Psychiatrists

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Sexual harassment has been making the news lately.  Dozens of powerful men in Hollywood (especially) and business and government are being accused of misconduct by vulnerable young women (and men in some cases).

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can result from any trauma. Car accidents, animal attacks, a bad fall — not just sexual assault or war.

A high-school student doing a report for school recently wrote to me asking about PTSD.  I thought my answers might be of interest to others, so I’m sharing them with you. Read more on Student Questions About PTSD…

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I’m on my way to shoot a video with my dear friend Christelle Tachon that will end up on my new podcast site.  This is actually the second time I will have filmed with Christelle, and the first episode with her is nearly completed in the editing process.

Read more on New Podcast Is Available — Mona Jones, Part 2…

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The first psychiatric office I rented had two mildly to moderately comfortable chairs in the center, facing in the same direction. We all know that psychiatry started with the patient lying on a couch, staring at the ceiling, and remains that way in “New Yorker” cartoons.  Those of us in the know, we know that Freud was actually a pretty shy guy, not liking to stare his patients in the face, but rather letting their subconsciouses roam freely while staring at the ceiling.

We also know that the subconscious is a scary entity, full of (imagined) murder and rape and pillaging and such. The ideal when I trained was to sit face-to-face across a desk from the patient.  Nobody I know actually did that.  The reality slipped into 90 to 120-degree angles, exactly like what the classical psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan recommended. Read more on High Tech-High Touch Psychiatry…

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By now I think folks on the business management level of health care are at least aware that we Americans spend a lot of money on health care and seem to get very little in return. The author of a provocative piece in Forbes thinks “unnecessary health care” is our worst problem. This statement hit me broadside.  This does seem pretty true for the example she chose, even though it is decidedly outside of my field.

As far as I can figure, this sort of planned emergency delivery she talks about brings nothing to obstetric science or to the quality of human life whatsoever. Around the net, I see estimates of how much of what we do is actually science.  It usually comes out as about 50 or 60%; maybe a little over half. This is happening as part of what seems to be a massive drive towards EBM, known as “Evidence Based Medicine.”

Read more on Too Much Unnecessary Care…

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Too many Americans can’t afford to and simply do not–take their medicines as prescribed. That estimate is based on information from the (American!) Centers for Disease Control). I have had patients come into my office who take their medications –in both cases, for life-threatening infectious diseases — only every other day, simply because that is all they can afford. I explained to each one individually the idea of the half-life of a drug. They only stay in your body for a certain length of time, then they leave your body in waste products.  That is why taking a drug every other day is not really effective. They both gave me almost exactly the same response — It was all they could afford, and it was probably better than nothing. Read more on Big Pharma Is Capitalism Out Of Control…

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While I was training in psychiatry 30 years ago, the field was changing around me.  The older psychoanalysts were forced — reluctantly — to add prescription of psychotropics to their practices or else patients would never make it to their door. Of course, they had little to no training in pharmacology and less interest so they didn’t usually know what they were doing. While I was ascending in the ranks of psychiatric trainees, the best and the brightest of us were ushered into special training in pharmacology research.  I was (and probably still am) about as idealist and apolitical an up-and-coming psychiatrist that anyone could have invented. Read more on The Politics of Drug Development…

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I don’t like to give prescription sleeping pills.  They are a great source of disappointment to me.  It is hard to think any of the prescription stuff that is not habituating, requiring higher and higher doses to get the job done.

I have been worrying about patients taking them, literally, for years and years. I remember one of those studies that they release to the media.  It happened shortly after we moved to the San Diego area about 2004 when I heard on the radio that people who used prescription sleeping pills just did not live as long as people who did not. Read more on Sleeping Pills Are Not The Best Things For Sleep…

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We were sitting in a circle, like an AA meeting or something, but we were inside a recording studio talking about how to market music.  We were going around the circle, telling our names and what we had done in music. Me, I said I sang weird stuff (I do) but I was really a psychiatrist.  My main talent had been choosing to marry my husband, who discussed his serious musical accomplishments.

Read more on The World Needs More Of What You’ve Got…

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Back in the days before Noah’s flood, a psychiatrist would take care of both the medical and the psychotherapeutic needs of a patient. Of course, we all knew that it took “a different kind of doctor.”  In the old days they said it had to be a Jewish doctor who was afraid of the sight of blood. Of which I am not — I mean, I used to be a surgeon so I put that one to sleep.

Read more on You Are The Boss of Your Therapy Sessions…

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eThe kindest doctor you will ever meet.

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