April 24. 2013 | Jennifer Thomas, Ph.D. & Jenni Schaefer

What is Almost Anorexic?

“I wish I had just a touch of anorexia.” Sadly, working in the eating disorders field, we hear this all of the time. Why does a serious, life-threatening illness with one of the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric disorder inspire such cachet? We believe that its pseudo-prestige stems in part from the exclusivity of the diagnostic criteria listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which healthcare professionals use to diagnose psychiatric illnesses….

November 1. 2012 | J Wesley Boyd

Almost Addicted, Definitely a Problem

Drug use occurs across a broad spectrum. At one end you’ll find the occasional pot smoker who is employed, has a family, and smokes once in a while just to “chill out”. At the other end is the person with the full-on heroin addiction whose sole mission in life is to avoid going into withdrawal. Many people’s drug use looks more like the occasional marijuana smoker’s. And indeed, apart from issues of legality, this drug use is often not really problematic. These people keep their jobs, don’t…

February 29. 2012 | Jim Silver

Are Psychopaths Criminally But Not Morally Responsible?

I just finished reading a very interesting article titled “Dangerous Psychopaths” written by Ken Levy, an Associate Professor at the LSU Law Center, in which he argues that although psychopaths may not be morally responsible for their actions, they should be held criminally responsible, and even subject to preventive detention under certain circumstances (preventive detention is essentially civil commitment based on a person’s dangerousness to themselves or others because of some mental…

February 22. 2012 | Ron Schouten

Trying the Man Who Shot Gabrielle Giffords

On January 8, 2011, a lone gunman opened fire on the crowd attending a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson, Arizona.  Six people were killed, including John Roll, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.  Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among the fourteen people injured in the shooting.  Representative Giffords suffered a gunshot wound to the head and serious brain injury.   After a remarkable but certainly not complete recovery, she…

January 30. 2012 | Ron Schouten

Able to Comply with the Rules and Regulations of Boxing

Once people find out that I am a forensic psychiatrist, they often ask me to name my most interesting or exciting case.  That’s a tough call, because my work has included a number of fascinating cases and projects, and intense time pressure can be part of the job.  For example, I receive urgent requests for consultations concerning violence risk assessment, such as when an employee with a history of threats or actual violence is to be disciplined or terminated.  In those cases, I’m…

January 27. 2012 | Ron Schouten

Assessing Insider Threats

I am often involved in assessing workplace threats.  I was recently involved in a fascinating project that concerned a serious act of violence arising in the workplace, one with national security implications.  In 2010, I was appointed to the Expert Behavioral Analysis Panel for the investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks, referred to as Amerithrax. As you may recall, shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, media outlets and members of Congress received letters containing…