Category Archives: Mental Illness

January 09

Can we inherit family trauma?

The epigenetics behind “generational trauma” The 23 and Me craze has officially reached my family. Both of my parents were born in Poland, so the results haven’t been too surprising, but as we watched the site track generations of family history from a single spit sample, new questions came up. So when my sisters and […]

December 05

When it gets dark, people get SAD (seasonal affective disorder)

Here in San Diego, we get a minimum of 9 hours and 59 minutes of sunlight, even in the dead of winter. Boston and Chicago get closer to 9 hours and Anchorage gets as low as 5.5 hours compared to Miami’s 10.5 hours. Does this dramatic difference in sunlight have any health effects? 1% of […]

October 24

Is Addiction a Disease?

  While it may not seem obvious, this question carries a great deal of emotional weight to sufferers of addiction, as well as their families and friends. The answer to one question – Is addiction a disease? – seems to hold the answer to yet another question: Are many of the hurtful things I’ve done […]

August 22

Is evolution the missing link to understanding mental health?

The human brain has been shaped over hundreds of thousands of years, with evolution selecting for traits that helped our species survive and thrive. So why do we still have so many genes that make us struggle? Why did our remarkable cognitive capacity come with such a susceptibility to disorder?

August 16

The Plastic Brain: Neurotransmitter Switching

What comes to mind when you think of the word “plastic”? For me, this word conjures images of water bottles and tupperware. So in my high school psychology class, when we were told that our brains are “plastic”, I was pretty confused. However, we soon learned that the word “plastic” can be used to describe […]

August 09

The Power of Neuroscience Compels You!

[En español] Last February the Vatican announced that it was offering an exorcism training course* for priests. At first I thought it was a great way to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the release of the wonderful horror classic The Exorcist, but as it turned out, this initiative was in response to an alarming rise in […]

August 02

Snake Eyes: The Fear That Built Your Brain

Indiana Jones is a quintessential American hero, his fedora, satchel, and whip instantly recognizable around the world. He lives a double life, a scholarly professor of anthropology in public and a globetrotting treasure hunter in private. He defeats the Nazis and always gets the girl, displaying daring and fearlessness, with one notable exception. He has […]

July 26

A Neuroscience Perspective on the Lifelong Consequences of Detaining Kids at the Border

[En español] If you’ve been even partially tuned in to the news over the last few months, you’ve heard about the gut-wrenching separation of children from their parents at the United States border and the detainment centers where these children have been held. You may have seen pictures of young kids in cages, been watching when […]

April 12

Titrating your trip: Microdosing and mental health

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to promote or condone the purchase, possession, sale, or consumption of any illicit substances. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. Your alarm goes off, you hit snooze a few times, then roll over and drag yourself out of bed to make some coffee. It’s just another […]

April 06

THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC: A SOBERING VULNERABILITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

Opioids are a class of powerful psychoactive drugs that are often prescribed for pain relief, but can produce an intense euphoria that has proven remarkably addictive.  Opioid use disorder, a diagnosis characterized by compulsive opioid use and withdrawal, affects or has affected approximately 3 million Americans and 16 million people worldwide.  According to the Centers […]