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Dr. DeCarvalho was recently interviewed by NBC to discuss the recent abduction and murder of Cherish Perrywinkle. This has sent chills throughout our community and devastated a family. Dr. DeCarvalho tells us why this man should have been admitted into a facility for psychological evaluation and treatment. Had our system taken a more responsible role in treating this man, Cherish would still be with us today.
Dr. Marcus DeCarvalho joined Dr. Ali Kasraeian on The Conversation to discuss the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Dr. DeCarvalho discusses some of the issues with the shooter in an attempt to shed light on why this happened. There is no reason for this kind of evil but unfortunately it does exist. The best that we can do is to learn and grow from these challenging situations with the hope that we can keep it from happening again in the future.
Listen to the full radio interview here: The Conversation with guest Dr. Marcus DeCarvalho
Recently I was invited on Channel 4 news to share some insight into the growing epidemic of Synthetic Marijuana. I have seen families devastated by the use of this illegal substance and I am pleased to see our media taking the initiative to keep us informed. This has been flying under the radars for years and has the illusion of being safe when in fact it can be more dangerous than the real thing. We have included a link to the video below and hope you will take the time to watch this and stay vigilant about educating our youth about the dangers of this drug.
Click here to watch the full story
What is K2, Spice or Mojo? It’s an over the counter synthetic marijuana
Recently in my private practice I have noticed an increasing number of patients, especially teenagers, that are using an over-the-counter substance called K2, Spice or Mojo. These substances can give the patient a “high”, similar to marijuana, when smoked. People are under the assumption that these substances are not as harmful as marijuana: unfortunately, these substances can cause brain changes which can leave the patient psychotic after just one use. These substances also cause illnesses similar to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and ADHD… several of these patients become suicidal.
Unfortunately, treating any psychiatric illnesses caused by these substances is difficult since there are no psychiatric medications designed to specifically treat the side effects of these popular new teen drugs. I have witnessed the fear in my patient’s eyes when they realize how naïve they’ve been in trusting that these substances were safe. I have seen how destructive these drugs have been to families.
I am a parent, and am passionate about educating myself, the community, and my patients of what we are facing regarding these new drug uses and addictions. I have posted links to websites and videos, which can aid in education about these substances. I have also posted a link to pictures of the packaging of these substances. One of the parents of my patients mentioned, “I saw the wrapper in his pocket but it looked like a candy wrapper so I never suspected it”. Please educate yourself about this epidemic that is destroying our youth and society. It is a secret killer!
Are You Sad During the Holidays?
Depression during the holidays
Did you know that in Florida, 1.4 percent of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression only seen during the winter months? SAD is also known as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, summer blues, or seasonal depression. In the northeast SAD is seen at a rate of 9.7%.
Some of the symptoms of SAD may consist of difficulty waking up in the morning, tendency to oversleep and over eat (the opposite of regular non seasonal depression), especially a craving for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities and decreased sex drive. All of this leads to depression, negative feelings of hopelessness, and lack of pleasure from hobbies or things that normally bring you pleasure. It is important to distinguish SAD from the normal feelings of typical depression which are insomnia, anxiety, irritability, decreased appetite, weight loss, social withdrawal, decreased sex drive, and suicide. Classic depression is usually seen during the spring and summer months.
You may have noticed that during these winter months you’ve been eating more carbohydrates than usual and that is because carbohydrates supply some of the essential building blocks to serotonin which is the key ingredient in most antidepressant medication to treat depression. Essentially you are treating your depression the only drawback is weight gain.
One of the most common forms of treatment is light therapy. Sometimes antidepressant medicine is used alone or in combination with light therapy. Spending time outdoors during the day can be helpful, as well as maximizing the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to at home and in the office.
If you believe that you are suffering from SAD please see your local psychiatrist for a full evaluation. It is important to rule out other forms of depression or even a medical illness that may be causing these symptoms.
I hope this information has helped. Enjoy the holidays!
Marcus De Carvalho, M.D., General Psychiatrist, The Center for a Healthy Mind and Wellbeing.