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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Week of February 3, 2003

    Question: My friend of many years has started abusing OxyContin. She says that it's completely safe for her and she isn't addicted to it, but I have heard otherwise. Could you please tell me whether or not it is harmful for her? If it is, could you send me some information proving that it is not healthy so that I can show her and hopefully get her to stop?    Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: I understand that Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) is the most effective treatment available for serious, unremitting depressions. Is there evidence that ECT is equally effective for agitated and vegetative depressions? I recognize that it has proven effective in bipolar disorder. One might suggest that the manic phase of the bipolar disorder is like an agitated depression and therefore, the agitated depression is LIKELY to be help by ECT. However, are there recent studies confirming that ECT is effective for the treatment of serious agitated depression?   Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: As a school counselor, I have two students with Tourettes. One of them recently came back from hospital appointment where the staff had told him and his family not to worry as he will probably never get to college. What famous people have existed that are sufferers of Tourettes? I want to tell the staff at that facility how damaging their statement could be to a student.    Dr. Pies' Answer