Gene testing to guide antidepressant treatment: Has its time arrived?

Depressive disorders are among the most common conditions that disrupt lives. Fortunately, medications, psychotherapies, and lifestyle changes are usually successful in treating depression and related disorders, even if symptoms are not entirely eliminated. Sometimes people don’t gain sufficient relief from...

What donor offspring seek when they do DNA testing

I wrote previously about parents who fear that their donor-conceived children might uncover long-held secrets through DNA testing. Many were unsettled by Dani Shapiro’s memoir Inheritance, which told of how a DNA test done for no particular reason dismantled a...

How racism harms children

Racism hurts children, in real and fundamental ways. It hurts not just their health, but their chances for a good, successful life. That’s the bottom line message of a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It...

Psychotherapy leads in treating post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common, often debilitating mental health condition that occurs in some people who have experienced trauma. It can have a negative impact on mood, mimicking depression, and is characterized by petrifying episodes in which affected...

Teens and confidentiality

When my primary care patients reach high school age, or sometimes before, I kick their parents out of the exam room. I don’t do it right at the beginning of the visit. I meet with them both first, to see...

DNA testing forever changed donor conception

DNA testing (and the family secrets it sometimes reveals) has been in the news a lot this year. As Dani Shapiro’s memoir Inheritance made clear, a simple DNA test can upend an identity and dismantle a family story. Those of...

Trouble keeping information in mind? Could be sleep, mood — or age

You’re heading to the market. You need to pick up eggs, cheese, milk, bread, tomatoes, carrots, and string beans. Can you keep those items in mind by repeating them to yourself? You arrive at your usual market, but it is...

Father’s Day: Tools for coping when celebration brings pain

With Father’s Day mere days away, we’re hearing more advertisements for outdoor grills and golf clubs, sailboats and fishing gear. As an infertility counselor, I am glad that Father’s Day is not welcomed with the gush of sentiment that envelops...

Cannabis is medicine — don’t make it taste good

Most of the clinical fiascos I’ve seen and heard about associated with cannabis consumption have involved the use of cannabis edibles, going back to the days when two bohemian college roommates visited Amsterdam, took two “space cakes,” waited 30 minutes,...

I see you –– but don’t ask me how I’m doing

On the worst day of my life, I noticed how many times an hour Americans ask some version of “how’s it going?” without actually wanting to know the answer. It happens when we pass each other in the halls at...
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