Mental Health

Gene testing to guide antidepressant treatment: Has its time arrived?

Commercial gene tests claim to offer guidance in choosing appropriate medications to treat depression. As yet, no evidence supports this claim.

What donor offspring seek when they do DNA testing

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

Readily available DNA testing unexpectedly changed some family trees. But people who grew up knowing –– or recently learned –– they were donor-conceived may have differing reasons for wanting to better understand their personal stories.

How racism harms children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement regarding the “socially transmitted disease” of racism. Its negative effects harm children in multiple areas, including education, health care, employment, and the justice system.

Psychotherapy leads in treating post-traumatic stress disorder

Expert recommendations for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) differ. New research supports trying certain types of psychotherapy first, followed by medication if needed, or starting off with a combination of both.

Teens and confidentiality

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Offering teens privacy and confidentiality when meeting with a health care provider may allow them to discuss uncomfortable topics –– such as risky behavior, physical concerns, feeling anxious or depressed –– a step toward getting needed information and help.

DNA testing forever changed donor conception

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

DNA testing kits can upend identity and spark a multitude of questions for some children conceived with donor sperm and parents who hadn’t shared origin stories.

Trouble keeping information in mind? Could be sleep, mood — or age

Most people experience some degree of decreased memory as they get older, but memory performance is also affected by mood and sleep quality, and these are factors that can be controlled and improved.

Father’s Day: Tools for coping when celebration brings pain

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

While Father’s Day gets less sentimental build up than Mother’s Day, it may still bring out intense emotions for many men even if they are not parents themselves.

Cannabis is medicine — don’t make it taste good

The increasing availability of cannabis-containing edibles has fueled debate about their safety. As emergency visits rise for treatment related to edibles, some common-sense thinking about how these products are packaged and sold is needed.

I see you –– but don’t ask me how I’m doing

The common American casual greeting is an almost-automatic behavior, a superficial form of friendliness. But when someone says, “How are you?” how many of us really think about the question, or the answer?