December 29, 2013 |
Do you pick your skin until your arms are pitted with scabs? Bite your nails down to bloody nubs? Tear the calluses off your heels until walking is painful? This year, you won a small, bittersweet victory. Your condition made it into the 2013 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Its name: "excoriation disorder. " With this published acknowledgment of the problem, sufferers may now be eligible for health insurance coverage for the cost of treatment.
July 10, 2013 |
A carnival atmosphere arises whenever a new edition of the American Psychiatric Association's so-called bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , is released. It was no different this spring when the DSM-5 hit the shelves. The 992-page compendium of the various ailments that plague the human psyche has been criticized by some as unscientific and mocked by others for including such new diagnoses as hoarding disorder (being a pack rat) and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (irritable kids who throw temper tantrums)
January 24, 2013 |
Gov. Christie vowed last week to review New Jersey's mental-health services as part of a "violence control" plan following the Sandy Hook school shooting. Mental-health-care advocates say Christie could improve services by expanding programs that already exist, including Medicaid, and broadening the mental-health disorders covered under health insurance for state workers and public-school teachers. New Jersey is one of only eight states that do not offer workers equal benefits for mental and physical ailments, said Paul Lubitz, associate director of the New Jersey chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
December 19, 2012 |
It took only a few hours after Friday's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., for the media to ask if the perpetrator, Adam Lanza, had a history of mental illness. Reports have suggested that Lanza suffered from Asperger syndrome and that he may have been on psychiatric drugs. Pundits have asked if the killer's actions could have been prevented had he received proper psychiatric help. These may be obvious questions and statements, but just how useful are they? Some social commentators wonder whether the status of Lanza's mental health will ever give a satisfactory answer to the horrific mayhem unleashed at Sandy Hook Elementary School - or any of the other estimated 61 mass killings in America since 1982.
December 2, 2012 |
CHICAGO - For the first time in almost two decades the nation's psychiatrists are changing the guidebook they use to diagnose mental disorders. Among the most controversial proposed changes: dropping certain familiar terms like Asperger's disorder and dyslexia and calling frequent, severe temper tantrums a mental illness. The board of trustees for the American Psychiatric Association voted Saturday in suburban Washington on scores of revisions that have been in the works for several years.
July 31, 2012 |
Over her life, June Sams has been told she has schizophrenia and four mental health disorders: bipolar, post-traumatic stress, major depressive, and personality. The 60-year-old Chester woman's current diagnoses - she thinks these fit - are major depressive and generalized anxiety disorders plus PTSD due to childhood trauma. A doctor told Elisa-Beth Gardner, 51, of Swarthmore, that she had borderline personality disorder (BPD) in 1996. Three months later, she was told she had bipolar disorder.
May 7, 2012 |
It was a challenge to get the label rip started Saturday. So many "psychiatric survivors" were milling around outside the Convention Center that it was hard to get them to pick one of the big cards printed with names of mental illnesses. "Who wants a psychotic one?" yelled Faith Rhyne, a North Carolina woman who belongs to MindFreedom International, an Oregon-based group that helped organize the protest outside the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. "Who wants obsessive-compulsive?"
May 5, 2012 |
When upward of 10,000 members of the American Psychiatric Association meet here this weekend, they'll be met by protesters - there are always protesters - and tough questions about where their profession is headed and how it will define normalcy for the rest of us. The official theme of the annual meeting, which opens Saturday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is integrated care, a nod to the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of medicine...
March 8, 2012 |
The United States has a drug problem. Spending on prescription drugs rose from $40 billion in 1990 to a record $307 billion in 2010 as more people came to believe there's a pill for every problem. Pharmaceutical companies fuel this belief by bombarding the public with advertising. Self-medication with over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, alcohol, and street drugs compounds the problem. Now drug use has stirred up a heated controversy among mental-health professionals. Last year, 44 million American adults, or more than 22 percent of the population, were treated for mental illness.
January 10, 2011 |
Hoarding may be bizarre enough behavior to sustain several reality TV shows, but, surprisingly, it isn't an official psychiatric disorder. That may change in May 2013, and University of Pennsylvania therapists will play a key role in the decision. Penn Medicine is one of seven institutions chosen as field trial sites for the forthcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5. Therapists at Penn's outpatient mental health clinic will test how well the revised guide to mental illnesses, which introduces hoarding disorder, works in the real world.