Information is power.
It can either propel you towards recovery and healing, or it can send you down a rabbit hole of futile experiments and short-lived solutions.
One of my largest regrets in life is wasting too much time and money on the wrong professionals and books and websites touting the latest fad or quick fix or theory for depression.
That’s why I now urge people to go to a teaching hospital for the best psychiatric care, where you will find physicians conducting research on new therapies and medications to treat depression, tackling complex conditions by drawing from their own collection of data. It is there, in those classrooms and labs, that evidence-based information is produced – the gold that leads to miracles.
I got there – at an inpatient psych unit of a teaching hospital — after wandering down too many dead-end roads. But you can take a much easier, faster route to the right information.
Consider attending the 31st Annual Mood Disorders Research and Education Symposium on Tuesday, April 18 from 1 -5 p.m. at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Thomas B. Turner Auditorium). The cost is $35.
Each year the Symposium strives to improve knowledge and treatment of mood disorders, introducing professionals, patients, and family members to recognized experts in the field of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. The mission of this event is to educate the public on mental illness in a way that empowers them to find the right treatment for themselves, their loved ones, and their patients.
This Year’s Agenda
Renowned physicians, scientists, and bestselling authors will address a variety of pertinent topics at this year’s Symposium, such as:
- Feedback-informed treatment of mood disorders
- The potential value of transcendental meditation given the trends of using mindfulness-based treatments
- Using your phone to stay well – treatment interventions that involve technology
- Women writers on mania and depression
- Perspectives from a family member and patient — information to help loved ones and patients cope and recover from mood disorders
- Advancements in mood disorders-related genetics and treatment research
Meet the Speakers
Presenters include this impressive round-up of luminaries:
Francis Mondimore, M.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins and is the director of the Mood Disorders Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he leads a team of clinicians specializing in the care of persons with mood disorders. Dr. Mondimore is the author or five books on mental heath issues that are written for general audiences.
Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D. is the world-renowned psychiatrist, researcher and best-selling author, who first described seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and pioneered the use of light therapy as a treatment during his twenty years at the National Institute of Mental Health. He has written or co-authored over 200 scholarly articles and nine popular books, including Winter Blues, the New York Times bestseller Transcendence, The Gift of Adversity, and Super Mind.
Guy Goodwin, M.D., an international leader from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, concentrates on the treatment of bipolar disorder and the application of neuroscience in understanding the neurobiology of mood disorders, with a focus on developing new treatments. He has made fundamental observations on the functional and structural brain changes associated with severe depression, and has contributed to the systematic review of the most important medical treatments of bipolar disorder.
Robert C. Gallo, M.D. has been Director of the Institute of Human Virology and Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine since 1996. He is also currently Co-Founder and Scientific Director of the Global Virus Network (GVN). For 30 years he was at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. Mary Jane Gallo met Dr. Gallo in high school. They dated through college and married in his early years of medical school. They have two children. They will be sharing their family’s perspective at this year’s Symposium.
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D. is the Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences at Johns Hopkins. Jamison is perhaps this country’s most famous writer about manic-depressive illness. Her books, articles, and public appearances not only help patients, they have raised society’s consciousness. She’s co-authored Manic Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, the definitive book on the topic.
Hope Jahren, Ph.D. is an award-winning scientist who has been pursuing independent research in paleobiology since 1996, when she completed her Ph.D. at University of California Berkeley and began teaching and researching first at the Georgia Institute of Technology and then at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of the international bestseller and New York Times 2016 Notable Book Lab Girl, in which she shares her experience with her illness
Raymond DePaulo, Jr., M.D.is a University Distinguished Service Professor and Co-Director of the Mood Disorder Center in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He founded the Hopkins Affective Disorders Clinic in 1977 and grew it into a multifaceted program that led patient care, teaching and research on depression and bipolar disorder at Johns Hopkins. Dr. DePaulo was the Henry Phipps Professor and Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Psychiatrist in Chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital from 2002 until 2016. He is now the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC.org).
Karen L. Swartz, M.D. is the Medical Director of the Mood Disorders Research and Education Symposium, the Medical Director of the Adult Mood Disorders Services at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Clinical Director of the Mood Disorders Clinic, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1999, with a few other clinicians and psychiatric nurses, Dr. Swartz created ADAP, the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program, which is now a national program that teaches the symptoms of depressive and bipolar illness, distinguishing them from normal adolescent ups and downs.
An Event for Professionals, Patients, and Families
The Symposium is an opportunity for mental-health professionals to add to their knowledge base and to absorb cutting-edge research. While it is not a CME sponsored event and does not provide certificates for attendance, licensing bodies within the state will accept the Symposium in Category II (but registrants need to refer to their licensing body to determine the type of credit and the documentation they require). The associated costs with providing CME credit have become too great, and the goal was to make the Symposium as affordable as possible.
This event also addresses the needs of patients and families, taking into consideration their questions and concerns. You will hear the valuable perspectives of a family living with a psychiatric illness and a scientist-patient. It is a safe place where those battling different kinds of mood disorders and family members can connect with each other, share stories, and build a support network.
Get the Right Information
Information is power.
It can push you forward – towards a productive and meaningful life, where depression and anxiety take a backseat to your family, job, and interests. Or it can serve as a massive roadblock to freedom from symptoms of a mood disorder, getting in the way of recovery and proper treatment.
Make sure you have the right information.