Month: April 2016

Risky business ~ Problem Gambling

When a little flutter becomes a lot of bother If you are looking for a precise description, gambling can be defined as ‘placing something of value at risk in the hopes of gaining something of greater value’. Throughout history, we have evolved this into a number of legal and socially acceptable activities such as betting… Read more »

The evolutionary origins of depression

The biological basis of depression In evolutionary terms, depression is said to be ‘adaptive’, that is, it has some sort of biological purpose in order to enable us to function more effectively in the longer term, either as individuals or as part of a social group. The discussion has given rise to a number of… Read more »

Antidepressants ~ chemical intervention or placebo?

The accidental birth of a billion dollar industry In 1952, scientists isolated a drug called reserpine from the dried Indian snakeroot plant (which had been used for centuries in India for the treatment of fever and snakebites). It was found to reduce levels of the monoamines in the body (serotonin, dopamine and noradrenalin) and to… Read more »