What Can We Do About Mass Shootings?

“It must be mental illness. My mind cannot possibly conceive of an alternative. A rational healthy mind cannot be capable of this, Doc.” These were the opening words of one of many discussions that I had with patients in the wake of yet another gut-wrenching tragedy where we saw innocent children and their teachers murdered … Read more

Multiple Mental Health Woes? Blame It on Genetics

Different psychiatric disorders often share the same architecture, which may help explain why many genetic individuals diagnosed with one psychiatric disorder will be diagnosed with another in their lifetime, new research suggests. Investigators conducted a genetic analysis of 11 major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. “Our findings confirm that high comorbidity across some … Read more

Mental Health of Most Kids With Autism Declined in Pandemic

More than half of children and youth with autism experienced pandemic-related declines in mental health between May and December 2020, according to a large Canadian cohort study. The study, based on surveys with parents of 230 children and youth with autism, showed that 141 (61%) of these children had mental health deterioration, and 37 (14%) … Read more

The Stigma Associated With Mental Illness and Antidepressants

The good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s easy to talk about the good, but when it comes to having real conversations about mental health, it’s sometimes an uphill battle. We see so much about mental well-being, services, and hotlines available for those in need. In fact, it’s almost expected for schools and workplaces to … Read more

Does Suicide Risk Show Up in the Blood?

Newly identified serum biomarkers have the potential to flag patients, via blood testing, with major depressive disorder (MDD) at high risk of suicide. Investigators found patients with MDD who died by suicide had a gene expression signature in blood distinct from patients with MDDwho died by other means. The signature included genes involved in stress … Read more

The Mental Effects of Growing Up With a Hoarder

Many of us are reluctant to throw things out. We buy. We accumulate. We collect. Eventually our attics are packed with dusty heirlooms that we rarely, if ever, look at. Eventually we’re forced to pare down and head to the Goodwill. But not all of us. Andrew Guzick, PhD Hoarding — or the prolonged difficulty … Read more

Youth Mental Health Hospitalization Rates Rose in 2020

Mental health hospitalization rates rose for Canadian children and youth between ages 5 and 24 years in 2020, despite a slight decrease in the overall number of hospital visits, according to new data. Hospitalizations for eating disorders increased significantly, rising nearly 60% for girls between ages 10 and 17 years. “One of the key questions … Read more

What You Need to Know

Eating disorders are among the most prevalent, disabling, and potentially fatal psychiatric illnesses, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated their burden, with a 15.3% increase in incidence in 2020 compared with previous years.1 This increase was almost difficult among adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa (AN), which is often insidious in onset and more difficult to … Read more

the History and Future of Psychosurgery

In the early 20th century, there were a few psychiatrists ― perhaps intrepid, perhaps deluded ― who, despite no formal surgical training, were impelled to breach their patients’ skulls. Inspired by the surgical innovations of the day, they were curious about the physical nature of the psyche and whether invasive surgical procedures might be a … Read more

Maternal Autoimmune Diseases Up Risk of Mental Illness in Children

Mental disorders were significantly more likely in children whose mothers had one of five common autoimmune diseases, a new study found. Previous research has linked both maternal and paternal autoimmune diseases and specific mental disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but most of these studies focused on specific conditions in relatively small populations. The new … Read more