Melanie Santos, Psy.D., was recently appointed to the board of directors of BeyondOCD. BeyondOCD’s mission is to ensure that all people affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety, and related disorders have access to the help they need to live life to its fullest potential. Beyond OCD is the leading provider of consumer-friendly resources to help sufferers cope with and conquer OCD, and they work to increase public and professional awareness of OCD, educate and support people with OCD and their families, and to encourage research into new treatments and a cure. For more information, go to BeyondOCD.org.
Non-stop coverage of the Ebola crisis has raised the anxiety level in the calmest of individuals. Dr. Karen Cassiday writes about the steps you can take to avoid increasing your own anxiety in an article for BeyondOCD: Preventing Panic from Concern about Ebola.
Dr. Cassiday was asked to appear as a mental health expert on a HuffPost Live video session during Huffington Post’s week-long series about mental health in America. In this video, several people who suffer from anxiety (including the host, Alyona Minkovski) share their stores while Dr. Cassiday offers expert advice on how to live with anxiety. You can view the 30 minute live-stream by clicking this link: Mental Health: Living with Anxiety.
Dr. Karen Cassiday is quoted in an article on yahoo.com, where she she describes the importance of so many people stepping forward to disclose their own struggles with depression. “If something is kept silent, it creates stigma. It’s important for people to find out that they are not alone.” You can find the article here: Robin Williams’s Suicide Inspires Others to Speak Out.
The tragic death of beloved comedian Robin Williams has brought the issue of suicide to the public eye. Most people do not realize that suicide kills more Americans than car accidents. “We all know to wear our seat belts and strap our children into car seats to prevent accidents, yet few people receive the mental health treatment they need to prevent suicide”, comments Dr. Karen Cassiday. Suicide can be prevented, particularly if friends and family members pay attention to the following warning signs*** that people who kill themselves often show:
- Talking about wanting to kill themselves, or saying they wish they were dead
- Looking for a way to kill themselves
- Talking about a specific suicide plan
- Feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Feeling trapped, desperate, or needing to escape from an intolerable situation
- Having the feeling of being a burden to others
- Feeling humiliated
- Having intense anxiety and/or panic attacks
- Losing interest in things, or losing the ability to experience pleasure
- Becoming socially isolated and withdrawn from friends, family, and others
- Acting irritable or agitated
- Showing rage, or talking about seeking revenge for being victimized or rejected, whether or not the situations the person describes seem real
***Risk factors identified by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Suicide can be prevented through effective treatment. At the Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago, our staff can help assess risk and alleviate the worry and concerns over suicide, while treating the sources of anxiety and depression. Contact us to set up a confidential consultation.
For more information about suicide:
- ADAA: Understanding Anxiety and Suicide
- Forbes: Robin Williams’ Death Shows Suicide Can Strike At Any Age. Here Are Ways To Prevent It
Dr. Maha Zayed Volunteering with Physicians for Peace
Dr. Maha Zayed traveled with the prestigious organization, Physicians for Peace, in June to offer psychological services to underserved populations. She was the only mental health professional in a team of 21 physicians that volunteered in 3 impoverished hospitals in Asia. She provided education about effective treatments for anxiety disorders to professionals in the mental health field, including nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and students. She also offered crisis management with patients who presented to the hospitals’ emergency departments. We are proud of her commitment to helping others!
Dr. Karen Cassiday recently spoke at the FANfare showcase at New Trier High School on the topic of “How to Create a Mentally Well Home”. The Family Action Network (based in New Trier township) brings in nationally known speakers on a regular basis to educate parents. The FANfare series showcases local professionals to over 100 school and other non-profit parent education programmers. Through a highly selective process, only ten speakers are invited to participate. and Dr. Cassiday was honored to be included. The Family Action Network (FAN) connects parents, educators and professionals through collaborative programming that educates, inspires and positively impacts the broader community. For more information, check out their website at Familyactionnetwork.net.
The annual conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America met in Chicago. All of the staff made presentations to an international audience on the latest advances in treatment of anxiety and depression. Dr. Cassiday, Dr. Pojas and Dr. Laris spoke of helping patients develop good mental health. Dr. Schmaus and Dr. Zayed spoke about the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Schmaus and Dr. Zayed’s talk was chosen by the ADAA as one of 15 presentations from the conference to offer for sale on their website.
Click here to purchase copies of Dr. Schmaus and Dr. Zayed’s presentation on the treatment of PTSD.
The Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago has a new panic management system available for the fast and effective treatment of panic attacks. The Canary Breathing System uses biofeedback to help you normalize your breathing so that you can prevent panic attacks from happening. This state of the art, newly approved by the FDA treatment, is only available at a few select speciality clinics across the United States. We were proud to help collect the data that demonstrated the effectiveness of the Canary device and thrilled to be able to offer it to our patients. For more information, please call our clinic and read more here.
Dr. Melanie Santos, PsyD, will discuss Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a condition that causes intense anxiety about perceived body and facial flaws. Dr. Santos has extensive training in body image disorders and is co-author of Overcoming Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Co-sponsored by BeyondOCD and the Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago, this event will be held at the Francis Parker School in Chicago on Thursday, May 22, from 7-9pm. For more information, go to: Registration Information