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Or in a crisis, text "NAMI" to 741741
For a live in-studio interview, Dr. Ken Duckworth, chief medical officer of NAMI, spoke about the pandemic’s impact on teen mental health. “If you think about the teen years, socializing and finding your identity are the core developmental. Due to the pandemic, isolation and not feeling safe in the world has made it much harder for teens to cope. As a result, we’re seeing substantially higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. There's still a lot of shame but these are ordinary, common, treatable conditions. We just have to move past this idea that people have to suffer in silence. Some signs for parents to look for are loss of interest in friends, sleep changes, changes in grades, irritability and anger which can be a sign of depression. If your teen is struggling try to speak openly about how they’re feeling and maybe start with your pediatrician.
People who stop taking antidepressants after long-time use may face a high likelihood of depression relapse, a new study suggests. Researchers found that among patients who stopped taking their antidepressants because they felt well, 56% relapsed within a year compared with 39% of patients who stayed on medication. "Often, patients want to know: How long do I need to be on this medication?" said Dr. Christine Crawford, associate medical director of NAMI. "This study helps equip psychiatrists in talking to patients about the risk of relapse if they stop taking their antidepressant," said Crawford, who was not involved in the trial. Crawford said people who are receiving psychological counseling and have strong relationships with family and friends are likely to do better after stopping antidepressants than people who lack those support systems. For many patients, Crawford said, the medications are simply an effective way to treat a chronic medical condition — just as people take medications for high blood pressure or diabetes. "Medication is just one piece of the puzzle," Crawford said. But, she added, antidepressants may help "lighten the load" of depression, making it easier for people to manage the stresses in their lives.
Cultural attitudes regarding mental health have shifted. In the 2000s, reporters announced Spears’s “breakdowns,” and called her “insane.” Such language may have worsened Spears’s situation and fed into deep-seated stigmas. “Back then, I knew people who wouldn’t go for mental health care unless they could park their car far away, because they didn’t want anyone to see them going in,” Katrina Gay, CDO of NAMI said. “There was so much shame.” Gay identifies a “post-Britney turning point” in public sentiment. Stories like Spears’s, combined with the 2014 death of the actor Robin Williams, helped make it safer for celebrities to talk about mental health without being branded as dangerous or weak. If mental health is in play with a story, NAMI’s Gay directs journalists to guides on responsible reporting about the subject: with careful terminology; without speculating or diagnosing from afar; with full context about any conditions or treatments. But “media” these days includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other forums for often-anonymous speculation. Gay said these outlets, where cruelty is “almost a sport,” give her the most concern, and that journalists should take care not to amplify the ugliest social-media messages.
In a taped segment on teen mental health, Dr. Christine Crawford, associate medical director at NAMI, highlights the value of mental health days off school for teens feeling anxiety or depression that is impacting their ability to focus and engage, similar to taking a sick day for physical illness. The segment looks at how schools across the country support new laws that provide excused absences for mental health days. Students tell Hoda Kotb how they’ve learned to take care of their mental health and how schools are supporting them. The segment included NAMIWalks photos and NAMI Mental Health by the Numbers statistics.
The article discusses how the pandemic continues to create uncertainty about where life is heading and creating additional stress with a potential for mental health concerns to increased. Dr. Ken Duckworth, CMO of NAMI, notes, “There’s unknowns about the virus, there’s unknowns with people about their own vulnerabilities, [so] we encourage people at NAMI to do whatever their good self-care strategies were before, pointing to exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, or whatever else works for the individual.”
For a nationwide iHeartRadio special, hosted by Ryan Gorman that includes Barbara Solish, director of youth and young adult initiatives at NAMI, discussing resources and help available for children, teens and young adults faced with the hardship of the pandemic and remote learning. The NAMI segment starts at minute marker 14:47.
Dr. Ken Duckworth, CMO of NAMI, discusses the 2021 Mood Disorder Survey results. He shares ways to destigmatize mental health and tips to recognizing those in crisis.
As someone who struggles with anxiety, I know firsthand how crippling it can be sometimes. Racing thoughts. Restlessness. Shallow breathing. Queasiness. Palpitations. And that debilitating feeling of the world closing in on you. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, around 40 million adults (19.1% of the total population) in the U.S. have anxiety disorders. Fortunately, there are many science-backed strategies that can help mitigate these feelings and cultivate calm including grounding techniques.
For many, mental health is a fraught subject. As a result, it’s become something we don’t really talk about, and the silence might make you think you’re alone in struggling with your mental health. In reality, 17% of youth will experience a mental health disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Talking about mental health can help break down stigma, which is exactly what a new teen-led podcast aims to do. In On Our Minds, a podcast series by PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, 16 year-olds Noah Konevitch and Zion Williams offer first-person narratives and discussions with experts on mental health and young people. It was created in partnership with WETA’s Well Beings, a mental health public awareness campaign working with local PBS stations nationwide.
A new Harris poll created by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization with over 650 state and local affiliates, captures national attitudes about mood disorders. The survey reveals surprising findings, including an increase in reported stigma-created barriers to treatment for depression — from 72% in 2009 to 84% today. NAMI’s CMO, Ken Duckworth, MD, sheds light on how to interpret these findings, and how the support of friends and family can be a life-changer for people suffering from debilitating emotions.
Call the NAMI Helpline at
text "NAMI" to 741741