Future doctor. Interested in science communication in all its forms: writing, podcasting, organizing scientific events...
Follow me on twitter at @addict_science
Today, we are continuing with the topic of stress. But, as we discussed in my previous post, stress isn't an innocuous feeling. Sure, it can be helpful to get by in a tricky situation. However, stress changes our brain (remember the hippocampus?) and it affects our capacity to think and remember things. And if it changes how we think, can it change who we are? This question is enough to start a philosophical discussion that can take us several posts. What really makes us who we are? Is our identity fluid or fixed? Can we change all our personality traits, or are there some that are fixed? Can external factors (like stress) change who we are? Can a psychiatric disorder change who we are? Now you have something to talk about with that intense friend of yours; you're welcome.
Hi everyone! Yes, I am back… after a stressful start to the year with moving and shameful WiFi connection, I’ve managed to get my life in order (the COVID quarantine has helped, I have to admit) and once again I have time to write. Home office can be tough; after reading papers for the whole day my brain felt like it had been fried on a grill. So I decided to transform all the knowledge I had accumulated into a comprehensible summary of my (very broadly speaking) research topic: stress and mental health. Work and entertainment all in one ;) I found so many interesting facts about stress and our health that I decided to make this entry a bit broader and briefly include other brain disorders.
Disclaimer: the experiences of addicted people are extremely complex and cannot be appropriately covered in this post. This is just a brief review of where science is at this point and it doesn't necessarily match the feelings of people with an addiction problem. Addiction many times has a lot of emotional layers behind it that make it ever more complicated to exit from it. However we may choose to define addiction, addicts should be treated with empathy, in treatment centres and in society. I believe addiction can be a way to cope with other complicated situations that the person has gone through and that these should be appropriately addressed so that an addict can recover. In no case should they be dismissed as weak or superficial people that don't deserve help.
This post promises to be a complicated one. We will try to balance the pros and cons of social media, a controversial topic at the very least. However, social media plays such a big role in our lives today, that its effects on our mental (and physical) health should not be overlooked. But are there any effects, and if so are they good or bad? Answering these questions is not going to be easy since there's probably no clear effect. We are all different, and the effects social media has on us may vary depending on our personality and the time we spend on it. But, well, there's no shame in trying.
Hi again everyone! Holidays had me completely out of the creative zone, but I’m back to tell you about the science of mental disorders. However, before that, I am going to start with a more broad post about how scientists find out about the brain.
Okay, so I got a bit carried away in my first post, starting with something as specific as the implication of the immune system in depression. Maybe I should have started with something a bit more general, like the systems involved in depression that have been established for years, and then moved onto more current topics. So that’s what I’m sharing with you today! I hope it’s still interesting to all; at least it will give us a more stable grounding on what depression is caused by. Specifically, you’ll find three more traditional hypotheses that try to give some explanation to the root of depression.
Let’s start with an introduction. My name is Laura and I am a current MSc student in neuroscience and future PhD in psychiatry. In these last years, I have come to realize how little communication there is between scientists and the rest of society. Science is always advancing, creating new tools and obtaining new knowledge that can be of use to everyone, or that can pose new ethical questions on which society as a whole should have a say. But how is anyone going to take advantage of the new information or generate a debate with it, if it is not made available to them in an accessible and comprehensible way?
Science communication contains three types of knowledge transmission: communication between scientists of the same field, communication between scientists of different fields and communication to non-scientists. Many scientists consider the first one to be pretty much achieved through specialist papers and conferences, but I would argue that there is still room for improvement. For starters, papers are like reading through a fragmented story where you have to decipher the way the researcher got from the beginning to the end. Did they have to slay a dragon or break a spell to find the treasure? Good luck finding that out. But I digress; this is not the topic of this post. Today we are interested in the other two types of scientific communication.