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Mental Health in the News: January 26, 2023

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Mental Health in the News

Welcome to Madison Avenue TMS & Psychiatry’s Mental health in the News weekly update. Below are some current news events relating to mental health and mental health treatments.

Recovering from Alcoholism: There is Hope

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that about 6% of US American adults suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people can drink alcohol without developing an addiction. However, one out of ten people may develop a dependency. Alcohol is readily available and legal in our society; it is used in many social gatherings and celebrations which can make it hard for those who struggle with addiction to avoid temptation. The social and personal impact of alcoholism can be devastating. It has the potential to cause marital problems, issues at work, and negatively impact physical and mental health. 

But for those who are looking to get clean, there is hope. People who choose sobriety often see the positive effects in their life quickly–if they are supported by a counselor or a group like Alcoholics Anonymous. Abstaining alone, without support, can cause moodiness. Dr. Martha Sheridan, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor says, “[Recovery] can be a kind of spiritual process, recovery, because people really truly can get better, even though it can be a difficult path. There’s a lot of support along the way. It’s important to stay around people who are supportive and who understand that it’s a disease.” According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), one out of three people who go into recovery programs experience no symptoms one year later. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with AUD or abuse alcohol, you can contact your primary care doctor for an assessment and treatment options. If you want to talk to someone immediately or don’t have a doctor you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

To read the original news article, click here.

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Sigourney Weaver Talks About Her New Role: A Woman Struggling With Alcoholism

Sigounery Weaver has made a career of playing strong women like Ellen Ripley in the “Alien” series and conservationist Dian Fossey in “Gorillas in the Mist.” In a new film “The Good House” she continues that legacy by playing Hildy Good. “The Good House” is an adaptation of a book by Ann Leary who has openly shared her own struggles with alcoholism and her recovery. 

Hildy Good is a woman who knows everyone (and their secrets) in her small town. Life is hard as she struggles to keep her real estate business open. She would love to go out and party to drink, but instead drinks alone at home with her dogs. Weaver says that Good is a sympathetic character who the audience roots for, but she also deludes herself. Her issues with alcohol lead to a bad turn of events and in the end she must confront her own demons.  

To prepare for the role, Weaver spent some time with people who struggle with alcoholism. Weaver also has some family members who struggle with alcohol. In one scene, Good attends a meeting for alcoholics. Good is a woman who is a quiet drinker and Weaver says that she wanted to show how alcohol brings her confidence and comfort. Of course, it also is part of her demise. 

Weaver hopes that after watching the film more women will talk openly about their issues with alcohol. She says, “Alcoholism can creep up on you. That’s often how it appears. I think if it can shed light on any of that for any of the audience, if I can take them with me on this journey with Hildy and be together for this kind of epiphany, I’m very grateful that I can be part of that.”

To read the original news article, click here.

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Solitary Drinking When You Are Young is Linked with Alcohol Abuse Disorder When You Are Older

Over the past 17 years, Kasey Creswell, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University and lead study author, and her team have collected and analyzed data from 4,500 US high school students starting from when they were teenagers and continuing into their 30s. The objective was to identify risk factors for alcohol abuse disorder (AUD). Creswell and her team found that solitary drinking when young predicted alcohol abuse when older. 

The Study

The group of students were first asked about their drinking habits when they were seniors in high school. They were surveyed again when they were 22 to 23 years old and again when they turned 35. 

Those who reported drinking alone as a teenager had a 35% chance of developing AUD in their 30s. That number increased if you were a teenage girl–they had a 86% higher chance of abusing alcohol later in life. Boys on the other hand were only 8% higher. 

Drinking alone in your 20s also had a high predictive rate for AUD at 60%, but with no difference between men and women. “Solitary drinking at younger ages is accounting for unique risk for future alcohol problems above and beyond earlier binge drinking and frequency of alcohol use, which are (both) well-known risk factors,” Creswell says. 

Taking Action

Creswell advises that doctors and parents should not only be asking about how much a young person is drinking or how often, but also whether they are drinking alone. This is especially true of teenage girls who are at higher risk. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol there is a help out there whether it is a support group or individual counseling. 

To read the original news article, click here.

Dr. Woo has been seeing patients in private practice since 2002, always with the goals of combining evidence-based medicine with psychodynamic psychotherapy and collaborating with other mental health professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for his patients. He has been certified to administer TMS at his practice since 2017. His greatest clinical interests include helping patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

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