A patient we'll call David came for a consultation seeking help regarding a mood disorder. Variously diagnosed as depression or anxiety - or both, it had plagued him for most of his adult life. Most of his emotions seemed tied up with his working. As a middle aged professional who ran his own small firm, he placed a great deal of pressure on himself to perform up to his own high standards and easily fell into despair about what he perceived as his professional inadequacies.
In December of 2017, The Federal Drug Administration issued a Draft Guidance proposing that the guidelines governing the manufacture and sale of homeopathic remedies in the United States for the last thirty years be withdrawn and replaced by an updated version.
Recently an elderly man with significant cognitive impairment was brought to my office by his wife in the hope that there might be something to be done to improve his condition. Although on the surface he appeared cheerful, attentive and able to understand what was being said, it was the lack of coherence in his speech that betrayed how confused he really was. Most any question that was posed him would be answered with a reply that started off well, but inevitably devolved into a sequence of words that made little sense.
His story was that about 5 years earlier, he had suffered a massive heart attack that he barely survived but since that time he no longer could think straight. Previous to that he had a history of colon cancer about 15 years earlier, but there was no history of dementia.
The movie ‘Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe’ made the rounds of select theaters in Vermont over the last several months. These showings
The movie ‘Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe’ made the rounds of select theaters in Vermont over the last several months. These showings - one of which took place in Brattleboro at the Latchis Theater this past Monday evening - are sponsored by the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice (ww.voicesforchoice.com) and are part of an effort to raise awareness about risks associated with vaccinations.
What makes Vaxxed so compelling is two-fold:
There are many powerful, heart rendering scenes in which parents of vaccine damaged children testify to their experience of having their child vaccinated and then soon thereafter witnessing profound neurological degeneration. These interviews watched one after the other can leave the viewer emotionally stunned - and enraged at the forces that led to these outcomes.
Not long ago, I was talking with a young couple, a relative and his wife, who were expecting their first child sometime next spring. After inquiring into how the pregnancy was going, plans for the birth and offering some congratulatory chitchat, I asked about their thoughts on vaccinations. Not that surprisingly, the father-to-be replied that they were intending to vaccinate, but what was surprising were the reasons he articulated for doing so.
To paraphrase his reply, he said that it was ‘tough out there’ if one doesn’t vaccinate a child. Not tough in the sense that the child might suffer from illness, but that the societal pressure is difficult to resist. The issue wasn’t whether vaccines were safe or necessary, but a fear of being ostracized and isolated. Presumably they were referring to pressure being exerted by medical authorities and schools, and perhaps even extending to friends, work colleagues and family as well.