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Thomas Insel - Toward a New Understanding of Mental Illness




Cutting this guy's budget is like telling Orville and Wilbur Wright to take the month off.

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Six Ways to Heal the Holes in Your Head

In the Bleak Midwinter

For Prozac Monologues readers whatever your state this holiday.



In the bleak mid-winter frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak mid-winter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty Jesus Christ.

Angles and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air,
But his mother only in her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part, –
Yet what I can I give Him, give my heart.

poem by Christina Rossetti, 1872 painting by Ivan Shishkin, 1890

New Year's Resolution - Eat Chocolate! Or Maybe Not...

Long time readers may know of my over-a-decade-long effort to get the sugar monkey off my back. I can report that I am reasonably  successful. I don't know if it has made an ongoing difference to my mood. But a shared dessert at a restaurant will get my arthritic shoulder burning. So I keep it up.

Or maybe I have taken it too far. It's all about costs and benefits, you know. And recent research suggests maybe I should lighten up, or rather, darken up.

Chris Aiken of Bipolar Not So Much fame, also Wake Forest University School of Medicine and The Carlat Psychiatry Report, says to my sugar fast, Not so fast. At least as far as dark chocolate goes.

Dark chocolate lowers the risk of depression, according to a cross-sectional survey of over 13,000 US adults. The study compared self-reported chocolate consumption with self-reported depressive symptoms, as measured by the PHQ-9. People who ate dark chocolate in the past 24 hours were 70% less likely to report depression.

The effect w…