In the News

4 Secrets to a Calm Family Bedtime Routine

Good bedtime habits can be established in seven days if you do them calmly, confidently, and consistently, researchers say. Fiona Barwick, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.


How I Learned to Fall Back Asleep in Less Than 5 minutes

Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides tips on how to easily fall back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night.


Ketamine for depression: Proceed with caution

Many psychiatrists and patients with depression are excited about the potential of esketamine nasal spray. But Alan Schatzberg, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Stanford Mood Disorders Center, warns that too little is known about ketamine for it to be used broadly. 


How to heal medical culture

Fully reversing the tide of physician burnout requires addressing deep issues within the culture of the health care system, Stanford Medicine leaders write in a new paper. Dean Lloyd MinorTait Shanafelt, and Mickey Trockel, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, are authors.


Neural sleep patterns emerged at least 450 million years ago

Researchers have found that brain patterns in sleeping zebrafish are similar to those of land vertebrates, suggesting that such sleep signatures developed before aquatic and land animals diverged. Senior author Philippe Mourrain, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and lead author and postdoctoral scholar Louis Leung, are quoted in this piece. The study is also highlighted in articles from SCOPE blog, Newsweek, Nova (PBS), Haaretz, Independent (U.K.), Inverse, Science News, National Geographic, PhysOrg, and many others.


Why Calmness Can Be Contagious

Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, explains the practice of co-regulation, the ability to change your emotional and physiological state in response to another person’s behavior.


The One-Minute Trick That Makes Getting Up in the Morning Easier

Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides tips on getting out of bed in the morning in a better mood and without hitting the snooze button several times.


Study: If a family member is prescribed opioids, you have a higher risk of overdose

Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment on a study that helps show that the drug overdose crisis was fueled by too many opioid painkiller prescriptions


This Is Why You Keep Having Dreams About Being Pregnant

Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, explains some of the reasons why some women dream about being pregnant.


CPAP machines: How to pick one you won’t hate

Wearing a CPAP machine can help you avoid the serious symptoms of sleep apnea This piece offers tips on how to choose the right one. Clete Kushida, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Stanford University Center for Human Sleep Research, provides comment here.


Why Sleep Is More Important Than Ever When You've Been Through Trauma

Each year, millions of Americans are exposed to major traumatic events. Coping in the aftermath can often be challenging, and many survivors live every day with symptoms of traumatic stress. As a PTSD specialist, the most common complaints trauma survivors bring to Shaili Jain, clinical associate professor (affiliated), are sleep disturbances. Careful attention to correcting these disturbances is integral to healing in the aftermath of trauma.


Here’s How Long the Perfect, Energizing Nap Should Be, According to a Sleep Doctor

There can be a lot of confusing information about whether napping is beneficial and how long that shut-eye should be. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor, breaks down the good and the bad.


City Visions: Psychiatrist Shaili Jain on PTSD and 'The Unspeakable Mind'

At least 6 million Americans are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. Shaili Jain, clinical associate professor (affiliated), joins host Joseph Pace to discuss her debut book, The Unspeakable Mind: Stories of Trauma and Healing from the Frontlines of PTSD Science.


A radical way to stop heroin overdoses

In a nationwide first, New Jersey will allow paramedics to initiate buprenorphine, a medication that can treat opioid addiction. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.


The Golden Hours

Primary prevention of trauma is not always possible, and PTSD researchers have ventured into the realm of secondary prevention as a result. Secondary prevention intervenes in the window of time after trauma exposure but before the onset of PTSD, an opportunity to strike before it’s too late. This window of time has come to be referred to as the golden hours, a time during which medical intervention could set a pathway toward recovery. Shaili Jain, clinical associate professor (affiliated), discusses the golden hour in this post.


New research is focusing on treating teens' suicidal thoughts with support of friends, family

Michele Berk, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article on suicide prevention.


Do You Sleep-Talk? Here’s The Weird Stuff You Say Actually Does- And Doesn’t- Mean

Sleep-talking is one of the most common occurrences in life. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, explains why little is known about what triggers the night-time phenomenon.


Suicide and hope: A podcast discussion

In this 1:2:1 podcast, Rebecca Bernert, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and founding director of the Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory at Stanford, discusses suicide prevention and risk factors, including sleep problems.


Is it safe to take over-the-counter painkillers with alcohol?

Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and medical director of Addiction Medicine, explains the serious side effects of mixing alcohol with over-the-counter pain killers.


‘Jane the Virgin's' Gina Rodriguez Shares Her Mental Health Struggles

Rebecca Bernert, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory, is interviewed about the stigma of depression and how celebrities are changing the conversation about mental health.


Face off? Americans fear privacy loss to recognition software

A recent poll found support for facial recognition technology is declining among registered voters, as privacy concerns about the technology grow. Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses the effect on mental health.


Companies Are Now Selling Sleep Aids to Treat Adults Like Babies. And It’s Actually Not a Bad Idea

Retailers are targeting adults who want to ‘sleep like a baby.’ Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides input on the most popular sleep aids on the market.


When Children Get Worse on Antidepressants: Activation or Bipolar?

There are many reasons why symptoms worsen in younger patients who are prescribed antidepressants. Manpreet Singh, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences discussed the five possible scenarios in this podcast.


Academic Medicine Announces Next Editor-in-Chief

Laura Roberts, chairman and Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor has been selected as the next editor-in-chief of Academic Medicine! Dr. Roberts will begin her five-year term on January 1, 2020, becoming the second female editor-in-chief since the journal was founded in 1926. She has served as editor-in-chief for the journal Academic Psychiatry since 2002 and has been a member of the editorial board for Academic Medicine since 2013.


The Frontlines of PTSD Science with Dr. Shaili Jain

Chip and Nikki of KGO 810 talk to Dr. Shaili Jain, author of “The Unspeakable Mind: Stories of Trauma and Healing from the Frontlines of PTSD Science.”


What You Write on Facebook Could Be Used to Diagnose Conditions From Depression to Drug Abuse and STIs

Scientists have used people's Facebook posts to identify conditions from depression to STIs in a study. The researchers wanted to see if looking at a person's Facebook profile was a more accurate way of predicting and identifying conditions they had than their demographic information, such as age, sex, and race.  Adam Miner, instructor, is quoted.


In California, New Drug Treatment Money Also Means New Rules

This segment discussed a new pilot project — Drug Medi-Cal – which is overhauling how drug treatment gets delivered and paid for in California, with the goal of expanding it to more people and improving treatment overall. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was interviewed.


Ketamine cousin was approved for depression despite warning signs

This piece, which originally appeared on Kaiser Health News, discusses the use of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression. Alan Schatzberg, the Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, provides comment here and in an article from Healthline.


Finally, an Intervention That Might Have Helped Keep High-Risk Teens Alive

Training trusted adults to check in on recovering adolescents could be an important, yet overlooked, strategy in preventing suicide. One of the largest suicide-intervention studies ever showed that high-risk teens were more likely to stay alive when the adults around them were trained in supporting them. Michele Berk, assistant professor, provides comment.


Type 1 Diabetes May Affect Brain Development, Beginning in Early Childhood

Children with early-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D) and poor glycemic control have slower growth of areas in the brain associated with mild cognitive deficits compared to children without diabetes, according to a study presented in June at the American Diabetes Association’s® (ADA’s) 79th Scientific Sessions®. Allan Reiss, Howard C. Robbins professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, professor of radiology, and chief of the division of interdisciplinary brain sciences, is co-principal investigator on the study.


Youth Suicide Rate Climbed After Debut of ‘13 Reasons Why’

Based on a young adult novel of the same name, “13 Reasons Why” tells the story of high school student Hannah Baker who dies by suicide after being bullied, assaulted, and betrayed by peers. Such graphic depictions ignore media guidelines created to avoid suicide contagion, pointed out Steven Adelsheim, a clinical professor and director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing at Stanford University School of Medicine. Adelsheim is a member of APA’s Council on Children, Adolescents and Their Families.


Senators seek drop-in centers for youth in mental health crisis

A bill making its way through the California legislature seeks to establish 100 youth drop-in centers across the state to support young people with mental health, substance use and physical health issues. Steven Adelsheim, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, is quoted in this article.


Medical pot laws no answer for US opioid deaths, study finds

Revisiting a 2014 study that suggested states with medical marijuana saw fewer opioid deaths, Stanford researchers in fact found no connection between marijuana availability and fatal opioid overdoses. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is senior author, and Chelsea Shover, postdoctoral research fellow of psychiatry, is lead author of the study. Shover is quoted here and in articles from The Atlantic, CNBC.com, NBCNews.com, STAT News, UPI.com, AP News and Washington Post. The research is also highlighted in a Stanford Medicine press release.


PTSD includes physical symptoms. Here are some of them

This piece discusses how post-traumatic stress disorder has profound effects across people’s well-being ― including their physical health. Amit Etkin, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted.


You can buy prescription drugs without seeing a doctor

This piece discusses the dangers of people having easy access to prescription medications. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic, is quoted.


5 Questions: Alan Schatzberg urges cautious approach to ketamine use

Physicians and patients are excited about ketamine, the latest drug to treat depression. Alan Schatzberg says we need to tread carefully and discussed the dangers and unknowns of the drug in this Q&A. Schatzberg is the Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.


How much does physician burnout cost? Researchers come up with a number

Physician burnout costs health care organizations about $7,600 annually for each physician they employ, Stanford researchers have found. Mickey Trockel, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and an author of the study, and Tait Shanafelt, the Jeanie and Stew Ritchie Professor, chief wellness officer at Stanford Medicine, and director of the WellMD Center, are quoted in this post.


Durability seen for esketamine's benefit in depression

This piece discusses the use of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression. Alan Schatzberg, the Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, provides comment.


Physicians need to be educated about marijuana, resident argues

In an editorial, Nathaniel Morris, a resident in psychiatry and behavioral sciences argues for the need to enhance physician education about marijuana to help guide clinical decisions.


That weird leg jerk as you're falling asleep? Here's what it's called and why it happens

Hypnic jerks are normal and not a sign of any major sleep issue, but you should take them as a sign that it's time to go to sleep. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences with the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, is quoted in this article.


Keeping kids healthy and sane in a digital world

Smartphones, tablets and video consoles draw kids into an alternate universe, often distracting them from more productive and healthier real-world activities. Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.


San Francisco proposes nation’s first universal mental health care system

San Francisco residents could soon receive free mental health care and substance use disorder treatment under a proposed universal mental health care system aiming to be the first of its kind in the country.  Mark McGovern, professor and co-chief of the Division of Public Mental Health and Population Sciences, provides comment in this article.


More Realistic Physical Representations in Media Will Support Youth Mental Health

For many years, parents, child advocates, and mental health professionals have expressed their concerns about the influence of mass media on children and adolescents’ perceptions of body image, body satisfaction, and self-esteem.  Vicki Harrison, program director for the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, explains the need for more realistic physical representations in media in this post.


Here’s Why You Might Get Nightmares If You Sleep in This One Position- And How to Fix It

Sleeping in a certain position may make you prone to nightmares. Rafael Pelayo, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, explains how it has to do with breathing.


What’s It Like To Have The Hair-Pulling Disorder Trichotillomania

Flint Espil, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides editorial/medical expertise for the hair-pulling disorder trichotillomania.


Universal Mental Health Care Plan

(Interview starts at 17:45)

Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is interviewed about a San Francisco ballot measure that would provide free mental health and substance abuse treatment to any city resident, and the move to decriminalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms.


Psychedelics, long ignored by scientists, seeing resurgence in medical research

The Oakland City Council is considering a measure to decriminalize psychedelic drugs to treat mental health and neurological disorders. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides insight on the potential risks.


Novel Medication May Help Binge Eating Disorder

A new study shows promising results for a drug to treat adults with binge eating disorder. Debra Safer, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and co-director of the Adult Eating and Weight Disorders Program, comments on the research.


Ketamine may help OCD, but much work remains

The FDA approval of the nasal spray esketamine for depression is leading to interest of using the drug for other conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Carolyn Rodriguez, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and director of the Translational OCD Research Program, is interviewed about the potential benefits.


Ketamine’s mechanism of action still unclear, requires further investigation

Carolyn Rodriguez, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and director of the Translational OCD Research Program, and Nolan Williams, assistant professor, are interviewed.


Ramadan: Advising clinicians on safe fasting practices

In this piece, Rania Awaad, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the director of the Muslims and Mental Health Lab at Stanford, gives practical advice to American clinicians unfamiliar with Ramadan fasting, a common spiritual practice for many Muslims.


Pediatricians don't always get adequate suicide-prevention training

Although experts supervising new pediatricians and teaching trainee doctors agree that preventing child and teen suicide is important, most also say current training isn't adequate, according to a new study led by Rebecca Bernert, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and founding director of the Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory at Stanford.


The chronic-pain quandary: Amid a reckoning over opioids, a doctor crusades for caution in cutting back

This piece looks at policies that call for aggressive reductions in long-term opioid prescriptions or have resulted in forced cutbacks that may be destabilizing patients’ lives and leaving them in pain. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.


Prescription Stimulant Abuse in Youth Rising…Again

A new survey shows teens misusing prescription stimulants to treat ADHD is back on the rise again. John Leikauf, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, comments on the increase of ADHD diagnoses.


Internet privacy — it’s a matter of mental health

In a perspective article, Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, argues that internet privacy is a mental health issue and an online bill of rights is needed in the U.S.


Why mental-health tech must ally with academia

Multiple times per week, our patients ask us where technology might play a role in their care — from apps that they’ve downloaded on their phones for depression to virtual reality-based games for help with their addictions. Our field — mental health — is waiting for academia and industry to enter a relationship — and to do so ASAP, as it might be the best match any medical field has yet seen.  Nina Vasan, clinical assistant professor and Neha Chaudhary, visiting instructor, write this piece.  


Did a LaPlace woman overdose on marijuana? Coroner says so; experts disagree

This article explores overdose deaths from marijuana. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.


Big data, from computer models to clinic, is focus of conference

Invisible sensors, machine learning for disease diagnoses, big data in the clinic and more took the stage as topics at this year’s Big Data in Precision Health Conference. The article mentions several School of Medicine faculty, including Emmanuel Mignot, the Craig Reynolds Professor and director of the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, and is also covered in this Scope blog post.


Toolkit for providing mental health care to Muslim patients launched

A toolkit that seeks to help clinicians provide culturally and religiously informed mental health care for Muslim patients was officially launched at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.  Rania Awaad, clinical assistant professor, and Belinda Bandstra, clinical associate professor, sat down  to discuss how to use the toolkit and why it – and other resources on providing nuanced mental health care – are needed.


Using Esketamine Nasal Spray for Treatment Resistant Depression

An ongoing debate over the risks and benefits of recently approved esketamine nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression took place at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting. Alan Schatzberg, Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is mentioned in MDMag, PsychCentral, Forbes, Medical News Today, and Stanford Medicine's Scope Blog.


Coordinated Teams, Collaboration Are Key to Supporting People With Psychosis

A coordinated specialty care model can most effectively address early psychosis, but it’s also important to involve the patient and their family members when making treatment decisions. Jacob Ballon, clinical associate professor, is featured in this piece.


Creativity can jump or slump during middle childhood, a Stanford study shows

A new Stanford neuroscience study reveals that creativity can slumps or bumps between ages 8 and 10, depending on the individual. Manish Saggar, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this piece.


5 Questions: Shaili Jain on misconceptions about PTSD

In this Q&A, Shaili Jain, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses the explosion of knowledge about post-traumatic stress disorder and the condition’s widespread impact. PTSD is the subject of her new book, The Unspeakable Mind: Stories of Trauma and Healing from the Frontlines of PTSD Science. Additional coverage: Reports From The Frontlines Of PTSD Science'From the Frontlines of PTSD Science,' Psychiatrist Shaili Jain Talks New Treatments for Trauma, and PTSD: A conversation with a Stanford psychiatrist about her new book


Vanished in Paradise: The Untold Story (A&E), 05/16/19

This program explores dissociative fugue, a rare form of amnesia in which the person forgets consciously various aspects of their identity. David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, will be featured.  


Why an Indonesian rehab center doesn't insist on abstinence

This piece profiles an addiction rehabilitation center based on harm reduction, an approach that doesn't focus on sobriety. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic, provides comment.


In the Spotlight: Understanding sex differences

In this In the Spotlight Q&A, Daniel Bayless, a postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, talks about his research on sex differences.


Artificial intelligence and the future of sleep medicine

Machine learning could revolutionize sleep medicine by taking over the diagnostic process, identifying gaps in care, and helping predict CPAP adherence even before therapy begins. Emmanuel Mignot, the Craig Reynolds Professor and director of the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, is quoted in this article.


Spotlight: American Tragedy: A New Film Puts The Need For Youth Mental Wellness On The Big Screen

In April 2019, Stanford faculty, staff and members of community organizations all concerned with the mental wellness of young people gathered to view a new documentary called "American Tragedy: Love Is Not Enough," based on lessons learned from the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.


Medical experts divided on pot as opioid substitute

With medical marijuana now available in Ohio, the state’s cannabis industry is increasingly billing the drug as an alternative to opioid painkillers. This piece discusses how the medical community is divided on the use of marijuana as a painkiller and regarding addiction treatment. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.


Cool Science Radio - featuring Dr. Shaili Jain

Shaili Jain, clinical associate professor (affiliated) of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was interviewed about her new book, The Unspeakable Mind — Stories of Trauma and Healing from the Frontlines of PTSD Science.


Big Pharma has a big role on the federal committee tasked with curbing opioid abuse

This piece discusses the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, a federal committee created to advise prescribers on how to treat pain and when to use opioids. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.


Study finds that routine pediatrician-administered screenings could flag autism earlier than other methods

A failure to hit key developmental milestones could signal risk for autism sooner. Antonio Hardan, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who was not involved in the research, is quoted in this article.


The long and winding road to mental health care for your kid

Steven Adelsheim, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, is quoted in this article that discusses the limited access to psychiatrists and therapists.


Common brain injury in premature babies may be tied to specific cells

Using a lab model, Stanford researchers have identified a type of developing brain cell that is affected by exposure to low oxygen levels. The work was led by Sergiu Pasca, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Anca Pasca, assistant professor of pediatrics.


Sleeping pills: A risk of car crashes, gunshot wounds and Jason Bourne amnesia

The FDA is now requiring that the most commonly prescribed sleeping pills carry a notice that these meds may be a lot more dangerous than people realize. Clete Kushida, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Stanford University Center for Human Sleep Research, provides comment in this article.


Breadth of student research showcased at annual symposium

Sixty medical students presented a broad array of projects at this year’s Medical Student Research Symposium. Victor Carrion, the John A. Turner, MD, Endowed Professor for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and colleagues are quoted in this story.


Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism

In a Stanford study of 30 children with autism, intranasal vasopressin improved social skills more than a placebo, suggesting that the hormone may treat core features of the disorder. Karen Parker, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is the lead author, and Antonio Hardan, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is senior author. The research is covered here and by Scientific American, Cosmos, GizmodoHealthDay News, The Scientist, Science and others.


Stanford CHIPAO (Communication Health Interactives for Parents of Adolescents and Others) Performances

Stanford CHIPAO recently held two events in San Ramon and San Francisco, and included performances by Shashank Joshi, Joanne Lee, Steve Sust, Mamatha Challa, Laura Villanueva, and Rona Hu.  These performance were covered by the World Journal and Sing Tao Daily.


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To add an article to this page, please contact Mindy Hantke at mhantke@stanford.edu