Tag Archives: depression

Andersonville, Georgia and Elmira, New York: When Hell was on Earth

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” — Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy   Andersonville Prison, Georgia. South end view of the stockade, showing the sentry stands in the distance. Photographed by A.J. Riddle, August 17, 1864. Library of Congress Liljenquist Family Collection. No known restrictions on publication. Elmira Prison, Elmira, […]

The mystique of psychiatry: a closer look

Lawrence Climo Lincoln, Massachusetts, United States   Photo by Larry Ayalo on Unsplash As a retired psychiatrist, I have been thinking about the mystique that surrounds our profession. Psychiatrists seem to trigger three provocative associations that set them apart from other physicians. The first, sometimes interpreted as a wish, is that psychiatrists read minds and therefore […]

Furniture of bones

D. Brendan Johnson Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States   Selvportrett i helvete [Self Portrait in Hell]. Edvard Munch. 1903. Munchmuseet. Via Wikimedia. “Would you like the new patient?” My senior resident offered me the next admission, a patient being stabilized in the emergency department after a suicide attempt. As a fresh medical student in the beginning […]

Remembrance of things past

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash In these troubled times imposed by Covid-19, much attention has been paid to depression, stress, and complaints of enforced isolation and of longing for the old days—the “normal times.” In this and in other contexts, nostalgia is regarded as a normal sentiment […]

Hypochondria

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Figure 1: Cover of Hypochondriasis. A practical treatise by John Hill. Source. In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold; Alike fantastic, if too new, or old: Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. — […]

The doctor behind the labcoat

Varun Raj Passi Bangalore, India   “Sanjeev’s Phantasms” by Chetna VM. Sanjeev knew he was not asleep, and the very fact that he was conscious enough to know this made him worry. The relentless clicking of the wall-clock above his bedstead amplified his anxiety. He knew that the more clicks he registered now, the less […]

Was Moses an alchemist?

S.E.S. Medina Benbrook, Texas, United States   Worshiping the golden calf, as in Exodus 32:1-35. Illustration from a Bible card published 1901 by the Providence Lithograph Company. Via Wikimedia. “And he took the (golden) calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it upon the […]

Past, present, and future of psychedelic medicine

Jennifer Keehn Baja California, Mexico   Photo by Merlin Lightpainting from Pexels While there are now more clinical trials than ever before on the therapeutic applications of psychedelics, the medicinal use of such substances is not new. Indigenous cultures worldwide have used plants, roots, vines, and fungi that produce altered states of consciousness in healing rituals […]

When daydreaming becomes a problem

S.T Gamage Colombo, Sri Lanka   Where the thoughts live by Marija Tiurina. Published with permission. “They say there’s no harm in daydreaming, but there is.” — Charlaine Harris   An excessive amount of daydreaming can lead to a psychological condition called maladaptive daydreaming (MD). It is also known as daydreaming disorder. Professor Eliezer Somer […]

Queen Juana: the mad or the betrayed?

Juliana Menegakis London, United Kingdom   Juana I de Castilla, ca. 1500 Master of Affligem. Museo Nacional de Escultura. Via Wikimedia. Juana of Castile is known by her epithet “the Mad.” But was she truly insane? Infanta Juana of Castile and Aragon was born in 1479 to Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of […]