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.

State of Child Mental Health 2014: Are Things Really So Bad?

Headlines today are full of stories of troubled children unsupported by a troubled mental health system. While there are serious problems to confront, what do the rates of key indicators of child mental health over the past 3 to 4 decades tell us about where we actually stand?

New Limits for Child Screen Time: Two Hours or Too Naïve?

In response to some truly startling data, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued stringent new guidelines on how much television, video games, and social media a child should do each day. Getting there will likely pose a huge challenge for parents.

ADHD Medication Rates Across 50 States

Whether or not a child takes a stimulant medication for ADHD depends a lot on where you live. In one state, over 5% of kids are prescribed a stimulant while in another it is less that 0.5%. Is your state near the top?

The ADHD Debate

If you are feeling weary, confused, and a little irritated with the polarizing rhetoric in the press recently regarding ADHD, here is an attempt to offer some insight for why the disorder is so controversial and what might be done to move us forward.

Do Kids Still Care About Professional Sports?

Between video games, Pokémon cards, and $200 ticket prices, the attraction of kids to professional sports may be starting to wane. Should we welcome this change as an opportunity to engage children elsewhere or grieve the fading of one of the classic parts of growing up?

Do You Have an Override Button?

Kids, just like mountains, are capable of creating their own weather. When we feel that storm coming, however, it can be important as parents to be able to respond in a way that doesn’t amplify behaviors into larger problems. Being able to override a quite understandable but not always optimal response in these instances can come in very handy.

Response to “The State of Psychiatry Today”

Yes psychiatry has yet to find tidy causes or cures for mental illness, but that doesn't mean we should abandon the search for "biological" factors. In the meantime, painting psychiatrists as biological reductionists trying to pad their resume is a stunning cartoon of real life.

Zombification Is Not an Acceptable Medication Outcome

Doctors don’t want their child patients to sit around with lifeless stares, either. Whether the symptoms targeted for treatment can be completely separated from the traits treasured as core features, however, is a complicated matter.