Proposed Insurance Policy Ignites Debate Over Transgender Care

A new proposed insurance rule to limit discrimination in health plans has ignited a debate over transgender health care. The policy, known as the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, is part of the Biden administration’s proposal for 2023 for government health insurance exchanges. The rule would require health plans to ensure their benefit designs … Read more

Does Treating Insomnia Help Prevent Depression?

Insomnia and depression are intimately related. The majority of individuals with depression suffer from insomnia, and individuals with insomnia are more likely to develop depression than those without insomnia. For example, insomnia is associated with a twofold greater risk of developing depression in individuals over 60 years of age. Insomnia is very common in the … Read more

The Danger of Marginalizing People

THere are frequent initiatives by the mental health system aimed at reducing stigma around psychological issues. It’s felt that people will ask for and accept help if there’s less stigma. However, the mental health system itself is responsible for much of the stigma. It’s responsible for highlighting our differences and labeling some as abnormal. Instead … Read more

Restless Legs Syndrome Surged Early During COVID Pandemic

Individuals with restless legs syndrome showed an increase in symptom severity in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States in 2020, but this increase had waned by 2021, according to data from 500 participants in the National Restless Legs Syndrome Opioid Registry . Sufferers of restless legs syndrome (RLS) experience not … Read more

Psychobiotics Get Real: A Case Study

Are you in a rainy-day mood even when the sun is shining? You may be depressed. If so, you have a lot of company. The World Health Organization asserts that depression is the number-one cause of disability in the world. This is in spite of all the antidepressants, old and new, available to psychiatry. And … Read more

Susan Inman Is at It Again

Anyone who is part of, or even aware of, the psychiatric survivor movement in British Columbia will likely have heard of Susan Inman. Ms. Inman writes for the Tyee and the Huffington Post, among other publications. She writes prolifically about the struggles of her schizophrenic adult daughter within BC’s mental health system (the subject of … Read more

Caring for Suicidal Youth: An Approach for Pediatricians

This month’s column is driven by the recent increase of youth in crisis, and COVID-19–related limitations of higher-level services. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth1 and populations who face discrimination are at increased risk.2,3 A pediatrician colleague recently asked me about how to support patients who may be at risk. With … Read more

Do Ayahuasca Healing Ceremonies Really Work?

Source: Stafano Girardelli / Unsplash A recent paper published in the academic journal Nature Argues that the ceremonial use of ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic drink, may help quell the personality dimension that many psychologists view as the core of all mood and anxiety disorders: neuroticism or negative emotionality. “We found substantial changes in personality traits, particularly … Read more