Fifth editions: DSM vs. D&D

This month’s Psychology Thought Experiment: At this moment, two groups are at work, each developing the 5th edition of a tool that thousands—perhaps millions—of people rely upon. The thought experiment is:  Compare the thought processes of the two groups. One group is creating the 5th edition of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). […]

“Weird Coincidence” and Respect for Psychiatrists

Is it only coincidence that (1) much of the public suspects that psychiatrists rely on funny-kooky-hahaha theories; and that (2) a noted psychiatric journal suggests that “weird coincidences” tend to have deep mental significance? Here are two articles from that journal: “This Issue: Coincidence Studies,” Bernard D. Beitman, MD, Psychiatric Annals, Volume 41, Number 12, DECEMBER 2011. […]

What psychiatrists say your gut says

Some psychoanalysts can find meaning in the most ordinary-seeming bits of your life. Some discern it even in your intestinal rumblings. There’s a technical name for those digestive sounds: borborygmi. Several published studies tell how to interpret people’s gut feelings – how to translate those borborygmi into common everyday words. In 1984, Prof Dr med […]

Anything Causes Everything (Depressing)

Today’s classroom exercise: Decide whether the technique used in this study can be used to prove that any particular thing can cause any other particular thing: “Inflammation, Sanitation, and Consternation — Loss of Contact With Coevolved, Tolerogenic Microorganisms and the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Major Depression,” AUTHORS: Charles L. Raison, MD; Christopher A. Lowry, PhD; […]

Self-Treatments of ‘Writer’s Block’

The medical literature contains these two excessively brief accounts of self-treatment for the ailment known as “writer’s block”. Each can be downloaded in its entirety, in PDF form: 1. “The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of ‘Writer’s Block‘” Dennis Upper, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1974 Fall; 7(3): 497. (Thanks to Eric Geigle for bringing […]

Alert: psych hair-pulling, spitting ahead

Psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists galore are in for a long period of hair-pulling, spitting, accusations, recriminations, name-calling and good old-fashioned spitefests. The proposed draft version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) just went online for comments. The DSM gets used in many ways. What’s included in the new version — and […]