mental health

Mahvish Qureshi's picture

Hypnosis, more than just a magic trick

                “You are getting sleepy” are the last words you hear as you close your eyes and shut out the gold watch waving in front of your face. This is the classic image that is conjured when imagining a hypnotist or circus sideshow. Hypnosis is not as simple a phenomenon as circus shows make it seem. How does the brain work to override a person’s better judgment and leave them quacking like a duck on stage? What gives the suggestions spoken by a virtual stranger such power? All of these questions and more have been studied by analyzing the brain and its various regions activated at certain times.

K. Smythe's picture

Daviel Tammet's 'Born on a Blue Day'

            The book Born on a Blue Day, by Daniel Tammet is the autobiography of a man afflicted with Asperger’s syndrome, an autistic spectrum disorder.  Daniel Tammet is best known for his savant abilities in the field of mathematics.   His most famous feat was his memorization of pi to more than 22,000 digits.  One of the main factors allowing Daniel Tammet amazing mathematical skills is his ability to synesthetically “see” numbers and to visualize mathematical equations in ways that the majority of the population can only imagine.

Emily Alspector's picture

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Aside from the beautiful and charismatic style which makes the procession through The Diving Bell and the Butterfly absolutely enthralling, complete appreciation of this book requires an acknowledgement of the implausible efforts of its creator. It is rare that a book can be inspiring based not only on the content of the writing but also on the process of its creation. Jean-Dominique Bauby does not explicitly give details about his condition, nor about how he went about writing this book. This seems to be the main theme of the book: it is not why, but how. He does not want the reader to know much about his accident or the painstaking method of communication he has been forced to resort to, but

eambash's picture

Drawing Conclusions about Withdrawal: Antidepressants and Dangerous Discontinuation

Dizziness. Mania. Insomnia. Fatigue. These could all present, without great surprise, as symptoms a psychiatric disorder such as major depression or bipolar disorder. A common cause for concern about health care providers and patients alike, however, is the association of these symptoms not with depressive illnesses but with withdrawal from antidepressants. Sometimes called SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome or Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome, many users of pharmacological drugs have experienced a disorder characterized by the prevalence of a wide variety of symptoms at the time when a short-half-life

Marissa Patterson's picture

Neurological Changes During Psychotherapy: Do we need drugs to change the brain?

In our diverse society, it is necessary to understand that the same treatments may not work for everyone. For diseases that are thought to be caused by differences in brain chemistry, the variety in brain chemistry (as well as the variety in what is felt as "normal" or "baseline") means that certain treatments may not work in the same ways for everyone. Currently the medical community seeks to treat depression and obsessive compulsive disorder in two main ways: psychoactive drugs or cognitive behavioral therapy. However, both of these treatments are not fully understood, nor their efficacy verified.
tlogan's picture

Problems with Pain


Though pain is traditionally thought of as the bodily awareness to harmful or noxious stimuli, the subject of pain has far more depth than one might initially believe. The issues surrounding pain, pain philosophy, and pain management are far-reaching and are replete with ethical and moral conundrums.

Danielle's picture

Neurological Changes Associated with Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy


Emily Alspector's picture

Phantom Limbs and Theories of Self

While accounts of both phantom limb awareness and pain have been reported for over 500 years (1), only in recent decades have patients reporting such sensations of missing limbs not been classified as pathological. In fact, recent studies report 60-80% incidence rate of PLP, whereas in the middle of the 20th century, reported PLP cases were as low as 4% (3). Rather, modernized technologies and advancements in the field of neuroscience have revealed evidence indicating that the mechanisms involved in such sensations are actually responsive and adaptive (2), perhaps accounting for the increased rate

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