Posts

September 18, 2014

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1:20 PM | The "Glass Delusion" Was The Most Popular Madness Of The Middle Ages
Do mental illnesses have certain eras? When we look at history, it seems like they do. There was the famous dancing sickness that struck medieval Europe. And then there was a strange delusion, first experienced by a king, in which the sufferer thought they were made of glass.Read more...
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4:00 AM | Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
By Oliver Sacks Synopsis: From his earliest days, Oliver Sacks, the distinguished neurologist who is also one of the most remarkable storytellers of our time, was irresistibly drawn to understanding the natural world. Born into a […]

September 17, 2014

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3:28 PM | Antidepressants Modulate Memory in the Healthy Brain
The mechanism of antidepressant drug response is not well understood.One theory posits antidepressant effects are only seen in those with clinical depression leaving the healthy brain unchanged.In a previous post, I outlined a study demonstrating effects of antidepressants on brain connectivity measures in the healthy brain.A recent fMRI study extends our understanding of the potential mechanisms for antidepressant drugs.CT Cerqueira and colleagues from Brazil studied the effects of the […]

Cerqueira CT, Sato JR, de Almeida JR, Amaro E Jr, Leite CC, Gorenstein C, Gentil V & Busatto GF (2014). Healthy individuals treated with clomipramine: an fMRI study of brain activity during autobiographical recall of emotions., Translational psychiatry, 4 PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24984192

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September 16, 2014

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1:42 AM | How the media covers suicide: Day 1
Covering Suicide and Mental Illness is a three-day seminar for journalists sponsored by The Poynter Institute, The McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute and the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Here are my thoughts on issues covered during today’s session. #suicidereporting What the DSM is to mental health, the AP Stylebook is to journalism. The Stylebook is […]

September 15, 2014

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5:12 PM | How the media covers suicide and mental health
I am on a plane, flying to Washington, DC. For the next three days I will be immersed in suicide – specifically, how the media covers suicide and mental health. The seminar is being sponsored by The Poynter Institute, the McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute and the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. As a journalist, this is […]

September 14, 2014

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11:00 AM | A History of the Essex Lunatic Asylum: Part 2
The search for biological causes and effective remedies continued unsuccessful for some years, fostering a growing sense of therapeutic nihilism within the psychiatric profession. The available treatments were viewed as non specific, and a major emphasis remained on fresh air (outdoor relief) and a healthy environment, distinctly unglamorous interventions compared to the technological advances being made in medicine.

September 06, 2014

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6:11 PM | Unpacking Recovery Part 5: Clinical Recovery Without a Clinic?
It can be somewhat controversial to suggest that untreated recovery from eating disorders is possible. Certainly, people have varied opinions about whether someone can enact the difficult behavioral and attitudinal changes necessary to recover without the help of (at the very least) a therapist and a dietitian. Nonetheless, we still hear stories about individuals who consider themselves recovered without having sought out external sources of professional support. When I think about untreated […]

Vandereycken W (2012). Self-change in eating disorders: is "spontaneous recovery" possible?, Eating disorders, 20 (2) 87-98. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364341

Woods S (2004). Untreated recovery from eating disorders., Adolescence, 39 (154) 361-71. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15563044

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6:11 PM | Unpacking Recovery Part 5: Clinical Recovery Without a Clinic?
It can be somewhat controversial to suggest that untreated recovery from eating disorders is possible. Certainly, people have varied opinions about whether someone can enact the difficult behavioral and attitudinal changes necessary to recover without the help of (at the very least) a therapist and a dietitian. Nonetheless, we still hear stories about individuals who consider themselves recovered without having sought out external sources of professional support. When I think about untreated […]

Vandereycken W (2012). Self-change in eating disorders: is "spontaneous recovery" possible?, Eating disorders, 20 (2) 87-98. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364341

Woods S (2004). Untreated recovery from eating disorders., Adolescence, 39 (154) 361-71. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15563044

Citation

September 04, 2014

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4:51 PM | Dark Material: Reflections on a Suicide Conference
There is a great value in quality academic work carried out with integrity. However, especially in psychiatry, we must remember what, and who, we are working for. Understanding psychic pain requires more than measuring brain chemicals and gene associations. In order to help those who are driven to end their existence, we may need to question ours.
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1:30 PM | Retraction appears for psychiatrist sought for arrest in alleged fraud scheme
Want bogus data, million-dollar fraud allegations and a scientist on the lam? We give you Alain Malafosse. The British Journal of Psychiatry has retracted a June 2013 paper by Malafosse and his colleagues on the genetics of bipolar disorder in children because Malafosse allegedly fabricated key data in the study. The article, “Childhood maltreatment and […]

September 02, 2014

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3:46 AM | Unpacking Recovery Part 4: Are We All on the Same Page?
Another issue in defining and understanding recovery is that patients and clinicians may have different opinions about what recovery looks like and how to get there. Certainly, there is a body of literature from the critical feminist tradition in particular that explores how at times, patients can “follow the rules” of treatment systems to achieve a semblance of “recovery,” from a weight restoration and nutrition stabilization perspective, but feels nothing like a full […]

Noordenbos, G. & Seubring, A. (2006). Criteria for Recovery from Eating Disorders According to Patients and Therapists, Eating Disorders, 14 (1) 41-54. DOI: 10.1080/10640260500296756

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September 01, 2014

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4:00 AM | Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness
By Joel Gold and Ian Gold Synopsis: What if you woke up with the alarming suspicion that you were being watched? One day in 2003, a patient unlike any other that Dr. Joel Gold had seen before was […]
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1:35 AM | Say Hello To ‘Michael Scotti Jr’ Creator of the #doubtfireface
In my last few posts, you got to see My #doubtfireface Suicide Prevention Challenge.  Also, my research on American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the #doubtfireface challenge this led me to Michael Scotti, Jr. creator of the viral video: Say “Helloooo” to #suicideprevention! I reached out to him via e-mail and he I asked if […]

August 27, 2014

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2:58 PM | Diagnostic Profile in Pathological Gamblers
Behavioral disorders like pathological gambling (PG) rarely occur alone as a single uncomplicated disorder.In a previous post, I noted the overlap of PG with personality disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse.A recent study from Germany adds to our knowledge of the general diagnostic profile in the PG population.Erbas and Buchner reviewed German national data sources and other German studies to come up with a series of findings:Twelve month prevalence rates […]

Erbas B & Buchner UG (2012). Pathological gambling: prevalence, diagnosis, comorbidity, and intervention in Germany., Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 109 (10) 173-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22470406

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August 26, 2014

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6:35 PM | When Happiness Isn’t a Choice
American poet T. S. Eliot wrote: I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without […]

August 25, 2014

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7:38 PM | Unpacking Recovery Part 3: Can Patients Imagine Recovery?
Today I have the distinct pleasure of writing about one of my favourite articles about eating disorder recovery by Malson et al. (2011) exploring how inpatients talk about eating disorder recovery. I have personally found this article to be very helpful in understanding some of the difficulties of understanding and achieving recovery in our social context. As Malson and colleagues explain (and as we’ve established), eating disorder recovery is elusive. Often, poor prognosis is described […]

Malson H, Bailey L, Clarke S, Treasure J, Anderson G & Kohn M (2011). Un/imaginable future selves: a discourse analysis of in-patients' talk about recovery from an 'eating disorder'., European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association, 19 (1) 25-36. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21182163

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