Winter SAD, Sleep and COVID-19 – A Trifecta of Mental Health Challenges

Winter SAD, Sleep and COVID-19 – A Trifecta of Mental Health Challenges

It’s the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when daylight length and sun angle relative to the horizon shrink to their lowest levels of the year, and the darkness of night descends in the late afternoon hours. And with that comes the mental doldrums of winter Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.  Individuals vulnerable to seasonal effects may experience anxiety, sadness, sleep problems, loss of focus, mental fog, weight gain and loss of energy or drive. Suicidal thinking is always a factor to consider when significant depression sets in. Body image can take a hit as there may be a

A Body Clock Perspective on Daylight Savings Time

A Body Clock Perspective on Daylight Savings Time

As most individuals are aware, there is ongoing controversy over continuing the Daylight Savings Time (DST) policy generally in place in the United States and implemented in various overseas countries.  This question is most pertinent to those residing in temperate zones around the globe. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has issued online a position statement on DST (Rishi, M.A., Ahmed, O., Perez, B.H.J., Berneking, M., Dombrowsky, J., Flynn-Evans, E.E.,… Gurubhagavatula, I. (August 26, 2020) Daylight saving time: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement).  They advocate for discontinuing DST. General application of DST, in which the clocks are

Musings on The Nature of Sleep and COVID-19

Musings on The Nature of Sleep and COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has created misery, suffering and hardship on a global scale. If there is any silver lining, it might be the renewed appreciation of our fundamental linkage with the physical environment and what that means not just for survival, but for resilience as a species. I write on sleep topics and human behavior and emphasize our basic, culturally universal homeostatic and circadian rhythms linked to the solar day/night.

Considering a telehealth-only practice from your home? Here are some preliminary issues to consider.

Considering a telehealth-only practice from your home?  Here are some preliminary issues to consider.

Therapists and other mental health clinicians have relied on telehealth to continue to provide services during these difficult times. Some are working from home, and find that this works pretty well. Some are considering closing their brick-and-mortar office and transitioning to a home office, providing telehealth-only services.  MHConcierge wonders whether and how this will work, and if there might be unforeseen consequences.  To get help with these questions, I posted questions on several local and national listservs. I also sent questions to Provider Relations staff at 5 Minnesota insurance companies: BCBS MN, Medica/UHC/Optum, HealthPartners, UCare and PreferedOne.