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Category: Psychiatry

Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder Versus Major Depression ?>

Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder Versus Major Depression

Sonia was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed an antidepressant by her doctor. Over the next 5 years, Sonia took multiple antidepressants until a spiral into extreme mania led to her hospitalization and subsequent diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In retrospect, Sonia believes that if her doctors had taken the time to dig a little deeper and not be so quick to diagnose, she would not have been misdiagnosed for so long. View a video of Sonia’s story presented by Say…

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Munchausen Syndrome ?>

Munchausen Syndrome

Munchausen Syndrome Introduction Background The medical case literature provides compelling documentation of patients who have intentionally exaggerated, feigned, simulated, aggravated, or self-induced an illness or injury for the primary purpose of assuming the sick role. These occurrences were documented in the modern medical literature as early as the mid-19th century, and were identified as a distinct psychiatric disorder in 1951 by Asher, who coined the term Munchausen syndrome.

Dissociative Disorders ?>

Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative Disorders Etiology and Introduction Since the 1980s, the concept of dissociative disorders has taken on a new significance. They now receive a large amount of theoretical and clinical attention from persons in the fields of psychiatry and psychology. Dissociative disorders are a group of psychiatric syndromes characterized by disruptions of aspects of consciousness, identity, memory, motor behavior, or environmental awareness. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) includes 4 dissociative…

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Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome ?>

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Introduction Background Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) refers to the combination of hyperthermia, rigidity, and autonomic dysregulation that can occur as a serious complication of the use of antipsychotic drugs. Delay first used the term in 1960, after observing patients treated with high-potency antipsychotics. Even the newer atypical antipsychotics, which are not classified accurately as neuroleptics, can cause NMS. Over the past 30 years, the syndrome has been associated with a variety of drugs that lead to decreased…

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Brief Psychotic Disorder ?>

Brief Psychotic Disorder

Brief Psychotic Disorder Introduction Background In 1913, Karl Jaspers described specific criteria for the diagnosis of reactive psychosis, including the presence of an identifiable and extremely traumatic stressor, a close relation between the stressor and the development of psychosis, and a generally benign course for the psychotic episode. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) describes brief psychotic disorder based primarily on duration of symptoms. DSM-IV defines brief psychotic disorder as an illness lasting from 1…

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Adjustment Disorders ?>

Adjustment Disorders

Adjustment Disorders Background Adjustment disorder (AD) is a stress-related, short-term, nonpsychotic disturbance. Persons with AD are often viewed as disproportionately overwhelmed or overly intense in their responses to given stimuli. These responses manifest as emotional or behavioral reactions to an identifiable stressful event or change in the person’s life; for instance, in the pediatric population, these events could be parental separation or divorce, a new birth in the family, or loss of an attachment figure or object (eg, pets). The…

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Tourette Syndrome ?>

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome Introduction Background Tourette syndrome (TS) is a childhood neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic (vocal) tics. It is often associated with behavior disorders, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These behavior disorders often accompany the tics and may dominate the clinical picture in some patients. TS is a genetic condition that runs in families. However, the precise genetic abnormality responsible for the phenotype has not yet been elucidated.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders ?>

Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Autistic Spectrum Disorders Introduction Background The autistic spectrum disorders are a neurobiologically diverse group of conditions whose precise relationship to each other is unclear, yet they present with a consistent, diffuse pattern of abnormality across several areas of behavior. Individuals with these disorders do not present merely with slow or limited development, but rather with development that is atypical in the pervasive but diffuse areas of functions affected. Three main clusters of behaviors define autism, as follows: (1) social abnormalities,…

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ?>

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Introduction Background Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental condition of inattention and distractibility, with or without accompanying hyperactivity. In the past, various terms were used to describe this condition, including hyperactive syndrome and, from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III), “minimal brain dysfunction.” In the revised DSM-III, this condition was renamed ADHD. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV-TR), adults or children must have…

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Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders ?>

Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders

Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Introduction History The study of sexual deviancy began just before the turn of the 20th century as the taboo of discussing sexuality was beginning to lift. Early pioneers included Richard von Kraff-Ebing, Albert Moll, August Forel, Iwan Bloch, Magnus Hirschfield, Havelock Ellis, and Sigmund Freud. Their work was not well accepted, and they were regarded with disdain.