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Pedophilia, the sexual attraction to children who have not yet
reached puberty, remains a vexing challenge for clinicians and
public officials. Classified as a paraphilia, an abnormal sexual
behavior, researchers have found no effective treatment. Like other
sexual orientations, pedophilia is unlikely to change. The goal of
treatment, therefore, is to prevent someone from acting on
pedophile urges — either by decreasing sexual arousal around
children or increasing the ability to manage that arousal. But
neither is as effective for reducing harm as preventing access to
children, or providing close supervision.
Dementia is defined as a brain disorder that includes memory
loss, deficits in cognition (thinking, planning, and organizing
abilities), a decline in emotional control or motivation, and
changes in social behavior (such as increased irritability,
apathy, or problems interacting with other people).
Alzheimer's disease (also referred to as dementia of the
Alzheimer's type), which affects roughly five million Americans
and more than 35 million people around the world, is by far the
most common dementia. About 50% to 56% of people with dementia
are diagnosed with Alzheimer's, while another 13% to 17% carry
that diagnosis plus a related disorder, vascular dementia. Here
is a brief review of the most common dementia syndromes in the
It is difficult to get through a week (and sometimes a day) without
hearing some disparaging remark or dismissive joke made about
mental illness or the clinicians who treat psychiatric disorders.
Stigmatizing views permeate popular culture.
Every October, for example, the National Alliance on Mental Illness
identifies the latest "Halloween horrors" sold commercially, which
have included costumes that look like straitjackets or enable
people to dress up as "Dr. Malice" or "Cell Block Psycho." Aside
from being distasteful, the constant background noise of
stereotyped or inaccurate information contributes to the persistent
stigma about mental illness.
From a clinical perspective, stigma is important because it
contributes to delays in seeking treatment for mental health
disorders and problems in accessing care. One nationally
representative survey, for example, found that only 51% of
Americans with symptoms of major depression in the previous year
were receiving any kind of treatment, whether with antidepressants
or psychotherapy. Another found that only about half of people with
social anxiety disorder ever receive treatment. Typically they have
symptoms for at least 10 years before seeking help. In both these
studies, stigma was cited as an important factor.
Because depression and alcohol dependence are often linked,
researchers tested whether the combination of an antidepressant
and an alcohol-dependence medication might better help patients
with both issues.
There are several theories about why people with schizophrenia
have a tendency to hear voices, but no consensus has emerged.
How will national health care reform affect my mental health
coverage? Does this new law nullify the parity bill that was
supposed to take effect in 2010?