6/7/2013, How Popular Media is Helping to End the Stigma of Mental Illness


Today, there are nearly 60 million Americans who suffer from a mental illness, and it continues to present a quality of life, household and community issue. While there is reason to believe the national dialogue is evolving, there is still a pervasive discomfort and ignorance that keeps millions of those who suffer from getting treatment, trapped in their own purgatory…

On the contrary, while millions of people are prescribed anti-depressants, only one third of people with severe depression receive any treatment for it. Combine this lack of clinical proficiency with cultural stigmas, misunderstandings, and preconceptions, and there is no wonder why needs of patients are largely unmet…

Mental illness is not a difference of phenotype or sexual preference, so when we frame it in terms of a fight for equality and acceptance we must deal with the fundamental themes of darkness and uncertainty that make it a taboo subject, and that’s where storytelling becomes useful…

Deceased patient’s husband sues doctor (decided 2007)


The decedent, Helene Maloney, was the plaintiff’s wife. She committed suicide on July 18, 2001. She died from an intentional overdose of Percocet. The day before she died, the decedent checked into a motel using an alias. On July 18, 2001, in response to a call from the motel’s owner, the police found the decedent in her hotel room. They also found a suicide note, a check from the decedent to the plaintiff, and five prescription pill bottles, three of which were empty, two of which were partially full.

Throughout the decedent’s life, she suffered from Crohn’s disease, which is a chronic intestinal illness, as well as depression and suicidal ideation…

4/25/2010, The Six Reasons People Attempt Suicide


Given how much losing my patient affected me, I’ve only been able to guess at the devastation these people have experienced. Pain mixed with guilt, anger, and regret makes for a bitter drink, the taste of which I’ve seen take many months or even years to wash out of some mouths…

People who’ve survived suicide attempts have reported wanting not so much to die as to stop living, a strange dichotomy but a valid one nevertheless. If some in-between state existed, some other alternative to death, I suspect many suicidal people would take it. For the sake of all those reading this who might have been left behind by someone’s suicide, I wanted to describe how I was trained to think about the reasons people kill themselves. They’re not as intuitive as most think…

Depression and Suicide after LASIK


Olympic Medalist, Steve Holcomb, Suicide Attempt – Video published 2/4/2014

Preliminary results of the long-awaited LASIK Quality of Life Study have been published on the FDA website. On October 19, 2014, FDA official, Malvina Eydelman, M.D., summarized the study findings saying, “Given the large number of patients undergoing LASIK annually, dissatisfaction and disabling symptoms may occur in a significant number of patients.”

How to get red flagged


This comprehensive list has been culled from several different sources. Some behaviors are “more aberrant” and some are “less aberrant.” All patients should be aware that if you exhibit ANY of these behaviors, you could be denied pain care. A patient who shows any of these behaviors can be “red flagged.” When you are “red flagged” your doctor or pharmacist will not tell you about your “flagged” status and it is almost impossible to have the designation removed from your record…

How to Get Red Flagged:

  • Complain to your doctor when your medications don’t seem to ease your pain
  • Have a preoccupation with getting your medication
  • Report effects like increased energy, raised mood, or euphoria since you started taking pain medication
  • Primarily find oxycontin, percocet, dilaudid, or lortab to be the most effective drug that helps your pain symptoms
  • Express anxiety or depression about your pain when it doesn’t go away
  • Look “unkempt”
  • Have piercings and/or tattoos
  • Talk to your doctor specifically about your medication during more than three visits
  • Don’t tolerate many medications well
  • Don’t get any relief from anything other than opioid medication
  • Fill prescriptions of a similar kind by another doctor
  • Have had problems in work, family, or other important family roles where people have said you have failed in your responsibilities
  • Have problems with close relationships in your life
  • Have a psychiatric history (Done therapy in the past)
  • Have legal problems
  • Have family who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Have family members who suspect that your drugs may make you an addict
  • Have family members who believe you are addicted
  • Use more than 180mgs of opioids per day
  • Prefer one type of medication administration than another (Prefer slow-acting pills instead of daily injections at the ER, or expressing an aversion to having a morphine pump installed in your body, for example)
  • Become angry when your physician refuses to treat your pain
  • Use other drugs at the same time as your pain meds (Including alcohol)
  • Get medication from someone, not a doctor, for your pain
  • Taken someone else’s pain medication
  • Switch doctors until you find one who will treat your pain
  • Call or visit your doctor often
  • Have used more than one pharmacy to get your medication filled
  • Ever miss appointments with your doctor
  • Ever lose your medication or your prescriptions
  • Only see a doctor a few times before you switched to a doctor who would treat your pain and reported that to your doctor
  • Have a previous doctor who believed you are or were addicted to your medications
  • Request specific medication for your pain
  • Request your medication by name
  • Request more medication
  • Report no effects of other medications
  • Have bad reactions to your medications
  • Go to the ER a lot to get your pain treated
  • Believe you might become addicted to medication
  • Have contact with “street culture” or other “subcultures”
  • Raise your dose once or twice before you see your doctor again because of increased pain
  • Use your medication to treat another symptom that you have not previously mentioned to your doctor
  • Save your medications even if you do not need them anymore
  • Refuse some treatments or tests suggested by your doctor

If you or a loved one in is in pain, link to them at: http://www.painreliefnetwork.org/index.html. (Site is for sale — PRN shut down in 2010.)

Verizon, another bane on my existence


Users complained that the tracking number could be used by any website they visited from their phone to build a dossier about their behavior – what sites they went to, what apps they used.

In November, AT&T stopped using the number. But Verizon did not, instead assuring users on its website that “it is unlikely that sites and ad entities will attempt to build customer profiles” using its identifiers…

I have Verizon 4G LTE, allegedly the fastest wireless internet connection.  So when I have excessive buffering, I check how many bars I have — funny, I always have the maximum amount of bars, no matter how slow my internet speed.  And I am constantly having to reset my wireless adapter — like at least once every single day.

Even though my 2-year, very expensive contract is almost over (finally), my only other option in Albuquerque is Comcast.  And from what I read, Comcast is worse than Verizon.

I love my music therapy via videos on youtube, but it’s expensive to watch too many videos.  I tried to figure out when and why I go over my limits, but it’s impossible.  So every month I just write “RIP OFF” in the check notation of my Verizon payment — it’s the only way I’m able to protest the ridiculous rates they charge, especially for mediocre service.

Sure, the tracking thing bothers me too, but I’m pretty sure people are being tracked wherever they go, whether on the internet or walking out the front door.  And we probably won’t even know when that information is being used against us.  Since I’m not an expert on technology, it’s not like it will help if I worry about this issue.