Author Archives: Stephanie Abraham

Losing a Healing Voice

The world has lost a beacon of laughter and creativity. Robin Williams died of an apparent suicide yesterday. His tragic death leaves us to struggle with two perplexing caveats: we need better treatments for the underlying causes of most suicides–depressions, bipolar illnesses, substance abuse, and associated medical illnesses to prevent comparable losses in the future.

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Learning the smell of fear: Mothers teach babies their own fears via odor, U-M research finds

Research in rats may help explain how trauma’s effects can span generations ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Babies can learn what to fear in the first days of life just by smelling the odor of their distressed mothers, new research suggests. And not just “natural” fears: If a mother experienced something before pregnancy that made her

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Dr. Kenneth Silk discusses Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in Chicago Tribune

Dialectal behavioral therapy (DBT), developed for people who struggle from severe mental illness and pervasive suicidal thoughts, is branching out beyond borderline personality disorder to treat other mental health issues. Gaining traction with mainstream psychology, DBT includes elements of acceptance and mindfulness. In a Chicago Tribune article, Kenneth Silk, M.D., senior psychiatrist at UMHS, said

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Listening to bipolar disorder: Smartphone app detects mood swings via voice analysis

Subtle changes could act as early warning of need for care, U-M research suggests ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A smartphone app that monitors subtle qualities of a person’s voice during everyday phone conversations shows promise for detecting early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder, a University of Michigan team reports. While the

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President Obama Proclaims May as National Mental Health Awareness Month

In a proclamation issued yesterday, President Obama has designated May as National Mental Health Awareness Month. In explaining the importance of focusing on mental health and mental illness, Obama emphasized that, “Despite great strides in our understanding of mental illness and vast improvements in the dialogue surrounding it, too many still suffer in silence.” He

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Experts propose new approach to manage the most troubling symptoms of dementia, lessen use of drugs

Technique called DICE empowers caregivers, patients & health providers to work together to reduce behavioral problems ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A new approach to handling agitation, aggression and other unwanted behaviors by people with dementia may help reduce the use of antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs in this population, and make life easier for them

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