The treatment, in the early 1880s, of an Austrian hysteric called Anna O is generally regarded as the beginning of talking-it-through as a form of therapy. But psychoanalysis, as this version of talk therapy became known, is an expensive procedure. Anna’s doctor, Josef Breuer, is estimated to have spent over 1,000 hours with her. Since then, things have improved. A typical course of a modern talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, consists of 12-16 hour-long sessions and is a reasonably efficient way of treating conditions like depression and anxiety (hysteria is no longer a recognised diagnosis). Medication, too, can bring rapid change. Nevertheless, treating disorders of the psyche is still a hit-and-miss affair, and not everyone wishes to bare his soul or take mind-altering drugs to deal with his problems. A new kind of treatment may, though, mean he does not have to.
Tag Archives | Psychiatry
The Oprah Magazine comes out in favor of MDMA as a therapeutic wonder drug, attempting to dispel hysterical, ‘rave’-related media cliches (propagated by Oprah herself, among others) along the way. Writer Jessica Winter tried MDMA for the first time for the sake of the article, and describes the enormous personal benefit she gained in the weeks after:
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To a layperson, the notion of using a drug like Ecstasy as a therapeutic tool for healing trauma might make as much sense as adding cocaine to a diabetic’s weight loss regimen. Ecstasy was the signature stimulant fueling a worldwide party culture in the 1980s and ’90s, epitomized by massive all-night dance “raves” crammed with blissed-out revelers and pulsating with electronic music at festivals and exurban warehouses across North America and Europe.
Yet MDMA’s beginnings were innocent, even banal. In 1912 it was included as an intermediate chemical in a patent that the German pharmaceutical company Merck filed for an antibleeding medication.
From a 2009 article in the Boston Review by Tara McKelvey:
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When Roger Benimoff arrived at the psychiatric building of the Coatesville, Pennsylvania veterans’ hospital, he was greeted by a message carved into a nearby tree stump: “Welcome Home.” It was a reminder that things had not turned out as he had expected.
In Faith Under Fire, a memoir about Benimoff’s life as an Army chaplain in Iraq, Benimoff and co-author Eve Conant describe his return from Iraq to his family in Colorado and subsequent assignment to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He retreated deep into himself, spending hours on the computer and racking up ten thousand dollars in debt on eBay. Above all, he was angry and jittery, scared even of his young sons, and barely able to make it through the day. He was eventually admitted to Coatesville’s “Psych Ward.” For a while the lock-down facility was his home.
Are the Israelis repeating Holocaust traumas upon the Palestinians? From the July 1992 issue of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs:
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Dr. Jan Bastiaans, a Dutch psychiatrist, is an authority on the Holocaust syndrome, and has treated many survivors. In 1973 he wrote, “In recent years the Ka-tzet (concentration camp) syndrome has suddenly received general recognition…This concept is concerned with…pathological processes that occurred after the war in former concentration camp prisoners…The Ka-tzet syndrome is the expression of a permanent, chronic obstruction of sound human relationships. The victims are not free from the concentration camp…Behind their adaptation facade continues to live the child or adult of [that time] in all fear, in all misery, in all powerlessness.”
Dr. Haim Dasberg, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Hebrew University and medical director of the Ezrat Nashim Jerusalem Mental Health Center, has written extensively on PTSD and the Israeli army.
An interesting look at the highest paid drug dealers in the psychiatric industry. What is the price of a medical doctor’s immortal soul? This list shows about $200,000 for the shrewdest players. Escobar would be proud. From PsychCentral:
Who were the top 50 psychiatrists in the U.S. paid by the top seven pharmaceutical companies?
This past week, ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest, recently decided to answer that question by compiling a list of 384 physicians and health care providers who earned more than $100,000 total from one or more of the seven companies that have disclosed payments in 2009 and early 2010. Click here for the full list of 384 physicians.
We combed that list and found the top 50 psychiatry earners for the past two years (2009-2010). You can click on any name below to learn more about the physician.… Read the rest
"Dear Jesus,I am sorry I cannot help you. I tried to spread my grace because of the Britian Prophescy and the German Prophescy Due to cutterage of the Head, Heart, stomach and Reproductive Organs. I am no longer going to be living. I tried as a prophet and person. I don't even want to be an animal. For what a person does to an animal. I wish to stay in my grave. And not rise again from the Grave. I have seen too much to life. Now I am blind and deaf. And have lost my feeling too. I am not Jewish but was put in a Nazi Concentration Camp. And haven't been released. And I have sinned too. But the Master-Mind won't let me forget it. And I have losted my Christianity because of herorhim. - Master Mind...
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LSD’s inventor Albert Hofmann called it “medicine for the soul.” The Beatles wrote songs about it. Secret military mind control experiments exploited its hallucinogenic powers.
Outlawed in 1966, LSD became a street drug and developed a reputation as the dangerous toy of the counterculture, capable of inspiring either moments of genius, or a descent into madness.
Now science is taking a fresh look at LSD, including the first human trials in over 35 years. Using enhanced brain imaging, non-hallucinogenic versions of the drug and information from an underground network of test subjects who suffer from an agonizing condition for which there is no cure, researchers are finding that this “trippy” drug could become the pharmaceutical of the future.
Can it enhance our brain power, expand our creativity and cure disease?
Louis Menand writes in the New Yorker:
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You arrive for work and someone informs you that you have until five o’clock to clean out your office. You have been laid off. At first, your family is brave and supportive, and although you’re in shock, you convince yourself that you were ready for something new.
Then you start waking up at 3 A.M., apparently in order to stare at the ceiling. You can’t stop picturing the face of the employee who was deputized to give you the bad news. He does not look like George Clooney. You have fantasies of terrible things happening to him, to your boss, to George Clooney.
You find — a novel recognition — not only that you have no sex drive but that you don’t care. You react irritably when friends advise you to let go and move on. After a week, you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.
This is pretty big news in the mental health world. There are all sorts of reports on it, this one from the Los Angeles Times:
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After years of research, professional infighting and maneuvering from various interest groups, the nation’s psychiatrists Tuesday unveiled proposed changes to the manual used to diagnose and treat mental disorders around the world.
The draft document, released by the American Psychiatric Assn., for the first time calls for binge-eating and gambling to be considered disorders, opening the way for insurance coverage of these problems. But it refrains from suggesting a formal diagnosis for obesity, Internet addiction or sex addiction, as some professionals had proposed.
The document also recommends a single category for autism spectrum disorders, unifying what has been a multifaceted and complicated diagnostic scale.
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will be published in 2013. The book, which serves mental health professionals, is also used by insurance companies making decisions on treatment coverage and in courtrooms and schools.