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Depression

  • Austen Riggs Center Research Psychologist Dr. Katie Lewis talks about the impact of sleep on mental health and offers some tips to improve your sleep. 

  • The risk factors for suicide–isolation, unemployment, substance abuse, the presence of guns in the house, and so on–are all up during COVID-19.

    The theme of this fourth and final 4x4@4:00 “Talking It Through” session was disruption/re-thinking. The number of disruptions mentioned was striking, and many of them require us to re-think things we have “taken for granted.”

  • In March, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. The order was for all non-essential businesses to close, for residents to limit unnecessary travel, and recommendations were given about social distancing. Designated as an essential behavioral healthcare facility, the Austen Riggs Center is adhering to the state guidelines. Riggs stopped taking new admissions, began using video conferencing for some group and individual meetings, restricted visitors from coming on campus, and instructed patients that they could no longer travel back and forth from the outside community to the Riggs campus. 

  • A prominent theme in the second 4x4@4:00 “Talking It Through” conversation–noted by Colleen Holmes, President/CEO of 18 Degrees–was fragility.” Anxiety and depression associated with the pandemic meet the fragility of families already suffering chronic stress, the fragility of marginal youth tenuously tethered to sources of help, and the fragility of children trying to hold on to hard-won developmental achievements. In many cases, this fragility was already there–a pre-existing condition–but now it is exposed for all to see. 

  • M. Gerard Fromm, PhD, ABPP, Senior Consultant, Erikson Institute for Education and Research

    For nearly two months the COVID-19 pandemic has affected how we relate to each other.  Work life and social life have changed. We are farther apart and have to find new ways to be together.  In that process, emotional challenges and stresses face everyone, and take their toll on the more vulnerable.  The 4X4@4:00 “Talking It Through” series creates an online forum on select Monday afternoons for panelists and members of the general public to explore the psychological impact of what we’re going through and to make new connections, both with each other and in our understanding of these challenges. 

  • Austen Riggs Center Research Psychologist Dr. Katie Lewis Writes About the Psychological Impact of Social Distancing in the COVID-19 Era.

    Right now, the physical health and well-being of the country depend on our adherence to the recent and ongoing implementation of social distancing (SD) in communities across the globe to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). However, the current scale of SD is unprecedented and may lead to significant and lasting negative psychological effects.

  • Daphne Merkin

    Daphne Merkin, author of This Close to Happy, talks about her book, how it’s been received, and her impression of Riggs during her recent visit to deliver a Friday Night Guest Lecture. 

  • Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions

    Austen Riggs Center Associate Medical Director Dr. Eric Plakun comments on meta-analyses showing “equivalence” of psychodynamic psychotherapy.

  • Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

    The opioid epidemic is a special problem among those with mental disorders. Of 115 million opioid prescriptions distributed annually in the US, more than half were received by the 16% of Americans with mental disorders (Davis et. al 2017). The Austen Riggs Center doesn’t offer primary addiction treatment, but about half our patients, like Karen*, have a substance use disorder as part of a complicated clinical picture and have often been prescribed opioids unnecessarily.

  • Psychotherapy

    Austen Riggs Center Staff Psychologist Dr. Jeremy Ridenour talks about the symptoms of psychosis.

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