February 16, 2012 |
The pain of losing a loved one can be a searing, gut-wrenching hurt and a long-lasting blow to a person's mood, concentration and ability to function. But is grief the same as depression? That's a lively debate right now, as the psychiatric profession considers a key change in the forthcoming rewrite of its diagnostic "Bible. " That proposed modification -- one of many -- would allow mental health providers to label the psychic pain of bereavement a mood disorder and act quickly to treat it, in some cases, with medication.
January 31, 2012 |
The sunny fact that Americans are living longer, more productive lives has a dark side: More of us than ever live with chronic illnesses that are not only a drag on sufferers' time and energy, but on the nation's pocketbook. The Institute of Medicine on Tuesday put a dollar figure on the cost of caring for chronic illness in the United States--$1.5 trillion yearly, fully three-fourths of annual healthcare spending. A panel of experts called on policymakers to do more to prevent and track the big nine chronic diseases that most drain the nation's wallet.
August 30, 2011 |
Eighteen months after they have returned from a war zone, soldiers bear an unmistakable sign of emotional trauma deep inside their brains. But in most, a key node of the brain's fear circuitry returns to normal, perhaps keeping mental illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) from developing, says a new study published Tuesday in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. The study, a follow-up to an earlier brain-imaging study conducted by Dutch researchers, put two groups of Dutch soldiers into a brain scanner called a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner, and had them look at pictures of people expressing anger or fear.
July 7, 2011 |
Several types of personality disorders will be dropped from the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But one disorder previously proposed for elimination -- narcissistic personality disorder -- will likely remain in the text. The American Psychiatric Assn. announced Thursday that the framework for personality disorders in DSM-5 will be a "hybrid" model that is substantially different from how personality disorders are diagnosed currently. Under the new system, personality disorders will be aligned with particular personality traits and levels of impairment.
June 6, 2011 |
People with a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder can often shake their family tree and find a relative who has also contended with obsessive thoughts, hoarding, repetitive hand-washing, behavior in which locks and stove burners are checked over and over again or elaborate rituals must be followed for daily life to proceed. The disorder seems to have some genetic component. But even related people with obsessive-compulsive disorder often exhibit different behavioral symptoms from one another, suggesting that some of the disorder behaviors are learned.
October 1, 2010
The American Psychiatric Assn. , which labored to bring forth a revision of psychiatry's “Bible” earlier this year, has just released a more modest opus likely to generate much discussion among mental health professionals. With the release on Friday of its “Practice Guideline for Treatment of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder,” the nation's leading psychiatric association makes a number of subtle adjustments to its past treatises on depression and its treatment. The new guideline is the first comprehensive update of the organization's guidelines for depression treatment since 2000.