The Importance of Evolutionary Psychiatry Explored at Annual Meeting


Leveraging evolutionary psychiatry may help clinicians and patients alike.

Headlines and journal articles alike highlight the increase of psychiatric symptoms. Unfortunately, despite advances in treatments, some patients do not reach remission of the symptoms. That’s where evolutionary psychiatry might play a role, explained Randolph M. Nesse, MD, in anticipation of 2 sessions at the 2023 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting.1,2

Not only does evolutionary psychiatry have the potential to further aid in differential diagnosis, but it the paradigm may be helpful for patients and improve their understanding of their symptoms and illness, Nesse noted. In turn, this may help improve treatment adherence, added Nesse, whose work was recently published in the journal World Psychiatry.3

Can’t make the meeting? Be sure to stay tuned to Psychiatric Times for more conference insights.

Dr Nesse is the founding director of The Center for Evolution and Medicine at Arizona State University and the founding president of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health. He is professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry and psychology as well as the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.


1. Gurguis C, Nesse R, Walss-Bass C. Darkness illuminated: How evolutionary psychiatry can shed new light on depression and improve clinical care. 2023 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, California. May 21.

2. Stonnington CM, Stein D, Nesse R, Smith K. Evolutionary psychiatry: How an evolutionary framework increases patient engagement, treatment effectiveness, and clinician wellbeing. 2023 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, California. May 24.

3. Nesse RM. Evolutionary psychiatry: foundations, progress and challenges. World Psychiatry. 2023;22(2):177-202.

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