intro’d to Dennis here (video from 2012)
the resilient brain
One of the things that we have found in our research is that in general we don’t make full use of the capacity of the human brain. We identified that actually initially from hearing from a couple of the POWs when they were in solitary confinement. They told us that when they were in solitary confinement for years and all they had was the ability to think that they developed unusual cognitive capacities that they never had before when they were in solitary confinement, like they were essentially exercising their brain.
That brought home that when you exercise your brain and you don’t have any outside distractions because you’re in solitary, you have enormous capacities.
daily..per choice.. how to facil that for 7 bn people..
trying to retrain the circuits that are involved in depression.
Resilience Lessons from Our Veterans (2012)
15 yrs agoa.. interviewed 30+ pow from viet nam.. held 6-8 yrs.. heavily tortured.. solitary confinement.. then do well..ie: john mccain.. what enabled people to get thru tough times..
book – one of 10 factors is optimism.. in part genetic.. but genes are not destiny… ie: therapy for depression.. cognitive behavioral therapy .. can cause you to be more optimistic.. but not pollyanic optimism…
the stockdale (pow) paradox.. look at challenge objectively.. but i will prevail..
strong social support is important.. ie: pows developed a tap code to communicate thru wall.. 5 letters in 5 rows.. if didn’t have a tap code.. they told us ..wouldn’t have gotten thru experience and stayed sane..
so.. everybody needs a tap code.. a set of individuals in their life they can count on.. share feelings with.. ask for advice..
2 min – work that remains to be done..
med: when all treatments have failed.. sci: when balk at research that matters
7 min – *we ran out of time (my granddaughter).. promise me you will be the leader.. the patients/family needs… think outside box.. move beyond standard treatment algo’s… be bold.. challenge convention…
we dreamed of world where each individual had a fair shot..
equity – everyone getting a go everyday..
in many ways.. treatment is known but patient does not have access..
68 – mlk: unfulfilled dreams… cosmic significance.. king david’s dream to build temple unfulfilled.. ghandi peace unfulfilled.. king.. not see fulfillment of own dreams..
a voice crying through vista of time.. may not come today/tomorrow.. but it is well that it is w/in thine heart.. good that you are trying.. desire/intention..
challenging convention.. a nother way
2013 – prescription for resilience
I was studying PTSD and depression. We were doing a lot with military veterans, and ultimately we said, ‘May- be we can learn from people who have been traumatized but who did not develop PTSD, depression or substance abuse problems.’
“In the ensuing years, we have studied diverse populations of people who have demonstrated resilience. We studied POWs from Vietnam; men held in prison for 6 to 8 years; we studied the U.S. Special Forces; victims of hurricanes; victims of earthquakes in Pakistan; people who were raised in conditions of crime and poverty in inner-city Washington, D.C. We began by saying, ‘We want to learn from you. You tell us what enables you to show incredible courage and resilience to get through tough times.’”This work has culminated in what Dr. Charney calls ‘a prescription for resilience.’ Again and again, he and his associates were told by people who were dealing successfully with trauma or stress that they called upon prior experiences in their lives that helped them get through the current challenge. Behavioral scientists call this form of coping ‘stress inoculation:’ exposure to the dangerous thing enables some people to learn how to cope with it.“It has implications for how you might want to raise your children,” Dr. Charney says. “If you grow up in a stress-free environment, you’re not prepared for the inevitable stresses and strains that life presents. Everybody suffers the loss of loved ones. Everyone faces medical illness and meets with disappointment. The point is that you need to be prepared. I’ve done this with my own children. You need to take them out of their confidence zone. You give them challenges they can manage, and therefore learn from. And they develop a psychological toolbox they can call upon when faced with something difficult.”What he and his colleagues learned from veterans and victims of both natural calamites and physical and psychological abuse is that those who were resilient tended to be the ones who sought support from others. “If your house is burnt, you figure out ways to rebuild it; you don’t wait for people to come to you. You engage the help of others to help you rebuild what has become broken.”
[..]“People who are courageous are not fearless,” he notes. “Courage is all about overcoming fear—acting despite being afraid. Facing fears can increase your self-esteem,” and thus enhance resilience.[..]Optimism is strongly correlated with resilience. This is exemplified in what has been called ‘the Stockdale paradox,’ after one of the most famous of the Vietnam POWs, James Stockdale: “You know you are in deep trouble; so you face the brutal facts of the challenge you’re facing. But at the same time you feel deeply that you will prevail.”Also, those who speak of having a strong set of core moral principles have been shown to be more apt to be resilience[..]“depression is not the opposite condition of resilience. It’s not as if people who suffer from depression are not resilient. You might be depressed because you are biologically predisposed. ..Resilience, however, can separately help the depressed.
at mount sinai
Dennis S. Charney, MD, is Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and President for Academic Affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System. He is also a world expert in the neurobiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, making fundamental contributions to the understanding of the causes of human anxiety, fear, and depression, and the discovery of new treatment for mood and anxiety disorders.
Since Dr. Charney was named Dean in 2004, the Icahn School of Medicine has risen to, and has maintained, its strength among the top 20 institutions in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, and it currently ranks fifth in funding per faculty member from the NIH and other sources. With a long track record of strategic recruitments across the biomedical sciences and in genomics, computational biology, entrepreneurship, and information technology, Mount Sinai has cultivated a supercharged, Silicon Valley-like atmosphere in the academic setting. In 2009, the Icahn School of Medicine received the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
As the sole medical school affiliation for seven hospital campuses in the new Mount Sinai Health System, the Icahn School of Medicine has one of the most expansive training and research footprints in the nation. Early in his tenure as Dean, Dr. Charney unveiled Mount Sinai’s $2.25 billion strategic plan that laid the foundation for the 14 robust Research Institutes that Mount Sinai is known for today. These institutes are hubs of scientific and clinical enterprise, working together to challenge the limits of science and medicine.
Within—and across—them, scientists and physicians, who themselves are members of the teaching faculty, can facilitate the development of effective treatments for the most serious medical conditions.
In the Health System, Dr. Charney is currently developing the structure for complementary Clinical Institutes that will serve as Centers of Excellence for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, HIV, pulmonary diseases, and more, with the anticipation that this architecture—compatible research and clinical institutes—will further eliminate silos and generate game-changing models in clinical excellence and standards of care. To further advance this goal, Dr. Charney also led the development of a nationally unique partnership between Mount Sinai and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, that is designed to pool Mount Sinai’s expertise in biomedical research and patient care with Rensselaer’s talent in engineering, computation, and prototyping. Together, the institutions are developing the educational programs, research projects, and infrastructure needed to invent novel biomedical technologies while training a new breed of translationally focused scientists.
Dr. Charney’s career began in 1981 at Yale, where, within nine years, he rose from Assistant Professor to Professor of Psychiatry, a position he held from 1990 to 2000. While there, he chaired the NIMH Board of Scientific Counselors, which advises the institute’s director on intramural research programs. In 2000, NIMH recruited Dr. Charney to lead the Mood and Anxiety Disorder Research Program — one of the largest programs of its kind in the world —and the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch. That year he was also elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His scientific research has been honored by every major award in his field, and his work in depression has led to new hypotheses regarding the mechanisms of antidepressant drugs and discovery of new and novel therapies for treatment resistant depression including Lithium and Ketamine. The work demonstrating that Ketamine is a rapidly acting antidepressant has been hailed as one of the most exciting developments in antidepressant therapy in more than half a century. More recently, his pioneering research has expanded to include the psychobiological mechanisms of human resilience to stress.
Dr. Charney’s studies on human resilience have culminated in the identification of ten key resilience factors for building the strength to weather and bounce back from stress and trauma. This work is summarized in an inspiring book,Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, co-authored by Steven Southwick and published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.
In 2004, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recruited Dr. Charney as Dean of Research. In 2007, he became the Dean of the School and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of the Medical Center. In 2013, he was named President for Academic Affairs for the Health System.
A prolific author, Dr. Charney has written more than 700 publications, including groundbreaking scientific papers, chapters, and books. He has authored many books, including Neurobiology of Mental Illness (Oxford University Press, USA, Fourth Edition, 2013); The Peace of Mind Prescription: An Authoritative Guide to Finding the Most Effective Treatment for Anxiety and Depression (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004); The Physician’s Guide to Depression and Bipolar Disorders(McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006), Resilience and Mental Health: Challenges Across the Lifespan(Cambridge University Press, 2011), and, as mentioned,Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, for lay audiences (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
In the NewsDr. Charney and his work diagnosing and treating depression were recently profiled in The Daily News feature The Daily Check Up. View the PDF
Dr. Charney and his work treating mood and anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were profiled in The Daily Newsfeature, The Daily Checkup. View story
Dennis S. Charney is an American biological psychiatrist and researcher, one of the world’s leading experts in the neurobiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. He is the author of Neurobiology of Mental Illness, The Physician’s Guide to Depression and Bipolar Disorders and Molecular Biology for the Clinician, as well as the author of over 500 original papers and chapters.
He is a Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and currently Dean of the school.
Charney graduated from medical school at Penn State in 1977 and completed his residency in Psychiatry atYale School of Medicine. A fellowship in Biological Psychiatry was completed at the Connecticut Medical Health Center.
Charney became the Dean of Research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2004, later becoming the Dean for Academic and Scientific Affairs, finally succeeding Kenneth L. Davis as Dean of the school in 2007.
He has been named among the top 3 most highly cited authors of psychiatric research in the decade ending in 2000 by the Institute for Scientific Information, and listed in every edition of the “Best Doctors in America” since 1992.
He owns patents in dopamine and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors in treatment of schizophrenia and in intranasal administration of ketamine to treat depression.
He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2000.
Charney was shot and wounded as he left a deli in his home town of Chappaqua, New York, early on the morning of August 29, 2016. Hengjun Chao, a former Mount Sinai faculty member who had been fired for cause in 2010, was arrested and charged with attempted murder. As reported by Jonah Bromwich in the New York Times, “A former faculty member at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine who had been fired shot the school’s dean outside a popular deli in Chappaqua, N.Y., on Monday, apparently in an act of revenge, the authorities said… Mount Sinai officials confirmed that the dean, Dr. Dennis S. Charney, 65, of Chappaqua, was one of the victims. The name of the other victim was not released. This is an extremely disturbing event,’ Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, the chief executive of the Mount Sinai Health System, said in a statement. ‘Fortunately, Dr. Charney’s injuries are not life-threatening, and we expect he will fully recover.'”
musicophilia et al