Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

Suicided Troops Family To Get Condolence Letter

Posted on July 13th, 2011 by Dr. Blumenfield

Last week President Obama announced that he would begin to send letters of condolence to the families of troops who kill themselves in combat zones. This is a change in policy which has been advocated by many groups including families of soldiers who have died by suicide as well as many mental health professionals. One such family is that of Chance Keesling who died by suicide in June of 2010. Despite the accomplishment by the President of this important change it should be noted that the new policy still has some wording in it which make it inherently unfair and discriminatory.

We Can’t Avoid PTSD and Suicides

Posted on August 11th, 2010 by Dr. Blumenfield

The army is mistaken in saying that because of PTSD and suicides in the military, “that we are more dangerous to ourselves than the enemy.” PTSD and suicide in the military of are part of war just as injuries and other combat deaths. Soldiers injured by PTSD should get Purple Hearts and families of soldiers who die by suicide should receive a letter of condolence from the President of the United Sates.

60,000 Empathic Responses

Posted on June 30th, 2010 by Dr. Blumenfield

There is a website titled Postsecrets to which people send artistic postcards with a secret on it. Recently someone from San Francisco wrote a postcard indicating an intention to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.
There was an outpouring of responses which resulted in special page on Facebook linked to this postcard on which over 60,000 people have responded with words of support. This phenomena as a form of social empathy is discussed.

Consulting on a Suicide Epidemic

Posted on June 9th, 2010 by Dr. Blumenfield

The New York Times and other media outlets recently reported 13 suicides at the the Foxconn factory in China. This situation reminds this author of a similar situation in which I was part of a small consultation team studying an epidemic of suicides in a large city in the United States. The approach which we took and the response to our report is discussed.

Are Antidepressants Overrated?

Posted on January 20th, 2010 by Dr. Blumenfield

Recent meta analysis of six well done studies has shown that antidepressant treatment effect may be minimal or nonexistent with mild or moderate depression whereas when utilized with severe depression showed clear improvement over placebo. Other factors which must be taken into account when treating depression are the presence of underlying medical disorders or other psychiatric conditions as well as whether the patient is grieving. Sometimes there is a dual diagnosis which must be recognized and the the presence of suicidal ideation always should be considered. Split treatment , when one professional treats the patient with psychotherapy and another treats the same patient with medication can present special issues. Antidepressant treatment can be extremely effective. However, the patient must be properly diagnosed and monitored.