Share List There was a nice article in the Lancet last month. The article posed the question: “When should grief be classified as a mental illness?” The author criticized the APA’s draft version of DSM-5 for blurring the distinction and for making it more likely that people in bereavement will be “diagnosed” as depressed and,… Continue Reading
Share List In 1997 I worked part-time for a nursing home. This facility had an open-door policy and had a reputation in the state for being able to accommodate even the most difficult and unmanageable clients. Some of this reputation was attributable to their generous administration of major tranquilizers, but in addition there was a… Continue Reading
Share List This issue has been debated for years, but was finally considered to have been put to rest by NIMH’s 2004 Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). This study essentially “found” that fluoxetine (Prozac) was effective in treating depression and did not involve an increased risk of suicide. Robert Whitaker’s most recent post… Continue Reading
Share List The debate is over. Antidepressants are only very marginally more effective than placebos. And yet the “depression-is-an-illness” lobby continues to grasp for straws. Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal, recently cited “evidence” of the efficacy of antidepressants. For a critique of the Godlee article go to Duncan Double’s website “Critical Psychiatry.”… Continue Reading
Share List In 1973 the APA removed homosexuality from its list of “diagnoses,” and in its place they created a new “diagnosis” – gender identity disorder. The essential feature of this so-called illness is a marked and persistent rejection of one’s biological gender and a repeated desire to be of the opposite gender. I’ve touched… Continue Reading
Share List A few weeks ago I recommended Taking America Off Drugs by Stephen Ray Flora. Well, he has also written The Power of Reinforcement (State University of New York Press, 2004), and this also is well worth reading. Reinforcement is a crucial concept in psychology, and in this book Dr. Flora clarifies the matter and… Continue Reading
Share List Daniel Carlat’s blog carries an interesting item. It seems that a lady named Suzy Chapman started a site called dsm5watch, in which she expressed criticism of the DSM. Well, the APA didn’t like this and sent her a cease and desist letter, claiming that the string “DSM-5” is trademarked, and that she was… Continue Reading
Share List Gina has taken time from her busy schedule as an Intensive Care Nurse to host Grand Rounds this week – the seventh time she has hosted GR. Stop by when you get a chance, and you’ll find some good reading material.
Share List Taking America Off Drugs by Stephen Ray Flora A few weeks ago, in a comment, A Behaviorist Fan recommended the above book to me. It came out in 2007, and I don’t know how I missed it at the time. But I’ve read it now and it’s a superb piece of work. Definitely… Continue Reading
Share List A couple of weeks ago I heard a piece on NPR: “What Vietnam Taught Us About Breaking Bad Habits.” It’s an interesting story. It tells how in 1971, researchers found that about 20% of the American soldiers in Vietnam were addicted to heroin. This was shocking news to the Pentagon and to President… Continue Reading
Share List Last week Reuters ran an article by Toni Clarke: “Insight: Shortage of ADHD Drug Adderall seen persisting.” Here are the first five paragraphs: “A shortage of Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, shows little sign of easing as manufacturers struggle to get enough active ingredient to make the drug… Continue Reading
Share List Recently National Public Radio ran a program on California’s state psychiatric hospitals. There has reportedly been an enormous increase in patient violence in recent years, including the murder of a female employee in October 2010. Staff are demanding that some remedial measures be undertaken. Committees are meeting; politicians are giving speeches. But the… Continue Reading
Share List The concept of personality is very firmly established in mental health circles and in academic psychology. It is also widely used in common speech, and is frequently offered as having explanatory value, when in fact it has none. Consider the following conversation: “Why is Mary so quiet and reserved?” “Oh, that’s just her… Continue Reading
Share List I’m now in retirement, but during my professional career I usually (almost always) wore a suit and tie when I went to work. I enjoyed my work, and I was very comfortable in that role. But I’m also a committed remodeler. Apart from the time when I was acutely ill, I’ve always had… Continue Reading
Share List MPD became an official APA “diagnosis” with the publication of DSM-III in 1980. It has since been renamed as dissociative identity disorder. The criteria are: A. The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states (each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment… Continue Reading
Share List I came across this on Yahoo! News. BOSTON (AP) — Gay rights groups say they’re pleased the oldest Roman Catholic newspaper in the United States has retracted an opinion column suggesting the devil may be responsible for gay attraction. The column in the Boston archdiocese’s The Pilot newspaper was titled “Some fundamental questions on… Continue Reading
Share List This week’s Grand Rounds is hosted by David Williams at Health Business Blog. As usual, there is plenty of good reading. Pranab’s post Trick or Treat: Do Doctors Encourage Poor Patient Behaviors, at the blog Scepticemia is well-written, interesting, and says as much about behavior as it does about medicine.
Share List I am writing this post in response to Jeanne’s last comment concerning the concept of sin. This takes us a little outside the normal orbit of this blog, and also outside my field. But since behaviorism is a way of looking at human activity, and sin is an alternative way of looking at the… Continue Reading
Share List Jacqueline (aka Laika) has this week’s Grand Rounds up at Laika’s MedLibLog. One might wonder if many posts could be found that fit the theme: Data, Information, and Communication. There are approximately fifty posts in this Rounds, so many that you will want to go back several times, so as not to… Continue Reading
Share List In a recent comment on my last post Jeanne raised some important questions concerning homosexuality. These are issues where considerations of political correctness and religious dogma have stifled genuine discussion and dialogue. I will try to address these questions openly and straightforwardly. The sex or gender of a person expresses itself in five… Continue Reading
Share List It’s time for this week’s Grand Rounds, which can be found at Healthcare Economist. Jason has put together an interesting set of posts, everything from a book review to a post about the iPhone. Stop by for some enjoyable reading.
Share List Post edited and updated January 2, 2013, to reflect clarifications as a result of interactions with the many people who have left comments. I thank them for their input. ******************** According to the American Psychiatric Association, until 1974 homosexuality was a mental illness. Freud had alluded to homosexuality numerous times in his writings,… Continue Reading
Share List Louise has this week’s Grand Rounds up at Colorado Health Insurance Insider. Good reading on topics that are informative and sometimes controversial. Stop by and have a look.
Share List Psychiatry likes to present itself as a helping profession, but even a cursory look at its history suggests otherwise. Here are some of the “treatments” that this pseudo-science has promoted for its pseudo-illnesses. STERILIZATION It is estimated that 65,000 people were sterilized in America under various eugenic statutes. This practice, which was used… Continue Reading
Share List This week’s Grand Rounds is up at Health 3.0 Blog. Plenty of good posts, and if you like music with your reading, at the bottom of the page there are six versions of the song Goodnight Irene for your listening enjoyment – artists from Johnny Cash to Peter, Paul and Mary.