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Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness
As a physician specializing in psychiatry, I know that many emotional conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders are true medical illnesses with a biologic (physical) origin. Psychiatry has become more and more "biological" in its diagnosis and treatment approaches during recent years, but a very significant stigma still exists against those who are seeing a therapist. This has become increasingly difficult to understand, but it is a social stigma that is so very important to eliminate.
Why does an embarrassment or stigma still exist associated with those who are seeking psychiatric treatment? Why do people wait so long before come for help - to the point of becoming nearly non-functional with their families, children and work environment?
First, many people have a picture in their mind of movies in which psychiatrists are ineffective listeners of problems of patients who are lying on psychoanalytic couches. It is important to remember that psychoanalysis preceded our modern treatment approaches which now have a much higher success rate. We currently have many safe and effective medications, which when used with or without psychotherapy, help many people fully recover.
Another reason for the stigma is in the use of the term "mental illness". The field of psychiatry has undergone many changes in the past twenty years. Research into the functioning of the brain and nervous system has led to the concept of a "chemical imbalance" as the cause of illnesses such as Major Depression and Panic Attacks. In addition, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a condition portrayed so well by Jack Nicholson in the 1997 movie "As Good As It Gets," is also caused by a chemical imbalance. Medications were used to help treat the "Obsessive Compulsive" character being played by Nicholson. Many psychiatric illnesses are not "mental" or "emotional," but are now understood to be "neurochemical illnesses".
Many people are told, "You can do this on your own, be strong," as if a person can easily will themselves out of depression or anxiety. Can someone "Be Strong" and make their diabetes or bronchitis just go away? These types of suggestions only result in a delay in seeking treatment or feelings of failure in the individual who finally does seek help. The stigma of psychiatric treatment also leads many people to seek help at the health food store, or other types of self-diagnosis and self-medications.
Men in particular have to overcome an additional obstacle. It may seem "Un-Macho Like" to seek professional psychiatric help when one fails to understand or see their condition as an illness, and instead view it as a weakness in their character. Thus, injury to a man's ego often contributes to their long delays in seeking treatment.
My hope is that the shame and secrecy associated with obtaining professional psychiatric help will gradually diminish and eventually cease to exist. If we understand how the social stigma was established in the first place - the media lack of medical knowledge, societies' understanding or ignorance, etc., then we should realize there is no need to "stay in the closet." Let's wipe out the term "mental illness" and view many of these conditions as "neurochemical illness," with the same non-prejudicial attitude as we do toward diseases such as diabetes or hypertension.
Debra S. Gorin, M.D. received her medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She has been in private practice as a Psychiatrist for the past sixteen years in the Fort Lauderdale area. Dr. Gorin treats all types of stress-related, emotional and psychiatric problems of children, adolescents, and adults. She is also a trained hypnotherapist. Visit her website (http://www.doctorgorin.com) to view her growing library of psychiatric and health-related articles. Dr. Gorin's weblog can be viewed at http://debragorinmd.blogspot.com She can be contacted at email@example.com
Talking Money with Your Doctor: Drugs and Tests for Less
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Over The Counter Pain Medication: How To Choose The Right Drugs
With the recent front-page news about the possible hazards of pain medications, you may be taking a look at your over-the-counter (or OTC) pain medications with a wary eye. While all drugs, including those you don't need a prescription for, can be dangerous, some basic knowledge can help you avoid the pitfalls for the pain relief you need.
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Peptic ulcers, which are in the stomach and the duodenum (the first part of the intestine leading from the stomach) can occur at any age and affect both men and women. Untreated, sufferers can look forward to a long siege with them. But today's peptic ulcer sufferers have a brighter prospect for relief than did those of even a single generation ago. There is now less than 1 chance in 18 that surgery will every be necessary and new medications act faster and better and offer more relief than ever before.
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Medical Billing Software Takes the Stage
Medical Billing Software
Finally...Affordable Prescription Medication without Insurance.
If you are like many Americans, you are without health insurance. And the ranks of the uninsured are growing. According to the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), the number of uninsured was a record breaking 45 million in 2003. The growing number of uninsured is in large part being driven by individuals abandoning the corporate life to pursue their dreams as entrepreneurs and small business owners.
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Last year I told an acquaintance that at the age of 46, I had taken up running. The reply was, "Oh, that's awfully hard on your knees." At first I was taken aback. Yes, I knew if I didn't stretch, warm-up or wear properly fitted shoes, I might experience pain or an injury. But the person telling me this was overweight, had borderline high blood pressure, and never worked out. I wondered if this friend realized by living a sedentary lifestyle, the odds of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and some cancers had substantially increased. Not to mention that being overweight actually placed this person at a higher risk than me for developing knee pain from osteoarthritis and heel pain as a result of plantar fasciitis.
Increasing Patient Care and Reducing Liability in Seven Simple Steps
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Buy Electric Wheelchairs Online
Electric wheelchairs mobility for virtually any type of disability.
Whats a Good Arthritis Medicine for Me, Doctor?
Pain is the body's warning signal that something is wrong. If the pain is due to overuse or arthritis there are many things to consider. In all likelihood, one of the first things a person will reach for is an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine.
Although you make a patient feel better, there isn't usually anything tangible to be a reminder of your service. When it comes time for the patient to pay their bills, yours is often at the bottom of the pile. You are competing with other credit grantors that supplied a tangible product, or something they really enjoy like cable or their cell phone and therefore your medical collections problem is more difficult.
Arizona Drug Rehab: Finding Help in Arizona
The state of Arizona has one of the worst drug problems in the United States. Historically and currently, the state is known as a transhipment location for a variety of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and marijuana, which are imported from other countries. As a result, these and other drugs are widely available in the state, and their abuse is common. There are probably few states that require the presence of rehabilitation centers as this one does - thankfully Arizona drug rehab centers are some of the best in the world.
Chronic Headaches and Pain Often Can Be Eliminated By A Special Dentist
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Another Cold Sore! Why Me?
An estimated 85 million Americans have acquired the herpes simplex (cold sore) virus. And the majority had received the virus before the age of 3.
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