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

The Loneliness of the Secret Spot

By Greg Dillon M.D. on March 27, 2017 in Surf-Head
Is the guilty pleasure of your secret spot not quite cutting it? Maybe it's time to evolve...

Diabetes Risk and the Early Stages of Schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia are at higher risk for developing diabetes.

Why Virtual Reality Could Be a Mental Health Gamechanger

We’re still a long way from from being able to provide timely treatment to everyone who needs it, but we could be on the brink of dramatic change thanks to VR.

The Self Illusion and Psychotherapy

The self is an illusion and, as I noted in a recent paper published in Australasian Psychiatry, we can tailor psychotherapy to highjack the mechanisms that create it.

Is Mental Illness the Rule Rather Than the Exception?

We hear all the time that 1 in 5 people struggle with a psychiatric disorder. New research now suggests that we have it backwards.

Bipolar II or Bipolar Too?

The challenges of accurate symptom identification for those newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well as for diagnosed individuals who also struggle with emotional reactivity.

A Dietary Treatment for Depression

In a world first, Australian researchers have used a dietary change to successfully treat depression.

Remembering R.D. Laing

A brilliant man that the world has sorely missed for 28 years.

A Lost Opportunity for Mental Health Reform?

We don't let persons with Alzheimer’s leave the nursing home and wander the streets. Then, why do we allow persons with mental illness to refuse treatment and live under a bridge?

Machine Learning and Antidepressant Response

By David Hellerstein M.D. on March 14, 2017 in Heal Your Brain
Machine learning offers a powerful new method of exploring response to antidepressant medicine and a host of other treatments throughout medicine, a JAMA Psychiatry report shows.
By Tkgd2007 - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Human_evolution.svg?uselang=en-gb, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53150354

Evolutionary Psychology Applies to Everyone

Can understanding our evolutionary history help us better function in the contemporary environment? Absolutely!

Long-Term Use of ADHD Medications May Suppress Adult Height

Extended long-term use of medications to treat ADHD is associated with suppression of adult height by age 25, according to a new longitudinal study.

Generation X Uses Mental Health Care Services Differently

Changes in the use of psychotropic medications during a 5 year interval varied among individuals in different generational cohorts.

Stress Mindset Tied to Physical and Mental Health

Is stress getting in your way? Modifying your mindset may improve your health.

Why Donald J. Trump is Unfit to be President

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on March 10, 2017 in Me Before We
Donald J. Trump's distorted thinking and impulsive behavior, combined with his fixation on his own importance, directly imperils our safety as citizens of the United States.

The College Mental Health Crisis: Focus on Overall Wellbeing

Let’s look at some scary facts about mental health on our campuses...

Nicole's Story: Anorexia and Access to Care

Your heart cannot beat unless you feed it. Nicole, a young woman who lived with Anorexia Nervosa, shares her story.

What Is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia Nervosa is torture for the afflicted person, terrifying for parents, and terribly frustrating for clinicians...

Can Countries Lose Their Minds?

To say that a country lost its mind is a metaphoric description of a politically dysfunctional state.

Can You Improve Adult ADHD Without Medications?

Do you have Adult ADHD? Are there non-medication treatments? Have you tried medications but experience too many side effects or only partial benefit?

A New Paradigm for Psychiatry

The UN has put out a call for a new paradigm for psychiatry, “that could replace the failed medical model that dominates mental health today.”

Survey Finds Americans Are Stressed About the Future

Report from the American Psychological Association finds Americans are stressed, especially in Black Americans.

What Happens When Narcissism Turns Malignant

Narcissism is one of the Dark Triad traits that also include psychopathy and Machiavellianism. New research that sadism brings its own unique contribution to the equation.

Self-Injury Mortality: A Deadly Crisis

The number of deaths resulting from self-injury is staggering and growing. Over 70% of these deaths occur in people less than 55 years old.

Forgiveness: 3 Misconceptions

By Robert Enright, Ph.D. on February 18, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
Forgiving others can be misunderstood, preventing psychological healing.
Pavlen/iStock

The Prevention of Psychosis Relapse

By Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D. on February 17, 2017 in Brain and Behavior
How schizophrenia patients can employ frequent in-person check-ins.

World's First Clinical Trial Finds Diet Works for Depression

By Georgia Ede MD on February 17, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
Groundbreaking research proves that dietary choices have the power to help reduce and even reverse depression.

Early Brain Over-Growth Is Indicative of Autism as Predicted

The imprinted brain theory links brain growth to autism, and a new study confirms the association.

Alzheimer's Disease: Repeating Failures

By Mario D Garrett Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in iAge
What we have learned from history is that dementia is complex; why are we simplifying the disease again?
Courtesy of John Torous

To App or Not to App

By Dora Calott Wang M.D. on February 13, 2017 in The Kitchen Shrink
American Psychiatric Association takes Leadership in the Wild West of Mental Health Apps