Overcoming Grief With Lord Tennyson

Imagine life losing all semblance of stability and becoming subject to a series of occasionally terrifying hallucinations where you streak across the solar system. For Big Think's recent guest, Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, these intense flares of consciousness were a matter of everyday life.

Dr. Jamison struggled from manic depression and, without treatment, was slowly ‘losing her humanity’ to the point of waking up in a coma after a failed suicide attempt. Coming to grips with the fact that her only options were medication or death, she sought treatment and eventually gained her footing. Jamison has since become one of the foremost experts on suicide, depression, mood disorders and temperament. She discussed some of her research with Big Think including her argument against 'over-romanticizing' the link between madness and creativity, reminding us that while many of history’s most revered artists surely led miserable and often short lives, they were far from reveling in their own dementia, and generally sought clinical help...

Jamison also discusses the intensely human and ultimately powerful topic of grief, the topic of her new book, “Nothing Was The Same: A Memoir.” Highlighting how, contrary to depression, one can still encounter solace and a sense of the world while grieving, she explains how literature helped her through the process.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
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A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
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Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

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Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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