Ep 206: What It’s Like to Have Autism – Interview with Alex Lowrey

Alex LowreyIts time to hear from someone who has been diagnosed with autism what life is like. Alex Lowery joins us to talk about growing up with autism – about the heightened sensations, the frustrations of not being understood and what has helped him get to where he is today. At 20, Alex gives talks about his life. This is a great place to increase your understanding of autism.
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DSM5: Get Up To Speed Quickly. A Curated List of the Best Resources

There’s lots of talk about the DSM5 – the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. I put together this list of what I consider to be the better resources. Includes links to articles both critiquing and supporting the changes. Also: a downloadable PDF and two videos.
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Ep 186: The Shootings at Newtown – Could We Have Prevented It?


sanctuary

“Hurt people, hurt people” – The Sanctuary Model

Everyone was horrified to hear that an adolescent, Adam Lanza, walked into an elementary school and killed 20 children and 6 adults as well as killing himself. Many people have offered their view as to what was wrong with Adam and about what we could have done and should do to prevent these incidents. In this episode I’ll share my concerns over what I think is going wrong with community mental health centers and why they probably would NOT have been able to help Adam, which is the extraordinary focus on productivity – the application of the factory model – to current mental health settings. I also introduce one approach that might help if more mental health centers adopted it, which is the “Sanctury Model”. [Read more...]

Borderline Personality: What is it? Could Your Cell Phone Help Deal With It?

Borderline Personality Disorder is a difficult disorder to understand and treat. Briefly, people who suffer from BPD tend to have a heightened sensitivity to rejection. When they feel that they are being rejected they can react with strong feelings of anger. Their emotions can be very intense and vary widely during the day. This can also make their relationships very unstable. They can also be very impulsive. However, a recent fascinating piece of research used a mobile device and what’s called an “experience sampling” technique to gain further insight into what it is like to have BPD. In this episode I discuss that research and then wonder what else we might be able to learn as our mobile devices become even more powerful.



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Episode 122: DSM-V and On Being Sane – Are Psychiatric Labels Really Harmful?

What does the movie Shrek have to do with labeling, the DSM-V and the self-fulfilling prophecy? In this episode I take a close look at the well-known Rosenhan study. This was the study in which "pseudopatients" pretend to hear voices and on the basis of this they get admitted to psychiatric centers. Then they were told to act "normally". It took an average of 19 days for these "pseudopatients" to be discharged from the hospital and even then they were diagnosed as "schizophrenia in remission".


Does this study show that psychiatric diagnoses are not only useless but also possibly harmful? Or do we find what we found back in episode 47 on Little Albert, and what we found in episode 36 on Kitty Genovese – what we thought we knew is largely wrong.

“[The Rosenhan study is]…a prime example of extremely compelling writing in conjunction with remarkably sloppy reasoning.” – Scott Lilienfeld


…a careful examination of this study’s methods, results, and conclusions leads me to a diagnosis of “logic, in remission.” – Robert Spitzer

Resources on the Rosenhan Study

Popular Press Articles on the Revision to the DSM

DSM-V Resources

  • DSM Revision Activities from the American Psychiatric Association