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David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
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Bryan Cranston
Actor
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Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
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Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Happier, More Relaxed, and Emotionally Empty: The High Cost of Overmedication

Dr. Julie Holland relays the dangers related to overprescribed medications. She suggests several alternatives to relying on antidepressants.

Dr. Julie Holland: So right now in America, one out of four women is taking some sort of a psychiatric medication. And that doesn’t include sleeping pills. This is just antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and also antipsychotics. Because we’re not getting enough sleep or enough exercise or enough sunshine, more and more of us are feeling stressed and anxious and depressed. To me criteria for a major depressive episode, you need to be depressed and down more days than not for at least two weeks. Sometimes women are down or depressed for three or four days every month. And it’s important to know that that is normal and it’s natural and it doesn’t have to necessarily be medicated away; 80 percent of prescriptions for psych meds in America are written by non-psychiatrists, by internists and family practitioners and GPs. And, you know, to really tease apart whether you have a psychiatric history, whether your family has a psychiatric history, whether you’ve ever been on these medicines before, and whether you really need these medicines or there aren’t other ways to get you to feel better, that’s a long conversation that would take an hour. And internists don’t necessarily have this much time. 

An antidepressant is not a diagnostic tool. It’s not a test like if, you know, you’re not sure if you’re depressed or not, but then you take an antidepressant and you start feeling better and you’re like oh, I must have been depressed. That’s no more accurate than, you know, taking Adderall and discovering that you’re able to concentrate and focus better. That doesn’t mean that you have an attention deficit disorder. People get on these meds and it turns out that they like them. They do feel happier and more relaxed. And then they discover that there’s a price to pay for feeling happier and relaxed and their libido is dampened. It’s more difficult to climax. It’s more difficult to cry. They may not feel as connected emotionally with people. And so over time some people decide, you know, I don’t want to be medicated anymore. I don’t feel like myself. And then they discover that it’s actually hard to get off of antidepressants. I’ll give Effexor withdrawal as an example and you can Google "Effexor withdrawal" and you will see for yourself that there are kind of bizarre symptoms that people have. They will talk about feeling brain zaps, electricity that shoots from their head out their arms. I’ve had patients say they feel their brain moving around in their skull or their eyes are sort of lagging behind their vision, you know. Weird sort of neurological-sounding side effects. Unfortunately the way that health care is in America right now, I mean it is a commodity. It is a business. It affects the way that doctors and patients interact and sometimes there’s not enough time to really be thorough and have the harder conversations, you know, what did you eat for breakfast this morning? How much sleep did you get last night? Are you exercising? Sometimes it’s just easier to hand over a prescription.

 

Dr. Julie Holland argues that women are designed by nature to be dynamic and sensitive — women are moody and that is a good thing. Yet millions of women are medicating away their emotions because we are out of sync with our own bodies and we are told that moodiness is a problem to be fixed. One in four women takes a psychiatric drug. If you add sleeping pills to the mix, the statistics become higher. Overprescribed medications can have far-reaching consequences for women in many areas of our lives: sex, relationships, sleep, eating, focus, balance, and aging. Dr. Holland's newest book is titled Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having and What’s Really Making You Crazy.

Remote learning vs. online instruction: How COVID-19 woke America up to the difference

Educators and administrators must build new supports for faculty and student success in a world where the classroom might become virtual in the blink of an eye.

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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • If you or someone you know is attending school remotely, you are more than likely learning through emergency remote instruction, which is not the same as online learning, write Rich DeMillo and Steve Harmon.
  • Education institutions must properly define and understand the difference between a course that is designed from inception to be taught in an online format and a course that has been rapidly converted to be offered to remote students.
  • In a future involving more online instruction than any of us ever imagined, it will be crucial to meticulously design factors like learner navigation, interactive recordings, feedback loops, exams and office hours in order to maximize learning potential within the virtual environment.
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Has science made religion useless?

Placing science and religion at opposite ends of the belief spectrum is to ignore their unique purposes.

Videos
  • Science and religion (fact versus faith) are often seen as two incongruous groups. When you consider the purpose of each and the questions that they seek to answer, the comparison becomes less black and white.
  • This video features religious scholars, a primatologist, a neuroendocrinologist, a comedian, and other brilliant minds considering, among other things, the evolutionary function that religion serves, the power of symbols, and the human need to learn, explore, and know the world around us so that it becomes a less scary place.
  • "I think most people are actually kind of comfortable with the idea that science is a reliable way to learn about nature, but it's not the whole story and there's a place also for religion, for faith, for theology, for philosophy," says Francis Collins, American geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "But that harmony perspective doesn't get as much attention. Nobody is as interested in harmony as they are in conflict."

Signs of Covid-19 may be hidden in speech signals

Studying voice recordings of infected but asymptomatic people reveals potential indicators of Covid-19.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
Coronavirus
It's often easy to tell when colleagues are struggling with a cold — they sound sick.
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Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist

A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Surprising Science
  • A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
  • Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
  • The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
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Supporting climate science increases skepticism of out-groups

A study finds people are more influenced by what the other party says than their own. What gives?

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study has found evidence suggesting that conservative climate skepticism is driven by reactions to liberal support for science.
  • This was determined both by comparing polling data to records of cues given by leaders, and through a survey.
  • The findings could lead to new methods of influencing public opinion.
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