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October 2014
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Psychiatric Services

A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association Editor: Howard H. Goldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Articles  |  October 1, 2014
Phone Calls Help Veterans Explore Treatment Avoidance

Worried about their reputation and career prospects, returning service members with PTSD may avoid seeking treatment. In a randomized controlled trial, the authors examined engagement in treatment and symptoms among veterans with PTSD who received a brief phone-based intervention to discuss why they had avoided treatment. Veterans who received a call entered treatment sooner and experienced more immediate reductions in PTSD symptoms than veterans who received usual care. By six months, differences between the two groups had faded, suggesting that adding a second phone call might be warranted.

Articles  |  October 1, 2014
Italy’s Spiking Antidepressant Use: A Matter of Public Health?

Like the rest of the world, Italy has experienced a surge in use of antidepressants. As this study documents, use of antidepressants in Italy increased fourfold between 2001 and 2011, a period that saw the introduction of SSRIs, the arrival of several new classes of antidepressants, and the marketing of many antidepressants for anxiety disorders. Despite some positive aspects of this trend, the authors note, public health authorities should examine whether they are doing all they can to reduce depression, especially during a period of economic upheaval.

Columns  |  October 1, 2014
In a Shift, Supreme Court Defers to Mental Health Expertise

The Supreme Court decision in Hall v. Florida may be a sign of a new, more positive attitude by the court toward mental health expertise, according to the Law & Psychiatry column. In siding with the APA and other professional groups, the court ruled that states must avoid setting a hard cutoff for IQ score when determining whether a defendant is eligible for the death penalty. Defendants must be able to present additional evidence of intellectual disability, including the testimony of medical experts, the court said.

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