Mental Illnesses Do Not Discriminate

mental illnessesThose who work in the field of addiction are all too aware that addiction and other forms of mental illnesses do not discriminate; the disease does not care if you are rich or poor, male or female, educated or not. People suffering from mental illness can be working in your office, or panhandling at an intersection. However, many people hold on to the idea that people afflicted by mental disorders are destitute individuals who have nothing going for them, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, new research suggests that almost a third of doctors in the early stages of their careers met the criteria for depression or had symptoms during their medical training, The Washington Post reports. Compared to the general population, an international review of studies showed that depression was much more common among medical residents. The findings come from 50- years peer-reviewed studies that looked for depression symptoms in more than 17,500 medical residents.

The research was headed up by Douglas Mata, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Srijan Sen, from the University of Michigan Medical School. The researchers found a minor, but significant rise in the rate of depression over the five decades, according to the article. The findings are published in JAMA.

“The increase in depression is surprising and important, especially in light of reforms that have been implemented over the years with the intent of improving the mental health of residents and the health of patients,” said Sen, who is also a member of University of Michigan’s Depression Center.

The findings are important, and indicate that there is a dire need to address the mental health of physicians. People who suffer from mental illnesses, such as depression and bipolar disorder, are more likely to self medicate their problems with drugs or alcohol which can be a slippery slope that leads to addiction. Various mental disorders often go hand in hand, and require co-occurring disorder treatment.

At Synergy Group Services, we know that at least seventy percent of chemically dependent patients have additional psychiatric disorders that if not diagnosed and treated properly from the outset adversely affect the outcome of treatment. We offer an environment for chemically dependent physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, attorneys and other professionals who can begin their recovery process with our multi-modality treatment approach.

Dietary Supplements Can Be Dangerous

dietary-supplementsIf you happen to visit the health and hygiene section of any grocery store in the United States, you are likely to see a number of dietary supplements. Products that are marketed as being good for weight loss and energy enhancement would appear to be relatively benign; however, many of those products can result in problems. New research suggests that more than 20,000 emergency room visits a year are related to dietary supplements, The New York Times reports. The cases often involve young adults experiencing heart problems.

The findings come from a new government study, the first of its kind, which analyzed emergency room visits at a large network of hospitals around the nation over 10 years, according to the article. The researchers found that 10 percent of emergency room visits involving dietary supplements required hospitalization.

Part of the danger associated with dietary supplements stem from a lack of oversight. Prescription drugs require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before they can be sold to the public. However, under a 1994 federal law dietary supplements are considered safe until proven otherwise and they are not required to list major side effects, the article reports.

“This is very disheartening,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who was not involved in the new research. “What we’re seeing from this study is that the system has failed. It’s failing to protect consumers from very serious harms.”

A supplement industry trade group spokesman, Duffy Mackay, believes that the new research indicates that supplements are safe.

“We have over 150 million Americans taking these products each year,” he said. “This suggests that far less than one-tenth of 1 percent of supplement users will visit the emergency room.”

The study appears in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Self medication of any kind (without a physician’s oversight) can be dangerous.

At Synergy Group Services we offer individualized treatment plans for addiction recovery.

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