From the Pages of Psychiatric Times: February 2022

The experts weighed in on a wide variety of psychiatric issues for the Psychiatric Times February 2022 issue.

In the February issue of Psychiatric TimesTM, we connected with experts from across psychiatry to bring you thoughtful articles about a wide variety of psychiatric issues, including the latest in psychedelics; the relationship between neuroplasticity and smart phones; malingering in the COVID-19 era; and ethical considerations for vaccine mandates. Here are some highlights from the issue:

Psychedelics and the Future of Psychiatry

Reid Robison, MD, MBA

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

Neuroplasticity and Smart Phones

John J. Miller, MD

One of my favorite quotes from philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti is, “Consciousness is its content.” It makes perfect sense. After reading a book, watching a movie, traveling to Italy, visiting with family over the holidays, finishing a grueling day at work, or surviving a traumatic experience, our mind retains the memories of these experiences in varying regions of our brain. If we ensure a good night’s sleep, the memories of the previous day will be stored for long-term recall in various brain structures during the night by our hippocampus, along with neuronal connections that will allow us to reconstruct all these memory fragments to recreate the experience. Continue Reading

Vaccine Mandate Exemptions for Anxiety: Ethical and Practical Considerations

Lauren T. Edwards, MD; Margaret Emerson, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC; David Cates, PhD; and Robert Steel, PhD

Many US health care institutions have established mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies to protect employees, patients, and the community, as well as to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s anticipated emergency temporary standard requiring health care providers with 100 or more employees to ensure that staff are vaccinated.1 In response, some health care workers are submitting vaccine exemption requests for religious, medical, and mental health reasons, and organizations are challenged with determining the validity of these requests with little precedent to inform current policy. The purpose of this article is to discuss how behavioral health (BH) experts in one organization conceptualized anxiety-related medical exemption requests for the COVID-19 vaccine, in an effort to inform others confronted with similar circumstances. Continue Reading

Malingering as a Maladaptive Pattern of Survival During the Pandemic

Teofilo Matos Santana, MD; Matthew N. Goldenberg, MD, MSc; and Seth Powsner, MD

Malingering is a common challenge for emergency department (ED) clinicians, and disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic tip more people into such dysfunctional adaptations. We present 3 cases of COVID-19–induced malingering. Continue Reading

See the full February issue of Psychiatric TimesTM here. And be sure to stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Psychiatric TimesTM E-newsletter.

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