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Mental Disorders

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By Richard E. Vatz | January 27, 2011
disease: n. A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms. — American Heritage Dictionary I have been teaching and writing for decades on the topic of "rhetoric and mental illness," arguing that "mental illness" has been a catch-all term of behavioral explanation that elucidates nothing and is often false; there is usually no "disease" in mental illness.
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NEWS
By CHRIS EMERY and CHRIS EMERY,SUN REPORTER | July 17, 2006
When researchers announced that 16 million Americans who fly into occasional fits of unwarranted rage may suffer from a mental illness called "intermittent explosive disorder," the diagnosis drew its share of hoots and howls. "Your grandmother would say these are bad folks who can't control their temper, and she would be right," said Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, an outspoken schizophrenia expert alarmed by the ever-expanding list of behaviors and attitudes branded as illnesses. Torrey and other critics point to the volume that doctors use to determine mental illness, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, as evidence that the world is out of control.
NEWS
By RONALD KOTULAK and RONALD KOTULAK,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | June 6, 2006
CHICAGO -- One in 20 Americans might be susceptible to uncontrollable anger attacks in which they lash out in road rage, spousal abuse or other severe transgressions that are totally unjustified, researchers from Harvard and the University of Chicago have found. Their nationwide study found that the condition called intermittent explosive disorder, or IED, is not the rare occurrence that psychiatrists had thought. Four to five percent of people in the study were found to have physically assaulted someone, threatened bodily harm or destroyed property in a rage an average of five times a year.
NEWS
By MARY BETH REGAN | April 14, 2006
If Your Adolescent Has an Eating Disorder: An Essential Resource for Parents By Timothy Walsh, M.D., and V.L. Cameron Oxford University Press/$9.95 It is heartbreaking to have a child with an eating disorder. But it's worse if you don't feel you have support, good information or a roadmap to recovery. This book, If Your Adolescent Has an Eating Disorder, is an excellent way to get grounded. It contains some of the best information you will find on the subject. In 2003, the nonprofit Annenberg Foundation Trust launched an Adolescent Mental Health Initiative, setting up seven commissions on mental disorders that begin between ages 10 and 22. The result: a mammoth treatise called Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders (2005)
NEWS
By NEWSDAY | June 7, 2005
Almost 50 percent of Americans will develop a mental illness at some point in their lives, a new study has found, and most will not receive the proper treatment. Researchers led by Harvard epidemiologist Ronald C. Kessler fanned out across the country to assess the rates of mental illness in dozens of U.S. communities in a survey conducted from 2001 to 2003. Thousands answered questions about their thoughts and behavior, in a detailed assessment called the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth revision)
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF | July 1, 2004
Echoing Vietnam and other wars, combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan has triggered symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder among many troops returning home. Researchers reporting in a medical journal today found that 15 percent to 17 percent of the combat troops who served in Iraq suffered from at least one of the three disorders - yet few sought help because they feared being stigmatized. A somewhat lower proportion, 11.2 percent, reported symptoms of mental distress after serving in Afghanistan, but most also kept their problems secret.
NEWS
By Linda Marsa and By Linda Marsa,Special to the Sun | December 22, 2002
The ads seem to be everywhere, on TV, in magazines, doctors' offices, the Internet: Are you feeling tense? Having difficulty sleeping? Scared of criticism? If so, they suggest, the answer could be a pill -- an antidepressant, to be exact. The drugs that revolutionized the treatment of depression a decade ago now are increasingly used to treat anxiety disorders, mental illnesses that can cause paralyzing worry or intense fear of social situations. Caused by a deficiency in brain chemistry, the disorders can indeed be remedied by potent mood-altering medications such as Paxil and Effexor.
ENTERTAINMENT
By James H. Bready and James H. Bready,Special to the Sun | March 24, 2002
Is the incidence of mental depression rising? The best answer seems to be, no one knows, or will know until the world of medical science perfects diagnostic technique. But there is progress. In 1988, J. Raymond DePaulo Jr. of Johns Hopkins Hospital co-authored a book, Coping With Depression. Now, covering some of the same ground, he has a new book out, Understanding Depression, written with Leslie Alan Horvitz (John Wiley & Sons, 288 pages, $24.95, softbound) -- because so much has been learned in the interim, both as to the nature of such illness and as to its treatment.
NEWS
By Del Quentin Wilber and Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF | January 18, 2001
The killing of a 9-year-old Frederick boy has prompted a renewed push for a state law that would keep sexual predators locked up after they have completed their prison terms. Supporters of the measure, which has failed three times in the Maryland General Assembly, say such a law would have saved the life of Christoper Lee Ausherman, who was sexually assaulted and killed in November. Authorities have charged Elmer Spencer Jr., 46, a man with a history of convictions for sex crimes, in Christopher's death.
TOPIC
By HOWARD H. GOLDMAN | January 23, 2000
THE ATTACK by Richard E. Vats on the rigor of Surgeon General David Satcher's report is long on rhetoric and short on science. The report reflects the best evidence on the epidemiology of mental disorders from the world's leading experts, who were contributors and reviewers for the document. As underscored by the Surgeon General, the worldwide magnitude of the problem of disability attributable to mental disorder is reflected in a recent study of the global burden of disease conducted by the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the Harvard School of Public Health.
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