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Mental Disorders

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SCIENCE
February 27, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
A child born to a father 45 or older is three and a half times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, more than 13 times more likely to have attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and almost 25 times more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder than a child born to a man in his early twenties, says a study out this week. Suicide attempts and substance use problems were also found to be more than twice as common in children born to older fathers than those with younger dads, and rates of academic failure -- staying back a grade -- and low educational attainment were higher in those with older fathers than in those with younger ones.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 | Alan Zarembo
Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. soldiers had a common mental illness, such as depression, panic disorder or ADHD, before enlisting in the Army, according to a new study that raises questions about the military's assessment and screening of recruits. More than 8% of soldiers had thought about killing themselves and 1.1% had a past suicide attempt, researchers found from confidential surveys and interviews with 5,428 soldiers at Army installations across the country. The findings, published online Monday in two papers in JAMA Psychiatry, point to a weakness in the recruiting process, experts said.
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OPINION
March 1, 2010 | By Allen Frances
As chairman of the task force that created the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which came out in 1994, I learned from painful experience how small changes in the definition of mental disorders can create huge, unintended consequences. Our panel tried hard to be conservative and careful but inadvertently contributed to three false "epidemics" -- attention deficit disorder, autism and childhood bipolar disorder. Clearly, our net was cast too wide and captured many "patients" who might have been far better off never entering the mental health system.
SCIENCE
February 27, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
A child born to a father 45 or older is three and a half times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, more than 13 times more likely to have attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and almost 25 times more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder than a child born to a man in his early twenties, says a study out this week. Suicide attempts and substance use problems were also found to be more than twice as common in children born to older fathers than those with younger dads, and rates of academic failure -- staying back a grade -- and low educational attainment were higher in those with older fathers than in those with younger ones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2010 | By Maura Dolan
The legal team challenging Proposition 8 in a federal trial tried to show Thursday that the ballot initiative was a form of bias that was likely to make gays and lesbians more vulnerable to mental health problems. Columbia University professor Ilan H. Meyer, an expert in mental health issues among gays, lesbians and bisexuals, testified that gays and lesbians were more likely to suffer from mental disorders than heterosexuals because of discrimination. Proposition 8 sent "a message that gay relationships are not respected, that they are of secondary value if they are of any value at all," Meyer said.
SCIENCE
March 1, 2010
About hypersexual disorder Psychiatrists have proposed adding hypersexual disorder to the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A description of the disorder includes having four or more of the following criteria over at least six months. The symptoms must be severe and not caused by something else, such as drug abuse or medication. A great deal of time is consumed by sexual fantasies and urges and by planning for and engaging in sexual behavior.
NATIONAL
December 6, 2006 | Ronald Kotulak, Chicago Tribune
Within the first three months after giving birth to their first baby, one of 1,000 women experience schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or some other mental illness severe enough for them to be hospitalized, a major Danish study has found. The findings underscore a potentially perilous period after delivery when key hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which are elevated during pregnancy, fall precipitously, possibly triggering mental disorders.
NATIONAL
April 19, 2007 | Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writer
A persecution complex. Paranoid schizophrenia. Psychotic depression, with both homicidal and suicidal characteristics. Severe bipolar disorder. Though no one can now diagnose Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho, mental health experts who watched his videotaped message about Monday's rampage say there was evidence of all of those mental disorders. His desire to kill others as well as himself is "not an unusual combination for a school shooter," said Dr.
NATIONAL
May 6, 2008 | Deborah L. Shelton and Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune
Adolescents who were adopted as infants are significantly more likely to have a psychiatric disorder than those who were not adopted, a study released Monday has found. The researchers -- emphasizing that most of the adoptees in the study were psychologically healthy and faring well -- the said that as a group those adolescents faced a greater risk for two psychiatric conditions: attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 1991 | FRANK MESSINA, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
One year ago, Norma Bivens committed the child she loved and feared into the hands of the Fairview Developmental Center. Mark Bivens, 17, had spent much of his life in the same howling rage that characterizes a spoiled 4-year-old. At home, he would tear up furniture. In stores and restaurants, Mark threw screaming fits when denied anything. And worse, he took his anger out on his mother, using his fists and feet in bursts of violence.
OPINION
November 5, 2013 | By Theodore Dalrymple
When the 1980 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (commonly known as the DSM-3) was being prepared, psychiatrist Allen Frances lobbied for the inclusion of a new diagnosis: masochistic personality disorder. His push failed, and by the time the fourth edition came out in 1994 (edited by Frances), he was glad it had. He no longer believed such a condition existed. Masochistic personality disorder, as Frances had conceived it, "diagnosed" those whose typical behavior brought them unhappiness by "self-sacrifice in the service of maintaining relationships or self-esteem.
OPINION
June 19, 2013
Re "End bullet-buying loophole," Column, June 17 George Skelton's support for controlling access to ammunition overlooks one plentiful source that will be difficult to police. Untold thousands of gun enthusiasts already own ammunition "reloading" equipment. This allows them to manufacture unlimited quantities of their own cartridges (which can prove more accurate than mass-produced ammunition). Although well intended, proposals like the one Skelton supports probably won't much affect the incidence of mass shootings.
SCIENCE
May 20, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Finally . After many contentious years, the American Psychiatric Assn. has unleashed DSM-5, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. If you know one thing about the DSM, it's probably that this book is considered β€œthe bible of psychiatry.” According to the APA, it β€œcontains a listing of diagnostic criteria for every psychiatric disorder recognized by the U.S. health care system.” Psychiatrists rely on it, as do other doctors, psychologists, nurses, social workers, folks at insurance companies who figure out which conditions are covered, and many others.
SCIENCE
March 3, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times
Childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder frequently persists into adulthood, bringing heightened risks of additional psychiatric issues and nearly five times the risk of suicide, according to a 20-year study that followed children diagnosed with the disorder. The study, to be published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the most extensive to date establishing links between childhood and adult ADHD, and between adult ADHD and other mental health diagnoses. Only about 38% of those who had ADHD as children made it to age 27 without either continued ADHD symptoms or at least one other psychiatric disorder, according to the study, which was based on a sample of more than 5,000 people born between Jan. 1, 1976, and Dec. 31, 1982.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Special to The Times
Dr. Thomas Szasz, the New York psychiatrist whose Don Quixote-like attacks on the psychiatric profession in the 1960s and 1970s led him to a position of prominence and influence before his radical ideas fell into disrepute and he faded into obscurity, has died. He was 92. Szasz died Sept. 8 at his home in Manlius, N.Y., his family announced. He suffered from a spinal-compression fracture that resulted from a fall. He came to prominence with his 1961 book, "The Myth of Mental Illness," in which he argued that mental illness was not a disease but simply "problems in living.
NEWS
July 2, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots blog
A child who is spanked, slapped, grabbed or shoved as a form of punishment runs a higher risk of becoming an adult who suffers from a wide range of mental and personality disorders, even when that harsh physical punishment was occasional and when the child experienced no more extreme form of violence or abuse at the hands of a parent or caregiver, says a new study . Among adults who reported harsh physical punishment short of physical or...
HEALTH
November 18, 2002 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
For years, after-hours medical clinics have helped people with urgent, but not life-threatening, physical problems. Now, the concept is being applied to mental health needs. Instead of high fevers, sprained ankles and sore throats, county-funded Mental Health Urgent Care Center in Long Beach treats schizophrenia, depression, drug addiction and other mental disorders. The 24-hour center -- which may be the first of its kind in the nation -- is desperately needed, county health experts say.
HEALTH
December 16, 2002 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
Youths in juvenile detention centers were certain to have their share of mental illness, researchers thought. What they didn't expect was the size of the problem: More than two-thirds of detained youths have diagnosable psychiatric disorders, they found. Researchers from Northwestern University near Chicago found that nearly two-thirds of boys and three-quarters of girls, ages 10 to 18, had at least one psychiatric disorder.
NEWS
November 16, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Medications to treat mental health disorders is soaring among U.S. adults, according to data released Wednesday by Medco Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager. Twenty percent of all adults said they took at least one medication to treat a mental disorder. Among women, 25% said they took such medication and 20% said they were using an antidepressant. The survey analyzed prescription drug trends among 2.5 million insured Americans from 2001 to 2010. Medco researchers also found that adults ages 20 to 44 had the greatest uptick in use of anti-anxiety medications, atypical antipsychotics and drugs to treat ADHD.
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