Nina Gaby

Essays, art, and healthcare


Hasn’t Life Prepared Us for ‘Philip Guston Now’?

My article rejected by the Boston Globe, The Forward, Lilith, the exhibit continues through September 11 at the MFA, Boston:

My Mother’s Day gift was a trip to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to see the Philip Guston Now exhibit, both for the art as well as the confusing cancel culture controversy surrounding it. As an artist, writer, psychiatric nurse practitioner, feminist and Jew, cancel culture represents a polarizing mixed bag of disappointments begging the question; how have we become so frail and so unable to understand nuance?

A very Mother’s Day pink 5 ½ x 9-inch card greets us at the entrance of the exhibition:

“Emotional Preparedness for “Philip Guston Now.”

As a college student in Israel, I never visited Yad VaShem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. I did not have the stamina for it. I’d had experience with emotional frailty; at age sixteen I had to be escorted out of the Czechoslovakian movie about the Aryan comptroller and the old Jewish shopkeeper because I became hysterical. Growing up with anti-Semitism in the shadow of the Holocaust framed my young life. Maybe a trigger warning would have been a good idea, but then again I would have not understood myself and my response to the atrocities of the world as well as I do now, nor would I have been able to do the work I do had I not learned to titrate and tolerate my exposure. To gain agency and learn how to be upset, to absorb and reckon with it. Dialogue. How many times did we, as a nation, watch the knee on George Floyd’s neck? And now it is expected we can’t see a major art exhibit without input from a trauma specialist? Commentary on anti-Semitism or commentary on racism or commentary on war is very different than anti-Semitism or racism or militarism itself. Guston’s KKK imagery, his disembodied figures, his Nixon cartoons represent his horror at the acts, and as biographers suggest, our complicity. If we can’t look at it, how can we understand our role in it. How can we change?

I can’t help but pair the Philip Guston Now controversy at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, with the Frank Langella Netflix controversy, both of which I read about on the same day. We miss out on a great performance because an actress walked off the set during a clothed love scene where Langella touched her leg? An actress should be able to function within character, whatever it takes to make the scene art. (Ok Ok even I’m yelling at myself about the butter scene in Last Tango in Paris, it’s all so complicated, isn’t it?) But if you’re sensitive about love scenes, maybe don’t become an actress. I’m talking about things we can control. Obviously atrocities like lynchings and rapes and holocausts are out of our control.

I’m thinking of that ubiquitous bumber sticker- Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one. And I think about Dave Chappelle and Al Franken and Kathy Griffin and all the nuance people paid no attention to within the context of their work. All this is spinning through my mind as I make my way through the exhibition of Guston’s large and lavish canvasses, his spare and intimate charcoal gesture drawings, and yes, even the media stories from the likes of Life Magazine and the 1945 Pulitzer Report hidden in cases with sliding covers. As if we need to be protected from the ugly truths that provided context that fueled this art.

In an interview with The Spectator, Mark Godfrey, the curator of the Tate Modern (who was suspended for voicing his disagreement with a statement from the director of the National Gallery in Washington that Guston had appropriated images of black trauma) stated: ‘Guston first witnessed the KKK in the streets, when he was a boy growing up in Los Angeles. His parents were Jewish immigrants, who had fled pogroms in Odessa. The KKK, which had five million members at the time of the Depression, was anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant as well as anti-Black.’ ( Guston had his own share of tragedy, at age ten having found his refugee father’s body hanging in an outhouse, a suicide. Do we really have to argue about what trauma belongs to who and whose was worse?

A quote from Guston on the wall: “Well that’s the only reason to be an artist: to escape, to bear witness to this.”

The MFA Boston (and now the Tate and the National Gallery and MFA Houston with plans to run the retrospective) didn’t “fire” the Guston the way Netflix fired Langella. A cancel became a postponement. And the postponement has become a bigger story than the art. Which makes it good art. Great art, in this case. And if the MFA had to handle it with kid gloves, at least they did it. Go see it. Go bear witness.

Philip Guston Now, Museum of Fine Art, Boston

May 1–September 11, 2022



“Mixed States: mood and attachment

“Existence of Imprint” 12×12 Porcelain sheet, porcelain slip, sulfates, vintage Japanese ephemera, 2021

After spending lots of pandemic time working on these collages, ignoring the serious issues that seemed to intensify during the pandemic (big house things that we can’t get anyone to fix, and health issues that seem to creep along) I realized that these pieces kept me sane. Gave me focus. Allowed me to enter a “zone” where all that mattered was the work and the playlist. Oh yeah, and lunch. 

I had a deadline. It almost reminded me of when I was young, a fulltime artist, my work (and therefore me, I guess) in great demand. It’s different now.

After installing the show “Mixed States” on Thursday at The Little Cafe Gallery in my hometown of Rochester, NY, I felt oddly deflated. Some relief that the delicate work survived the car ride and the schlepping to and fro, of course, but while my sister, with whom I’m sharing the gallery, seemed celebratory and excited, my mood flattened. “It’s a beautiful show!” 

As I drove back to Vermont the next day, I felt like I’d left something behind. This pandemic has affected us all in ways that pop up at the strangest moments. In attachment to inanimate objects–as if I were assuaging this isolation with my art, which I realize that is exactly what I have done.

I hope to sell pieces, of course, a permanent goodbye. And there is plenty to do next–stack a few cords of wood for the winter, pack up other inanimate objects for either the dump or the thrift store, work on my memoir, sign up for Continuing Education Credits for my licensure. And then the show will come down. In the meantime I’ll post a photo a day on Facebook and keep close to my sustenance. 

“Mixed States: new work by Nina and Sari Gaby”

now at The Little Theater Cafe Gallery, Rochester, NY.

9-2 through 9-30, reception 9-26 from 2-4


On Mixed States, work from the pandemic

“The Quiet Speaks for Itself” by Nina Gaby, photo Ben DeFlorio

The exhibit, “Mixed States,” a joint show with my sister Sari Gaby, opens this September, originally scheduled for a year ago, cancelled along with an artist residency in Johnson, Vermont and a writers’ retreat in Costa Rica. How might it have been different had I done the work at the residency, surrounded by other artists, working faster, thinking deeper? I can say that the memoir I planned to complete while with other writers in Costa Rica has stagnated. Not so with the collage work.

I have described “Mixed States” in the promo copy as mood, geography, the arrangement of matter, how we fluctuate and view the world over time. In our case, it is much more but maybe that is a topic for another time.

Over the pandemic, for many nature has become a refuge. I found myself writing more about my place in the natural world, but in my visual work I succumbed to the sheer pleasure of arranging objects in congenial ways within the confines of a wooden frame. I even began to write about it (“Bricolage, the “flash-trash” of writing words and pasting pieces”  upcoming in Brevity literary blog on 8-23) as I was working, one hand on the keyboard, the other clutching the XL tube of E-6000 glue.

“Keepsake” by Nina Gaby, photo Ben DeFlorio

To what extent did the isolating slowness of the pandemic allow me to just make pretty things? Collaging vintage floral wrapping paper with tiny bundle books and antique curtain swags? With no one to talk to, no intellectual expectations, I was happy just doing “pretty.” I was thrilled with the quiet porcelain tiles and the slip-trailed experiments that came out of a firing once it was safe to rent the kiln in the communal studio in town. I was grateful for the flow. Grateful for the 2021 deadline. 

“Pansy Book”
“Tulip Book”

Also grateful for the vague “book arts” framework for another show that opens soon. I make mixed media pieces that only suggest the book, often to the confused reaction of the other artists in the guild that sponsors an annual show, yet every year I persist. Paper thin porcelain pages poured from slip or rolled with an old wooded pastry rolling pin I have had for almost fifty years, since college, where I guess I was making pretty things as well. Maybe that’s who I am, intellectualism aside. The bigger questions of how does it look? How does it feel to look at it? 

“5. Something That You Feel Will Find It’s Own Form (Kerouac) Photo Ben DeFlorio On view at the Vermont Books Arts Guild annual exhibit at the NEK Artisans Guild, St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Opens 8-14.

“The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it.” ~ Stanley Kubrick

Over this year and a half, we have burrowed inward, some of us in emotional suspension. We had a brief respite and now we are looking into the dark again. All I know is that when I walk into my studio, what I see makes me happy, and for that I am grateful to the gallery and hope that my work brings a moment of contentment to others.

“Mixed States”

Nina Gaby/Sari Gaby

Little Theater Café Gallery

September 2-29

Reception and artist talk Sunday September 26, 2-4

“Tall Trees-Mendon” by Sari Gaby

Leave a comment

Work(s) in Progress

Work in progress

I have a memoir started, having moved from the fictionalized version of our life in Vermont to what really happens here. A love/hate poem actually. Then I have my flash/micro/gesture collection that I add to occasionally. A scarf I began to knit in 2008, and another from 1957. Dragging around little bits of myself that eventually come together as some sort of narrative. It expands, of course, into the boxes I drag around containing bits of others…my father’s unfinished novels, my grandfather’s smudged eyeglasses and the leather bag of silver dollars he gave to me when I was a child to save for my own grandchildren. Of which I have none. But the sadness made itself into an essay that I have just submitted to the New YorkTimes “Modern Love” column (1% of the 8000 each year get published) so nothing is really wasted. 

And I have today to finish this piece that started with a tiny scrap artist book and ends with glorious handmade paper from my recent trip to Rochester Art Supply. 

As I was rummaging in a cupboard this morning I stuck my finger on a vintage swag tie-back in a bowl full of something else, which revealed a bunch of old tie-backs which will join some antique wrapping paper I’ve had sitting on an old file cabinet from a decade ago trip to a Maine flea market and voila! Tomorrow’s project is revealed.

Nothing wasted. Nothing finished.


23 and Us: unforeseen difficulties

Our daughter gifted us with 23 and Me, and knowing she will ask us about it next weekend I felt we needed to get those cute little packages back in the mail. How hard could it be? Apps, passwords…I had put it off. Then trying to find a time during pandemic when one of us, hubster and myself, had not eaten anything for 30 minutes. “OK” I said, “it’s 11 AM, I think we can go without food till lunch.” Because those are the pre-spit rules. I had to set us both up as hubster refused to do the on-line part. It wouldn’t accept my password, the numbers on the barcode on the tube were too small to see, and now we had already not eaten anything for 30 minutes.

I read the instructions three times, ‘fill with spit to the line, snap the funnel top closed, remove and screw on little cap.’ Little cap is tooo little for my fingers so I had to work to re-thread it several times but I’m getting ahead of myself. Also one set of instructions says shake for 5 seconds, the other set doesn’t. Anyway, possibly dehydrated now from not eating for 45 minutes, I could not get the spit going. 15 pathetic minutes later I’m squinting at the little line on the tube and considering just adding a few drops of water. Craig, on the other hand, went over the line in just one try and wanted me to fix it, which I refused to do, and handed him paper towels. Finally, with a snap, twist, shake (yes I decided to follow the first set of directions) and slide (into little plastic sleeve provided) we were ready for lunch. Lunch is a big deal in pandemic America for us because this is the first time in 30-odd years of marriage that we have actually eaten lunch-our jobs being such that mostly lunch happens in tiny fragments during meetings or standing in front of the computer or in the car at 6 PM while driving home. Which brings me to the early pandemic days, eating sandwiches together with Cuomo on CNN, feeling safe and well directed and well, you know….  

I packed the sleeved tubes in their adorable boxes. I tried to get the website to take a password for Craig, one that we will immediately forget, and it won’t take it. 23 and Me sends me a welcoming email. No email for Craig (I’m pretending I’m him because he is refusing to deal with any more of it.) I hit tab after tab and finally find him. By this time I have no idea what we have signed on for and wonder if our DNA is going to be used for nefarious purposes and decide at my age what’s the worst that can happen? They’ll take away my Medicare for pre-existing conditions? Who makes it to 71 without pre-existing conditions? Maybe my parents aren’t really my parents? By this time I DON’T CARE and we have lunch and I trot down to the Post Office with my little packages and tell the guy “I think we’re good here. Can I just give them to you?” He hesitates, slow to rise from his chair. I miss Tom, the old guy who took it all very seriously, every day telling us to “Be careful out there,” and I start to lose track as I stumble down Memory Lane which is like every minute, as this guy doesn’t take the boxes and I snap back to the here and now, and he fumbles, and I’m thinking “Oh for fucking fuck’s sake,” and he finally takes them but his little scanner doesn’t work and I’m thinking “Really?” and he doesn’t say anything so I repeat “I think we are good here,” and he mumbles and I say “Are we good here? Or what?” because I do not want to take them home and have to try to find anything resembling help  on the website. “Yeah,” he says. But he doesn’t look convinced. Like he’s dealing with a BIOHAZARD or something.

By this time I just want a snack and a nap, but instead take the dog for a nice long walk as I menu plan for dinner and fret about my poor saliva production.

Leave a comment

“Bleeding Out,” my newest flash essay just up on the inaugural issue of Meetinghouse, from Dartmouth College.

“There are moments when the heart is generous, and then it knows that for better or worse our lives are woven together here, one with one another and with the place and all the living things.” 

—Wendell Barry, Jayber Crow 


Climbing Your Own Hill

(Content warning: all sorts of autumnal clichés)

Later this month an article I’ve written will appear in a women’s wellness journal. I feel like it’s a “coming out” of sorts, I admit to my “condition”–a pulmonary auto immune disorder–and how I work to accept and manage it. 

It’s one of those “invisible” disabilities that people talk about. You wouldn’t notice it unless you were to walk up a flight of stairs with me or watch me climb a hill. Or if you knew me before–rushing through my eighteen-hour days–a fast walker and a fast talker. I’m still productive; I make sure of that, only different–almost embarrassing. On inclines I stop when I have to, winded. I take some deep breaths and keep going. Even though the effort cramps my calves and sucks the air right out of me. “It’s a metaphor,” I smile to myself. Mountains, hills, difficulties, complications. Or, “It’s not cancer, so stop whining.” I have one friend that I will take walks with, otherwise it’s just me and the dog. 

The steep hill behind our house, the part we own, is about six acres. It used to be a young ladies’ equestrian school run by Jessie Fisk in the 1930s. Jessie climbed many hills in days before it was normal for a woman to accomplish what she had. A botanist, first female professor at a major eastern college, owner of one of the first cars in our village, a postmistress. And with her partner, Miss Butters, she ran an inn, a riding school, and a restaurant on our property. When we were running the inn, my mantra during hard times was, “WWJD”…What Would Jessie Do? She wouldn’t whine, that’s for sure.

During the Covid era I have grown to love our hill, part of the bubble that surrounds us, the trails into the woods that the horses used to trot, the bench at the top where I sit with the dog. Right now it is ablaze with color as I look out over the hills and the sliver of lake below. More precious for the effort it took to get there.

My Kundalini yoga teacher sends out invitations to her yoga hikes. Kundalini breath work has become integral to my disease management. I scan the invitations for hints, how steep is the hike, how strenuous the yoga, how hot will it be? My breathing is worse in the heat and humidity so I check my weather app. 

I know I can’t sign up. I’d slow everyone else down. The anxiety alone would choke me. 

So I roll up my yoga mat, stick dog treats in my pocket, and head up my own hill. As I lay out my mat, the dog fights to lie on it, delightedly confused. An old playlist on my iPhone starts out with Andra Day’s “Rise Up” and I just set in to do whatever comes to mind, finding that my Kundalini aerobic set works perfectly to “Life During Wartime.” I lay in Shavasana with the dog on top of me. We watch the clouds trace patterns across the bluest sky. Now October, the wind is crispening. For a moment I become a wonder-filled child with perfect lungs, making up stories in the shapes above, until the dog gets restless. I do a simple mountain pose and it’s time to descend.


“I’m Not Anti-Semitic,” he said. “I Hate Everybody.”

In conversation one day with an older gentleman, I had to caution him before he went any further. 

“ You know how the Jews are…”he started to say. 

I jumped in quickly. “Gary. I need to…”

Dry waterfall across the lake

“Oh shit. I was afraid of that,” he said. “You’re Jewish.”

“Yes, yes I am.” After seventy years of this sort of thing, especially after growing up in a blue-collar Italian/Irish/Greek/Polish neighborhood as the only Jewish kid, I’m pretty immune to the slights. 

“I’m not anti-Semitic,” Gary says, “I hate everybody.”

Our conversation led us both backwards, his as a bullied, effeminate gay child and me as a slightly pudgy Jewish kid on our respective playgrounds of the 1950’s. 

“Things are better for us now,” he says. “But they are getting worse again for you.”

“Who would have imagined?” I don’t go in to detail how terrified I am. 

“I’m really sorry,” Gary says. 

It’s the day before Rosh Ha’Shana 2020. New research is just out that there is a significant lack of knowledge among young adults aged 18-39 in America about the Holocaust and 15-20% think it’s either overblown or a hoax (The Forward). According to the ADL, acts of Anti-Semitism are the fastest growing hate crimes internationally. 

We are in a drought so I figure I won’t bother with either of the waterfalls where I usually do my Tashlich ritual of casting crumbs from my pocket into the rushing water, because there is no rushing water. I don’t belong to a synagogue but sometimes go to the one in Montpelier and keep thinking I should join, but this year it’s closed. My family is far away and they don’t celebrate. And my husband is an atheist. He’d enjoy a braised chicken and a sweet treat for dessert, but won’t go out of his way.

One person this year has wished me L’ Shana Tova.

He said, “I don’t even know what it is, but Happy Rosh Ha’Shana.” 

“Thanks so much, Gary,” and I mean it. “Happy New Year.”

dry damDam across the road, also dry Continue reading


Just in Time for our Thirty-Third Anniversary, I Like My Husband Again. I Really Like Him.


Wedding pic with balloons


I was prepared for the Covid 19 quarantine with my husband because we had just spent four months pretty much stuck at home with each other after his foot surgery in November. I took time off from my two day a week clinic job to stay home with him, and he returned to work very part time in February–he drives an automatic and it was his left foot operated on, so it was a done deal. His colleagues were helpful and he only fell down a flight of stairs once. It being February in Vermont meant ice, snow and power outages, all of which necessitated my clearing a path for him every morning (in the dark) and sanding it, clearing his Jeep from six to twelve inches of snow, making and carrying his lunch, laptop and briefcase out, securing the door a certain way so he could negotiate it with his crutches while keeping the cats inside and making sure the dog didn’t trip him, all the while walking just behind him so if he slipped, my body would break his fall. Then reversing the whole thing in the evening (also in the dark).


It meant learning how to operate the generator. I barely even use the term feminist to describe myself anymore. There are just too many things I don’t want to do and have refused to learn. The loud, gasoline operated, fuming monster of the generator in the barn is one of those things. But of course, without it, we lose HBO. Not to mention the freezer full of Haagen Dazs purchased specially for this post-operative time. The idea of a post-operative Craig without TV and carbs was almost as scary as trying to remember all the steps to working the generator; any of those steps mishandled could blow up the house. Or so I understood.


I got over that with the help of the friend who had installed it and his daughter who came along to deal with me, and soon I was even okay with dragging 20 (or maybe they were 5) gallon containers from the gas station through the ice and up into the barn and marveled at all the things my husband did that I barely noticed.


“Barely noticing” is kind of where couple who have been together for years are at. I reveled in my alone time, my long days in our old house with my writing and my artwork and my sorting and sometimes just staring at the fire in the wood stove. Absolute quiet or crashingly loud vintage Springsteen, and sometimes the Carpenters or other pop that my jazz-loving husband hated. Whatever I wanted, as silent or loud as I wanted it. I secretly joked to friends that we might have to divorce when retirement happened. I reminded everyone that there’s a name for this specific depression in Japanese, a hopelessness that Japanese women get when their husbands retire. A whole syndrome. Shujin Zaitaku Sutoresu Shoukougun, literally “One’s Husband Being at Home Stress Syndrome.” But it wasn’t a joke. I prepared for his surgery by reminding myself that he would take care of me if it were the other way around, with no snide secrets to friends or hidden resentment. He would just do the right thing because that is who he is. And in this day and age you can’t do better than that.


Life was almost back to normal when the pandemic drove us all back into the shelter of our homes, some of us stockpiling Velveeta and canned corn, nothing we would ever have normally in the house. This time I loaded the freezer with our favorite Speeder and Earls coffee and dried creamer to replace my half and half, just in case. When I couldn’t get any dried milk or flour anywhere it added to my sense of panic. So we ritualized our days. Lunch was an event, colorful little plates consumed in front of CNN watching Andrew Cuomo, and evenings spent with his little brother Chris. The dog wrapped himself around Craig, protecting his aching foot. I made soups, constantly, as if our lives depended on the immune boosting turmeric, ginger, garlic. Every night Craig acted the role of a delighted diner in a four star restaurant. “I think this is the best soup you have ever made!” “The toast is great tonight!” “Wow, carrot sticks!”


We were polite. Funny. I vowed to be cheerful instead of irritable and terrified. His foot wasn’t healing so I brought him Epsom Salt soaks every night, like my grandmother did for my grandfather. They lasted over sixty years.


We were quite different than the volatile couple who read our vows on a party boat on Lake Ontario thirty three years ago despite the fact that all three of our therapists did not think getting married was such a great idea. (Now that Craig and I have both been therapists for thirty years we realize we had really bad therapists.) I’m hardly the same woman who threw her wedding ring into Canandaigua Lake the day after the wedding. (I knew exactly what the conditions and the rocky bottom would do with it, and I got it right out. I couldn’t do anything like that today because my finger is too fat to get the ring off. Not that I would.)


The pandemic gave us some time to pay more attention. It taught me to act nice no matter how I felt. To be grateful that someone was there with me, not just someone but a person who over time has proven to be an unwavering support, a wise and thoughtful father, an ethical and creative clinician and someone who even tried to hobble out into the snow to start the generator because he knew it terrified me.


Now, because of a couple underlying risk factors, I need to work from home for the foreseeable future, but Craig is back at his clinic three days a week. I worried about his lunch for two days, that he would be eating alone. Worried about exposure to the virus. I didn’t play any music. Even Cuomo didn’t come on at lunchtime that first day that Craig was at work. I just kind of sat there.

Just me and the dog, wondering what is the opposite of Shujin Zaitaku Sutoresu Shoukougun.







Leave a comment

Trump Has to Go. It’s Scientific.

I have spent six hours this morning in virtual conferencing with experts from The Harvard Psychopharmacology Master Class. I have fourteen hours to go this weekend. Usually the conference is held in the grand ballroom of the Fairmont Copley in Boston but this year I am in striped socks, hoody, a warm hat, lying on my toile fainting couch with no lines for the bathroom and no fancy lunch. I am writing from my own understanding of today’s information, and my decades of experience with these issues, not the interpretation of the presenters. No one mentioned our administration, no politics. Just to be clear on that.




As I followed along on my screen today I correlated much of what I was hearing to the environment of our present world, considering how I can apply this research to examine how we move beyond all this intact. Or can we?

Dr. Charles Nemeroff, researcher, professor and consultant states in his presentation–“Interface of Medical and Psychiatric Disorders”: “Covid 19 is associated with a cytokine storm (cytokine is a category of peptide proteins associated with inflamation). There will be consequences.”As he continues it becomes apparent that he may not just be speaking to the immediate Corona illness, but to the interconnectedness of systems which we can extrapolate far beyond our own bodies. That is why I think of our survival and the Trump administration and its dangerous effect on that survival.

So these are nuggets from the research presented today about mental and physical health. I will simplify so we can make own extrapolations to why these dangerous times are are deeply exaggerated by our present administration, and administration that promotes hate and greed when simple kindness would go far to ameliorate the physiological responses I am about to describe. When action based on fact and not opinion would go far to ameliorate the world’s stress.

I cannot replicate any of the slides without permission so you will just have to take my word for it.

  1. Our mesolimbic reward circuitry is affected by stress. The limbic system is the walnut sized structure right behind our nose. It is considered the seat of emotional memory and houses the little light switch we call the amygdala, a peanut-sized structure which can modulate the experience of traumatic events. The mesolimbic dopamine system is the normal pathway for feeling good, but its circuitry is supremely sensitive to alterations brought on by trauma and stress. Poetic words such as “cascades” and “first and second messengers” and “de-arborization” and “connectomes” explain the transmission of chemicals–among them neurotransmitters and neurohormones– and also explain the new study of epigenetics. Basically “epigenetics” describes when events can actually influence gene expression (not sequencing) that leads to dysfunction of brain cells and their circuitry. This is DNA stuff.
  2. Alterations in circuitry affect neurotransmitters and hormones. Peptides which affect oxytocin and vasopressin (the attachment chemicals) can also be impaired. Receptors for these are present in the amygdala and affect bonding–between parents and children, between adults. Disruption changes this. Mammals lacking these peptides are at risk of
    attachment disorders as the presence in one mammal stimulates the system in another mammal. Think, “milk let down” in new mothers. Think, children in cages.
  3. Both physiological and psychological damage to these systems have long term implications that travel through generations. Through generations.
  4. The research shows inarguable effects on cancer and depression, as well as other psychiatric disorders. This is the schema:
  5. Increased environmental stress and/ or Adverse Childhood Events increase the inflammatory process (increases in cytokines and other stress chemicals) with increased risk of depression/heart disease/cancer.
  6. There is a proven bidirectional relationship between depression and medical illness. Autoimmune illness is also correlated with these events. Social connectedness has been proven to improve outcomes. I might suggest that concerns for one’s medical treatment and how to pay for pre-existing conditions might influence one’s mood state. The research shows an increase in suicide among certain demographics receiving diagnoses of certain illness.
  7. PTSD goes without saying. And this may also have a bi-directional schema. One must have been exposed to the stressor, and we now know there is a scientific basis for both developing or mediating the disorder. Understanding and providing support to the specific populations most deeply affected by violence and trauma would go far in healing the world. Homophobia, misogyny, racism, bullying, antisemitism, xenophobia has no place in the world we need to develop. (I am editorializing a tad here but the statistics don’t lie.)
  8. Most of the conference is about treatment, specifically medications, and other options. A couple items of interest: The odds of developing a psychotic disorder with high dose daily cannabis use is 3-4X greater. Use of cannabis in adolescence and pregnancy-a big NO. CBD has anectdotal therapeutic implications but metananlysis suggests data inadequate to recommend clinical use. I don’t even want to discuss ketamine. And what does this have to do with Trump? I don’t have the research on that, just opinions. But tomorrow’s another day.