Random stuff about mental health I’m hoping you haven’t heard before! Relevant citations and further reading are located in the links on each number.
1. You can’t be diagnosed with a personality disorder until you are 18 years of age. [use drop-down menu at link]
2. Capgras delusion: believing that a family member or friend has been replaced with an imposter. The delusion provides a fascinating inside view into ways in which our memory functions.
3. Children who will go on to develop schizophrenia are found to have specific cognitive deficits by ages 6-7. (In developmental psychopathology classes, I was told that children who developed schizophrenia were shown to have slower affect–expression of emotion, in non-psych lingo–when observers looked at home movies of said children, even at ages as young as four. However, I can’t find a citation on this, and no longer have the textbook, so add a grain of salt.)
4. Hallucinations don’t just come as things you see–there’s also auditory hallucinations, tactile hallucinations (commonly manifests as feeling things crawling on you) and olfactory hallucinations (which can be pleasant or nasty smells).
5. Because the psych profession just likes confusing you, there’s both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. They’re not very similar at all.
6. People with one personality disorder often meet criteria for diagnosis with another personality disorder. This is one of many problems with the PD diagnoses–how can one have multiple personality disorders (Obvious multiple personality jokes are obvious). It may be that some of the problem is that people aren’t exactly likely to come in for treatment of a PD–how often to people describe their own personality as flawed?
7. And speaking of multiple personalities, even though Dissociative Identity Disorder (which used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder) remains in the DSM, there’s lots and lots of evidence that it’s mainly a cultural phenomenon, and not an actual disorder. [The attached link is easy to read and in depth–I recommend it]
8. In fact, Sybil, the case that spawned media interest in DID/MPD…was maybe a fraud created by an unethical psychiatrist and her poor client?
9. Marsha Linehan created Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT) originally for work on those with Borderline Personality Disorder–though it’s now been shown to be effective for substance abuse, mood disorders, sexual trauma, and self-harm. It’s was groundbreaking treatment for clients who are often considered untreatable. In 2011, during a speech, Linehan told the world that she had suffered from BPD for her entire life, and developed the treatment around her own quest to survive. So basically, she’s my hero.
10. Asking someone if they are feeling suicidal will not put the idea in their head–really, don’t be afraid to ask.
Have more? Add them in the comments!