Trends in Youth Psychiatric Treatment: The Plot Thickens

A major new study looks at changes in the rates of child psychiatric disorders and their treatment. Its combination of both good and bad news will be a challenge to the cherry pickers on both sides of the psychiatry debate.

Positive Psychiatry: The Next Chapter for an Evolving Field

It’s time for psychiatry to move towards being true physician experts in mental health, not just mental illness. This means going beyond psychotherapy and medications treatment by incorporating validated wellness strategies in the day to day work with patients and families.

ADHD as a Continuum, Inside and Out

Some call ADHD a true brain disease while others call it pure nonsense. New evidence supporting the idea of ADHD as an extreme of normal trait variation demonstrates how everyone might be wrong.

Using Time-Outs: Top 5 Mistakes Parents Make

Time-outs do not cause brain damage and are an effective strategy to reduce negative behavior in children. However, they can easily be used in less than optimal ways. Keeping in mind these 5 common errors can help parents get the most out of this valuable technique.

Parental Warmth: Simple, Powerful, and Often Challenging

Amidst all the chatter about parenting styles and techniques, it is easy to forget about the importance of warmth. This overlooked dimension is found to be critical to child development in study after study, so why don’t we give it the attention it deserves?

The Backlash Against Psychiatric Diagnoses

Only in mental health does there exist the idea that we should avoid diagnostic terms if the cause of the suffering is great. This well-intentioned but misguided effort only alienates people further.

Is ADHD Genetically Influenced? Yes!

The evidence that ADHD behaviors have at least some genetic influence is absolutely overwhelming. Distorting and cherry picking research is not the way to advance good discussion on important topics.

How Youth Wind Up Taking Antipsychotic Medications

Yes, the number of kids taking antipsychotic medications is rising, but what does that mean? A new study begins to illuminate the process being the prescriptions.

ADHD Medication Linked to Fewer ER Visits

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.

Treating Parents Helps Kids

There is mounting evidence that mental health problems can run in families and that treating parents can improve child behavior. Putting this knowledge into practice, however, has been slow.

Is There a Single Dimension of Mental Illness?

A new study finds evidence for a “p factor” that cuts across a wide number of different psychiatric diagnoses.

Musical Training Linked to Youth Brain Maturation

The arts may have the strongest positive benefits for people who are not the most innately talented. A new study coming from a new model of child psychiatry demonstrates the link between music and brain development.

ADHD as a Brain Maturation Delay?

Scientists applying a new wave of brain scan technology find ADHD-related differences in how functional brain networks mature

Preventing Psychiatric Disorders and Crime

Wouldn’t it be amazing if there were specific interventions that could actually prevent emerging psychiatric disorders and criminal behavior? A new study that followed children for 20 years shows the potential, and the challenges, of one major prevention effort.

Omega-3s May Reduce Child Aggression

A new study randomized controlled study suggests that fish oil may improve child behavior problems such as aggression, particularly if the parents’ behavior also changes.

Effects of Trauma Do not Require Specific Memories

A new study shows that trauma affects behavior and the brain even in the absence of declarative memory. What the study doesn’t say is also important.

The Sunshine Act and What It Means to You

The public now has the ability to see specific payments made by pharmaceutical companies to individual physicians. The question now is what to do with that information.

Pediatricians as Mental Health Doctors

More and more mental health care for children is being delivered by pediatricians and other primary care physicians. Hear how one of this year’s candidates for the presidency of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Joseph Hagan, views the role of pediatricians in this changing landscape.

Child Behavior as “Choices:” Not Quite Correct but Right

Our culture now encourages us to label child behavior as a choice. While this framework may not be completely accurate, there may be some good reasons to keep it going.

More Depressed Teachers, More Difficult Child Behavior

How happy is your child's teacher? The answer could be related to the quality of the learning environment and the child's behavior both at home and at school.

Child Maltreatment May Actually Be Declining

Despite all the frightening headlines, a new study shows significant drops in the rate of everything from bullying to child abuse from 2003 to 2011.

Infant Sleep and the Crying-It-Out Debate

It is time to reign in the unsupported claims made by both sides of the pick them up versus let them cry debate.

Trauma and ADHD: Think “And," Not “Or”

We seem to love bashing the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD these days, chalking up the whole problem to something else. The brain, however, doesn’t work in these absolute terms.

Can Being Bullied Make You Sick?

A new study shows that victims of bullying have increased levels of chronic inflammation while previous bullies show an opposite pattern.

Antidepressants and Youth: A Decade since the “Black Box”

While concern about antidepressants causing suicide has faded from the spotlight, some important developments have occurred since the 2004 warning was issued.

Top 3 Ways the Media Screws Up Reporting Science

In the process from going from a technical journal article to a splashy soundbite, important elements can get lost. Here’s how to look out for three of the most common traps when the popular media interpret scientific data.

Mental Health Is More Than Mental Illness

We call ourselves mental health professionals, but what most of us have been trained to do is work with mental illness. Moving forward, this emphasis will need to change if we are going to incorporate new findings in neuroscience and adapt to a changing landscape.

What If We All Got Mentally Ill Sometimes?

There are milder forms of illness that affect all organs of the body, so why should the brain be any different? Denying the existence of psychiatric symptoms is not the answer to reduce unnecessary medications.

ADHD Diagnosis Rate Up 42 Percent Over Last Decade

A new large survey compares the rate of ADHD diagnosis and medication treatment from 2003 to 2011, with a breakdown of each state in the country. The numbers are up, but what does that mean?

Autism Detection Improved—If We Can Follow the New Steps

A new and improved autism screening procedure has been published for 18 to 24 month olds. The question is, however, whether or not primary care doctors will incorporate the new required steps into an already busy practice.

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