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Concept: Abnormal psychology

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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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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

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A significant comorbidity between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and affective disorders has been consistently reported in adults. Less data regarding the role of personality traits and the influence of ADHD co-occurrence on clinical characteristics and outcome of mood disorders are currently available. One hundred and six remitted major depressed, 102 euthymic bipolar subjects, and 120 healthy controls, homogeneous with respect to demographic characteristics, were included in the study. ADHD diagnosis was based on DSM-IV-TR criteria. Childhood and adult ADHD features were measured with the Wender Utah Rating Scale, the Adult ADHD Self-rating Scale, and the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale. The Revised NEO Personality Inventory was also administered to the clinical groups, in order to investigate personality dimensions. The occurrence of adult ADHD in subjects with bipolar disorders (BD) or major depressive disorder (MDD) was 15.7 and 7.5 %, respectively, compared to 3.3 % in healthy controls (HC). Significant associations (p < .001) between personality traits (neuroticism, conscientiousness, and extraversion) and ADHD features were observed. Logistic regression analysis of all clinical subjects (n = 208) showed that those with lower levels of neuroticism (OR = 1.031; p = .025) had a lower frequency of ADHD comorbidity. The present study emphasizes the close relationship between affective disorders, especially BD, and ADHD in adults. Our findings support the need to assess subjects with mood disorders in the clinical setting for possible coexisting ADHD and to further investigate personality traits to better understand the etiology of affective disorders and ADHD co-occurrence.

Concepts: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Abnormal psychology, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Dysthymia, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Big Five personality traits

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OBJECTIVE: To review the DSM-5 proposed criteria for mixed depression in light of robust and consistent historical and scientific evidence. METHOD: An extensive historical search, a systematic review of the papers used by DSM-5 as reference papers, and a PubMed search were performed. RESULTS: As Hippocrates, depressive mixed states have been described as conditions of intense psychic suffering, consisting of depressed mood, inner tension, restlessness, and aimless psychomotor agitation. In DSM-5, new criteria are proposed for a mixed features specifier, as part of depression either in major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder. Those criteria require, as diagnostically specific, manic/hypomanic symptoms that are the least common kinds of symptoms that actually arise in depressive mixed states. The DSM-5 proposal is based, almost entirely, on a speculative wish to avoid ‘overlapping’ manic and depressive symptoms. Mixed states are, in fact, nothing but overlapping manic and depressive symptoms. CONCLUSION: In this article, we review the psychopathology and research on mixed depressive states, and try to demonstrate that the DSM-5 proposal has weak scientific basis and does not identify a large number of mixed depressive states. This may be harmful because of the different treatment required by these conditions.

Concepts: Abnormal psychology, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Depression, Suicide, Psychomotor agitation

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Several studies have highlighted the role of cognitive fusion on human suffering and a wide range of psychopathological conditions. Namely, this process has been regarded as a core aspect in eating disorders. Nevertheless, the study of cognitive fusion on eating psychopathology is scarce and a measure that specifically concerns body image was still to be created. The present study aimed therefore at developing and validating such measure, the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire - Body Image (CFQ-BI).

Concepts: Present, Psychology, Validation, Sociology, Abnormal psychology, Psychiatry, Suffering, Psychopathology

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Oxytocin appears to be centrally involved in socioemotional functioning, and is hypothesized to be relevant to the severe disruption in close relationships characteristic of borderline personality pathology. We examined whether a polymorphism of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR rs53576) interacts with quality of family functioning to predict borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptomatology in a sample of youth at age 20. A total of 385 youth from a longitudinal study of offspring of depressed or nondepressed mothers who were well characterized with respect to their family conditions and BPD symptomatology provided DNA for genotyping. Analyses revealed a significant moderation of the link between early family quality and later BPD symptoms by OXTR rs53576, and the pattern was consistent with differential susceptibility (plasticity). Whereas A-allele carriers had high levels of BPD symptoms under negative family conditions and low levels under positive conditions, GG homozygotes had average levels of BPD symptoms regardless of their family quality.

Concepts: Abnormal psychology, Borderline personality disorder, Personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder