The APA annual meeting: a photo essay

As posted previously, last month I attended the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA’s) annual conference. Straying from my usual format, I thought I’d post pictures from the meeting and, of course, offer comments. The meeting took place in Moscone Center, a conference center complex located just south of Market Street in downtown San Francisco. Depicted here […]

Polypharmacy — Sloppy thinking in psychiatry 2

My second post in this series on sloppy thinking in psychiatry is devoted to polypharmacy, the medical term for prescribing multiple medications at once, especially for the same problem. Polypharmacy is at best a risk thoughtfully taken because nothing simpler and safer will do. At worst it’s a dangerous error, exposing patients to unnecessary hazards […]

Chemical imbalance — Sloppy thinking in psychiatry 1

There’s a lot of sloppy thinking in my field. This troubles me. While psychiatry inevitably deals with the speculative and poorly understood, this surely cannot excuse faulty logic and intellectual laziness. Worse yet, this laxity of thought extends across the field, from biological psychiatry to psychotherapy, and from the general to the specific. My next […]

Psychiatric anosognosia

This post was inspired by an article in the May 30th issue of The New Yorker, “God Knows Where I Am” by Rachel Aviv. Full-text online is only available by subscription, but a free abstract is available here. In the process of telling a riveting and ultimately very sad story, the author discusses psychiatric insight.


Embracing psychiatric uncertainty

I always get troubled looks from psychiatry residents when I point out that our field is the domain of the uncertain and the not-well-understood — and that it will always remain so. As soon as the cause of a disease is known, it automatically leaves psychiatry for another specialty. General paresis (advanced syphilis), once identified […]