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Concept: Abnormal psychology

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Psychiatric disorders in general, and major depression and anxiety disorders in particular, account for a large burden of disability, morbidity and premature mortality worldwide. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have a range of neurobiological activities in modulation of neurotransmitters, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation and neuroplasticity, which could contribute to psychotropic effects. Here we reviewed recent research on the benefits of omega-3 PUFA supplements in prevention against major depression, bipolar disorders, interferon-α-induced depression patients with chronic hepatitis C viral infection, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The biological mechanisms underlying omega-3 PUFAs'psychotropic effects are proposed and reviewed. Nutrition is a modifiable environmental factor that might be important in prevention medicine, which have been applied for many years in the secondary prevention of heart disease with omega-3 PUFAs. This review extends the notion that nutrition in psychiatry is a modifiable environmental factor and calls for more researches on prospective clinical studies to justify the preventive application of omega-3 PUFAs in daily practice.

Concepts: Nutrition, Essential fatty acid, Mental disorder, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Abnormal psychology, Bipolar disorder, Psychiatry, Unsaturated fat

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Although an influence of adult neurogenesis in mediating some of the effects of antidepressants has received considerable attention in recent years, much less is known about how alterations in this form of plasticity may contribute to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. One way to begin to address this question is to link the functions of adult-born hippocampal neurons with specific endophenotypes of these disorders. Recent studies have implicated adult-born hippocampal neurons in pattern separation, a process by which similar experiences or events are transformed into discrete, non-overlapping representations. Here we propose that impaired pattern separation underlies the overgeneralization often seen in anxiety disorders, specifically post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder, and therefore represents an endophenotype for these disorders. The development of new, pro-neurogenic compounds may therefore have therapeutic potential for patients who display pattern separation deficits.

Concepts: Hippocampus, Neurogenesis, Mental disorder, Antidepressant, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Abnormal psychology, Anxiety disorder, Anxiety disorders

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This study aimed to explore experiences of men currently using eating disorder services. Eight men from two eating disorder services were interviewed about their experiences of seeking and receiving treatment. Two superordinate themes emerged from Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: (1) difficulty seeing self as having an eating disorder; and (2) experiences of treatment: how important is gender? The underlying themes varied in their specificity to men, with some echoing findings from the female eating disorder literature. Difficulty admitting the eating disorder may link with eating disorder psychopathology as well as gender-specific issues. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.

Concepts: Male, Nutrition, Female, Gender, Sex, Interpretative phenomenological analysis, Abnormal psychology, Psychiatry

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Experiential avoidance (EA) is an important factor in maintaining different forms of psychopathology including borderline personality pathology (BPD). So far little is known about the functions of EA, BPD features and general psychopathology for positive emotions. In this study we investigated three different anticipated pathways of their influence on positive emotions.

Concepts: Psychology, Abnormal psychology, Borderline personality disorder, Psychiatry, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Avoidant personality disorder, Personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder

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Objectives: There are ongoing uncertainties in the relationship between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). This study aimed to test the proposition that OCPD may be a marker of severity of OCD by comparing groups of OCD individuals with and without OCPD on a number of variables. Method: A total of 148 adults with a principal diagnosis of OCD were administered the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, Sheehan Disability Scale, Vancouver Obsessional Compulsive Inventory and Symptom Checklist 90-Revised. Participants with a DSM-IV diagnosis of OCPD were compared with those without OCPD. Results: Some 70 (47.3%) participants were diagnosed with OCPD. The groups of participants with and without OCPD did not differ significantly with respect to any of the demographic variables, clinician-rated severity of OCD, levels of disability and mean age of onset of OCD. All self-rated OCD symptom dimensions except for contamination and checking were significantly more prominent in participants with OCPD, as were all self-rated dimensions of psychopathology. Participants with OCPD had significantly more frequent hoarding compulsions and obsessions involving a need to collect and keep objects. Of Axis I disorders, only panic disorder was significantly more frequent in participants with OCPD than in those without OCPD. Conclusions: A high frequency of OCPD among individuals with OCD suggests a strong, although not necessarily a unique, relationship between the two conditions. This finding may also be a consequence of the blurring of the boundary between OCD and OCPD by postulating that hoarding and hoarding-like behaviours characterise both disorders. Results of this study do not support the notion that OCD with OCPD is a marker of clinician-rated severity of OCD. However, individuals with OCPD had more prominent OCD symptoms, they were more distressed and exhibited various other psychopathological phenomena more intensely, which is likely to complicate their treatment.

Concepts: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Abnormal psychology, Psychiatry, Personality disorders, Obsessive–compulsive disorder, Compulsive hoarding, Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder, Scrupulosity

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Background: Turkey is both a source and target for asylum seekers seeking refugee status in countries of European Union. There is a scarcity of research on the mental health issues of asylum seekers and refugees residing in Turkey. Aims: This study aimed: 1) to provide clinical and demographic information on asylum seekers and refugees receiving mental health services from a non-governmental refugee support program in Istanbul between 2005 and 2007, and 2) to evaluate the differences between patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with those who did not meet criteria. Methods: The study was conducted at the Mental Health Division of the Refugee Advocacy Support Group. Between July 2005 and February 2007, 1209 asylum seekers applied to the support group; 75 of these individuals (6.2%) were referred for psychiatric evaluation while 57 were diagnosed as having a psychopathology. The number of analyzed subjects was 57. Results: PTSD and major depressive disorder were the most common diagnoses (55.2% for both). The most common criteria of PTSD reported were problems in concentration and social isolation (97.3% for both). Suffering torture and losing a significant other due to violence were found to be associated with a diagnosis of PTSD. Conclusions: This study is the first of its kind to be conducted on a mixed refugee population residing in Turkey and focusing on their mental health problems. Our results should be tested within larger samples of refugees residing in different cities of Turkey.

Concepts: Demography, Europe, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Abnormal psychology, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Sertraline, Vietnam War, Right of asylum

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The stress generation hypothesis posits that individuals actively contribute to stress in their lives. Although stress generation has been studied frequently in the context of depression, few studies have examined whether this stress generation process is unique to depression or whether it occurs in other disorders. Although evidence suggests that stress contributes to the development of eating disorders, it is unclear whether eating disorders contribute to subsequent stress.

Concepts: Symptoms, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Abnormal psychology, Cultural studies, Primary care, Process, Great Depression, Context switch

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Finklestein, M., Laufer, A. & Solomon, Z. (2012). Coping strategies of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel: Association with PTSD and dissociation. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 53, 490-498. The aim of this study was to examine the relations between coping strategies, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and dissociation among Jewish Ethiopian refugees in Israel (following exposure to pre-, peri- and post-migration stressful events). Method: A random sample (N = 478) of three waves of refugees took part in the research (N = 165; N = 169; N = 144). Religiosity, coping strategies, stressful and traumatic events, pre- and peri- migration, post-migration difficulties, posttraumatic symptoms, and dissociation were assessed. Results: A significant relationship was found between PTSD symptoms and avoidance coping over and above immigration wave and traumatic events. Dissociation was positively associated with passivity and antisocial coping and negatively associated with social joining and level of religiosity, over and above immigration wave and traumatic events. The findings are discussed in the light of the coping strategies employed by Ethiopian refugees.

Concepts: Psychological trauma, Immigration, Abnormal psychology, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Prolonged exposure therapy, Refugee, PTSD, Vietnam War

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We describe a case of shibari, a double hanging sexual asphyxia practice, which ended fatally for one of the two women involved. We present the autopsy findings and a psychiatric and psychometric evaluation of the surviving participant. The survivor had a borderline personality disorder, had suffered sexual abuse as a child, and had a history of illicit substance consumption, self-harm behavior, and sexual dysregulation. This case study raises doubts regarding the safety measures adopted by participants in masochistic practices and the engagement of people with psychiatric disorders in these extremely dangerous games. Further case studies of living participants in such games are likely to shed light on this practice and facilitate treatment.

Concepts: Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Child abuse, Borderline personality disorder, Schizotypal personality disorder, Self-harm, Personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder

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Abstract There is evidence that neuropathic pain component in low back pain (LBP) patients is associated with higher ratings of co-morbidities such as depression and anxiety disorders. In line with current findings the purpose of this clinical study is to examine a hypothesis regarding a relationship of neuropathic pain component, depression and other psychopathological symptoms in a specific group of LBP patients with sciatica pain. With respect to findings that depression is related to inflammatory changes and inflammatory mediators may play a role in neuropathic pain generation we have assessed also serum C-reactive protein (CRP). Results of the present study show that increased neuropathic pain component in sciatica patients is associated with elevated levels of depression, anxiety, alexithymia and serum CRP levels. In conclusion results of this study indicate that CRP levels in sciatica patients are closely associated with neuropathic pain.

Concepts: Inflammation, Spinal disc herniation, Back pain, Symptoms, Sciatica, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Abnormal psychology, C-reactive protein