CHILD ABUSE: A Cause of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Traumatic events in childhood — such as physical or sexual abuse — increase the risk of Borderline Personality Disorder and other personality disorders.  But the exact cause of borderline personality disorder isn’t known.  Most likely, it’s caused by a combination of heredity and environmental factors.

Borderline personality disorder is a serious emotional disturbance that’s characterized by unsatisfactory and unstable personal relationships, intense anger, impulsive actions, feelings of emptiness, and real or imagined fears of abandonment.  It may be that emotional trauma at a time when the brain isn’t fully developed alters something in the brain that decreases the ability to effectively deal with subsequent stressful situations.

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SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER (social phobia)

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It’s normal to feel nervous and awkward in some social situations?

Going on a first date or giving a presentation may give you that uncomfortable feeling of having butterflies in your stomach, for instance.  For some people, though, common, everyday social situations cause extreme anxiety, fear and self-consciousness, and they may become impossible to engage in.

You may go to great lengths and come up with many excuses to avoid dating or giving presentations. You may not even be able to eat with acquaintances or write a check at the grocery store, let alone go to a party with lots of strangers.

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1 in 5 U.S. Adults Suffers Mental Illness

THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) — Nearly 46 million American adults have had a mental illness in the past year, a new government report shows.

Almost 30 percent of those aged 18 to 25 experienced a mental illness, twice as many as those aged 50 and older at just over 14 percent. And more women than men suffered a mental illness in the last year (23 percent vs. nearly 17 percent), according to the report released Thursday from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“We all know people who have had a depression or an anxiety disorder, maybe something more serious like a bipolar disorder, but this is a pretty big number,” said Peter Delany, director of SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies.

“This is only the second year where we have done this as a separate report and the findings were not significantly different from last year,” Delany noted, so there are not enough data to see a trend.

The reasons why so many people are suffering from these problems cannot be easily summed up, he said.

The recent economic downturn may be a factor for some, he said. “But these conditions are multifactorial — there are genetic issues, there are biological issues, there are social issues and also personal issuers,” Delany explained.

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Walgreen, others sue Pfizer over depression drug

(Reuters) – November 01, 2011Pfizer Inc and Teva Pharmceutical Industries Ltd were sued by Walgreen Co and four other large retailers, accused of violating U.S. antitrust law by conspiring to keep generic versions of a popular antidepressant off the shelves.

Walgreen, Kroger Co, Safeway Inc, Supervalu Inc and HEB Grocery Co accused Pfizer’s Wyeth unit of conducting an “overarching anticompetitive scheme” to prevent and delay the approval and marketing of generic versions of the prescription drug Effexor XR, causing them to overpay.

In a complaint made public on Thursday by the U.S. District Court in Trenton, New Jersey, the retailers said Wyeth kept generic equivalents off the market for at least two years after its marketing exclusivity for the original Effexor compound patent lapsed in June 2008.

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Health Tip: Managing an Anxiety Disorder

anxiety If you think you may have an Anxiety Disorder — characterized by an intense fear of a person, place or situation — you should visit your doctor to have your condition evaluated and confirmed. Once an anxiety disorder has been confirmed, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health suggests how to manage:

  • Join a support or self-help group.
  • Take anti-anxiety medication that your doctor prescribes. Do not stop the medication before you speak with your doctor.
  • Share your feelings and experiences with a mental health professional or clergy member.
  • Practice meditation or another form of stress management.
  • Get regular aerobic exercise.
  • Avoid caffeine, illegal drugs and over-the-counter cold medications.
  • Seek support of family members and close friends.

Source for article: HealthDay News

Antipsychotics get mixed review for unapproved use

(Reuters) – September 28, 2011 –  Newer antipsychotic drugs are often prescribed for conditions they aren’t approved to treat, with questionable benefits, according to a study.

The medications, known as atypical antipsychotics, include risperidone, sold in the United States as Risperdal, aripiprazole (Abilify), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and quetiapine (Seroquel).

While those drugs have been approved in the United States for a few psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, doctors may also prescribe them “off-label” to other patients, including people with substance abuse and eating disorders, typically when they haven’t responded to more standard treatments.

“There are several conditions in psychiatry that are pretty difficult to treat,” said Alicia Ruelaz Maher from RAND Health in Santa Monica, California, the study author.

“Often in psychiatry we think, if something works for one condition, it could possibly be effective for another one.”

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New Therapy May Help People With Unexplained Symptoms of Pain, Weakness and Fatigue

ScienceDaily (July 28, 2011) — A new type of therapy may help people with symptoms such as pain, weakness, or dizziness that can’t be explained by an underlying disease, according to a study published in the July 27, 2011, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. These symptoms, which can also include fatigue, tingling and numbness, are also known as functional or psychogenic symptoms.

“People with these symptoms make up one-third of all clinic visits, but the outcomes are poor,” said study author Michael Sharpe, MD, of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Previous studies have shown that intense cognitive behavioral therapy can reduce the symptoms, distress and disability in people with these symptoms, but there are obstacles to providing this therapy. Many people do not feel psychological treatment is appropriate and resist referrals to mental health services, and therapists trained in cognitive behavioral therapy are not available in all communities.

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Narcotic Pain Relief Drug Overdose Deaths a National Epidemic

ScienceDaily (Apr. 25, 2011) — Unintentional overdose deaths in teens and adults have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. In some 20 states in 2007 the number of unintentional drug poisoning deaths exceeded either motor vehicle crashes or suicides, two of the leading causes of injury death. Prescription opioid pain medications are driving this overdose epidemic. Opioid pain medications were also involved in about 36 percent of all poisoning suicides in the U.S. in 2007.

In a commentary article released ahead of the print version in the April 19, 2011 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, physicians affiliated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and Duke University Medical Center cite data noting that in 2007 unintentional deaths due to prescription opioid pain killers were involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

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ANXIETY: When Is It A Problem?

What is the difference between normal worrying and an anxiety disorder?

Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D., and colleagues answer.

Answer:

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps you cope with tense situations. It also helps you focus on the task at hand and motivates you. Almost everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. Typically, anxiety goes away when the triggering event is over.

However, anxiety is a problem when it becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, such as riding an elevator or leaving your house.

People with anxiety disorder experience excessive fear and worry that are out of proportion to the situation. These feelings are more intense and last longer than normal feelings of anxiety.

If you find it difficult to control your worry or stress or if anxiety interferes with your daily activities, consult your doctor or a mental health professional. If you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, effective treatment is available.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anxiety-disorder/AN01139

Antidepressant May Change Personality

Antidepressant May Change Personality While Relieving Symptoms

ScienceDaily (Dec. 7, 2009) — Individuals taking a medication to treat depression may experience changes in their personality separate from the alleviation of depressive symptoms, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Two personality traits, neuroticism and extraversion, have been related to depression risk, according to background information in the article. Individuals who are neurotic tend to experience negative emotions and emotional instability, whereas extraversion refers not only to socially outgoing behavior but also to dominance and a tendency to experience positive emotions. Both traits have been linked to the brain’s serotonin system, which is also targeted by the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Tony Z. Tang, Ph.D., of Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and colleagues studied the effects of one particular SSRI, paroxetine, in a placebo-controlled trial involving 240 adults with major depressive disorder. A total of 120 participants were randomly assigned to take paroxetine, 60 to undergo cognitive therapy and 60 to take placebo for 12 months. Their personalities and depressive symptoms were assessed before, during and after treatment.

All participants experienced improvement in their symptoms of depression. However, even after controlling for these improvements, individuals taking paroxetine experienced a significantly greater decrease in neuroticism and increase in extraversion than those receiving cognitive therapy or placebo. “Patients taking paroxetine reported 6.8 times as much change on neuroticism and 3.5 times as much change on extraversion as placebo patients matched for depression improvement,” the authors write.

The findings provide evidence against a theory known as the state effect hypothesis, which proposes that any personality changes during SSRI treatment occur only as a result of alleviating depressive symptoms, the authors note. Several alternative explanations could be considered. “One possibility is that the biochemical properties of SSRIs directly produce real personality change,” they write. “Furthermore, because neuroticism is an important risk factor that captures much of the genetic vulnerability for major depressive disorder, change in neuroticism (and in neurobiological factors underlying neuroticism) might have contributed to depression improvement.”

SSRIs are widely used to treat depression, but understanding of their mechanisms are limited, the authors conclude; they have also been shown effective in treating anxiety disorders and eating disorders, conditions for which high neuroticism and low extraversion may also be a risk. “Investigating how SSRIs affect neuroticism and extraversion may thus lead toward a more parsimonious understanding of the mechanisms of SSRIs,” they conclude.

The data set of this study came from a clinical trial supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. GlaxoSmithKline of Brentford, England, provided medications and placebo pills.

Adapted from materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207164846.htm