Psychiatric Times Vol 25 No 8

Nonconventional Modalities

July 02, 2008

Contemporary Western psychiatry subsumes diverse perspectives on the so-called mind-body problem, but there is still no consensus on a single best or most complete explanatory model of mind-body interactions. Western psychiatry describes brain function in terms of dynamic properties of neurotransmitters and electromagnetic energy fields.

Substance Use With Comorbid Obesity in Patients With Bipolar Disorder

July 02, 2008

The rising prevalence and dispersion of obesity in North America in the past decade is analogous to a communicable disease epidemic. Longitudinal and cross-sectional associations between major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and obesity have been established. Existing evidence also indicates that there is an association between bipolar disorder and obesity.

Agitation in Older Adults

July 02, 2008

Agitation in older adults is frequently associated with multiple psychiatric and medical conditions and comorbidities. It commonly occurs in patients with anxiety, affective illness, psychosis, dementia, stroke, brain injury, delirium, or pain.

Current Knowledge and Future Direction

July 02, 2008

We are growing older. In ancient Greece, the expected life span was 20 years. In Medieval Europe, it went up to 30 years. In 1900, people reasonably could expect to live to the ripe old age of 47 years, and 39% of those born at that time survived to age 65 years in the United States. Currently, the average life span in the United States is 78 years, and 86% of those born will survive to age 65 years. The very old-people older than 85 years-are the fastest-growing population group in the country, and there are 120,000 Americans over the age of 100 years. And the trend continues.

The Bipolar Disorder Answer Book: Answers to More than 275 of Your Most Pressing Questions

July 02, 2008

Education is a cornerstone for the effective treatment of bipolar disorder. The Bipolar Disorder Answer Book is a recent addition to the resources available for patients and their families. Each of the newly emerging self-help books offers different perspectives and emphasis. This book sets out to cover a broad range of relevant topics. Although it begins with the usual discussion of diagnosis and treatment, it quickly moves on to specific issues, such as securing care (both outpatient and inpatient), relapse prevention, comorbid illnesses, “survival tips” for friends and family, insurance coverage, and disability resources.

Demystifying Love: Plain Talk for the Mental Health Professional

July 02, 2008

Although Demystifying Love: Plain Talk for the Mental Health Professional is economy-sized at 200 pages, the book is a useful attempt by the well-known psychiatrist and sex therapist Stephen Levine to condense a lifetime of knowledge from clinical practice, personal growth, and extensive reading about a complex subject. Not surprisingly, his case vignettes remain uppermost in the memory while the whirlwind tour of the many meanings of love, processes of getting into and out of love, erotic transference, psychological intimacy, and sexual desire gets a bit blurry

Personality Disorder: “Untreatable” Myth Is Challenged

July 02, 2008

Success with new approaches to the psychotherapeutic treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other DSM-IV personality disorders has been reported in several studies recently, raising hopes that an intractable set of illnesses may not be as hopeless as once thought.

Artist’s Studio

July 02, 2008

Northwest light, pine trees and open sea,a pair of eagles circling Manana Island,the Laura B gliding into harbor,picking up mail and passengers for the tripinshore, the sound of the sea poundinggranite cliffs, cries of ravens and gulls,one last summer fly buzzing at the window,a room arrayed with easels, drying racks,brushes and brooms, the smell of spirits

Update on Treatment of Low Back Pain: Part 2

July 02, 2008

The guideline divides the therapies it reviewed into nonpharmacological, nonsurgical, and pharmacological categories. The nonpharmacological category includes a wide range of modalities from treatments that patients can perform themselves, such as yoga and exercise, to psychotherapy, acupuncture, and a variety of physical therapy techniques, including heat and laser treatments.

Geriatric Mood Disorders

July 02, 2008

Depression complicates medical illnesses and their management, and it increases health care use, disability, and mortality. This article focuses on the recent research data on diagnosis, etiopathogenesis, treatment, and prevention in unipolar, bipolar, psychotic, and subsyndromal depression.

Of Stress and Alcoholism, Of Mice and Men

July 02, 2008

This month I will examine the relationship between alcohol use disorder, stress, and a neuropeptide called substance P (SP). The data that led directly to research with human subjects came from the mouse-based genetic manipulation of a gene called neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R), the receptor for SP. To understand this research thread, I will need to review some basic biology behind a class of biochemicals called tachykinins, of which SP is its most famous member. I begin, however, with an attempt to understand the relationship between the experience of stress, relapse rates in alcohol-dependent populations, and how mouse research ended up helping a cohort of stressed-out patients.

Risk of Substance Abuse Not Increased by ADHD Drugs

July 02, 2008

Two recent studies present clinical evidence that the use of stimulants to treat boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) does not increase their risk of later substance use disorders. This evidence provides clinicians and families with much needed reassurance.

Bereavement-Related Depression

July 01, 2008

The loss of a loved one is one of the most traumatic events in a person’s life. In spite of this, most people cope with the loss with minimal morbidity. Approximately 2.5 million people die in the United States every year, and each leaves behind about 5 bereaved people.

Concern About Psychotropic Drugs and Foster Kids

July 01, 2008

Concern is on the rise about psychotropic medications-especially atypical antipsychotics-given to foster children covered under Medicaid. Two state Medicaid officials and a representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) spoke at hearings of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support on May 8. Rep Jim McDermott, MD (D, Washington), the only psychiatrist in Congress, has introduced legislation that requires states to improve care coordination for foster children.

Baby Boomers and Substance Abuse

July 01, 2008

The leading edge of the baby boom generation is rapidly moving into the treatment realm of geriatric psychiatry. As a cohort, baby boomers experimented more with alcohol and illicit drugs than did previous generations.

Anxiety Disorders in Later Life

July 01, 2008

Older adults can present with anxiety or worries about physical health (illness, changes in vision or hearing), cognitive difficulties, finances, and changes in life status (widowhood, care-giving responsibilities, retirement). Clinicians need to be aware that older adults may deny psychological symptoms of anxiety (fear, worry) but endorse similar emotions with different words (worries, concerns).

Concern About Psychotropic Drugs and Foster Kids

July 01, 2008

Concern is on the rise about psychotropic medications-especially atypical antipsychotics-given to foster children covered under Medicaid. Two state Medicaid officials and a representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) spoke at hearings of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support on May 8. Rep Jim McDermott, MD (D, Washington), the only psychiatrist in Congress, has introduced legislation that requires states to improve care coordination for foster children.

The American Psychological Association and Detainee Interrogations: Unanswered Questions

July 01, 2008

News accounts and court records of detainee interrogations in such settings as the Guantnamo Bay detainment camp and the Abu Ghraib prison have sparked controversy over involvement of mental health professionals and behavioral scientists. Authors of articles in medical, psychological, legal, and scientific journals have struggled with complex ethical questions about psychiatrists and psychologists who participate in planning or implementing detainee interrogations.