Murder-Suicide Isn't Romantic

When I read this story about a man who murdered his wife, then himself, after she got Alzheimer's and was too difficult to care for, I didn't feel misty-eyed like some readers. I was furious. We should live in a society that values people, no matter their abilities, and provides a safety net for care when a caregiver can't bear the burden. We should always have plans in place for people who need it.

Unique Mental Health Treatment Ideas

While this is obviously not the blog of a doctor and not ever meant to be medical advice, and you should talk to your own doctor before trying any treatments, this story about a woman who needed help getting away from cutting herself is an interesting one. Her therapist suggested drawing on herself instead, which makes sense; how many of us have drawn on ourselves to deal with anxiety? I know I have, especially while in school.

The Brains of Only Children May Be Different

A new study has been published that indicates that being an only child can change the structure of the brain. It's a small study and pretty much all studies need to be taken with a grain of salt these days (as do the media that reports on the studies!), but it's something that does make sense. According to the study, being an only child may make you more flexible in terms of thinking, a creative quality that may be reduced when you have siblings.

Laughter as Medicine

Can laughter really be used as medicine? Many people believe so, from those who engage in laughter on a daily basis as a way to relieve stress to those who enjoy practices like Laughter Yoga. Science has shown that laughter not only increases our immune cells and helps us fight infection, but it also triggers endorphins, which make us feel better. No matter what you think about laughing and cheesy comedians, they definitely have value within our lives.

Could anorexia be genetic?

When it comes to diseases like anorexia nervosa, patient care cannot be taken seriously enough--but what if you could predict the disease and help treat it before it damages a person's life forever? The UC San Diego School of Medicine has discovered that anorexia nervosa is linked to a gene in a new report, released after a team was able to create the first cellular model of the eating disorder in history.

Zoloft, the dummy pill?

A new lawsuit says yes.

I keep hearing more and more news stories about antidepressants that just don’t work, making me wonder:

A. If we might have a lot of potentially dangerous, unmedicated people out there who could hurt themselves or others.

B. If we have a lot of people on medication who could be helped not with drugs, but with the simple power of belief—whether it be in themselves or a placebo.

Alzheimer's: Is it actually Type 3 diabetes?

It may have dietary causes.

A lot of research has been indicating that Alzheimer's may have dietary causes. The evidence seems to be mounting to reclassify Alzheimer's as a form of "type 3 diabetes," at least partly caused by eating too much sugar and possibly nitrates (as in processed food and prepared meats). 

Diabetes and Alzheimer's are linked by insulin, and insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that tells your cells to start sucking up sugar from your blood stream. When you eat something sweet, your body dumps more insulin into your blood stream, so that your cells will soak up the sugar. But when you do this too often, your cells become numb to insulin's message. 
It's similar to the way that your nose becomes numb to something that you smell too often. You have probably had the experience of using a nicely scented plug-in air freshener, only to have your nose stop smelling it after a few days. Or known a coworker who combated this phenomenon by wearing more and more of their own cologne or perfume because they stopped being able to smell it.

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