It’s once again time to discuss some brand new psychiatric studies that would be just perfect for my two favorite journals, “Duh!” and “No Sh*t, Sherlock.”
As we all know, our collective experiences are nothing more than anecdotal evidence for anything, and what appears obvious to almost everyone cannot be considered true unless subjected to a randomized controlled or epidemiological study.
Research dollars are very limited and therefore precious. Why waste good money trying to study new, cutting edge or controversial ideas that might turn out to be wrong, when we can study things that that are already thought to be true but have yet to be "proven"? Such an approach increases the success rate of studies almost astronomically.
And studies with positive results are always far more likely to get published than negative ones, so why should an academic take that risk?
Here are some of my favorite recent headlines reported by psychiatric news gathering organizations:
“Body dissatisfaction appears to be the major factor propelling young people on the road to eating disorders.” Really? I though most people do not complain about being too fat or too thin. I mean, especially women.
“Sleep disorders are prevalent with mental illnesses.” And here I was under the impression that depressed, anxious, and paranoid patients slept more soundly than anyone.
“Youngsters with depressed fathers are more likely than other kids to have emotional and behavioral problems, according to a new study of more than 20,000 U.S. families.” This is so good to know. I had no idea that having unhappy, miserable adult family members might affect a child’s mood.
"A new analysis released by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that tough economic times have led to a downturn in doctor visits." That can’t be true in the United States, where as we all know, everyone gets free healthcare.
"Receiving a diagnosis of dementia increases a person's risk for suicide, particularly if symptoms of depression and anxiety are present," according to research published in the November issue of the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia.” Now come on! The prospect of becoming senile and a financial and emotional burden on one’s family might cause an already depressed or anxious person to despair? No way!
“Long-Term US Unemployment Taking Psychological Toll." Now this is really surprising, since we all know money cannot buy happiness. I was just positive that not having enough food to eat and a roof over your head would hardly matter.
“A history of maltreatment during childhood increases the risk for depression in adulthood and poor treatment outcomes, new research suggests.” Another amazing discovery. This had never been noticed by either psychiatrists or psychotherapists before now.
And finally, "Violence against women is significantly associated with mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders throughout the victim's lifetime." Since we already know these psychiatric disorders all have purely genetic causes, we now know that these very same genes also cause women to get beaten up.