What is Psychiatry?

In its ongoing attempts to define, understand, and categorize disorders, and determine the best treatments, the medical specialty of psychiatry is always up against the protean complexity of the human brain. Both biological factors and environmental factors contribute to symptoms of distress, and the role each plays varies from person to person. Both psychotherapy and drugs are effective for most psychiatric disorders, and often a combination of the two works best, although the effects kick in on different timetables.

Recent posts on Psychiatry

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Perinatal Psychiatry, Birth Trauma & Perinatal PTSD, Part 1

By Shaili Jain M.D. on August 31, 2016 in The Aftermath of Trauma
I recently spoke with Dr. Rebecca Moore to understand more about Birth Trauma and PTSD.

The Real Narrative of Life

Every story is unique. But the path always leads back to one’s Authentic Being. Love is the sustenance, and authenticity is the fountain of our aliveness.

Is the DSM Clinically Useful?

Psychiatry's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual" serves many functions. Surprisingly, the routine practice of clinical psychiatry isn't one of them.

Hillary’s New Comprehensive Agenda on Mental Health

On Monday, August 29, 2016, Hillary Clinton released a comprehensive agenda to deal with expanding mental health problems in the United States

Nature Therapy

Nature exposure does indeed soothe those worried parts of the brain into thinking less and relaxing more.

Hillary's Mental Health Plan Needs Work

Better care for vets with PTSD, suicide prevention, getting the mentally ill out of jails: What enlightened person could possibly oppose any of these ideas?

Dear Parent, Call Me With Any Concerns About Your Student

By Marcia Morris M.D. on August 28, 2016 in College Wellness
At a time of increasing distress among college students, I want more parents to collaborate in their child’s psychiatric care.

Homeless, Mentally Ill and Neglected

When the symptoms of mental illness are acute, they affect an individual’s decision-making capacity. Our failure to provide treatment to those in need is discrimination..

The Real Story Behind the Goldwater Rule

By Jonathan D Moreno Ph.D on August 27, 2016 in Impromptu Man
Only the American Psychiatric Association bars long-distance diagnosis. Why?

Suicide in Cancer Patients

Not surprisingly, suicide is an avenue of escape for more cancer patients than an equal cohort of their healthy counterparts. The cancer team must be alert to subtle warnings.

The Immune System and Psychiatry

Recent evidence demonstrates that the immune system plays a central role in regulating brain function.

Easing a Child’s Summer to School Transition

School is right around the corner but your child is still sleeping until noon and moving in slow motion. Here are some suggestions to help get them ready for the new year.

DSM-5 Made a Mistake Eliminating Substance Abuse

By Allen J Frances M.D. on August 24, 2016 in Saving Normal
By eliminating "Substance Abuse," DSM-5 confounds the very different treatment, course, and prognosis of the typical college binge-drinker and a down-and-out end-stage addict.

Autistics as Undomesticated Humans

To the extent that humans are a self-domesticated species, autistics can be seen as less domesticated than others.

Big Pharma and the Question: Is ADHD Real?

By Claudia M Gold M.D. on August 23, 2016 in Child in Mind
Rather than assign blame for the ADHD epidemic, we must look to a new paradigm of mental health that is founded in contemporary developmental science.

Why We Should Stop Avoiding the Word "Patient" in Psychiatry

Calling psychiatric patients "consumer" and "client" is misguided.

Why the Loss of a Pet Hurts So Much

Losing a pet can be just as devastating as losing a human member of the family. Validating that grief in yourself and others is a step toward coping with the loss.

Addiction Treatment Loses When Insurance Companies Get Cheap

By Adi Jaffe Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in All About Addiction
Insurance payments are a major source of the problems with addiction treatment—from low reimbursement rates leading to terrible treatment practices to abuse by greedy providers.

The New Science of Animal Psychiatry

Nicolas Dodman takes us into a world of dogs with autism and Tourette’s syndrome, horses with OCD, and cats who attack their owners for no apparent reason.

Is Donald Trump an Alpha Male?

Do we need to be more precise in applying terms such as “personality disorder” and “alpha male” to political candidates?

Pets on the Couch: Do Animals Need Freud and Pfizer?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 17, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Animal psychiatry is a rapidly growing field and Dr. Nicholas Dodman's new book called Pets on the Couch is a must read for all who choose to share their home with another animal.

Increase Funding for Mental Illness Now

The time has come to declare war on mental illness and place a priority on funding innovative neurobiological research for better prevention, diagnosis, and early intervention.

A Key Brain Protein Fits the Diametric Model

Levels of the key brain protein, BDNF, vary as predicted by the diametric model of mental illness: lower in psychotic spectrum disorders, but higher in autistic spectrum ones.

Auto Accidents and Brain Trauma

By James F. Zender Ph.D. on August 12, 2016 in The New Normal
What happens to your brain in a car accident?

3 Ways Aerobic Exercise Improves Schizophrenia Symptoms

By Christopher Bergland on August 12, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A groundbreaking report, published this morning, identifies three specific ways that aerobic exercise improves cognitive functioning in people with schizophrenia.

Does Trump Suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on August 10, 2016 in The Human Beast
Narcissism is a personality dimension as well as a clinical diagnosis.
Wikimedia Commons; User: Theodoranian

Sexual Trauma, Rape, PTSD, and Suicide, Part 2

By Shaili Jain M.D. on August 10, 2016 in The Aftermath of Trauma
I spoke with Katie Webb about MST, PTSD, the risk of suicide, and how the VA experience can inform the national debate about college campus rape. Here is Part 2 of our interview.

Now I Know I Have Trichotillomania, What Can I Do About It?

By Tasneem Abrahams on August 10, 2016 in Mastering Hair Pulling
Sometimes just the acknowledgement that this is a very real struggle can be empowering, but now that you know you have something called Trichotillomania, what next? Is there help?

Mental Illness and Violence

The psychotic killer may make a great Halloween costume, but in real life, they're surprisingly rare.