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October 7, 2005
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County briefs: October 4
Yale School of Medicine offers education and help for depression.
M2 PRESSWIRE-5 October 2005-YALE UNIVERSITY: Yale School of Medicine offers education and help for depression(C)1994-2005 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD
New Haven, Conn. - Psychiatrists on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine will be at the State Capitol in Hartford October 6 for National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) to discuss treatment and research initiatives to better the lives of Connecticut residents living with depressive disorders.
The psychiatrists from the medical school and the Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities at the Connecticut Mental Health Center at Yale will be at the Legislative Office Building.
An estimated 60 million adults suffer from a mood disorder.
The cost to the nation is about $273 billion annually.
NDSD began 15 years ago as the first nationwide, community-based mental health screening program. NSDS Mental Health Screening is designed to call attention to mood and anxiety disorders on a national level, to educate the public and clinicians about the symptoms and effective treatments, to offer individuals the opportunity to be screened for the disorders, and to connect those in need of treatment to the mental health care system.
"We want to educate people about mood disorders," said Hilary Blumberg, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale and director of the newly established Mood Disorders Research Program. "We want to tell them about the latest research and let them know they don't need to suffer, that there are many new treatments available."
"The Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities of the Connecticut Mental Health Center are unique," Blumberg said. "They have enabled Yale researchers to make major advances in mood disorders and their treatment."
The interdisciplinary mood disorders program is designed to bring together Yale's unique excellence, both in basic and clinical mood disorders research, toward the long-term goal of translating preclinical research into improved methods to prevent, detect and treat mood disorders.
The psychiatrists' expertise includes bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder,
post-and pre-partum depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, including persons who have been traumatized by the recent Hurricane Katrina or served in the war in Iraq.
The Yale physicians will be at the Capitol following the Connecticut Psychiatric Society's 18th Annual Mental Illness Awareness Media Awards at an 8 a.m. breakfast in the Private Dining Room of the Legislative Office Building. The awards are co-sponsored by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Connecticut chapter, and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Winning articles or presentations on mental illness that originate in Connecticut will receive "Awards for Excellence."
For more information about depression and other mental disorders, please call 1-800-ASK-YALE and/or go to the following website, www.mood.yale.edu.
((M2 Communications Ltd disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data prepared by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org)).
COPYRIGHT 2005 Ingram Investment Ltd.
October 6th Mental Health Screening Program Poised to Help Hurricane Victims.
PR Newswire; 10/4/2005
WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of facilities in areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will offer residents and evacuees free mental health screenings on Thursday, October 6. The NDSD/Mental Health Screening program (National Depression Screening Day), in its 15th year, is a nationwide outreach that provides screening, referral, and education about depression, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. There are more than 600 screening sites in Hurricane affected states and thousands more across the nation.
While the expectation is that a fair number of participants in the affected states may indeed have symptoms that appear to rise to a clinical level, others will not and may simply require a sympathetic ear and education on how to manage stress.
Those interested in participating in the free screening event on October 6th can find a nearby site by visiting http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/.
Even those who witnessed the recent devastation on TV or who have friends and family in the area may need additional support at this time. This has spurred event organizers to alert sites nationwide to be on the lookout for intense emotions during the free screening day.
"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is best evaluated one month after a trauma so the fact that the program falls six weeks after Katrina is important," said Douglas G. Jacobs, MD, NDSD founder and executive director. "In addition, many who will develop other disorders, including depression and anxiety, may exhibit symptoms at this time now that the initial shock has worn off. This is particularly so if they have had to deal with the compounding effect of another devastating hurricane," he said.
This is the second time that the NDSD/Mental Health Screening program falls at a crucial juncture for the nation. In 2001, the scheduled screening day fell on the one-month anniversary of 9/11.
NDSD/Mental Health Screening is a nationwide outreach established in 1991. The free programs are conducted by thousands of local clinicians at hospitals, health centers, social service agencies, colleges and universities, workplaces, and primary care offices. Members of the public have the opportunity to complete a screening questionnaire on depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, and to discuss the results with a mental health professional. Educational information on treatment and support groups is also provided, as well as referrals to local treatment facilities.
CONTACT: Joelle Reizes of NDSD, +1-513-683-1599
Web site: http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/
COPYRIGHT 2005 PR Newswire Association LLC
Hurricane leaves many emotionally battered.
The Virginian Pilot; 10/3/2005
Byline: SUSAN E. WHITE
VIRGINIA BEACH - Before Hurricane Katrina decimated her rental home in Gulfport, Miss. , Karla Lind had already suffered severe loss. Her 7-month-old son, her mother and her daughter's father all died unexpectedly within the past year.
"This has been the worst year of my life," said Lind, who lives temporarily in a Newtown Road hotel with her family. "You couldn't even get over one tragedy before another one broke."
Like thousands of families displaced by Katrina, Lind and her two children are still struggling to deal with the physical losses. The psychological battle is equally frustrating.
Lind's 11-year-old son, Ryan, no longer wants to play outside or ride his skateboard. Her 10-year-old daughter, Haley, refuses to discuss the storm.
"When she saw our house, she said, 'Mama, I just have no tears left,' " said Lind, 28.
After Hurricane Katrina, such feelings of detachment and powerlessness are common. That's why the American Red Cross of Southeastern Virginia and other agencies in South Hampton Roads have mobilized local mental health experts to support and counsel evacuees here.
Officials with the Norfolk-based Red Cross say more than a third of the 2,244 people who have passed through the agency have received mental health assistance.
Meanwhile, local school divisions are monitoring hurricane-displaced students, and mental health agencies are providing or arranging for long-term counseling.
Lind has asked that her family be enrolled in group therapy.
"I just feel like the children have had to grow up so much in the last year," she said. "My daughter said recently, 'Mama, I just don't understand why all these things happened to our family. We didn't do anything wrong.'
"It's hard for me as an adult to deal with this. I just can't imagine being 10 and 11 and going through it."
Terri L. Doudna-North, a private practice social worker, has seen the signs of distress first hand. As a Red Cross volunteer, she helped recruit and train 30 local mental health volunteers, who have already spent 200 hours counseling evacuees.
Many evacuees have been unable to sleep or eat for days, she said. Others have felt numb or hypersensitive. Some have been battling nightmares, anxiety attacks and flashbacks.
"One woman told me every time she shut her eyes, she could see water coming," Doudna-North said.
Some simply need to be reassured their reactions are typical.
For young children, the signs may be more subtle.
Lind's sister, Tiffiny Reyer, 29, also lost her rental home and relocated her family to Virginia Beach. Since moving into the same hotel as Lind, Reyer has watched her spirited 12-year-old daughter, Randi, withdraw from usual interests, including cheerleading and dancing.
Reyer's 2-year-old daughter, Raegan, cries almost daily to go back to a home that was pummeled into a pile of twisted metal and broken brick.
She also worries about her 9-year-old son, Tristan, who is bipolar. He had just grown comfortable with his medication before the hurricane.
"All of my kids are holding it in like it never happened," Reyer said.
Mental health experts say Katrina's survivors will likely experience the stages of grief most people face after a significant loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
"If you have any of these symptoms, and they don't seem to be going away, and you're not sure what to do, it's OK to seek some help," said Dr. Jeffrey Katz, a clinical psychologist and head of the Red Cross' disaster mental health program. "Sometimes you have to talk to someone else to figure out what all of this means."
Red Cross officials said parents should talk with their children about their feelings and encourage them to draw pictures of the disaster to better understand their views of what happened. Parents also may need to repeatedly reassure their children they are safe.
But parents also need to care for themselves, experts said. They may not seek immediate help because they are focused on staying strong for their children, Doudna-North said.
"My concern is we may see delayed depression or anxiety," she said. "The immediate need to console and protect your children supersedes your own emotional needs."
Reyer will soon enroll in group therapy to better manage her stress, which she said is exacerbated by recovery efforts.
Since their relocation, Reyer said, the family has been pulled from one agency to another and given mounds of paperwork to fill out.
"You can't even function because you don't know what to do first," she said.
The families also have struggled emotionally with their "homeless" classification. The Red Cross has paid for their hotel stay for 30 days, but there are no promises of permanent housing.
The sisters, who worked as cashiers at an arcade, also worry about finding new jobs. Reyer's husband, Randy, hopes he will hear soon from his employer, BellSouth.
Lind just wants the families' lives to return to normal.
"If it wasn't for my faith in God, I'm not sure where I'd be," she said. "But right now, I just need a form of stability."
* Reach Susan E. White at (757) 222-5114 or susan.white@pilotonline .com.
COPYRIGHT 2005 The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of the Dialog Corporation by Gale Group.
Witnesses sought in death of woman on I-295 last month ; The victim has been identified as Cheryl Gilliam, 51, who was struck while crossing the highway.
Portland Press Herald (Maine); 10/6/2005; DAVID HENCH Staff Writer
Police continue to look for witnesses to the hit-and-run death of a woman who was killed while walking on Interstate 295 in Portland last month.
State police identified the woman Wednesday as Cheryl Gilliam,
51. Police at first could not be certain of Gilliam's identity and
had to rely on fingerprints to be sure.
"We're still looking for witnesses," Conger said, noting that investigators continue to retrace Gilliam's steps during the time leading up to her death.
Gilliam was walking in the southbound travel lane of I-295 near the Forest Avenue exit at 7:30 p.m. when a car hit her, knocking her to the ground.
"She was struck by a vehicle, which kind of grazed her and knocked her down, and then she was run over by a second vehicle," Conger said. "The first vehicle stopped and the second did not."
Gilliam had no known local address. Police said she was wrapped in a blanket at the time of the accident, and authorities believe she was seeking shelter in the woods alongside the highway, where homeless people often seek refuge and privacy.
A friend of Gilliam's, Gerald Bubier, said Wednesday that he was in the woods on the opposite side of the interstate that night. He said he saw the commotion and police cars but did not realize that his friend had died until the following day.
Bubier said he had known Gilliam for about a year. He said she was kind and well-liked.
"She was with people and then she just ended up walking off by herself," Bubier said. "She was a good person. She had problems like we all go through our problems. She didn't give nobody a hard time."
Gilliam struggled for years with mental illness and alcoholism, and had been a victim of domestic abuse. She described her troubles with alcohol and bipolar disorder in a 1999 interview with the Portland Press Herald.
At the time, she was confronted with having to leave her apartment on Grant Street, which she was renting with a Shalom House rental subsidy and her disability check. Code violations in the building were forcing many Shalom House clients to leave.
She described clinging to sobriety even though the stress of being forced out of her apartment added to her temptation to drink.
In 1993, Gilliam's companion, Donald O'Neill, was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of aggravated assault on Gilliam.
Investigators are still trying to pinpoint Gilliam's final days. Her death was the result of multiple injuries sustained in the Sept. 23 accident, complicated by sclerosis, according to the state Medical Examiner's Office.
What prompted her to walk onto the highway is unclear.
Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:
Copyright 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
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The Warning Signs Of An Impending Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode
Bipolar disorder - as the name implies - involves two distinct set of symptoms. One set throws the individual down into the depths of a massive depression. The other places the individual who suffers with bipolar disorder at the top of a peak manic episode.
Most everyone can eventually recognize the warning signs of an impending depressive episode related to bipolar disorder. More likely than not, individuals with bipolar disorder try very hard to avoid it.
However, for many individuals with bipolar disorder, it's more difficult to recognize the signs of an impending manic episode. After all, a manic episode of bipolar disorder can be mistaken in some cases - especially in the very early formation -- for the lifting of the corresponding mood swing of the depression.
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