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…


I find a lot of things I like in the New York Times. This article resonated with me as few others. First, there is the purpose of the human profiled.  Changing medicine into data science?  God save us all.

Sometimes I feel the best thing I do for a patient is to be human.  Just to have the pretension (a pretension which I do not take lightly) of being one human being in a room with another human being, trying to make them feel better.  This does more, I think, to make most of my patients “better” than all of the pills I have spent years studying about. All those years studying normative use of medications on large populations of humans.  And they work enough to please the powers that be.

Read more on Human Beings Are Not Computers…

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I was up and watching Dr. Oz on June 3, in the morning, because I knew he was popular and wanted to see what he was doing. I only saw the end of the show. He was dancing (in scrubs) with some Brazilians who presented a form of self-defense camouflaged as dance. He was fairly lithe, not overly muscled, and moved well, to the great enjoyment of the audience.

Obviously he was beloved as a personality. But did he really have knowledge?  He has the good looks required to get a shot at TV, but there are a lot of caring and skilled doctors who aren’t photogenic or charismatic enough for the ‘tube (and probably don’t dance well, either).

It seemed that people were cheering for him as a personality.

Dr. OzHe entertained questions from the audience. A woman had the tail end of a Bell’s Palsy. She asked him how to get rid of it. He told her to wait longer and it would probably go away.

I could tell right away that despite the lovely slide he flashed on the monitor, this woman had been the victim of her Bell’s Palsy long enough that she would probably be stuck with it for life. He got a round a round of applause, presumably for hugging her and telling her that her smile was beautiful. Read more on Dr. Oz: Being On TV Doesn’t Make One A Wizard…

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Sam Jackson and Co-starLast summer, there was a movie, called Snakes on a Plane which I think my husband wanted to see.  The “plot” (which obviously fell a little short of classic Shakespearean construction) has something to do with a witness transported on a plane and somebody tries to “whack” him with a bunch of snakes.  I absolutely did not want to see it. (To my husband’s credit, we still have not.  Yes, there are men who love their wives THAT much.) I don’t much like snakes.  I tend to avoid them.  I do not run screaming if I see a garter snake.

Incidentally, they say the film initially did quite well, probably because of a lot of internet hype.  It went on to do less well than expected.  I cannot help but wonder if that had something to do with the way a lot of people feel about snakes.

In college when I took comparative vertebrate zoology, they called it “herpetophobia,” which literally means fear of reptiles.  The more correct term is ophidiophobia,” more specifically meaning fear of snakes. Read more on Getting Rid of Phobias Without Drugs…

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She was 22 and dirty, poorly dressed, having been dragged into my clinic office by a social aide.  She knew her diagnosis.

Social Phobia“I got social anxiety disorder. I am social phobic. I don’t want to leave my apartment.”  She was looking me straight in the eye, through her tangled blond hair with a purple streak.  I think her clothes had been black, what the kids call “goth,” before they became soiled.

She didn’t do drugs; that was the good news.  She did drink; her friends brought her that in exchange for; guess what.  Yes, whatever charms she had, she certainly was not ashamed to exchange them for booze.

Read more on Social Phobia — Sometimes There IS A Happy Ending…

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When we talk about sending troops out to fight with numbers that have lots of zeros on them, chance are that nobody is thinking about how the lives of the survivors will never be the same.

PTSD SoldierRecently, ABC News made an attempt, a praiseworthy attempt, to help people see at least a little of what the human devastation means. “PTSD” stands for “post-traumatic stress disorder,” which leaves lives devastated.  People come out with devastated personal relationships, often unable to maintain marriages, unable to maintain jobs, with sometimes a high potential for violence.  The devastation all too frequently progresses to suicide.

Adding to this the fact that the bureaucratic institutions do not generally encourage or even permit the most efficient means of treatment, we have a domestic mess and a domestic mortality of veterans, the very people who put their lives on the line, that is nothing short of horror.

Read more on PTSD — Often Denied, Resistant To Mainstream Treatment…

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