In Case You Missed It: February 2022

Psychiatric Times featured a wide variety of psychiatric issues and current events throughout February.

Throughout February, Psychiatric TimesTM discussed a wide variety of psychiatric issues, from self-blaming depression and comorbidity in gender diverse youth to criticisms of psychiatry and the importance of caring for caregivers. Here are some highlights from our February 2022 coverage:

Just Because We Do Not Know Everything Does Not Mean We Do Not Know Anything

Daniel Morehead, MD

It is all too easy to be negative. It is far easier to criticize than contribute—easier to tear down than to build up. Positivity fades, but negativity seems to build on itself.1 “Friends come and go; enemies accumulate,” as Mark Twain put it.

It is easy to be negative because it is natural to be negative. As human beings—indeed as mammals—our nervous systems give more weight, more attention, and more energy to negative and threatening experiences than to positive ones.1 So at a time when many medical and scientific authorities are viewed with suspicion, negativity about psychiatry is hardly shocking. Even vaccines have become a hard sell in our polarized and angry public culture. Continue Reading

Self-Blaming Depression: Theory and Technique

Mark L. Ruffalo, DPsa, LCSW

Depression is a heterogeneous disorder.1,2 The DSM diagnosis of major depression is made when the patient meets at least 5 of 9 criteria, some of which are opposites.3 Some cases remit without treatment, and others require lifelong management with psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, or physical treatments like electroconvulsive therapy. Given this wide variability in presentation, severity, and course, the idea that all depressed patients are suffering from the same disorder seems unlikely. Continue Reading

Comorbidity Issues in Gender Diverse Youth: The Tangled Web

Christy L. Olezeski, PhD, and Nicolas Meade, MS

The lack of mental health services available to all youth exposed as a result of COVID-19 is particularly problematic for LGBTQ+ youth.1,2 Specifically, transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth experience higher rates of depression, suicidal behaviors, and self-injury than their cisgender peers.3-6 A recent survey of adolescents across the United States indicated that about 2% of middle and high school students identify as transgender or gender diverse,7 a number that has been increasing over time.8 Importantly, although many TGD individuals feel a strong discomfort with their body and change their gender expression and roles and/or physical characteristics to align with their identity, not everyone experiences the distress related to the clinical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.2 Continue Reading

Taking Care of Caregivers

Elise Herman, MD, and Rashmi Parmar, MD

By 2030, the number of senior citizens requiring care in the United States is expected to double.1 And as the Baby Boomer generation enters its golden years, caregivers will be increasingly stretched thin to meet the needs of their care recipients as well as their own.

Caregivers comprise an invisible workforce that provides vital support to a growing number of individuals suffering from physical, psychological, and neurological complications. Usually unpaid, caregivers tend to be family members who care for their relatives out of love or because they cannot afford to hire help. If this work were replaced with paid services, it would cost an estimated $470 billion annually.2 Continue Reading

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