January 2018 Archives


Some say it is the biggest controversy in psychiatry; even the only controversy in psychiatry.

Me, I think it is rubbish, really.  Someone ought to cut to the heart of the matter.

Every single edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry (Current edition is  DSM-5) has been based on the description of behavior.  Clarified with counting of behaviors.  To assign one of the diagnostic codes necessary to receive a pension takes counting how often someone has a panic attack, how many nights a week someone has trouble sleeping — things like that. Read more on Damn The DSM!…

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When I get to choose what I read, for the great majority of my life, I have chosen non-fiction.

Or at least what I thought was non-fiction.

I was about eight years old when I convinced my parents to open the cover of the bookshelf in the living room that housed the Harvard Classics and to let me take one volume at a time upstairs to my room. Read more on Ben Franklin Bent The Truth…

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One of the several wonderful things about my husband (there are far too many to enumerated here) is that every morning when I wake he asks me if I have slept well and feel rested.

I grew up in a household where my parents thought it was normal to fall asleep in front of the TV, wake up, and decide to “finish the night off” in bed.  They slept late on the weekends.

I think they were both chronically sleep-deprived for all of their adult lives. Read more on Sleep…

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I was nine or so when my classroom teacher at my “special school” for gifted children had a bunch of us at a “secret meeting” for which she had closed the front stage curtain on the auditorium stage and sat us all around her on the well-waxed stage.

“This year, we are going to perform Gilbert and Sullivan.  We will be doing the ‘Pirates of Penzance’.” Read more on Giddy For Gilbert and Sullivan…

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I was never much interested in the business of medicine.  At least, not like those guys who end up employing multiple assistants and owning hospital complexes.

Me, I had approximately two hours of instruction in “the business of medicine” from a loveable and rotund French country doctor with a delightful victorian-type handlebar mustache. Read more on Learning The Business Of Medicine…

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Okay.  So some folks at Northwestern have figured out folks remember more when they sleep with regulated bursts of “Pink noise,” which sounds kind of like a waterfall and is definitely more agreeable than “white noise,”  the irritating product of a small round machine that people have placed inside my office or outside my door for many years.

I have never used it. It is supposed to mask discussion noises coming from my office.  Me being me, those noises coming from my office include at least one “happy song” and at least one shriek of laughter.  “White noise” at enough volume to stamp out anything like that would make me intolerably irritable. Read more on Using Noise To Get To Sleep…

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This one tickles me a bunch.

I remember, back when I was in training, reading an article that truly shocked me. Read more on Why Are You Depressed?…

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She was a well-known and respected matron in Orange County who called at 10 PM with a “health concern” so I called her right back so I could sleep easier.

The problem was an easy one.  She had her first “abnormal” blood test and had been diagnosed with what those defeatist doctors call “prediabetes”  and started on metformin which is about the safest thing that exists to lower blood sugar.  I mean some blood sugar medicines and lower blood sugar so much that they make people nervous and shaky and worse.  But this one wouldn’t hurt her. Read more on Diabetes Is Not A Death Sentence…


Most people who know me well know that I was (briefly) a professional comic.

Long before I became a psychiatrist, I wanted to be funny.  I copied TV comics as best I could and quickly learned that when you were funny, people seemed a bit more likely to enjoy your company. Read more on Cut The Funny Business — You’re A Doctor!…

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“Ten” (10) is an easy number to remember.

I have no doubt, although many years have passed, that 10 grams per decileter was the laboratory value at which I had to prescribe a blood transfusion for everybody. Read more on Where Do They Get Those Numbers For Blood Tests?…

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