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Archive for the ‘Personality Disorders’ Category

HealthDay (1/23, Preidt http://tinyurl.com/frontal-confidence) reported people who have an unrealistically high opinion of themselves have less activity in the frontal lobes of their brain. “In healthy people, the more you activate a portion of your frontal lobes, the more accurate your view of yourself is.  And the more you view yourself as desirable or better than your peers, the less you use those lobes,” Jennifer Beer, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, said in a university news release.  The participants who had a very positive self-image had less activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, a region of the frontal lobe generally associated with reasoning, planning, decision-making and problem-solving.  Some of the volunteers with a realistic self-view had four times more frontal lobe activation than the participant with the highest self-regard.  The study is published in the February issue of the journal NeuroImage.

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Time (1/8, Cloud) reported that diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) “appears to be on the rise.” Last year, a “study of nearly 35,000 adults” published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that approximately 18 million Americans “had been given a BPD diagnosis. As recently as 2000, the American Psychiatric Association believed that only two percent had BPD.” Theories as to “why the number of borderline diagnoses may be rising” include the availability of “more healthcare resources…to identify difficult disorders like BPD,” and recent improvements in BPD treatment. Not long ago, “clinicians often avoided naming the illness, and instead told patients they had a less stigmatizing disorder,” but “therapeutic advances have changed the landscape” and some trials “have shown encouraging results.”

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The AP (12/2, Tanner) reports, “Almost one in five young American adults has a personality disorder that interferes with everyday life, and even more abuse alcohol or drugs,” according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H., of Columbia University, and colleagues, analyzed data from “interviews with 5,092 young adults [conducted] in 2001 and 2002.”
        Participants “were questioned about their behavior in the previous year, based on symptoms listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” Bloomberg News (12/2, Lopatto) adds. The researchers found that “almost half of [the] college-aged adults had a psychiatric disorder over a one-year span, based on research criteria that ranged from bipolar disease, to substance abuse, including smoking.” Notably, the investigators discovered that about 20 percent of the “students failed to fulfill an obligation, had a legal problem, did something dangerous, or caused social problems by using alcohol.” The study also showed that “the next most common psychiatric problems were so-called personality disorders, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, at 18 percent.”
        HealthDay (12/1, Preidt) pointed out that “college students were less likely to have drug-use disorders, nicotine dependence, or bipolar disorder, and were less likely to have used tobacco than young adults not in college.” Yet, “college students’ risk of alcohol-use disorders was much greater.” And, “college students were significantly less likely than young adults not in college to receive treatment for alcohol or drug-use disorders.”
        In the Los Angeles Times (12/1) Booster Shots blog, Shari Roan wrote that “the data were drawn from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, which focused on people ages 19 to 25 between 2001 and 2002, and included more than 2,100 people in college and 2,900 who were not attending college.” Overall, “45.8 percent of college students and 47.7 percent of young adults not in college met the criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder. The most common disorder in college students was alcohol abuse, which 20.7 percent were found to have, followed by personality disorders, at 17.7 percent.” Meanwhile, for “young adults not attending college, the most frequent disorder was personality disorders, 21.6 percent, and nicotine dependence, 20.7 percent.” The authors recommended “earlier treatment for young adults with psychiatric disorders in order to prevent the lifelong dysfunction or disability.”

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