Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Doctors/Insurance Archives

Blame the Illness, Not the Patient

posted by Beyond Blue

One of the most hurtful comments made to me during the worst of my depression was this: “You must not want to get better.” I’m having a hard time forgiving the person who said that, even as I know she […]

Get Yourself A Thinking Doctor!

posted by Beyond Blue

One of the many reasons I very much respect my doctor, Milena Hruby Smith, is that she is extremely modest and humble. And while some patients are reassured by a doctor who delivers his assessment in an unequivocal, confident style […]

Doctors Who Say They’re Sorry

posted by Beyond Blue

There was an interesting editorial in the New York Times last month (click here) about what to do when doctors err. All the malpractice suits has driven up insurance. Says the article: The willingness of doctors at several major medical […]

Treating Depression Is Good for Business

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to readers Sandy Slaga and Larry Parker for bringing this AP story, “Study: Treating Depression Is Good for Business” to my attention. Here’s the gist: Investing in depressed employees — quickly getting them treatment and even offering telephone psychotherapy […]

Kitty’s Shocking Doctor

posted by Beyond Blue

It’s not everyday that you show up to a nice swim club in Belmont, Massachusetts as someone’s guest and get to talk shock therapy with Kitty Dukakis’s doctor. My guardian angel Ann introduced me to this wonderful man as “the […]

Trying Hard to Rest

posted by Beyond Blue

A depressive becomes a kind of detective in trying to solve the relapse dilemma. “What the hell triggered this?” I’ve been asking myself for about eight days. I studied my sleep-mood-menstruation-medication journal and realized one thing had changed: I went […]

When to Get Help

posted by Beyond Blue

Every depressive is different when it comes to crying “Uncle,” and calling the doc. My guardian angel Ann says that if she stays in bed three days in a row, she will call the doctor on the fourth day (or […]

When Psychiatric Treatment Is Denied

posted by Beyond Blue

Right after reading TJ’s uplifting success story, I learned about this disturbing story: An Australian woman accused of murdering her father and sister was denied psychiatric treatment because of her parents’ Scientology beliefs. You can read the entire story by […]

Back to the Basics: Easy Does It

posted by Beyond Blue

My doctor’s visit today felt a tad bit like confession. “So how are you?” “To tell you the truth, I’ve been feeling a bit fragile. Nothing like last summer when I awoke each morning fighting feelings of wanting to be […]

Borchard vs. CareLast

posted by Beyond Blue

If a person weren’t mentally ill before dealing with health insurance companies about her mental health benefits, she surely would be after a phone call or two. Marbles start rolling out of the noggin a second after the back-stabbing representative […]

“Sicko” in My House

posted by Beyond Blue

Producer Michael Moore could have used my conversation this afternoon with a CareFirst representative for his documentary “Sicko“: Me: “I just want to know why I received an explanation of benefits 18 months ago that said the patient responsibility was […]

“Sicko” at Cannes

posted by Beyond Blue

From a “Washington Post” article on Michael Moore’s “Sicko” which got plenty of buzz at the Cannes Film Festival: The movie asks, very pointedly: Why does one of the richest nations of Earth have a health-care system that leaves 50 […]

What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of health-care issues and our medical system, a great book to check out is “What You Don’t Know Can Kill You” by physician-author Laura Nathanson. The book is dedicated to the memory of her husband, Chuck, who died in […]

Therapists puzzled by “Sopranos” Dr. Melfi

posted by Beyond Blue

In another pop-culture new item, all “Sopranos” fans will want to read this interesting article by The Associated Press about TV’s most famous therapy relationship, and the ire it’s earning from therapists after the title character was unceremoniously dumped by […]

Finding a Doctor and Getting a Second Opinion

posted by Beyond Blue

The following passage from J. Raymond DePaulo Jr.’s book, “Understanding Depression,” was helpful to me in knowing what to look for in a doctor, and when to go for a second (and third, and fourth, and fifth, and sixth, and […]

Doctors Examine Themselves

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s a great article by Barron H. Lerner, “Doctors Examine Themselves: Books Explain How Errors Happen, How Patients Can Cope,” about two new books–“Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance” by Atul Gawande, and “How Doctors Think” by Jerome Groopman–that ran […]

The Psychiatric Guide to Annapolis

posted by Beyond Blue

One of my many book ideas: “The Psychiatric Guide to Annapolis: An Atlas of Shrinks in the Sailing Capital of the World.” Do you like it? My research was quite painful. Having a medical file with almost all of the […]

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »

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