Depressed? Blame the heavens

Scientists have long laughed at astrology’s underlying premise—that celestial events can influence human emotions and behavior. But a series of new studies has produced evidence that at least one kind of astronomical event—solar flares—may, in fact, affect human beings. Periodically, the sun erupts with large storms that hurl waves of electromagnetically charged particles into space, altering Earth’s own magnetic field. […]

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A depression breakthrough

A hallucinatory party drug could point the way to the first new treatments for depression in a generation. Scientists have discovered that ketamine (“Special K”), which club-goers take for dream-like highs, also improves mood disorders by repairing damaged connections in the brain. What’s more, ketamine works within hours as opposed to weeks— even for people whose mood disorders have proved […]

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Guatemala: A nation in the grip of depression

Guatemalans are suffering from “an epidemic of chronic pessimism,” said Jose J. Camacho. We all seem to agree that “everything is bad, nothing is certain, everyone has a price, and something evil lurks behind every good deed.” The media fuel these perceptions by covering every new incidence of violence exhaustively, lavishing special attention on the most frightening and lurid details […]

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