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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.

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.

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