaiting care. 

This makes a lot of sense. Juxtapose the spaces described in this article, that can be custom-tailored to meet the psychological needs of a specific patient, with the cold sterile spaces in which such patients are often detained which increase, rather than decrease, their level of agitation. 

Significant literature exists on the impact of architecture and interior design on behavioral health and psychological wellbeing. One of the classics is a study that demonstrated that if you put mental patients in a building with LONG hallways, like the old state hospitals, they respond by pacing up and down those hallways. Incessantly! 

Bottom Line. While the institutions referenced in this article are certainly to be commended for redesigning their mental health spaces to be more suitable for younger patients, let me ask one more time.

What took them so long???

The Trauma of Medical School Leads to the Trauma of Medical Practice

I am going to offer you a choice. You can click here and listen to a quick trailer. What you will hear is Dr. Pamela Wible, the expert on physician suicide and ideal physician practice we have quoted many times before, describe her own traumatic journey from jumping over the hurdles of medical school to realizing that her “reward” for doing so was a life of 7-minute patient visits in private practice. Her resulting brush with suicidal ideology, and her subsequent dedication to helping physicians avoid committing suicide, are colorfully explained. 

AND/OR. You can delve deeper into the various explorations of “trauma” that are contained in the other short video offered on Dr. Wible’s site. For a “small donation,” you can even register and watch a much more extensive presentation on trauma in medicine, impacting physicians and patients alike. 

Bottom Line. Funny. When we think about “trauma” as it relates to medicine, we are usually focused on automobile accidents and gun shot wounds. BUT. As we see quite clearly here, there are actually far more insidious and pervasive forms of psychological trauma that need to be considered!

Integrative Psychiatry

Check this out. What you will see is a brand of psychiatry very different from the usual focus on mental disorders. Here, the focus is clearly on enhancing mental health. More specifically, “Integrative Psychiatry includes traditional psychiatric practice as well as elements of Integrative Medicine including nutrition, sleep management, lifestyle modification, and mind-body modalities such as tai chi, yoga, and mindfulness.”

Roam around the site. You will see a free mini-course designed to get you immersed in integrative psychiatry. You will see several upbeat videos featuring Dr. MacKenna. And as usual with these kinds of offerings that we have touched on before, you will see that the good doctor will be happy to meet you on a telemedicine platform.

Bottom Line. I must admit, I am finding it fascinating to see the plethora of different practice models that are emerging. Which will thrive, which will remain niche plays? Stay tuned!

When Crisis Care Goes Right

Check this out. What you will see is what can happen when a compassionate team of professionals work together to deal with a potentially disastrous situation. A psychotic young mother about to feed her baby daughter a piece of toilet paper with bread on both sides. Frantic grandparents, with whom mom and baby live, placing a call and getting a team of mental health professionals AND law enforcement officers, each coming to serve their own roles. And to top it all off, a virtual fairytale ending with the mother getting back on her meds and straightening out her life.

Bottom Line. Think about it. A multidisciplinary approach like this is clearly the right one to take in such situations. But expensive. And challenging given personnel shortages. What percentage of such cases do we think are handled this way in the US every year?

My guess? Way too few!!!