What is Psychiatry?

In its ongoing attempts to define, understand, and categorize disorders, and determine the best treatments, the medical specialty of psychiatry is always up against the protean complexity of the human brain. Both biological factors and environmental factors contribute to symptoms of distress, and the role each plays varies from person to person. Both psychotherapy and drugs are effective for most psychiatric disorders, and often a combination of the two works best, although the effects kick in on different timetables.

Recent posts on Psychiatry

Bipolar, Hypersexual, and Celibate

Manic hypersexuality is the strongest urge I have ever known. It surpasses need. It makes lust seem tame. It’s all encompassing and in my case, uncontrollable.

Strange Sound Sickening Cuban Diplomats? Don’t Believe It.

By Robert Bartholomew Ph.D. on October 14, 2017 in It's Catching
Mysterious "sonic attacks" on U.S. diplomats in Cuba are mass hysteria.

Unraveling the Teenage Mind

Adolescence can be a mystifying time for everyone. This new book can help.

Omega-3s in Mental Health Care, Part 2

Are you curious about the role of omega-3 fatty acids in mental health? Omega-3s may be helpful in the early stages of schizophrenia and may be beneficial in PTSD, but not ADHD.

Is Direct Care Work in Mental Health Right for You?

Direct care work is not necessarily easy, but they payoff is large.

Should Other Doctors Have Access to Your Psychiatry Note?

Should other doctors have access to your psychiatry note on the Electronic Health Record? It may improve physical wellness but your psychiatrist will have to adapt too.

Can Exercise Prevent Depression?

By Emily Deans M.D. on October 07, 2017 in Evolutionary Psychiatry
A large group of healthy individuals in Norway may have staved off depression with a small but regular amount of exercise. What does this tell us about how exercise might work?

The Great Paradox of Psychiatry

If the treatments for mental illness are better than ever, why is there more mental illness today than ever before? Herein lies the great paradox of psychiatry.

Do Children Really Need Psychiatric Medication?

By Marilyn Wedge Ph.D. on October 06, 2017 in Suffer the Children
Mental illness can be fatal. But in some cases, so can psychiatric medications.

Is Psychology Really a Science?

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on October 06, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Is psychology a science or is it better classified as one of the humanities, like philosophy, theology, or literature? It’s a bit of a sore spot for most psychologists.

Nature Versus Nurture: Where We Are in 2017

A lot has changed in our understanding of the timeless nature-nurture debate. Find out where we are now.

When Your Child Needs Psychiatric Medication

It is important to understand the real issues related to children and psychiatric medications.

What Makes PTSD From Mass Killings and War Stand Out?

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on October 05, 2017 in ExperiMentations
New research shows how chronic trauma affects civilian populations.

Is President Trump Mentally Healthy? The Pros Weigh In

Recently many leading mental health professionals have argued that the duty to warn provision (excuse the pun) "trumps" the longstanding Goldwater Rule when it comes to Mr. Trump.

Pharma Corruption Started the Opioid Epidemic

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 04, 2017 in Saving Normal
Pharma caused the deadly opioid epidemic and should be held accountable for cleaning up the mess it created.

Sex and Age Implicated in Autism-Related Diagnoses

Recent research reveals how sex and age are linked to other disorders which tend to co-occur with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Examining Functional Activity in an Individual’s Brain

Neuroimaging studies show that specific brain regions work together to accomplish specific tasks. Methods to analyze data for individual people may lead to personalized treatments.

How to Make Psychoanalysis Work Today

By John Munder Ross Ph.D. on October 02, 2017 in The Talking Cure
Psychoanalysis is an anachronism in today’s world—and often ineffective. Instead, patient and doctor must home in on those issues already in play in current reality.

Mitochondria and Mood

By Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc on September 29, 2017 in Inner Source
What are the energy packs of your cells, and could these be the underlying cause of mental health problems?

Are "Hearing Voices Groups" a Help or Harm?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on September 29, 2017 in Psych Unseen
What works for one end of the psychosis spectrum might not work for the other (and vice versa).

Low-Carbohydrate Diet Superior to Antipsychotic Medications

By Georgia Ede MD on September 29, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
People suffering with psychosis should know that there are truly hopeful options that go beyond medication.

Thank You, Child Welfare First Responders!

By Michael W Corrigan Ed.D. on September 28, 2017 in Kids Being Kids
In child welfare, every day is similar to experiencing a hurricane. For the dedicated workforce serving our nation’s most vulnerable... this one's for you!

On the Myth of the Chemical Imbalance

Why do so many people believe in the chemical imbalance theory?

Magnesium and Zinc Are Essential for Healthy Brain Function

Ever wonder about the role of magnesium and zinc in healthy brain function? Studies show that both minerals have beneficial effects on mood, memory and other areas of functioning.

Does Severe Remorse Require a Specialist?

There are few resources specifically for "accidental killers." Can people with severe or unusual emotional suffering get help from mainstream sources?
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Suicide Prevention: Warning Signs and Keys to Prevention

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Here is what the science says about prevention.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

By Jean Kim M.D. on September 27, 2017 in Culture Shrink
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a complex condition with a gray middle zone of prognosis that remains poorly understood. Psychosocial supports are crucial to maximum recovery.

The Psychodynamic Brain

By Paul Siegel Ph.D. on September 25, 2017 in Freud Lives
Neuroscience is showing that Freud's view of the brain was prescient.

B Vitamins Play Important Roles in Mental Health Care

Are you curious about the role of vitamin supplementation in mental health? B vitamins may help reduce symptoms of alcohol abuse, depressed mood, cognitive impairment and dementia.

The Power of Wake

By David Hellerstein M.D. on September 22, 2017 in Heal Your Brain
College students commonly "get high and pull all-nighters." Can researchers study college students gone wild to treat depression and other disorders?