There is no medical test that can provide a diagnosis of mental illness. A health care professional can do a number of things in an evaluation including a physical exam and long term monitoring to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing symptoms. The diagnosis is an important tool for you and your doctor. Doctors and therapists use a diagnosis to advise you on treatment options and future health risks. Another reason a diagnosis matters is that it tells health insurance companies that you have a condition requiring medical care. A doctor’s diagnosis is also necessary to qualify for Social Security disability support or for job protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It’s been ten years since the Nowak debacle, and NASA hasn’t forgotten about mental health. Last year, scientists working for the Human Research Program at NASA released their latest evidence report on mental health in space flight. Read more.
Young adulthood is a crucial time for a person’s development—and also a time when approximately 100,000 young people experience psychosis each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Read more.
In 2006, Liss Murphy was in thrall to what she calls a “sepsis of the soul” — an intractable and debilitating depression. No conventional treatments had helped. So when she heard that doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, had developed an experimental cure for severe depression that involved permanently implanting electrodes in the brain, she didn’t Read more
National Health Service guidelines state that half of children with such conduct disorders not only miss out on parts of their childhood, but go on to develop serious mental health problems – such as anti-social personality disorders – as adults.
Many critics have portrayed ECT as a form of medical abuse, and depictions in film and television are usually scary. Yet many psychiatrists, and more importantly, patients, consider it to be a safe and effective treatment for severe depression and bipolar disorder. Few medical treatments have such disparate images. Read more…
There are some situations in which I’m literally unable to speak. I’ve been this way for almost my whole life due to an anxiety disorder called selective mutism. Selective mutism is considered a rare disorder, but the prevalence could be an underestimation. Read more…
According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, autism spectrum disorder and anxiety often show themselves in similar ways, causing social avoidance or fear of change, so diagnosing anxiety is “inherently challenging.”
Some students have a genuine diagnosis, but schools should teach that feeling down sometimes is just part of growing up.
Even as doctors across America encourage their patients to share concerns about depression or anxiety so they can get be treated, a new study suggests depressed doctors may be less likely to seek help themselves.
Joseph Palamar, New York University Langone Medical Center Heroin use and dependence have grown dramatically in the US over the last decade. Between 2002-2004 and 2011-2013, past-year use increased by 62.5% and abuse/dependence by 90%. And the demographics of heroin use have changed as well. Over a decade ago, heroin was less prevalent and more Read more
Adoption of a trauma perspective requires a paradigm shift in the field of mental health, moving the central question from, “What is wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”
Guest post by Toni Watt, Ph.D., with contributions by Laurie Seremetis, M.D. Children in state custody have experienced maltreatment, neglect, and family disruption. Thus, behavioral health systems serving these children need to be trauma-informed. Fortunately, there is a national movement underway with initiatives to promote trauma screening, training, and services. However, it has been noted Read more
The sessions offers professional advice for families to understand and support loved ones who have been diagnosed.
Using data from a survey that screened more than 46,000 Americans for depression, researchers found evidence that the condition is not properly diagnosed in many people.
After my patient fired me, I began to recognize how important it is not just to dial down misery but to also cultivate mental strength. It became increasingly obvious that developing the skills to successfully navigate one’s way through daily ups and downs is as essential as treating symptoms.
It is clear that a great fault line runs through American psychiatry on the subject of mood disorders, and that the fault line, comparable to the San Andreas Fault Line in California’s earthquake territory, is getting wider. A big quake may be coming. On one side of the fault line are those who agree with Read more
A lot of people sometimes make it sound like finding the courage to go to a doctor to talk about your mental health problems and get a diagnosis is the final big step in getting a handle on your mental health. But sometimes, getting into that doctor’s office is not the end of the road, Read more
Mental illnesses and mood disorders are more common in urban areas partly due to reduced access to nature, say researchers at the University of Washington. “There’s an enormous amount of disease largely tied to our removal from the natural environment,” said Peter Kahn, Professor at the University.
Unfortunately, children are exposed to traumatic events—isolated ones such as natural disasters or serious accidents, and recurring traumas such as domestic violence and sexual abuse. However, throughout history, most people didn’t believe that children experienced lasting psychic trauma as a result of these events.
Given how much we’ve learned about the role of the brain in mental illness, many people are surprised to learn that we can’t know what psychiatric diagnosis a person has—or even if the person has any diagnosis—by examining that person’s brain.