The Mind/Body Continuum

Well, as I sit here at 5:00 a.m. with tears in my eyes and palpitations in my heart, I suppose it is as good a time as any to talk about the mind/body connection.

First, let me refer you to my other blog, Notes in Passing, and the story of Richard Lockwood, M.D., that begins here: and continues on.

Basically, the story is that I was admitted to a nursing home but the doctor did not come to see me, in violation of state regulations.  After ten days without a physician to talk to about my medications, I filed a state complaint and the doctor retaliated by sending me to an emergency room for a psych consult.  Once he got me out of the nursing home, they refused to let me back in.  I am now homeless and in the hospital because a physician used psychiatry to manipulate the system to cover his ass.

Lockwood ordered me to the Crouse Hospital Emergency Dept. for a psychiatric evaluation.  In the first place, if he honestly wanted to help me then he would have talked to my psychologist, who had seen me in the nursing home the day before.

Lockwood did not want to help me.  He wanted to get rid of me because I had filed a complaint against him for what turned out to be negligence and fraud, so the nursing supervisor came to my room and told me that I was being sent to the hospital ER for a psychiatric consultation.  “Why?” I asked.

“Because,” she said, “by your own admission you had a complete meltdown on Saturday.”

I replied, “But today is Wednesday.”  The Emergency Dept. should only be used for emergent problems.

She said, “This morning you raised your voice and swore.”  Well, get your panties in a twist, why don’t you?  How do you deal with your Alzheimer’s patients?

In the ER I was interviewed by the nurse practitioner and the head doctor (which is to say, the chief of physicians, not the doctor of heads).  One of them wrote:

–No acute psychiatric emergency.

–Not suicidal, homicidal or psychotic.  No necessity for emergent intervention.

And then they tried to send me home, i.e., back to the Iroquois Nursing Home.

The Iroquois refused to take me back.  They had not sent me to the hospital because they cared about me and wanted me properly treated.  They had sent me because I had effectively filed a complaint against their physician and they wanted me gone.  And this was the nursing home that was reputed to be the second-best in the county.

On June 29, “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, a new state agency that will implement the toughest standards and practices in the nation to protect the special needs community from abuse and neglect.”

Rosemary Lamb, director of the Division of Advocacy of the Justice Center, told me that nursing homes railroading people by using psych complaints happens more frequently than you think.  Nursing homes are manipulating the system by calling for psychiatric evaluations when none are needed so they can get rid of patients.

Please note:  they wanted to get rid of me because their doctor wouldn’t come and see me as he was supposed to.  I looked in the Iroquois Nursing Home handbook and found the number for the NYS Dept. of Health nursing home hotline.  I did exactly what the Iroquois told me to do.  Later, I read my medical records and discovered that Lockwood had entered a lengthy admission note that made it seem like he’d seen me.  And I’m guessing that he and/or the Iroquois billed Medicare/Medicaid for that service that he’d never provided.

Much has been made of my mental status.  Let the record show clearly that I do not have any mental illness.  I took antidepressants every day from 1974 until 2001, and was diagnosed with everything in the book—suicidal depression, borderline personality, paranoid schizophrenia, narcissism, obsessive compulsive, bipolar, etc.  What I had was a reaction to antidepressants.

In 2001, I stopped taking antidepressants, and therefore also stopped attempting suicide, stopped being hospitalized, stopped seeing a therapist and stopped being depressed.  Around 2008, I had a battery of psychological tests administered by Dr. Kevin Antshel at Upstate Medical Center which established that I had no psychopathology:  I was a mentally and emotionally healthy person.

Dr. Lockwood and others, in their medical records, have dwelt on my psychiatric history.  In fact, I was psychiatrically perfectly healthy until the hyperglycemia set in about two years ago when the diabetes mellitus no longer could be controlled by diet.

Chronic hyperglycemia causes loss of cognition, despair/depression and irritability/anxiety.  Dr. Lockwood, et al, from Iroquois Nursing Home now are trying to pass off the symptomatology of hyperglycemia as psychiatric illness.  It is not.

And this is where we come to the whole point of this blog:  I have long maintained that virtually all psychiatric illnesses are social.  Depression is triggered by the perception of powerlessness; schizophrenia is a state of constant terror resulting from trauma.

I was wrong.  So-called “psychiatric symptoms” can frequently be the result of physical illness.  I still do not think that depression, schizophrenia, or some other things are brain diseases.  You will not find the source of most psychiatric illnesses by examining the brain.  However, the body in toto can produce anxiety, irritability, depression and God knows what else.  See also everything I’ve written about PNIE (psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology).

I am now suffering despair and irritability as a result of uncontrolled diabetes, which is an endocrinology problem.  I am not suffering those feelings about diabetes; I am suffering those feelings because of diabetes.

There is no mind/body connection.  To propose that there is first assumes that the mind and body are two separate entities.  They are not.  Go back and read Aristotle (I can’t because my glucose is 465, which is incredible).  “Aristotle applies his theory of hylomorphism to living things. He defines a soul as that which makes a living thing alive.”

Body and soul exist on a continuum, not as separate entities to be connected.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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