I remember vividly and will never forget when a home-made bomb blasted the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was April 19, 1995, and I was in the midst of morning rounds at a major hospital’s inpatient psychiatry unit.
A lot of people were “decompensating” — going psychotic, had beliefs the world was coming to an end and needed extra medicine.
They called it the worst homegrown terrorist attack on U.S. soil up to that time in our country’s history.
I thank the basis of my personal belief system that I was not closer to the explosion at that time, and that I was not personally involved in the later and more catastrophic attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 2001. Read more on Which Should You Choose — Therapists Or Friends?…
I was a 2nd year resident in neurological surgery when there was news that a single neuron could link with a single computer wire and messages could travel from the one to the other. Nobody in my doctors’ lounge seemed to care.
He told me about an idea which long before that had been both funded and forgotten. The idea had been one of a prosthetic frontal lobe. Frontal lobe of the brain, among other things, tells people what is “appropriate” socially. The one example I will never forget is the physician who (inappropriately) peed in his pants on rounds, and ended up having a frontal lobe tumor. So the idea was that somebody who had a hunk of frontal lobe excised to get rid of the tumor, or presumably some other kind of illness, could have a teency-tiny computer to hold in their hand that would do some frontal lobe kinds of things that they no longer could.
The attempt to develop this happened on the east coast, presumably sometime after Noah’s flood, and the funding dried up just like that great flood did.
Of course, another possibility is that men do not much care where and when they pee. I doubt this, since I had a patient in Oklahoma who had purchased a fair amount of real estate in his life and thought it necessary and appropriate to “mark” it in the same way a dog marks his territory. Yes, it involved peeing in public, but the fellow had no known frontal lobe pathology at the time.
Ah, those Oklahoma men. Read more on Maybe Those People Who Annoy Can Get A Prosthetic Brain…
I never paid a great deal of attention to politics, until I realized that health care had become politics.
I may be the last of a generation that learned, in medical school in France, that the responsibility of a doctor was to keep a record of cash transactions, something best done in a bound notebook with no pages ripped out, and only a single line to cross out errors, so that integrity would not be questioned.
The same year I entered medical school, President Richard Nixon signed the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973.
Wealthy industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, billionaire shipbuilder, and steel and aluminum magnate (as well as staunch Republican and major contributor to the Nixon campaign) was the first person to establish a “for-profit” hospital. Read more on Don’t Tell Me You Think Insurance Will Actually HELP…
I get blazing mad whenever one of those knee-jerk “patriots” cry, “You don’t support our troops!” if anyone should criticize the military, our government’s foreign policy or any specific wars, invasions or other actions we’ve taken in this brave new millennium.
I was in the peacetime United States Army. Since my honorable discharge, I’ve served several Veteran’s Administration medical facilities in several states, and in private practice, I’ve made a special study of the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – which the military routinely denies even exists and doesn’t even try to treat in many VA facilities.
Yes, I was in the Army, and No – I wasn’t in combat. Nevertheless, with the idea of war always hanging over my shoulder, my life was different. I never really understood the “grunts” — the infantry without appreciable rank — who wanted nothing more than to see “action.” Read more on Can’t We All Just Get Along?…
As I write this, a song is running through my head.
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people*
Not surprisingly, of the people, of all ages, the overwhelming number of those who complain to me about loneliness are female. If and when the adolescents get past any and all of the awkwardness without contracting any life-threatening depressions, I really think most of them will be all right. I am a little more worried about those in their late thirties, maybe around forty, who tell me they are lonely.
They have generally had at least a couple of relationships, maybe even a marriage. Their associations with males, sometimes disastrous and maybe even violent, are over. Happily over, I should think, but they are not so sure.
The lonely women of this age are generally truly beautiful — maybe more beautiful, physically than I have ever been or might ever be. Sometimes, they have devoted all of their lives to beauty, and are now on maintenance. I have never met anyone in the same boat I am, who have been brains all of their lives and suddenly find that being physically attractive is something like the ice in your drink that rushes up and hits you in the teeth when you are expecting a rush of cool liquid. It hits you and you got to deal with it.
“I am sorry to hear that you feel so lonely,” I say. “What would you have to do to stop feeling lonely? Just do it.” They look at me confused, as if the answer is magically obvious and I have magically missed it.
In a way they are right. Few are those whose loneliness can be relieved by church friends or bingeing on rich ice creams in the middle of the night. Most of them have enjoyed a sexual relationship at some time during their lives and now they miss it. Sometimes, I think they just need masturbation lessons. But there are several live links to that on the internet, and heaven knows they are NOT hard to find. Read more on The World Is Full Of Lonely Women…
Even though absolutely anybody from AA and Co-dependents Anonymous to most PhD psychologists would tell them that it can’t be done, it CAN be done by those who have great self-control and great patience.
Curiously enough, like so many of the things that I’ve seen work in humans as well as animals — like offering conditioning — they have their forerunners in the ancient wisdom coming from My-Grandmother-Of-Blessed-Memory. If she heard someone say something stupid or do something stupid and talk about it, she would mutter in Yiddish something that sounded like, “Af alle narishkeit eaft’min nisht anferin!”
What this means is, “You don’t answer every single foolishness!” Read more on How To Change Your Husband…
Probably, a lot of people would claim that they were my mentor if I was famous enough to be worth claiming. I had some great teachers, especially early on, and I had a bunch of wackos, too.
My-Father-Of-Blessed-Memory had to take up the slack when my first Hebrew teacher in a Yeshiva — now defunct — was a highly insecure (and probably gay) man who even got chalk all over himself. As a teacher, he was neither condemning nor very helpful, knowing no way to teach except repetition, both oral and written.
One of the reasons that I had no real mentoring when quite young was that I really did not know exactly what I wanted to do with my curious life, aside from “something in the arts and sciences” which covered pretty much anything I liked, or didn’t. Read more on The Fortunate Few Have Mentors…