The doctor/patient relationship has been the central instrument of healing throughout the history of medicine, but has become a lost art. We have to teach doctors to better understand their patients so that they can become better healing instruments.
The exponential growth in the use of psycho-stimulants, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotic drugs often harms children more than helps them. This Checklist to help clinicians think through the necessary steps before prescribing medicines.
A kid not going to school is a crisis for family and school. Parents and teachers often feel helpless and perplexed. The kid may quickly spiral down into increased anxiety, avoidance, despair, and gaming. Starting treatment early reduces the risks the child will develop severe school refusal and become completely homebound.
Accumulating evidence now proves that much of arthroscopic (keyhole) knee surgery may be unnecessary because the results are no better than placebo. This is an especially startling finding because this is the second most common surgical procedure in the world (after cataract surgery).
There is no worse death than a hospital death. Dying well means dying at home. This requires preparation and preparation requires recognizing that dying is a necessary, and indeed desirable, part of life. Preparing for a good death may be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life.
Falling is a major cause of disability and death. Physical exercise and specific balance tasks greatly reduce the risks. People who don't change their behavior to prevent falls are almost sure to have them.
As a last resort for behaviorally disturbed kids, wilderness programs provide a new chapter and offer an opportunity for greater self-control, self-esteem, and wisdom. They are good for the kids, their families, the juvenile justice system, and society.
Treatments that work well for most don't work well for all. And even effective treatments have side effects and complications. This is true of medication and surgery—and it is also true of psychotherapy.
People diagnosed with serious mental illness-schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or sever depression- die 20 years early because of a combination of lousy medical care, smoking, lack of exercise, complications of medication, suicide, and accidents. They are the most discriminated against and neglected group in the US, which has become probably the worst place in the developed
Mental disorders have become a global commodity. A diagnostic fad heavily promoted first in the US now quickly spreads around the world. Parents must protect their kids from the drug company promoted flood of massive ADHD over diagnosis and over treatment.
The Internet has reduced the price, and increased the convenience, of shopping for just every product in our economy- except medical care. Why not use comparative posted prices to empower consumers and reduce the monopoly power of providers.
DSM-5 has rejected rape as a mental disorder. This should reduce the inaccurate use of psychiatric diagnosis to justify the longterm involuntary commitment of sexually violent predators who have already served their full prison sentence. Inappropriately using psychiatric diagnosis in the service of preventive detention is a slippery slope with disastrous consequences.
DSM 5 will inappropriately label as mentally ill 1 in 6 people with cancer and heart disease; 1 in 4 with irritable bowel and fibromyalgia; and 1 in 14 who are not even medically ill. DSM 5 rejected the simple wording changes I suggested that would have helped correct this problem.