GOOD

In the United States, close to 10% of the population has depression, but sometimes it can take a long time for someone to even understand that they have it.

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How a Simple Semicolon Tattoo is Giving Hope To People in Pain

The punctuation mark has become an important symbol to those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Tattoos tell a story. Sometimes that story is as meaningful as memorializing a past relationship. Other times, it tells the story of “I got this when I was drunk.” Recently, an organization known as Project Semicolon came up with the idea of creating tattoos for the greater good. Tattoo semicolons would be used to symbolize the hope of people who could have ended their life—or ended the sentence—but decided to charge forward, with hope. Nearly two years after the project’s start, hundreds of people across the globe have responded with enthusiasm, engagement, and tattoos.

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“Hippie Crack” Might Fight Depression

Nitrous oxide, the newest party drug to go therapeutic, is a laugh and a half.

Oh, nitrous. At a party in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, I once saw two guys fight over the last of the laughing gas, a pair of grown men rolling around on the floor, each trying to wrestle a yellow balloon from the other’s grasp. Their tussle was a blur of beards and denim, strangely vicious for the otherwise good vibes of the evening and yet restrained—if it got too rough the precious gas could seep out, or even worse the balloon could pop. Not to say that huffing nitrous makes you a whacked out maniac—it can actually be really fun, and for all I know, those guys, (who had gone through most of a tank on their own), were whacked out maniacs to start with. It’s a weird drug.

But it also makes you laugh. The journal Biological Psychiatry published a study yesterday asserting that nitrous oxide administered at low levels was effective in combatting treatment-resistant depression. It was just a proof-of-concept trial and the test group was small, but results seemed encouraging. The L.A. Times reports that like ketamine, another party drug that’s recently been enlisted as potentially therapeutic, nitrous could serve as a “rescue drug,” a fast-acting antidepressant that would fill the up-to-six-week gap it takes traditional antidepressants to kick in. In cases of extreme depression, this kind intervention could literally be a lifesaver.

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Marching with the Troops on Veterans Day

More than two million men and women have served or continue to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. Looking for a simple way to support them today?

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