The paper begins with an overview of current concepts representing the behavioral approach and concerning the phenomenology of obsessive- compulsive disorder. This is followed by basic epidemiological data on the prevalence and comorbidity of the obsessive- compulsive syndrome. Individual and interactional functions served by compulsive behaviors are discussed and the basics of behavioral therapy of the obsessive-compulsive disorder are outlined against this background. The latter are illustrated by case studies. Moreover, findings of outcome studies in this field are cited. (Ed.)
Contemporary diagnostic approaches and epidemiological findings are briefly presented, and new research results are reported concerning biological determinants of the obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as attempts at treatment of this condition. (Ed.)
The aim of the study was to assess the clinical status and type of offence committed by persons with the diagnosis of affective illness, as well as to assess psychiatric court opinions issued in their case. An analysis of psychiatric court opinions and medical records of 394 male patients hospitalized for observation at the Forensic Psychiatry Department, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, in the years 1991-1995 has indicated that only in5 of them (1,3%) affective disorder was diagnosed. All the patients under study were deemed non-accountable within the meaning of Article 25, Paragraph l of the Penal Code, with the emphasis on the presence of mental illness (irrespectively of its severity) tempore criminis. In none of the cases a motion for detention was brought forward.
Motives of homicide are analyzed in 30 cases of perpetrators under psychiatric observation adjudicated by the court. The aim of the paper is to present a wide range of reasons and causes leading to homicide. Social background (difficult situation in the family), victimological relationships, motivation, as well as biological and psychopathological factors disturbing the social functioning of the young offenders are considered.
A diagnostic approach to sleep disorders currently used in psychiatry is discussed in the light of new classifications of mental disorders (ICD-10, DSM-IV). The authors present also their observations on sleep disorders in patients recently hospitalized at Psychiatry Wards of the Psychiatry Department, Medical Academy in Łódź. Moreover, psychiatrists' preferences concerning treatment methods in sleep disorders are analyzed.
The study was aimed at establishing differences in immediate and delayed recall between patients with diffuse brain damage and those with endogenous depression. Subjects in the study were 21 brain damaged patients and 21 patients suffering from endogenous depression. The Benton Test, Digit Span, the complex figure of Rey, the Long-Term Memory subtest from the Choynowski Memory Scale and the MMSE were used. Memory impairment was found to be more pronounced in patient with brain damage than in those with depressive disorder: depressive patients' performance level was higher in delayed recall of both the auditory-verbal material (p<0.03) and in visuo-spatial tasks (p<0.04).
57 pregnant patients at risk for premature delivery and 36 women threatened with post-term labor were assessed in terms of: anxiety level (using the Spielberger STAI), experienced fear and anxiety structure (the 5-factor Self-Cognition Inventory by R.S. Cattell), and personality structure (by means of WISKAD, the Polish adaptation of MMPI). In both groups of patients the state and trait anxiety levels were increased. Women at risk for premature birth were characterized by a higher level of the neurotic type anxiety resulting from their disharmonious personality. They also tended to employ more primitive defence mechanisms. In the post-term labor group the reactive type anxiety was found. These women were characterized by a more integrated personality and more effective anxiety control.
The concept of catatonia, symptoms of the condition and its differential diagnosis are briefly outlined, taking into account diseases underlying catatonic syndromes. On the grounds of the literature prevalence rates of the catatonic syndrome and of its particular symptoms were compared in various mental disorders. Results of treatment with small doses of Lorazepam are discussed with reference both to examples reported in the literature and to the authors' clinical experience with 2 cases of the catatonic syndrome in the course of schizophrenia.
The autobiographic relation illustrates how the patient experiences and copes with mental disorders.
Since evidence of this type may play an important role in the training of mental health professionals, the Editors would like to encourage and invite potential authors to publish their relations in Postępy (the invitation is extended also to those in possession of such materials, naturally, provided that the authors permission is obtained).
Perspectives of the future position and role of the existing mental hospitals are discussed in the light of the currently prepared reform of the psychiatric care system. (Eds.)