Monday, March 15, 2010

beware psychiatrists bearing laxatives

Why is it usually 13 when we form things here in the US? Back in 1844 at a Philadelphia get together, 13 organizers formed the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane. Today we know then as the American Psychiatric Association.

More importantly they have been busy revising and preparing their fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) scheduled for publication in May 2013.

Ever throw a rock in a pond? Ripples happen.

Health care should evolve with knowledge and changing populations. It is the ripples that leave me crossing my fingers. Medical coding, billing, insurance, prescriptions, services, and more will be affected by the changes.

As any caregiver knows, it is the keyboard strokes and mouse clicks of myriad hourly employees along the way that affect outcome as much if not more than diagnosis.

As best I can make heads or tails of proposed changes Major or Minor Neurocognitive Disorder would house what is now labeled “cognitive impairment”, "memory loss" and/or “dementia-like symptoms” associated with Multiple Sclerosis.

Major Neurocognitive Disorder 

Minor Neurocognitive Disorder 

Clicking the links above will take you to the DSM-5 website. It is best to check it out from your own perspective.

Caregiving demands you keep an eye on “Revisions Я Us” especially when cognitive deficits interfere with functional independence of the person you care for.

Neither can you let it consume you. Finding a moment to smile, well that’s just healthy.

Researching this entry, I stumbled over a smile. Benjamin Rush, the "Father of American Psychiatry" featured on the logo of the American Psychiatric Association, also holds one of the quirkiest footnotes in US history. It seems Dr. Rush concocted and supplied the Lewis and Clark Expedition with fifty dozen laxative pills. With over 50% mercury content, the corps called them “thunderclappers”. Archeologists on the other hand have been grateful for the mercury content in tracing the Expedition’s actual route. … Wilderness use was ‘revised’ 150 years later to “leave no trace BEHIND”. :)

Beware psychiatrists bearing laxatives!

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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  1. Patrick - who could resist a post by such a name? Loved the anecdote about Dr. Rush.

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