Depression Isn’t Just a Global Epidemic. It’s a Silent One.

We Know Very Little About Depression—Except That Talking About It Will Help

Depression is still the illness that dares not speak its name. Taboos persist. Social stigmas endure. Many confounding mysteries remain about exactly what causes depression and how best to treat it—even though it affects tens of millions of people worldwide, and even as the number of suicides globally has soared to 1 million.

Those painful realities formed the backdrop to a Zócalo/UCLA event titled “How Can We Reverse the Depression Epidemic?” at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown Los Angeles. But over the course of a wide-ranging …

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Creating a Center for Culture, Tradition—and Mental Health Care

Why Treating Mental Illness Is Crucial to the American Dream

I came to Perris, a small town in Riverside County, more than two decades ago from the island province of Bohol in the Philippines. As much as I would have …

Paranoids in the Age of Digital Surveillance

How Delusions Change With Technological Advancement

Do you ever get paranoid about a creep hacking your computer webcam? Or being monitored by some government agency, foreign or domestic? Having someone take a surreptitious photo of you …

The Art of Being “Ugly”

Cosmetics Became a Surprisingly Positive Part of My Recovery From an Eating Disorder

There’s an Elizabeth Taylor quote I wrote inside my journal in high school. It’s the kind of quote you see printed on tacky spiral notebooks, bordered by rhinestones and paired …

Obsessing About Terrorism Is Bad for Your Mental Health

Constant Media-Induced Anxiety Can Inflict Psychological Harm

My patient, Anna, is an African-American woman in her 60s living alone in Los Angeles. She has a progressive arthritis and she walks slowly with the aid of a …

The Shaman Who Transformed My Schizophrenic Son

After a Decade Cycling Through Hospitals and Drugs, a Trip to Africa and a Foray into Tribal Medicine Gave Our Family Hope

At the age of 17, after a wonderful summer of fishing and learning to surf, my son, then in his junior year at a Boston high school, told me one …