Family

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He was just 18. He had been followed by child psychiatry with a diagnosis of depression. He had long refused to take any pills.  As far as this poor, agricultural county was concerned, I was just seeing him so I could bill MediCal and fatten up the county coffers. The previous psychiatrists had simply noted he was depressed, was not suicidal, and refused any participation in his own treatment.

He was a young man of few words, with a common Hispanic name.  He sat there and twirled one of his lush curls. It became pretty obvious he wasn’t going to give me a complete history.  He said he would never take pills, not ever. To his credit, he did say I could talk to his mother, if I wanted to, but he had to be in the room and hear what she said. Someone brought her to me, from the waiting room.  She spoke only Spanish; fine with me. I learned my Spanish mostly from my patients, who in that time and place could rarely communicate well in either Spanish or English. His mother was charming, really grateful that I wanted to talk to her. She kept complimenting my clothes and elegance. I told her it was all thrift shop.  I doubt she believed me. Read more on Diagnosis From The Guts…

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Only 16% of all murder victims are members of the defendant’s family?

That’s according to the PDF file that pops open (or opens in your browser) when you click this link – and you must have the free Adobe Acrobat reader to see it. (Fortunately, it is included with most computers nowadays).

Actually, I am surprised to see the number is so small.

I am a little bit heartened to learn that only 20% are strangers.

This leaves 64 % that are friends and acquaintances. Read more on Your Family Really Can Kill You…

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I love being a ”shrink-lady.”  (okay, a “psychiatrist.”)

I did not pick it out of a hat.  I tried a couple of other medical specialties.  The “doctor” part — well, there was never any doubt about that part, really.  I mean the idea of taking care of other folks came into my head pretty early on, as did the idea that I was smarter than most other kids, ahead of where I was “supposed” to be.

My family had some health problems as I persevered in schooling.  It became evident that doctors had not only status but power over other people’s lives. Read more on Your life, Your Work – What’s The Difference?…

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If I haven’t convinced everyone yet, I don’t know how.

I have written on this before.

Vaccination keeps kids alive.  Kids who could die dead as door nails from preventable diseases.

Vaccination has very few side effects. Read more on We Can Fix This Vaccination Bit…

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The person who walks into a psychiatrist’s office looking for help is not necessarily the patient.

Often, they are simply the family of the patient.

Sometimes, they themselves have something – possibly a disorder, but maybe just an emotional or attitude problem — that would seem somehow lesser in magnitude than the psychiatric diagnosis the person who is or should be the patient has actually got. Read more on Families Often Indicate Psychiatric Problems…

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Animal mummies from ancient Egypt are featured on banners flying from poles here in middle-to-upper class southern California and I realized something significant but not earth-shaking.

I didn’t care.

I was fascinated with Egyptology back in the 4th grade when I built a model pyramid out of cardboard and made little mummies out of clay.  I knew back then that some people mummified pets, and that was fine, but I didn’t want to model little dogs or cats, just humans.

I have nothing against animals.  I just think that sometimes they are valued, and their rights valued, and their alleged “feelings” valued more than those of human beings — and that is concerning. Read more on Pets Are Okay, But I Love Humans…

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I have had a lot of trouble with the idea of criminalization of drug addiction for a very long time.

I am only one of a lot of folks who say “addiction is a real disease.”  People feel every bit as sick as people with other diseases, sometimes more.

The patients are certainly able to die every bit as dead. Read more on Babies Born Addicted…

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In 1932, my paternal Grandmother-Of-Blessed-Memory bought the house where my father and aunt – and eventually my brother and I — grew up.  Until her passing while I was in medical school, she was the undisputed queen of the castle.

As a stereo-typical Jewish Mother, she was in constant competition with my mother in the kitchen.  My mother always tried to act pleasantly, but between her father driving in from two hours to the west and arriving at 6 am on Sundays to tell her she was too fat, and my father’s mother besting her in the kitchen, she was generally miserable and had little ability to hide her misery from me.

My father did not show my mother any affection where I could see. Read more on The Power Of Silence…

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Even though I am both a woman and a psychiatrist, I am no expert on the mother-daughter relationship.

My Mother-Of-Blessed-Memory was a “good” woman by any measure — the faithful and virtuous homemaker.  She spent a lot of time thanklessly trying to nurture my Father-Of-Blessed-Memory — a pretty grandiose if creatively powerful music writing and arranging manic with some Asperger traits — and my Brother-Of-Blessed-Memory — a full blown Asperger’s who was also bipolar.

They took so much of her psychic energy it is a wonder she had any left at all for me.  But she did, and she told me how she had to fight to get me freedom, the days she would drop me off in the car when I went to the Secondary Science Training program, or even just to walk in downtown Boston. Read more on Mothers and Daughters and Such…

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We dropped in on the new Disney movie “Frozen” on the way home from work, where I had been “beatup” spiritually by some demanding and decidedly un-charming patients — some of whom would have been more appropriately treated by a stint in the local state “correctional” institution.

My omniscient husband seemed to know that this movie, of which I knew basically nothing before dropping in, was exactly what I needed, and more.

It is a work of art, a piece of magic wonderment.  Not just artistically, but on every imaginable level.  I mean Disney — especially since annexing Pixar — is not only on top of everyone else, but keeps topping itself in what I would have considered impossible ways. Read more on Frozen Is A B-r-r-r-fect…

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