Warning signs parents can’t ignore

A state senator stabbed, his son dead from a gunshot wound.

A tragedy, to be sure. But for many parents of children struggling with mental illness — a wrenching experience in itself — it can be a truly chilling scenario.

Virginia State Police on Tuesday said Sen. Creigh Deeds was stabbed after an altercation with his 24-year-old son, Austin “Gus” Deeds. The younger man then shot himself, authorities said.

Austin Deeds withdrew from The College of William & Mary last month after being enrolled off and on since 2007, according to a statement from the school.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Tuesday that he had received a mental health evaluation under an emergency custody order on Monday, but was released because no psychiatric bed could be found in the area.

The vast majority of young adults with mental health issues do not become violent, although young adulthood is typically when symptoms of mental illness, including schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, surface, experts say.

Full story of mental health warning signs at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Bipolar and Pregnant

New Northwestern Medicine® research offers one of the first in-depth studies of how physiological changes during pregnancy reduce the effects of a commonly used drug to treat bipolar disorder, making women more vulnerable to recurring episodes. The new findings will help psychiatrists and physicians prevent bipolar manic and depressive symptoms during pregnancy, which are risky for the health of the mother and her unborn child.

When a woman with bipolar disorder becomes pregnant, she and her physician often don’t realize her medication needs adjusting to prevent the symptoms from coming back — a higher risk during pregnancy. There also is little information and research to guide dosing for psychiatric medications during pregnancy.

Approximately 4.4 million women in the U.S. have bipolar disorder with women of childbearing age having the highest prevalence.

The new study shows the blood concentration of the commonly used drug lamotrigine decreases in pregnant women. About half of the women in the study had worsening depressive symptoms as their lamotrigine blood levels dropped. The drug levels fall because women have increased metabolism during pregnancy.

Full story of being bipolar and pregnant at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

QUANTUM UNITS EDUCATION: New CE Credits from our APA Approved Sponsor

Quantum Units Education has added 8 new CE Courses to our APA Sponsor approved category. These courses are for APA Approval Only. Certificates issued for these courses will bear the name of our APA approved sponsor TeachMe Professional Development, a subsidiary owned by Quantum.

NEW QUANTUM LOGOBe sure to check our newly, updated state approval page to ensure your board accepts APA approval prior to taking these courses:

New! Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

New! Borderline Personality Disorder-Promoting Resiliency and Recovery

New! Core Competencies for Addressing The Treatment Needs of Women and Girls

New! Engaging Culturally Diverse Children and their Families in Mental Health Services

New! Intimate Partner Abuse and Sexual Violence

New! Parent-Child Interaction Therapy With At-Risk Families

New! The Impact of Underage Drinking

New! Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

More on CE Courses offered, visit Quantum Units Education

Large Study Finds Genetic ‘Overlap’ Between Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

By ScienceDaily

Overlap Between Schizophrenia and BipolarKnowledge about the biological origin of diseases like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other psychiatric conditions is critical to improving diagnosis and treatment.

In an effort to push the field forward, three UCLA researchers, along with scientists from more than 20 countries, have been taking part in one of the largest collaborative efforts in psychiatry — a genome-wide study involving more than 50,000 study participants aimed at identifying which genetic variants make people susceptible to psychiatric disease.

This collaborative, the Psychiatric Genome-Wide Association Study Consortium (PGC), now reports in the current online edition of the journal Nature Genetics that it has discovered that common genetic variants contribute to a person’s risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Full story at Science Daily

The faces behind bipolar disorder

By Andrea Boyarsky

bipolar disorder

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A smiling Erica Kovacs sat at the front of the crowded room, answering questions about her mental illness. She talked passionately about her life over the past eight years and how she is coping with bipolar disorder.

The 31-year-old Bay Terrace resident is one of more than 10 million Americans living with the disorder characterized by mood shifts consisting of manic highs and depressive lows.

On Aug. 10, she participated in a film and panel discussion with those living with bipolar disorder, their family members, and mental health professionals, presented by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Staten Island and the South Beach Psychiatric Center as part of their annual Summer Mental Health Film Festival.

Full story at silive.com