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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Mental Illness

In Elemental. More on Medium.

For the people considered too far gone, was recovery ever possible? The latest research — and innovative strategies — are offering hope.

Donald Galvin in the 1960s. Photo courtesy of The Galvin family

One night in the early 1960s, when he was about 17, a high school football star and all-state wrestler named Donald Galvin smashed 10 dishes to pieces — all at once, while standing in front of the kitchen sink.


A supervising psychiatrist examines a problematic trend

Photo: Fernando/Unsplash

Casual references to bipolar disorder are tossed around these days with alarming frequency.


The more modern someone’s world becomes, the higher their risk of mental illness

Photo: Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty Images

Every week, the drumbeat of news predicting a mental health fallout from Covid-19 becomes louder. Given all that is happening, and may still happen, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who disagrees. However, I believe things will be worse than even the most dire predictions.


Drug trips, under controlled conditions, break down the barriers between people and bring users closer to nature

Photo: jhillphotography/Getty Images

This is a remarkable moment for psychedelics. Elite universities, including Johns Hopkins and Imperial College in London, have opened centers to research the medical benefits of drugs such as psilocybin, a hallucinogen found in certain mushrooms.


My diagnosis helped me pinpoint my phobia — and overcome it

Photo by Ashley Bean on Unsplash

When I was a kid, I remember channel surfing and stumbling upon a news special about phobias. The man on my screen was sticking his hands in a garbage can, sweating and hysterically crying as if he were dipping his fingers in a barrel of battery acid. A reporter explained that the man had a phobia of germs, and with the help of a therapist, he was facing his fear and exposing himself to the thing that scared him most.

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