Leading Stories, Articles

January 1st, 2012

New DSM-5 highlights presented

By Jennifer E Chase

In correspondence with New England Psychologist, the DSM-5 Task Force chair David J. Kupfer, M.D., confirmed and elaborated on the following highlights of what practitioners can expect in the newest DSM. Category: “Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence” Changes: The Task Force has considered adding the following five disorders: Language Impairment, Late Language Emergence, Specific Language Impairment, Social Communication Disorder and Voice Disorder. The following have been suggested for elimination: Expressive Language Disorder, Mixed Receptive-expressive Language Disorder and “Communication Disorder Not Otherwise Specified” (which is being moved to a different category). Kupfer’s Comments: “A noteworthy change…is that [More]

January 1st, 2012

Changing times shape the real DSM-5

By Jennifer E Chase

Considered the bible of psychiatric disorders, practitioners know the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published by the American Psychiatric Association, describes symptoms and criteria for diagnosing mental disorders and provides a valuable common vernacular for discussing diagnoses. The DSM has been revised four times since its first printing in 1952 with a new iteration scheduled for May 2013. But according to the Psychiatric Association, the last 20 years have provided such an unparalleled spike in information about the brain and human behavior that the collective understanding of mental illness is greater than any point in history, making [More]

January 1st, 2012

Petition concerns proposed manual changes

By Catherine Robertson Souter

First published in 1952, the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” is used throughout the U.S. and in many places around the world, in the diagnosis of mental illness and, as such, each revision is carefully debated and dissected. DSM-5, scheduled to be completed by May 2013, has prompted feedback and criticism. Several American Psychological Association divisions have added their voices to the discussion. In an open letter/petition posted online in October, the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) and five other APA divisions raised concerns about both the process and revisions themselves. “The main concerns we have [with [More]

January 1st, 2012

New AAP guidelines recommend collaboration

By Pamela Berard

New American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines recommend primary care physicians initiate an evaluation/treatment for ADHD for children ages four to 18 who present with symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity. The previous AAP guidelines covered children six to 12, but AAP says emerging evidence makes it possible to diagnose and manage children as young as four and the organization wants to stress that ADHD is a “chronic” condition, and therefore, consider children with ADHD as having special health care needs. Area psychologists see pros and cons to these new guidelines. “Mostly, I think it’s a positive change,” says Rachel [More]

January 1st, 2012

Grant focuses on housing, health needs

By Janine Weisman

The Providence Center has received a $1.5 million federal grant to work with housing providers and homeless advocates to secure access to behavioral and primary health care services for chronically homeless people in three Rhode Island cities. The three-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration allows Providence Center staff to launch Home Base, a program that offers individualized services to those with a history of homelessness over a span of several years and veterans who have a co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorder. Working with nearly 20 partner agencies, The Providence Center is coordinating case [More]

January 1st, 2012

Cap recommended on addiction treatment

By Pamela Berard

Maine state budget task force recommended a two-year MaineCare limit on Suboxone – a replacement drug used for the treatment of opiate addiction – as part of an effort to trim $25 million from the state budget. The recommendation was one of the many cuts submitted to the Streamline and Prioritize Core Government Services Task Force by the Department of Health and Human Services, which was asked to submit proposed cuts to the task force. The overall package included administrative efficiencies like reduction of the cost of leased space and reduced travel expenditures and reductions in funding of certain programs. [More]

January 1st, 2012

Program faced possible closure

By Phyllis Hanlon

On Nov. 1, Milestone Foundation, a detoxification program for alcoholics and substance abusers in Portland, Maine, faced possible closure because of perceived non-compliance with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements. Mental health advocates appealed to the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as to Senators Olympia Snowe-R and Susan Collins-R, fearing that homeless individuals and those with alcohol and substance abuse problems would be left on the streets. In what appeared to be a last minute reprieve, the facility’s doors remained open. Guy R. Cousins, LCSW, LADC, CCS, director of the Office of Substance Abuse [More]

January 1st, 2012

Sleep habits at heart of psychologist’s work

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Ask anyone if they get enough sleep at night and most will say, “No way.” Then ask why not. Full schedules, demanding jobs, social media, television…it all gets in the way of a good night’s sleep. No matter how often Americans hear that even minor sleep deprivation has been linked to everything from injury to chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity and depression, it’s still a rampant problem in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of American adults sleep less than the recommended minimum of seven hours per night. Amy Wolfson, Ph.D., [More]

December 1st, 2011

Compulsive shopping has repercussions

By Phyllis Hanlon

The Halloween decorations no sooner come down before retailers begin a full-blown campaign to lure consumers into the stores with cash, check or credit card in hand for special holiday sales. Radio and television ads, newspaper flyers and discount coupons by the dozen entice the public to “Hurry In, Buy Now, Supply Limited!” How can a person resist these bargains? Those who find it challenging to control the impulse to “shop until you drop” may find themselves immersed in a sea of credit card debt, family strife or worse.   A 2006 study published in the journal Psychiatry indicates that [More]

December 1st, 2011

Mental illness contributes to huge economic burden

By Nan Shnitzler

Disease is typically described in human terms such as diagnosis, prevalence and mortality. But the World Economic Forum took a fiscal approach in a report released this past September that says the global economic burden of five major non-communicable diseases – cancer, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory illness and mental illness – could approach $47 trillion over the next 20 years, with mental illness accounting for $16 trillion. The total represents four percent of annual global gross domestic product (GDP) over that time span, or considered in 2010 alone, a whopping 75 percent of global GDP. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill 36 [More]