News

“Bureaucracy” is a word that comes from the French, which I suppose means that moi has a greater understanding of it than most folks who have never lived in France. Literally, “bureau” means “desk.”  So “bureaucracy” is “rule by desk” in the same way that “democracy” is supposed to be “rule by the people” since “demos” in Greek is “people.” Problems already. There is considerable debate possible about how much representative government can even be a democracy.  I mean, do so-called “Public Servants” vote for what their constituencies want, or for what they really believe? Desks have no soul.  Here, we are on a little firmer ground, for bureacracies have not much in the way of souls, either. The word “bureau” itself originally meant the cheap green cloth used to cover the tops of desks.  More like the felt of blotters, the coarsely woven green dyed stuff is used to cover gaming tables and such.

The Brits use the word for this sort of cloth as a metaphor for “snooker” (the billiard table game with all of those confusing balls and rules). Read more on Bureaucracy, What It Is And Why I hate It…

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I started researching workplace stress more feverishly and with fewer records of sources than usual for me, as the patient was — and still is — me.

I have practiced in every setting I can imagine a psychiatrist being in — public and private, government (from federal to county) solo and institutional, whatever.

But now I have more physical and emotional fatigue.  More struggle getting my work done in the timely manner I expect from myself.  More need for (albeit, sounder) sleep.  And more “Sunday Night-it is” — for who has not complained about job stress? Read more on Sunday Night-itis — AKA Job Stress…

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Maybe if it’s “all in your head,” it’s in your brain chemistry

We women have spent so long and worked so hard for equality in rights, in education, and at work, that it may actually be hard to talk about how we are different.

The World Health Organization has been working on this, and knows a lot about what is going on.  Illnesses of the mind, problems with thinking and feeling and living, are only identified by doctors less than half the time. Three out of five people who have this kind of problem wait less than a year before seeing a doctor. This is true of both sexes. Read more on Mental Health In Women…

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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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The fastest, easiest test of the memory that I know is the one where you have to remember three objects five minutes after you’ve been told what they are.

This is part of a standardized test of cognition (typically testing for dementia) known as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Actually there has been more debate of the “what is this test and what objects should be used?” variety than anyone can possibly imagine.  It is usually not too tough to engage someone in talking about something else for five minutes, to keep them from repeating it in their head. Read more on MEMORY TESTS…

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I was in the 9th grade at 13 when I was looking at the ceremony for my Bas Mitzvah, literally “Daughter of the Covenant,” when I would chant the portion of scriptural commentary to the five books of Moses consistent with my birthday, and speak all the Rabbi would let me, and collect some gifts.

My prowess with Hebrew was well known.

I pretty much knew the whole liturgy already and sang along and drowned out the officiants and choir as much as I could.  Some older men sang pretty loud, but I generally drowned them out, too.

So there was a record attendance in February for a Friday night service when I was the “star.”  Yes, star.  Everybody wanted to be at this one, because I was already known as a “ham.” Read more on Hills and Mountains…

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I have seen them.

Men, who sit in my office and tell me they are addicts to internet pornography.

They describe symptoms that have long been regarded as markers of addiction.

Dependence — They start feeling poorly, maybe even depressed, if they don’t get their regular quota of exposure.

This is easy enough to get on the internet, so everybody who feels they want this (or “need” this) is able to get it. Read more on Internet Pornography IS Addiction…

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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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Freedom is healthy.

I have always believed this, and still do.  My perspective comes from many places — my upbringing, when I was bombarded since an early age by my Russian-immigrant grandmother how wonderful it is to be in the United States, where we are free, unlike the oppressed and subjugated multitudes left behind in the “Mother Country.”

Whether in philosophy or neurology, neuroscience or the applied study of behavior, having more options, more “degrees of freedom,” as well as — one would hope — the intelligence to make decisions among such options, is so basic a descriptor of humanity that it is part of any imaginable statement about the nature of human beings.

Some of the most heart -wrenching patients I have ever cared for are those who have been captured or subjugated in some way, and lost, to some extent at least, their ability to use their bodies or minds as they wish. Read more on Freedom And Mental Health…

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The first person I remember who approached me telling me clearly and articulately that uncertainty was his problem was Dr. W.

Not that he was (or ever could have been) a medical doctor.  He was an engineer who had been laid off for being somehow “supernumerary” from Boeing Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas.

Very stable, very “establishment, a former president of the synagogue (where we had met) the late Dr. Larry Weller was the kind of guy who wore a necktie around the house, just because he was more comfortable that way.  His wife was a sharp-as-a-tack social worker.  He was continually thankful for this, as his two adult children were living and working elsewhere and the two of them could keep their home and live fairly well (with the occasional flight to New York to visit relatives) on her salary. Read more on Uncertainty Is A Tough Mistress…

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