World of Psychology

Social Anxiety Disorder? Or Just Plain Shy?

Welcome to Disorder Nation. As biomedical and pharmaceutical companies struggle to release newer, more effective medications to combat serious mental disorders like depression or bipolar disorders, some people's attention turn to lesser disorders. Disorders like social anxiety disorder which, before 1980, was simply known as extreme shyness or "anxiety neurosis." Sure, people get anxious in social situations, especially performance-based ones such as public speaking, but that's normal for most people!

But leave it to the researchers (or in this case, the lack of research)...

Very Young Children Being Prescribed Antipsychotics in Florida

Why are pediatricians and psychiatrists prescribing powerful antipsychotic medications to children who are under age 5? Especially when no antipsychotic (except Risperdal) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in terms of safety or efficacy for use in children. Why is the use of these unapproved-for-children medications so widespread (and growing)?

A new report (PDF) from researchers at the University of South Florida examined prescribing trends for over 19,000 Florida children being prescribed atypical antipsychotics. Philip at Furious...

Learning from the Irish

I had the honor of attending a talk today by naturalist David Sibley, who is the author of the famous Sibley Guide to Birds. He's made his life observing birds and spoke about the timeless nature of such an activity -- birds today are...

Better Educating Law Enforcement on Mental Illness

Ben Selkow wrote an interesting piece over at the Huffington Post earlier this week about his experience with traveling with a friend who has bipolar disorder. But it wasn't by car or on a bus he was traveling. It was on a domestic flight back in 2002, just nine months after 9/11. And his friend wasn't simply sad or a little anxious -- he was in a full-fledged manic (and apparently, paranoid) state.

Selkow uses this example as some type of rationale for...

The Changing Seasons

Some people love the summertime, others love the cold of the winter. Me? More than anything, I love the changing of the seasons. It really doesn't matter from what season to another, I love the fact that there's a certainty, a progress to the...

Mass. Tracks Children on Psychiatric Drugs

File this in the Big-Brother-is- watching-you-but- you-may-not-mind category. After the death of 4-year-old Rebecca Riley last year in Massachusetts, state officials have decided to take action in the form of an
early warning system (via The Boston Globe).

By combing through its Medicaid records, the system analyzes children under the age of 5 who are taking at least 3 psychiatric drugs, or a single prescription of certain more powerful psychiatric medications. It then flags those cases, which are then reviewed by mental health professionals....

Are People with Schizophrenia Better Off?

Despite improved identification and treatment of schizophrenia in recent decades, it appears the answer is no.

Two studies recently published by the Archives of General Psychiatry suggest that people with schizophrenia might not be doing as well as we would expect, given all of the advances in care for people with this disorder.

Schizophrenia is a serious debilitating mental disorder that strikes most people in their early to mid 20s. It's characterized by the person experiencing either hallucinations or delusions (or both), and as a...