Prescribing Exercise for Adolescent Depression

Depression in children and adolescents can be a serious and sometimes deadly problem.  With renewed concern about the over-reliance of antidepressant medication, effective nonpharmacological interventions are highly welcome.  Psychotherapy has been shown to be an important treatment for many, but availability and patient follow-up can be challenging.    Exercise has been shown to be a […]

Mental Health of Transgender Children Who Have Socially Transitioned

While it has been shown in many studies that transgender youth frequently struggle with significant emotional-behavioral problems, the million dollar question behind this association is the degree to which these symptoms are driven by the intense stigma, lack of acceptance, and even outright maltreatment that many of these children and adolescents suffer.  This question is […]

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Prevention Efforts at Suicide Hotspots

As reported recently in the Vermont Digger, there is a bill (H. 593) in the Vermont Legislature that would require some sort of suicide prevention action to be taken at the Quechee George Bridge, where there have been 8 suicides since 2008 (more than all other Vermont bridges combined). While there are few people opposed […]

Bias Found for Depression Psychotherapy Trials

The medical community was disappointed, but perhaps not shocked, several years ago when it was revealed that the efficacy of antidepressant medications in the treatment of adolescent depression might not be as strong as we thought.  This bias was due to the fact that the clinical trials, most of which were funded by pharmaceutic companies, […]

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Antidepressants and Violent Crime in Youth

Antidepressants have carried a black box warning for years related to new or worsening suicidal behavior in children and young adults. A possible link, however, between SSRIs and other types of violent behavior has been more difficult to identify with studies finding inconsistent results. A recent large Swedish study, recently published in the journal PLOS […]

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Suicide Prevention in Schools

Suicide and suicide attempts remain a major public health problem.  There is now evidence that after years of decline, suicidal behavior is once again on the rise.  In Vermont, suicide is now the number two killer of older adolescents.  One can only imagine the attention and public health response that would occur if something like […]

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Treating Parental Depression Benefits Children

At our clinic at the Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families, one unique component of our child psychiatry evaluations is the provision of also assessing mental health problems in the parents, using validated rating scales.  This element was included in the face of mounting data showing that successful treatment of psychiatric disorders in parents […]

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New Study Examines a “Suicide Gene”

To keep in mind National Suicide Prevention Suicide Week as well as to offer some hopeful news, this week’s post summarizes a recent study from the American Journal of Psychiatry that claims to have found a gene that is related to suicidal behavior.  It is somewhat of a complicated study with multiple samples (it’s hard […]

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Teacher Depressive Symptoms and Child Behavior

It has been widely shown at this point that psychiatric problems in parents can negatively affect child behavior, but what about teachers?  These days, many children spend as much if not more of their waking hours with teachers and other childcare providers than they do with parents.  As such, it seems logical to extend the […]

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Is Universal Suicide Screening in Primary Care Worthwhile? Nobody knows

Suicide remains a leading cause of death and is a major public health concern. Studies have demonstrated that many individuals who die by suicide often see their primary care physician soon before the event.  Thus, it is important to know whether suicide screening might potentially prevent some of these tragic deaths.  To that end, the […]

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