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

Gray & White Matter MRI Opposite in Autistics vs. Psychotics

Brain-imaging reveals white and gray matter in autistic brains vary oppositely to schizophrenic brains, suggesting a new diagnostic tool only explained by the diametric model.

Psychiatrists, Sorcerers, and Transmissible Brain Disease

By David Rettew M.D. on December 06, 2016 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
Fear and stigma about mental illness keeps our society from facing up to its transmissibility; this paradox resonates with the history of Kuru, a transmissible brain disease.

New Research Reveals Neural Roots of Social Anxiety

People with social anxiety disorder have an extreme fear of new social objects or situations. New neuroscience research shows how observational learning plays into this fear.

Clinical Linguistics: What a Mess! Part 1

Clinical linguistics may benefit from the ongoing biolinguistic turn in language sciences.

Is There a Place for Clinical Thinking in a Hospital?

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on December 01, 2016 in Feeling Our Way
Mark my words: In the not too distant future, some psychology organization will forbid us from treating cancer victims unless we hold some cancer credential.

Bedlam’s Door

By The Book Brigade on December 01, 2016 in The Author Speaks
The mentally ill are often shunted off to America’s jails for their odd behavior, but their singular crime is to reflect the rich tapestry of the human condition.

Workaholism and Psychiatric Disorders

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on December 01, 2016 in In Excess
There has been an increasing amount of research into workaholism but was is the relationship between work addiction, ADHD, OCD and depressions?

Listen to Our Discussion of Forced Psychiatric Care

By Dinah Miller M.D. on November 30, 2016 in Committed
Listen to yesterday's NPR's Diane Rehm Show on forced psychiatric care.

Post-Election Stress: Tips for Easing Children’s Anxiety

With the influx of social media, it is inevitable that children and adults will be exposed to political topics over the next few weeks. Here are some times for talking with kids.

A Discussion of Involuntary Psychiatric Care on NPR

By Dinah Miller M.D. on November 29, 2016 in Committed
The authors of the new book, Committed: The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care will be on NPR's Diane Rehm show on Tuesday, November 29th.
Copyright, Fredric Neuman M.D.

An Odd Suicide

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on November 28, 2016 in Fighting Fear
A major depression can overcome someone within a matter of days. Suicide, which is sometimes a consequence of such an illness, can occur seemingly for no reason, suddenly.

Can You Spice Up Your Antidepressant?

Is curcumin the next supplement to take psychiatry by storm? Not yet, but there's some promising data so far.

Parenting Matters, Especially for “Difficult” Kids

By David Rettew M.D. on November 25, 2016 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
No pressure, but a new study indicates that parenting behaviors matter most for temperamentally challenging kids.

The Diametrics of Personal Space: Autism vs. Schizophrenia

New research into the sense of personal space.

The Psychology of Animal Torture

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on November 23, 2016 in In Excess
Why would anyone want to deliberately inflict pain on a defenseless animal?

The Cure for Campus Loneliness

By Marcia Morris M.D. on November 20, 2016 in College Wellness
It’s strange to think that you could feel lonely on a campus of 500 or 5,000 students, but it happens all the time.

Going to College With Bipolar Disorder - Part I

By Russ Federman Ph.D., A.B.P.P. on November 17, 2016 in Bipolar You
The first half of a two-part blog post pertaining to the issues and challenges faced by college-bound high school students with bipolar disorder.

Early-Life Environment Influences Brain Growth and Behavior

Two recent studies demonstrate that environment influences brain growth and emotional behavior in children and adolescents.
Dora Calott Wang

Suicide is Preventable, Menninger Clinic President Says

By Dora Calott Wang M.D. on November 15, 2016 in The Kitchen Shrink
Want to Prevent Suicide? Just Set the Goal of Zero Suicides.

Why Do We Dream We Are Flying?

The important difference between the function of dreams and the meaning of dreams.

Can You Be Autistic and Bipolar at the Same Time?

Co-occurrence of autism and bipolar disorder seems ruled out by the diametric model until you realize that different mental modules and brain centres may be involved in each.

Your Brain on Daylight Savings

Daylight Savings transitions can affect our delicate circadian clocks, leading to disruptions in behavior and mood.

Awareness of Your Hair Pulling Can Help You Stop

By Tasneem Abrahams on November 05, 2016 in Mastering Hair Pulling
How do you stop pulling if you don't even know when you are doing it? Research shows that self-monitoring technology can help.
Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

Seasonal Affective Disorder: What You Need to Know

With the end of Daylight Savings Time, it's a good time to delve into the impact that lack of sunlight can have on mood, sleep and energy.

Are You Decisive?

By Dinah Miller M.D. on November 04, 2016 in Committed
How decisive are you? Researchers at Johns Hopkins are doing a survey on the nature of Doubt. Take a brief survey and learn something about yourself!

Effective Up and Down the Line

By Peter D Kramer on November 04, 2016 in In Practice
A recent study finds that antidepressants work across the spectrum of major depression, for patients with severe, moderate, and mild forms of the disorder. Will the press notice?

Freud: Conservative Revolutionary

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on November 03, 2016 in This Is America
Sigmund Freud was a product of his time. In a new biography, Élisabeth Roudinesco assesses Freud's ideas about rationality, sexuality, and the unconscious.

Depressed and Don't Know Why? Or What You Can Do About It?

If you or someone you know has been feeling uncharacteristically irritable, discouraged, self-critical, or down, help is available, now.

Behind the Book: On Writing About Forced Psychiatric Care

By Dinah Miller M.D. on November 02, 2016 in Committed
Forcing people to get psychiatric care is a polarizing issue. Does it have to be? Hear how these authors took on this disturbing topic.

Autism and Psychosis Can Cancel Out in Bipolar Disorder

The first study to assess the expression of autistic and schizotypal traits in adults with bipolar disorder confirms counter-intuitive predictions of the diametric model.