Debunking the Chemical Imbalance Theory, Part II

three sheep walking

This is Part II of Debunking the Chemical Imbalance theory. Part I can be found here. Psychiatry, like most hard sciences, suffers as research trickle down from laboratories to the mainstream. Take our friend from Part I, Harvard neuropsychopharmacologist Joseph Schildkraut, who said in 1965 that the chemical imbalance theory was “at best a reductionistic…

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Debunking the Chemical Imbalance Theory, Part I

moneky eating a fruit

I’m going to take the time to dive into the chemical imbalance theory of depression, and why it’s a big ‘o pile of crap. I’m taking the time to do this because 80% of people believe that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, despite overwhelming evidence otherwise. Today I will focus on the history…

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Do as Much as Necessary And as Little as Possible

girl stretching by the river

As I sit here on this gloomy spring morning, the tentacles of a migraine still latched onto the left side of my head, I am reminded of the phrase, “Do as much as necessary and as little as possible.” I first heard this phrased used around physical training. Think of an Olympian, for example, who…

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You Aren’t in Traffic. You Are The Traffic.

a girl standing on hands on a woodem bridge in a green city park

As I was taking my car to get serviced at 7:30 this morning, I pulled onto the highway and was met with a line of cars backed up for miles. I cursed myself for a moment, annoyed that I chose to take the highway at peak rush hour instead of taking the back roads. Whether…

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Why Happiness Practice Matters

woman walking through the field of pink tulips

I find myself writing to you today from a rather odd place. There is pressure surrounding a particular issue in my personal life, and I can feel my inner world preparing for the earth to crack open. This isn’t unexpected, and the details don’t matter. But it renders a newsletter about happiness as a skill…

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How Your Vision Affects Stress And Anxiety

grey waterfall with rough waters

This week, I wanted to draw attention to the work of Andrew Huberman, an American neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Huberman specializes in the visual system and how it affects brain development, neuroplasticity, and neural regeneration and repair. Our eyes, as it turns out,…

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Three Science-Backed Apps for Better Emotional Health

view on the calm lake waters and white mountain peak

  One of the pitfalls of depression is that because it tends to come in waves, the habits we gather while we’re feeling okay often fall by the wayside when we’re feeling rough. And while I’m a huge advocate of forcing yourself to maintain those habits during times of darkness, I know that sometimes, it’s…

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The 51% Theory, or, Factual Optimism

Brroke Siem on green-yellow bike

Healing Depression through Factual Optimism How do we find happiness when we are still depressed or in antidepressant withdrawal? We don’t. At least, we don’t aim for big changes. Instead, we go for getting it right 51% of the time. If we quantify happiness onto a scale that ranges from 0% happy to 100% happy,…

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MAY CAUSE SIDE EFFECTS coming 2022!

may cause side effects a memoir book picture and author brooke siem

When I started Happiness Is A Skill, I did it for two reasons. First, I wanted to have an outlet to talk about mental/emotional health and antidepressant withdrawal without enmeshing myself in social media. The topography of those niches on Twitter is a nightmare, and I couldn’t bring myself to swim around in that muck.…

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