Smartphone psychiatry? How NIMH director Tom Insel turned from brain scanners to social tech

Around this time, Insel told me recently, he’d just finished a talk describing the wonderful things the NIMH was discovering about the brain when a man in the audience said, “You don’t get it.” “Excuse me?,” Insel said. “I don’t get what?” “Our house is on fire,” the man said, “and you’re telling us about […]

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Talking Genetics and Writing with David Goodman

My journalist friend and colleague David Goodman had me on his radio show “The Vermont Conversation” this past Wednesday, over at WDEV’s fine studios in Waterbury, Vermont, and we spent a few minutes discussing writing about science; my review of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance; depression and neurology; and my mother’s lover. My segment starts shortly after the 2-minute mark and runs to about minute […]

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Can Bergdahl’s statements in therapy be used against him?

That’s what this story from the LA Times appears to say. If that’s true, seems something is amiss. Surely a POW being debriefed has some a right to confidential psychotherapy? If anyone knows (really knows, not guesses), kindly comment below or write me at david.a.dobbs@gmail.com. Would be grateful for clarification to know this. Under investigation for possible desertion, Sgt. […]

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Spring’s Darkest Bloom: Suicide

On average, about 700 Americans kill themselves each week — but in the fine-weather weeks of May and June, the toll rises closer to 800, sometimes higher. Every year, suicide peaks with the tulips and lilacs — increasing roughly 15 percent over the annual average to create one of psychiatry’s most consistent epidemiological patterns. It […]

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“The Book of Woe” – Gary Greenberg’s Romp of a Read About the DSM Debacle

Note: This review first appeared in Nature, 2 May 2012. My thanks to Nature for the commission and fine editorial support. When it is published later this month, the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM-5, will mark well over a century of formal guides to psychiatric diagnosis. The first two psychiatric […]

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