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The more I look the more I find.  In reliable sources.  More ways that my beloved veterans are getting screwed over that nobody knows about. I know what I am doing and I collect facts–of science and of history — and I find myself too often in crying mode. Not that the controversies are necessarily new ones.  Sigmund Freud said a long time ago that a lot of psychiatry seemed to be the neurology you did not yet know. I have been treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for a long time.  I was incredulous, shocked to my limits, when I first tried to take care of these wonderful, brave, and once fearless men, who would have crying meltdowns and end up in my arms. The best thing I did was to learn Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and to decide I was professional enough to do it “my way,” not according to verbatim directions, but adapting it to folks’ needs. Using EFT has put me on the spot plenty of times; with the VA, even prisons, where I have been told more than once that it robs people of “free will,” which is of course, complete and total rubbish.  Patients are awake, alert, and voluntarily tap on their own acupuncture meridians.  I have heard at least one hypnotherapist tell me it is “kind of like a light trance,” but patients could not, in my estimation, be more awake and alert. Read more on Another way veterans are getting screwed — crying time again….

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The Emperor’s New Clothes — A great story that seems to have survived the ages. Like most Americans, I heard the Hans Christian Andersen (19th century) version in childhood. In case you missed it, the subject was two fellows employed as weavers, who offered the emperor a suit that would be invisible to those who were not smart or appropriate for their jobs.  The Emperor wears his new suit for a big public parade in front of the subjects, to great acclaim by all.  Nobody mentions the emperor is wearing nothing but underwear until a kid yells it out at the top of his lungs. Read more on The emperor has no clothes!…

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They call it “the French Paradox ” but it isn’t really.

I first heard this expression around the end of my surgical residency, when I hung out sometimes with some professorial internal medicine types. The real question was, how come the French with all their rich sauces had so much less heart disease than the Americans?

Read more on They call it “the French Paradox “…

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As a proud veteran of the US Army, I fought tears as I read how the pain of our combat veterans has been manipulated by war profiteers. I put on that green uniform and I swore to put my life on the line.  I became a lifetime member of the Jewish War Veterans and the co-surgeon general for the Jewish war veterans and I tried, really tried, to make things better for the troops.

Read more on Veterans are getting screwed more than you or I knew….

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Does medicine really work to cure people anymore? How can we do better? I’ve said before in public, “I’m angry and I can’t take it anymore.” I can’t believe it’s been 36 years since some good folks in France buttoned a black scarf trimmed with white bunny fur onto my shoulder and told me I was now a physician, with all the rights and privileges associated with that exalted profession.

Read more on Does Medicine Really Work to Cure People?…

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I am always amused by how people make decisions.  The decision about what to eat is a complicated one.  I will admit to having made and changed the decision multiple times in my own lifetime. I am a scientist who goes by data–and I will admit that my most recent choice reversed my diabetes as well as my high blood pressure and myriad evils, so that I am medication free for the first time in several years. There is, however, a subculture devoted to diets that can’t work, don’t work, or probably don’t work.  I don’t expect people to make rational choices — I’ve been a psychiatrist too long to believe that one, even for an instant.  I do know that there is more distance than anyone would imagine (some estimate it at 30 years or more) between science and medical practice.  Add that to the amount of “emotional baggage” people carry around about what they love eating, what they hate eating, and why. Put it all together and the best you can usually do is pseudoscience.  This means there is lots of space for humor. The demands on people to get thin or thinner in the entertainment industry are indeed often “unachievable.”  I am convinced most people resort to simply not eating, or “fasting.” This is maybe not the worst thing possible, for both ancient tradition and modern scientific research have validated it, for brief periods with plenty of water.

Read more on Most Diets Are At Least Good For A Laugh…

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I remember, several years ago, going to a national drug development meeting; the first time I had been at such a meeting, with drug company folks from the highest national levels. I remember how excited I was.  Maybe someone could develop an antipsychotic that really could escape all those neuromuscular side effects.  Maybe they had new things that were more powerful than antibiotics, which I already knew were not working as well as they ought to. I remember, with characteristic naivete, that it felt impossible to find anyone with whom I could discuss the pharmacology that so impassioned me, for the “big” drug guys seemed to be more interested in the business and politics of the thing. Read more on Could Fish Oil Prevent Schizophrenia?…

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Fifteen years after.  That means there are sentient, living teenagers who are (I hope) somewhere in school learning about this devastating event in some kind of secondary school curriculum, or perhaps witnessing public patriotic events. — But they don’t remember it, because they weren’t born yet.

Read more on 9-11 15th Anniversary…

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Anaphylaxis is frightening — it can and does kill people. It is an acute allergic reaction that affects about 0.5  to 2% of the population, at some point in life, and the frequency seems to be rising as we speak. Symptoms include hives and itches and swelling, which about 20% of the time can affect the upper breathing system and close the windpipe.

In theory any substance that is not included as part of the body can cause it.  I have heard about it being caused by bee stings, snake bites, foods and drugs and such. I have actually treated people for post-traumatic stress disorder caused by an allergic attack.  It is a serious stress to find your windpipe closing up and not know why. The lifesaving immediate emergency treatment is injected epinephrine (adrenaline) and getting the victim to a medical center to follow up with antihistamine and steroids as needed. My own allergies have given me some weird things over the years — lots of positive skin tests.  I used to suffer through “desensitization” protocols — allergen injections that made me sick, and prize-winning hay fever attacks. Read more on The EpiPen Mess and How To Work Around It…

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I was chatting with an M.D. woman friend, and told her my medications and my natural supplements and herbs and my “numbers” — my blood sugar and my blood pressure — when I still was convinced that I had those things.

My blood sugar was 120 mg/dL. My blood pressure with medications was around 140/85.

She surprised me with her reaction. Read more on What The Heck Has Happened To Medicine?…