Overlap of research and clinical practice is finding new ways to successfully treat mental illness

Posted on May 7, 2014

Linda (not her real name) was living a model life. An executive overseeing 300 staff with a supportive family, the 46-year-old was flying high. Then one day everything changed. Seemingly out of the blue she could not focus, could not concentrate and before long could not even get out of bed.

She had no history of mental illness or depression, and clinicians struggled to find a treatment for Linda. For two years she endured psychotherapy, five different types of antidepressants, shock therapy and three periods of hospitalisation. Nothing worked.

Linda was then referred to Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, head of the Women's Mental Health Clinic at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc), where she underwent novel hormone treatment for depression using oestrogen - a world-first developed by Professor Kulkarni and her team at MAPrc that draws on the research expertise of Monash University and the clinical setting of Melbourne's Alfred hospital. Within two months she was back to her old self. "She has returned to work … it's everything you would hope to see," Professor Kulkarni says.

Linda's recovery is just one of the stories coming out of MAPrc, which provides new approaches and solutions to people suffering from mental illness for whom standard treatments have failed.

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Source material from Medicalxpress