From the Pages of Psychiatric Times: 6 Months of Cover Stories

Over the past 6 months, Psychiatric Times has featured expert opinions on important psychiatric issues from psychosis to psychedelics.

Over the past 6 months, Psychiatric TimesTM has featured cover stories providing expert perspectives on multiple important psychiatric issues such as the state of mental health care in the United States, the link between COVID-19 and psychosis, and the future of psychiatry. Halfway through 2022, here are some highlights from this year’s cover stories so far.

Psychosis in the Patient With COVID-19: An Emerging Psychopathology?

The link between viral infections and effects on the central nervous system has been studied with viruses such as influenza, H1N1, and previous coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS. It has been documented that like COVID-19, these viruses have been able to produce symptoms of psychosis in patients with no prior psychiatric conditions.1-3

Recently published studies have shown that COVID-19 can cause severe neuropsychological stress-inducing psychosis in affected patients.4,5 The literature covering correlations between COVID-19 and psychosis has demonstrated that there has been an increase in the rate of psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, delusions of persecution, and auditory and visual hallucinations in populations with high incidence rates of COVID-19 infection.2,4 Continue Reading

Thought, CircRNAs, and a Neurodigital Hypothesis

If you ask a cardiologist, “Physiologically speaking, what is a heartbeat?” they can bore you to tears with details on anatomy, electrophysiology, hemodynamics, innervation, and pulmonary and peripheral circulation. But if you ask a psychiatrist the entirely pertinent question, “Physiologically speaking, what is a thought?” the truth is, we have been without a clue—until now.

Of all psychiatry’s mysteries, this is the most crucial void in our scientific knowledge: how the brain executes the higher functions that are the actual focus of psychiatric practice—the generation of thought and behavior. This knowledge gap has been responsible for psychiatry’s own split personality—historically swinging back and forth between a biological focus on the brain and a psychological focus on the mind. Just as physics sought a unified “theory of everything” to incorporate the mystery of gravity, this missing piece of science has eluded psychiatry since its inception. Continue Reading

Psychiatric Care in the US: Are We Facing a Crisis?

By the end of 2021, many American adults found themselves in the worst mental state in years. According to the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, 47% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety,1 39% reported symptoms of depression,1 and 1 in 5 adults disclosed suffering from a mental illness.2 Despite this, it is estimated that less than half of Americans with a mental disorder get adequate treatment.3

“It has been just over a year now since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States full force. A year of hunkering down and Zooming in, teleworking and telepsychiatry, economic and social upheaval, and steady scientific progress. Looking back to last March, we knew this would be difficult. But we didn’t know how difficult. And we certainly didn’t know that the challenge of COVID-19 would last this long,” said Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, in a 2021 director’s message.4 Continue Reading

Psychedelics and the Future of Psychiatry

Over the past several years, we have witnessed a psychedelic renaissance, and a growing body of evidence suggests that several psychedelic compounds hold strong therapeutic potential for a wide array of mental health conditions.

Once dismissed as dangerous and having little therapeutic potential, psychedelic drugs are gaining mainstream acceptance. Research data continue to demonstrate that, on the whole, these medicines are not only safe, but mostly well tolerated. Although more research is needed to better understand safety, especially in the context of at-risk conditions, these favorable safety profiles are enabling deeper exploration of these medicines. Continue Reading

See more 2022 cover stories and download complete issues of Psychiatric TimesTM here. And be sure to stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Psychiatric TimesTM E-newsletter.

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