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F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Diagnosis Made Easier: Principles & Techniques for Mental Health Clinicians (2nd Edition)

August 22nd, 2014
It was a few weeks into my psychiatry residency, the print barely dry on my medical school diploma, when I met a patient we’ll call Sarah. Up to that point, the majority of those I had cared for on the inpatient psychiatry ward had been in and out of mental health care for years. When ...

Feeling Loved: Finding Happiness in an Overstressed World

BOOK REVIEW.
We have been writing about love for millennia. From the earliest surviving love poem dating from around 2030 BCE to the work of philosophers like Lao Tzu to the sonnets of Shakespeare, countless tomes have been written about seeking love, finding love, feeling love, and all the possible variations on the theme. In the modern ...

Out of the Blue: Six Non-Medication Ways to Relieve Depression

BOOK REVIEW.
Despite the title, this is not an anti-medication book. In fact, Bill O'Hanlon, a much-published psychotherapist and author, writes in Out of the Blue: Six Non-Medication Ways to Relieve Depression that medication can help, and that he respects each individual’s choice. This respect, along with his creativity and understanding that we must seek out what works for ...

Anxiety + Depression: Effective Treatment of the Big Two Co-Occurring Disorders

BOOK REVIEW.
If you know anyone with anxiety or depression, you know that symptoms can be complicated. Even more complicated is that the two disorders have similar features. That makes diagnosis hard for many clinicians, no matter how seasoned they may be. And if that weren’t enough, the fact that the disorders can co-exist adds another layer ...

Top 25 Psychiatric Medication Prescriptions for 2013

top-25-psychiatric-medications-2013 These are the top 25 psychiatric medications by number of U.S. prescriptions dispensed in 2013, according to IMS Health, a global information and technology services company. I've also provided their 2011, 2009, and 2005 rankings. To put the percent changes below into perspective, the ...

Long-Acting Treatments for Schizophrenia

Long-Acting Treatments for SchizophreniaSchizophrenia has long presented treatment challenges for both patients who have the mental illness and the treatment providers who want to help them. Many medications prescribed for schizophrenia have traditionally not always been well-tolerated in patients, with sometimes significant side effects in ...

The Neurobiological Origin of ADHD

The Neurobiological Origin of ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, a term that includes what was formerly known as attention deficit disorder or ADD) is a growing problem in America. The American Psychological Association (APA) added the condition to its diagnostic handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, ...

OCD and Atypical Antipsychotics

OCD and Atypical AntipsychoticsWhile the frontline treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder continues to be Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy, many who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder also appear to be helped by medication. Often the combination of ERP therapy and medication, typically high doses of selective serotonin ...

Book Review: Outside the Lines: A Novel

BOOK REVIEW.
Outside the Lines powerfully encourages readers to reexamine their perspective regarding mental illness. Amy Hatvany intricately explores the world of someone who’s mentally ill, detailing painful repercussions, stigma and societal perceptions. And alongside this narrative, we witness a beautiful, deep-seated love between a father and daughter. As a young girl, Eden observed her artistic ...

Parenting the Whole Child

BOOK REVIEW.
The brain is a fascinating organ. It weighs about three pounds when fully grown and entails a plethora of complicated electrical and chemical processes that can stump the savviest of scientists. Encased in a jelly-like substance in the skull, it is thought to separate human beings from other animals, and allows for the sophisticated thought ...

Mental Health for the Whole Child

BOOK REVIEW.
>Children make 3 billion new connections in their brain every second. That is 3 billion opportunities for growth, or 3 billion missed connections.  With rising rates of ADHD, autism, and other mental health disorders in American children, it seems like more and more of these connections are being missed. And medications that we give our kids ...

The Connection Between OCD & Psychosis

The Connection Between OCD and PsychosisWhen my son Dan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) became severe, he was in college, fifteen hundred miles away from home. My husband and I arranged for him to see a psychiatrist near his school, who telephoned us (with our son’s permission) after ...

How Do You Grab a Naked Lady?

BOOK REVIEW.
Before they fell out of vogue, roughly 40,000 lobotomies took place in the United States. “Took place” being a rather passive, arm’s-length way of saying that, on 40,000 separate occasions, a person with an advanced medical degree decided to slice another person’s brain. Often, against their will, and sometimes, with an ice pick through the ...

Building a Routine When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Building a Routine When You Have Bipolar DisorderHaving a routine helps people with bipolar disorder maintain stability. “Unexpected stressors can lead to episodes for me so the better I can plan things, the more stable I am,” said Elaina J. Martin, who writes Being ...

Suicide Risk for Children of Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’

Suicide Risk for Children of Northern Ireland's 'Troubles'Recent findings are shedding light on the link between growing up in a conflict zone and risk of suicide. Over the past few decades, Northern Ireland has overtaken England, Scotland and Wales in suicide rates. To investigate the causes, Professor ...

Psychotherapy Treatment for PTSD

Therapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of PTSD.  However, since trauma symptoms are very specific, not all types of therapy are appropriate.  SAMHSA has a list of every evidenced based therapeutic program by the National Registry of Programs and Practices, 17 of which list PTSD relief as an outcome. There ...

Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists

BOOK REVIEW.
The newly revised and updated version of this superb book is 376 pages of user-friendly yet remarkably concise information for therapists, pharmacists, and anyone else working in mental health with an interest in medication. As a second year pharmacy student, I found the Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists quite readable, with compelling, brief case histories and ...

Myths & Truths about Tourette Syndrome

Myths & Truths about Tourette SyndromeMany myths and mysteries surround Tourette syndrome -- everything from how the disorder manifests to how it’s treated to what causes it in the first place. Past research has found that even physicians and psychologists hold bogus beliefs about the disorder. Described in ...

Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families

Adult Children of Dysfunctional FamiliesCharles L. Whitfield's 1987 book Healing the Child Within is aimed at adult children of dysfunctional families. The ideas he presented synced up with the 12-step recovery movements for families afflicted by alcohol and addiction (Al-Anon, Nar-Anon). It made perfect sense that ...

When Your Child’s ADHD Treatment Stops Working

When Your Child's ADHD Treatment Stops Working Your child might be having a harder time focusing on homework. His or her grades might be slipping. Or he or she might be getting into trouble more often at school or at home. In other words, your child's symptoms of attention deficit ...

Acupuncture, Anxiety & Depression

Acupuncture, Anxiety & DepressionAs our broadband speeds up and our phones get smarter, some matters regarding our health get overlooked -- especially our mental health. Tablets and smart phones have made it more convenient to be connected, but a large number of people still feel disconnected. Fortunately, ...

Depression Commonly Strikes Seniors & Other Vital Facts About Depressed Seniors

Depression Commonly Strikes Seniors & Other Vital Facts About Depressed SeniorsThere’s a common belief that depression is a normal part of aging. It’s not. But unfortunately, it is prevalent among the elderly. A 2000 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry ...

Light Therapy for Bipolar Disorder

Light Therapy for Bipolar DisorderLight therapy for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has been studied for some time now. Usually it comes to mind with the onset of depression in winter. But more applications have been coming to the forefront. Recently, a post on Psych Central had information ...