11 July 2011

mental health mondays :: quiz answers

as promised, here are the answers [for those of you who didn't google] to last week's "pop quiz". how many did you get right?

1. the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders [dsm] is the american psychiatric association's bible when it comes to defining the particularities of abnormal psychology. the manual divides conditions into categories called axes, with axis i being the most serious- conditions requiring clinical attention. which of the following is not an axis i mental disorder:

- anorexia nervosa
- bipolar ii disorder
- primary insomnia
- schizoid personality disorder

answer :: schizoid personality disorder. personality disorders are grouped under axis ii, because, collectively, they are managed through outpatient therapy. it's worth noting, however, that a lot of people who have personality disorders also have axis i mental disorders. it's called comorbidity and it's as happy as it sounds.

ALL THE REST OF THE ANSWERS, RIGHT AFTER THE BREAK...


2. related to the dsm again, it is currently on a text revision of its fourth edition [given the snappy abbreviation dsm-iv-tr]. the new & improved dsm-5 [they're ditching the roman numeral] is due out in may 2013. the first "draft" of dsm-5 recommended the creation of a new category of disorder called "behavioural addictions", with gambling as the sole category member. what other addiction was considered for inclusion, but ultimately ended up being relegated to an appendix due to a lack of data?

answer :: internet addiction. i know that there are a lot of us who are happy that that didn't make it in, because then we'd all be officially crazy. it's kind of interesting, though, that a condition that would have been unknown if not impossible when the last dsm was published [1994] was just barely excluded. i'll bet you thought we were talking about sex, though, didn't you?

3. this condition lost its status as a mental disorder in 1973.

answer :: homosexuality. keep that in mind when you hear discussions about different disorders.

4. estimated to be the most common of the personality disorders, this controversial condition is diagnosed three times as often in women as in men.

answer :: borderline personality disorder. although it's not named, it's the disorder that gives the leading lady in "fatal attraction" her charm. it has been criticised by some feminists because it's often linked to trauma, which technically would make it the same as the much more serious-sounding "post-traumatic stress disorder", making borderline [so named because it's thought to exist at a point between neurosis and psychosis] essentially "ptsd for girls". it's also been criticised for using generalisations about women as symptoms of the disorder.  

5. it is estimated that schizophrenia affects 0.4% of the world's population. what percentage is estimated to have antisocial personality disorder [formerly known as psychopathy]?

answer :: 1%. that sounds small until you look at the number of friends you have on facebook and do the math. and it's still twice as many psychopaths as schizophrenics.

6. only one medication used in the treatment of mental disorders made it onto the 2010 forbes listing of the top 15 most prescribed drugs in america. coming in at #12, it's the generic version of this benzodiazepine.

answer :: xanax. one of the most powerful of the benzos, it overtook the "mother's little helper" valium in sales in the 1980s [apparently mother needed a little more help] and hasn't looked back. aside from it's purported powers to calm, soothe and knock the hell out, it's also known for being pretty fiercely addictive. you'd think that sort of thing would keep it from being on a list of most prescribed medicines, but on the other hand, the extremely addictive painkiller vicodin was #1...

7. the most commonly used medications in the treatment of bipolar disorder are mood stabilisers. however, almost all the drugs used as mood stabilisers actually fall under another classification and were developed for the treatment of a different condition. what condition is it?

answer :: epilepsy. it turns out that drugs that can stabilise movement can also stabilise other things, like your brain. in fact, lithium is apparently a "true" mood stabiliser, in that it doesn't do anything else, isn't generally prescribed for anything else and wasn't developed for anything else. other mood stabilisers are actually anti-convulsants. for some reason, the idea of using second hand meds fills me with the same trepidation as buying recycled toilet paper, with about the same level of logic at work.

8. in the tradition of finding new uses for existing drugs, this synthetic steroid developed in the 1980s by the roussel uclaf pharmaceutical company has performed surprisingly well in small-scale, early phase testing for treating psychotic depression and bipolar disorder.

answer :: this one was tricky, but i at least tried to give a hint in the question itself [although it's a pretty oblique hint]. it's ru-486 ["ru" as in "roussel uclaf"], the infamous "morning after pill". testing is still in its early stages, but early studies have shown enough promise that there is some continuing research. [there are a whole lot of really off-colour jokes i could make here, but i'm going to move on and just say that, if your psych doctor asks you if you're planning on becoming pregnant before giving you a prescription answer honestly. in fact, pretty much all mental health meds are a bad idea if you're pregnant.]

interesting story: this drug almost never became available for anything, ever. the manufacturer originally decided not to market it [seems that the ceo of roussel-uclaf's parent company had a wee problem with the drug, being a devout roman catholic]. the french government actually forced them to make the drug available to the public. they even transferred all medical rights for the drug to a non-profit organisation in the united states. wonder how they're going to feel about that if it turns out to be the new psychiatric wonder-drug.

thanks for reading. feel free to regale me with any strange and interesting facts from the world of mental health. i'm horribly lazy, so i haven't provided links, but if you're curious as to the sources i used to come up with this quiz, feel free to message me.

3 comments:

Josée said...

Interesting!! To be honest, I didn't make any attempt to find the answers to your quiz...I was waiting for the results! I do take anti-convulsant medicine for my bipolar II disorder; it didn't make any difference that I can notice on that level but helped a lot with he panic though....so who cares! Less panic for me makes a whole difference in my life.

Biba said...

I love reading things like these! The most interesting class I have attendet during my college was Forensic Psychology.

magus sana said...

I was a foster parent to a teen who had an extremely low self-image, wouldn't eat or eat and throw up. When she got upset she would start cutting herself with razors. Her parents didn't notice when she dropped to 96 pounds the previous summer.

Thankfully, both parents relinquished rights and she's in therapy. But what is it that makes young girls hate themselves so much? What broke it for us was when she went into the basement with a butcher knife after we told her she couldn't dress like a whore for halloween.

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