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100 posts tagged with Psychiatry.
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Speculative questions from research into mental illness

Could depression be an infectious disease? Might hallucinogenic mushrooms be an effective treatment for depression (New York Times link)? Do antipsychotic drugs hinder long-term recovery from episodes of schizophrenia?
posted by alex1965 on Nov 30, 2014 - 49 comments

Medical Legacy of the War 1914-1918

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1: a pivotal time for Europe and a key transition point for medical science. The Lancet marks this centenary with a three part series ‘Legacy of the war 1914-1918’. The three papers examine the impact of World War 1 on infectious disease, military psychiatry, and amputation related pain.
posted by gemutlichkeit on Nov 13, 2014 - 3 comments

Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” However, that’s not what the epidemiology of the disorder suggests. By age 35, half of all people who qualified for active alcoholism or addiction diagnoses during their teens and 20s no longer do, according to a study of over 42,000 Americans in a sample designed to represent the adult population.
Only a quarter of people who recover have ever sought assistance in doing so (including via 12-step programs). This actually makes addictions the psychiatric disorder with the highest odds of recovery.
Metafilter's own maias on myths surrounding the disease(?) of substance addiction, and their impact on medicine and policy.
posted by grobstein on Oct 1, 2014 - 84 comments

Ayahuasca Will Make You Cry, Vomit, and Feel Amazing

They say that one night of ayahuasca is like ten years seeing a psychiatrist.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 22, 2014 - 114 comments

The point is that I am in here, somewhere: cogito ergo sum.

"Let’s note that I write this while experiencing psychosis, and that much of this has been written during a strain of psychosis known as Cotard’s delusion, in which the patient believes that she is dead. What the writer’s confused state means to either of us is not beside the point, because it is the point. The point is that I am in here, somewhere: cogito ergo sum." (via)
posted by hat_eater on Sep 16, 2014 - 20 comments

The effects of untreated PTSD in inner-city communities

Over the past 20 years, medical researchers have found new ways to quantify the effects of the relentless violence on America’s inner cities, [and are] only now beginning to trace the effects of untreated PTSD on neighborhoods that are already struggling with unemployment, poverty and the devastating impact of the war on drugs. [...] Despite the growing evidence of PTSD in civilians, little is being done to address the problem. Hospital trauma centers often provide adequate care for physical wounds, but do almost nothing to help patients cope with the mental and emotional aftermath of trauma.
posted by gemutlichkeit on Sep 8, 2014 - 33 comments

Our Microbiome May Be Looking Out for Itself

Your body is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes, collectively known as your microbiome. Naturalists first became aware of our invisible lodgers in the 1600s, but it wasn’t until the past few years that we’ve become really familiar with them. This recent research has given the microbiome a cuddly kind of fame. We’ve come to appreciate how beneficial our microbes are — breaking down our food, fighting off infections and nurturing our immune system. It’s a lovely, invisible garden we should be tending for our own well-being. But in the journal Bioessays, a team of scientists has raised a creepier possibility. Perhaps our menagerie of germs is also influencing our behavior in order to advance its own evolutionary success — giving us cravings for certain foods, for example.
Maybe the microbiome is our puppet master.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Aug 18, 2014 - 57 comments

Cages, craniums, and giant scary eyes

Psychiatric magazine ads from the seventies.
posted by Iridic on Jul 28, 2014 - 27 comments

Gut Feeling

The future of psychiatry may be inside your stomach.
posted by monospace on Apr 14, 2014 - 29 comments

The Box

Twilight in the Box. "The suicide statistics, the squalor and the recidivism haven’t ended solitary confinement. Maybe the brain studies will." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 28, 2014 - 24 comments

Art in Medicine

Here are some links to online galleries that combine science, medicine, and art in some way. (previously: psychiatry and art)
posted by gemutlichkeit on Feb 19, 2014 - 5 comments

Graph analysis of dream reports

The Freudian notion that “dreams are the royal road to the unconscious” is clinically useful, after all. Thanks adamvasco!
posted by Tom-B on Jan 19, 2014 - 6 comments

They Must Sleep in the Center of the Bed

Would you take a mentally-ill stranger into your home to live with you like family, possibly for the rest of his life? What if your town had been doing it successfully for 700 years? Welcome to Geel, Belgium. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Jan 9, 2014 - 24 comments

Which Came First, the Depression or the Insomnia?

Insomnia causes depression as much as depression causes insomnia: Three surprising points from a fascinating episode of KQED Forum [audio, no transcript] with guest Dr. Michelle Primeau of the Stanford School of Medicine.
  • Insomnia has long been taught to be a symptom of depression, but in many cases is a cause of depression.
  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is an effective treatment for both insomnia and depression.
  • CBT can be more effective and longer lasting than sleeping pills
For those averse to audio (like me, normally), the NYT also covered the research in print:
  • First story: Treating Insomnia to Heal Depression,
  • Follow up a couple of days later: Double Effectiveness of Depression Treatment by Treating Insomnia,
  • Two readers (both psychiatrists) respond, and
  • A NYT editorial.
  • [more inside]
    posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail on Dec 5, 2013 - 22 comments

    Book of Lamentations

    A new dystopian novel in the classic mode takes the form of a dictionary of madness. Sam Kriss reviews a recent book. [more inside]
    posted by RogerB on Oct 19, 2013 - 26 comments

    PTSD and Gene Kelly's lost wartime star turn

    PTSD and Gene Kelly's lost wartime star turn: For the last six decades or so, a copy [of "Combat Fatigue Irritability"] has been filed away, along with thousands of other films, at the National Library of Medicine. The only people it has been lost to are the public and Gene Kelly’s devoted and still numerous fans. But now the National Library of Medicine is featuring Combat Fatigue Irritability in Medical Movies on the Web, and the film will be given a well-deserved, though very belated, New York premiere, on October 5, 2013, at the New York Academy of Medicine. [more inside]
    posted by theatro on Sep 25, 2013 - 8 comments

    His name is Dr. Chencho Dorji and he is Bhutan’s first psychiatrist

    Meet the overwhelmed psychiatrist in the world’s happiest country (via)
    posted by spamandkimchi on Sep 18, 2013 - 4 comments

    The Travelers and the Wanderers

    Songs from the Black Chair, published by Bellevue Literary Review in 2004, from a 2005 memoir by the same name, by Charles Barber
    posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 19, 2013 - 4 comments

    This is not a bad place, not the hell it had been..."

    "Founded in 1912 as a farm colony of Brooklyn State Hospital, the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens [New York] became, by mid-century, a world unto itself. At its peak, it housed some 7,000 patients. They tended gardens and raised livestock on the hospital’s grounds. The hospital contained gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a theater, a television studio, and giant kitchens and laundries where patients were put to work. Today, Creedmoor, still run by the New York State Office of Mental Health, has only a few hundred patients" and houses The Living Museum, an 'art asylum within an asylum' where patients can create and exhibit their art. But what is life like inside the institution itself? In 2010, Katherine B. Olsen spent weeks interviewing staff and patients. Her essay, published this week, 'Something More Wrong' takes us inside Creedmoor's women's ward. [more inside]
    posted by zarq on Jul 29, 2013 - 7 comments

    Acid and Architecture

    How Kiyoshi Izumi Built the Psych Ward of the Future by Dropping Acid.
    posted by homunculus on Jul 18, 2013 - 5 comments

    "Patients with mental disorders deserve better."

    National Institute of Mental Health director Thomas Insell reports that NIMH will phase out its reliance on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), in favor of a revamped psychiatric diagnostic system based on "genetics, imaging, cognitive science, and other levels of information to lay the foundation for a new classification system." [more inside]
    posted by overeducated_alligator on May 4, 2013 - 105 comments

    America's mental health care crisis

    Schizophrenic. Killer. My Cousin. "It's insanity to kill your father with a kitchen knife. It's also insanity to close hospitals, fire therapists, and leave families to face mental illness on their own." [Via]
    posted by homunculus on Apr 29, 2013 - 25 comments

    "New diagnoses are more dangerous than new drugs"

    On December 2, the American Psychiatric Association's board of trustees voted on the latest revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, to be published as the fifth edition (DSM-5) in May 2013. The results of the vote have not been released publicly, and some have questioned the limited press coverage of decisions that will affect people worldwide who receive psychiatric diagnoses. Dr. Allen Francis, chair of the DSM-IV revision committee, says that the board "has given its final approval to a deeply flawed DSM 5". (The title of this post is also drawn from this link.) [more inside]
    posted by catlet on Dec 9, 2012 - 61 comments

    Rise of the Aspies

    Is Everyone on the Spectrum? "In the nineties, clinicians began reconceptualizing autism from a singular disorder to a cluster of related conditions on a spectrum of severity; as the criteria broadened to encompass less acutely impaired people—such as the more verbal group diagnosed with Asperger’s—prevalence rose dramatically. Before 1980, one in 2,000 children was thought to be autistic. By 2007, the Centers for Disease Control were reporting that one in 152 American children had an autism-spectrum disorder. Two years later, the CDC updated the ratio to one in 110. This past March, the CDC revised the number upward again, to one in 88 (one in 54, if you just count boys, who are five times as likely to have one as girls). A South Korean study from last year put the number even higher, at one in 38. And in New Jersey, according to the latest numbers, an improbable one in 29 boys is on the spectrum."
    posted by bookman117 on Nov 8, 2012 - 66 comments

    Death on the Path to Enlightenment

    "Every year thousands of westerners flock to India to meditate, practice yoga, and seek spiritual transcendence. Some find what they're looking for. Others give up and go home. A few become so consumed by their quest for godliness that it kills them."
    posted by Lorin on Oct 18, 2012 - 63 comments

    HBO's "In Treatment"

    In Treatment was an HBO series that ran three seasons from 2008 through 2010. Adapated - often word-for-word - from the Israeli drama BeTipul, it depicted the weekly sessions of a psychologist (Emmy-nominated Gabriel Byrne) with his patients (including Debra Winger, Emmy-nominated Hope Davis, and, in her first American role, Mia Wasikowska) and with his own therapist (Emmy-winning Dianne Wiest). The filming of the series placed extraordinary demands on Byrne - which are well described in this interview with showrunner Warren Leight. (h/t: MCMikeNamara) You can watch its entire first episode here. (possible spoilers throughout)
    posted by Egg Shen on Oct 15, 2012 - 24 comments

    A Boy's Own Broadmoor

    Growing up on the grounds of a notorious high security psychiatric hospital.
    posted by Chrysostom on Sep 27, 2012 - 25 comments

    "Beyond the Brain"

    "Beyond the Brain" In the 1990s, scientists declared that schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses were pure brain disorders that would eventually yield to drugs. Now they are recognizing that social factors are among the causes, and must be part of the cure.
    posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Sep 20, 2012 - 28 comments

    Living With Voices

    A new way to deal with disturbing voices offers hope for those with other forms of psychosis.
    Hans used to be overwhelmed by the voices. He heard them for hours, yelling at him, cursing him, telling him he should be dragged off into the forest and tortured and left to die. The most difficult things to grasp about the voices people with psychotic illness hear are how loud and insistent they are, and how hard it is to function in a world where no one else can hear them. It’s not like wearing an iPod. It’s like being surrounded by a gang of bullies. You feel horrible, crazy, because the voices are real to no one else, yet also strangely special, and they wrap you like a cocoon. Hans found it impossible to concentrate on everyday things. He sat in his room and hid. But then the voices went away for good.

    posted by Joe in Australia on Aug 14, 2012 - 79 comments

    Pioneer or Profiteer? Daniel Amen and the use of SPECT imaging in clinical psychiatry

    Daniel Amen and the use of SPECT imaging in clinical psychiatry. Daniel Amen's clinics grossed $20 million last year, using SPECT imaging to tailor psychiatric treatments to individuals. The psychiatric establishment is skeptical: "'In my opinion, what he's doing is the modern equivalent of phrenology,' says Jeffrey Lieberman, APA president-elect, author of the textbook “Psychiatry” and chairman of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons."
    posted by OmieWise on Aug 11, 2012 - 42 comments

    “The symptom that bothers me the most is the one I can’t even begin to describe.”

    Culture, delusions, and the early treatment of schizophrenia.
    Greg Downey: Living in the prodrome, part 1, part 2. [more inside]
    posted by nangar on Jul 28, 2012 - 20 comments

    Body Integrity Identity Disorder

    Body Integrity Identity Disorder is when a subject feels that he or she would be happier living as an amputee. This raises several questions: should amputation be offered as a treatment to people suffering from Body Integrity Identity Disorder? Or, should the alien limb be integrated into the body image? To what extent is the disorder psychological or neurological? Regardless, further research is needed. That said, in talking about newly categorized disorders such as BIID, do we spread "semantic contagion"? [previously]
    posted by Sticherbeast on Jul 19, 2012 - 49 comments

    Managing, or Failing to Manage, an Epidemic of Mental Illness

    There is a critical shortage of acute mental health services throughout the nation that is making it increasingly difficult for people who don't meet standards for "imminent danger" to receive adequate care. Barring a dramatic change in the systems that provide care, what alternatives are there for seriously mentally ill people? Incarceration has often become a form of care provision, but behavioral courts are an emerging alternative. (Previously.) [more inside]
    posted by liketitanic on Jun 23, 2012 - 18 comments

    Early-onset MDD* blood biomarker pilot study.

    A pilot study testing for statistically significant blood biomarkers found in early-onset MDD: "Discovery of blood transcriptomic markers for depression in animal models and pilot validation in subjects with early-onset major depression" [PDF], published by the online, open source journal Translational Psychiatry**, April 2012, Volume 2. [more inside]
    posted by simulacra on Apr 18, 2012 - 22 comments

    Falling STAR*D?

    Falling STAR*D?: It is common practice for psychiatrists to switch depressive patients between different antidepressants if their current drug does not evince a symptomatic response. Despite clinical wisdom supporting this, little empirical, controlled evidence exists to direct “switching” protocols (e.g. if a patient with Z characteristics is on drug X, is it usually better to switch to drug A, B, or C? Will switching help at all?) in the psychopharmacological treatment of depression. The NIMH-funded STAR*D (Sequenced Alternatives to Relieve Depression) study aimed to address these questions of treatment direction in a very large (n>4000), “real-world” sample using a multi-phase treatment plan with different drugs (and cognitive therapy) at every step to maximize chances of eventual remission. Overall, the NIMH reported that about 67% of patients eventually achieved remission, with few differences in effectiveness between different types of treatment at each step. However, researchers and commentators have raised concerns regarding inconsistent reporting of outcomes, after-the-fact changes in study design and analysis, and other issues that may have inflated, partially invalidated, or misrepresented widely reported treatment outcomes. These inequities may also have implications for the secondary moderator analyses (i.e. does trait A predict switching to X or Y is better?) that were a major reason for the study. [more inside]
    posted by Keter on Jan 14, 2012 - 12 comments

    81 words

    Being gay was considered a mental disorder by psychiatry - until 1973 - when the battle lines were drawn. Reporter Alix Spiegel continues the gripping story that spurred a radical rethink. It's the story of a closeted cartel of powerful, gay psychiatrists; of confrontations with angry activists; a shrink dressed in a Nixon mask, and a pivotal encounter in a Hawaiian bar. [more inside]
    posted by infinite intimation on Dec 24, 2011 - 28 comments

    People keep calling me Five Alive

    In DSM 5- 'Living Document' or 'Dead on Arrival', Allen Frances, chair of the DSM-IV development committee details some of the problems with the DSM-5 development process and alludes to some of the current controversies. The post is part of his ongoing series DSM-5 In Distress. [more inside]
    posted by OmieWise on Dec 2, 2011 - 37 comments

    “I found myself wishing more and more that I too could have been — could be — your patient.”

    "Sybil Exposed": Memory, Lies and Therapy. Debbie Nathan's new book explains why "Sybil" probably did not have multiple personalities [nytimes link]. Did Dr. Cornelia Wilbur inadvertently create the condition she had intended to treat?
    posted by Sticherbeast on Oct 18, 2011 - 38 comments

    That’s your belief, sir.

    Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong. "In 1959, Dr Milton Rokeach, a social psychologist, received a research grant to bring together three psychotic, institutionalised patients at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan." All three believed that they were Jesus, and the doctor believed he should play god.
    posted by bitmage on Sep 23, 2011 - 84 comments

    The Brain on Trial.

    The Brain on Trial. Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
    "We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania."
    [more inside]
    posted by Eideteker on Jul 15, 2011 - 99 comments

    You all need to have your heads examined

    The epidemic of mental illness plaguing the Americans and the overmedication of psychiatric patients are in part artifacts of the diagnostic method. [more inside]
    posted by hat_eater on Jun 22, 2011 - 50 comments

    Are psychoactive drugs fueling an epidemic of mental illness?

    Is the contemporary epidemic of mental illness fueled by useless or even harmful anti-depressants and other psychoactive drugs? A review of books by Irving Kirsch, Robert Whitaker, and Daniel Carlat, notes that per Kirsch, "[a]n active placebo is one that itself produces side effects...there was no difference between the antidepressant and the active placebo" (new research claims very severe cases are different). Whitaker argues that psychoactive drugs may actively "disturb neurotransmitter function" and cause mental illnesses which a mounting cascade of drugs are then needed to manage. (previously, previously)
    posted by shivohum on Jun 6, 2011 - 113 comments

    The Amoral Maze

    Jon Ronson - How to spot a psychopath
    posted by Artw on May 21, 2011 - 151 comments

    The Exact Opposite of Countercultural

    The Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Effexor, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Restoril, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil, Trazodone War New York Magazine's Jennifer Senior writes on prescription drug (ab)use among soldiers and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
    posted by l33tpolicywonk on Feb 15, 2011 - 50 comments

    Diagnosing Darth

    The Dark Side is like using drugs. "It feels really good when you use it, it alters your consciousness and you know you shouldn’t do it." A psychiatrist diagnoses Anakin Skywalker.
    posted by Chocolate Pickle on Jun 4, 2010 - 22 comments

    DSM-5

    At midnight tonight, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released a proposed draft of the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). [more inside]
    posted by emilyd22222 on Feb 9, 2010 - 58 comments

    Aaron Beck & Cognitive Therapy

    The psychoanalytic mystique was overwhelming. It was a little bit like the evangelical movement.” How Aaron Beck and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped increase empiricism in psychotherapy.
    posted by Non Prosequitur on Oct 9, 2009 - 53 comments

    The Jet-Propelled Couch

    In 1954, Harper's Magazine ran a story called the Jet-Propelled Couch (Part 2) about a government scientist who was forced to go into to treatment. His problem? He lived half his life on another planet:
    “As I read about the adventures of Kirk Allen in these books the conviction began to grow on me that the stories were not only true to the very last detail but that they were about me. In some weird and inexplicable way I knew that what I was reading was my biography. Nothing in these books was unfamiliar to me: I recognized everything–the scenes, the people, the furnishings of rooms, the events, even the words that were spoken. My everyday life began to recede at this point. In fact, it became fiction–and, as it did, the books became my reality.”
    Ever since the story was published, sci-fi fans have attempted to discover who Kirk Allen really was. One theory is that it was cleverly disguised Cordwainer Smith, others think there may have been a government physicist named John Carter, and some think he might have been more than one patient. Either way, it's a great story. [via] [more inside]
    posted by empath on Sep 21, 2009 - 28 comments

    NICU PTSD

    About three months after her son's birth, Ms. Roscoe asked to see a psychiatrist. She was given a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, or P.T.S.D. — a mental illness more often associated with surviving war, car accidents and assaults, but now being recognized in parents of premature infants in prolonged intensive care. (nyt)
    posted by swift on Aug 25, 2009 - 19 comments

    Placebos

    Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.
    posted by homunculus on Aug 25, 2009 - 106 comments

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