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

How Do Psychotherapists Think?

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on June 26, 2017 in Hot Thought
Psychotherapists need complex reasoning to determine how to help the people they treat. Such assessment is not simply matching features, but requires building a causal account.

Rolling Back the Clock on Mental Health in our Country

The Senate health care bill could be disastrous for our country on multiple levels

Beyond the Prophylactic and the Panacea

The hospital is a complex solution for the care of the elderly and delirium is an evolutionary fact for which assistance must be given.

How Good is Your Psychiatrist? Finding Roses Among Thorns

By Georgia Ede MD on June 24, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
Unhappy with your current psychiatrist? Can't find a psychiatrist? You're not alone—here are some insights and tips that can help.

HiTOP: The Future of Mental Health Diagnosis is Here

By David J Ley Ph.D. on June 23, 2017 in Women Who Stray
A revolutionary new approach to mental health diagnosis offers new ways to resolve old diagnostic controversies.

Genes, Ions, and Other New Frontiers in Psychiatry

A gene related to ion channels common to many families with mental illness leads us to new discoveries and treatments based on actual brain pathology.

Do You Need Drugs for Your "Chemical Imbalance"?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Research reveals some surprising news about the role of serotonin in depression—and suggests millions of Americans taking drugs for depression would do just as well on placebo.

The One Question to Ask Every Therapist

A therapist who thinks it’s fine to coast is hardly an advertisement for change.

Understanding Anger

Anger is often denied or suppressed but communication of anger can be productive and avoid development of destructive hostility, constant anxiety, and violence..

National PTSD Awareness Month

By James F. Zender Ph.D. on June 16, 2017 in The New Normal
June is a time to celebrate a psychiatric revolution.
Rob Hyronds/Shutterstock

New Promise for the Treatment of Schizophrenia

A new class of compounds that may be useful in the treatment of schizophrenia.

"Little Brain" Plays Surprisingly Big Role in Mental Health

First-of-its-kind research has discovered that the cerebellum (Latin for "little brain") plays a significant—and previously unrecognized—role in a wide range of mental disorders.

Six Things You Should Know About ADHD

A recent study, geared toward teachers promotes a new understanding of ADHD—a diagnosis that has been skyrocketing among American children.

A Writer's Manifesto

Using words to navigate an incoherent existence

Icebergs and Childhood Mental Illness

It's time to destigmatize childhood mental illness.

What Dogs Can Teach Us about the Main Cause of Depression

Psychologists have long pondered what is the cause, and the evolutionary purpose, of depressed feelings. Dogs have the answer.
Erlanger Turner, Ph.D.

Run for Your Life to Improve Your Mental Health

In his new book, William Pullen provides a self-help resource on coping with mental health issues by combining exercise and mindfulness.

I Didn't Want to Betray My Wife Again

By Loren A. Olson M.D. on June 07, 2017 in Finally Out
​I had broken my vows to my wife, and I left her when I realized that if I made those vows again I would only betray her again. My attraction to men was too powerful to contain.

Income, Education, Social Support, and Brain Development

Several studies have found adverse relationships among poverty, low parental educational levels, and brain development.
Public Use Pixabay

Are You the Parent of a Depressed Child or Teenager?

By Monica N. Starkman M.D. on June 07, 2017 in On Call
Are you the parent of a depressed child or teenager? A psychiatrist and a teenager's mother team up to offer recommendations.

Seven Ways to Surpass Your Supervisors

Do your teachers' abilities to recognize patterns, apply ideas, and develop a working alliance set a cap on what you can learn?

NAMI's Identity Crisis

By Dinah Miller M.D. on June 05, 2017 in Committed
Is NAMI's upcoming board of director election really about involuntary psychiatric care?

Eight Common Challenges to Accepting a Mental Health Problem

Wondering what gets in the way of accepting a mental health problem? Get some answers from the research and ideas to overcome obstacles.

Which Type of Therapy Works Best? New Study Calls It a Draw

In the timeless battle over which type of psychotherapy is superior, a new meta-analytic study find psychodynamic therapy to be equivalent to CBT for adults.

Sometimes Amazing Things Happen

An estimated 15% of these incarcerated men and women will have a serious mental illness, and approximately 50% have an active substance use disorder, or both.

How Common Is PTSD In Primary Care Settings?

New data suggests that PTSD is common in primary care settings. Are patients getting the attention they need for this condition?

The Child Psychiatrist Will Not See You Now

By Jack Turban MD MHS on June 02, 2017 in Political Minds
Parents are struggling to find psychiatrists for their children. Why is there a shortage?

A Roadmap to the Future of Psychiatry

New technologies and exciting innovations mean your psychiatrist may soon be able to deliver personalized treatments based on both the art of medicine and its science.
freestock/pexels, used with permission

What Happens to Drugs?

What happens after drugs are released? A third get new warnings.

What Is the Best Way to Treat Depression?

When is psychotherapy the better option for relieving depression? When is medication called for? And is their combination always better than either one alone?