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Medicine

The Sun Interview

The Voices Inside Their Heads

Gail Hornstein’s Approach To Understanding Madness

We must remember that no matter how serious someone’s emotional difficulties have been, they can completely recover. It’s crucial for them and their friends and family to know that. No expert knows enough about mental illness to say that you can’t improve. You might not know how to get better at this moment, but you have to start by knowing that it’s possible.

By Tracy Frisch July 2011
Quotations

Sunbeams

I had never gone to a doctor in my adult life, feeling instinctively that doctors meant either cutting or, just as bad, diet.

Carson McCullers

January 2011
The Sun Interview

Vital Signs

Dr. Andrew Weil Diagnoses Western Medicine

The Western scientific paradigm is materialistic, meaning that scientists do not believe in anything that cannot be perceived or measured. Look how restrictive that belief is. It’s the reason for the limited acceptance of mind-body medicine. The nonphysical causation of physical events is not allowed for in the reigning scientific paradigm. If you talk about nonphysical causes of changes in physical systems, materialists either ignore you or make fun of you or, if you keep at it, get angry with you.

By David Kupfer January 2011
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Going Under

At the age of five I was a sickly kid, with monthly throat infections that spread to my eardrums, making my ears hurt as if some angry god were throwing darts at them. My parents brought me to specialists, who recommended a tonsillectomy. It was the prevailing wisdom in the 1950s.

By Wolf Pascoe January 2011
The Dog-Eared Page

The Mysterious Placebo

excerpted from
Anatomy Of An Illness As Perceived By The Patient

Over long centuries, doctors have been educated by their patients to observe the prescription ritual. Most people seem to feel their complaints are not taken seriously unless they are in possession of a little slip of paper with indecipherable but magic markings. To the patient, a prescription is a certificate of assured recovery.

By Norman Cousins January 2011
Readers Write

Medicine

Han’s Clinic in Hongsong, South Korea, an adopted dog, a kidney transplant

By Our Readers January 2011
Sy Safransky's Notebook

January 2011

I haven’t written in more than a week. Forgive me, O Muse, for being absent without leave. Maybe it’s the Prozac. Maybe it’s the rain. Maybe it’s because I’m too damn vain. Can’t I put down simple words and send them out the door?

By Sy Safransky January 2011
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Just Shoot Me

My father, as he approaches death, never speaks about it, but I know he’s thought the matter through and wants to avoid a lingering, painful end. I’m sure of this because of the pills I found in his closet.

By John Thorndike August 2010
The Sun Interview

The Good Earth?

Sandra Steingraber On How We’ve Made The Environment Dangerous To Our Health

Cancer is definitely not a random tragedy. If you look at a map of the U.S. and plot out the incidence of different sorts of cancers, you see patterns. Some cancers are more common in the Midwest and the Great Plains. Other cancers tend to cluster around certain industries. Those cancer maps are not proof, but they present a compelling hypothesis. If we see, over and over again, that bladder-cancer rates are higher in counties with leaking toxic-waste dumps — which is indeed the case — then that’s a clue. If we see leukemias and lymphomas are highest in areas of the Great Plains and the Midwest where herbicide use is highest, that’s a clue. It means “Dig here. Further inquiry required.”

By David Kupfer January 2010