Movie of the Month (May2019)

In May 2019 we chose a movie for you:

Little Miss Sunshine

Directed by: Jonathan Dayton
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, Alan Arkin
Year: 2006
Running time: 101 minutes

Plot: The story is about the trip of the Hoover family to take their 8-year old daughter Olive to the “Little Miss Sunshine” beauty pageant. Olive’s uncle Frank, a scholar of Proust, is temporarily living at home with the family after having attempted suicide. During the road trip, the family suffers numerous personal setbacks and discovers their need for each other’s support. The movie deals with very sensitive issues (homosexuality, fat and skinny shaming, suicide) seen through Olive’s eyes: travelling and overcoming difficulties together, the family becomes more united and resilient.  

“Life is one fu***ng beauty contest after another. School, then college, then work […]
If I want to fly, I’ll find a way to fly.
You do what you love, and f**k the rest.”

Source (text and image):

Scientific News and Reading Suggestion #29

Our Section member Federico M. Daray shared with us some recent papers published with his research group in Argentina:

  • How lipids may affect risk for suicidal behavior (Journal of Psychiatric Research, 104, 2018)
  • Suicidal ideation is associated with cardiovascular disease in a large, urban cohort of adults in the Southern Cone of Latin America (General Hospital Psychiatry, 57, 2019)
  • Serotonin transporter gene polymorphism as a predictor of short-term risk of suicide reattempts (European Psychiatry, 54, 2018)
  • Factors associated with postpartum depression in women from low socioeconomic level in Argentina: A hierarchical model approach (Journal of Affective Disorders 227, 2017)
  • Lethality of Previous Suicidal Behavior among Patients Hospitalized for Suicide Risk Predicts Lethality of Future Suicide Attempts (Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 2018)

Suicide and suicidal behaviors can be influenced, among the others, by individual risk factors. The role of diet and metabolism is still poorly understood. Daray and coworkers describe in their work a theoretical model linking cholesterol and poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) status to 5-HT neurotrasmission and suicide risk. They also studied the relationships between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and suicidal risk in Southern Cone of Latin America: “There is a significant association between suicidal ideation and CVD, particularly among women, which may be driven, at least in part, by depression and physical functional impairment”.

In the literature there are many other works about metabolic syndrome, its correlates and suicide: for example, in 2013 Chang and coworkers (LINK) published the article “Metabolic Syndrome and the Risk of Suicide: A Community-Based Integrated Screening Samples Cohort Study” reporting that “Metabolic Syndrome was associated with an increased risk of suicide risk by 16% per MetS component, adjusting for demographics, life-style factors, and clinical correlates. Of the metabolic syndrome components, elevated blood pressure was independently associated with suicide-related mortality” (10-year follow-up period, 76.297 people recruited, 12.094 with Metabolic Syndrome, 146 death for suicide).

Maslov and coworkers (2009) (LINK ) investigated these factors in patients affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Schizophrenia while D’Ambrosio et al. (2012) (LINK) in patients with bipolar disorder. It is widely acknowledged that these patients have higher rates of substances abuse, smoking, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (metabolic syndrome) and are at-risk for suicide, so the possible correlation among these variables was investigated.

Public mental health interventions targeting also these individuals factors may be warranted.  

Thanks to F. Daray


On the web you can find many articles, blogs about suicide among doctors.

There are also many related initiatives which have been implemented: for example June 1st is the #CrazySocks4Docs Day, an initiative started by an Australian physician in 2017 (a cardiologist who suffered from severe depression). The initiative now involves doctors in Canada, the UK, the US, New Zealand, Spain, France, and Ireland. It is not only for doctors but also for nurses, paramedics, medical students, veterinarians and all other specialties that work in the health care field: this is a way in which it is possible to talk about the health of the Health Care Professionals, fighting the stigma.


Scientific News and Reading Suggestion #28

On March 2019, Lancet Psychiatry published the following article: “Interventions to reduce symptoms of common mental disorders and suicidal ideation in physicians: a systematic review and meta-analysis” (Petrie, K). It deals with a current topic, which is the increased prevalence of common mental disorders (depression, anxiety) and suicide among physicians. The authors identified 2992 articles, of which 8 were included in the systematic review and 7 in the meta-analysis. The results suggest that “physician-directed interventions are associated with small reductions in symptoms of common mental health disorders among physicians” and that “modification of the work environment is urgently needed”.

We proposed the topic of physician and mental health in other reading suggestions in the past year. In September on Jama Psychiatry it was published the article “A Physician’s Suffering – Facing Depression as a Trainee”, which focused on the impact that a physician suicide may have on colleagues; in May 2018 on BMJ it was published the free meta-analysis and systematic review “Psychosocial job stressors and suicidality: a meta-analysis and systematic review”.

As stressed in our previous suggestions, the medical profession is one of the occupations with the highest risk of death by suicide (one physician is estimated to die by suicide each day in the USA) and this is often an “uncomfortable” topic for discussion.

Also our Secretary C. Gramaglia and our member P. Zeppegno published on April 2018 an Opinion on Frontiers in Psychology, edited by our Co-Chair J. L. Castroman titled “Medical Students and Suicide Prevention: Training, Education, and Personal Risks”. The article stresses the importance of a specific training focusing on the risk of depression and suicide risk among medical students and practitioners. The article is open access HERE.

See our previous reading suggestions to know more:


Movie of the Month (March 2019)

In March 2019 we chose a movie for you:

Face to Face

Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
Year: 1976
Running time: 114-177 minutes

Plot: This movie by Bergman is about a psychiatrist, who is suffering from a mental illness. Dr. Jenny Isaksson is a psychiatrist, married to Erik, who is a psychiatrist as well. Jenny is haunted by images and emotions from her past, which interfere with her everyday life and duties; she goes through a mental breakdown and tries to commit suicide.

“We are not afraid of the horrors we know. They are the ones we don’t know who frighten us”.

Movie of the Month (February 2019)

In February 2019 we chose a movie for you:

My Sister’s Keeper

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin, Sofia Vassilieva
Year: 2009
Running time: 109 minutes

Plot: It is an American drama film Based on Jodi Picoult’s 2004 novel. The story is about Kate, who had acute promyelocytic leukemia, and her younger sister Anna, conceived by in vitro fertilization, genetically matched to her sister to donate compatible organs, blood, and tissue to help her. When Anna grows up, she tells her parents that she does not want to be a donor anymore, trying to obtain through a process the medical emancipation, even if she knows that her sister will finally die because of her decision. She starts a fight against her mom Sara, who wants to keep Kate alive.  When Kate attempts suicide by a painkillers overdose, Anna stops her. The movie well explains Kate’s desire not to live any longer, asking her sister to refuse to donate her blood and organs, and to let her die.

A previous movie suggestion has been “The Sea Inside” (LINK), in line with the current debate concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide: “The topic is the object of current debates involving the whole clinical community, and it has also been the focus of two intersection symposia organized by the EPA-SSSP together with the Old Age Psychiatry Section in 2017 in Florence, and in 2018 in Nice” (LINK).

“There are some things we do because we convince ourselves it would be better for everyone involved. We tell ourselves that it’s the right thing to do, the altruistic thing to do. It’s far easier than telling ourselves the truth.” 
Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper


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