Perils of Pragmatic Psychiatry: How We Can Do Better

HSOA J Psychiatry Depress Anxiety. 2016;2(1):002. doi: 10.24966/pda-0150/100002. Epub 2016 Feb 23.


Etiologic and pathophysiologic understanding of psychiatric disorders is still in its early stages. The neurobiology of major psychiatric disorders has yet to be fully elucidated. Psychiatric diagnoses are often based on presenting symptoms, lacking reliability and stability. For a variety of reasons, many notable laboratory and clinical observations have not been tested in large trials. Lacking this validation, these potentially valuable practices have not been widely disseminated nor translated into real world practice. Pragmatic practice today requires optimum use of the available resources. This may sometimes require translating novel treatments supported by strong, evidence-based, level II evidence; but still lacking level I evidence into practice and greater utilization of evidence-based approved practices. The purpose of this paper is to highlight some common avoidable pitfalls in practice, and to offer a few psychopharmacological pearls.

Keywords: Alcohol; Anxiety; Bipolar; Depression; Insomnia; PTSD; Pragmatic psychiatry; Psychiatry practice; Psychopharmacology; Schizophrenia; Substance; Suicide; Treatment.