Ketamine is a short-acting dissociative anesthetic commonly used on animals and sometimes people. Of course it's also beloved by many psychonauts for its unusual dreamlike or "out of body" psychedelic effects. While Ketamine has been shown for years to help treat depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults, researchers at Yale School of Medicine now report that it has great promise as a fast-acting intervention for children in crisis. From Scientific American
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It was less dramatic to watch than I expected, but the kids were definitely high. There was a lot of giggling involved, and they often said that they felt like time was changing and that their bodies felt ‘funny’ and sometimes numb. Nicole, (a suicidal 14-year-old,) admitted, “I’m not gonna lie. I like the feeling of it.”
Perhaps more dramatic than the trips themselves, which happened in a carefully controlled procedure room with a psychiatrist and anesthesiologist ready to intervene if needed, were the interviews that came after. I could see the weight of depression lifted from these patients within hours. Adolescents who were previously ready to end their own lives became bright and hopeful. Psychiatry has never seen a drug intervention so powerful and fast acting. While most anti-depressants take weeks to work and offer modest improvement, ketamine offers dramatic improvement in less than a day...
Dr. Michael Bloch, Yale child psychiatrist and principal investigator of several controlled trials for ketamine for adolescents, points out that the drug is only used for select patients who have severe mental health problems that have not responded to other medications.
No one's sure how the story of suicides increasing during holiday season got started (some researchers think it may have come from It's a Wonderful Life!), but it's not true.
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UPDATE: Ooops, these photos were released in 2014.
Last year, the Seattle Police Department released several dozen newly-developed photos from the scene of Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide. The police processed the film as part of a recent reinvestigation into Cobain's death. According to detective Mike Ciesynski, there is still no basis in conspiracy theories that Cobain was murdered.
Ciesynzki says that they will not release any graphic images of Cobain's body.
"What are people going to gain from seeing pictures of Kurt Cobain laying on the ground with his hair blown back, with blood coming out of his nose and trauma to his eyes from a penetrating shotgun wound," he told KIRO-TV. "How's that going to benefit anybody?"
"Dozens of new photos released from Kurt Cobain death probe" (CBS News)
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Laura Stuardo of Turin, Italy has been in a coma since July 19 after it was thought that she attempted suicide by jumping off a cruise ship. She's just woken up and insists she didn't jump, leading police to launch an attempted murder investigation. Read the rest
The reservation struggles with high unemployment and problems with substance abuse and gangs and is one of the poorest communities in the United States.
Will Lippincott spent decades trying to overcome depression, and almost gave up. At the end of his rope, he tried a variant form of cognitive behavior therapy developed to provide a "rubric for figuring out what was causing my anxiety, anger or sadness
." For him, it is working.
D.B.T. [Dialetical Behavior Therapy] is a relatively young therapy. There is much more research to be done. Still, there is already compelling evidence of its effectiveness in its modified, less expensive formats. Mental health professionals and patients need to consider it directly alongside the usual programs and not as a treatment of last resort.
The image above depicts the suicide rate per 100,000 people across the world, according to the World Health Organization's figures. Read the rest
The film has been shortlisted for an Academy Award. After the screening, I will host a question and answer session with filmmaker Brian Knappenberger.
"I'm sure most of you have heard the story of the man who, desperately ill, goes to an analyst and tells the doctor that he has lost his desire to live and that he is seriously considering suicide.
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"We don't let animals suffer, so why humans?
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Author and NYU professor Clay Shirky writes
about one of the imperatives he believes the death of Aaron Swartz should bring to life: "We need to take care of the people in our community who are depressed," he writes.
Suicide is not hard to understand, not intellectually anyway. It is, as Jeff Atwood says, the ultimate in ragequitting. But for most of us, it is hard to understand emotionally.
For a variety of reasons, I’ve spent a lot of time with people at risk of suicide, and so have become an amateur scholar of that choice. When I first started reading about it, I thought of it as the last stop on a road of stress and upset — when things get bad, people suffer, and when they get really bad, they take their own lives.
And what I learned was that this view is wrong. Suicide is no more a heightened reaction to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune than depression is just being extra sad. Most of us won’t kill ourselves, no matter how bad things get. The common thread among people who commit suicide is that they are suicidal.
Read more: Remembering Aaron by taking care of each other (Clay Shirky blog) Read the rest
Snip from a report by USA Today's Gregg Zoroya
: "According to Pentagon data, there were 17 confirmed or suspected suicides this year among commandos or support personnel through Dec. 2, compared with nine suicides each of the past two years. That's a suicide rate among these troops of about 25 per 100,000, comparable to a record rate this year in the Army and higher than a demographically adjusted civilian suicide rate." Read the rest
This is a really important long read that we all need to pay attention to. It concerns how we treat people with who are suffering from paranoid delusions — and how we treat people whose families worry that they are a threat to others. It concerns the relationships between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. It concerns the ethics of clinical trials — the risks we run as we test potential treatments that could help many, or hurt a few, or both. If we want to reform mental health care, this needs to be part of the discussion.
In 2004, Dan Markingson committed suicide. The story behind that death is complicated and depressing. At the Molecules to Medicine blog, Judy Stone documents the whole thing in three must-read chapters. Many people find help in psychiatric drugs, and credit those drugs with making their lives better. (Full disclosure, I'm one of them. I have used Ritalin for several years. I am temporarily on an anti-depressant.) But we have to pay attention to how those drugs get to us. This isn't just about treating people. It's about the process that gets us there. Because, if that process is compromised, the treatments we get won't be as effective and lives will be lost along the way.
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Markingson began to show signs of paranoia and delusions in 2003, believing that he needed to murder his mother. He was committed to Fairview Hospital involuntarily after being evaluated by Dr. Stephen Olson, of the University of Minnesota. He was subsequently enrolled on a clinical trial of antipsychotic drugs—despite protests from his mother.
Yesterday, Fox News aired live footage of a man in Phoenix shooting himself in the head. According to the Times of India Fox got so excited about following a carjacking suspect in a high-speed chase that they forgot to cut the feed (which ran on a five-second delay) when he got out of his car, ran a short distance, pulled out a pistol, put it to his temple, and committed suicide.
"He's looking kind of erratic, isn't he?... It's always possible the guy could be on something," said Smith in a running commentary, unaware of what was about to happen.
Turning into some bushes, the suspect then pulled out a handgun, put it to his right temple and collapsed.
On air, Smith shouted "get off it! get off it!" in a plea to his studio colleagues to halt the live feed.
In the hours that followed, YouTube scrambled to delete the video almost as quickly as its users were posting it, saying it violated its terms of service.
US carjacking suspect shoots self in head... live on TV
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