Department of Psychiatry In The News

  • Mind the Brain: The Microbiome and Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

    Jul 28, 2020
    You’ve probably heard people say that a healthy gut equals a healthy mind. But what does this actually mean and what can we learn from this in the time of COVID-19? According to a survey from the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about a third of Americans have reported recent symptoms of anxiety and depression since late April 2020. We are obviously experiencing more symptoms of anxiety and depression this year than in past years.
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  • Mind the Brain: What Brain Science Can Teach Us About Adolescent Stress and Resilience

    Jul 22, 2020
    We can all agree that 2020 has been a real mess. The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused immense disruption to our daily routines, social connections, family relationships, working and academic goals, and plans for the future. Disruption in any one of these areas can be stressful. Disruption in multiple areas at once can feel overwhelming.
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    Mind the Brain: Sleep and Stress During COVID-19

    Jul 16, 2020
    During a global pandemic, it comes as no surprise that getting good sleep can feel difficult. Decreased sleep quality and quantity including difficulty falling and staying asleep, sleeping too much, distressing dreams and sometimes nightmares are common during times of stress and the current period of prolonged urgency, uncertainty and heightened work/life demands. The following are concrete suggestions to help improve sleep during this challenging time.
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  • Merlin Ariefdjohan

    Merlin Ariefdjohan newly elected 2020-2021 Secretary, Faculty Senate

    Jul 13, 2020 by Department of Psychiatry
    The School of Medicine Faculty Senate will have two continuing faculty officers and two newly elected officers for the 2020-2021 academic year. Newly elected are Gregary Bocsi, DO, assistant professor of pathology, as president-elect, and Merlin Ariefdjohan, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry, as secretary. Continuing faculty officers are Jaime Arruda, MD, associate professor of clinical practice of obstetrics and gynecology, who will be president, and Nicole Draper, MD, associate professor of clinical practice of pathology, who will be past-president. Thanks to all for their leadership.
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  • Joanna Arch

    Mind the Brain: Anxiety and Cancer During COVID-19

    Jul 7, 2020
    Fear and anxiety keep us safe from harm – they prevent us from running into the street when a car comes racing toward us, and motivate us to prepare well for a presentation we’re nervous to give. But fear and anxiety can also spiral into uncontrollable worry, endless internet searching, and avoiding valued life activities that connect us with the people we love. How do we harness the positive features of fear and anxiety without becoming trapped by their risks?
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  • Sona Dimidjian

    Mind the Brain: Reversing the Cycle of Depression Through Action

    Jun 30, 2020
    We all know we live in challenging and uncertain times. The Renée Crown Wellness Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder was established with a commitment to the vision of a world in which every young person thrives, supported by the caring relationships and inner resources required for a lifetime of wellness. The last few months have challenged this vision in profound ways. The pandemics of the coronavirus and systemic racism call upon us with urgency to attend to our individual and collective mental health and wellness.
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  • Joel Stoddard

    Mind the Brain: Child and Adolescent Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19

    Jun 23, 2020
    Anxiety helps us stay vigilant for potential future threats, and the COVID-19 pandemic brings with it significant uncertainty. We certainly expected a spike in reports of anxiety symptoms like worries, fear, irritability, and low mood in the children and adolescents we care for in the clinic and our homes.
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  • Rachel Davis, MD

    Mind the Brain: Times are Strange, but Uncertainty is Nothing New: Managing COVID-19 When You or a Loved One Has OCD

    Jun 16, 2020
    These are uncertain times, and uncertainty is familiar territory for people living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD sufferers have more difficulty tolerating uncertainty and are more likely to feel uncertain in situations where others would not (1, 2). Compulsions are driven by the quest for certainty.
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  • Emily Hemendinger

    Mind the Brain: Feast or Famine - Navigating Food and Body Image During the Pandemic

    Jun 9, 2020
    Have you seen these sorts of social media posts? Society has framed the quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic as a recipe for disaster; being stuck at home, close to snacks with nothing to do but sit around. Weight loss, working out and dieting are being pushed as necessities to help you come out of this pandemic feeling refreshed and renewed. Ideas like these ignore the fact that this is not a vacation, and that while we may have extra time on our hands, it does not mean that we have the bandwidth or the finances to cook, eat healthy or work out regularly. For many of us, our routines—and the feelings of security that go with them—have disappeared, and this can cause a disruption in eating patterns and self-image.
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  • Steven Berkowitz

    Controlling the Chaos: Expert Offers Tips on Shielding Our Minds

    Jun 4, 2020
    “There’s already a kindling that’s saturated with gasoline, and it doesn’t take much to set it off,” Berkowitz said, alluding to the cloud of COVID-19 followed by the uprising against police brutality after the recent death of George Floyd.
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  • Bob Freedman

    Extra Choline May Help Pregnant Women Decrease Negative Effects of COVID-19 on Their Newborns

    Jun 4, 2020
    Pregnant women who take extra choline supplements may mitigate the negative impact that viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19, can have on their babies, according to a new study from researchers in the Departments of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
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  • Jason Williams

    Colorado health experts detail COVID-19 impact on mental health, young people

    Jun 4, 2020
    Children are experiencing more stress as well during this time, said Jason Williams, director of operations of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He’s also a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Channel 7, May 14, 2020
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    Mind the Brain: Motherhood and Mental Health During COVID-19

    May 26, 2020
    Late last year, a collaboration of organizations focused on maternal health made the declaration that 2020 would be the “Year of the Mother.” While this announcement was already timely in many ways, it is unlikely that anyone anticipated what was to come in 2020, and how a global pandemic would impact pregnant and postpartum women.
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  • Mind the Brain: Suicide Risk and the Global Pandemic

    May 19, 2020
    The COVID-19 pandemic is an unusual kind of natural disaster, but like other natural disasters, we are anticipating a high number of casualties. Unlike earthquakes and floods, these casualties will accumulate more slowly and, as a result, will be less visible. Building codes, evacuation plans and other disaster preparedness efforts have limited loss of life in recent natural disasters in the United States, but infectious diseases are more complex. Epidemics are not simple events in one geographic area with immediate damage and subsequent relief efforts mounted from other areas. Global travel and supply chains have spread the effects in ways that reduce the ability of other neighboring regions to provide disaster relief. The novelty of COVID-19 prevents the government and others from responding with as much confidence.
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  • Joel Stoddard

    New insight into the neural circuitry underlying irritability and anxiety in youths when processing social threat

    Apr 21, 2020 by Department of Psychiatry
    Study author Joel Stoddard of the University of Colorado and Children’s Hospital Colorado, explained: “When I was early in my career, I began to appreciate that even though ‘anxiety’ and ‘irritability’ seem like straightforward symptoms, their presentation is often intermingled. We simply don’t know why they co-occur or conversely why a child might have one symptom but not the other.” PsyPost, April 21, 2020 ​ Read the full article here.
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  • Mind the Brain: Mind the Drink

    May 12, 2020
    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new stressors into everyone’s lives. It can be tempting to pour a glass of wine or grab a beer to help cope. However, during this public health crisis, what are the ramifications in regards to alcohol use and alcoholism?
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  • Mind the Brain: Unstructured, Uncertain, Uneasy - Students During COVID-19

    May 4, 2020
    I talk (over video chat) to many students in the healthcare professions through my position at Student and Resident Mental Health at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Since the COVID-19 pandemic and its requirement for social distancing began in mid-March, a common theme in our conversations has appeared. These once ambitious, hardworking, stoic doers are surprised they can’t engage themselves in activities, despite having all this free time on their hands.
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  • S Berkowitz

    Mind the Brain: How COVID-19 is a Unique Threat to Mental Health

    Apr 28, 2020
    Steven Berkowitz, MD addresses how pandemics are different from other disasters, how COVID-19 is different from previous pandemics, and what you can do today to cope with this inordinate stress.
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  • How to Prevent Psychiatric Crises During a Pandemic

    Apr 22, 2020
    It’s not whether EDs have the capacity to conduct assessments and crisis evaluations for patients with psychiatric conditions that worries Scott Simpson, medical director of psychiatric emergency services at Denver Health and associate professor of psychiatry at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. It’s what will happen to patients after such assessments are made that worries him. “I think there are going to be a lot of challenges coming up related to transitions of care,” he said. Psychiatric News, April 9, 2020
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  • The Howling: Americans Let It Out From Depths of Pandemic

    Apr 22, 2020
    The nightly howl is a primal affirmation that provides a moment’s bright spot each evening by declaring, collectively: We shall prevail, said Scott Cypers, director of Stress and Anxiety programs at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The New York Times via Associated Press, April 10, 2020
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Department of Psychiatry

Anschutz Medical Campus

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Fitzsimons Building, 2nd floor, Suite C2000

Aurora, CO  80045

Phone: (303)724-4940

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