We know that bipolar and other mental illnesses affect behavior, but what precisely is behavior? Rather than go for a definition, maybe it’s best to look at a select sampling of classic experiments and observations representing wildly disparate fields. Let’s get started:
Conditioned Reflex - Ivan Pavlov’s celebrated... Read more
Perhaps some of you have figured out this riddle: If depression is heritable, what are its selective advantages? How could such a disadvantageous condition be passed on from generation to generation?
As I see it, there are two possible answers to this question, and both have to do with a branch of evolutionary biology called evolutionary... Read more
You have heard depression described as a “chemical imbalance,” as if our brains were some sort of soup that could be brought back into balance by pouring in the right additives. It is far more accurate, instead, to think of depression as a breakdown in our neural circuitry. In this context, depression and other... Read more
We know how important it is to have friends. Then it occurred to me. What is a friend? Rather than try to figure this out by myself, I thought I would ask you. But first this little story:
Over a period of two decades, the great operatic composer Giacomo Puccini collaborated on many projects with the conductor Arturo Toscanini. These... Read more
If you have bipolar friends on Facebook, you may have noticed multiple postings of an article in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine by Linda Logan, The Problem with How We Treat Bipolar Disorder.
Linda was a married mother of three, in her mid-thirties, with a promising career in academia. Then, in 1989, after years of swimming... Read more