What You Should Know About the Psychedelic Ayahuasca

There’s been increasing buzz about psychedelic therapies. In July, bestselling author Michael Pollan highlighted their healing effects in his Netflix series, How to Change Your Mind. This week, four-time football MVP Aaron Rodgers revealed his use of the intense psychedelic ayahuasca in 2020, crediting it with improving his career and self-love. If you’re like many … Read more

Former Mental Health Czar Scorns Traditional Psychotherapy

When one of America’s most prominent psychiatrists expresses deep disdain for depth psychotherapy, especially when that criticism is misinformed and outdated, it should concern all of us. Dr. Tom Insel directed the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) from 2002 to 2015. Formerly a psychiatric researcher “at the cellular level,” he studied medications and neuroscience. … Read more

If It Isn’t Serotonin, What Causes Depression?

For decades, some investigators and clinicians have promoted the theory that depression is caused by abnormalities involving the serotonin system. This hypothesis has been encouraged by pharmaceutical companies that have developed selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medications. A recent systematic review by Joanna Moncrieff and colleagues published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry concludes that “the … Read more

The Serotonin Hypothesis and the Gut-Brain Axis

Antidepressants can be lifesavers, even if we don’t know how they work. Source: Prostock-Studio/iStock A recent review of the literature has spooked a lot of people because it purports to show that the “serotonin hypothesis” of depression is wrong. The researchers concluded that there is no significant association between serotonin levels and depression. Does that … Read more

Homework Struggles May Not Be a Behavior Problem

Chelsea was in 10th grade the first time I told her directly to stop doing her homework and get some sleep. I had been working with her since she was in middle school, treating her anxiety disorder. She deeply feared disappointing anyone—especially her teachers—and spent hours trying to finish homework perfectly. The more tired and … Read more

Should Borderline Personality Disorder Remain a Diagnosis?

In a commentary-response article published this past week for the journal Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Peter Tyrer, a personality psychologist, engaged in what some might call heated rhetoric—or perhaps even “fighting words.” Tyrer is a well-known and prolific personality researcher with a focus on tracing the history and evolution of personality disorder categories from … Read more

Plasma Biomarkers Predict COVID Neurologic Complications

SAN DIEGO – Even after recovery of an acute COVID-19 infection, some patients experience extended or even long-term symptoms that can range from mild to debilitating. Some of these symptoms are neurological: headaches, brain fog, cognitive impairment, loss of taste or smell, and even cerebrovascular complications such stroke. There are even hints that COVID-19 infection … Read more

They Call It ‘Tranq,’ and It’s Making Street Drugs More Dangerous

Approaching a van that distributes supplies for safer drug use in Greenfield, Massachusetts, a man named Kyle noticed an alert about xylazine. “Xylazine?” he asked, sounding out the unfamiliar word. “Tell me more.” Tapestry Health Systems nurse Katy Robbins hands bottles of water to Kyle as he visits the harm reduction mobile unit in Greenfield, … Read more