Who is Dr. Charles Raison?

Dr. Raison is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children, and Families in the School of Human Ecology

Dr. Raison earned his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was chosen to Alpha Omega Alpha and was the recipient of the Missouri State Medical Association Award. He completed his residency at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital in Los Angeles. Dr. Raison holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Denver in addition to his medical studies.   


Dr. Raison is the author and editor of over 100 scientific publications, as well as over 20 review articles and editorials. His chapters have appeared in over 30 publications, and he has written two books, the most recent of which being The New Mind-Body Science of Depression, released by WW Norton in 2017. Dr. Raison’s work has been cited over 14,000 times,  three of which have received over 1,000 citations. It has an index of 44.  

Dr. Raison has received research support from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. His groundbreaking work focuses on the treatment of depression in the context of disease and stress, transforming neurobiological discoveries into innovative therapies. Dr. Raison is a CNN.com mental health expert in addition to his work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Inspiring Talks by Dr. Charles Raison


Notable quotes

  • “Let me introduce myself. My name is Charles L. Raison, M.D., although whenever anyone calls me “Charles” instead of “Chuck” I get nervous because as a kid I was called Charles only when I was in trouble.”
  • “If your kid is going off the rails, and that means they are acting extremely bizarrely, they are totally different than they were before, they’re not functioning, it’s an emergency, and the best thing you can do is push, push, push to get your kid the best care you can find and as quickly as possible.”
  • “There is something about these disorders where people wander, and wandering is bad news. you don’t want to be punitive because usually if you can get them back in treatment, they start doing so much better than they are not going to go running away again.”
  • “You don’t want to be punitive because usually if you can get them back in treatment, they start doing so much better than they are not going to go running away again.”
  • “Sometimes people lose touch with reality slowly. Other times, they lose touch really quickly, bipolar psychotic states can develop in as little as a day or two. I’m most curious about what was going on in this guy’s life the week before this happened. Did anyone see any changes in his behavior? Did he stop sleeping? There’s a pretty good chance something would come up in speaking with the people in his life.”
  • “If a story doesn’t make sense, it means you don’t have the real story, even people who are psychotic will tell you a crazy story. It’s crazy, but it makes sense.”
  • “It tells you he’s at peace with what he’s doing, if you were uncertain or anxious, you might still open the cabin door (when the pilot was banging on the door and yelling to be let in). Calm determination to do this tells you he really believed in what he was doing.”
  • “Most people would just kill themselves, it’s very, very rare for depression to cause people to kill other people. This leads me to believe there’s something else going on, like a personality character flaw.”
  • “With the increasing availability of synthesized 5MeODMT, it really is ethically incumbent upon us to take the pressure off this vulnerable population of the desert toad, which is such a keystone species of that beautiful part of the world.”
  • “We must stay aware and be sure to take care of others, and also ourselves.”