There is something very funny going on with substance abuse.  There is less of it among teens. Less since — it has been suggested — teenagers are increasingly occupied by the amusing complexities of cell phones. Read more on Teens Favor Phones Over Drugs?​…

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What you have been through makes you who you are.
A man abused by his father told me he all too often finds that he has abused his own son.  He did not want to.  He did not mean to.  He realized he was becoming his father and he trembled.

Read more on Breaking The Chain Of Abuse…

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I remember a supervisor from the past whom I never thought had the right personality to be a psychiatrist.  I mean, he was a little angry and domineering for my taste.  But heck — I gave him a “bye” since he worked in a prison context.

I was never attacked by a prison patient through my tours-of-duty through four (all-male) California state penal institutions.  I had a couple who ended up on their knees, crying, stroking my hands, or even asking permission to kiss me (denied, of course).

They said I was “nice” to them.  I guess I treated them like human beings — something pitifully lacking in the prison system where everything seems oppressive and depersonalizing. Read more on Assaults On Psychiatrists…

I found myself facing a person who had lost themselves in drug abuse.

Not so unusual — when dealing with public health clinics.  The prognosis is usually poor.  An addict won’t cooperate with treatment unless forced by the courts in most cases.

Here is what I said to one mental health center patient to convince him to go into rehab. Read more on The Speech That Made An Unwilling Addict Go To Rehab…

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Whitney Houston’s death might be “old news” already, but I still think her death may not have been in vain.

Because Whitney was a star, we were treated to hearsay before facts.  She drank in the morning, in a public place, and according to some observers may have been behaving a bit strangely.

There is an old screener for alcoholism called the “CAGE” questionnaire.  It’s named after the four questions that presumably even a primary care physician — who has little room left in an overtaxed memory — could remember. Read more on Whitney Houston’s Death May Not Have Been in Vain…


Dr. Alycia A Chambers is one of my new heroes.  An investigation in 1998 led her to suggest that Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky met the criteria for pedophile, in her own assessment of the person now identified as “victim #6.”

What is at stake here is not the usual legal case of “my expert vs. your expert,” for only the most jaded of lawyers would suggest that this case be deferred to the adversarial system, letting the truth fall where it may.

Sexual abuses of childhood trust generally lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can affect the conduct of an entire life if untreated.  They are all too often untreated.

Dr. Chambers’ report was buried for a long time.  Part of this could have been because she was female.  It is not powerful anymore to talk about sex discrimination and harder to prove it, but I have no trouble believing the opinion of a professional female was buried in the files. Read more on Penn State Coach Scandal Update…

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As a fan of classic films, my husband knows he can keep me spellbound for a couple of hours with a great masterpiece from cinema history.

Recently, knowing my proclivity for French films and the city of Paris, he found a newly-restored version of “Paris brûle-t-il?” You might know it better by its English title – Is Paris Burning?

I don’t like war movies.  I’m an Army veteran (peace-time) and I’ve seen enough gung-ho and charge! In my time. Read more on Beware Of The Rescuer…

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I am not going to repeat the lurid details of Jerry Sandusky’s crimes against young boys and the whole of humanity.  I suppose what he was able to accomplish was a pedophile’s dream — The specific charity (the Second Mile) for “helping young boys” that brought him a steady flow of victims, the who  judge had been a volunteer for his charity.

Now, there are allegations that his own family contained alleged victims – possibly his grandson

It’s not that nobody knew — People had complained and reported many times over many years.

Some how it never got out. Read more on Sandusky-Penn State Revelations Keep Coming…


“Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.”

— A Christmas Carol (1843)

Thank you, Charles Dickens, for creating such a wonderful, enduring story, and such an apt simile.  If you hadn’t heard it before, that’s probably because it is usually omitted from the children’s versions of the oft-told (and filmed and broadcast) tale.  With everyone from Michael Caine to (my favorite) Mr. Magoo starring as the wickedest man who ever snorted “Bah Humbug!” and was converted to the most ardent celebrant of Christmas by the end of the story.

A wonderful, happy story — and it deserves to live forever.  But death is not terribly suitable material with which to start a children’s story.

Young women (and men) — some no older than children and many who could be termed “recent children” — were ardent fans of singer Amy Winehouse — who is now “dead as a doornail.” Read more on Amy Winehouse Proved Drugs Aren’t Glamorous…


Back when I left academics to start my private practice (this would have been around 1992), I filled in some vacant days at county mental health clinics until I could fill my private office schedule.

Elder Abuse Is Especially Terrible In A "Care" InstitutionFrom the very first, I was exposed to mentally ill patients who lived in boarding homes.  Some of them were reasonable – I wouldn’t say any were good – but some were tragic situations and the residents were basically trapped.  They needed somebody to take care of them, and in many cases they were taken advantage of.

I just kind of tripped over this recent report of abuses in the board-and-care homes. The hard thing for me is that it is so easy to believe.  I am glad the video was not released to the public because I am certain that it would be the most popular “viral video” on the internet.

The number of people in any world — mine in particular — who get off on physical cruelty is beyond mind-boggling. Since we are dealing with “care homes” I will avoid diving into what family members do to each other. In California, private homes can be licensed for “non-medical custodial care.”  I have avoided setting foot in these facilities for a number of reasons, but let us say simply that the laws here permit the licensure of facilities as small as single family homes, with six guests or less living like a surrogate family, to bigger facilities that look for all the world like nursing homes.   The tinier facilities account for 90% of the lot, or about 8100 facilities. Read more on Nursing Homes and Care Homes Should Not Be For Abuse…

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