In the News
Virtual Reality Therapy has real-life benefits for some mental disorders
Science News | November 1, 2018
With cheaper, more user-friendly systems poised to make virtual reality therapy available to many more patients, researchers are testing the bounds of VR’s therapeutic powers to treat a broader range of disorders. Greg Reger, PhD, poses the important question, “If VR is as good as traditional therapies, which one should we do for which patients, and why?”
Mental health experts share tips for coping with tragedies
King 5 News | October 29, 2018
For many people, the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue brings back a lot of difficult emotions that surface anytime we have a tragedy. Doug Zatzick, MD, is interviewed about ways to work through the pain that comes after mass shootings and other national tragedies.
Ready to conquer your fears? Try these 13 Seattle experiences
Right as Rain | October 26, 2018
Facing your fears actually works. Michele Bedard-Gilligan, PhD, explains how exposure therapy works and why it’s effective in helping people overcome, or better tolerate, a phobia.
Is watching horror movies bad for your mental health?
Right as Rain | October 24, 2018
Kristen Lindgren, PhD, provides tips for making sure that your “American Horror Story” binge keeps you on the edge of your seat — instead of up at night.
Why Anxiety Is Common with Psoriatic Arthritis — and What You Can Do About It
Everyday Health | October 23, 2018
While the evidence of widespread anxiety among people who have psoriatic arthritis is strong, it’s less clear exactly how the two conditions interact. Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, talks about what can trigger anxiety, its potential effects, and what you can do to reduce it.
Researcher Pursues Unexpected Treatment For Veterans' Trauma Nightmares
KNKX Radio | October 20, 2018
For people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, nightmares can be debilitating, nightly experiences. KNKX radio talks with Murray Raskind, MD, on an unexpected treatment for veteran's traumatic nightmares.
PTSD symptoms improve when patient chooses form of treatment, study shows
UW News | October 19, 2018
A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, authored by Peter Roy-Byrne, MD, and Matig Mavissakalian, MD, (Case Western Reserve University), finds that people who chose their form of treatment were more apt to stick to their program and eventually became diagnosis-free.
You're Wrong About Burnout
Medpage Today | October 18, 2018
Read the insightful article by Matthew MacKinnon, MD, about workplace burnout and tips on how to bring more meaning into your workday.
MSU students staffing mental health clinic
Bozeman Daily Chronicle | October 13, 2018
Anne Rich, MD, Associate Clerkship Director, oversees a new student-run mental health center in Bozeman for second year medical students enrolled in the University of Washington School of Medicine WWAMI program. Dr. Rich approves the students' recommendations before delivering it to the patients’ primary care doctor.
Is Your Kid Media Literate? Are You?
Parent Map | October 11, 2018
Today’s changing media landscape reaches far beyond TV and radio to increasingly ubiquitous social media newsfeeds, memes, podcasts, YouTube, video games and apps. Laura Kastner, PhD, talks about the effects of constant consumption of media on children and adolescents.
Putting global mental health on the map
UW Medicine Huddle | October 9, 2018
Pamela Collins, MD, MPH, discusses her vision for the UW Global Mental Health Program in this terrific Q & A.
UW Medicine emphasizes healing for survivors of sexual assault in stress of Kavanaugh confirmation
The Daily | October 7, 2018
Emily Dworkin’s recent NPR interview and Mary Larimer’s recent write-up about alcohol consumption among young adults remind us of the full extent of the impact of the recent Kavanaugh hearing.
Less than 1% of rapes lead to felony convictions. At least 89% of victims face emotional and physical consequences.
Washington Post | October 6, 2018
Research shows that millions of victims of sexual assault have paid a serious, measurable price, physically and mentally. A 2009 literature review co-authored by Emily Dworkin, PhD, is cited.
Building Strength And Resilience After A Sexual Assault: What Works
NPR | October 4, 2018
Sexual assault is still a highly stigmatized form of trauma, and that can complicate recovery for years. In an in-depth NPR interview, senior fellow Emily Dworkin, PhD, talks about her research findings and her perspective on where society and science need to go next to prevent assaults and help survivors heal.
UW Medicine center focuses on risky behaviors, young adults
UW Medicine Newsroom | October 3, 2018
What should young people know about drinking alcohol? Mary Larimer, PhD, discusses the important work being done at the Center for the Study of Health and Risk Behaviors (CSHRB) and provides useful information about drinking during young adulthood.
Today, Be Kind to Yourself
The New York Times | September 28, 2018
The Kavanaugh-Blasey testimonies have stirred up painful memories for many. Senior fellow Emily Dworkin, PhD, who researches the use of social support among trauma victims, explains that trauma survivors can regain a sense of power over their experience when they “feel through those tough feelings” instead of tuning out.
Unconventional methods could help teens struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts
Q13 Fox| September 25, 2018
After the suicide of her son, a Vashon Island mom is on a mission to prevent more teens from dying by suicide. Dror Ben-Zeev, PhD, talks about how mental health apps could help.
A physical therapist — not a doctor — might be the best option for people with low back pain
King5 News | September 21, 2018
Two studies from the UW say seeing a doctor may not be the best option if you have low back pain. Pain management specialist, Judith Turner, PhD, has reviewed many studies and finds that most people with low back pain respond best to exercise and CBT.
The upsides and downsides of vaping
The Huddle | September 18, 2018
The FDA recently proclaimed an epidemic of vaping among young people. Susan Collins, PhD, talks about the dangers of vaping to developing brains.
Sexual Violence Victims Shouldn’t Have to Take a Polygraph
The Daily Beast | September 17, 2018
The polygraph has figured in several recent high-profile sexual misconduct cases. Emily Dworkin, PhD, talks about how the pressure for sexual assault survivors to prove their stories through polygraph can be harmful.
You’re Probably Doing Mindfulness Wrong
Right as Rain | September 12, 2018
Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness isn’t about sitting completely still and clearing your mind. Ty Lostutter, PhD, explains that it’s about being present-focused and not judging your thoughts.
Driving, Cognitive Abilities Impaired During a Hangover
Medscape | September 11, 2018
A team of European investigators came out with a new study that suggests that various components of attention, memory, and psychomotor performance are impaired during hangovers. Andrew Saxon, MD, comments. (register for free to read full article)
Need a therapist? There's an app for that
CBC News | September 7, 2018
Health care professionals met at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre on Thursday to look at ways of using smart technologies, such as mobile phones, in health care. Dror Ben-Zeev, PhD, was the keynote speaker.
Local mom wants teen suicide to be a regular part of family conversation
Fox Q13 | September 5, 2018
As many students head back to school, one local mom is on a mission to make the topic of teen suicide a common conversation. Molly Adrian, PhD, is interviewed.
Prazosin May Reduce Heavy Drinking in Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder
APA Psychiatric News | August 31, 2018
Prazosin—an α-1 adrenergic receptor antagonist—may be able to help people with alcohol use disorder reduce heavy drinking over time. This is according to a study by Tracy Simpson, PhD, Andrew Saxon, MD, Cynthia Stappenbeck, PhD, Murray Raskind, MD, and colleagues that was published last week in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Men and women show surprising differences in seeing motion
UW Medicine Newsroom | August 16, 2018
A new UW-led study, co-authored by Raphe Bernier, PhD, shows that males and females process visual motion differently, a variation that may be attributable to a neural regulatory process that is different in the male brain.
Depression among mothers is more common than you think
UW Medicine Newsroom | August 10, 2018
Serena Williams posted on her Instagram account earlier this month about her struggle with depression after giving birth to her daughter. Ian Bennett, MD, PhD, talks about how society as a whole still struggles with the idea of depression during and after pregnancy.
Global health security experts meet in Kane Hall to save the world
The Daily | August 9, 2018
UW Provost Mark Richards joined Sen. Patty Murray and seven global health security experts on Monday to discuss the future of global health with a focus on maternal and child health. Pamela Collins, MD, was part of an expert panel discussing mental health and its comorbidities.
Psychosis is way more common - and treatable - than you think
Right as Rain | August 2, 2018
Three out of every 100 people will experience psychosis in their lifetime, which makes it a lot more common than most of us would believe. Sarah Kopelovich, PhD, talks about the reality of psychosis and the possible causes of it.
This is your brain on Seattle traffic
KUOW | August 2, 2018
Why do Seattleites feel like they’re surrounded by bad drivers? Bill Radke from KUOW chats with Dennis Donovan, PhD, about what happens to our brains while in traffic, and they reminisce about their first cars — Volkswagens.
Opioid crisis: Prescription vigilance
Seattle Times | July 30, 2018
"It is an unfortunate truth that for a while, prescription opioids became the cheapest and easiest means to obtain all opioids, whether for legitimate treatment of pain or to support an addiction," write Jane Ballantyne, MD, Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, and David Tauben, MD.
Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies
UW Medicine Advancement | July 2018
One in seven women battle depression during the perinatal period, but only 20 percent of the women who need help get the help they need. The Perinatal Psychiatry Consultation Line run by Amritha Bhat, MD, MPH, Deb Cowley, MD, and Carmen Croicu, MD, is an important resource in keeping mothers healthy and well.
Seattle Met's 2018 Top Doctors
Seattle Met | July 2018
Congratulations to the following people who were voted a “Top Doctor” by their peers based on years of experience, competency, rapport with patients, patient satisfaction and compliance with care recommendations, and ability to work effectively with colleagues across specialties to deliver the best patient care: G. Timothy Bondurant, MD (Addiction Medicine), Hower Kwon, MD (Child Psychiatry), Richard Ries, MD (Addiction Medicine), Andrew Saxon, MD (Addiciton Medicine), and Mark Snowden, MD (Psychiatry). Thank you for your good work!
Collaborative Care as a Way to Stave Off Burnout
APA Psychiatric News | July 17, 2018
Addressing the problem of professional burnout has become a pressing topic in psychiatry. John Kern, MD, writes about how working as the consulting psychiatrist for a collaborative care program helped stave off burnout and allowed him to reach his clinical and personal goals. Introduction by Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MA.
These At-home Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Tips Can Help Ease Your Anxieties
Right as Rain | July 16, 2018
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular type of therapy which focuses on the interconnectedness of thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Kristen Lindgren, PhD, provides tips for practicing CBT techniques at home.
Portland brewery introduces CBD-infused beer
KGW 8 | July 10, 2018
Products containing cannabidiol, or CBD, are on the rise, from massage oil to beer, but how safe are they? Nephi Stella, PhD, is interviewed.
Seattle seniors choosing cannabis over opioids for pain
King 5 News | July 6, 2018
More seniors are choosing cannabis over opioids saying it’s just as effective without the negative side effects. Nephi Stella, PhD, weighs in on the benefits of using CBD to treat seizures, and to fight gioblastomas, pain, anxiety, PTSD and some cancers.
From apps to avatars, new tools for taking control of your mental health
The Washington Post | July 2, 2018
In an article that looks at the burgeoning world of digital mental health tools, Dror Ben-Zeev, PhD, discusses a smartphone app called FOCUS designed to help people with severe mental illness manage their symptoms.
Perspective: Less than half of adults not screened for depression
Helio | June 28, 2018
Recent findings show only 48% of American adults in the general population are screened for depression. John Kern, MD, offers a perspective on the impact of this missed opportunity and how primary care-based depression care interventions can help.
What Every Parent Needs to Know About Gaming Disorder
Reader's Digest | June 27, 2018
Andy Saxon, MD, talks about the importance of having a psychiatrist or psychologist assess and treat gaming disorders, and Pat Areán's Project EVO is highlighted in a link from the story reminding us that video games can be beneficial as well.
Science Says: What makes something truly addictive
AP News | June 21, 2018
The new “gaming disorder” classification from the World Health Organization revives a debate in the medical community about whether behaviors can cause the same kind of addictive illness as drugs. Andy Saxon, MD, talks about how dopamine comes into play.
World Health Organization says video game addiction is a disease.
Why American psychiatrists don't
Los Angeles Times | June 19, 2018
Andy Saxon, MD, discusses why the American Psychiatric Association opted not to include internet gaming disorder to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
Gabriel Gaeta sentenced for 2014 murder of Jenise Wright
Kitsap Sun | June 18, 2018
Before sentencing Gabriel Gaeta to a minimum of 40 years in prison for the 2014 rape and murder of 6-year-old Jenise Wright, Judge Jennifer Forbes struggled with the one question that remained: Why? Terry Lee, MD, is quoted.
Expanding access to mental health care through telemental health
The Washington Nurse | Spring, 2018 (pg 24)
Cara Towle gives examples of how nurses are vital components of the telemental health services provided by UW Medicine, including the Psychiatry Consultation and Telepsychiatry (PCAT) program, the Psychiatry and Addictions Case Consultation (PACC) series, and thier liaison role in Collaborative Care.
Suicide rate up in all regions of Washington — but why?
The Seattle Times | June 14, 2018
Christopher DeCou, PhD, senior fellow at Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and a collaborator with the Kate Comtois Lab, says no one is exactly sure why the suicide rates continue to go up, despite the tremendous effort to try to understand the reasons people hurt or kill themselves.
Helping a friend or loved one who might be suicidal
KOMO News | June 13, 2018
Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD, says even if someone isn't talking about wanting to die, there are typically warning signs, such as a change in behavior, that may indicate that person is struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Bourdain, Spade suicides highlight resources available, new state law to expand suicide prevention
KIRO 7 | June 8, 2018
It's a common misconception that if you talk to someone about suicide, it will make him or her more likely to harm themselves or die by suicide, says Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD. Dr. Ratzliff is one of the authors of All Patients Safe, an online suicide prevention training program for medical providers.
Treating Mental Illness
KIRO 7 | June, 2018
KIRO 7 interviewed Dror Ben-Zeev, PhD, about the BRiTE Center's FOCUS app, a mobile app for treating severe mental illness. A recently concluded, three-year study found the app to be significantly better at getting patients to engage in treatment than a scheduled trip to the clinic. Also covered on the UW Medicine Newsroom.
Do Interventions Actually Work?
Mens Health | May 31, 2018
As the opioid crisis rages on, interventions are on the rise. But the medical community is split on whether they actually work. Andrew Saxon, MD, is quoted.
Do I Have Postpartum Depression or Just the Baby Blues?
Right as Rain | May 21, 2018
Amritha Bhat, MD, MPH, and Deb Cowley, MD, co-directors of the Perinatal Psychiatry Clinic at UW Medical Center-Roosevelt, talk about the difference between common “baby blues” and postpartum depression.
What to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone with Anxiety
Right as Rain | May 18, 2018
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common types of mental illness—and they’re on the rise. Ty Lostutter, PhD, provides tips on how to talk to and be supportive of anxious friends.
To treat pain, look at more than the 1-10 scale
UW Medicine Newsroom | May 4, 2018
Clinicians and researchers at UW Medicine’s Center for Pain Relief created an in-depth questionnaire adaptable to any primary care clinic which was recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The tool has helped primary care providers assess, treat, and manage chronic pain. Co-author Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, is quoted.
'Angst': Seattle filmmaker's project casts light on childhood anxiety
Seattle's Child | May 1, 2018
A new documentary helps families understand childhood anxiety and what they can do to help. Laura Kastner, PhD, is quoted.
The long legacy of concussions
The Huddle | April 30, 2018
Jesse Fann, MD, is interviewed about the recent study he led which found that traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases the risk of developing dementia.
Understanding sexual assault decades before #MeToo
The Huddle | April 30, 2018
When Lucy Berliner, MSW, HCSATS, was offered her internship at Harborview as a UW social work graduate student, she had no idea she would help shape the field of medical and counseling care for sexual assault survivors.
Teens who get more sleep may curb screen time
Business Insider | April 27, 2018
Michelle Garrison, PhD, comments on results published in Sleep Medicine that found teens who get extra sleep on school nights might cut back mostly on sedentary activities like screen time rather than exercise.
‘She was a super suicidal person’
The UW Daily | April 26, 2018
In the world of addiction psychiatry, there is no hard line between medications and drugs. Christine Yuodelis-Flores, MD, and Rick Ries, MD, are interviewed about their nearly three decades of work in addiction psychiatry at Harborview.
Risk of dementia increases with traumatic brain injury
The Huddle | April 17, 2018
A large study led by Jesse Fann, MD, found that traumatic brain injury increases the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The story was widely covered, appearing among 171 outlets in 42 states as well as several countries.
Are Women with Autism Getting Overlooked?
Right as Rain | April 13, 2018
Sara Webb, PhD, talks about the difficulty in diagnosing autism in girls and the possibilty that gender-specific diagnostic criteria might help.
Marijuana may reduce opioids, but it's not the solution
KUOW | April 12, 2018
Two reports released this month showed a decline in opioid prescriptions in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Andrew Saxon, MD, says the reports support alternatives to opioid prescriptions, but the addiction crisis is far from solved.
Studies Link Legal Marijuana With Fewer Opioid Prescriptions
The New York Times | April 2, 2018
Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may. Andrew Saxon, MD, co-wrote an accompanying editorial for the studies. Dr. Saxon was interviewed by the Associated Press, and the story was published in numerous newspapers, TV and radio sites across the country.
acceleratemed.org | April, 2018
Read this terrific profile of William Womack, MD, a former resident, fellow and faculty member in our department. He was the first African American to join our faculty and went on to have a remarkable career, including serving as Division Chief for Psychiatry at both Harborview and Seattle Children’s.
The Top Doctors in Seattle for 2018
Seattle Magazine | April, 2018
We’re proud to report that once again Seattle Magazine’s annual Top Doctors report features a number of our faculty members. Congratulations to Jesse Fann, MD, Lina Fine, MD, Ray Hsiao, MD, Hower Kwon, MD, Kenneth Melman, MD, Richard Ries, MD, Carol Rockhill, MD, PhD, Gregory Simon, MD, Mark Snowden, MD, and Christine Yuodelis-Flores, MD.
Q & A with Top Doctor Ray Hsiao
Seattle Magazine | April, 2018
Ray Hsiao, MD, shares insights into combating opioid addiction and on how Washington state is stepping up to integrate treatment of these complex issues.
New Study Aims to Help Soldiers with PTSD
King 5 | March 16, 2018
The UW is conducting a study to help soldiers with PTSD by evaluating the effectiveness of a Stress Check that connects them with resources and provides counseling over the phone. Debra Kaysen, PhD, and Denise Walker, PhD, co-lead the study.
Initiative Announces Award of 2018 Pilot Research Grants
Population Health | March 13, 2018
We had another strong showing in the UW Population Health Initiative Research Grants, with three of the seven newly funded proposals including psychiatry and behavioral sciences faculty. Awards were given to Paul Borghesani, MD, PhD and Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD, (Lethal Means Assessment in Psychiatric Emergency Services for Suicide Prevention), Myra Parker, JD, MPH, PhD, (Mama Ammaan (Safe Mother) Project: African Mother-to-Mother Antenatal Assistance Network (AMMAAN)) and Carol Rockhill, MD, (Using Digital Learning Tools to Enhance Emotional Regulation for Youth Hospitalized for Aggressive Crises).
UW study offers help to soldiers with signs of PTSD
UW News | March 12, 2018
Debra Kaysen, MPH, is co-leading a new study with Denise Walker (School of Social Work) called UW Stress Check, which identifies soldiers who are experiencing PTSD symptoms in order to connect them with resources and provide counseling over the phone. Covered by KOMO 4.
President Trump suggests executing drug dealers at summit on opioid crisis
The Washington Post| March 1, 2018
President Trump suggested that executing drug dealers could help solve the opioid crisis during a White House summit Thursday, an event the administration billed as a way to measure its progress in combating the nation’s drug problem. Andrew Saxon, MD, is quoted.
Is Your Chest Pain a Heart Attack or Anxiety?
Right as Rain | February 23, 2018
Mark Sullivan, MD, gives key advice on differentiating chest pains and reminds us that it is always better to be safe than sorry in regards to your heart.
Proposed new 'sexting' law could give teens a break
Kiro 7 | February 15, 2018
Sexting is currently a felony and convicted teens are forced to register as sex offenders if convicted. A new bill moving forward in the state legislature would reduce the charge of felony to a misdemeanor if a teen is caught sharing other's nude photos. Sarah Walker, PhD, testifed in favor of this bill stating that the current charges work against our long-term interest in making sure teens are held accountable.
This Is Your Body on Love
Right as Rain | February 14, 2018
Love has fueled creation, destruction and pretty much every human endeavor in between. What is it that makes love so powerful? Larry Zweifel, PhD, explains how the feeling of love affects the human body.
Addressing the Escalating Psychiatrist Shortage
AAMCNews | February 13, 2018
More people are seeking mental health treatment, but there aren’t enough psychiatrists to meet the demand. Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD, talks about the appeal of the team-based Collaborative Care approach.
Prenatal Ultrasonography and the Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder
JAMA Pediatrics | February 12, 2018
Sara Jane Webb, PhD, and Pierre Mourad, PhD, (neurological surgery) comment on a recently published paper, saying the study does not support ultrasound as a primary contributor to ASD and that more work is needed on understanding ultrasound safety, particularly in the first trimester in fetuses who may may be more vulnerable to poor neurodevelopment.
7 Takeaways from Davos
Fortune | January 26, 2018
A reporter sums up one important takeaway from the World Economic Forum recently held in Davos, Switzerland: the mental health disorder time bomb is upon us. Pamela Collins, MD, MPH, discusses the significant lack of care given to those with mental disorders.
Tackling an Epidemic
IEEE Pulse | January 25, 2018
New and emerging treatments for opioid addiction hope to offer solutions to the crisis. Richard Ries, MD, explains the impact opioids have on the body and ways of effectively treating those who are addicted.
How to Handle and Prevent Work Burnout
Right as Rain | January 22, 2018
Working too much or in a high-stress environment is associated with anxiety, depression and other psychological ills. Matthew MacKinnon, MD, (PGY-3) explains the importance of the organizational environment in combating burnout and how to address it.
Financial Viability and Sustainability of Integrated Care
Psychiatric News | January 16, 2018
Andrew Carlo, MD, Acting Instructor and Senior Fellow in the Psychiatry in Primary Care Fellowship, explains the complexity and promise of financial viability and sustainabilty within intergrated health care systems.
Study buddies or drug abuse?
The Daily | January 8, 2018
Many college students believe that nonmedical prescription stimulants like Adderall, Vyvanse, or Ritalin bolster their study habits and help them get higher grades, but these misperceptions can be dangerous. A study in Addictive Behaviors by Irene Geisner, PhD, Jason Kilmer, PhD, Nicole Fossos-Wong, Jih-Cheng Yeh, Isaac Rhew, PhD, Christine Lee, PhD, and Mary Larimer, PhD, among others, is referenced. Dr. Kilmer is quoted.
Painkillers are fueling the opioid epidemic
The Daily | January 4, 2018
Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, explains the negative effect that over prescription and use of opioid painkillers for chronic and acute pain has on addiction and dependence.
King 5 | January 4, 2018
Dennis Donnovan, PhD, MA, gives clarity to common myths surrounding marijuana use and its effects.
Tips for talking to your kid about alcohol
ParentMap | January 2, 2018
Meeting her husband’s college roommate — a former college partier — helped Alison Krupnick frame the way she talked to her children about alcohol. Laura Kastner, PhD, is quoted.
Feeling gloomy? Tips for coping with SAD
Seattle's Child | January 1, 2018
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a form of clinical depression that occurs at a particular time of year and affects about 5 percent of the American population. Light therapy is one way to combat symptoms. Amanda Focht, MD, is quoted.