April 30, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Woman Shares Story of Gabapentin Side Effects

“As is true for most other sufferers of gabapentin adverse reactions and withdrawal, tests showed nothing, and after receiving a muscle relaxant and some Benadryl, I was sent home. Dr. F and his nurses were convinced that once off the gabapentin (and already off the benzo), my symptoms would improve dramatically. They did not.

I endured anxiety, sweating, heart palpitations, panic attacks, akathisia (I paced constantly), digestive issues (and severe abdominal pain), insomnia…”

Read the full story at https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/04/gabapentin-horror/

April 28, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Spend an Hour, Save a Life

Akathisia is a serious drug-induced disorder that can lead to suicidal thoughts, actions and suicide itself. But knowing more about the causes of akathisia and recognizing akathisia symptoms can help prevent these avoidable deaths. Take our free, accredited Akathisia 101 course at MISSD.LearnUpon.com.

Some comments from course completers include:

“Thanks for designing such a valuable and critical course.”

“Good information for educational purposes; well laid out and delivered.”

“I work in a community mental health setting and I plan to email my colleagues this information so we all can be better informed.”

April 25, 2020 at 4:20 pm

Teleprescribing on the Rise

“In the US, the use of drugs for treating depression, anxiety, and insomnia spiked 21% between February 16th and March 15th, when the coronavirus was deemed a pandemic,” finds a new survey. MISSD wants to stress the importance of following FDA guidelines that state consumers should be carefully monitored and caregivers should watch for and report any unusual changes in behavior when starting, stopping or changing drug dosage or type.

See article at: https://www.businessinsider.com/fda-streamlines-digital-psychiatry-approval-process-2020-4

April 24, 2020 at 9:44 am

COVID-19 and Adverse Drug Effects

We all hope researchers soon discover a treatment or cure for COVID-19. It’s also important to ensure safety and efficacy issues are properly researched and reported in clinical trials to protect public health.


April 22, 2020 at 11:33 am

Mental Wellness Tips for Quarantine

Psychologist R. Matthew Cairns offers some practical tips for these challenging times. Here are 10 that can help both adults and children.
1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.

2. Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to do a bath or a facial. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.

3. Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. If you are concerned of contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets and avenues. If you are high risk or living with those who are high risk, open the windows and blast the fan. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for spirits.

4. Find some time to move each day, again daily for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!

5. Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well. Set up virtual play dates with friends daily via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Kids, Zoom, etc—your kids miss their friends, too!

6. Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!

7. Develop a self-care toolkit. This can look different for everyone. A lot of successful self-care strategies involve a sensory component (seven senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (comforting pressure). An idea for each: a soft blanket or stuffed animal, a hot chocolate, photos of vacations, comforting music, lavender or eucalyptus oil, a small swing or rocking chair, a weighted blanket. A journal, an inspirational book, or a mandala coloring book is wonderful, bubbles to blow or blowing watercolor on paper through a straw are visually appealing as well as work on controlled breath. Mint gum, Listerine strips, ginger ale, frozen Starburst, ice packs, and cold are also good for anxiety regulation. For children, it is great to help them create a self-regulation comfort box (often a shoe-box or bin they can decorate) that they can use on the ready for first-aid when overwhelmed.

8. Spend extra time playing with children. Children will rarely communicate how they are feeling, but will often make a bid for attention and communication through play. Don’t be surprised to see therapeutic themes of illness, doctor visits, and isolation play through. Understand that play is cathartic and helpful for children—it is how they process their world and problem solve, and there’s a lot they are seeing and experiencing in the now.

9. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. It is important to move with grace through blowups, to not show up to every argument you are invited to, and to not hold grudges and continue disagreements. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.

10. Find individual retreat space. Space is at a premium, particularly with city living. It is important that people think a separate space for work and for relaxation. For children, help them identify a place where they can go to retreat when stressed. You can make this place cozy by using blankets, pillows, cushions, scarves, beanbags, tents, and “forts.” Everyone needs a special place to go to be alone.

April 11, 2020 at 10:23 am

Happy Easter

Families who are celebrating Easter this weekend can find virtual egg hunts and online holiday games to entertain their children. Get the tips at https://www.newsweek.com/online-easter-egg-hunts-1497293

April 8, 2020 at 6:13 pm

Though tonight is much different than holidays passed, MISSD is wishing a meaningful and happy Passover to all who celebrate.

April 7, 2020 at 4:18 pm

Risk-Free Ways to Manage Stress

The current coronavirus pandemic has created increased stress for many people around the globe. Medpage offers some ways to manage stress during challenging times. Read them at: https://www.healthecareers.com/medpage/article/healthcare-news/managing-the-stress-around-covid-19?utm_source=medpagetoday&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mpt-career-news-physicians-managing-covid-19-stress

April 3, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Natural Ways to Manage Stress During Abnormal Times

Experts provide tips to help reduce anxiety and the sense of feeling out of control during the coronavirus pandemic. These include “practices of mindfulness and meditation that have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and when practiced regularly, can help you feel more in control of your own state.”

Read the full article at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-to-look-after-your-mental-health-during-a-pandemic#What-can-employers-do?