expansion of psychiatric turf

Integration of Physical and Mental Health

October 9, 2015

Integration of physical and “mental health” care has been a popular topic in psychiatric circles in recent years.  During his term as President of the APA, the very eminent psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, made frequent references to this matter in his posts on Psychiatric News (the APA’s online newspaper). For instance, on December 6, 2013, […]

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Intermittent Explosive Disorder: The ‘Illness’ That Goes On Growing

August 4, 2015

According to the APA, intermittent explosive disorder is characterized by angry aggressive outbursts that occur in response to relatively minor provocation. This particular label has an interesting history in successive editions of the DSM. DSM I  (1952)  Intermittent explosive disorder does not appear as such in the first edition of DSM, but the general concept […]

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Allen Frances Saving Psychiatry From Itself?

July 3, 2015

On October 12, 2014, the eminent psychiatrist Allen Frances, MD, participated in a panel discussion at the Mad In America film festival in Gothenburg, Sweden.  After the festival, he wrote an article – Finding a Middle Ground Between Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry – for the Huffington Post Blog, summarizing the positions he had discussed at the […]

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The Use of Neuroleptic Drugs As Chemical Restraints in Nursing Homes

July 17, 2014

There’s an interesting article in the July-August 2014 issue of the AARP Bulletin.  It’s called Drug Abuse: Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes, and was written by Jan Goodwin.  AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons.   Jan Goodwin is an investigative journalist whose career, according to Wikipedia, “…has been committed to focusing attention on social justice […]

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Blame the Clients?

June 17, 2014

On June 6, I wrote a post titled Psychiatry DID Promote the Chemical Imbalance Theory.  The article was published on Mad in America, and generated a number of comments on that site, five of which were from TherapyFirst, who in his first comment identified himself as Joel Hassman, MD, a practicing psychiatrist.  Dr. Hassman did […]

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Childhood Social Functioning Predicts Adult Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder. Or Does It?

May 15, 2014

In November 2013, the journal Schizophrenia Research published a paper by Tsuji, T. et al. titled Premorbid teacher-rated social functioning predicts adult schizophrenia-spectrum disorder: A high-risk prospective investigation.  Here’s the abstract: “Social functioning deficits are a core component of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and may emerge years prior to the onset of diagnosable illness. The current […]

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Social Services and Psychiatry

May 9, 2014

The controversy surrounding Justina Pelletier and her family has expanded its scope in recent months, and has now become a general public scrutiny of Massachusetts’s Department of Children and Families. On April 29, State Governor Deval Patrick gave a press conference in which he announced the resignation of DCF Commissioner Olga Roche. I think there’s […]

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Sluggish Cognitive Tempo – A New Diagnosis?

April 29, 2014

On April 11, 2014, journalist Alan Schwarz (brief bio here) published an article in the New York Times on this topic, titled Idea of New attention Disorder Spurs Research, and Debate.  Alan has written extensively on the rising rates of the condition known as ADHD, and on the abuse of the drugs that are used […]

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‘ADHD’ and Dangerous Driving

April 22, 2014

In 2006, Laurence Jerome, a Canadian psychiatrist, and two colleagues wrote a paper titled What We Know About ADHD and Driving Risk: A Literature Review, Meta-Analysis and Critique.  It was published in the Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in August, 2006. The primary result of the meta-analysis was: “Current data […]

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Justina Pelletier: The Debate Continues

April 15, 2014

On April 1, 2014, Slate published an online article titled Mitochondrial Disease or Medical Child Abuse?  The author is Brian Palmer.  Slate is a daily, general interest web magazine, founded in 1996, that provides “analysis and commentary about politics, news, business, technology and culture,” and is a subsidiary of the Washington Post.  Brian Palmer is […]

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Justina Pelletier: The Case Continues

April 4, 2014

On March 25, Joseph Johnston, Juvenile Court Justice in Boston, Massachusetts, issued a disposition order in the case: Care and protection of Justina Pelletier.  The background to the case is well-known.  Justina is 15 years old. Judge Johnston did not return Justina to the care of her parents, but instead granted permanent custody to the […]

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The Perfect Psychiatrist

April 1, 2014

On March 19, a new article was posted on Aeon Magazine.  It’s titled A Mad World,  and was written by Joseph Pierre, MD, who works in Log Angeles as a psychiatric practitioner and professor.  Dr. Pierre has authored more than fifty papers, and has received several awards.  He has lectured nationally and internationally, and would, […]

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Psychiatry Misusing the Political Process

March 30, 2014

On March 27, the US House of Representatives approved by a voice vote with no debate a Medicare bill, HR 4302, Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014.  The purpose of the bill is to avoid cutting Medicare payments to physicians, and there was, and is, general agreement on both side of the aisle that […]

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Robert Whitaker: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

March 24, 2014

On March 5, Bruce Levine, PhD, published an interesting article on Mad in America  titled Psychiatry Now Admits It’s Been Wrong in Big Ways – But Can It Change? Bruce had interviewed Robert Whitaker, and most of the article is the transcript of this interview. Bruce begins by noting that Robert, in his book Mad […]

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Benzodiazepines: Dangerous Drugs

March 12, 2014

On February 25, Kristina Fiore published an article on MedPage today.  It’s titled Killing Pain: Xanax Tops Charts.  The article is based on a study conducted by Jann M et al, and published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice.  The study is titled Benzodiazepines: a major component in unintentional prescription […]

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Justina Pelletier and Boston Children’s Hospital

March 6, 2014

Justina Pelletier is the 15-year-old girl who is at the center of a dispute between her parents and the Psychiatry Department at Boston Children’s Hospital. Justina, who lived with her parents in Connecticut, had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, a rare and debilitating illness, and had been receiving treatment for this from Mark Korson, MD, […]

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ADHD: Are We Helping Or Harming?

January 26, 2014

In November 2013, the British Medical Journal published Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: are we helping or harming? by Rae Thomas, PhD, Psychologist, Australia; Geoffrey K. Mitchell, MB BS, FRACGP, PhD, Professor of General Practice, Australia; and Laura Batstra, PhD, Psychologist, Netherlands.  The article is part of a series on the dangers of overdiagnosis. Here are some quotes: […]

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Dr. Lieberman Still Passing the Buck: Psychiatry Is Blameless

January 24, 2014

Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, President of the APA, has expressed concern about the rise in the number of people being assigned a “diagnosis” of ADHD.  He has put up a video on Medscape, Explaining the Rise in ADHD.  There is a transcript with the video. Dr. Lieberman is responding to a December 14, 2013, New York […]

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Affluenza: A New Mental Illness?

January 10, 2014

A short editorial piece by James Bradshaw in the current issue (Jan/Feb) of the National Psychologist discusses the trial of a 16-year-old male who killed four people and severely injured two others while driving under the influence of Valium (diazepam) and alcohol.  He had stolen the alcohol from a store earlier, and his blood alcohol […]

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Psychiatry Is Not Based On Valid Science

January 9, 2014

BACKGROUND On December 23, I wrote a post called DSM-5 – Dimensional Diagnoses – More Conflicts of Interest?  In the article I sketched out the role of David Kupfer, MD, in promoting the concept of dimensional assessment in DSM-5, and I speculated that at least part of his motivation in this regard might have stemmed […]

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Person-first Terminology Doesn’t Validate Psychiatric Diagnoses

January 8, 2014

On January 3, on CommonHealth I saw the following headline:  A Phrase To Renounce For 2014:  ‘The Mentally Ill’, written by Carey Goldberg. My first impression was that the author was debunking the concept of mental illness, but I was sadly mistaken.  The theme of the article was the so-called person-first terminology that has been […]

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Murphy’s Mental Health Bill: An Update

December 27, 2013

Yesterday, December 26, at 8:25 p.m., the following comment was posted on my December 16 post on the Murphy Mental Health Bill. “Read the article in today’s Wall Street Journal (12/26/13), ‘A Mental-Health Overhaul’, and you cannot help but be in favor of the Murphy Bill. It is a huge misrepresentation to say it is […]

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DSM-5 – Dimensional Diagnoses – More Conflicts of Interest?

December 23, 2013

BACKGROUND On November 20, JAMA Psychiatry (formerly Archives of General Psychiatry) published an interesting letter.  It was headed: Failure to Report Financial Disclosure Information,  and was signed by Robert D. Gibbons PhD, David J Weiss PhD, Paul A. Pilkonis PhD, Ellen Frank, PhD , and David J. Kupfer MD. The letter is an apology for […]

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New Money For Mental Health

December 13, 2013

On December 10, Vice President Joe Biden announced that $100 million of new Federal money is to be injected into the US mental health system  “…to expand community-based services and treatment centers.”  There’s a short article about this in the Washington Post.  It’s written by Scott Wilson, the Post’s chief White House correspondent. The article […]

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Training the Psychiatrists of the Future (According to Dr. Lieberman): More Cheerleading

December 11, 2013

Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, President of the APA and Chair of Psychiatry at Columbia University, published a post on November 26 on Psychiatric News.  The article is called Training the Psychiatrists of the Future, and is co-authored by Richard Summers, MD.  Dr. Summers is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. Drs. Lieberman and […]

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Neuroleptics for Children: Harvard’s Shame

December 4, 2013

In December 2012, Mark Olfson, MD, et al, published an article in the Archives of General Psychiatry.  The title is National Trends in the Office-Based Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Antipsychotics.  The authors collected data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys for the period 1993-2009, and looked for trends in antipsychotic prescribing […]

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Care For Your Mind (CFYM): A New Advocacy Group

November 9, 2013

On September 27, Psychiatric Services, a journal of the APA, published an article called Blog Brings Doctors, Patients Together to Address MH Issues.  It was written by Vabren Watts, a Psychiatric News Journalist. The article is a booster piece for the recently-formed CFYM (Care For Your Mind): “…an online forum for people with mood disorders—along […]

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Dr. Lieberman and ’60 Minutes’

November 4, 2013

On October 23, Psychiatric News (the APA’s media outlet) ran an article titled ‘60 Minutes’ Interviews APA President on Schizophrenia.  The article was written by Mark Moran, a Psychiatric News reporter. The piece opens with a quote from Jeffrey Lieberman, MD (President of the APA): “’60 Minutes’ showed a genuine interest beyond simply producing what […]

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Protecting the Children

November 3, 2013

  I’ve recently read an article called Safeguarding a Generation of Children from Over-diagnosis and Prescription of Psychotropic Drugs.  It’s written by Dave Traxson, who works as an Educational Psychologist in the UK, and is posted on the  DxSummit website, an online platform for rethinking mental health, a forum in which the concepts underlying pharma-psychiatry […]

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The Allen Frances – Lucy Johnstone Debate

November 1, 2013

On October 28, Allen Frances, MD, Chairperson of the DSM-IV task force, published an article on Psychology Today.  It is titled Does It Make Sense To Scrap Psychiatric Diagnosis? and is essentially a response to the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology’s (DCP) call to abandon the medical model in situations where it is […]

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APA Attempting To Export Its Errors

October 19, 2013

There’s an interesting article by Christopher Lane, PhD, in his blog site Side Effects, on Psychology Today.  It’s called Crazy like Us: How the U.S. Exports Its Models of Illness, and is dated October 9.  Christopher Lane is the author of Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness.  I wrote a post in April of […]

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The Stigma Attached to ‘Mental Illness’

October 15, 2013

On Monday, October 7, 2013, The Sun, a British tabloid newspaper ran the following headline:  1,200 Killed By Mental Patients.  Shock 10-year toll exposes care crisis.  It took up almost all of the front page. The headline precipitated a great deal of protest from politicians, advocacy groups, mental health professionals, and others.  The general points […]

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Health Care Reform and Psychiatry

October 14, 2013

I recently came across an APA article titled Change, Challenge, and Opportunity: Psychiatry in the Age of Health Care Reform.  It was co-authored by Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, and Howard Goldman, MD, PhD, and dated October 3. The article discusses the implications of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) for psychiatry, and also reviews progress of the […]

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A Proposed Mental Health School Program

October 8, 2013

On September 30, the Wisconsin State Journal posted an article online.  It’s called County Executive Joe Parisi proposes new mental health program for county school district, and was written by Andrea Anderson.  [Thanks to S. Randolph Kretchmar on Twitter for the link.] The gist of the article is that Joe Parisi, the County Executive of […]

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Should Medical Insurance Cover Mental Health?

October 6, 2013

On September 27, the New York Times published an article called Lacking Rules, Insurers Balk at Paying for Intensive Psychiatric Care.  The author is Reed Abelson.  Thanks to S. Randolph Kretchmar on Twitter for the link. The article describes the kinds of conflicts that can occur between people with “mental illnesses” wanting “treatment,” and insurance […]

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Psychiatry’s Spin on the Navy Yard Murders

October 3, 2013

Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, President of the APA, has written a guest post, In the Wake of the Navy Yard Shooting: A Way Forward, on EverydayHealth.  Everyday Health Inc. is a media company which operates for-profit websites on health and related matters. It’s been confirmed that the Navy Yard shooter had been taking trazadone, an antidepressant […]

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Drugs Out: Brain Stimulators In: Psychiatry’s Next Assault On Our Humanity?

October 2, 2013

On September 21, the Guardian/Observer (UK) ran an online article by Vaughan Bell titled Changing brains: why neuroscience is ending the Prozac era.  Thanks to Paul Mace on Twitter for the link. The gist of the article is that although the use of psycho-pharmaceutical products is at an all-time high and is still rising in […]

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The Concept of Mental Illness: Spurious or Valid?

October 1, 2013

On January 17, 2013, Peter Kinderman, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool, wrote an article titled Grief and Anxiety are not mental illnesses. On February 4, 2013, Steven Novella, MD, wrote a critique of Dr. Kinderman’s article. On February 20, I wrote a critique of Dr. Novella’s article. And finally, on […]

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Jon Rappoport’s Blog

September 30, 2013

If you haven’t seen Jon Rappoport’s blog, please take a look.  Here are two quotes from his September 22 post, Psychiatry targets college students for destruction: “The concept called ‘mental disorder’ is a sales pitch backed up by extraordinary PR, money, academic gibberish, and government-granted official status.” “People need to wake up to the fact […]

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Dr. Lieberman’s Latest

September 19, 2013

On September 12, Jeffry Lieberman, MD, President of the APA, posted an article on Psychiatric News titled IPS to Feature Patrick Kennedy, Celebrate Community Psychiatry. The article is a preview of an APA conference scheduled for October 10-13 in Philadelphia: “Transforming Psychiatric Practice, Reforming Health Care Delivery.” Dr. Lieberman tells us that he is very […]

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