What Is Psychopharmacology?

The use of drugs to alleviate the symptoms of mental disorders makes psychoactive agents—especially antipsychotics and antidepressants—among the most widely prescribed pharmaceuticals today. Much debate surrounds the use of stimulants to treat attention-deficit problems and the side effects of antidepressants, especially for children. The general effectiveness of antidepressants when measured against a placebo remains controversial, although the treatments that prove most effective combine drugs with psychotherapy.

Recent Posts on Psychopharmacology

Gangs: Protecting Today’s Youth - Part Two

Many youth who join gangs are looking for a family because they are lacking one at home. A gang is not a family, nor will it ever replace one. A little acceptance, love, compassion, and support can go a long way in deterring youth gang involvement.

Is Overprescription of Antidepressants Sexist?

A thoughtful editorial in today's New York Times, made me consider a new reason for concern about the overprescription of antidepressants: they are written disproportionately to females and may be suppressing women's natural emotionality.

Empty Man Syndrome

By Alex Korb Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in PreFrontal Nudity
For some people depression is a hole they can't ever seem to climb out of. Often there are several factors conspiring against them.

ADHD and Early Death: A False Assumption

By Claudia M Gold M.D. on February 28, 2015 in Child in Mind
Space and time to listen to the story are critical to effective treatment of problems of regulation of attention, behavior and emotion. Perhaps the risk of early death in individuals diagnosed with ADHD lies in the absence of recognition and treatment of complex underlying causes.

Gangs: Protecting Today’s Youth - Part One

Gangs are a problem plaguing our nation. While trends show a steady decrease from the past, gangs are still prevalent in many communities throughout the U.S. Unfortunately, many gangs lure susceptible youth into their ranks leading them down a path of criminal activity, drugs and ultimately destruction.

Schizophrenia and Violence, Part II

By Betsy Seifter Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in After the Diagnosis
The insanity defense fails again, but mentally ill offenders need treatment, not punishment.

ADHD and Weed: What’s the Draw?

Does marijuana help with ADHD?

Is Good Psychotherapy Worth the Investment?

By Judith Coche Ph.D., ABPP on February 26, 2015 in No Ordinary Life
Nick, age 55, gets unstuck when he and wife Barbara join together to invest in their own depth therapy to deal with how to feel passion, be more cognitively flexible, and create a happier marriage. They are glad they did.

Think You Can't Get Drunk on Soda Water? Think Again.

Don't blame it on the alcohol! Blame it on your expectations about drinking.

The Psychology of Wonder

By Thomas Hills Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Statistical Life
Who we are is a consequence of our internal model, and when we change that by learning something new, we change our understanding of ourselves.

4 Shocking Lies About Weight

By Harriet Brown on February 26, 2015 in Brave Girl Eating
4 shocking lies about weight and health you need to know

Having a Baby: When You Don't Agree

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on February 26, 2015 in Fixing Families
Being on different pages about having children can be a major relationship roadblock. The key is uncovering the problem under the problem -- some likely suspects.

Managing Pain Versus Recovering From Pain

By Scott Dehorty MSW, LCSW-C on February 25, 2015 in Chronic Pain 360
A pain management approach is frequently considered as the first line of attack when the degree of pain exceeds a person’s ability to cope on his or her own. When pain moves from the acute to the chronic stage, some people may continue with a pain management regimen because they’re unaware that other modalities exist.

New Sleep Guidelines to Keep Youth Healthy

By Richard Taite on February 24, 2015 in Ending Addiction for Good
Without regular age appropriate amounts of sleep, adolescents are at risk for developing a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, weight change, and sometimes insomnia.

Ebb and Flow

By Stephen Gray Wallace on February 24, 2015 in Decisions Teens Make
Overuse of technology by young people may result in distraction, stress and impaired performance. Help them find flow!

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

First Synesthete on Mars?

By Maureen Seaberg on February 24, 2015 in Sensorium
Synesthete Andrew Tunks believes our mind's inner space is crucial to success in outer space.

Empire: A New Model for Bipolar Disorder on TV

By Ruth C. White Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Culture in Mind
Empire is a new hit TV show on the Fox Network that not only breaks ground as a black family drama based in hip-hop culture, but it shows a rare character with bipolar disorder who is not falling apart at the seams. Andre, the eldest son of a family music dynasty, has a degree from an elite school and (so far) successfully runs the family's multi-faceted business empire.

Why Some College Students Love Molly

It's not surprising that college students look to party drugs.

Discovering Peace of Mind

By Leon Pomeroy Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Beyond Good and Evil
I became the person I always wanted to be

Future of Mental Health Virtual Conference Airs Feb 23 - 27

By Eric R. Maisel Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Rethinking Psychology
15 experts from the critical psychology, critical psychiatry and anti-psychiatry movements join in a free streaming virtual conference,

Smoking and Weight: Those "Burnt-out Ends of Smoky Days"

By Sylvia R Karasu M.D. on February 20, 2015 in The Gravity of Weight
The dangers of cigarette smoking are well-known, but many people continue to smoke because of the fear that they will gain weight after they stop. What do we know about the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on weight?

ADHD Medication Linked to Fewer ER Visits

By David Rettew M.D. on February 20, 2015 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
A new study of 17,000 kids in Hong Kong finds a reduction of ER visits during periods when children with ADHD are taking medication.

Discussing Illness Without Alienating the Ill

By Julie K Hersh on February 20, 2015 in Struck By Living
The arts offer an unthreatening microscope and telescope to examine stories, which we can adapt to our own healing.

Queen of Consciousness

By Susan Blackmore Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in Ten Zen Questions
I was “Queen of consciousness” in this month’s PT magazine, talking about out-of-body experiences, hallucinogenic drugs, anorexia and the future of technology.

The Teenage Brain on Drugs

By Richard Taite on February 19, 2015 in Ending Addiction for Good
One way to look at addiction is to consider it a form of learning, a type of learning that is extremely effective in its ability to affect the adolescent brain, report researchers working under an NIH grant.

Writing a New Pain Prescription

In the past few decades, chronic pain relief in the U.S. has come primarily in the form of prescription opioids. And it’s taken a deadly toll. Sales of these painkillers have increased 300 percent since 1999; meanwhile, overdose deaths from opioid pain relievers have quadrupled.

Health Insurance—Insuring Insecurity

Corruption breeds cynicism—welcome to health insurance

Assisted Abstinence

By Howard C. Samuels Psy.D. on February 18, 2015 in The Beast Within
In the burgeoning field of medically assisted detox, there is a train of thought that says the only thing an addict needs is a physical head start against withdrawal -- but how do we address what happens in the addict's mind itself?

This is Your Brain When You Give Up Sugar For Lent

By Jordan Gaines Lewis on February 18, 2015 in Brain Babble
Did you decide to give up sweets for Lent? Here's what your brain will experience over the next 40 days.