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…
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…
I think this was said to me for the first, last, and only time at the first, last and only mixer for singles I went to in Wichita, Kansas.
I don’t remember the man’s name or face, but I do remember how he responded to my answer to his inquiry about what I did for a living.
“Psychiatrist? That sounds like a fun job. You probably get to talk about sex all the time.”
My response was undistinguished. “No, not really.” Read more on Psychiatrists Don’t Just Talk About Sex…
The person who walks into a psychiatrist’s office looking for help is not necessarily the patient.
Often, they are simply the family of the patient.
Sometimes, they themselves have something – possibly a disorder, but maybe just an emotional or attitude problem — that would seem somehow lesser in magnitude than the psychiatric diagnosis the person who is or should be the patient has actually got. Read more on Families Often Indicate Psychiatric Problems…
When I first saw in a headline somewhere that the earth’s population of honeybees was diminishing, I actually thought it might be a good thing.
Less bee stings.
I cannot count the number of patients I have seen (particularly males young enough to harbor delusions of their own vulnerability) who list bee sting allergies as a problem. Read more on Let Me Tell You ‘Bout The Bees (Maybe The Birds Later)…
I first learned that I was a “receptacle personality” in Baltimore, Maryland. I was serving our fine country in the US Army Medical Corps as psychiatrist to the 82nd Airborne Division in Ft. Bragg. NC
There was some sort of a training group there that all of the other active duty psychiatrists seemed to have attended. The Army – in its wisdom – had decided to take me – a trained neurosurgeon – and make me a psychiatrist.
Our country needed me (in this position, at least) and I obeyed, like a good soldier. Read more on Meet Dr. Receptacle…
I grew up with the Reader’s Digest, although I do not think that was what my parents had in mind.
I was a very early reader. I had the activity pretty much nailed by the time I was three. I could even do phonetic “sounding out” of words, as well as the obsessional “dictionary searching” that I now do on line. I also had an obsessional interest in books intended for “bigs.”
The Reader’s Digest, to which my parents had some kind of a lifetime subscription or something, was consistently to be found on top of my mother’s bedside table — which had actually been her old “hope chest.” I would “borrow” the current copy of the Reader’s Digest in the morning when they were still asleep, and generally return it before they would wake.
I will admit I had promised them to ask about anything I did not understand, but I have no memory of ever having to do so. Read more on Facial Diagnosis…
Although I am an “adult psychiatrist” on paper, in reality I have seen plenty of young men who fit into my criteria of 18-or-over but to me are functionally children.
They usually think I am functionally — well, grandmother-like — so from the moment they see me they have very little interest in listening to what I say.
Granted, since I see folks who have already done something to get themselves into the mental health system, the young folks of whom I am thinking may not be an accurate cross-section of young human male humanity.
Still, they all say almost exactly the same thing.
“All I need is a job.” Read more on Boys in Late Adolescence Looking For Jobs…
Animal mummies from ancient Egypt are featured on banners flying from poles here in middle-to-upper class southern California and I realized something significant but not earth-shaking.
I didn’t care.
I was fascinated with Egyptology back in the 4th grade when I built a model pyramid out of cardboard and made little mummies out of clay. I knew back then that some people mummified pets, and that was fine, but I didn’t want to model little dogs or cats, just humans.
I have nothing against animals. I just think that sometimes they are valued, and their rights valued, and their alleged “feelings” valued more than those of human beings — and that is concerning. Read more on Pets Are Okay, But I Love Humans…