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Mind and body: Worms to help depression? Could happen...
Scientists are studying whether organisms such as tapeworms, magnified above, might help treat disease
August 10th, 2011
04:23 PM ET

Mind and body: Worms to help depression? Could happen...

When was the last time you, your children or anyone you know was treated for worms? If you’re under the age of 40, your likely answer is “Never!”

This is no accident. As a society we have become cleaner and cleaner, more and more antiseptic, more and more hygienic over the last half century.

As we’ve done so, a huge array of microorganisms - worms among them - have silently, and with no fanfare, vanished from our daily environments. Some worms have even gone extinct inside our pets.

Industrialized countries such as the United States began making serious efforts to sanitize their environments in the 19th century. These public health efforts have done more to reduce disease and enhance longevity than any medical intervention before or since.

But scientific evidence increasingly suggests that the victories achieved by cleanliness have come at a significant health cost that is only now beginning to be fully appreciated.

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August 2nd, 2011
03:06 PM ET

Could I have been sexually abused?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Sarah from Chicago
I am wondering if I could have been molested as a child. I have this strong feeling that I was, but I can't remember anything. When I was young, 6 or 7, I used to make my dolls have sex. At 9, I began touching myself, even though I didn't know what it meant. I am now 29 and was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder last year. I know this condition often comes with a history of childhood sexual abuse. Could it be possible?
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July 26th, 2011
12:07 PM ET

Is it OK to be on antidepressants for years?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Rose from Arizona
Is it dangerous to be on an antidepressant for several years?
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July 5th, 2011
11:56 AM ET

Can physical injury cause depression?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by John H., Georgia

I suffered a pretty serious compound fracture to my ankle last year, followed by an infection, five surgeries, three rounds of IV treatment with PICC lines, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, and now physical therapy and oral antibiotics.

I feel like I've let my family, my company and myself down. I find it hard to concentrate and my limited mobility makes everything worse. I am in constant pain (bone-on-bone in the ankle) and even though the infection is finally gone, I find that an alarming amount of my thoughts are related to doing away with myself. When I was really hurt, I had getting better to look forward to. Now that I am there (sort of) it isn't that much better. Right now my life seems pretty joyless.

Is this typical for a Type A after an injury? Should I be (even more) worried? FULL POST


June 28th, 2011
02:41 PM ET

Can an abuse victim 'fix' aversion to sex?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Asked by Sharon from Alaska

I was abused as a child. Never intercourse, but I was threatened about it, and I had to watch my sister and this man. I was always called a prude by him. Anyway, I'm married and celibate. I do not enjoy sex nor do I have any interest in it. I am on Effexor and unsure how I feel about my husband. I do not know if this is a physical issue, mental or marrying the wrong man. Obviously this causes issues for my husband, but why should I suffer so he doesn't have to?
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June 21st, 2011
10:23 AM ET

Can depression cause inability to focus?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Asked by Rachel from Southern California

I am a college student, recently diagnosed with depression, and am taking steps to figure out if I have ADHD because of a tremendous inability to focus and retain information. It is almost like, when I'm trying to focus on something someone says, it slips right through me like water.

I am curious to know what prospects I have of gaining my cognitive abilities back if I start taking Lexapro or other antidepressants. If these are going to impair my ability to concentrate and focus even more, then I am not sure how to weigh the cost-benefits of taking them, because I am in school.

In short, are antidepressants more helpful or hurtful to my cognitive functions? Can I look forward to reversing the concentration and memory retention problems I am currently undergoing?
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June 14th, 2011
10:08 AM ET

Can I ask my therapist personal questions?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Asked by J. Johnston, U.S.
I am curious about the working relationship of therapist and patient. I have always been aware that there is a boundary. But I also think it is human nature to make assumptions. So, of course, I make assumptions based on the way my therapist responds to some of my comments. The bad thing is that I don't feel I can ever ask if my assumptions are correct since some of them would be somewhat personal. On the other hand, I sometimes think this information would be helpful to know because I think I would trust the therapist a little more (since education and life experience are two different things). I know with my previous therapist I made several assumptions that I now know are wrong. Because of those assumptions, I feel like it slowed my progress down. So, what is that line? Can I ask questions, knowing that although I can't have, nor do I need to know, all the details of my therapist's personal life, can I ask basic information to try go get a better understanding of my therapist?
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May 24th, 2011
01:27 PM ET

Could I have PTSD from being bullied?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Asked by Sue from Canada

I have been harassed for many years at work due to the fact I am considered a disabled person. I can't do some jobs because I don't have the strength or endurance. People taunted me, saying stuff like saying I was a hypochondriac. They made me do work I couldn't physically do, and I'm harassed almost on a daily basis. During this time, I developed major depression, and last year I needed time off from work because of it. I feel I have some signs of PTSD because I can't work in certain areas of the plant I work in.

I started cutting two years ago to deal with the stress and getting suicidal thoughts, which I still deal with at this time. I am getting counseling, and I am taking medication for my depression and my ADHD. I think of the teenagers who have killed themselves because of bullying, and I understand how they felt. That is how I feel. I now work more in an area where people treat me better, but I can't forget the fact that some of my co-workers drove me to have suicidal thoughts and cutting. I have been with this company for 26 years. I was told to forget about it since they are treating me better, but I just can't get past the hell they put me through day in and day out. Could I have PTSD or complex PTSD?
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May 17th, 2011
02:17 PM ET

Are my son's bipolar meds effective?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Asked by Manager

My son has biopolar and takes Depakote and Seroquel together. He doesn't seem that much better. Are there more effective drugs than these?
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May 10th, 2011
12:32 PM ET

Will my baby inherit bipolar disorder?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Asked by Amy of Dallas, Texas

I am five months pregnant, and it has been great. My mother-in-law has bipolar disorder and is clinically depressed. I wonder if there will be a slight chance that my baby will get that from her? My husband has been emotionally taking care his mother since he was 10 and can't seem to help.

Expert answer
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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