Protesting Against Big Pharma Is One Thing

The new drugs, on the whole, have been a blessing, and it is unnerving to see the whole psychopharmacological enterprise now trashed in an indiscriminate manner.

Hillary's Mental Health Plan Needs Work

Better care for vets with PTSD, suicide prevention, getting the mentally ill out of jails: What enlightened person could possibly oppose any of these ideas?

Why Have We Become So Anxious?

So what is changing in peoples lives to accelerate all this focused and unfocused anxiety? That is the question of the decade.

The GOP Anti-Porn Platform

What is surprising is that the Republican rightwingers see a “crisis” in the vast new interest in porn, now that sexual images can be streamed on smartphones.

The Big Divide in US Psychiatry

Peter Kramer just brought out a new book, Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants. The book is fluently written, interestingly argued and deserves wide sales.

Is the Epidemic of Teenage Suicide Caused by Depression?

Today, the chatter on personal devices is about depression, sometimes about suicidal thoughts. Young girls in particular are batting this stuff about on Facebook, and acting on it.

Is Heat an Antidepressant?

Before psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, there was a third therapeutic tradition in psychiatry--and it involved heat. And it was very successful.

Don’t Give Up, Adam!

Our hearts go out to this sad, young man who is experiencing the symptoms of severe depression. He has somehow fallen between the cracks in the system of psychiatric care.

Teen Suicide: Parents Guard Your Daughters

The newest suicide rates are just out and the results suggest that an epidemic of suicide among the nation’s young teenage girls is in course.

Is the Countryside Now More Toxic Than the City?

By almost every measure of mental health, the countryside is now more dangerous than the city.

Antidepressants and Efficacy

We have long known that antidepressants are not highly effective because they fail so many of their licensing trials for the Food and Drug Administration.
2014 Update of the Rural-Urban Chartbook, Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center, October 2014 p. 72

Does City Life Make Us Crazy?

Ever since the French poet of dissolution, Charles Baudelaire, described “the chaos of the living city” in 1857, the city has been associated with mental fragmentation and madness.

The Problem of “Intractable” Depression

They are a familiar sight in any psychiatrist’s office, patients who are deeply sad without being able to say why. They may even have started asking, “What’s the point?”

The Passing of Robert Spitzer

Estimating Spitzer’s place in history is largely a matter of assessing the impact of the DSM-3, and the revised version, DSM-3-R.

Why Don’t Doctors Want to Hear About Psychosomatic Problems?

It happens all the time: symptoms without lesions. You feel awful, have pains here and there, but physicians can’t find anything organically wrong with you.

The Voice of Science to Houston Control

A psychiatric patient who throws a tray table has committed a criminal offense and may be the object of “lethal force.” Any concept that the symptoms of psychiatric patients may involve aggression and agitation – and should be the object of medical not police attention -- has been lost here.

What To Do for Those Truly Depressed Kids?

Psychiatry, as a field, has forgotten so much. But it’s the kids who are now paying a price for this.

Thomas Insel Leaves NIMH for Google

At NIMH, Insel brought in a big new program, Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), to investigate the biological underpinnings of psychiatric illness. This was very progressive: moving the field off the dead center of psychotherapy (where the Freudian hand still lay heavy when Insel took over in 2002), and shifting laterally towards science and away from psychopharmacology...

Kitty Dukakis’s Chronic Depression

It is wonderful to see science and reason triumphing over urban myths -- comparable to the anti-vaccine myths – that are toxic to public health. And it’s happening because of the engagement of non-physician volunteers such as the Dukakis’s and the Lutz’s.

Rethinking the Symptoms of Autism

The tragedy here is that, among that many symptoms of autism that are unresponsive to treatment, catatonic symptoms are highly responsive. Instead, many clinicians are still administering neuroleptics, which may make the patients worse rather than better. Medicine has the power to relieve illness, but switch a train onto the wrong track and it may just ignore the red flag

Is It Time to Rehabilitate Al Goldstein, Publisher of Screw?

Reflecting the conventional psychoanalytic wisdom of the day, Goldstein attributed all his problems to an overbearing mother and a weak father. This is nonsense. He had a biological brain disease, and much of the opprobrium that rained down on him reflected ignorance that at times he was simply out of control.

Where Does Desire Come From?

This is one of the big questions in psychology: When we experience sexual desires that are new to us, is it because our brains have just become activated for that particular desire, which slumbered latently all along?

Despite an Ocean of Medication Teenage Suicides Soar

Many observers are inclined to see a causal link here: the flood tide of medications may be causing teen suicides. I’m not so sure. What we’re seeing is probably not a paradoxical effect of medication but the undertreatment of depression.

Erotomania Haunts Female Tennis Stars

Erotomania may mean the fixed false idea that someone is in love with you, and that she is prevented from declaring her love. This could be dismissed as a relatively harmless though annoying belief, except for the fact that erotomaniacs can turn vengefully upon the love object after perceiving themselves as rejected.
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Psychiatry Headed into the Future or Off A Cliff?

Two Chinese investigators, Ying Wu and Zhiguang Duan at Shanxi Medical University, have recently tried to assess highlights in psychiatry since the 1960s. They analyzed references in 85, 612 papers published in 10 leading psychiatry journals, using a variant of who-cites-whom analysis, to identify central issues. This is not a method of establishing truth but rather of te

A Beautiful Mind: What Did John Nash Really Have?

Nash was certainly delusional and evidently hallucinated as well. He filled the blackboards of Fine Hall at Princeton with indecipherable scribblings, and wandered about the campus in an apparent daze. He became known as “The Phantom of Fine Hall.”

Is the DSM Turning into a Train Wreck?

Psychiatry is rapidly losing faith in the DSM. The National Institute for Mental Health has already rejected it as a symptom guide for research. The Europeans are openly skeptical. Yet the trainee psychiatrists are still obliged to memorize it and pretend that the DSM illnesses (“bipolar disorder,” “major depression,” and “social anxiety disorder”) are real.

The Debate Over “Excited Delirium” Heats Up

To be clear, we have known since the early 19th century that there is a form of manic excitement, or “manic delirium,” that may end fatally.

The Coming Battle over Serotonin and Depression

There was never any valid scientific evidence showing clinical depression was associated with lowered levels of serotonin: It was all smoke and mirrors. But such is the power of Big Pharma – and such is the power of a good story – that many academics bought into it, and careers were built on the concept of lowered serotonin causing depression.

Did Copilot Andreas Lubitz Conceal His Illness?

Many patients with severe, melancholic depression dissimulate and pretend that everything is fine so that family and caregivers will not block their suicidal plans. This danger of dissimulation in severe depression is something that psychiatrists have always known about.