Category Archives: Mental illness

Blood tests for mental health problems

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A new paper was published yesterday on a blood test for schizophrenia, by the same research team that in 2021 published a paper on a blood test for depression. The papers and accompanying press release contain problematic language, and the general idea of a blood test for mental illness makes very little sense to me… Read more »

Is the ‘default mode network’ responsible for the mental health crisis in youth?

(Note: I wrote up this blog as a commentary, which is now published in the same journal as response to the editorial. PDF, DOI 10.31234/ The very short answer is: no, youth mental health problems are not generally due to the default mode network (DMN). But the editorial in Current Psychiatry that claims it may… Read more »

Does the d (disease) factor really exist?

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Mental health problems are comorbid, which means that they are positively intercorrelated and don’t tend to occur in isolation. Of all people diagnosed with major depression, for example, about half of them have at least one more comorbid mental health problem, such as generalized anxiety disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder. Now, the same holds for… Read more »

Systems not syndromes

Studying mental disorders as systems, not syndromes

Update: the paper is now published in Current Directions in Psychological Science; you can find my summary of the paper on Twitter. I’ve written a very brief piece on embracing the complexity of mental health problems, entitled “Studying mental disorders as systems, not syndromes” (download). I also had the opportunity to give a keynote on… Read more »

All mental disorders are brain disorders … not.

Summary: Mental disorders are commonly defined as “brain disorders” in the literature. I show in this blog that this notion remains speculative, and share a 10-week syllabus / reading list about theon the topic about the nature of mental disorders. Update, 2024: the main arguments around reductionism in this blog post are part of my… Read more »

New network paper on comorbidity between mood and anxiety disorders

We have a new network paper out in Psychological Medicine entitled “Network Analysis of Depression and Anxiety Symptom Relations in a Psychiatric Sample” (PDF). I tend to think of the paper as a state-of-the-art replication of the great comorbidity paper by Cramer et al. 2010 who investigated the comorbidity of depression and generalized anxiety disorder…. Read more »

Nature correspondence published

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Our commentary regarding the NIMH’s decision to solely fund research investigating the neurobiological roots of mental disorders was published in today’s issue of Nature. » Fried, E. I., Tuerlinckx, F., & Borsboom, D. (2014). Mental health: more than neurobiology. Nature, 508, 458. (PDF)