As a psychiatrist, I’ve spent almost two decades caring for patients who have survived sexual trauma, be it childhood sexual abuse, rape or repeated and threatening forms of sexual harassment. I’ve witnessed how when the assailant was known to the victim, especially someone from whom they expected comradery or even just professionalism, it can be devastating.  The fact that the assailant came from within a trusted circle often delivers the toughest ...

Read more...

Across the United States at least forty people die each day from overdosing on opioids like Vicodin, codeine, heroin, and oxycontin. Seven percent of drivers who died in car crashes last year were found to have prescription opioids in their systems -- seven times more than in 1995. Considering these alarming rates of overdosing and DUIs, this is serious business. Authorities view it in their traditional way: the problem is drugs. ...

Read more...

I did not need help. I could do it myself. I never asked, and anyone who worked with me quickly understood they did not need to offer. This was my modus operandi. It was how I unconsciously organized my life, no more aware than riding a bike or tying my shoes. It happened in the background — utterly unknown to me for many, many years. I could see “side effects” of this ...

Read more...

“I can’t do this anymore,” Mary* said to me after morning rounds. As third-year medical students, this could have been in reference to a number of things: 5 a.m. rounds, practice sutures, 14-hour days, the list goes on. Though I later learned Mary was simply referring to living. An article recently published by JAMA showed depression or depressive symptoms among medical students was as high as 27.2 ...

Read more...

I am a physician in recovery and just celebrated my fifth-year anniversary on October 11, 2017. While in active addiction, my drugs of choice were benzodiazepines and opioids that I washed down with top-shelf alcohol. Near the end of my usage, I was diverting scheduled drugs in order to feed my addiction. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, I finally admitted myself for treatment. As part of the treatment process, I enrolled with ...

Read more...

A young woman stands in the freezing cold outside an urban Baltimore hospital. The woman, covered only by a thin hospital gown, moans incoherently at the man capturing her suffering on cellphone video. As seen on the now-viral video, she’d been left there by security personnel employed by the supposed place of healing just a few yards away. It hurts to watch. Mass ...

Read more...

My classmate and I were walking back to the residents’ workroom when we realized one of the psychiatry patients was trailing along behind us. I glanced over my shoulder and found a very short gentleman in a patient gown walking just a little too close to me. “Serena,” he said, smiling at me. I looked at my classmate. We were on inpatient psychiatry, and he looked as nervous as I was. Our ...

Read more...

Many of my readers do not know who Barry Goldwater was, let alone of the Goldwater Rule established by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973.  The rule advises against psychiatrists commenting on the mental health of public figures they have not examined.   Obviously, a psychiatrist or any physician who has treated a public figure is prohibited to offer any public comment unless he has been authorized by the patient to ...

Read more...

Another young doctor recently jumped to her death in New York City. She landed at the entrance of the building where she lived. Within less than an hour, I received the following emails about her. All published with permission.

Hello Pamela, I am not a doctor, but a mother of 3 and a wife of a resident physician. Tonight I watched AGAIN the police ...

Read more...

According to the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians, well over half of patient visits to primary care physicians are for mental health issues. So, as part of my book, I Have Been Talking with Your Doctor: Fifty doctors talk about the healthcare crisis and the doctor-patient relationship, I asked about mental health. None of the doctor interviewees disagreed with the important role that ...

Read more...

54 Pages
Don't miss out!

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Subscribe. It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 130,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
✓ Never miss an article
Subscribe. It's free.
close-image