Psychiatry Essential Reads

Depression in Children

What are the risk factors for childhood depression and how can it be treated?

Depression Screening - What Should We Do?

The government wants every adult to be screened for depression - then what?

Heavy Metal: Lead and the Brain

How lead disrupts the brain and causes irreversible damage.

Smashing the Neurotransmitter Myth

Serotonin depletion is not the cause of psychiatric conditions. Antidepressants are a significant factor in suicides and mass mass murders.

Psychiatric Medicines Are Not All Good Or All Bad

By Allen J Frances M.D. on January 15, 2016 Saving Normal
Psychiatric meds that are very helpful for clear cut psychiatric disorders usually do more harm than good when used for the everyday difficulties that life throws at us.

The Most Important Controversy in Current Psychiatry

A dimensional approach does not permit discrimination between health and illness, and there is no scientific base for its use in research.

How Microbes, Viruses, Imprinted Genes, etc. Shape Behaviour

Important insights into mental health—not to mention into who we are—follow from the realization that biologically speaking human beings are anything but single, unified organisms.

A Tribute to Robert Spitzer

By Allen J Frances M.D. on January 08, 2016 Saving Normal
Bob Spitzer, who recently died at age 83, was the most influential psychiatrist of his time and a pioneer in normalizing homosexuality.

Why Do We Fear Mental Illness?

The instinct to avoid the topic of mental illness prevents many families whose lives have been impacted by it from talking about it.

Gut, Autism, and ADHD

The microbiota in babies impacts mental health in children in surprising ways.

7 Tips for Coping With A Paranoid Partner

Living with a paranoid person can take a toll. False accusations and delusional fears are not easy to manage, especially in a person who is otherwise functioning fairly well.

Does Marijuana Cause Psychosis?

The possible link between cannabis and psychosis is a hotly debated topic as states consider legalizing marijuana. What does the scientific evidence to date say?

Self Creation and Treatment

Creation of the self in the course of therapy is similar to the process of creation of all types of art. It involves the unearthing of self knowledge, new choices and alternatives.

The Social Cure For Mental Illness

By Allen J Frances M.D. on December 19, 2015 Saving Normal
We are social animals who can be fully human only when interacting with others. In the US, we worsen the symptoms of our mentally ill by neglecting their needs and excluding them f

The Aliens Have Landed!

Many autistics feel like visitors from another planet, and the metaphor is a good one.

How Scary Are the Mental Health Risks of Vegetarianism?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on December 15, 2015 Animals and Us
While most vegetarians don't have histories of psychiatric disorders, some studies have linked meat-avoidance with mental illness. But how strong is the link and why does it exist?

Are Psychiatric Disorders Brain Diseases?

Prominent psychiatrists declare that all mental disorders are biological diseases. Is there proof? If not, can they say it anyway?

What Is Happening to Middle-Aged White People in the U.S.?

Previously decreasing mortality rates have reversed for 45- to 54-year-old white men and women in the U.S. due in large part to higher suicide rates and more accidental overdoses.

Why Universities Must Improve Student Mental Health Care

By Jeffrey Lieberman M.D. on December 09, 2015 Shrink Speak
College's are breeding grounds for mental disorders, it's time to address this problem by providing effective mental health services.

Mass Killers Explained by Syndrome E (Evil)

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 06, 2015 Moral Landscapes
Recently, Itzhak Fried hosted a conference on Syndrome E, an idea he published in 1997 to explain mass killers. Let’s examine the characteristics and alternative explanations.

Understanding the Human Health-Illness Continuum

Responding to a question about whether obesity is a disease, this blog describes the key elements to keep in mind when considering the concepts of health and illness.

PTSD and the DSM-5, Part 1

More than thirty-five years after the 1980 recognition of PTSD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the data are unequivocal: Today there can be no doubt about the validity of PTSD as a diagnostic entity.

Psychiatric Vs. Neurological: Can the Brain Tell?

As discussion continues about the real or artificial boundaries between neurological and psychiatric disorders, a curious new study uses brain scans to help sort it all out.

Iron, Dopamine, and ADHD

Iron, a common mineral (and, paradoxically, a common mineral deficiency in humans) is important to the brain.

5 Tips to Help Children Cope with Threats of Terrorism

Our country has constantly been on alert of terror threats and many families have to find the best way to talk with their children about potential crisis.

Are School Shooters Running Amok?

School shootings in the U.S. are similar in many ways to a SE Asian variety of sudden mass assault called “amok.” Does it make sense to think of American-style school shootings as a culture-bound syndrome?

Creativity and Psychiatric Illnesses

Small effects of many genes may increase the risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Some of these same genes may also contribute to creativity. Increased creativity may be helpful in terms of human evolution.

The Healing Waters

Nothing like a good shower.

Is Autism a Mental Illness?

The recent tragedy in Oregon has renewed controversy about what autism really is or isn’t. While often well intentioned, this debate is based on shaky scientific ground and may actually be making stigma worse.