Psychiatric Times Vol 24 No 14

Treating Catatonia in Autism

January 01, 2008

In May 2007, the novelist Ann Bauer went public with the tribulations of her autistic son. When catatonia developed, a diagnosis of schizophrenia was made, and antipsychotic medications were prescribed, but with little benefit. When the catatonia syndrome was recognized as independent of schizophrenia and successfully treated, her son returned to a more normal life.1,2

New Drug Evaluation Workshops Focus on Improving Psychiatric Research

December 01, 2007

Precision of psychiatric drug safety assessments, availability of adequately trained psychiatric researchers, and participation of a diverse research population were prominent among the topics of several panels and workshops on research methodology at the NIMH-sponsored 47th annual New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit (NCDEU) meeting that took place earlier this year in Boca Raton, Fla.

Antidepressants Not Linked to Adult Suicide

December 01, 2007

Some studies have linked antidepressants to suicide ideation in children and adolescents, but could adult suicides be linked to antidepressant use? Andrew C. Leon and associates reviewed the medical examiner reports of 1419 adults who completed suicide from 2001 to 2004 in New York City and determined that there does not appear to be a link between the two.

Correctional Psychiatry: Room for Improvement

December 01, 2007

Dr Jeffrey Metzner's brief article, "Evolving Issues in Correctional Psychiatry" (Psychiatric Times, September 2007) related many of the difficulties and complexities of the corrections world; however, it did not mention the greatest problem of all--"deinstitutionalization," which, over the past half century, has resulted in the wholesale diversion of patients with chronic mental illnesses--many of whom cannot be managed as outpatients--from hospitals to jails and prisons.

Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling: A Practical Guide, 3rd ed.

December 01, 2007

It is notoriously difficult to capture in writing the essence of what constitutes ethical practice in contemporary psychotherapy. Authors who take on this daunting task face the potential pit-falls of presenting their ideas in an abstract manner that bores the reader and is clinically irrelevant or risks coming across as overly moralistic and preachy.

Comorbidity and Psychiatric Disorders: Support or Hindrance for Psychiatric Care?

December 01, 2007

The revolution inherent in the move from DSM-II to DSM-III primarily involved a growing emphasis on comorbidity. For several decades before DSM-III, the emphasis had been on diagnostic economy: fewer diagnoses were considered more elegant, more accurate, and more useful in guiding care.

Psychiatric Tribalism

December 01, 2007

"Positive Psychology: A More Direct Route To Happiness" (Psychiatric Times, September 2007) brought to mind that no one asks an internist to which school of medicine he or she belongs.

Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychopharmacology, 4th ed.

December 01, 2007

Each edition of this book, beginning with the first in 1991, has received much use while sitting on my office shelf. The editions have spanned the modern era of child psychopharmacology and, along with the works of S. P. Kutcher, have offered practical clinical guidance in choosing and monitoring medications in children and teenagers while also providing an overview of the literature that supports child psychopharmacology.

Vets' Mental Health Bill Becomes Law

December 01, 2007

The Senate on September 27 passed what may be the first ever veterans' mental health bill. The Joshua Omvig Veterans' Suicide Prevention Act is named after a young man who came home from Operation Iraqi Freedom with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and was unable to get mental health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Anxiety and Depression in a Psychiatrically Informed Pain Medicine Practice

December 01, 2007

Patients with chronic pain and head injury frequently have comorbid anxiety and depressive disorders, with depressive disorders appearing to be more predominant. A number of studies show that depressive spectrum illness develops in 40% to 80% of patients with chronic pain; in a majority of these cases, the mood disorder is caused by chronic pain.

Psychiatric Aspects of the Impending Avian Flu Pandemic

December 01, 2007

I was taken ill with the flu. They gave me up. The paper had my obit set in type. . . . My hair turned white and then it fell out. The first time I tried to rise to a sitting position I fell and broke an arm. I had phlebitis in one leg and they said I'd never walk again.

Posttraumatic Growth Syndrome: Fact or Fiction?

December 01, 2007

She was 57 years old, widowed with 2 grown children, and was being evaluated as an aspirant for the Episcopal diaconate. An open, warm, and articulate woman, she described the major turning point in her life as her husband's sudden cardiac death when he was 42 and she was 37. "It came out of the blue," she said. "One moment he was here and the next moment he was gone."

Navigating the Straits of Chronic Pain and Addiction

December 01, 2007

In my last column I used the ancient metaphor from Homer's Odyssey of being caught between the two monsters of Scylla and Charybdis to describe the predicament of contemporary physicians treating chronic pain.

HIV and Psychiatric Illness

December 01, 2007

Most estimates suggest that there are just over a million persons living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. According to CDC data, between 2001 and 2005, an average of 37,127 new cases of HIV infection, HIV infection and later AIDS, and concurrent HIV infection and AIDS were diagnosed each year.

Writing About Patients: The Perennial Dilemma

December 01, 2007

Here is the conundrum: You have completed treatment with a fascinating and complex patient. Mr A has bipolar depression, Marfan syndrome, and hypothyroidism. You not only managed to navigate around the rocks of his medical problems, but you also managed to stabilize Mr A's bipolar disorder using a combination of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), thyroxine, and interpersonal therapy. You would now like to share your experience with colleagues, so you write up the case history; then suddenly, you are seized with misgivings.

The Conundrum of Psychiatric Comorbidity

December 01, 2007

Since the revision of DSM-III, high rates of co-occurring psychiatric disorders have been observed, particularly in cases of moderate and severe psychiatric illness. The reason lies in the design of the diagnostic system itself: DSM-IV is a descriptive, categorical system that splits psychiatric behaviors and symptoms into numerous distinct disorders, and uses few exclusionary hierarchies to eliminate multiple diagnoses.

Bipolar Disorder in Later Life

December 01, 2007

Among clinicians and researchers in geriatric psychiatry, interest in late-life bipolar disorder is growing, fueled not only by the increasing size of this clinical population but also by the recent discovery that mood stabilizers such as lithium may influence the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease.

Lyme Disease, Comorbid Tick-Borne Diseases, and Neuropsychiatric Disorders

December 01, 2007

Many recall the phrase "To know syphilis is to know medicine." Now Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis), the new "great imitator," is the ultimate challenge to the breadth and depth of our knowledge. In psychiatry, we generally treat mental symptoms or syndromes rather than the underlying cause of a disorder.