Psychiatry in Crisis! Mental Health Director Rejects Psychiatric “Bible” and Replaces With… Nothing. What is mental illness?
Schizophrenia? Autism? Bipolar disorder? Depression? Since the 1950s, the profession of psychiatry has attempted to provide definitive answers to these questions in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Now, in a move sure to rock psychiatry, psychology and other fields that address mental illness, the director of the National Institutes of Mental Health has announced that the federal agency–which provides grants for research on mental illness–will be “re-orienting its research away from DSM categories.”
“While DSM has been described as a ‘Bible’ for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. Insel said that the NIMH will be replacing the DSM with the “Research Domain Criteria (RDoC),” which define mental disorders based not just on vague symptomology but on more specific genetic, neural and cognitive data. Schizophrenia Research Forum: Studies Dissect Depression’s Circuitry. 12 January 2013.
With its wide range of symptoms and variable severity, depression might seem hopelessly complicated. When Does Depression Become A Disease? : Neuroskeptic. When does sadness cease to be a normal emotional response, and become a mental disorder?
Can psychiatrists ‘draw the line’ between healthy and sick moods, and if so, where? An important new study offers an answer: When does depression become a disorder? Using recurrence rates to evaluate the validity of proposed changes in major depression diagnostic thresholds (free pdf). The authors, Jerome Wakefield and Mark Schmitz of New York, made use of the ECA survey, a 1980s study of almost 20,000 American adults. Participants were surveyed twice each, approximately one year apart. Dsm5.doc. Anorexia Symptoms - A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Guide. Anorexia symptoms fall into five main categories. Understanding the symptoms of Anorexia is essential for sufferers and families.
What's really important is that you understand that these are symptoms of the disorder and not defects of you as a person. Cognitive Symptoms - People with anorexia are often obsessed with food. They may wander the aisles of the supermarket, or spend hours Googling recipes or watching Top Chef. Spinal Fluid Chemical Levels Linked to Suicidal Behavior. For the first time, researchers have found that a chemical in the brain called glutamate is linked to suicidal behavior.
While previous research and drugs have targeted serotonin to fight severe depression, this study shows that more attention should be paid to this chemical. Glutamate is an amino acid that fires signals between nerve cells. It has long been suspected to be a culprit for depression, and this study seems to confirm that. The study examined 100 people who checked into a hospital in Sweden. Two-thirds had been hospitalized after suicide attempts; the other third was hospitalized due to unrelated issues. Researchers measured the participants' glutamate activity by assessing the level of quinolinic acid in the people's spinal fluid. Indeed, researchers' findings confirmed their hypotheses. Six months later, some of the patients were tracked so that researchers could test their quinolinic fluid once more. New drug lifts hard-to-treat depression in hours - health - 11 December 2012.
Depression need not linger if a new class of drugs that can improve symptoms within hours becomes available.
People with depression are often treated with drugs that increase levels of serotonin and other mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain. But these drugs typically take weeks, or even months, to work. A Diagnostic Breakthrough for Mental Illness. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of clinical psychology/ psychiatry is patient diagnosis. The job of the doctor is to properly interpret the patient’s medical history and subjective reports and then determine what possible psychiatric conditions match those listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This job becomes even more difficult when a differential diagnosis must be made based upon symptoms that fit multiple psychiatric illnesses. For example, schizophrenia and extreme cases of bipolar disorder might present with very similar symptoms, making a definitive diagnosis nearly impossible.
Much research has focused on finding a way to objectify diagnosis. One proposed way to do this is to use brain imaging. One method of fingerprint analysis. But researchers have started making progress toward objectifying diagnosis . Bansal and colleagues have developed a new algorithm that can diagnose brains based on patterns that emerge in the voxels. Treating Sleep Improves Psychiatric Symptoms. People with depression or other mental illnesses often report trouble sleeping, daytime drowsiness and other sleep-related issues.
Now a growing body of research is showing that treating sleep problems can dramatically improve psychiatric symptoms in many patients. Much of the latest work illustrates how sleep apnea, a common chronic condition in which a person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep, may cause or aggravate psychiatric symptoms. In past years sleep apnea has been linked to depression in small studies and limited populations. Now a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthens that connection.
The CDC analyzed the medical records of nearly 10,000 American adults with sleep apnea. Scientific explanation of psychopathy cuts jail time - science-in-society - 16 August 2012. Serial sex offender Raymond Henry Garland, considered one of Australia's most dangerous sexual predators, was officially diagnosed a psychopath last week.
Psychiatrist Joan Lawrence told the Brisbane District Court that Garland had an "almost 100 per cent chance of violent reoffending. " Garland has been dealt four indefinite sentences – but research out today suggests that biological evidence of psychopathy could alter the length of such sentences. Brain scans and genetic tests are becoming a common feature of courtroom battles, as biological evidence is increasingly used to explain a person's criminal behaviour. For example, last year an Italian woman convicted of murdering her sister had her lifetime sentence reduced to 20 years on the basis of brain and genetic tests, which provided biological explanations for her aggressive behaviour.