Why the Mental Health Field Needs a Wake-Up Call
By the Medical Physicians at Amen Clinics
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- As millions of people mourn the loss of Stephen “tWitch” Boss, best known as Ellen DeGeneres’ DJ and a dancer, his death should be a wake-up call for the mental health field. Psychiatry is stuck in antiquated system that is failing too many people. Just look at the numbers:
- Every 14 minutes someone commits suicide in the United States.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for those 10 to 34 years of age.
- Suicide rates have increased 33 percent, while cancer deaths have decreased 27 percent.
- Every eight minutes, someone dies of a drug overdose.
- 51 percent of the U.S. population will struggle with a mental health issue during their lifetime.
Since the pandemic, the numbers have skyrocketed with deaths from suicide, drugs, and alcohol at the highest level in recorded history, according to a 2022 report. In addition, the authors of a 2022 study in BMJ suggest that over 2.8 million new cases of psychiatric illness can be tied to COVID infections.
As 2023 begins, the physicians at Amen Clinics want to share this important information: Seeking standard mental health treatment for psychiatric problems may not be enough. Despite the pharmaceutical revolution in psychiatry, outcomes have not improved since the 1950s. For example, prior to coming to Amen Clinics, our patients have failed an average of 3.3 physicians and five medications. After six months of treatment at Amen Clinics, 84 percent of them report feeling better.
This shows there is hope. Based on our brain-imaging work—over 210,000 brain scans and growing—it is clear that making diagnoses based solely on symptom clusters, such as anxiety, depression, temper outbursts, or a short attention span, is inadequate. Symptoms don’t tell us anything about the underlying biology of the problems our patients have. With brain imaging, psychiatrists gain valuable information about underlying issues and ask better questions to get to the root causes of problems.
If standard psychiatric care is not working for you or a loved one, consider that your mental health problems may be brain health issues. But how would you know unless you look? If you or someone you know is struggling, call or text 988, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
ABOUT AMEN CLINICS
Amen Clinics, Inc. was established in 1989 by Daniel G. Amen, MD, who is a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and 12-time New York Times bestselling author. Amen Clinics has the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling over 210,000 scans on patients from 155 countries.
Media Contact: Natalie Buchoz
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SOURCE Amen Clinics, Inc.