Unhealthful Eating – Pandemic Style

Mindless eating and snacking;

Increased food consumption;

Generalized decrease in appetite or dietary intake;

Eating to cope;

Pandemic-related reductions in dietary intake;

And, a re-emergence or marked increase in eating disorder symptoms.

Approximately 8% of those studied reported extreme unhealthy weight control behaviors, 53% had less extreme unhealthy weight control behaviors and 14% reported binge eating. The study revealed that these outcomes were significantly associated with poorer stress management, greater depressive symptoms and moderate or extreme financial difficulties.

University of Minnesota Medical School. “COVID-19 pandemic has been linked with six unhealthy eating behaviors: Study shows a slight increase in eating disorders, one of the deadliest psychiatric health concerns.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210412114740.htm (accessed May 1, 2021).

Pandemic or no pandemic at times I am guilty of number one on the list. I found the absolute best pita crackers, crispy and salty, and…

Got Kids? READ THIS

Beyond just online platforms, the new survey finds that the vast majority of teens have access to digital devices, such as smartphones (95%), desktop or laptop computers (90%) and gaming consoles (80%). And the study shows there has been an uptick in daily teen internet users, from 92% in 2014-15 to 97% today. In addition, the share of teens who say they are online almost constantly has roughly doubled since 2014-15 (46% now and 24% then).These are some of the findings from an online survey of 1,316 teens conducted by the Pew Research Center from April 14 to May 4, 2022

Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022 — https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/08/10/teens-social-media-and-technology-2022/

Remember my earlier post I Thought I Told You To Put That Phone Down! This earlier post has additional links to other posts on the topic of social media addiction.

Technology addictions, also commonly known as digital addictions or internet addictions, are often overlooked due to the acceptance that society has placed on using digital devices. Technology addictions often go unnoticed by loved ones because the addicted individual may appear as though they are tending to something important such as work-related tasks on their digital device, when in reality hiding behind the screen is something extraneous. When a technological problem does develop and is noticed it is often not viewed as being an imminent risk akin to an addiction to alcohol or drugs because not only is it more acceptable, but it is also not viewed as being acute or deadly. Despite these beliefs, pathological technology use can indeed be pervasive and detrimental to one’s health and well being. In a growing digital age there is a rapid expansion of digital use and subsequent potential for problematic pathological technology use to ensue.

https://www.familyaddictionspecialist.com/blog/the-6-most-common-types-of-technology-addiction

The link provided above is neither an endorsement or evidence of a previous or existing patient-therapist relationship.

Although I will admit to a quasi-addiction to You Tube for new music.

Cannabis and Psychosis

Californians voted to legalize recreational pot in 2016. Three years later, emergency room visits for cannabis-induced psychosis went up 54% across the state, from 682 to 1,053, according to state hospital data. For people who already have a psychotic disorder, cannabis makes things worse — leading to more ER visits, more hospitalizations, and more legal troubles, said Dr. Deepak Cyril D’Souza, a psychiatry professor at Yale University School of Medicine who also serves on the physicians’ advisory board for Connecticut’s medical marijuana program.

California May Require Labels on Pot Products to Warn of Mental Health Risks — https://khn.org/news/article/california-marijuana-warning-labels/

Listen to the article above here: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/06/17/1105494283/california-pot-warning-labels

Recreational cannabis use is linked to a heightened risk of emergency care and hospital admission for any cause, finds research published in the open access journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research.

Cannabis use linked to heightened emergency care and hospital admission risks — https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-06-cannabis-linked-heightened-emergency-hospital.html

More Amphetamines Please

Prescription medications have become easier to obtain online during the pandemic, when regulatory officials waived requirements for in-person examination before certain types of drugs are prescribed. Truepill is still fulfilling Schedule III and V drug prescriptions from licensed clinicians. But the company is suspending delivery for Schedule II drugs like Adderall, which the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies as having a high level of potential abuse. In the case of stimulants, misuse has been linked to adverse effects, like heart failure or paranoia…

In behavioral health, particularly, there are concerns that providers examining patients for the first time in short, video-based appointments may not be able to detect important diagnostic cues like body language, given the range of symptoms certain conditions can present with. Some experts have also said they’re worried about whether such quick appointments let providers get in-depth enough to decide on the best course of treatment, including non-drug options.

A clash over online Adderall prescriptions is raising new questions about telehealth – https://www.statnews.com/2022/05/04/cerebral-truepill-adhd-prescriptions/ – accessed 5/4/22

Lets put on the Wiggles & pop a couple Ritalin
Papa don’t blame mama or tell her how lazy shes been
Its been prescribed by a doctor and the doctor said it ain’t no sin
So lets put on the Wiggles & pop a couple Ritalin

Wiggles & Ritalin by Reckless Kelly

Amphetamine Dependence Overview – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/amphetamine-dependence

Some days I just love my job.

Updated benzodiazepine boxed warning: What you need to know

“I took the medication only as prescribed,” Bobbi said. After her benzodiazepine was stopped abruptly, she suffered multiple disabling neurological symptoms, including seizures, cognitive and visual impairment, difficulty walking, and hand contractures, leaving her unable to work. Bobbi is one of many patients my advocacy organization helped report their harm to the FDA. Our goal was to raise awareness of the adverse effects of benzodiazepines and advocate for stronger warning labels.

Thus, I was pleasantly surprised last September to see the FDA’s drug safety communication announcing an update to the boxed warning for benzodiazepines “to address the serious risks of abuse, addiction, physical dependence, and withdrawal reactions.” Curious, I filed a FOIA request for the FDA’s 175-page report on benzodiazepines. Many of the document’s conclusions raise the same concerns benzodiazepine safety advocates have had for decades.

updated benzodiazepine boxed warning: What you need to know — https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/03/the-updated-benzodiazepine-boxed-warning-what-you-need-to-know.html

I downloaded the FDA report for future reference.

The report should be fun weekend reading.

Midlife Crisis? Just Another U Shaped Curve

Subsequent research discovered that this age-related U-shape in job satisfaction is part of a much broader phenomenon. A similar midlife nadir is detectable in measures of people’s overall life satisfaction and has been found in more than 50 countries. On average, life satisfaction is high when people are young, then starts to decline in the early 30s, bottoming out between the mid-40s and mid-50s before increasing again to levels as high as during young adulthood. And this U-curve occurs across the entire socio-economic spectrum, hitting senior-level executives as well as blue-collar workers and stay-at-home parents. It affects childless couples as well as single people or parents of four. In short, a mid-career crisis does not discriminate.

Why So Many of Us Experience a Midlife Crisis Harvard Business Review Hannes Schwandt — https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-so-many-of-us-experience-a-midlife-crisis?utm_source=pocket-newtab

This post originally appeared on Harvard Business Review and was published April 20, 2015. A link popped up on my browser webpage.

U shaped curves are everywhere.

Why PTSD May Plague Many Hospitalized Covid-19 Survivors — Smithsonian Magazine

Scientists warn about the likelihood of post-traumatic stress disorder for patients discharged from the intensive care unit.

Covid-19 isn’t the first epidemic to cause a domino effect of persisting psychiatric health problems across a population. The current pandemic has been compared to the severe adult respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2014 in Saudi Arabia—both diseases caused by coronaviruses. In an analysis of international studies from the SARS and MERS outbreaks, researchers found that among recovered patients, the prevalence of PTSD was 32.2 percent, depression was 14.9 percent and anxiety disorders was 14.8 percent.

Why PTSD May Plague Many Hospitalized Covid-19 Survivors — Science | Smithsonian Magazine

The entire article is worth reading. And from The BMJ probable PTSD in hospital workers too.

Nearly half of intensive care unit (ICU) and anaesthetic staff surveyed for a study reported symptoms consistent with a probable diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe depression, anxiety, or problem drinking.1

The preprint, produced by researchers at King’s College London, aimed to get a picture of the rates of probable mental health disorders in ICU and anaesthetic staff in six English hospitals during June and July 2020.

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n108 (Published 13 January 2021) BMJ 2021;372:n108

Every Day is an Emergency – Psychiatric Bed Shortages Nationwide

The pandemic and the parallel economic crisis have fueled new concern about access to mental health care. An estimated 40% of American adults are have a condition involving mental illness or substance abuse. In June, federal health officials reported nearly 11% percent of adults surveyed seriously considered suicide during the past 30 days.

‘Every day is an emergency’: The pandemic is worsening psychiatric bed shortages nationwide — https://www.statnews.com/2020/12/23/mental-health-covid19-psychiatric-beds/?utm_campaign=rss

We are just ten months into the Great Pandemic and I fear conditions will get worse before they get better.

Personality Traits Linked to Toilet Paper Stockpiling

The most robust predictor of toilet paper stockpiling was the perceived threat posed by the pandemic; people who felt more threatened tended to stockpile more toilet paper. Around 20 percent of this effect was also based on the personality factor of emotionality — people who generally tend to worry a lot and feel anxious are most likely to feel threatened and stockpile toilet paper. The personality domain of conscientiousness — which includes traits of organization, diligence, perfectionism and prudence — was also a predictor of stockpiling.

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. “Personality traits linked to toilet paper stockpiling: High levels of emotionality and conscientiousness are indicators for stockpiling behavior.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200612172227.htm (accessed November 25, 2020).

In case you haven’t noticed it’s happening again. Where’s the toilet paper?

Diets Don’t Work so Why Are More Teens Dieting?

Well, my first thought was Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) — https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd. But this is merely an educated guess from an insurance guy who has lost 200 pounds and not a trained licensed practicing clinical psychiatrist.

In 2015, 42% of 14-year-old girls and boys said they currently were trying to lose weight, compared to 30% in 2005.

Lead author Dr Francesca Solmi (UCL Psychiatry) said: “Our findings show how the way we talk about weight, health and appearance can have profound impacts on young people’s mental health, and efforts to tackle rising obesity rates may have unintended consequences.

“An increase in dieting among young people is concerning because experimental studies have found that dieting is generally ineffective in the long term at reducing body weight in adolescents, but can instead have greater impacts on mental health. We know, for instance, that dieting is a strong risk factor in the development of eating disorders.”

University College London. “Dieting and weight worries on rise in teens.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201116112855.htm (accessed November 21, 2020). — https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201116112855.htm

And in case you made it this far on this blog post my estimated BMI at age 20 was 53.1. My current BMI is 25.1.