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As a psychiatrist, you've also witnessed a shift from talk therapy to medication as the primary treatment for mental illness.

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You lament this change, but given the success of drugs such as Prozac, do we even need talk therapy anymore? The problem is that it's very difficult for psychiatrists to do talk therapy and still stay open.

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And yet I just cannot fathom how it's possible to practice good psychiatry without understanding the patient. I had a patient with new onset panic attacks. I tried different medications on her.

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She wasn't getting any better. So finally I said, "Let's just talk about things. As soon as we did some work around that trauma, her panic attacks got better. It was that work that got her better, not the medications. Do you think there is a correlation between the difficulty in acquiring mental health care and acts of violence, such as the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, which was allegedly perpetrated by someone who was mentally ill? First of all, the chronically mentally ill are not more prone to violence, especially if they are treated.

But if they are not treated, they can certainly be more prone to violence. I remember a time if we psychiatrists or mental health professionals thought somebody was dangerous, we'd do everything in our power to try to help this person and keep society safe. But it's no longer in my control who I even see as patients. The insurance companies decide that now.

Interview With Dora Calott Wang, Author of 'The Kitchen Shrink'

I think that doctors need to be part of the change that's needed in health care. Medical students and doctors need to take a role as people who truly understand what is involved in care. I wanted to just inform people of what's happening in our health care system right now, and I hope that makes a difference. We have the truth on our side, and the truth is more powerful than profit. Cynthia Ramnarace writes about health and families. She lives in New York.

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What about health care reform addresses your concerns? What do you wish that patients understood about what it means to be a doctor today? Considering your experience, what is your advice to aspiring physicians? Please leave your comment below. AARP Membership. See All. Join or Renew Today!

The Kitchen Shrink | Andrew Solomon

Travel Tips Vacation Ideas Destinations. Leaving AARP. Got it! And there's Leonard , a schizophrenic with no health insurance who develops peritonitis and falls into a coma for three months.

Kitchen Shrink: Rants in the kitchen - Pricey avocados, vintage cups/bowls, drinking straws

Each new story brings additional compromises as the medical landscape shifts under Wang's feet. She struggles with depression and exhaustion, witnesses the loss of top doctors who leave in frustration, and attempts to find a balance between work and home as it becomes ever clearer that she cannot untangle the uncertain future of her patients from her own. Skip to main content. How has medicine strayed so far from its roots?

The Kitchen Shrink

By Dora Calott Wang. Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability. Published: Riverhead Hardcover - April 29th, Merchant Services. Shopping cart There are no products in your shopping cart.