I was born without lower legs and a hand with missing fingers that we called "the claw." Leslie was born with an underdeveloped upper body. Her shoulders and arms are thin as reeds, and she has no hands.
I knew I could never make any sense of this depthless horror. But now I can say, 25 years on, that I'm able to understand a bit better what it was that killed my dad, the path his death propelled me down, and the healing that would happen in the most unlikely of ways.
We compare notes on our physical health. We share tips on eradicating migraines, we recommend doctors and we review hip replacements. Yet we can't bring ourselves to talk openly about depression, anxiety and mental health disorders.
This is the life of someone who is depressed and anxious. Only a few people knew the whole back story until now. I hope this encourages someone to continue living as well as they can, because each day, every day, there is something to live for.
Clinical assessment that includes a test of the knee jerk reflex is fine. Clinical decisions driven by it are not, but they too, are out there.
The American College of Physicians has issued a controversial new guideline recommending against performing the annual pelvic exam in non-pregnant women who have no gynecological symptoms that may require medical attention. Is it time to celebrate and cross that dreaded exam off your to-do list?
What I wanted for my life, in my choice of career, was a way to live a meaningful existence. Not have "just a job" -- something that I had to do for money to survive or thrive, but rather a fulfilling of a calling.
The question of what these sweeteners do to our body -- and by what mechanism -- is far from settled, but this study adds to the realization that looking just at calorie counts, without thinking a little more about the actual ingredients, might not be enough to lead to long-term weight control and health.
This simple blood test for the prediction of suicide risks not only lacks a proper scientific basis but signifies unacceptable ignorance of the motives behind suicide thoughts and suicide attempts. Because of the complex nature of suicide, it is unlikely that a genetic test will ever be the key to prevention.
Let's stop underselling this monumental physical experience by breezily passing it off as morning sickness. Let's call it what it is: nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.
I did not see the world as I do today, could not write or express myself until I was sick. I am not overwhelmed by what I can do, but I have more or less stopped mourning my losses.
Go ahead and enjoy that extra cocktail while on vacation. It is very important to not agonize over unhealthy choices made on summer holidays. Compassion, positive thinking and an "I can" attitude is what will ultimately act as the motivation to tip the scales back in the right direction.
Mental illness is insidious. It's a monster that buries itself deep in your brain and rears its ugly head when you least expect it. And just when you think you've gotten to know the game it plays, the rules change.
Learning to read ingredient labels is going to be the biggest challenge in the beginning. Read: Eat natural, whole foods that are low FODMAP and stay away from processed foods, dressings and marinades and certain snacks.
Today's system is undoubtedly inadequate in many ways -- but it is better than it was when the transition to community mental health policy took place. It's important to recognize this because inaccurate history is not a good guide for making the current system better.
I know that my dad meant well and that the doctor who treated me was trying to be helpful. In retrospect though, they were clueless. I know now that dealing with anxiety is a lifelong challenge, and at least now I feel like I'm coming out of the fog and finally facing the monster.
Clearly, we need to work harder about working smarter -- by not working all the time. The "work martyr" complex needs to go the way of the Dictaphone, typewriter and green eyeshades as relics of the workplace of the past (okay, I like typewriters, but you get the idea).
I try to live a healthy, well-balanced life, not just for me, but for them. I hope they don't have to experience these struggles -- instead, I hope they'll have a better starting point than the one I had when it comes to living a balanced life of food and fitness.
A number of proposals and perspectives have emerged that, taken together, paint a compelling and converging picture of why sleep evolved and why it is now needed.