Schizophrenia and Psychosis

Meta-analysis Links Childhood Trauma to Psychosis Symptoms

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The study results suggest that experiences of childhood trauma impact the development of symptoms associated with psychosis.

De-Othering “Schizophrenia” by Placing it in Socio-Historical Context

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Understanding schizophrenia as a non-enigmatic, understandable human experience goes against a history of institutional “othering” that has sustained psychiatric legitimacy and further marginalized service-users.

Study Suggests Long-Term Antipsychotic Use May Result in Poorer Cognitive Functioning

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Association found between long-term antipsychotic use and poorer performance on cognitive tasks in adults diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia.’

Interventions that Promote Disclosure Among Voice-Hearers

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The perspectives of the voice-hearers featured in the research underscore that stigma and negative perceptions of voice hearing present significant obstacles within early intervention programs.

The Role of Racial Bias in the Overdiagnosis of Schizophrenia

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Researchers detect disparity between white and African American patients diagnosed with schizophrenia when symptoms of a mood disorder are present.

Researchers Warn of “Brain Atrophy” in Children Prescribed Antipsychotics

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Researchers discuss the evidence that antipsychotic medications may cause brain atrophy in children, whose brains are still developing.

Researchers Make the Case to Rename Schizophrenia

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The authors outline reasons for renaming schizophrenia and the way a change can reform practice.

CAFÉ Study: Real Science or Marketing Exercise?

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I received the following question from a reader regarding the controversial CAFÉ – Comparisons of Atypicals in First Episode of Psychosis - study. (This was the study in which Dan Markingson committed suicide.) "It appears that there was no head-to-head with a control group taking a placebo pill. Nor was there a control group featuring 'old' types of 'antipsychotic'. If that was the case then it is very poor study . . . what on earth can you hope to show from the data?" I started to write a response, but the subject is complex, and my response became the following article.

Air Pollution Linked to Mental Health Problems in Children

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A new study, published in BMJ Open-Access this week, found a significant link between the level of air pollution in a community and the mental health of the children living there. After controlling for socio-economic status and other potential variables, researchers in Sweden discovered a strong association between the concentration of air pollution in a neighborhood and the amount of ‘antipsychotic’ and psychiatric drugs prescribed to children. The link remained strong even at pollution levels well below half of what is considered acceptable by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Study Explores Māori Community’s Multifaceted Understanding of “Psychosis”

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A new study explores how “psychosis” and “schizophrenia” are viewed within the Māori community in New Zealand.

Schizophrenia Deconstructed

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After a few weeks it became clear to me the complete lack of comprehension that I faced as a person claiming to have been cured of psychosis. Being a schizophrenic claiming to no longer suffer from schizophrenia only made me seem more schizophrenic due to the current culture of psychiatry.

Minority Discrimination Linked to Psychosis

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A study published in this month’s issue of the Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology found that perceived discrimination related to minority status may precede...

Omega-3 Screening for Psychiatric Symptoms?

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There is a substantial body of evidence suggesting that not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet may be connected to a diverse array of psychiatric symptoms. In a new study published this month, psychiatrist Robert McNamara and Erik Messamore provide an overview of the evidence and call for screening of omega-3 deficiency in people experiencing symptoms associated with ADHD, depression, mood disorders, and psychosis.

Antipsychotic Medications Are Causing Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

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Common second-generation antipsychotic medications are causing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder to emerge in many people who previously only had schizophrenia symptoms, according to a...

Psychiatrists View Drug-Free Programs for Psychosis as “Unscientific,” Study Finds

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A new study provides an insider’s look into how psychiatrists view the establishment of drug-free programs in Norway.

From Self Care to Collective Caring

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As a trauma survivor growing up in various adolescent mental health systems, I never learned any useful self-care tools or practices. I was taught that my current coping skills (self-injury, suicidal behavior, illicit drug use) were unacceptable, but not given any ideas as to what to replace them with. No one seemed to want to know much about the early childhood traumas that were driving these behaviors. Instead, I collected an assortment of diagnoses. I was told that I would be forever dependent on mediated relationships with professionals, and an ever-changing combination of pills. The message was that my troubles were chemical in nature and largely beyond my control.

Parachute NYC Peer Support Program Presents Challenges and Opportunities

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Anthropologists study Parachute NYC to identify challenges and opportunities for implementing peer support and Open Dialogue practices.

The Dopamine Hypothesis of Schizophrenia – Version III

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The Division of Clinical Psychology of the British Psychological Society published a paper titled Understanding Psychosis and SchizophreniaThe central theme of the paper is that the condition known as psychosis is better understood as a response to adverse life events rather than as a symptom of neurological pathology. The paper was wide-ranging and insightful and, predictably, drew support from most of us on this side of the issue and criticism from psychiatry.  Section 12 of the paper is headed "Medication" and under the subheading "Key Points" you'll find this quote: "[Antipsychotic] drugs appear to have a general rather than a specific effect: there is little evidence that they are correcting an underlying biochemical abnormality."

Large German Anti-Stigma Campaign Shows Little Effect on Attitudes

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“Overall, this study showed that the information and awareness campaign had almost no significant effects on the general public's attitudes toward people affected by either schizophrenia or depression,” the researchers, led by German medical sociologist Anna Makowski, wrote. “One could assume that deeply rooted convictions cannot be modified by rather time-limited and general activities targeted at the public.”

Quotations From the Genetics “Graveyard”: Nearly Half a Century of False Positive Gene Discovery...

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In a 1992 essay, British psychiatric genetic researcher Michael Owen wondered whether schizophrenia molecular genetic research would become the “graveyard of molecular geneticists.”1 Owen predicted that if major schizophrenia genes existed, they would be found within five years of that date. He was optimistic, believing that “talk of graveyards is premature.”2 Owen now believes that genes for schizophrenia and other disorders have been found, and was subsequently knighted for his work. Despite massively improved technology, however, decades of molecular genetic gene finding attempts have failed to provide consistently replicated evidence of specific genes that play a role in causing the major psychiatric disorders.

Emotional Child Abuse Just as Harmful as Physical Abuse

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Different types of child abuse have equivalent psychological effects, according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry. It has previously been assumed that emotional and verbal abuse could have different or less harmful impact on a child’s psychology than physical or sexual abuse, but research now suggests that these forms of abuse can be just as damaging.

Those at High Risk for Psychosis More Likely From Deprived Neighborhoods

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A recent study published in Schizophrenia Research examines the incidence individuals deemed “Ultra High-Risk” (UHR) for psychosis and their neighborhood of residence

Researchers Suggest Traumatic Experiences May Cause Psychotic Symptoms

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A new study in JAMA Psychiatry investigates the relationship between trauma and psychotic experiences.

Large Study Confirms Elevated Risk of Diabetes When Prescribed Antipsychotics

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A large longitudinal study finds once more that being prescribed antipsychotics significantly increases the risk of diabetes.

Family Oriented, Home-Based Treatment Best for Youth with Symptoms of Psychosis

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A pathbreaking new study out of Finland suggests that early intervention programs for youth experiencing psychotic-like symptoms may see the greatest improvement when treatment works within the home rather than in a hospital setting. The research, to be published in next month’s issue of Psychiatry Research, found greater improvement in functioning, depression, and hopelessness among teens in a new need-adapted Family and Community oriented Integrative Treatment Model (FCTM) program.