South African Journal of Psychiatry - Volume 13, Issue 3, 2007
Volume 13, Issue 3, 2007
Hypotheses, neuroscience and real persons : the theme of the 10th International Conference on Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology : editorialSource: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 68 –71 (2007)More Less
Psychiatry faces three exciting developments as we enter the 21st century. First, and best recognised, are the dramatic advances in the neurosciences, notably in functional brain imaging and behavioural genetics, and the unique new insights that these are giving us into the causes of mental disorder.
Source: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 71 –73 (2007)More Less
Every medical (and psychiatric) act is or should be an ethical act. This is consistent with the fundamental aspirations of the medical and health field, from Hippocratic and similar ancient philosophical perspectives to recent developments in public and clinical policies. Ethical concerns have been priority institutional commitments since the beginnings of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA). In line with the above, the WPA established in 2005 an Institutional Program on Psychiatry for the Person. This editorial summarises the precedents, goals, structure and activities of this WPA initiative and outlines some of its ethical perspectives.
Author Tim ThorntonSource: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 73 –75 (2007)More Less
One of the motivations for the new philosophy of psychiatry is the need to understand changing ideas in mental health care. In the last century, changes in both physical and biological theory prompted work in philosophy of physics and philosophy of biology to understand those fields better, attempts which were continuous with empirical work.
Race equality, human rights and mental health legislation : recent developments in England and Wales : editorialAuthor Chris HeginbothamSource: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 76 –78 (2007)More Less
England now has revised mental health legislation following the passage of a mental health Bill through both Houses of Parliament following protracted discussions over seven years. The Mental Health Bill 2006, amending the Mental Health Act 1983, eventually received Royal Assent on 19 July 2007. There is much that could be said about the new Act, which makes a number of important changes to the present legislation. These changes include a new single definition of mental disorder; the abolition of the so-called 'treatability test'; and the extension of compulsion into the community through a supervised community treatment order.
Real persons' experience of contamination obsessions : hypotheses from a Strausian analysis : editorialSource: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 79 –82 (2007)More Less
Momentum from real persons, real psychiatrists, and real philosophers : contributions from North America : editorialAuthor Nancy Nyquist PotterSource: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 83 –85 (2007)More Less
I am delighted to write this article, as it so well matches my shared enthusiasm for the burgeoning field of philosophy and psychiatry / psychology. In North America this cross-disciplinary field is led by the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP). What began almost 20 years ago as an organisation committed to philosophical inquiry into psychiatric issues - such as philosophical analyses of psychiatric concepts and categories - has developed into a body of scholars and clinicians who also bring psychiatry to bear on questions about canonical ideas in Western philosophy.
Source: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 86 –88 (2007)More Less
The prevalence of HIV / AIDS has reached alarming proportions in South Africa. Although it is strongly associated with depressive moods, there are very few published studies on its treatment in patients with HIV / AIDS. This article reviews the prevalence, treatment and potential effects of depressive disorders on immunity and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART).
The studied prevalence of depressive disorders in HIV-positive patients varies widely, ranging from 0% to 47.8%. However, these patients have nearly twice the likelihood of having had a recent episode of major depressive disorder compared with HIV-negative individuals.
Currently available antidepressant medications are equally effective in treating HIV / AIDS patients and the general population. Furthermore, intervention studies have shown that psychotherapy reduces depressive symptoms and is well tolerated. Interpersonal psychotherapy is more successful than supportive psychotherapy in lessening depression, and patients experience improved functioning physically and emotionally.
Untreated depression may be associated with reduced adherence to ART, immunosuppression, and more rapid HIV illness progression. In South Africa, HIV / AIDS patients may be at greater risk for psychiatric disorder given the potentially stressful living conditions including high rates of unemployment and poverty, poor and unstable housing, inadequate social services, and high rates of crime and domestic violence. A lack of data on depression in South Africa underscores the need for further research.
Source: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 90 –94 (2007)More Less
Background. In order to gauge the impact of the HIV epidemic on psychotic disorders, the magnitude and causal direction of the association between HIV infection and psychosis need to be examined closely.
Objective. To determine the HIV seropositivity rate among adult patients presenting with first-episode psychosis (FEP) to Town Hill Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
Design. A cross-sectional, point-prevalence study was done over a 6-month period.
Results. Of the 63 FEP patients in the study, 48 tested HIV-negative and 15 tested positive, giving a seroprevalence rate of 23.8%.
Conclusion. The prevalence of HIV seropositivity is high among patients with FEP.
Deficient testosterone levels in men above 45 years with major depressive disorder - an age-matched case control study : articleSource: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 96 –100 (2007)More Less
Background. Symptoms of partial androgen deficiency in ageing men (PADAM) overlap considerably with those of major depressive disorder. The relationship between these conditions is complicated by the usual age-related decline in serum testosterone concentrations.
Objectives. To test the hypothesis that depressed men above 45 years of age have lower serum testosterone concentrations than age-matched controls.
Method. Serum testosterone fractions of 20 men above the age of 45 years suffering from a major depressive disorder were compared with those of 20 healthy men. An age-matched controlled design was used to account for the usual age-related decline in serum testosterone concentrations.
Results. Testosterone concentrations of men suffering from a major depressive disorder were statistically significantly lower than those of an age-matched control group without depression.
Conclusion. The role of testosterone deficiency in depressed men needs to be examined further in order for appropriate treatment options to be developed.
10th International Conference on Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, 26 - 30 August 2007, Sun City : abstractsSource: South African Journal of Psychiatry 13, pp 101 –120 (2007)More Less