Psychiatry Essential Reads

The Self "Loathsome Gluttony" of Binge-eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a new diagnostic category in psychiatry's DSM-5 although it was first described in 1959. Already pharmaceutical companies are heavily marketing their medications to this new population.

Analyzing Analysts

In Shrinks, Jeffrey Lieberman reviews psychiatry's "tumultuous history," and its current emphasis on the medical treatment of mental illnesses. He maintains that psychiatry fares best when it avoids the extremes of reductionist neurobiology and the psychodynamic element in existential disease. That said, Shrinks does not address important questions about talk therapy.

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

All of us encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair, or confusion. In these situations, how we choose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive versus reactive, and confidence versus insecurity. Here are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations...

Breakup: How to Tell If You Suffer from Complicated Grief

Sometimes it is impossible to let go of grief. When you continue to grieve a loss, your condition is called complicated grief. Complicated grief is so severe that psychiatrists now consider it for inclusion in the psychiatric manual for diagnosing mental disorders. Here is how to tell if you suffer from complicated grief.

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?

Recent Links Between Food and Mood

By Gary L Wenk Ph. D. on April 08, 2015 in Your Brain on Food
A poor diet that was high in saturate fats and caloric levels lead to depression. Fortunately, it is never too late to take advantage of the benefits of a healthy diet.

What If My Patient Is a Pilot?

By Robert Klitzman M.D. on April 05, 2015 in Am I My Genes?
The recently Germanwings airplane crash raises critical ethical dilemmas about what health care providers should do if they treat a pilot who has on-going symptoms that could impede flying. Should mental health and other providers violate these patients' confidentiality, and if so, when?

What's in a Name?

By Allen J Frances M.D. on April 05, 2015 in DSM5 in Distress
Diagnosis and empathy are necessary partners in any therapeutic relationship, fully complementary and in no way incompatible.

Madness in Civilization

Madness as a perennial problem, and the problems of contemporary biological reductionism.

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.

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 30, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Not all depressions are alike. Severe depression with psychotic features may elude a clinician as they are well masked or not present at the time of the exam. Symptoms ebb and flow, troubled people can be high functioning and we have much to uncover about the conditions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

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.

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?

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.

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.

Children Who Kill Are Often Victims Too

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

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.

No, There Is no Such Thing as ADHD

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

Close Encounters with Criminal Minds

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 15, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
During the late 19th century a pathologist-turned-criminologist founded the technique of criminal autobiographies; from within the stories came deep truths.

Are You Having Enough Sex?

As a psychotherapist specializing in sexual and intimacy disorders, I can tell you that for a lot of individuals and couples the amount of sex they’re having (or not having) can be worrisome.

The 'Other' Marshmallow Test

The tower building exercise - and its marshmallow - reveals another secret of successful human behavior, in this case for mental health professionals: when we put the goals of our patients first and foremost, they are going to be more effective, and so will we.

Why Some People Are More Resilient Than Others

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on March 11, 2015 in Good Thinking
Everyone suffers at least one negative life event. A recent study discovered two factors that characterize resilient people following negative or even traumatic life events.

The Case of Francis Underwood

I always like to take the opportunity to explain misunderstood psychiatric concepts or diagnoses, and to clarify when a psychiatric term is used incorrectly or prone to misinterpretation. In today’s blog, I aim to do both of these things.

Creativity and Mental Illness

Creating and creativity are healthy processes in contradiction to contentions such as those of Kay Jamison and Nancy Andreasen and others who have carried out weak research purportedly showing connections between creativity and mental illness.

Psychosis Sucks!

By Joe Pierre M.D. on March 05, 2015 in Psych Unseen
Does the British Psychological Society's recently published monograph called "Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia" dangerously romanticize mental illness? Here's why psychiatrists say yes.

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

ADHD Medication Linked to Fewer ER Visits

By David Rettew M.D. on February 20, 2015 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
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.

Fatherhood by the Numbers

By Peter B. Gray Ph.D. on February 19, 2015 in The Evolving Father
Fatherhood lags behind motherhood, but is also rising. That's fatherhood by the numbers. Scholars also call for increased research on fatherhood interventions, including more rigorous research designs to discern what the effects of those interventions on children will be.

What is it Like to Have Schizophrenia?

Virtual reality takes you into the minds of those who suffer from a mental illness.