News from the Department
Latest Stories & News Mentions
- Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL (UNITAD)
Supporting Survivors to Come Forward: Engaging with those impacted by trauma
Engaging with witnesses and survivors in a manner sensitive to the trauma they may have suffered has been a central priority of UNITAD. Reflecting this approach, the Team established a dedicated team of psycho-social experts to ensure a trauma-informed approach is taken in all interviews. In doing so, the Team aims to create conditions whereby witnesses can provide the fullest possible account while ensuring the utmost regard for their well-being. At the May 12 meeting, UNITAD launched the “Trauma-Informed Investigations Field Guide”, a new publication drawing on the trauma-informed approached adopted by UNITAD to provide practical guidance to investigators in domestic and international entities with respect to their engagement with vulnerable survivors and witnesses. Daryn Reicherter, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of Stanford's Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Program, presented to the committee.
- Business Wire
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to Honor Oregon Attorney General and Stanford Professor
Two pioneering women who have significantly advanced public education and dialogue around addiction and recovery will be honored as the first recipients of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s new Humanitarian Award. Congratulations to Anna Lembke, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences!
- One Mind
Brain Waves: Boosting Children's Resilience with Dr. Steven Adelsheim and Jeni Olsen
How can we boost the resilience of children after they experience trauma? Dr. Steven Adelsheim, Director, Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing at Stanford University School of Medicine and Jeni Olsen, Prevention Director at Mentis: Napa’s Center for Mental Health Services discuss this and more on this episode of Brain Waves.
- Psychiatric News
Are Brain Organoids The Next Big Thing?
In the past decade, a new model system has been gaining steam in neuroscience—the brain organoid. These 3D constructs are grown from human stem cells and mimic many aspects of brain development. Brain organoids average the size of a tiny pea, but within that clump of cells, neurons are growing, making connections, and sending electrical signals to each other. Sergiu Pasca, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article.
- Psychiatric Times
Fast-Acting Options for Mood Disorders and Psychiatric Emergencies
Nolan Williams, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Charles DeBattista, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, presented in a panel at the 2021 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting on rapidly acting medications - this article summarizes the presentations.
- San Francisco Chronicle
'You just get used to being locked down': Pandemic anxiety is keeping people home as the Bay Area reopens
As California and the Bay Area make big steps toward reopening, many people don’t feel ready to return to anything like normal. A March survey by the American Psychological Association had similar findings: 46% of those polled said they didn’t feel comfortable “living life like they used to before the pandemic,” while 49% said they were feeling uneasy about adjusting to “in-person interaction once the pandemic ends.” David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted.
- American Psychiatric Association - Annual Meeting
Dr. Rona Hu receives the APA's 2021 Kun-Po Soo Award
At the 2021 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting, Rona Hu, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was awarded the APA's 2021 Kun-Po Soo Award for contributions toward understanding the impact and importance of Asian cultural heritage in areas relevant to psychiatry. Congratulations, Dr. Hu!
- Nature News
Psychedelic drugs without the trip? This sensor could help seek them out
Scientists in search of psychedelic drug treatments have developed a way to determine whether a molecule is likely to cause hallucinations, without testing it on people or animals. Robert Malenka, the Nancy Friend Pritzker Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and deputy director of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, who was not part of the study, provides comment.
- The Stanford Daily
Struggling with Zoom fatigue? Stanford psychologists give solutions
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased use of Zoom and other video conferencing platforms have resulted in Zoom fatigue — a documented phenomenon of exhaustion caused by extended hours videoconferencing. But, students and professors have found some ways to mitigate these feelings through self-care and breaks. Shea Fedigan, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article.
As Opioid Deaths Surge, Biden Team Moves To Make Buprenorphine Treatment Mainstream
The Biden administration says new federal guidelines released Tuesday will allow far more medical practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug proven to reduce opioid relapses and overdose deaths. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was interviewed.
- US News & World Report
Lullaby Effect: Music Can Speed Your Way to Sleep, Study Finds
Music hath charms to soothe you off to slumber, new research suggests. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.
The New Sobriety
Sobriety seems to be trending as people explore new ways to drink less alcohol without giving up booze completely. This piece discusses how the drinking culture is being redefined and lists seven new approaches to drinking less alcohol. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted.
- Sleep Research Society
2021 Outstanding Early Investigator Awards announced by the Sleep Research Society
Shi-Bin Li, basic life research scientist in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is a recipient of the Sleep Research Society's Outstanding Early Investigator Award, which recognizes an outstanding research effort by an early-stage investigator in the field of sleep research.
- Science Times
Technology, Gadgets Use May Change Human Body Clock; Here's What to Do
Since the light bulb was patented in 1879, mankind has been guided day and night by artificial lighting, now available from television sets to smartphone screens - and a growing body of research proves their effect on our circadian rhythm. Jamie Zeitzer, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article on the subject.
- Psychiatric News
From D-Day to Beirut: Bibliotherapy as Adjunct in Trauma Recovery?
Several treatments have been proposed for the victims of trauma. Cognitive processing therapy, desensitization therapy, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and the alpha-1 adrenergic blocker prazosin all have evidence to support their use. Others like memory consolidation blockers and virtual reality-based interventions hold promise. Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, highlights the possibility of bibliotherapy for PTSD as an augmentation to treatment in this article.
- Scope - Stanford Medicine
Pot commercialization tied to self-harm by younger men, study suggests
Suicide attempts and other self-harm may increase among men under the age of 40 in states that allow recreational use of marijuana, particularly those with for-profit dispensaries, Stanford study suggests. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is the senior author of the study.
How to explain autism to kids
If the past year has taught us anything, talking to children about diversity is vital in helping to raise thoughtful, sensitive kids. And those discussions should also expand to include conversations around neurodiversity, including autism. Grace Gengoux, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article.
- Spectrum | Autism Research News
Poor sleep could be core feature of autism, related conditions
Fruit flies with low expression of a gene linked to neurodevelopment have disrupted sleep, poor memory and altered social behavior. Philippe Mourrain, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment on the study.
- Stanford Magazine
Of Two Minds
We’re eager to reenter regular life. Then again, we’re scared to. Here’s how to put the risks into perspective. David Spiegel, associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Sarah Adler, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provide comment in this article.
Despite critics, researchers investigate possible new mental health disorder
Sluggish cognitive tempo, or SCT, is not an officially recognized disorder, but a group of researchers is investigating whether it could be a potential new mental health disorder. Sonia Gaur, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted.
- Gizmodo Australia
Why Do I Feel Like I'm Dying During a Panic Attack?
Many, many people have been convinced, in the first throes of a panic episode, that their systems were permanently shutting down. Thankfully, these people were wrong: a panic attack cannot actually kill you. Cold comfort, in the moment, but good to keep in mind, which is why we’ve made it the subject of this week’s Giz Asks. Craig Barr Taylor, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece.
- Stanford Today
Seven Stanford scholars awarded Guggenheim Fellowships
Among those honored with 2021 Guggenheim Fellowships is Daniel Mason, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. With his Guggenheim Fellowship, Mason will continue to work on a novel that examines the enduring influence of history, both human and ecological, on a group of characters living through a period of environmental change.
Loneliness, Anxiety and Loss: the Covid Pandemic’s Terrible Toll on Kids
A year of school shutdowns and family trauma leads to social isolation, stress and mental-health issues. Victor Carrion, the John A. Turner, MD, Endowed Professor for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of the Stanford Early Life Stress and Resilience Program, describes how a child's brain can react to post traumatic stress situations.
How To Respond To Suicide In Muslim Communities
In this article, Rania Awaad, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and colleagues, offer steps that community leaders and community members can take together to prevent additional suicides and support healthy patterns of communal grieving and healing.
- Harper's BAZAAR
The Expert Guide To Finally Getting a Good Night's Sleep
You’re not wrong: Getting a good night’s rest has gotten even harder over the past year. Harper's BAZAAR asked the experts how to reset poor habits and wake up feeling refreshed. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.
How Lockdown Helped Me Connect Deeper With Islam
In this article, Rania Awaad, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who also has a background in Islamic Studies, describes the relationship between religion and mental health and shares perspectives on the COVID experience.
- NY Times
How I Time Travel to Parent My Adult Son
Victor Carrion, the John A. Turner, MD, Endowed Professor for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and director of the Stanford Early Life Stress and Resilience Program, explains how a child's brain matures into its 20s.
- NY Times
Need to Dust Off Your Social Skills?
After a year of virtual gathering, getting back to real-life relationships can be intimidating. Debra Kaysen, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment on how re-entering a lifestyle closed off for a long time can feel disorienting and difficult.
- Scientific American
Forgotten Memories of Traumatic Events Get Some Backing from Brain-Imaging Studies
Trauma therapists have long maintained that abuse experienced early in life can overwhelm the central nervous system, causing children to split off a painful memory from conscious awareness. A study published in February in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the flagship journal of the APA, highlights the considerable scientific evidence that bolsters the arguments of trauma therapists. Vinod Menon, the Rachel L. and Walter F. Nichols professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.
- The Addiction Psychologist Podcast
Dr. Debra Kaysen - PTSD and Alcohol Use Disorder
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) often co-occur. A great deal of research has attempted to understand the nature of this relationship. Is PTSD a risk factor for AUD? Is high risk drinking a risk factor for PTSD? These questions can help us understand which of the two disorders to target first. Debra Kaysen, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, talks about her research on treatments for co-occurring PTSD and AUD, focusing special attention toward state of the art science on ordering effects in this podcast episode.
The bad dreams and sleep you've had since COVID have a name: coronasomnia
If you're sleeping worse and dreaming about the pandemic, you're not alone. And they've got a name for it: coronasomnia. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article.
- USA TODAY
George Floyd's addiction could change how we talk about drug use and Black Americans
In this USA Today article, Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses society bias toward drug users.
- NIDA News
NIDA's Featured Paper of the Month – April 2021
Quitting smoking is hard. This is largely due to the nicotine withdrawal syndrome. Withdrawal from cigarettes is characterized by craving, bad feelings and losses of attention. Importantly, these negative symptoms are known to fluctuate wildly in time. Inspired by this, NIDA scientists applied a technique that looked at how communication across the entire brain fluctuated over time during smoking and withdrawal. Vinod Menon, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is a co-author on NIDA's paper of the month: "Time-Varying Functional Connectivity Decreases as a Function of Acute Nicotine Abstinence."
‘Why Can’t I Stick to a Bedtime?’
Sleep is one of the body’s most basic needs—which is why it can be confusing when bedtime becomes a battle between what your brain wants (information about Stanley Tucci) and what it needs (REM sleep, for starters). If you find yourself unable to stick to a bedtime, you’re not alone—and you’re not totally out of luck. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece.
6 Ways to Deal With COVID-19 Grief and Loss
To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 500,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States, which means over 4 million people in this country have lost a partner, friend, family member, or other loved one. You’re not alone. Irvin Yalom, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article on the topics of grief, loss, and regret.
- Science News
Octopus sleep includes a frenzied, colorful, ‘active’ stage
Octopuses cycle through two stages of slumber, a new study reports. First comes quiet sleep, and then a shift to a twitchy, active sleep in which vibrant colors flash across the animals’ skin. These details, gleaned from four snoozing cephalopods in a lab in Brazil, may provide clues to a big scientific mystery: Why do animals sleep? Philippe Mourrain, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.
Can Artificial Intelligence Replace Human Therapists?
Three experts discuss the promise—and problems—of relying on algorithms for our mental health. Adam Miner, instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is interviewed in this article.
- Art & Tech For a Better World
A new generation of designers
Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Program Director Vicki Harrison shares about #GoodforMEdia, the newly launched peer mentoring campaign exploring the "ME" in media.
New Expert Guidance on Ketamine for Resistant Depression
An international panel of mood disorder experts has published guidance on how to safely and effectively use ketamine and esketamine to treat adults with treatment-resistant depression. Alan Schatzberg, the Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, provides comment in this article.
- Mental Health Professionals’ Network
Treating trauma: Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing
In this podcast, three treatments for trauma with the largest body of research support are covered: Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Debra Kaysen, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is interviewed in this episode.
Turns Out, Spring Cleaning Is Good for Your Mental Health
A case for decluttering, plus tips to do so from The Home Edit team at Allure. This piece discusses the positive mental health effects of decluttering and quotes Carolyn Rodriguez, associate dean of academic affairs in the School of Medicine, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and director of the Stanford Hoarding Disorders Research Program.
- Consumer Health News | HealthDay
Legalized Pot Tied to Rise in Young Men's Suicide Attempts
States that make marijuana a readily available retail item might see an increase in self-harm among younger men, a new study suggests. Keith Humphreys, Esther Ting Memorial Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses how the findings should be considered in the debate over states' recreational marijuana policies.
- CBS Local: San Francisco
Asian American Attacks: A Guide For Parents Struggling To Explain Hate Crimes To Their Children
The ongoing, nationwide attacks on the AAPI community are forcing Asian American parents into tense, complex discussions on race and racism within their immediate family. Mari Kurahashi, Co-Director of the Stanford Parenting Center and clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this piece.
- Palo Alto Online
Living 6 feet apart: Here's what Midpeninsula residents are taking away from a year of life in a pandemic
One year in, locals share their experiences of life under the COVID-19 pandemic and takeaways from this unprecedented, and hopefully not-to-be-repeated, year. Rona Hu, associate dean at Stanford University School of Medicine and clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, shares her family's story.
- Center for Care Innovations
Tackling America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic: How CCI Helped Transform Addiction Treatment During the Pandemic
It’s a crisis on top of a crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has collided with the country’s opioid epidemic, shrinking access to life-saving treatments and recovery support services while compounding stress, isolation, and economic dislocation. Yet, despite the ravages of the pandemic, CCI’s "Addiction Treatment Starts Here" programs continue to transform treatment in California through an evidence-based approach to curbing opioid overdose and death. Mark McGovern, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this report.
- CBS Local: San Francisco
Volunteers Patrol Chinatown Streets in Wake of Violent Attacks on Asians
Volunteers patrol the streets of Chinatown in Oakland to protect the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Recent violence has taken an emotional toll on the Asian American community, and experts say this is the time to speak up and set an example for the next generation. Mari Kurahashi, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this segment.
- Washington Post
Amid attacks, Asian Americans challenge traditions that discourage speaking out, seeking therapy
Many Asian Americans and Asian immigrants are struggling with the constant emotional onslaught from the ongoing attacks against Asian Americans. This article discusses how there is a lack of mental health resources in the necessary languages and a shortage of counselors who share Asian heritage. Steven Sust, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Song Kim, program manager in the Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, provide comment.
- NY Times
A Documentary Explores Dissociative Identity Disorder
This piece discusses dissociative identity disorder and highlights a new documentary that shows the challenges involved in learning to live with the disorder. David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted.
- ABC7 San Francisco
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: Could too much pot make you sick?
Bay Area emergency room doctors say they're seeing an increase in the number of patients presenting with what had been a rare reaction to cannabis use. Keith Humphreys, Esther Ting Memorial Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was interviewed during this segment.
- Stanford News
New technique reveals genes underlying human evolution
In separate studies, researchers compared gene regulation related to brain and face development in humans and chimpanzees using a new technique. In both cases, they discovered new genetic differences between these species. Sergiu Pașca, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is mentioned in this article.
Can Mindfulness Help You Sleep Better?
There’s research to suggest yes, regularly practicing mindfulness can help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep throughout the night. Fiona Barwick, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.
Nearly half of parents said teens face new or worsening mental health issues during pandemic, poll says
Nearly half of parents reported their teenagers faced new or worsening mental health conditions since the pandemic began, a new poll has found. Stephanie Clarke, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.
Benefits of Fish Oil: Can It Help Bipolar Disorder?
While studies do show fish oil (from food or supplements) can support mental health, less is known about its specific role in helping with bipolar disorder. Shebani Sethi Dalai, clinical instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article.
- Fragile X Research - FRAXA Research Foundation
FRAXA Research Foundation Announces New Grant
FRAXA Research Foundation has awarded a research grant to Stanford University principal investigators Philippe Mourrain and Gordon Wang, along with postdoctoral fellow, Rochelle Coulson. They are evaluating additive effects of combinatorial drug treatments to correct a broad spectrum of deficits observed in Fragile X syndrome.
How to Fix Your Messed-Up Sleep Position
Beyond helping alleviate medical concerns like sleep apnea, pain, and even heartburn, the main goal of a good "sleep posture" is to make yourself as comfortable as possible so that you fall asleep more easily. Clete Kushida, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.
- Schizophrenia International Research Society
2021 Basic Research Award
The Schizophrenia International Research Society has named Sergiu Pașca, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, the 2021 Basic Research Awardee. Congratulations, Dr. Pasca!
- Vet Candy
Primate voice boxes are evolving at rapid pace
Scientists have discovered that the larynx, or voice box, of primates is significantly larger relative to body size, has greater variation, and is under faster rates of evolution than in other mammals. Published in the journal PLOS Biology and led by academics from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), Stanford University, and the University of Vienna, the research is the first large-scale study into the evolution of the larynx. Daniel Bowling, instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.
- Washington Post
You like to drift off to podcasts. Your partner prefers silence. Headphones offer a compromise.
Although the effect of sleeping in headphones has not been well-studied, experts believe it is generally safe. Here are their recommendations for addressing your relaxation needs while protecting your hearing and your quality of sleep. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted.
- Spectrum | Autism Research News
Year-old organoids echo genetic shifts seen at birth
3D cultures of human brain cells kept alive for more than a year undergo transitions in gene activity that resemble those seen in newborns, and may be used to study autism genes in postnatal stages of brain development. Sergiu Pasca, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is featured in this article.
- Stanford Psychiatry - CYMHW
Schools are reopening: Why students might need more support than ever
Many children have lived through a great deal of hardship and loss over the past year, disproportionately so youth from marginalized or resource-scarce backgrounds. As young people struggled to acclimate to their new remote learning landscape, the news headlines have been consistently frightening and confusing for many of them, adding to an overall feeling of potential uncertainty and underlying fear for their own personal safety. Vicki Harrison and Jules Villanueva-Castaño, from the Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing, discuss the return to school in this piece.
- Wall Street Journal
Zoom Fatigue: The Differing Impact on Introverts and Extroverts
Video tools take a toll on both kinds of personalities—sometimes in surprising ways. Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, comments on fatigue and how the structure of Zoom can feel limiting to extroverts.
How to Prep Your Body for Daylight Savings Time
Before we turn the clocks ahead this spring, here’s what you can do to make the transition easier on your sleep, wake-up, and eating schedule. Jamie Zeitzer, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article on the upcoming daylight saving time.
- Fintech Zoom News
Stock Market Today - How sleep, a basic need, became a multibillion dollar industry
Our culture’s focus on wellness — which includes eating healthfully, exercising and self-care — has now fully brought sleep into the fold. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article.
How to find happiness as a busy working mom
Nina Vasan, clinical assistant professor, joins Hoda and Jenna with guest Bonnie Hammer on the Today show to talk about the immense pressure women are under as they juggle work and family. They talk about the need to let go of perfectionism and learn to ask for help to find joy.
- APA News Release
Top Diversity and Equity Leaders in Psychiatry Offer Guidelines for Academic Medicine in New Article and Commentary from American Journal of Psychiatry
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) leaders in academic medicine are subject to increasing expectations with limited resources and there is an urgent need for psychiatry departments to commit to fully supporting their efforts, according to an article now available in the American Journal of Psychiatry written by top DEI leaders in academic psychiatry from across the country. Carolyn Rodriguez, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is featured in this article and in the latest AJP podcast.