“Finding Purpose in the Face of Tragedy and Adversity” AND More on Best 5 Thursday Reads

Hello and welcome to another edition of Best 5 Reads. Lets begin!

1) Finding Purpose in the Face of Tragedy and Adversity

The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death … our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. —Stanley Kubrick


Karl Friston’s free energy principle might be the most all-encompassing idea since Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. But to understand it, you need to peer inside the mind of Friston himself.

3) No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression

Introduction: Given the breadth of correlational research linking social media use to worse well-being, we undertook an experimental study to investigate the potential causal role that social media plays in this relationship. Method: After a week of baseline monitoring, 143 undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania were randomly assigned to either limit Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat use to 10 minutes, per platform, per day, or to use social media as usual for three weeks. Results: The limited use group showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression over three weeks compared to the control group. Both groups showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out over baseline, suggesting a benefit of increased self-monitoring. Discussion: Our findings strongly suggest that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day may lead to significant improvement in well-being.

4) Medicalization and Demedicalization — A Gravely Disabled Homeless Man with Psychiatric Illness

A 55-year-old man, Mr. N. presented to the UCLA emergency department (ED) reporting auditory hallucinations and thoughts of suicide. This was his sixth visit to the UCLA ED over a period of a few months; each visit was precipitated by his losing his medication and experiencing worsening psychotic symptoms and suicidal thoughts. During all but one of these visits, the examining physicians concluded that Mr. N. did not meet the criteria for psychiatric inpatient care. A typical note read, “He is only in the ER for food and shelter. …He has been homeless for many years. Given that he came to the ER to seek shelter, he has proven himself capable of making plans.”

5) The Challenges of Identifying Biomarkers of Psychiatric Illness

There is minimal overlap in neurologic variations among individuals with severe psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia spectrum disorders and bipolar disorder.

Thank you and see you tomorrow for more articles.

Best Regards,



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