Tag Archives | Psychiatry

Standard Psychiatric Manual Drops Asperger’s And Gender Identity Disorder, Adds Hoarding

The American Psychiatric Association catches up to progress regarding transsexualism, and recognizes the form of insanity which best represents our epoch: hoarding. Via CBS News:

Asperger’s syndrome will be dropped from the latest edition of the psychiatrist’s “bible,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced on Saturday the changes to its flagship manual that doctors use to diagnose patients with mental disorders. It’s the first major rewrite in nearly 20 years.

The familiar “Asperger’s” will be lumped together under autism spectrum disorder, “to help more accurately and consistently diagnose children with autism,” the APA said in a statement. Other changes include entries for new disorders such as “hoarding disorder.”

[APA is also] eliminating the term “gender identity disorder,” which has been used for children or adults who strongly believe that they were born the wrong gender. But many activists believe the condition isn’t a disorder and say calling it one is stigmatizing.

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Wider ADHD Medication Use Would Cut Crime Rates Significantly

Will medicating of the crime-prone someday be mandated? COSMOS Magazine reports:

When comparing the behaviour of adults suffering from ADHD during periods when they were medicated, with periods when they weren’t, researchers found that medical treatment reduced the risk of committing crimes by 32%.

Individuals with ADHD have previously been shown to be at greater risk of entering a life of crime. “It’s said that roughly 30 to 40% of long-serving criminals have ADHD,” said Paul Lichtenstein, co-author of the study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. “If their chances of recidivism can be reduced by 30%, it would clearly affect total crime numbers in many societies.”

The study, which tracked more than 25,000 people over four years, found that medication had the same effect on those who had committed relatively minor infringements as on those involved in more serious and violent crimes.

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Ketamine Eyed as a Potential Treatment for Tough Depression

Picture: USDOJ (PD)

NPR: Scientists with the National Institute of Mental Health and Harvard may have succeeded in unlocking the mechanisms that allow some people to feel near-immediate relief from depression after taking popular club drug, ketamine. Animal studies seem to indicates that the drug encourages new synaptic growth between neurons, and the same thing may be occurring in depressed humans who take the drug.

Researchers are ecstatic – as are the big drug companies. One company, Naurex, is already testing a drug that works like ketamine, only without the hallucinations.

Ketamine isn’t the only “party drug” that has been cited as a possible depression cure. Just weeks ago an article in the Guardian reported similar research regarding MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, and psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

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Thomas Szasz, Psychiatrist Who Disputed Existence of Mental Illness, Dies at 92

Picture: NIH (PD)

John Mariani reports for syracuse.com:

Dr. Thomas S. Szasz, a psychiatrist who questioned the existence of mental illness and fought against the forced treatment of patients, died Saturday at his home in Manlius. He was 92 and died from complications from a fall and a spinal compression fracture, his family said.

In “The Myth of Mental Illness,” published in 1961, Szasz argued that behaviors that colleagues attributed to diseases of the brain actually described “problems in living.” He called treating people against their will “a crime against humanity” in a 1992 profile in The Post-Standard.

“I am probably the only psychiatrist in the world whose hands are clean,” Szasz told the newspaper. “I have never committed anyone. I have never given electric shock. I have never, ever, given drugs to a mental patient.”

The approach Szasz rebelled against treated people as patients whose behavior somehow failed to meet the expectations of government or some other authority, said Dr.

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Jared Loughner Rumored to Plead Guilty in Arizona Shooting

Via CNN:

Following a mandatory course of psychiatric medications Jared Loughner is rumored to now be competent to stand trial. Sources say that he will plead guilty to all charges:

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said it is not confirming or denying reports that Jared Loughner will plead guilty in last year’s shooting rampage outside a Tucson, Arizona, supermarket.

The attack killed six people and wounded 13 others, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

On Saturday night, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal reported that Loughner, 23, is now mentally competent to understand the charges against him and that a status hearing on his competency, scheduled for Tuesday morning, will now be a change-of-plea hearing.

The Los Angeles Times attributed the information to “knowledgeable sources,” while the Wall Street Journal said its source was an “official familiar with the case.”

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Is The Internet Driving Us Crazy?

Newsweek magazine just ran a front-cover story asking, “Is the Web driving us mad?” It cites new scientific research to argue that the internet is causing depression, changing our brain structure, and creating other mental illnesses. One UCLA research director tells the magazine “the computer is like electronic cocaine,” fueling a similar cycle of highs and then lows, and they also cite California psychologist (and book author) Larry Rosen, who believes the internet “encourages – and even promotes – insanity.”

Hachimaki (CC)

But at least one response argues that Newsweek is deliberately overstating the research, citing misleading sentences like “When the new DSM is released next year, Internet Addiction Disorder will be included for the first time, albeit in an appendix tagged for ‘further study’…”

Here’s the beginning of the Newsweek story by Tony Dokoupil:

Before he launched the most viral video in Internet history, Jason Russell was a half-hearted Web presence.

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The Invention Of The Heterosexual

tumblr_lz08yrqbBK1qg39ewo1_400Salon interviews historian Hanne Blank, who argues that the categories of “straight” and “gay” as we know them today arose with the spread of psychiatry in the late nineteenth century. So I guess Blank is saying, this Valentine’s Day, thank Freud?

“Heterosexual” was actually coined in a letter at the same time as the word “homosexual,” [in the mid-19thcentury], by an Austro-Hungarian journalist named Károly Mária Kertbeny. He created these words as part of his response to a piece of Prussian legislation that made same-sex erotic behavior illegal, even in cases where the identical act performed by a man and a woman would be considered legal.

Psychiatry is responsible for creating the heterosexual in largely the same way that it is responsible for creating the various categories of sexual deviance that we are familiar with and recognize and define ourselves in opposition to. The period lasting from the late Victorian era to the first 20 or 30 years of the 20th century was a time of tremendous socioeconomic change, and people desperately wanted to give themselves a valid identity in this new world order.

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Family History of Psychiatric Disorders Shapes Intellectual Interests

Cleveland tower at the Graduate College, Princeton University. Artist: Magneticcarpet (CC)

Cleveland tower at the Graduate College, Princeton University. Artist: Magneticcarpet (CC)

Via ScienceDaily:

A hallmark of the individual is the cultivation of personal interests, but for some people, their intellectual pursuits might actually be genetically predetermined.

Survey results published by Princeton University researchers in the journal PLoS ONE suggest that a family history of psychiatric conditions such as autism and depression could influence the subjects a person finds engaging.

Although preliminary, the findings provide a new look at the oft-studied link between psychiatric conditions and aptitude in the arts or sciences. While previous studies have explored this link by focusing on highly creative individuals or a person’s occupation, the Princeton research indicates that the influence of familial neuropsychiatric traits on personal interests is apparently independent of a person’s talent or career path, and could help form a person’s basic preferences and personality.

Princeton researchers surveyed nearly 1,100 students from the University’s Class of 2014 early in their freshman year to learn which major they would choose based on their intellectual interests.

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Personality Disorders To Be Removed From Psychiatrists’ Bible

DSM-IV-TRVia ScienceDaily:

A newly published paper from Rhode Island Hospital reports on the impact to patients if five personality disorders are removed from the upcoming revision to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition (DSM-5).

Based on their study, the researchers believe these changes could result in false-negative diagnoses for patients. The paper is published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and is now available online in advance of print.

The DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders work group made several recommendations to change the approach toward diagnosing personality disorders. One of those recommendations is to delete five personality disorders as a way to reduce the level of comorbidity among the disorders. The ones originally slated to be removed include paranoid, schizoid, histrionic, narcissistic and dependent personality disorders.

More recently, the Work Group recommended that narcissistic be retained. Lead author Mark Zimmerman, M.D., director of outpatient psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital, points out, however, that no data were cited describing the impact this deletion had, or might have, on the overall prevalence of personality disorders.

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