Should I, Or Shouldn’t I?

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In a perfect world, all doctors would know that people with psychiatric issues are regular humans, just like everybody else.  They would not look at our diagnosis, our health history, our med list, and automatically assume that we are drug seekers.  They would not automatically write off our symptoms as being “psychosomatic.”  I use quotes there, because the word “psychosomatic” means that the mind is causing a disorder that is expressed by the body.  I happen to be of the school of medicine that believes that virtually all physical illness is caused, ultimately, by imbalances of body chemistry that are initiated in the brain; therefore, all illnesses are “psychosomatic.”  And guess what, folks: they’re real illnesses. Continue reading

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“Serious” Mental Illness

DeeDee newI’ve seen references to “serious” mental illness here and there. What the heck does that mean? Even Google can’t give me a clear answer. A fantastic blog post by Kaitlin Bell Barnett pretty well says everything I would have said about this topic. Rats. Now I have to come up with something more.

A point I’d like to specifically highlight is that most of the time, this term is reserved for illnesses that involve mania or psychosis: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. The National Institute on Mental Health uses a broader definition: Continue reading