The Atlantic: Health

Trump's Call for Mental Institutions Could Be Good

Trump's Call for Mental Institutions Could Be Good

President Donald Trump continued to point to mental-health solutions to America’s gun-violence problem this week, this time saying that he would like to reopen mental asylums that have been closed
The Frustrating Inadequacy of Antidepressants

The Frustrating Inadequacy of Antidepressants

In 1897, the French sociologist Émile Durkheim decided to study and compare the suicide rates of different religions. He found that Protestants were most likely to commit suicide, and Jews least
So You Think Someone Might Be Mentally Ill

So You Think Someone Might Be Mentally Ill

In the years before 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz allegedly killed 17 people in a Florida high school on Wednesday, his behavior was strange, but not necessarily criminal. And not necessarily suggestive of
If Porn Could Be Banned, Why Not AR-15s?

If Porn Could Be Banned, Why Not AR-15s?

Pornography is officially a “public-health crisis” in Utah, according to 2016 legislation. The Republican representative Todd Weiler, who championed the bill and told me at the time that he sees a lot
Why Can't the U.S. Treat Gun Violence as a Public-Health Problem?

Why Can't the U.S. Treat Gun Violence as a Public-Health Problem?

After a deadly shooting, the debate always, it seems, breaks down like this: One side argues for gun control, and the other argues there is no research proving those measures work. There is, in fact,
When Herpes Infects the Eye

When Herpes Infects the Eye

Herpes simplex virus type 1 is best known as the culprit behind cold sores. When it’s not causing itchy, crusty sores on the mouth, it hides in the bundle of nerves that run through the face. And it’s
A Breast-Cancer Surgeon Returns to Work After Breast Cancer

A Breast-Cancer Surgeon Returns to Work After Breast Cancer

Earlier this month, Liz O’Riordan found herself once again, scalpel in hand, staring down at a woman with breast cancer. The patient was 65 years old, and had reacted to her diagnosis with stoicism.
'America First' Is Straining Bill Gates's Optimism

'America First' Is Straining Bill Gates's Optimism

Bill Gates isn’t a big fan of “America First.” In a recent episode of The Atlantic Interview, he told Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor in chief of The Atlantic, “the long-term benefit of [nations]
The Man Who Saw Inside Himself

The Man Who Saw Inside Himself

Sonia Ramamoorthy has plenty of smart patients. A surgeon at the University of California at San Diego, she counts among her patients members of that school’s faculty, many of whom arrive at her
The CDC Is About to Fall Off a Funding Cliff

The CDC Is About to Fall Off a Funding Cliff

Updated on February 3, 2018Last October, I wrote that a large pot of money, dedicated to protecting the world from infectious diseases, was about to run dry.In December 2014, Congress appropriated
From Crack Addict to America's Most Celebrated Chef

From Crack Addict to America's Most Celebrated Chef

Michael Solomonov, the winner of the 2017 James Beard Award for outstanding American chef, should probably not, by his own reckoning, be alive. For many years, this celebrated cook and restauranteur
The Surprising Ease of Buying Fentanyl Online

The Surprising Ease of Buying Fentanyl Online

Five or six times a day, a man from Texas injects a dose of carefully measured fentanyl. He does it when he wakes up and before he goes to work, and sometimes on breaks. It makes him drowsy, but he
The Link Between Opioid Overdoses and Amnesia Is Only Getting Stronger

The Link Between Opioid Overdoses and Amnesia Is Only Getting Stronger

Just over five years ago, a man suffering from amnesia following a suspected drug overdose appeared at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb. He was 22, and
The Ancient Origins of Dieting

The Ancient Origins of Dieting

Diet dreams are splashed across magazine covers and blare from the TV, offering tips and tricks, that will, readers and viewers are promised, make weight loss easy and fast. Diet books making similar
The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer's

The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer's

In recent years, Alzheimer’s disease has occasionally been referred to as “type 3” diabetes, though that moniker doesn’t make much sense. After all, though they share a problem with insulin, type 1
I Got Hypnotized Over Skype and It Actually Worked

I Got Hypnotized Over Skype and It Actually Worked

Whenever a friend tells me they’re considering undergoing hypnosis to quit X bad habit (and in Brooklyn I hear it a lot), I think about the hypnotist my college hired at the beginning of every year to
When the Religious Doctor Refuses to Treat You

When the Religious Doctor Refuses to Treat You

In 2014, a 27-year-old nurse-midwife named Sara Hellwege applied for a job at Tampa Family Health Centers, a federally qualified health center. She was a member of the American Association of Pro-Life
Larry Nassar and the Impulse to Doubt Female Pain

Larry Nassar and the Impulse to Doubt Female Pain

As a freshman on the Michigan State University softball team, Tiffany Thomas Lopez went to Larry Nassar, the school sports therapist, for back pain. Nassar’s “special treatment”—a technique he’s used
<em>The Atlantic</em> Daily: Stopgap Deal, Risky Diplomacy, Grown-Ups' Grandparents

<em>The Atlantic</em> Daily: Stopgap Deal, Risky Diplomacy, Grown-Ups' Grandparents

What We’re FollowingOpen for the Public: Lawmakers have reached a deal to fund the government for three more weeks after disagreements over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,
How Do You Grandparent a 20-Year-Old?

How Do You Grandparent a 20-Year-Old?

“Is that your grandbaby?” asked the gate agent who checked Rachel through to the area for departing passengers. “Sure is,” I said. For long seconds, my husband and I remained at the gate in John F.