The Reasons To Avoid Slander

Photo: Jason Hargrove

We all do it: not just talk about other people, but talk about them in a derogatory way. Why? According to recent research, it may be because gossip “not only helps clarify and enforce the rules that keep people working well together, but it circulates crucial information about the behavior of […]

Cigarette Smoking Is Caused By A Delusion, Redux

Photo: P.13

I leaned back in my chair and breathed a heavy sigh. My patient, Mr. Rodriguez (not his real name), noticed my discomfort. “I know I should quit,” he told me with a guilty shrug of his shoulders.

“Have you ever tried?” I asked.

“Once,” he replied, “but it didn’t stick.”

Mr. Rodriguez […]

The Magical Power Of “Safe” Words To Prevent Harm

Photo: Mikamatto

Many people have recently become aware of the use of “safe” words in the context of sadomasochistic sexual practices largely due to the popularity of the book Fifty Shades of Grey. In general, a “safe” word is an agreed-upon code word that the “masochist” can say to the “sadist” at any time […]

The Undefeated Mind

Over the last twenty years, I’ve watched thousands of patients struggle with a variety of ailments, from minor colds to life-threatening cancers. And though the majority of them eventually found relief from their suffering, the suffering of some of them left me breathless: the pilot who became so vertiginous he couldn’t sit up for two […]