Clinically Speaking is a blog that will allow anyone to learn about Social Work, case presentations in psychotherapy, and the relationship of pop culture in psychology. Come one...come all!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Got Flu? Get a Flu Shot...Got PTSD? Get a PTSD Shot...Wait What?

Not into vaccines in general, but this sounds, sounds pretty remarkable. reported on this potential vaccine, but is a bit late to this party because in December of 2011 Wired magazine reported on this same potentiality of a "cure"(not a fan of that terminology either). Either way, the link is posted below on both articles. article 2011: PTSD Vaccination
FoxNews article 2012: PTSD Vaccination

One more interesting, fairly new treatment is the usage of services dogs to help those veterans cope with having PTSD. Click here for the link.

Over many blog posts I have spoken about the new interventions that clinicians and practitioners have been developing in treating all the different ailments that our war veterans have been enduring in specifically PTSD. This is proof that although we have not fully been able to conquer all ailments they are certainly paying attention over the influx of suicide and PTSD of current war veterans.  

Have a good one!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Music To My (Patient's who have Depression & Alzheimers) Ears...

When I was in undergrad (a few moons ago), I had a friend who wrote a paper on humor and psychology, which stole my thunder at the time. However, I did have another “out of the box” type of therapy in psychology, and that was music (my thesis was Music and Psychology). Music plays a role in everyone's life from owning an iPod, to realizing that most movies would not be as good if it didn't have the right music for each scene.

So, does music play a role in psychology? Turns out very much so in treating people with Depression, Anxiety and Alzheimer’s.

When I did research on there was data to support the reasoning that music helps with people suffering from Alzheimer's was that the music that was being played for the patients in session was music from their youth and young adulthood sparking the patient to learn(remember) the songs which would kick start their anterograde memory helping them recall events from those points in time. On the Alzheimer's Foundation of America website they dedicate an entire page to the usage of music therapy with people suffering from Alzheimer's and Dementia. Here is the link Music Therapy and Alzheimer's

There recently has been many news and medical outlets that have reported the usage of music therapy. BBC news reported that researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, said: "Our trial has shown that music therapy, when added to standard care helps people to improve their levels of depression and anxiety...After three months, patients receiving music therapy showed a greater improvement in scores of anxiety and depression than the other set of patients." Furthermore Fox News reported that Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis collaborated with Drexel University to in study to exam the usage of music therapy and people who have depression or anxiety who have also been given a cancer diagnosis. Debra Burns, the lead researcher reported that "Compared to patients who only received standard cancer treatment, the combined data from the studies suggested that patients who also had music treatment rated their anxiety and pain lower and had higher mood scores. In addition, their heart rates were lower by about four beats per minute; on average...There was no effect, however, on how patients rated their depression or fatigue."

The article goes on to dispute the effectiveness but it’s worth noting that these are some of the advances in "outside the box" thinking.  Patients with mental illness need to consider every form of therapy before entering treatment, as well as clinicians being able to say "oh play therapy or CBT isn’t for everyone let's try something else".

Again, just another example of how the mental health field continues to develop. 

Happy Friday and Happy Football!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PTSD more prevalent post 9/11?

To begin this post, I would just like to take a moment to remember those who lost someone on one of the most infamous day in history and how that event has shaped our lives today.
Since I am clinician at heart my mind began to think about how 9/11 has shaped the world of mental health specifically PTSD and so I posed a question to the Twittersphere- "Has PTSD become more prevalent post 9/11 and the beginning of the war on terror or have we become more educated since then? 

In October and November of 2001, 2,733 people across the United States found that 11.2% of New York City residents had PTSD, and 4% of U.S. residents had PTSD. Another study of 998 adults in New York City five to nine weeks after the attacks found that 7.5% had PTSD. Statistics go on and on about the effects of that day. What about overall? 

As reported by Jennifer Ferryman on her blog, "PTSD was documented in individuals who were indirectly exposed to trauma that did not directly involve a family member or other close person. 4% of individuals living outside of the attack sites who were indirectly exposed to the tragedies via television were found to have symptoms of PTSD (Zimering et al, 2006)."

Ok so it may be that there has been an increase, but what about people who experienced PTSD and it was related to abuse in India, or death in the family in Taiwan having nothing to do with 9/11?

While I have not found any data to support the increase (or decrease) in PTSD Dx, when I did research of PTSD articles from before 9/11 versus after 9/11 there was in flux of research, blogs and op-ed articles related to PTSD for survivors of all natural disasters whether it was tsunami in japan or Hurricane Katrina or military vets. One could deduce that it would be a combination of both, increase of reported cases as well as people in general becoming more knowledgeable on all things specifically medical and mental health. 

Just something to ponder...

Have a safe 9/11/12