I always considered myself a naive person in many ways.

From my overprotective family, who had serious worries about my crossing the street without someone holding my hand even when pushing forty, I moved, through several exotic domiciles, into a marriage where my husband would never dream of permitting me to cross a street without holding my hand. Read more on You Think YOU Got Stress?…


Number 5 in the USA Today catalog of medical changes in the past 25 years is (imagine a drum roll playing – and CYMBAL CRASH!) — antidepressants are the most popular drugs. Read more on Antidepressants Are Popular — And Dangerous…

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It does not matter what country they were from. The father got into the system when his 19 year old son went stark raving looney bonkers and started destroying the homestead. Luckily it was an apartment in an urban setting, or I don’t think anyone else would have known about it. There was one older child who had already flown the coop, one wife who had died because the strain of leaving the old country had been too much. I had a feeling she had also gotten raped or something, but that was father’s post-traumatic stress disorder if anything. I told him to come back for himself, but I never saw him again. He swore on a stack of bibles that his son did not use drugs.  He said nobody had ever explained to him what was wrong with his son. At least no way he could understand and explain back to me.

For an American the solution would have been a support group, like the Alliance for the Mentally Ill. They lived in a rural area, though, and I did not know if the local chapter had anybody who spoke his language.  There is no way the patient could have handled that – and probably not the father, either. Read more on You Can’t Pick And Choose Which Medicines You Want…

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She was 29 years old and so obese that she had to walk through the door to my office sideways.  She had put on most of the weight, she said, after she had
been date-raped.

She did not remember much about what happened.  She knew the guy who had been with her, and avoided him as best she could, although she still had thoughts of him, that intruded into either her nighttime dreams or her daytime thoughts.  And she had the characteristic “hyper-arousal.”  I have learned, the hard way, never to think of slamming the door or clapping my hands to test this one.  I only did that once or twice and always regretted it.  I just asked her if a sudden noise made her jump in the air, ever, and she nodded.  “How did you know?”  she asked. Read more on Roofies, Ruffies, or Mexican Valium: It Doesn’t Say “I Love You.”…


He was 19.  I saw that on his papers before I let him into the office. I knew it meant trouble.

Someone who was only 19 and was in the county mental health system had to be either big trouble or a big manipulator.  Working with adolescents is tough for me because I have to “set limits;” often yell and scream.  That is absolutely not my favorite way to be a psychiatrist, to read people the riot act.  But 19 year olds often need that.

The doctor is a catI sometimes have to be more of a surrogate mother than a psychiatrist.

He had been recently hospitalized for a “psychotic break.”  That is when someone who is alleged to be normal suddenly starts hearing voices and seeing things.  It’s not always mental illness — maybe some drugs on board, maybe some kind of stress.  At least I had the records from the hospitalization.

Yeah, drugs on board.  Some speed, some pot.  The “baby-momma” of his first child (God, was he proud) was no “fun” anymore.  She wanted things like child support — clearly not a “fun” request.

Now I have read some recent studies from other countries — this is not the kind of thing they do here — that when there is the risk of hereditary pathology you can feed a kid Omega-3 fish oil and maybe prevent this “psychotic break” —  or at least delay it. And yes — to me someone 18 or 19 years old is still a kid. Read more on You Can’t Help Me Unless You Are Like Me…

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