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

Enough Is Enough Series, Part 6: LSD Reconsidered

Psychiatry is considering using LSD to treat psychiatric conditions. An extremely bad idea.

Time for a Better Approach to Alzheimer’s Treatments

Alzheimer’s can be prevented and mild cognitive impairment can be reversed by addressing these factors in at-risk individuals. Science has moved past the “one-pill-for-every-ill”.

Treating Depression by Training Your Amygdala

A recent study indicates that increasing activity in the amygdala during positive memory retrieval can have a strong antidepressant effect in depressed individuals.
Lev Radin/Shutterstock.com

Shrinks Define Dangers of Trump Presidency

By Hara Estroff Marano on April 20, 2017 in Brainstorm
At a conference at Yale, psychiatrists and psychologists begin carving out a new role to combat the gaslighting of America by Donald Trump.

Some Differences Between Traditional and New Therapies

By Stefan G. Hofmann Ph.D. on April 20, 2017 in New Therapies
What is the future of psychoanalysis? Is there one?

Does Legalized Marijuana Result in More Teen Use?

Dueling data about whether or not legal marijuana increases teen use has led to a lot of confusion and scientific cherry picking.

Physician Health 101

It is estimated that a doctor a day dies by suicide in the United States. There is a lot we can do to fight this.

Is Prescribing a Placebo the Same as Lying?

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on April 18, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Is it ever OK to lie? The placebo response is well known. But prescribing a placebo borders on unethical in our age of informed consent. But are placebos happening all the time?
used with permission from iclipart.com

Which Is "Crazier?"

How does a forensic psychologist tease out the mind of a criminal defendant at the time he committed it? Debunking one myth - and investigating one source - at a time.

How Can We Help a Person to Overcome Chronic Guilt?

By Susan Rako M.D. on April 17, 2017 in More Light
When your patient is suffering from chronic guilt, could it be that something else is really at issue?

A Letter to Stanford: Radical Vulnerability

"It's terrifying and unacceptable how common this narrative is, but together, we can put an end to it."
canstockphoto 26401185 Mandelbrot set

What Makes the Human Brain “Human?” Part 1

A quick introduction to some possible anatomical underpinnings of higher consciousness in humans and other animals.

Can We Talk About Sex on Campus?

By Marcia Morris M.D. on April 15, 2017 in College Wellness
Sex is one of the toughest topics to talk about with your college-aged children, but also one of the most important.

How Common Is Childhood Mental Illness?

Think childhood mental illness is rare? Think again.

Is Yoga an Effective Antidepressant?

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on April 14, 2017 in Minding the Body
Yoga contains at least four “active ingredients” that could help it work as an antidepressant, says yoga researcher and integrative psychiatrist Dr. Sudha Prathikanti.

New Drug Valbenazine Approved by FDA for Tardive Dyskinesia

By Joe Pierre M.D. on April 13, 2017 in Psych Unseen
What is tardive dyskinesia and who should take this new medication?

Diagnoses: Harmful or Helpful?

Mental illness can tell us what's wrong with a person, with parenting, with a culture, and with society. It's bio/psycho/social. Let's learn fully about ourselves from it.

Zombie Outbreak!? "Spice" and the Synthetic Cannabinoids

By Joe Pierre M.D. on April 12, 2017 in Psych Unseen
Synthetic cannabinoids in "Spice" products have been responsible for "zombie outbreaks" across the country. Should parents be concerned?

Emerging Methods for Assessing Causes of Depressed Mood

Conventional approaches to identify the causes of depressed mood are limited. Emerging assessment approaches are shedding new light on treatable causes of depression.

The Tipping Point Toward Mental Health

By Julie K. Hersh on April 06, 2017 in Struck By Living
Dr. Madhukar Trivedi and Dr. Vikram Patel suggest a change in mental health care to promote early detection and better treatment and ensure longer-term wellness.

Top Pacific Heart Stories of 2016-2017

The most popular posts of 2016-2017 in The Pacific Heart!

The Use of Ketamine as an Antidepressant

Little is known about the effectiveness or safety of repeated use of ketamine in treating depression. Recent recommendations urge caution.

What's Your Omega-3 IQ? A Fun Quiz for a Healthier Brain!

By Georgia Ede MD on March 31, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
Find out which foods are secretly sabotaging your best efforts to balance your brain chemistry.

Put Your Omega-3 Supplement to the Test

By Georgia Ede MD on March 31, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
Test your knowledge about Omega-3 supplements to see if you are throwing your money away!

Of Spring, Sex, and Somatic Symptom Disorder

By Mark Borigini M.D. on March 31, 2017 in Overcoming Pain
Something just as crippling as an infection, also transmitted sexually.

Child Abuse and Neglect: Why Prevention Is Important

Facts and resources for National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Why are Females Prone to Mass Hysteria?

By Robert Bartholomew Ph.D. on March 31, 2017 in It's Catching
Mass hysteria is an overwhelmingly female condition. But why?

Can Refugees Interpret in Therapy with Traumatized Refugees?

Refugees can play a unique role as interpreters in psychotherapy. The work can take a toll, however.

The Loneliness of the Secret Spot

By Greg Dillon M.D. on March 27, 2017 in Surf-Head
Is the guilty pleasure of your secret spot not quite cutting it? Maybe it's time to evolve...

Diabetes Risk and the Early Stages of Schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia are at higher risk for developing diabetes.