Can a party drug stop the increasing rate of suicide?

Ketamine is showing promise in alleviating suicidal thoughts.

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  • The popular party drug has shown promise in stopping suicidal thoughts in a number of small clinical studies.
  • First synthesized in 1962, the anesthetic was used to treat Vietnam War soldiers in the early seventies.
  • Though the accompanying hallucinations are a roadblock to widespread therapy, innovations in psychiatry are necessary.
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Have Americans become too fragile for their own good?

Beyond trigger warnings and safe spaces lies an entire population that espouses victimhood in all walks of life.

  • Depression and anxiety rates are through the roof amongst young Americans, with the left and the right sides of the political spectrum blaming each other. Neither has an answer, and it goes beyond buzzwords like "safe spaces" and "triggered".
  • When everyone feels like a victim, are the mediums of communication themselves—social media and search engines—at fault?
  • There is no one right answer, but Jonathan Haidt makes a case for more open talk about our insecurities. Transparent communication with others, and perhaps learning some self-therapy, can help assuage a potential generation of failure.
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4 psychological techniques cults use to recruit members

Hint: They hold off on talking about their alien god until much later.

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  • The beliefs of cults and other extreme ideologies are patently bizarre to any outsider observer.
  • Despite how strange their beliefs are and the stereotype, most people who get sucked into cults are relatively normal and healthy at first.
  • Watching out for these four manipulative tactics can help you from getting suckered by cults, scams, and other extreme organizations.
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Actor Robin Williams appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios on April 27, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything. It is even noticeable in the way you speak and express yourself in writing. Sometimes this “language of depression” can have a powerful effect on others. Just consider the impact of the poetry and song lyrics of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain, who both killed themselves after suffering from depression.

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How Preventing One Suicide Can Save Many Lives

Recent research shows that suicidal behavior is a social contagion that spreads through families and classrooms. The good news? So does suicide prevention.

Much of the research on suicide prevention focuses on individual risk factors—but what about suicide as a social contagion? Professor Jason Fletcher and colleagues decided to examine the social processes related to suicide and found that it spreads through families, and spills over into classrooms—and, most intriguingly, that it moves along gender lines. This seems like terrible news, but discovering this mechanism actually has policy implications for suicide prevention: "Successful suicide prevention programs have this potential for spilling over on people who aren’t treated themselves or who aren’t intervened on themselves," Fletcher says. Preventing one suicide in a family can reduce the likelihood of an attempt for an adolescent within that family, but also for the adolescent’s classmates—that's a pretty astonishing finding. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741, and to find support for yourself or a loved on, reach out to someone at The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention . This video was filmed as part of the Los Angeles Hope Festival, a collaboration between Big Think and Hope & Optimism.

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