From the Editor
This month, the Reading of the Week celebrates a big birthday, its ninth. The first Reading was emailed out in September 2014. Many thanks for your ongoing interest and support. I’m looking forward to the next nine years.
Many young people with bipolar attempt suicide. What can be done to help them? In the first selection, Tina R. Goldstein (of the University of Pittsburgh) and her co-authors attempt to answer that question in a just-published JAMA Psychiatry paper. In their RCT involving youth with bipolar spectrum disorder, participants were enrolled in DBT or they received standard-of-care psychological support. “These findings support DBT as the first psychosocial intervention with demonstrated effects on suicidal behavior for adolescents with bipolar spectrum disorder.” We consider the paper and its clinical implications.
In the second selection, journalist and bestselling author Anna Mehler Paperny discusses coercive care in a new Quick Takes podcast interview. Mehler Paperny’s perspective on involuntary care is informed by her writing on the issue – and her lived experience. She worries that public debate may be driven by a desire to address public disorder rather than genuinely prioritizing the well-being of those with mental illness. “Coercive care is having a moment.”
And in the third selection, Dr. Rachel Gibbons (of the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists) considers suicide in a new BJPsych Bulletin paper. She opens by disclosing that three of her patients died by suicide early in her career. She then reviews “truths” about suicide. “In research we conducted, around two-thirds of psychiatrists and other clinicians felt it was their job to predict suicide. Our fantasy that we can do this, and our fear that we can’t, becomes a constant preoccupation in our work, distracts us from providing therapeutic care and closes our hearts to those in distress.”