Harvard medical school’s Dr. Steven Schlozman, the co-director of MGH’s Clay Center for Healthy Young Minds, has been obsessed with zombies since he was in elementary school. He loved sneaking into the movie theater and watching suspenseful, gory zombie films– especially without his parents’ permission. It wasn’t until his 20s that Dr. Schlozman realized his second passion: psychiatry. He loved analyzing things that didn’t have a specific, textbook solution. He didn’t want to answer obvious questions like: “What’s wrong with my femur?, or “Why does my tooth hurt?” instead, he wanted to study the most abstract type of conditions: psychological.  Halfway into his career as a physician, his wife got quite ill and understandably Dr. Schlozman had trouble sleeping due to the stress he was experiencing. He decided to distract himself in the best way he thought possible: zombies. After watching Night of the Living Dead late one night, Dr. Schlozman decided to write a fake medical analysis of the illness that made zombies well, zombies. He published it online and it went viral. A publisher approached him soon after to offer him a book deal. His novel, The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse, has won numerous awards and continues to entertain zombie lovers to this day.  Needless to say, Java Junkies, this episode is filled with tons of expert advice on how to improve your mental health, with some heebie jeebies sprinkled in to keep you on your toes…

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The explanation behind why horror fans really love horror — especially the gore
  • The psychological secret behind people’s fascination with horror/zombies
  • Why you should consult with a physician if you feel like you may be depressed or have anxiety
  • Simple ways to lower the stigma surrounding psychiatric illnesses
  • Why your diet and the food you eat have the power to heavily influence your mood
  • How a psychological study works and presents data
  • How stories, horror or otherwise, can help people share how they feel

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