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Concept: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders


Questions over the clinical significance of cannabis withdrawal have hindered its inclusion as a discrete cannabis induced psychiatric condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV). This study aims to quantify functional impairment to normal daily activities from cannabis withdrawal, and looks at the factors predicting functional impairment. In addition the study tests the influence of functional impairment from cannabis withdrawal on cannabis use during and after an abstinence attempt.

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Ronald Fisher, Mental disorder, Clinical psychology, Psychiatry, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Cross-cultural psychiatry


BACKGROUND: This study examined predictors of parenting self-efficacy (PSE) in a sample of first-time mothers during the first year after childbirth and evaluated the effect of a brief, intensive, mother-infant residential intervention on PSE and infant behaviour. METHODS: 83 primiparous women with infants aged 0-12months admitted to a residential parent-infant program participated in a structured clinical interview for DSM-IV diagnosis of depressive and anxiety disorders and completed questionnaires assessing psychological distress, adult attachment and childhood parenting experiences. During their residential stay, nurses recorded infant behaviour using 24-hour charts. RESULTS: Results showed PSE to be inversely correlated with maternal depression, maternal anxiety and attachment insecurity. Low levels of parental abuse during childhood, avoidant attachment, male infant gender and depressive symptom severity were found to predict low PSE. Major depression mediated the relation between attachment insecurity and PSE, but there were no links between PSE and infant behaviour. After the intervention, there was a significant improvement in PSE, with abusive parenting during childhood and depressive symptom severity being predictive of change. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the links between maternal psychopathology and maternal background factors such as childhood parenting experiences and attachment style in the development of postnatal PSE. Directions for future research are discussed.

Concepts: Psychology, Infant, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Abnormal psychology, Child abuse, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Attachment in adults, John Bowlby


Diagnosis of ‘specific’ language impairment traditionally required nonverbal IQ to be within normal limits, often resulting in restricted access to clinical services for children with lower NVIQ. Changes to DSM-5 criteria for language disorder removed this NVIQ requirement. This study sought to delineate the impact of varying NVIQ criteria on prevalence, clinical presentation and functional impact of language disorder in the first UK population study of language impairment at school entry.

Concepts: Medical diagnosis, Linguistics, Language, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Sign language, Requirement, Requirements analysis


Although cannabis use is common in bipolar disorder and may contribute to worse clinical outcomes, little is understood about the relationship between this drug and bipolar disorder over the course of daily life. The aim of study was to examine the effect of cannabis on affect and bipolar symptoms in a group of individuals with bipolar disorder.

Concepts: Psychology, Affect, Caffeine, Bipolar disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Personal life


The development of the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-the DSM-5-has reenergised and driven further forward critical discourse about the place and role of diagnosis in mental health. The DSM-5 has attracted considerable criticism, not least about its role in processes of medicalisation. This paper suggests the need for a sociology of psychiatric critique. Sociological analysis can help map fields of contention, and cast fresh light on the assumptions and nuances of debate around the DSM-5; it underscores the importance of diagnosis to the governance of social and clinical life, as well as the wider discourses critical commentaries connect with and are activated by. More normatively, a sociology of critique can indicate which interests and values are structuring the dialogues being articulated, and just how diverse clinical opinion regarding the DSM can actually be. This has implications for the considerations of health services and policy decision-makers who might look to such debates for guidance.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Sociology, Psychiatry, Social sciences, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Critical theory, American Psychiatric Association


CONTEXT Evidence for symptomatic convergence of schizophrenia and N -methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDA-R) encephalitis highlights the need for an assessment of antibody prevalence and specificity for distinct disease mechanisms in patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia among glutamatergic pathophysiologic abnormalities in psychiatric disorders. OBJECTIVES To compare the specificity and prevalence of NMDA-R antibodies in schizophrenia (DSM-IV criteria) with those of other psychiatric diagnoses and to determine whether antibody subtypes characterize overlap with and distinction from those in NMDA-R encephalitis. DESIGN Serum from 459 patients admitted with acute schizophrenia, major depression (MD), and borderline personality disorder (BLPD) or individuals serving as matched controls was obtained from our scientific blood bank. To explore epitope specificity and antibody subtype, IgA/IgG/IgM NMDA-R (NR1a or NR1a/NR2b) and α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate receptors (AMPA-R) (GluR1/GluR2) serum antibodies were determined. PARTICIPANTS Two hundred thirty matched healthy controls were compared with patients (unmedicated for at least 6 weeks) with schizophrenia (n = 121), MD (n = 70), or BLPD (n = 38). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The primary outcome was the overall number of seropositive cases for NMDA-R and AMPA-R antibodies; the secondary outcome was disease specificity of IgA/IgG/IgM antibodies and epitope specificity for clinical subgroups. RESULTS Diverse NMDA-R antibodies were identified in 15 subjects, primarily those with an initial schizophrenia diagnosis (9.9%), opposed to MD (2.8%), BLPD (0), and controls (0.4%). Retrospectively, 2 patients initially classified as having catatonic or disorganized schizophrenia were reclassified as having misdiagnosed NMDA-R encephalitis (presence of specific serum and cerebrospinal fluid IgG NR1a antibodies). In all other seropositive cases, the antibodies consisted of classes IgA and/or IgM or were directed against NR1a/NR2b (not against NR1a alone). None of the patients or controls had antibodies against AMPA-R. CONCLUSIONS Acutely ill patients with an initial schizophrenia diagnosis show an increased prevalence of NMDA-R antibodies. The repertoire of antibody subtypes in schizophrenia and MD is different from that with NMDA-R encephalitis. The latter disorder should be considered as a differential diagnosis, particularly in young females with acute disorganized behavior or catatonia.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Borderline personality disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Schizotypal personality disorder, Disorganized schizophrenia


Background: The revision process for and recent publication of the DSM-5 initiated debates about the widening of diagnostic boundaries. The pharmaceutical industry had a major financial stake in the outcome of these debates. This study examines the three-part relationship among DSM panel members, principal investigators (PIs) of clinical trials for new DSM-5 diagnoses, and drug companies. Methods: Financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) of DSM panel members responsible for some new diagnoses in the DSM-5 and PIs of clinical trials for related drug treatments were identified. Trials were found by searching Patent and revenue information about these drugs was found using the US Food and Drug Administration’s Orange Book and manufacturer Annual Reports. Results: Thirteen trials met inclusion criteria (testing drugs for some new DSM disorders). Sixty-one percent of the DSM Task Force members and 27% of Work Group members reported FCOI to the trial drug manufacturers. In 5 of the 13 trials (38%), PIs reported ties other than research funding to the drug manufacturer. In 3 of the trials (23%), a PI had financial ties to the drug manufacturer and was also a DSM panel member who had decision-making authority over the revision process. Conclusions: These findings suggest that increased transparency (e.g., registration on and mandatory disclosure policies (e.g., the American Psychiatric Association’s disclosure policy for DSM-5 panel members) alone may not be robust enough strategies to prevent the appearance of bias in both the DSM revision process as well as clinical decisions about appropriate interventions for DSM disorders. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial,, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American Psychiatric Association


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


Reactive aggression (RA) refers to angry responses to provocation or frustration, while proactive aggression (PA) denotes nonemotional, instrumental, and unprovoked aggression. The current study examined personality-related and cognitive correlates of both aggressive types. Respectively, the predictive values of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), and of hostile interpretation bias, which is the tendency to interpret ambiguous stimuli in a hostile manner, were studied. The sample consisted of n = 37 male adult patients with mixed diagnoses and n = 29 male nonpatients that responded to vignettes and pictures of ambiguous situations, using both open and closed answer formats. ASPD was assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II disorders (SCID-II), and the Reactive Proactive Questionnaire (RPQ) measured RA and PA. Results showed that although both RA and PA types were predicted by ASPD traits, RA was additionally predicted by a hostile interpretation bias. These findings suggest that reducing hostile bias is a promising avenue for clinical treatment of ASPD-patients high in RA.

Concepts: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Antisocial personality disorder


OBJECTIVE The authors assessed the defensive functioning of 290 patients with borderline personality disorder and compared it with that of 72 patients with other forms of axis II psychopathology over 16 years of prospective follow-up. They also assessed the relationship between time-varying defenses and recovery from borderline personality disorder. METHOD The Defense Style Questionnaire, a self-report measure with demonstrated criterion validity and internal consistency, was initially administered at study entry. It was readministered at eight contiguous 2-year follow-up periods. RESULTS Borderline patients had significantly lower scores than axis II comparison subjects on one mature defense mechanism (suppression) and significantly higher scores on seven of the other 18 defenses studied: one neurotic-level defense (undoing), four immature defenses (acting out, emotional hypochondriasis, passive aggression, and projection), and two image-distorting/borderline defenses (projective identification and splitting). Over the follow-up period, borderline patients showed significant improvement on 13 of the 19 defenses studied, with significantly higher scores over time on one mature defense (anticipation) and significantly lower scores on two neurotic defenses (isolation and undoing), all immature defenses, and all image-distorting/borderline defenses except primitive idealization. In addition, four time-varying defense mechanisms were found to predict time to recovery: humor, acting out, emotional hypochondriasis, and projection. CONCLUSIONS Taken together, these results suggest that the longitudinal defensive functioning of borderline patients is distinct and improves substantially over time. They also suggest that immature defenses are the best predictor of time to recovery.

Concepts: Borderline personality disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder, Personality disorders, Psychological projection, Defence mechanism, Splitting