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A couple of the research blogs I follow lately have had some insight that really struck me as they fought off dualism in regards to the thorny issue of psychological vs. physical addiction and the brain, arguing that the elimination of mind and body distinctions is a good thing, as addictive pathways are real, physical represented by neuronal circuits.
This is an interesting argument, that collapsing psychology to the brain mechanisms brain can erase stigma by medicalizing it and making it a matter of physical function. In addiction it makes quite a bit of sense. We know what part of the brain is being stimulated, that dopamine reward pathways are building and feeding the habit. The derogatory statement, “It’s all in your head,” remains technically true, but loses its bite when you can explain it in such a real and tangible way. Read the rest of this entry »
And now, the moment you have been waiting for all week. No– not that moment. It is the moment when yours truly presents the best, the brightest, the most informative, interesting, and entertaining of my sojourn on the internet. Today I have gratitude, no worries, losing recognition of our own face, the God of the future, marrying biblical sisters, Scrubs and the end of life, and a football team without a home field, and eloping six year olds, amongst a lot of other really, really good stuff. So dig in and enjoy the best of the internet (I could find)- Read the rest of this entry »
First published Jan. 13th 2008.
Disclosure–This is an intensely personal subject for me. I suffer from Major Depression, I have had to come to a knowledge of this thing both as a patient and a physician and as a committed religious person. In my journey, I have gained a LOT of perspective and at a painful price. Ironically, I think the biggest reason I still use the Doc pseudonym for posting is the stigma this problem might create for me as a physician. My particular story is to come in a later post when I am in a more soul baring mood.
Who is to blame for depression? Ourselves, God, the devil, our genes, our culture, our loved ones, our experience, our brain? The question is perplexing and has loud advocates in all camps. Everyone wants to fit it into their boxes and have their own solutions. In my experience each is incomplete. A condition arising at the seat of consciousness, with devastating consequences for our families, our relationships, our work, our personal happiness and yet leaving no marks is difficult for us as humans to reconcile. However reconcile it we must, because Depression carries with it a mortality in the form of suicide. Read the rest of this entry »
I am not typically a holiday person. My socially phobic nature would have me out of costume at Halloween, staying in New Year’s Eve, and away from the crowds on the Fourth of July if it weren’t for a wife who drags me out.
Somehow, this all changes at Christmas. Instead of dragged down, I’m somehow energized by it. I love everything about it. My winter doldrums and seasonal affective disorder always lifts for a few weeks, until it comes crashing back down each January.
There is a dirty little euphemism we all learn about in medical school called health care disparities. It seems the health care system is better at treating heart disease in men compared to women, hypertension in whites compared to blacks, and in keeping rich people healthier across the board in every category compared to the poor. The problem runs deep enough and fundamental enough that it appears no one is immune. It is the problem of poverty that I find particularly perplexing. Read the rest of this entry »