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David Blistein
David Blistein is a novelist, essayist, and former advertising agency executive whose writing is the culmination of a lifelong pursuit of wisdom, transcendence, and humor. His most recent book is David's Inferno: My Journey Through the Dark Woods of Depression (Hatherleigh Press, 2013). For more information see

Entries by David Blistein

All Psychiatry Is Personal

(2) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 3:28 PM

Last week I went to a presentation by Robert Whitaker, author of the bestselling and controversial book Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America. Having spent a lot of time in the pharmaceutical trenches, I think my perspective...

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Treatment-Resistant Depression (Part 3): Maybe It's Time for a 'Noble' Prize

(5) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 6:42 PM

Alfred Nobel's decision to transform the vast fortune he earned by inventing weapons of destruction into a force for good has proven to be one of the most important philanthropic acts in history. Honoring scientists, writers, and activists who labor in obscurity for years inspires countless other people...

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This Is Your Brain on Drugs

(1) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 2:29 PM

"This is your brain. This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?" -- Script for PSA by Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1987

This ad was part of a campaign to eliminate (yeah, right...) the use of illegal drugs in America. A strung-out guy holds up...

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Treatment-Resistant Depression: Part Two

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 9:25 AM

I'm sitting in the haphazardly-remodeled former summer kitchen of an 1853 farmhouse in Vermont, watching a good friend endure his third session of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) -- a procedure that, in clinical trials, has been shown to have some success against treatment-resistant depression.

My friend is sitting...

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Staying on the Bus

(1) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 4:34 PM

The bus is a pretty powerful metaphor for my generation. In 1954, Rosa Parks' refusal to ride in the back of one was a turning point in the civil rights movement. The 1964 cross-country odyssey of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters in a school bus named Further was equally...

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Treatment-Resistant Depression, Part One

(19) Comments | Posted September 8, 2013 | 3:42 PM

Treatment-resistant depression is a subject close to my heart. Too close. My own episode lasted from 2005-2007, during which I tried a dozen different medications, along with homeopathy, herbs, supplements, bodywork, and assorted other interventions before finding a successful cocktail that includes Lamictal, Cymbalta, regular workouts, a couple of IPAs...

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Who's Crazy Now?

(2) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 5:50 PM

In ancient Greece, Hippocrates might have told someone with depression that his yellow bile was out of whack. Traditionally, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine have diagnosed depressives by studying their (im)balance of vata, pitta, and kapha. Freud would have analyzed their dreams.

For the last 60 years, most western doctors have...

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