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First Published Feb. 3, 2008.
One of the tried and true nuggets of anti-mormonism is the fact that Utah has the highest per capita rate of prozac use in the country. Why is this, they ask and insinuation is clear. Something must be wrong with that religion. Ooh its beating people down. they’re repressed, look, look, they’re repressed. Here is my answer to such critics, if you want to know who is responsible for high rates of depression in the Mormon community, go take a look in the mirror. Read the rest of this entry »
And now, the moment you have been waiting for all week. No– not that moment. It is the moment when yours truly presents the best, the brightest, the most informative, interesting, and entertaining of my sojourn on the internet. Today I have gratitude, no worries, losing recognition of our own face, the God of the future, marrying biblical sisters, Scrubs and the end of life, and a football team without a home field, and eloping six year olds, amongst a lot of other really, really good stuff. So dig in and enjoy the best of the internet (I could find)- Read the rest of this entry »
In Child neurology we are required to do a year of adult neurology. This is a year of complete culture shock. Children’s hospitals and adult hospitals are two completely different worlds. It is interesting to see the adult neurology residents complain about how chipper and upbeat the pediatrics people are. This is an odd complaint, until you realize adult neurology residents feel completely out of their comfort zone in knowing how to manage the patient. fear and discomfort are only augmented by sleep deprivation and being pulled in several directions at once, as you tend to be on call, Perhaps they can be forgiven when they really find it difficult to draw enthusiasm when awoken at 3am to hear about some “kiddo.” For me, being out of my element with adult patients is an even greater culture shock. Going from chipper to somewhat cynical and demanding is worse than the other way around.
The culture shock is particularly profound the Neuro ICU. For one thing, it is a prime site for so many spectacularly horrific things. While children with neurlogic problems can be heartbreaking, somehow I manage to deal with it. There is something about dealing with severe traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, stroke and brain hemorrhage all day that is particularly soul killing. The place is just saturated with death and loss. It was here I came to understand the phenomenon in medicine that is gallows humor.
One thing that consistently amazes me about the human mind is its intricate relationship to our health and well being. In anxiety, your muscles remain constantly tense and flexed, burning your energy supply, leaving you exhausted. Panic attacks can feel identical to heart attacks, as your body is flooded with stress hormones.
Every specialty has their own somatoform disorder. These are real physical symptoms that occur as a result of an outside stressor. They can include headache, irritable bowel syndrome, wheezing and trouble breathing, nonepileptic seizures, paralysis, chest pain, rashes or a host of other symptoms. Despite the tendency to claim, “It’s all in your head,”all of these conditions are very real and lead to the consumption of a lot of physician’s time.
Unfortunately because they are intricately related to the mind, they tend to be written off by doctors. We tend to see conditions as either physical or mental when the truth with any disease is that there are always strong components of both.
So where does this prejudice stem from? Oddly enough, I think it is rooted in our scientifically useful proof of the mind body connection, the placebo. Read the rest of this entry »
Thanks to the Frontal Cortex, I recently stumbled across an article on the online journal n+1 that describes firsthand a new and disturbing trend in higher education, Adderall abuse. Adderall is a mixture of long and short acting amphetamines that keep the mind revved up and the body energized for hours. It appears overachievers at Ivy League Universities are sorely tempted by this as it improves test taking skills, focus, recall, enables all-nighters to work, etc. The one group of students my mind immediately went to was the classic overachiever, the medical student. Read the rest of this entry »