Friday, January 27, 2023

Tag: Alice Keys MD

Winners of the American Dream

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Since I left the psychiatric prescribing trenches and came south for the winter, I’ve been staying in a beach town within driving distance of a technology metropolis. I take breaks from my writing and walk to the beach. There, I meet and talk with the winners of the American dream. They are intelligent, highly educated and financially successful. They take their beach vacations here.

About Being Paul Revere

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A reader asked why more psychiatrists don’t speak up louder against psychiatric drugs. I’d like to think there’s someone in charge who could sound the alarm. It’s nice to imagine that working doctors have the power and freedom to speak up in a forceful and visible manner. If such a doctor exists, it’s not a psychiatrist who works in the trenches. A working doctor today is not in a position to be Paul Revere.

Diagnosis Dilemma

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Not long ago I had a conversation with a psychiatrist. He told me about a diagnostic dilemma he’d run up against at work; When a judge makes an unfunded treatment mandate as part of her judgment, she pressures the doctor to make a “payable” psychiatric diagnosis. If the doctor stretches the truth out of sympathy and provides an inaccurate but payable diagnosis so that his patient can have access to medical care and money to live on, he is committing fraud that can mean heavy fines and incarceration for himself.

We Are The Ones

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My public writing has brought my mother and I closer together than we’ve been in decades. There have been disagreements. But now, my almost ninety-year-old mother tells me she reads everything I write. She recently told me that she’s glad I see things so clearly.

Don’t Go Back to Sleep

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You may think I’m slow on the uptake when I say this. And maybe I am. But I recently came to the realization that products or lifestyles that are vigorously marketed and promoted are bad for you.

“Baby Cry Too Much?”

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This is the second in my new series, “Haiku for social change”, the first having appeared on my own blog page. Since this piece is about pharmacology and psychopharmacology, I think MIA is a good home for it.

Defining Recovery

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Yesterday, Dr. Daniel Fisher emailed and asked my thoughts with regard to “recovery”. Even before I walked away from prescription-pad-only psychiatric work, others asked me about this. Other treatment providers, designated patients and family members asked what I thought they could expect to happen next and what they should do to make things better. I told them that chemical interventions are not the only, or even the essential, tool for recovery.

The Children Lead

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How is it that we allow the agendas of others to occupy our childrens’ minds? Is it possible that a stranger can know our child better than we do? Is there anything a baby needs to learn that can’t be taught by being held in a parent’s arms? Because my children’s eyes and ears and thoughts are on me every day, they are key players in my ongoing efforts to live a right life. I count on their eyes and ears and thoughts to shore me up during times of temptation. They always lead me home.

Many Small Actions Bring Big Results

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We poison ever growing numbers of children with chemicals known to cause aggression and suicidality. We routinely drug children with these so they’ll sit still and be quiet in classrooms. Now, we drug babies for crying and 3 year olds for acting frightened while locked away from their families in day care centers. Those unsuccessful in school environments are incarcerated. It 's a well-worn path.

Bottle Fish. Going and Doing. Being.

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It seems that all the wants I have now for going and doing are a drug withdrawal, of sorts. I have been hooked, addicted to motion, fed on credits, isolated from the earth, from my humanity and from myself.

Do Diagnoses Injure People?

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Yes, a psychiatric diagnosis can be a dangerous thing to have. But, these days, so is having any medical diagnosis. The names and words of the diagnoses themselves are not so much to blame for the harm. Rather, the harm comes through the ways the diagnoses are created and how they are used.

“But It’s Just the Way Things Are”

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My sabattical of last winter has spun off a second one. I remain uncertain of my role as a physician in a society which values pills over personal growth and change. Last summer, unplugging my life from the “American dream” seemed in order. It’s not easy to make changes with chains and weights in place. It’s not easy to think, decide and move with the financial shackles that are the bones of everyday life.

“Multigenerational Poverty”

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The practice of medicine in our country is being swallowed whole by a snake. The snake started with the poor, the black, the brown; the already disenfranchised of the deep south and inner cities many years ago. It was an easy sell to the better-off taxpayers. Who wants to give up money to take care of poor people?

Do I Have Too Many Questions This Morning?

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What if it were the sun that could cure you; would you have the courage to go and find it? Would you wear sunscreen? If...

How Many Deaths Will It Take Till We Know?

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Each time I see the initials for Mad In America, MIA, I think of the Vietnam war and lost young men. I remember engraved...

Is Psychiatry “Salvageable”?

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A reader in the commentary here asked me if I think “psychiatry is salvageable.” This is a timely question that requires careful consideration. First, I’ll...

My “Head in a Bucket” Metaphor

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“How could I not have known?” This question has been asked of me, as a psychiatrist, with regard to prescribing psychiatric drugs. All those...

The Pond, Learning and Humility

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What an amazing ride I’ve had in the past few days on the tsunami of commentary from my previous post. While it’s been fun (dare...

Call Me “The Doctor”

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I seem to have generated unexpected ire with my biographical information. This deserves more than just a few lines in the reply section. When...

Pandora’s Box

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This morning I remind myself to point my eyes forward. I tend to want to re-do the past and try to make bad things...

It’s Not Going To Get Better Soon

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I’ve been thinking a lot about George Saslow since I came south to take a timeout and think. I miss him. A lot. Dr....

The Pipeline

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I’m overwhelmed by the complicated multi-issue medical reform legislation being batted about. I feel hopeless that any such massive reform bill can survive the...