Five Cool Mental Health Terms
Saturday September 16, 2017

Five Cool Mental Health Terms

Talking about our innermost thoughts and feelings can be challenging – at least in part because sometimes we can’t find the words. Well, it is the start of a new school year in the northern hemisphere, so in that spirit, here are five specialized terms to expand our mental health vocabulary. Coming to us from […]

Read More
Mental Illness is a Family Affair
Friday September 8, 2017

Mental Illness is a Family Affair

We tend to think that mental illnesses affect individuals – with diagnoses and treatments focused on the person who is symptomatic. Necessary – but not sufficient. I dare say, the burden of mental illness always extends beyond the individual with the diagnosis. The authors of the books below speak this truth with moving accounts of […]

Read More
Vacation
Friday September 1, 2017

Vacation

Cool, new start-ups have no restrictions on vacation – but they have no vacation policy either. The paradoxical effect is that people are taking less vacation rather than more, which is not good for our mental health. So, in defense of vacation, I am taking a few days this week to enjoy the following. Click on […]

Read More
Solar Eclipse
Friday August 25, 2017

Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017. Brief but breathtaking. The sun and moon aligned just so. A solar eclipse that extended across the continental United States. Millions along the path of 100% totality, millions more seeing the partial eclipse. photo courtesy of Kelsey Clayman As I watched from my balcony, it occurred to me that this celestial drama was […]

Read More
Happy 103rd Birthday, Lucy Ozarin!
Friday August 18, 2017

Happy 103rd Birthday, Lucy Ozarin!

Lucy Ozarin – one of the first women psychiatrists to serve in the Navy and one of only seven women psychiatrists to serve during World War II – turns 103 today! I had heard all kinds of superlatives about Lucy from my mother-in-law, but when I had the honor of actually meeting her a while […]

Read More
Mentally Ill in Ancient Rome
Friday August 11, 2017

Mentally Ill in Ancient Rome

In the 1953 romantic comedy, Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck fall crazy in love with each other and with Rome. They take us on a magical escapade from Trevi Fountain to the Mouth of Truth and the Coliseum. But you don’t have to be a disaffected princess to be awed by Rome. Even […]

Read More
Soldier On?
Friday August 4, 2017

Soldier On?

When Senator John McCain’s office announced last week that he has brain cancer, politicians on both sides of the aisle cheered him on with battle cries extolling his fighting spirit and hailing his prospects for winning the war against his disease. Personal agency certainly influences healing. But as Jean Hannah Edelstein argues, the ‘warrior metaphor’ can be trouble when it comes to health. […]

Read More
Suntanning and Mental Health
Friday July 28, 2017

Suntanning and Mental Health

What can suntanning teach us about our brains and addiction? I was at the dermatologist this week. “Sun damage,” she said with that somber look of authority that was designed to get me to stay out of the sun and walk in the shade. “You don’t need the sun for vitamin D. And too much […]

Read More
Columbia Students Go Global
Friday July 21, 2017

Columbia Students Go Global

Today’s news is replete with lamentations about how Millennials are destroying the good life – from golf to NFL to paper napkins. They are even accused of ruining vacation, Great Britain and sex. I don’t know who the reporters are talking to, but I can assure you they are not talking to my students. One of the absolute […]

Read More
Memory Making and Erasing
Friday July 14, 2017

Memory Making and Erasing

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”  – Gabriel García Márquez Every day experiences accumulate to make up the memories that define who we are and what we call our lives. We live, we remember, we make meaning. Generally we think remembering is good, […]

Read More