New Jersey psychiatrist Steven Levine first thought of using ketamine in his practice when a patient came in whose depression could not be lifted by any commercially available antidepressants. After talking to Levine for a while, the patient confessed she felt better when she self medicated with cough syrup. When Levine looked up the active ingredient in the cough syrups the patient used, it was dextromethorphan, which, like ketamine, can induce a dissociative state or a detachment from reality. You have to be looking in order to find something, says Levine, who is now one of a few practitioners who administer ketamine for depression, along with a few research centers. When he started out, dosing his first patient in 2011, he was as far as he knows the first to offer it outside a research setting. Levine was tired of the available drugs for depression, which have a high side effect profile and are ineffective for some patients. Only around 45% of patients respond to traditional … [Read more...] about Depressed? Your doctor might soon prescribe ketamine
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“When I came to recently from surgery,” says Sarah, “the first words I’ve been told I uttered were not ‘mum’, or ‘nurse”, but ‘iPhone, iPhone’.” Eighteen-year-old Sarah is part of the Smartphone generation, aged 14-21, who roughly follow the millennial generation the Guardian has been focusing on during its two-week series on the issues faced by young adults aged 20-35 around the western world. While technology is important to millennials, it is essential to those such as Sarah who come after, and are permanently switched on, multi-screening and multi-tasking. The most common name this group is given is Gen Z; I call them Generation K, after Katniss Everdeen, the determined heroine of the Hunger Games. Like Katniss, they feel the world they inhabit is one of perpetual struggle – dystopian, unequal and harsh. “Life for us is hard. A struggle,” says Jake, 16, “I think we’ve got it much tougher … [Read more...] about Think millennials have it tough? For ‘Generation K’, life is even harsher
I am sitting in a circle in a grey, corporate room with 10 housing association employees – administrators, security guards, cleaners – eyes darting about nervously. We are asked to eat a sandwich in silence. To think about every taste and texture, every chewing motion and bite. Far from being relaxed, I feel excruciatingly uncomfortable and begin to wonder if my jaw is malfunctioning. I’m here to write about a new mindfulness initiative, and since I’ve never to my knowledge had any mental health issues and usually thrive under stress, I anticipate a straightforward, if awkward, experience. Then comes the meditation. We’re told to close our eyes and think about our bodies in relation to the chair, the floor, the room: how each limb touches the arms, the back, the legs of the seat, while breathing slowly. But there’s one small catch: I can’t breathe. No matter how fast, slow, deep or shallow my breaths are, it feels as though my lungs are sealed. … [Read more...] about Is mindfulness making us ill?
Like balls on a pool table, the children bounce from one corner to the other. Their rain jackets shine in red, green, blue, pink and yellow as they run on the wet grey concrete of the playground at the Gottfried-Kinkel primary school in outside of the western German city of Bonn. A boy jumps into a puddle, a girl climbs up the ladder to the play tower. Laughter and loud shouts echo from the walls of the building. When a bell rings at the end of the break, everyone suddenly turns quiet. The children line up behind the teachers in rows of two and march into the classrooms. No fidgeting, no screaming. Prussian-style discipline at a modern-day German primary school? "The children have set the rules for themselves," school teacher Caroline Herzog said. "Some are stricter than us teachers." Anyone who turns around or makes noise while walking inside is admonished by their classmates. After three offenses, they get an entry in the class register. This was decided by the students' class … [Read more...] about Children’s rights make uneven progress in Germany
If you want to make dramatic fiction for the screen you must first strangle your creative impulses. The alternative is even more painful. It is to put your creativity at the service of the formula and take instructions from the executive apparatchiki. They need to feed off your creativity because they have none, and to control it because they are told to. This totalitarian micro management is not confined to just one area of television, nor even to television. It's just the one I know best. It grew up under Thatcher as the bosses recovered their self confidence and new management was encouraged to crack the whip. It has achieved its apotheosis in the grand years of New Labour's incursion into every crevice of our public services. We cannot understand what is happening in screen drama unless we place it in the context of the wider society. Working in art film or commercial cinema is like dancing through a mine field, and every broadcaster is now racing down market in a desperate attempt … [Read more...] about Tony Garnett’s email on BBC drama