Child Mental Health Now Versus the Past

Of note, this post is adapted from a similar one that appeared last week in my Psychology Today blog. From many headlines today, it is easy to get the impression that children and adolescents are struggling more than ever these days.  At the same time, the mental health system designed to help our kids and […]

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Youth Mental Illness Affects 1 in 5 According to New CDC Report

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a major report last month, focusing on child mental health from the period of 2005 through 2011. The report features new summary statistics on the prevalence of mental health disorders as well as estimates of the costs of these conditions. The report summarizes results from a number of […]

Welcome DSM-5?

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was finally released last week after several delays and an amazing amount of controversy and discussion.  The book, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is commonly referred to as the psychiatric “bible” and contains the official list of psychiatric diagnoses and their […]

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Same Genes, Different Disorders

The phenomenon of comorbidity is extremely common in psychiatry.  While the term is used to denote the occurrence of two or more independent psychiatric disorders in the same individual, there is increasing evidence to suggest that different types of psychopathology share common etiologic factors.  This molecular genetic study, recently published in The Lancet, was done […]

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New DSM5 Diagnosis of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder Under Scrutiny

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is a new entity coming to DSM5 in May 2013 that describes children with noncyclic but frequent and severe outbursts along with a chronically irritable mood.  The diagnosis was built to capture many children who have previously been diagnosed with entities such as Bipolar Disorder. The disorder remains controversial and this […]

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New Autism Criteria Unlikely to Cause Many Individuals to Lose Diagnosis

Concern has been raised that the proposed DSM5 changes to the criteria for autism may reduce the number of individuals who meet criteria for the diagnosis and are thus entitled to services.  You can see a previous blog posting from April that looks at some of those concerns.  The new criteria reduce the number of […]

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Childhood Toe-Walking: Prevalence and Links to Developmental Problems

Idiopathic Toe-walking refers to children who habitually walk on their toes rather than using a typical gait and for whom no specific cause has been found.  It has been a traditional red flag to clinicians and parents alike for developmental problems including autism.  There is little systematic study, however, of the phenomenon and its predictive […]

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Why “Just” is Such a Dangerous Word in Mental Health

How many times have you heard a psychiatric diagnosis questioned based on the possibility that the behaviors are JUST something else.  You know the drill: “C’mon doc, are you sure this ADHD thing isn’t a fancy label for kids who are JUST (insert lazy, bad, spoiled, etc.)?” Another common one is “Can’t a kid JUST be […]