On the eve of her graduation from Yale in 2012, Marina Keegan wrote an essay that, within about a week, would be read by well over a million people from 98 nations. It was called " The Opposite of Loneliness ." But what is the opposite of loneliness ? Keegan opened her essay by noting that we don't have a word for it, but whatever it is, she found it at Yale: "It is not quite love and it's not quite community; it's just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it's four A.M. and no one goes to bed… "Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights…" That essay opens a collection of Keegan's writings published under the same title, " The Opposite of Loneliness ." (Here is my review … [Read more...] about What Is the Opposite of Loneliness?
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A woman teleconferences. Source: Anna Shvets/Pexels The field of psychiatry — much like our society as a whole — is at a turning point. We are beginning to harness the power of the Internet, social media, and digital technologies to improve the ways we diagnose, treat, and connect with our patients. My area of research is focused on how to better leverage our digital footprint, whether through Facebook/social media activity, or Google search history, to develop new tools to deliver the best care possible, especially for youth with schizophrenia . Colleagues at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Zucker Hillside Hospital are also investigating other emerging areas to help develop digital biomarkers — or clues to mental illness. New digital health solutions, like augmented reality, for example, are being developed to help treat negative symptoms for those with schizophrenia, increase socialization, reduce unemployment and improve the overall quality of … [Read more...] about How Technology Is Personalizing and Progressing Psychiatry
The field of Digital Mental Health Treatment (DMHT) has exploded over the past decade. DMHT includes a wide range of technology-related interventions, such as internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), smartphone apps, virtual reality, therapeutic video games, and more recently treatments using artificial intelligence (e. g ., therapist bots). Some estimate the number of mental health apps to be well over 10,000 available. DMHTs have the potential to disrupt the current model of mental healthcare, providing access to treatment for many more people, as well as augmenting existing treatments to make them more effective. However, most of the DMHTs currently available are unlikely to improve mental health care. For example, in a 2016 review, researchers evaluated over 100 CBT smartphone apps (Huguet et none had been tested in clinical trials to determine their efficacy and safety. Another well-known issue is the difficulty in engaging users beyond the first download … [Read more...] about The Future of Digital Mental Health Treatment
This post is authored by Aparna Ramakrishnan and Pooja Kumaravel of the BIDMC Division of Digital Psychiatry . Depression is a leading cause of disability globally, affecting more than 264 million people worldwide . This debilitating condition is treatable, but clinical care entails a high cost. A cross many areas of the world , mental health services and resources remain limited and unavailable, and pervasive stigma hampers the widespread effectiveness and accessibility of pharmacological treatment. As the need for cost-effective, accessible treatment for depression is more urgent than ever, technology offers a promising avenue for providing mental health resources on a global scale. With the rate of smartphone ownership now 86% in countries like the United States and on the rise, technological interventions have the potential to reach a larger segment of the population than ever before. Over the past decade, smartphone apps have proliferated, with an estimated … [Read more...] about Digital Tools for Depression
Source: Sarah Kilian/Unsplash It should have been a great evening. I was nicely wedged into the couch with a bowl of popcorn and two slavering dogs, and I was working my way through the entire series of The Queen’s Gambit . I was alone, and it was divine. Brian, my husband, had both our boys on a long day-trip involving socially distanced basketball. He was due to arrive soon, and I felt rested and rejuvenated after indulging in some badly needed alone time. An introvert mom’s longing for alone is never done. And then, they came home. The kid part was fine. They are my children and I missed them and I hugged them hard. I’m not a monster. The husband, however, was a different story. I leaned in to kiss him and I sniffed. And sniffed again. My husband had been drinking. To make a few things clear: Brian is not the alcoholic in the room. I am. He is a totally normal drinker with an annoying ability to have a beer every once in a while without subsequently wanting to … [Read more...] about How to Be Sober and Not Hate Your Spouse