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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.
Open Forum  |  October 1, 2014
“Diagnostic Relabeling” and the Effort to Erase Stigma

Some have argued that giving schizophrenia another name—“dopamine dysregulation disorder” or “youth onset conative, cognitive and reality distortion”—will erase stigma. “I admire the spirit of these efforts,” writes the author of this month’s Open Forum, “but their focus may be problematic.” In fact, he argues, diagnostic relabeling places the responsibility for stigma change with mental health professionals rather than where it belongs, squarely in the control of people with lived experience. After all, he said, it was people of color—not well-intentioned outside groups—who tore down racism.

Articles  |  October 1, 2014
Employment and Mental Illness: A Postrecession Analysis

As sheltered work for persons with mental illness is defunded, persons with mental illness are increasingly affected by the same forces that shape the broader economy. This study examined employment survey data from 2009 and 2010, a period of slow recovery from a devastating recession. The results depict a mixed jobs picture for persons with mental illness, with employment rates varying widely by severity of mental illness. College graduates with serious mental illness had relatively strong employment outcomes, but unemployment spiked among people with serious mental illness over age 50.

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.

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