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Many years ago, Paul J. Fink, M.D. was head of the American Psychiatric association, and made a remark in a speech which I have never forgotten, although I can’t find the text of the original speech.

He said something to the effect that prostitution and psychiatry had the same problem — the amateurs think they are as good as the professionals.

I can’t give any kind of a reasonable assessment of how this would apply to professional prostitutes.  It seems to me as if there is a tremendous amount of information available to anyone who seeks it with assiduity.  Besides, I am unaware of structured training, university degrees, or licensure or any kind of proof of skill for professional prostitutes.

As for psychiatrists, I am constantly amazed by how many people are unaware of what we really do.  Misinformation abounds in the media, films especially. Read more on Leave Medical Comments Out Of Politics…

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He was over 60 years old when he walked into my office; a colorful relic of the sixties, with his multicolor T-shirt, love beads, turquoise earrings.  Like many people found in Southern California who are a little older than their “moment of fame” in the entertainment industry, he had frozen that moment.  I did not recognize his name, but someone who followed the music scene in the sixties may have known his group.
Many of the numbers for which he was known back then were associated with “getting high,” something he told me he had done infrequently then, for it impaired his ability to perform.  He certainly had not done it much since, for there had been some odd jobs (of which he spoke little, obviously not proud he had to do them) and some performances on some kind of a 60’s revival circuit, where he was revered for still being who he was.  There were some problems.

He did have obsessive compulsive disorder.  He had been on a variety of medications which one might expect to be helpful with that, but which had not.  In my experience this was not uncommon.  He was seeing a therapist who was trying to help him with this, but who was doing traditional “insight oriented” therapy.  Of course, this did not work. His worries were mainly about cleanliness and order; common ones.  I recommended the most recent edition of hte book I have been recommending for years, in its most recent edition. (Bantam Press) Despite my efforts to avoid making his therapist sound like an idiot, I sent him to some of the wonderful free self-help you can find on the internet. But wait, there’s more.  He said that he frequently heard, in his head certain lines or phrases of songs he had performed in the sixties. Not whole songs or even parts he liked.  Just opening lines, or one line or phrase, that would repeat an infinity of times.  He had tried to drown it out, all sorts of things, and yet he felt victim to it. It was frustrating and he did not know how to stop it.  This was not conventional obsessive compulsive disorder. Read more on Musical Hallucinosis — Too Much Of A Good Thing?…

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