Psychiatry Essential Reads

There’s a Bright Side to Personality’s Dark Triad

We know that people high on psychopathy and related traits lurk in the “dark side” of personality, but what about its opposite? Having a “bright side” to your personality may sound positive, but it can create its own shadows in your life. See how you rate on these 13 typical qualities of the colorful (but still dark) personality.

Prions, Memory and PTSD

By Shaili Jain M.D. on August 26, 2015 in The Aftermath of Trauma
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been described as a disorder of memory. It has become quite apparent that there are two types of memory in PTSD. The work of Eric R. Kandel forms the basis for much of what we understand about how memories are formed.

Can You Lose Your Eyesight for Psychological Reasons?

What is referred to as 'medically unexplained visual loss' or non-organic visual loss (NOVL), is reported to occur in 1 to 5% of patients attending ophthalmology clinics. In many cases it continues without improvement for an extended period.

What's Wrong with Antianxiety Drugs?

Recognition of the multiplicity of the brain systems that contribute to fear and anxiety disorders is the first step towards the development of better treatments.

Why Was the Movie Theater Killer Spared the Death Penalty?

Why was the insanity plea nullified in the movie theater killings in Aurora, Colorado? The answer is simple - because the carnage was so horrendous that there was too much public pressure in favor of the death penalty. There was no way the insanity plea would be allowed. Nonetheless, Holmes was clearly and incontrovertibly psychotic and delusional.

What Happens to Children with Behavioral Disorders?

Children with common behavioral disorders can have compromised abilities in everyday functioning when they become young adults. Adult function may be compromised even in those children who outgrow clinical childhood symptoms and syndromes.

Eating Disorders Online: Support or Triggers?

Much of the public learned about pro-ana and pro-mia websites from an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show back in 2001. When people go online for information and support about eating disorders, does what they find help or make them worse?

Brain's Response to Meditation

With meditation, you have the opportunity to become aware of what causes you stress and condition yourself to react differently. You can learn to let go of negative thoughts, events or interactions.

Still Alice? Still Alzheimer’s

By Joe Pierre M.D. on July 31, 2015 in Psych Unseen
Is there anything nice to say about Alzheimer's disease?

Brain Organoids Show Predicted Epigenetic Effects in Autism

New evidence from cultured brain cells of autistics shows that over-expression of a brain growth gene is critical, just as predicted by the imprinted brain theory.

Childhood Sexual Abuse Taken Out of Context

Child sexual abuse is a big risk factor for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. But why do some victims turn out one way, others a different way, and still others turn out without any disorders at all? So called empirical studies of child abuse are limited to such variables as who the perpetrators were, what did they do, and how often. There's a lot more to the story.

Putting Humanity and the Humanities Back Into Medicine

By Allen J Frances M.D. on July 28, 2015 in Saving Normal
The relationship between medical art and science is changing rapidly, with the science now overwhelming the art. Doctors more and more function like technicians, not healers. A knowledge of the humanities is crucial if doctors are to treat patients, not lab tests.

Psychotherapy vs. Medications: The Verdict Is In

Both psychiatrists and psychologists devote their careers to helping people with mental health issues. As promising as neuroscience may be for helping researchers find clues to the brain, the real key to treatment lies in therapy, not drugs. Your best bet is to explore all options when you or your loved ones seek help.

Transgender? Or TrueGender?

Being transgender is not a choice. Transgender people don’t choose to cross over and live as the other gender. They are, and always have been, the other gender. They have never felt aligned with the gender assigned at birth according to anatomy. The choice they do make is whether to live as their true gender or live a lie. This decision can be a matter of life and death.

Reviewing the Evidence for Mental Illness Being Epigenetic

The basic claim of the imprinted brain theory that gene expression is critical in neuro-development is vindicated by a new review of the data.

How the Brain Can Hear Voices That Don't Exist

By Guest Bloggers on July 17, 2015 in The Guest Room
Schizophrenic individuals who experience auditory hallucinations seem to hear voices emanating from within. Neuroscientists are investigating how and why this happens.

Brain Scan Predicts Best Treatment Approach for Depression

To be ill with depression any longer than necessary can be perilous. As a neuroscientist, I’m devoted to finding better, safer treatments for patients with mood disorders and other mental illness.

Do Kids With ADHD Grow Into Adults With ADHD?

Most children with ADHD do not grow up to become adults with ADHD. Most adults with ADHD did not have ADHD as children. ADHD in youngsters and adults may really be two different illnesses that have similar symptoms.

The Sep-Con Articulation Process in Creativity

The sep-con articulation process was discovered in extensive empirical investigations with outstanding literary prizewinners and Nobel laureates in the sciences. It consists of constructing or conceiving connection and functional separation concomitantly.The wide use in creativity, examples, and application do's and don'ts are specified.

What I Learned From 2,000 Hours Of Freudian Psychoanalysis

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 06, 2015 in Ambigamy
Everything I learned from long psychoanalysis, distilled to nine bullet points. Can you learn it just by reading the list? Probably not but you may be learning it anyway.

5 Things You Should Never Say to Someone Who's Depressed

By Jean Kim M.D. on July 01, 2015 in Culture Shrink
What isn’t helpful and remains a huge hurdle for the lay public to understand about depression is that it isn’t just a matter of moral failure or weakness or lack of willpower. The following comments are worth avoiding when talking to people you know going through a depressive episode:

The X Factor: Genetics and Female Mental Health

XIST, the gene that controls X chromosome gene expression, is up regulated in psychosis, just as the imprinted brain theory predicts.

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

When to Sue Your Psychiatrist for Malpractice

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on June 24, 2015 in So Sue Me
Many cases of psychiatric malpractice are never reported because the victims are already emotionally unstable. What exactly does it mean for a psychiatrist to commit malpractice?

23 Mental Health Professionals Interviewed About Their Jobs

By Brad Waters on June 24, 2015 in Design Your Path
Going behind the scenes with 23 mental health professionals to gain insight into the pros and cons of the industry.

Headquarters? What Headquarters? Behind Pixar's Inside Out

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on June 22, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
Inside Out is a fantastic movie, highlighting the inner life of a girl, with plenty of positive female role models in the form of emotions. Sadness is the unlikely hero. We learn a lot about childhood vulnerability, emotional regulation, and adaptation. But emotional regulation, and the idea of a “Headquarters” in our mind, bear a closer look.

Mass Shootings, Psychiatric Medications, and Rick Perry

By Joe Pierre M.D. on June 20, 2015 in Psych Unseen
Psychiatric medications cause violent behavior? Where's the evidence?

Humanizing the “Mentally Ill”

Want evidence to believe in the human spirit? Want to see how the world looks from the most stigmatized element of society? Check out Infinitely Polar Bear.

Tackling the Emotions in Borderline Personality Disorder

People with borderline personality disorder have one of the most challenging psychological problems to treat. Furthermore, if you or someone you know is in a relationship with someone who has this disorder, you know how difficult it can be to live with the disorder. Mentalization-based therapy, focused on emotions, may provide an important new approach.

Why Patients with Borderline Personality Don't Get Better

People who exhibit symptoms of borderline personality disorder, despite being intelligent and showing no signs of psychosis, persist tenaciously in their troublesome, self-destructive behaviors. They will not stop no matter what other people try to do to get them to. They will not tell you about the horrifying reactions they get from family members when they act better.