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Mental Health Year in Review: 2007

Online

In February, the powerhouse blog Furious Seasons released the court documents related to Eli Lilly’s ongoing court case regarding its atypical antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. The documents showed the drug has a greater risk of diabetes and weight gain in people who take it, concerns the company downplayed according to the documents. To date, Eli Lilly has spent over $1.2 billion in settlements related to Zyprexa, according to the New York Times. Also, Furious Seasons has been rigorously following the individual state lawsuits filed against Eli Lilly (and other pharmaceuticals) for various reasons, including widespread off-label marketing of atypical antipsychotics (a big no-no in the U.S.):

In January, the BBC reported on GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) “hiding” evidence that showed one of its drugs, paroxetine (Seroxat in the UK, Paxil in the U.S.), was linked to increased suicides amongst teens.

The childhood diagnosis of bipolar disorder, not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV as a legitimate diagnosis, received renewed attention as some professionals came out to advocate its treatment with psychiatric medications not approved for such use. And of course Rebecca Riley’s death in February from an overdose of such medications didn’t help. As a reminder, Rebecca was diagnosed at 2 ½ years old with both ADHD and bipolar disorder.

Daniel Carlat, M.D., a publisher of a psychiatric newsletter and practicing psychiatrist, began a blog that became an instant hit documenting his view on pharmaceutical-funded continuing medical education and its many biases.

Megan Meier made tragic headlines in November when it was revealed she committed suicide after suffering from online harassment, by none other than allegedly an ex-friend’s mother, Lori Drew. Adding salt to the injury was the fact that the county prosecutor refused to press charges against Lori Drew, despite the serious ramifications of this person’s apparent poor judgment. It was an illustrative case of how pretending to be someone else online has real-world impact. Put in another way, social relationships online have just as much power over us as our traditional face-to-face relationships.

General News

The American Psychological Association (APA) found itself at the center of a growing controversy regarding its wishy-washy policy of allowing psychologists, even indirectly, to be involved in interrogations that may include torture. After much media exposure on the topic, and the resignations of hundreds of APA members, the APA finally clarified their position – psychologists are banned from all torture interrogations, even indirectly.

Newsweek had a good cover story on men and depression in early 2007.

Owen Wilson’s bout with depression captured the headlines in August.

Brain research published in September found that there may be structural differences between liberal and conservative brains. The work grew out of decades of previous research suggesting that political orientation is linked to certain personality traits or styles of thinking. A review of that research published in 2003 found that conservatives tend to be more rigid and closed-minded, less tolerant of ambiguity and less open to new experiences.

In October, we reported that a U.S. government agency released a study that found approximately 7% of the U.S. workforce may suffer from depression.

In closing…

And not surprisingly, one of the most popular blog entries of 2007 was the list of 237 reasons to have sex, from the University of Texas study published in the August 2007 issue of the Archives of Sexual Behavior:

A completely useless study, but one that talks about the most popular topic online: sex.

Happy New Year!

Mental Health Year in Review: 2007


John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.


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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2019). Mental Health Year in Review: 2007. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/mental-health-year-in-review-2007/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 16 Mar 2019 (Originally: 21 Dec 2007)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 16 Mar 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.