“There’s a popular cliché that maybe craziness and creativity are allied, [that] if you’re schizophrenic, you’re more likely to be a genius inventor. That’s actually not the case. Schizophrenia, there’s no correlation with creativity. Instead, it’s really about depression and particularly bipolar depression. The leading hypothesis grows out of research showing states of being unhappy, being gloomy — when you’re sad you’re actually better able to focus.
“So people who are sad actually produce better artwork in the lab, better collages. Some studies indicate successful people are something like 25 times more likely to suffer from bipolar depression; it captures the natural swings of the creative process. Sometimes you want to be manic and have tons of new ideas, but then you also seem to benefit from a slightly sad, more melancholy phase.”
Think children are being over-diagnosed and over-treated where psychiatric disorders are concerned? Take a look at the disturbing trend of the use of antipsychotics within the foster care system:
Mental disorders affect more than 160 million Europeans — 38% of the population — each year, says a report1 issued by the European Brain Council and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The researchers found that the most common disorders are anxiety, insomnia and depression, which account for 14%, 7% and 6.9% of the total, respectively. The new report is an update on a 2005 paper2 that estimated that 27% of the EU population was affected by mental disorders each year. The higher figure resulted from the addition of 14 previously excluded disorders, many of which affect children and the elderly. But the frequency of mental disorders has probably not gone up substantially, Wittchen, the lead researcher, says. “There’s no evidence for changing rates.”
Read the entire article here.
The University of Michigan announced today it has created five more stem cell lines…Three of U-M’s iPS stem cell lines were created with skin donated by people with bipolar disorder; the other two were created with cells from a tissue bank so they are genetically normal. The iPS stem cell lines will be used to study the progression of bipolar disorder, a neuropsychiatric disease, and neurological diseases.
British Psychological Society has made their recent report, Understanding Bipolar Disorder, available as a free download throughout the month of July.
To download it you must register with the site first, but the download is free after you have done so.
A study of thousands of people with bipolar disorder suggests that genetic risk factors may influence the decision to attempt suicide.
Johns Hopkins scientists, reporting in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, have identified a small region on chromosome 2 that is associated with increased risk for attempted suicide. This small region contains four genes, including the ACP1 gene, and the researchers found more-than-normal levels of the ACP1 protein in the brains of people who had committed suicide. This protein is thought to influence the same biological pathway as lithium, a medication known to reduce the rate of suicidal behavior.
The researchers say that the findings could lead to better suicide prevention efforts by providing new directions for research and drug development.
The good news is that improvement rates for serious mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive illness) rival or surpass those for chronic physical diseases like diabetes and heart disease, provided that the patient receives the right treatment — consistently. The bad news is that an astonishing 80 percent of people in this country with treatable mental disorders do not have their conditions detected in medical or other settings — and even when identified and properly diagnosed, they do not receive effective treatment.
Please skip the first paragraph about Charlie Sheen. The meat of the article is fascinating.
Scientists at UCLA took on the goal of peering deep into someone’s brain, while the person was in the middle of a manic episode, to better understand what was happening.
At the same time, throughout psychiatry, there has been a continuing debate over the status of aggressive behavior in children and in relation to other disorders. Lee and Galynker3 reported that “just under 50% of people with bipolar disorder have some history of violent behavior.” Violence can occur in manic or in depressive states, or even in euthymic moods. They saw a close and compounding relationship between childhood trauma and violence in adult Bipolar Affective Disorder (BAD): “A history of 2 or more types of trauma has been associated with a 3-fold increased risk of bipolar disorder, as well as a worse clinical course that includes early onset, faster cycling, and increased rates of suicide.” Early trauma complicates adult affective disorder by predisposing to substance abuse, criminality, and personality disorder. In general, early onset of aggressive behavior indicates a poorer prognosis, and not just for the affective disorder. So what is the disorder, and what should be treated?
via Temper Tantrums, Mental disorder, and DSM-5: The Case for Caution – Psychiatric Times.