Drugs, Mental Health

Psychedelics could make mental health worse in people with a personality disorder

Various personality disorders might respond differently to psychedelics. For instance, people with histrionic personality disorder (excessive attention-seeking and emotional overreaction) or borderline personality disorder (emotional instability, intense relationships and fear of abandonment) might feel worse or more unstable. And those with schizotypal personality disorder (social anxiety, odd beliefs and eccentric behaviour) could become more paranoid. People with narcissistic personality disorder (excessive self-importance, lack of empathy, and need for admiration) may struggle with the self-reflective nature of psychedelics because they often have a hard time handling criticism.

Mental Health, Technology

Increasingly sophisticated AI systems can perform empathy, but their use in mental health care raises ethical questions

Some examples of AI applications include: screening tools in primary care settings, enhanced tele-therapy sessions and chatbots offering accessible 24/7 emotional support. These can act as bridges for anyone waiting for professional help and those hesitant to seek traditional therapy. However, this turn to emotion-AI comes with a host of ethical, social and regulatory challenges around consent, transparency, liability and data security.

Brain and Nervous System, Mental Health, Wellness

Meditation Is Big Business. The Science Isn’t So Clear.

For more than two decades, various studies have suggested that meditation and mindfulness — that is, being aware of the present moment — can help reduce and improve pain management, lending some credence to the notion that the brain can affect the body. Such results have helped the field grow into a multibillion-dollar industry, populated by meditation apps, guided workshops, and upscale retreats.
Yet the field has also faced sharp criticism from psychologists and researchers who say the health benefits are overstated and some of the research methodologically flawed.

Health Insurance, Health Policy, Mental Health

Insurers often shortchange mental health care coverage, despite a federal law

The Biden administration is pushing insurers and state regulators to improve mental health care coverage. The move comes as overdose deaths rise and youth mental health problems grow more rampant, disproportionately affecting communities of color. Inflation and a shortage of mental health care providers, including psychiatrists and specialists who treat adolescents, further hinder access to care.