Perception of Mental Disorders as ‘Contagious’ Leads to Isolation

Willingness to interact with someone with a mental health diagnosis may be tied to the misperception that disorders can be transferred from one person to another, according to a new study published in the Journal of Memory & Cognition. More →

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Personality Disorders Largely Being Treated Inappropriately by Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are giving drugs to most people with emotionally unstable personality disorders outside of the best-practice clinical guidelines, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. And an accompanying editorial stated that the reason is because "therapy takes time." More →

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The Scarlet Label: Close Encounters with ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’

To help my non-recovery oriented colleagues understand the stigma/resentment associated with ‘borderline personality disorder,’ I simply mention this: “Let’s say I call you and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a referral for you. She’s been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder . . .’” I need to go no further; without fail, my colleague will smile or laugh. We both know that such a referral is a no-no, so much so that it doesn’t even have to be mentioned; it is a given.
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Deconstructing Psychiatric Diagnoses: An Attempt At Humor

Based on my experience both as a therapist and client in the mental health field, I have learned that when therapists or psychiatrists give you the following diagnoses all too often here is what they really mean:
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Psychiatry: We Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Mental Health

My name is Leah Harris and I’m a survivor. I am a survivor of psychiatric abuse and trauma. My parents died largely as a result of terrible psychiatric practice. Psychiatric practice that took them when they were young adults and struggling with experiences they didn’t understand. Experiences that were labeled as schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder. My parents were turned from people into permanent patients. They suffered the indignities of forced treatment. Seclusion and restraint. Forced electroshock. Involuntary outpatient commitment. And a shocking amount of disabling heavy-duty psychiatric drugs. And they died young, from a combination of the toxic effects of overmedication, and broken spirits.
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Childhood Stress Subtypes Predict Adult Psychiatric Subtypes

A review of the literature from 2001 to 2011 on child abuse, neglect, and psychiatric disorders finds that early life stress subtypes can predict the development of psychopathology subtypes in adults.  Physical & sexual abuse and unspecified neglect were associated with mood & anxiety disorders.  Emotional abuse was associated with personality disorders and schizophrenia, and physical neglect with personality disorders.  The research appears in the December issue of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

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I Wonder if There is Some Axis II Going on Here? Further Thoughts on Muddled Thinking

This blog was prompted by an invitation to do a guest post on the site of one of my favorite bloggers, 1 Boring Old Man. This is my response to the notion that there are certain conditions – Schizophrenia among them – that correspond more directly to biomedical conditions
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NARPA Reflections:
The Necessity of Disability

I think it is time to reclaim the word disability. Disability needs to be appreciated. To the extent we value community over isolation, anything anyone cannot do, or needs help with, builds community. There are infinite examples in every career and walk of life of how necessary “disability” (since we’re calling it that) is for connection, service and meaning in life. Without it we’d have absolutely no need for each other. And the fastest way to despair is to feel unnecessary.
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DBT and Psychiatry for Borderline; Equally Poor at 2 years, But Long-Term Remission is Common

A prospective study in the American Journal of Psychiatry compares Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with psychiatric management for borderline personality disorder, founding that outcomes after two years were equivalent for both groups. Both groups exhibited poor functional outcome after 36 months (53% neither employed or in school, 39% receiving disability). However, an editorial in the same issue reports that clinicians over-react to the immediate clinical presentations of borderline, but that the long-term outcomes are positive nonetheless.

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Weak Field Trials Scuttle DSM-5 Diagnoses

“Mixed anxiety-depressive disorder,” “attenuated psychosis syndrome,” “obsessive-compulsive personality disorder,” “antisocial personality disorder,” and “nonsuicidal self-injury” were among diagnoses that met with disappointing results in field trials for the new DSM-5. Either low interrater reliability (a lack of sufficient agreement between …
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Review of the Evidence: Childhood Adversity High in Schizophrenia and Other Disorders

Researchers from Australia and the UK found that people with a schizophrenia diagnosis almost four times more likely than controls to have a history of childhood adversity. The quality of the evidence in this meta-analysis of the currently available data was found to be very strong (p<0.00001). No difference in rates of childhood adversity were found between schizophrenia and affective psychosis, depression, and personality disorders.  Rates of childhood adversity is slightly higher in dissociative disorders and PTSD. Results will appear in Psychological Medicine.

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Overlap Between Borderline and Bipolar

Researchers in Australia investigate the growing evidence that childhood trauma predisposes individuals to both bipolar and borderline syndromes, with the intention of examining areas of discrimination between the diagnoses. "No studies have examined the neurobiological underpinnings of both in the same design," they say, and research comparing bipolar and borderline patients' self-reports is limited. This paper provides an overview of emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, childhood environment and neurobiology in the context of bipolar and borderline diagnoses. The authors conclude with the question of whether the two belong to the same spectrum. The paper will appear in Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

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Labels Initiates Core Social Support, Lose Peripheral Ties

Article Abstract: Although research supports the stigma and labeling perspective, empirical evidence also indicates that a social safety net remains intact for those with mental illness, recalling the classic “sick role” concept. Here, insights from social networks theory are offered …
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Millionaire Psychiatrist Accused of Deliberate Misdiagnosis for Gain

Multimillionaire U.K. psychiatrist Dr. George Hibbert is being investigated - potentially by Parliament - for deliberately misdiagnosing hundreds of parents with 'personality disorders' in order to fit the view of the social service agency for whom he worked that their children should be taken away. The lawyer for one of the parents said "we believe this may be the tip of a very big iceberg."

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