psychiatry

Joining us today is Dr. Eric Plakun, Medical Director and Director of Admissions at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

  Stanford psychiatrist Dr. Irvin Yalom has practiced in the area of group psychotherapy for over 50 years, and often writes about his personal experiences with his patients.

In his new book Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy, he deals with questions of mortality, from his work with terminally ill patients to his own fear of dying.

He joins us to talk about his career as a psychotherapist and what he's learned from his patients in the process. 

  Among the first generation of boys prescribed medication for hyperactivity in the 1980s, Timothy Denevi took Ritalin at the age of six, and during the first week, it triggered a psychotic reaction. Doctors recommended behavior therapy, then antidepressants.

Nothing worked. As Timothy’s parents and doctors sought to treat his behavior, he was subjected to a liquid diet, a sleep-deprived EEG, and bizarre behavioral assessments before finding help in therapy combined with medication. In Hyper, Timothy describes how he makes his way through school.

    Much is written about psychiatry, but very little that describes psychiatry itself. Why should there be such a need? For good or ill, psychiatry is a polemical battleground, criticized on the one hand as an instrument of social control, while on the other the latest developments in neuroscience are trumpeted as lasting solutions to mental illness.

Which of these strikingly contrasting positions should we believe? In Our Necessary Shadow: The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry, Tom Burns reviews the historical development of psychiatry, throughout alert to where psychiatry helps, and where it is imperfect. What is clear is that mental illnesses are intimately tied to what makes us human in the first place. and the drive to relieve the suffering they cause is even more human.

Alternative tobacco products are on the rise.

Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University,  discusses a form of smokeless tobacco that is catching on overseas.

Can leading a sedentary lifestyle contribute to depression?

Dr. Nancy Low, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at McGill University, is studying the correlation between these two afflictions.

Nancy Low is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University, Clinician-Researcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and Staff Physician in the Mood Disorders Program of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

  The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 13 percent of U.S. adults have received treatment for some kind of mental health problem.

Still, the most severe cases remain the hardest to treat and take the biggest toll not just on the family and friends of those afflicted but also on the country at large. The National Institute of Mental Health puts the economic cost of untreated mental illness in the U.S. at more than $100 billion per year.

On this edition of Medical Monday is Dr. Eric Plakun of the Austen Riggs Center – a board certified psychiatrist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist practicing in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. WAMC’s Alan Chartock hosts.