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Abstract

Background and Aims

Despite increasing public acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community and psychedelic medicines, published accounts of queer psychedelia are limited. Specifically, the queer nature of psychedelics and the parallels between narratives of being queer and of psychedelic experiences, are lacking. This report brings queer experiences of psychedelia out of the metaphorical closet and argues for the development of Queer Affirming models of Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy (QA-PAP).

Methods

This knowledge report examines the extant psychedelic literature as it relates to queerness, and positions it against reports of rising anti-2SLGBTQ+ sentiments, and legislation aimed at dismantling civil liberties.

Results

Specifically in Canada, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom, the current socio-political climate fosters increasingly positive attitudes towards psychedelic medicine, while recently won 2SLGBTQ+ civil rights are under attack. The convergence of these trends means the psychedelic community must guard against repetition of mistakes made during the first wave of psychedelic research.

Conclusions

Including queer narratives within psychedelic research is integral to the equitable, safe, effective and accessible implementation of emerging modalities of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies (PAP), and to ensure that ethical standards protect patients from sexual and gender based violence.

Open access

Abstract

Background and Aims

This study addresses the scarcity of research on Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) in non-Western cultures and women, exploring its prevalence, sociodemographic, sexual history characteristics, and sexual and psychological health factors in Iranian married women.

Methods

A cross-sectional study involving 772 heterosexual married women was conducted between 2022 and 2023, covering all 31 provinces of Iran. Participants were categorized as CSBD+ (at-risk individuals) and CSBD− (low-risk individuals) based on a pre-established cut-off point of ≥18 by the Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder Scale −7. Depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, self-esteem, sexual distress, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and sexual dysfunction were assessed as psychological and sexual health variables by standardized scales.

Results

The prevalence of CSBD was 3.8% in women. Linear regression analysis showed that lower education, being jobless, substance use, pornography use, paraphilic behaviors, conflict on sex frequency, relationship, orgasm and sexual dissatisfaction, higher sexual arousal, depression, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms were positively associated with CSBD. The univariate analysis, at a stringent significance level of 0.005, mirrored the regression findings. Additionally, women with CSBD+ exhibited lower religiousness and higher anxiety compared to those without CSBD−.

Discussion and Conclusions

Raising awareness of CSBD is crucial for health systems and individuals for better policy-making and help-seeking behavior. Identifying risk factors like substance use presents opportunities for prevention, and the association of CSBD with sexual and mental health variables suggests addressing co-occurring issues for improved treatment outcomes. Recognizing culture and gender-specific sexual and psychological correlates enables targeted and effective treatment approaches.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

While the concept of recovery is receiving increasing attention in the context of gambling disorder (GD), no consensus has yet been reached regarding its definition. This scoping review aims to map the literature on GD recovery, identify gaps, and provide insights for a more holistic and patient-centred perspective.

Methods

A systematic search of three databases was conducted (PubMed, PsycINFO, and ScienceDirect). Based on the method by which the results of these studies were produced, the studies included were sorted into four categories (quantitative, instrument validation, qualitative, and mixed studies) and subsequently examined using conceptual analysis.

Results

One hundred thirteen articles were included in this research after the screening process. In the quantitative and instrument validation studies, recovery was defined or operationalized in terms of abstinence, the absence of a GD diagnosis, or mild GD severity, or by reference to treatment outcomes or controlled gambling. A meta-synthesis of the results of the qualitative studies revealed four core features of recovery (insight, empowerment and commitment, wellbeing enhancement, and reconsideration of the issue of relapse).

Discussion

Discrepancies in definitions, outcomes, and variables used were evident across studies. Additionally, the quantitative and standardized approaches employed in most studies exhibited severe limitations with regard to defining recovery from the subjective and multidimensional perspectives of people recovering from GD.

Conclusions

This lack of definitional clarity emphasizes the necessity for further qualitative research. This research should encompass multiple stakeholder perspectives to develop a working definition promoting recovery from a holistic, patient-centred, and tailored approach.

Open access

Abstract

Background

Hypotheses surrounding the etiology of depressive disorders encompass a wide range of biological changes that can occur in a depressed individual, from gene variations to epigenetic modifications and not only serotonergic mechanisms. Once again, the therapy response of the patient to antidepressants is connected to modifications in the epigenetic regulation of genes within the serotonergic system. The persistence of depressive symptoms points to the possibility that stable molecular adaptations in the brain, particularly at the epigenetic level, may be involved.

Methods

Narrative review to first, discuss the historical evidence behind how serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) signaling and its associated actors are involved in various biological processes and second, examine the role of ketamine as one of the newer treatments for depression.

Results

There is increasing evidence that responses to psychotherapy for mood disorders are correlated with epigenetic alterations. Although therapy response appears to be associated with epigenetic changes in genes regulating the serotonergic system, there are multiple lines of research that provide additional data implicating epigenetic alterations in the glutamatergic system. Also, the epigenetic regulation of target genes along the HPA axis are becoming more intriguing in linking mood disorders with environmental stressors, and warrant a closer look. Recent research suggests that ketamine's antidepressant effects may be linked to epigenetic alterations. Considering the multiple studies linking BDNF with depression, further exploration of its relation with ketamine in the context of epigenetic signaling is warranted.

Conclusion

Understanding how and to what extent epigenetic mechanisms change gene expression and how these changes are influenced by environmental stressors may eventually allow mental health professionals to better understand the biological basis of depression as well as to gauge the efficacy, onset, durability and duration of therapies to treat mood disorders. Moreover, understanding the relation between serotonergic neurotransmission and epigenetic mechanisms of how these may be modified by ketamine should lead us to a greater knowledge of their therapeutic potential.

Open access

Abstract

As reliable facilitators of characteristically unique altered states of consciousness that are notoriously difficult to comprehend, psychedelics naturally attract a multidisciplinary scope for their research, with direct relevance to neuroscience, pharmacology, psychology, as well as philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and epistemology — disciplines united by the common inquiry into the nature of conscious experience. Accordingly, the central focus of this paper concerns the metaphysical debate between internalism and externalism about whether psychedelic phenomenology — in particular, its ‘breakthrough’ level — could be said to directly ontologically depend on external factors, as well as the interpretive implications arising from each of those positions. The main contributions of the author of this paper include the provision of a coherent account of the essential phenomenal characteristics of psychedelic experiences, the integration of relatively fragmented philosophical debates on psychedelic phenomenology into the traditional internalist-externalist framework in metaphysics, as well as the exploration of the extent to which the externalist position on psychedelic phenomenology — traditionally associated with non-naturalism — is compatible with naturalistic explanatory frameworks. In Part 1, psychedelic phenomenology will be outlined first, after which the central inquiries of this paper will be contextualised and qualified. In Part 2, the internalist position on psychedelic phenomenology — both its strong and weak versions — will be discussed. In Part 3, the externalist position will be explored, which will be followed by a final evalutation between the three positions presented in this paper. The paper will conclude in favour of the weak internalist position, and that whilst the externalist position remains significantly more speculative than both the strong and the weak internalist positions, the externalist position cannot be rejected altogether until further progress in consciousness research is made.

Open access

Abstract

Background and objectives

Work addiction (WA), characterized by dimensions such as overcommitment, difficulties in detachment from work, and work-life imbalance, is presumed to be associated with increased smartphone usage, even during risky activities like driving. The study investigated the connection between WA and future problematic and hazardous smartphone use, considering personality factors: anxiety, rumination, and worry.

Methods

A three-wave longitudinal study (N = 1,866) was conducted from March to July 2019, June to September 2020, and June to November 2021, involving a representative sample of 18-34-year-old residents in Hungary's capital. The study employed Hungarian versions of the Bergen Work Addiction Scale, Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire, Ruminative Response Scale, Anxiety subscale of the Brief Symptom Inventory 18, and Penn-State Worry Questionnaire. Additionally, author-developed questions on mobile phone use while driving were included.

Results

At baseline, those at risk for WA showed more frequent mobile phone use while driving at both time points 2 and 3 compared to the non-risk group. Path analyses revealed rumination, anxiety at time 1, and worry at time 2 as significant mediators between baseline WA and mobile phone use while driving at time 3. However, when analyzing all three mediators together, only anxiety at time 1 and worry at time 2 remained significant.

Discussion and conclusion

This study demonstrates that WA predicts future mobile phone use while driving through mediation by anxiety and worry. Our findings add to the growing evidence highlighting the detrimental aspects of WA, emphasizing the need for improved prevention and treatment strategies.

Open access

Abstract

Background

An imbalance between model-based and model-free decision-making systems is a common feature in addictive disorders. However, little is known about whether similar decision-making deficits appear in internet gaming disorder (IGD). This study compared neurocognitive features associated with model-based and model-free systems in IGD and alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Method

Participants diagnosed with IGD (n = 22) and AUD (n = 22), and healthy controls (n = 30) performed the two-stage task inside the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. We used computational modeling and hierarchical Bayesian analysis to provide a mechanistic account of their choice behavior. Then, we performed a model-based fMRI analysis and functional connectivity analysis to identify neural correlates of the decision-making processes in each group.

Results

The computational modeling results showed similar levels of model-based behavior in the IGD and AUD groups. However, we observed distinct neural correlates of the model-based reward prediction error (RPE) between the two groups. The IGD group exhibited insula-specific activation associated with model-based RPE, while the AUD group showed prefrontal activation, particularly in the orbitofrontal cortex and superior frontal gyrus. Furthermore, individuals with IGD demonstrated hyper-connectivity between the insula and brain regions in the salience network in the context of model-based RPE.

Discussion and Conclusions

The findings suggest potential differences in the neurobiological mechanisms underlying model-based behavior in IGD and AUD, albeit shared cognitive features observed in computational modeling analysis. As the first neuroimaging study to compare IGD and AUD in terms of the model-based system, this study provides novel insights into distinct decision-making processes in IGD.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Elise Victoria Tørdal
,
Ståle Pallesen
,
Dominic Sagoe
,
Lise Øen Jones
, and
Farha Mahjabeen

Abstract

Introduction

The overall prevalence of gambling problems across prison populations is currently unknown. The objective of the present study was therefore to quantitatively synthetize prevalence estimates of gambling problems in prison populations using a random effects meta-analytic model and to investigate if the estimates were moderated by time frame, cut-off levels, and sample size.

Methods

To be included the studies had to report original data on the prevalence of gambling problems in a prison sample and to be written in a European language, whereas data based on abstracts or qualitative reports were excluded. The search ended on December 1, 2023 and were conducted in Web of Science, PubMed, Cinahl, PsycINFO, Embase, Google Scholar, Grey Literature Report, and GreyNet. Risk of bias was assessed with a standardized 10-item measure for epidemiological studies.

Results

A total of 26 studies comprising 9,491 participants were included. The vast majority of the participants were males. The most commonly used instrument for assessment of gambling problems was the South Oaks Gambling Screen. The pooled random-effects gambling problems prevalence estimate was 30.8% (95% CI = 25.1–37.3). The meta-regression analysis showed that none of the three moderator variables (criteria, timeframe, sample size) were related to the gambling problems prevalence. Common limitations of the included studies entailed not being representative nationally or for the target population, lack of randomization, and low response rate. The meta-analysis was restricted to studies published in a European language.

Conclusions

Overall, the studies show that 1 in 3 prisoners has gambling problems and suggests that more emphasis on relevant prevention and treatment is warranted for this population. The study was funded by the Norwegian Competence Center for Gambling and Gaming Research and pre-registered at PROSPERO (CRD42023390552).

Open access

Abstract

Background and Aims

The high prevalence of internet addiction (IA) has become a worldwide problem that profoundly affects people's mental health and executive function. Empirical studies have suggested trait anxiety (TA) as one of the most robust predictors of addictive behaviors. The present study investigated the neural and socio-psychological mechanisms underlying the association between TA and IA.

Methods

Firstly, we tested the correlation between TA and IA. Then we investigated the longitudinal influence of TA on IA using a linear mixed effect (LME) model. Secondly, connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) was employed to explore neuromarkers of TA, and we tested whether the identified neuromarkers of TA can predict IA. Lastly, stressful life events and default mode network (DMN) were considered as mediating variables to explore the relationship between TA and IA.

Findings

A significant positive correlation between TA and IA was found and the high TA group demonstrated higher IA across time. CPM results revealed that the functional connectivity of cognitive control and emotion-regulation circuits and DMN were significantly correlated with TA. Furthermore, a significant association was found between the neuromarkers of TA and IA. Notably, the CPM results were all validated in an independent sample. The results of mediation demonstrated that stressful life events and correlated functional connectivity mediated the association between TA and IA.

Conclusions

Findings of the present study facilitate a deeper understanding of the neural and socio-psychological mechanisms linking TA and IA and provide new directions for developing neural and psychological interventions.

Open access