autism

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He was just 18. He had been followed by child psychiatry with a diagnosis of depression. He had long refused to take any pills.  As far as this poor, agricultural county was concerned, I was just seeing him so I could bill MediCal and fatten up the county coffers. The previous psychiatrists had simply noted he was depressed, was not suicidal, and refused any participation in his own treatment.

He was a young man of few words, with a common Hispanic name.  He sat there and twirled one of his lush curls. It became pretty obvious he wasn’t going to give me a complete history.  He said he would never take pills, not ever. To his credit, he did say I could talk to his mother, if I wanted to, but he had to be in the room and hear what she said. Someone brought her to me, from the waiting room.  She spoke only Spanish; fine with me. I learned my Spanish mostly from my patients, who in that time and place could rarely communicate well in either Spanish or English. His mother was charming, really grateful that I wanted to talk to her. She kept complimenting my clothes and elegance. I told her it was all thrift shop.  I doubt she believed me. Read more on Diagnosis From The Guts…

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If I haven’t convinced everyone yet, I don’t know how.

I have written on this before.

Vaccination keeps kids alive.  Kids who could die dead as door nails from preventable diseases.

Vaccination has very few side effects. Read more on We Can Fix This Vaccination Bit…

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My preceptor in child psychiatry at the University of Kansas (Wichita) was easily the most respected psychiatrist in the region. Former chief of the residency training program, he was not at all the fanatically-publishing academic type I would find in psychiatric departments elsewhere.

He was eminently practical. Nearing retirement and clearly at the top of his game, he was known to be someone who really did straighten out troubled kids.

Me, there were times he gently chided me because of my theoretical and academic concerns which were not always of practical use. Read more on Responsibility for Veterans…

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I don’t think we plan what our real specialties are going to be.

I frequently tell patients I am an expert on getting through menopause now that I have been able to come through my own relatively unscathed.

I became somewhat of an expert on Asperger’s because I diagnosed many elements of it in my father and just about all criteria in my brother.

They both carried additional diagnoses of bipolar (a.k.a. ‘manic-depressive’) illness.  Neither one was in any way typical.

Both surely had their problems in life.  My father was assisted considerably by his domineering mother who gave him lots — I mean lots — of direction.  She even helped him choose a wife — my mother — who took care of the things in life that were difficult or even impossible for him. Read more on From Sandy Hook to Santa Barbara — Asperger’s Syndrome And Violence…

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I Am A Doctor, But I Don’t Play One On TV

Personality-wise, the cranky and inconsiderate title character of the hit TV series House, MD are mirror opposites.  I actually LIKE people – especially people who need help (patients).

Obviously many people enjoy this series, since it is one of the highest rated. But for me, the challenge is to out-diagnose him.

In case you’ve never watched, the formula for each episode is a seemingly straight-forward illness, which (of course) is the wrong diagnosis.  The rest of the show is slapping another diagnosis on the patient, and testing the patient, which makes the patient worse.  Read more on Being Locked-In May Not Be So Bad For Everybody…

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Some think chelation can cure autism

There is no evidence of chelation curing autism.

NOTE: CLICK THE CARTOON AND SEE IT FULL-SIZE TO READ THE LAST PANEL

The field of alternative medicine is as wild and woolly as the old west.  There are all kinds of people doing all kinds of things.  Some are studied and tested, some are intuitive, and some seem to come from Uranus.

So it is no surprise that the FDA occasionally cracks down on some of the most flagrant offenders.

Please listen to someone with a lot of formal training and many years of experience in clinical trials and many treatment modalities — There are no miracle cures. If there really were, I think I could have a handle on them by now.

One hot button recently is autism.  And one of the biggest misconceptions is that it is just mercury poisoning.  Believe me (and a million other medical experts) – it is NOT.

There are plenty of people around who want to believe in the magic bullet. Somehow this goes hand-in-hand with believing that doctors and drug companies are hiding things that are wildly effective.

Truth, science, and the American way are effective. People are always devoted to things that will make them a lot of money.  They may even convince themselves that they are on the way to miracles. Old fashioned values like responsible experimentation, even responsible observation … the heck with it.

I will not expostulate. I see it all the time.  Some of my colleagues – and I mean trained and licensed MDs – seem to settle on one treatment and think it fixes everything.  I suspect it is because they are basically lazy and cynical, but that may not be fair.  But in my years of practice I’ve seen docs who give everybody thyroid hormone, others who firmly believe in vitamin D, the apostles of Prozac, and other things too bizarre for me to really believe. Read more on Denial, Wishful Thinking And Chelation…

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