Does cognitive therapy prevent suicide?
Suicide is the most common psychiatric emergency (1). Annually, 650,000 people in the United States receive treatment after attempting suicide (1). It is the seventh leading cause of death in this country. About 37,000 individuals commit suicide every year in the U.S. and one million persons worldwide die by suicide (1). The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020, suicide will be the ninth leading cause of death globally (2). About 95% of the people who commit suicide are diagnosed with a psychiatric illness (1). Patients with a history of a suicide attempt are at high risk for a reattempt in the future (2).
Opioids in the United States
Over nine million Americans consume narcotics regularly; about two million of them evidence substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers (1,2). There were about 259 million prescriptions for opioid medications written during 2012, a four-fold increase since 1999 (3). Although the number of prescription opioids sold has nearly quadrupled, there is no change reported in the amount of patient’s pain complaints (4-7). About 25 million people initiated non-medical narcotics between 2002-2011 (8). Since 2002, non-medical utilization has reportedly declined; however, addiction treatment admissions and overdose deaths or other adverse outcomes have escalated (8). During 1997-2011, there was a 900% increase in number of individuals seeking addiction treatment (9).
Acetaminophen use during pregnancy and behavioral problems in childhood
Leo Sher, M.D.
A British research group examined associations between offspring behavioral problems and maternal prenatal acetaminophen use, maternal postnatal acetaminophen use, and partner’s acetaminophen use (1). Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, relieves pain and fever and is the active ingredient in Tylenol and a large number of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Acetaminophen is not considered a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) because it does not exhibit significant anti-inflammatory activity. More than half of all pregnant women in the United States and Europe use acetaminophen (2,3).
Insanity defenses recalibrated
The recent release of would-be Reagan assassin John Hinckley Jr. serves as a reminder that while for much of the country, the three decades starting in 1980 were the ‘Reagan Era,’ forensic psychiatry remains trapped in a ‘Hinckley Era.’ Hinckley pled not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) and was acquitted on all charges. In the public backlash that ensued, the federal government and the majority of states made such defenses far more difficult (1). Many jurisdictions shifted the burden of proof to defendants, requiring “clear and convincing evidence” that mental illness prevented legal culpability. Others switched from NGRI to a “guilty but mentally ill” approach. Four states abolished the insanity defense entirely.
Loneliness and paranoia
A research group in Germany studied the relationship between loneliness and paranoia (1). The authors of the study have found that loneliness affects paranoia.
Loneliness has been defined as “distressful consciousness of an inner distance to other humans and thus as a desire for satisfying and meaningful relations” (1,2). In other words, loneliness is a subjective, emotional, and cognitive assessment of an individual’s position in his/her social situation (3).
The researchers recruited 60 healthy individuals. Loneliness was experimentally manipulated using a false-feedback paradigm.
Congratulations to Professor Masahito Fushimi!
On behalf of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) Task Force on Men’s Mental Health I would like to congratulate Professor Masahito Fushimi, a Member of the Task Force on becoming the Director and a Professor at the Akita University Health Center.
Professor Fushimi was born in Hokkaido, Japan. He lives in Akita, Japan. Professor Fushimi received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Akita University School of Medicine in 1990 and 1997, respectively. He worked for many years as the Director of the Akita Prefectural Mental Health and Welfare Center. Professor Fushimi has studied stress-related disorders and suicidal behavior and published a lot of scholarly papers related to these issues.
Catatonia: A much expanded diagnostic view
Catatonia has been a condition commonly associated with schizophrenia, but it exists in a number of other psychiatric disorders. Diagnostic criteria for catatonia involves at least three of these twelve findings: catalepsy, waxy flexibility, posturing, mutism, negativism, mannerism, stereotypy, grimacing, stupor, agitation, echolalia, and/or echopraxia. However, catatonia can also be a sign of medical or neurological conditions. An expanded understanding of potential etiologies speeds recognition, diagnosis, and treatment.
More than one-third of the adults in the U.S. report sleeping less than seven hours in a 24-hour period: A CDC study
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years should sleep at least 7 hours each night. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, psychiatric disorders, and all-cause mortality. Insufficient sleep impairs cognitive functioning, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and other accidents, medical errors, and loss of work productivity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have called inadequate sleep a public health problem.