Essential Reads

Precision Medicine’s Cultural Limits

Even if we had an Oracle Chip, we'd still need doctors.

The Case of Claire Underwood

Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

March Madness

Why you should consider mental health services when choosing a college

4 Predictions for the Future of Addiction Treatment

These advancements may be just over the horizon.

Recent Posts on Psychiatry

What Makes You Say You’re Lonely?

By Peter Toohey on March 26, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
What does it mean to be lonely and how do say that you are lonely? Is language enough to describe it? Are you lonely just because you think you are lonely and say you are lonely? Or are specific circumstances required for there to be loneliness? What does loneliness mean for the animal and human brain? Is loneliness and the word “loneliness” common to all cultures?

Precision Medicine’s Cultural Limits

"Everyone is different." This is the fundamental tenant of Precision Medicine: to utilize this difference to improve outcome. Real life is more complicated, and there is a lot that is not yet worked out before this approach will yield benefits.

Anorexia and the Dangers of Blog Post Titles

By Emily T. Troscianko on March 26, 2015 in A Hunger Artist
Few topics induce stronger emotion than parenting and children’s illness, and where emotions are heightened miscommunication can easily occur. Here I try to clarify my mother’s original argument, respond to some readers’ comments which blur the crucial distinction between personal and scientific ‘findings’, and reflect on the role of choice in recovery from anorexia.

Anorexia Affects More Men Than Previously Thought

Anorexia and bulimia are traditionally seen as “female problems” but recent studies show that approximately one third of people with anorexia and about one half of those with bulimia are men.

Delirious Mania?

On March 9, on a Monday afternoon in DeKalb County, Georgia, Anthony Hill, a black Air Force veteran in postdeployment from Afghanistan, removed all his clothes, slid down from the balcony of his second-floor apartment, and began walking.

The Case of Claire Underwood

Two weeks ago, I used the character of Frank Underwood as a “case study” to illustrate the misunderstood psychiatric diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, and many of you asked: Well, what about his wife, Claire?

What Parents Can’t Do

More than twice as many states required parental consent for mental health treatment than for substance abuse treatment.

Creativity and Mental Illness II: The Scream

In a previous post, I showed Jackson Pollock's creation of abstract expressionism during a healthy period. Here, we see Edvard Munch's use of healthy creative processes to produce the famous lithograph "The Scream." Although both artists suffered from Bipolar Disorders, their creative work and thinking consisted of healthy mental processes.

When You Don't Have Time for Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Now that spring has sprung, it's a good time to focus on becoming healthier. For many, this may sound like an overwhelming task. But creating small, reasonable goals is the best way to make lifestyle changes.

March Madness

By Jeffrey Lieberman M.D. on March 24, 2015 in Shrink Speak
Students and parents rarely consider that they might need mental health services during college and often urgently. For this reason, they would be well advised to include the quality and availability of mental health services along with traditional considerations as they decide on the college of their choice.

Falls End Lives; Good Balance Saves Them

By Allen J Frances M.D. on March 24, 2015 in DSM5 in Distress
Falling is a major cause of disability and death. Physical exercise and specific balance tasks greatly reduce the risks. People who don't change their behavior to prevent falls are almost sure to have them.

Why AA is Bad Science…and What It Means for Treatment

Why then is AA’s 12-step model the “go to” treatment choice for most Americans? The answer is simple—for most of its history, AA really was the only treatment available for addicts and alcoholics.

10 Ways Musical Training Boosts Brain Power

A wide range of new research shows that playing a musical instrument can boost brain function throughout a person's lifespan.

The Politicization of Mental Health

By David J Ley Ph.D. on March 22, 2015 in Women Who Stray
Shootings, deaths and tragedies involving mental illness fill our news every day. Politicians are talking about mental health more than ever before. But, most political efforts to reform these issues ignore the deep underlying issues of funding, regulatory complexity and access which inhibit real reform.

How to Know if Your Teen Is Seriously Suicidal

By Temma Ehrenfeld on March 21, 2015 in Open Gently
Headaches, insomnia, all-over skin sensations, and drinking alcohol are all danger signs.

Cold Hearts or Broken Brains?

I remember the very first feeling I had, was my heart pounding. I mean really pounding. The second feeling I had was that my hands were sweating. And the third feeling was fear, and the kind of reality set in that there was a murderer in front of me.

The End of Stigma

Brazil's campaign to tackle mental health discrimination.

What Schizophrenia Teaches Us About Perception

By Allie Burke on March 20, 2015 in Paper Souls
The very definition of schizophrenia stigmatizes the entire human race as a parallel universe, thereby refusing the reality of exclusivity.

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.

Genetics and the Ides of March

The change of seasons has long been known to cause changes in mental health. Is there a genetic component?

4 Predictions for the Future of Addiction Treatment

While there are no easy answers, either for those struggling with substance use disorders or those attempting to help them, science gives us much to hope for, and accumulated experience is teaching us better each day what works and what doesn’t.

Sexism in Mental Health Practice

Misogyny in the mental health system warrants special attention during Women's History Month.

Children Who Kill Are Often Victims Too

Children who murder have often been severely abused or neglected and have experienced a tumultuous home life

Momentary Living

For me, it’s been a 30-year career in psycho-oncology and palliative care. The struggle and the central questions have always been the same, however I didn’t always realize it.

Why Childhood Stress Crimps Academic Performance

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 18, 2015 in The Human Beast
Animals from an environment full of risk remain vigilant and avoid exploring their surroundings. This promotes survival but has the indirect consequence of reducing their cognitive ability. A similar pattern applies to humans and shows up as academic under performance.

Want to Feel Good, Live Better, and Probably Live Longer?

The other night I watched with great interest a PBS special on heart health. The focus of the show was on Dr. Steven Masley’s book titled "The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up," to be released in paperback next month.

Mind-Bottling Malarkey, Medicine, or Malpractice?

...72,500 kids three or younger are being drugged for depression. For others several months old to three years of age, more than 4,000 are being given anti-psychotics for bipolar, another 11,000 are being drugged for ADHD, and 509,891 are on anti-anxiety pills. Has the sect of clinicians prescribing these drugs never spent time with an infant or toddler?

No, There Is no Such Thing as ADHD

Understanding the interplay of temperament and trauma reveals the fiction of ADHD.

The Cerebellum Deeply Influences Our Thoughts and Emotions

Yesterday there was a report on NPR about groundbreaking new research on the cerebellum from Harvard Medical School. The latest neuroscience shows that the cerebellum plays an important role in creating fluidity between our thoughts, actions, emotions, and cognitive processes.

Study Finds People with ADHD More Likely to Die Prematurely

The findings of this study can be anxiety-provoking for anyone touched by AD/HD. But the answer may be as simple as effective treatment.