“Is Time Outdoors the Key to Helping Veterans Overcome PTSD?”
Abbie Hausermann, MSW, LICSW, discusses why ecotherapy works for former service members. “The aim of these ecotherapy programs and services is to connect veterans...
Ioannidis Questions Strength of Psychology and Neuroscience Literature
Last week, well-known Stanford scientist John Ioannidis and his colleague Denes Szucs released a new analysis online. They examined research published in eighteen prominent...
Neuroscientists Consider the Effect of the Gut on the Brain
A review article published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology summarizes the latest research on the role that microbiota in the gut play in...
Inner Fire: Healing and Recovery Without Meds
For five years, I and others worked to create a residential healing community in Brookline, Vermont, where people could recover from debilitating and traumatic life experiences, which often lead to addiction and mental health challenges, without the use of psychotropic medications. We welcomed our first six seekers to a yearlong, therapeutic and farm-based, day program last September, and we now can report on what we have learned during this time.
Effects of Exercise on Depression Underestimated, Review Finds
A new meta-analysis finds that the large antidepressant effects of exercise may have been underestimated in previous reviews. This latest report, published this month...
“A Community Faces the Mental Health Impact of Climate Change”
“In Nunatsiavut, climate change is already a terrible reality, and it’s taking a heavy toll on mental health,” Ellie Robins reports for the influence....
Sometimes it's the simple things that keep us going, especially when the complicated ones seem so overwhelming; when there's too much chaos, too many emotions, too many possibilities and impending disasters. No one can give you a reason to live. You have to find it for yourself. Until you do, try simple things. For me, it was a turtle.
“Microbes Can Play Games With The Mind”
In the April issue of Science News, Laura Sanders covers recent studies that have begun turning up tantalizing hints about how microbes, the bacteria...
“’Yalom’s Cure’ is a Meditative Immersion into Leading a Psychologist’s Life”
The LA Times reviews a new film about Irvin David Yalom, existential psychologist, emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford Unversity. "’Yalom's Cure’ dispenses an...
Omega-3 Screening for Psychiatric Symptoms?
There is a substantial body of evidence suggesting that not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet may be connected to a diverse array of psychiatric symptoms. In a new study published this month, psychiatrist Robert McNamara and Erik Messamore provide an overview of the evidence and call for screening of omega-3 deficiency in people experiencing symptoms associated with ADHD, depression, mood disorders, and psychosis.
Therapy Recommended As First Line Treatment for Depression
Following an extensive systematic review of treatments for major depression, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued a recommendation to clinicians suggesting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a first-line treatment for major depressive disorder along with second-generation antidepressants. The results of the review revealed that CBT and antidepressants have similar levels of effectiveness but that antidepressants present serious side-effects and higher relapse rates.
“How Meditation, Placebos And Virtual Reality Help Power ‘Mind Over Body’”
NPR’s Fresh Air interview science writer Jo Marchant about her new book “Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body.” Marchant explores...
Rethinking Psychiatry Teaches about Despair, Resilience, and the Great Turning
Rethinking Psychiatry is an independent, grassroots group in Portland, Oregon that advocates for a paradigm shift in mental health care. On January 20, we hosted a film and discussion by activist and artist Barbara Ford. The subject was “Despair and Resilience: How to Face this Mess We’re in Without Giving Up.” Ford also showed film called Joanna Macy and the Great Turning, featuring philosopher, writer, and activist Joanna Macy.
The Genetics of Schizophrenia: A Left Brain Theory about a Right Brain Deficit in...
In recent months, two teams of researchers in the UK and the US published complementary findings about the epigenetic origins of schizophrenia that have scientific communities who indulge in ‘genetic conspiracy theories’ abuzz. While these results are intriguing, and no doubt involve pathbreaking research methodologies, this line of thought represents a decontextualized understanding both of the symptoms that are typically associated with schizophrenia, and their causes.
Researchers Test Harms and Benefits of Long Term Antipsychotic Use
Researchers from the City College of New York and Columbia University published a study this month testing the hypothesis that people diagnosed with schizophrenia treated long-term with antipsychotic drugs have worse outcomes than patients with no exposure to these drugs. They concluded that there is not a sufficient evidence base for the standard practice of long-term use of antipsychotic medications.
“Medication and Female Moods”
Listen: NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook discusses the new book “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having and What’s Really Making You Crazy,” by the psychiatrist Julie Holland.
“The Feeling That Expands Time and Increases Well-Being”
PsyBlog presents research on the experience of awe. “That jaw-dropping moment when coming across something surprising, powerful, beautiful or even sublime can have a transformative effect, they find.”
Mindfulness Pain Relief Distinct from Placebo Effect
A new study demonstrates that the practice of mindfulness may ease pain in a way that is mechanistically distinct from the placebo effect. Research, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that mindfulness meditation not only outperformed placebo and fake meditation for pain relief but that it also activated different brain regions than the placebo treatments.
“New Research Links Contact with Nature to Community Cohesion and Reduced Crime”
The Pacific Standard highlights new research out of the University of Cardiff that found the more green space there is in a neighborhood, the less crime. “The more a person felt connected to nature, the more they felt connected to others in their neighborhoods.”
Is The Microbiome our Puppeteer?
“My message today is that your state of gut will affect your state of mind. To have a healthy brain, we may need a...
Researchers Develop New Model for Understanding Depression
Acknowledging that current depression treatments are failing many people, researchers from Michigan State and MIT have developed a new model for understanding how multiple psychological, biological, social and environmental factors contribute to depression.
Light Therapy Outperforms Prozac for Depression
In a new study, researchers found that bright light therapy was an effective treatment for nonseasonal major depressive disorder (MDD) while Prozac (Fluoxetine) alone...
“Nature and Nurture: Human Brains Evolved to be More Responsive to Environmental Influences”
"We found that the anatomy of the chimpanzee brain is more strongly controlled by genes than that of human brains, suggesting that the human brain is extensively shaped by its environment no matter its genetics," said Aida Gómez-Robles, postdoctoral scientist at the GW Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology and lead author on the paper. "So while genetics determined human and chimpanzee brain size, it isn't as much of a factor for human cerebral organization as it is for chimpanzees."
“The Curious Case of the Antidepressant, Anti-Anxiety Backyard Garden”
“My vegetable beds have even buoyed me through more acute stressors, such as my medical internship, my daughter’s departure for college, and a loved one’s cancer treatment,” writes Dr. Daphne Miller. Now neuroscientists are attempting to study the antidepressant effects of soil microbes in hopes of unlocking the secrets of a powerful mood enhancer.
Mad Economy: Let’s Change the World!
Everyone in the world is either touched by their own mental health issues or have had a family member affected. What if they directed their buying power to an organization that would use the profits to fund exciting mental health & recovery projects both in the developing world and in their own countries; projects that would be ethical, non-coercive, personal recovery-based, and were aimed at creating recovery communities? What if they could buy products, crafts, services, art, music, books from people who had experienced mental health issues, enabling them to set up their own businesses or buy from social co-operatives that enabled distressed people to work and earn a living wage?