Who cares? What's the point? A psychology podcast with Dr Sarb Johal
About This Show
Who Cares? What’s the Point? The podcast about the mind for people who think.
We have so many talented researchers around the globe, all trying to understand the psychology of how the mind works and how we can harness its full potential for the benefit of ourselves, the people around us and the planet.
But, because of the way the science system works we have ended up with a gigantic amount of untapped knowledge about how the mind and brain works, that sits unused in dusty journals on University library shelves - because very few people read them.
Partly this is down to access – more often than not, you have to pay to read these. But partly its because, well, why would you bother? They tend to be dry, soulless publications, written by academics for academics.
This podcasts changes that.
When I was a PhD student, one of the slides me and a few of my fellow students included in every presentation we did said this; 'Who cares? What's the point?" This encouraged us to really double down and focus on why anyone should care about the research we were doing.
This podcast does the same thing.
I track down cutting edge researchers from around the globe publishing thought-provoking research about why we behave the way we do. I invite them to tell us briefly about their research, and then I prompt them to answer those two questions – who cares? And what’s the point, focusing on the possible implications of their work. This way, you get to hear stories about how the brain works, without putting your mind to sleep.
Most Recent Episode
1747 people talk about their experience taking antidepressants
4 days ago
About 1 in 9 adult New Zealanders receive a prescription for antidepressants each year. Although we think they are generally helpful for people, we know surprisingly little about what it might be like to take them. This week I speak with Associate Professor Dr Kerry Gibson from the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand to find out more. Here is the link to the paper we talk about in this week's show: https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-016-0844-3 Here is the abstract for some context: Background While mental health professionals have focused on concerns about whether antidepressants work on a neurochemical level it is important to understand the meaning this medication holds in the lives of people who use it. This study explores diversity in the experience of antidepressant users. Methods One thousand seven hundred forty-seven New Zealand antidepressant users responded to an open-ended question about their experience of antidepressants. This was analysed using content and thematic analysis. Results There was considerable diversity in participants’ responses including positive (54 %), negative (16 %) and mixed (28 %) experiences with antidepressants. Those with positive experiences saw antidepressants as a necessary treatment for a ‘disease’, a life saver, a way of meeting social obligations, dealing with difficult circumstances or a stepping stone to further help. Negative themes described antidepressants as being ineffective, having unbearable side effects, undermining emotional authenticity, masking real problems and reducing the experience of control. Mixed experience themes showed how participants weighed up the unpleasant side effects against the benefits, felt calmer but less like themselves, struggled to find the one or dosage and felt stuck with continuing on antidepressants when they wished to stop. Conclusions Mental health professions need to recogniz