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How Seinfeld Is Teaching Psychiatry to Medical Students

Professor has trainees offer psychiatric evaluations of characters

(Newser) - Sure, it's no Sesame Street, but it turns out Seinfeld can be very educational. Its characters show signs of a range of psychiatric problems, and it's up to Rutgers medical students to diagnose them. Twice a week, professor Anthony Tobia has his students—who number about 150 a... More »

Cops: Woman Broke Into Shelter to Get Cats Back

Lee Ann Shore held cats in unsanitary conditions

(Newser) - A Wisconsin woman lost her 17 cats to a Humane Society shelter after her unsanitary apartment was condemned earlier this month. Now Lee Ann Shore, 46, has been arrested for allegedly breaking into that shelter to steal her cats back. Police say she removed 15 cats from the Coulee Region... More »

Complaints, Suicide Fail to Close Mental Health Center

Doctor in charge isn't accredited, or a doctor, CNN alleges

(Newser) - Jessica Palmer was suffering from mental illness and drug addiction when her parents sent her to the Adolescent Family Institute of Colorado—but she didn't get the help they were hoping she would there. Instead the staff there told her that her parents didn't love her, that she... More »

It's About Mental Illness, Not Gun Laws

Aaron Alexis didn't get the care he needed: Charles Krauthammer

(Newser) - Don't blame the Navy Yard shooting on gun laws, blame it on the fact that Aaron Alexis didn't get the treatment for his mental illness that he so desperately needed, writes Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post . Only a month prior, Alexis complained to the police about hearing... More »

Key to Mental Health Might Be in Your Stomach

New studies suggests intricate links between brain and gut

(Newser) - The old line about going to a shrink to get your head examined might someday have to be tweaked—new research suggests that psychiatric patients should have their gut examined, too. The Verge takes a look at the growing body of evidence suggesting that our digestive systems have a profound... More »

New Psychiatry 'Bible' Under Fire

Critics say it's too broad, confusing

(Newser) - A new edition of the manual doctors use to diagnose mental illness, the DSM, has just been released by the American Psychiatric Association—but it has already been stirring up controversy for months, reports CBS . Most critically, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health has spoken out against... More »

Scientists to Study Adam Lanza's DNA

Investigation prompts controversy among experts

(Newser) - Following a request by a Connecticut medical examiner, geneticists appear poised to investigate Adam Lanza's DNA. Outside experts say the University of Connecticut scientists—who have agreed to "give any assistance they can"—will probably search for genetic mutations or abnormalities that might prompt mental illness or... More »

Our Solution to Schizophrenia Has Failed

Medication, treatment work, but those in need aren't getting it

(Newser) - America is so caught up in worries about privacy and stereotyping that we're blocking schizophrenics from the effective care that they need, and endangering many other lives as a result, writes psychiatrist Paul Steinberg in the New York Times . School counselors are usually better trained in depression and anxiety... More »

Experts Redefine Crazy, Include 'Binge-Eating'

And Asperger's joins the autistic spectrum

(Newser) - The American Psychiatric Association wrapped up a 13-year edit of its highly influential book of mental disorders this weekend. Full details of the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—known as DSM—will emerge in May, but Time reports on the biggest changes:
  • Asperger's syndrome will lose
... More »

'Gay Cure' Champion: I Was Wrong

Dr. Robert Spitzer apologizes for study supporting 'gay cure' therapy

(Newser) - A psychiatrist who revolutionized how people view homosexuality has given a tearful apology for a study that supported the notion of a "gay cure." The New York Times looks at how Dr. Robert Spitzer conducted his study, withstood years of merciless criticism, and, suffering from Parkinson’s, finally... More »

Suicide the Answer for Russian Teens

Alcohol abuse, rigid parenting make matters worse

(Newser) - For many Russian teenagers, the only way out is death. Experts there are already familiar with the nation's high teen suicide rate (about five a day) and know the causes all too well—but say solutions are hampered by prejudice and social conformity, the Washington Post reports. The most... More »

9/11 Shows Psychology's Shortcomings

Report gives humbling assessment of therapists' work

(Newser) - Psychologists rushing to Ground Zero on September 11 might have done more harm than good. Experts overestimated how many people—including firefighters and police who responded—would experience stress for a prolonged period following the disaster, according to a report coming out in American Psychologist. Many also might have been... More »

Sex-Case Court Orders Friars' Psych Files Bared

Records expected to reveal how much Catholic chiefs knew about abuse

(Newser) - A California court has ruled that the psychiatric and personnel files of six Franciscan friars accused of sexual abuse must be made public. The documents are expected to reveal how much the Catholic Franciscan administration knew about their employees' behavior and when they knew it. The decision could lead to... More »

More and More Toddlers Prescribed Antipsychotics

Do 18-month-olds need extreme psychiatric medicine?

(Newser) - Kyle Warren was given his first dose of antipsychotic drugs to deal with his temper tantrums at 18 months. By age three, he’d been diagnosed with autism, bipolar disorder, hyperactivity, insomnia, and oppositional defiant disorder, and was taking a fistful of psychiatric medicine each day. He was, his parents... More »

Darth Vader Just Needed Pyschotherapy

He's a candidate for borderline personality disorder

(Newser) - If young Anakin Skywalker had gotten himself into see a good psychotherapist, he might have steered clear of the dark side and the Darth Vader get-up. The Star Wars prequels show that Anakin suffered from borderline personality disorder, say French psychiatrists. (They've made the argument before, but will buttress it... More »

Fort Hood Suspect Was Lousy Student

Superiors passed him despite fears he didn't meet standards

(Newser) - Nidal Malik Hasan’s superiors had major concerns about him during his psychiatric training, but decided to pass him anyway, say restricted emails obtained by the Washington Times . In one, Hasan’s residency director, Maj. Scott Moran, tells a superior that he’s “a chronically somewhat unprofessional officer with... More »

Shrinks Discuss Rewrite of Psychiatric Bible

New DSM could make temper tantrums a mental illness

(Newser) - The American Psychiatric Association will unveil dozens of proposals for new psychiatric disorders today, as it begins its first revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—or DSM, as the kids call it—since 1994. Kids prone to temper tantrums might soon be diagnosed with “temper... More »

Hasan Sought to Turn in Patients for 'War Crimes'

Senate committee delays briefing on Fort Hood rampage

(Newser) - Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan repeatedly tried to have his patients prosecuted for “war crimes,” raising the issue with Army authorities a final time on Nov. 2—just 3 days before the Fort Hood massacre. In a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality, Hasan asked superiors if he could legally pass... More »

Blame 'Vicarious' PTSD

Trauma is infectious, Essig writes, and therapists can catch it

(Newser) - When Todd Essig learned the Fort Hood shooter “was an Army psychiatrist who treats post traumatic stress disorder, himself on the cusp of deployment, I thought, ‘I’m not surprised.’” Why? Because there is a documented transfer of trauma disorders from sufferers to caregivers, dubbed “... More »

Swiss Shrink Revives LSD Research

(Newser) - A Swiss psychiatrist has revived research into the use of LSD to treat emotional disorders after decades of neglect, Der Spiegel reports (unable to resist the headline "Tune In, Turn On, Cheer Up"). Albert Gasser, the first person to study the psychiatric use of the hallucinogen in 35... More »

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