Medical Notes: Week of May 5, 2019

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of May 5, 2019.

The Rising Tide of Rudeness

Studies show a rudeness epidemic in the US, and that people are profoundly affected when they experience or even witness it occurring to someone else. Two experts discuss.

Fibbing to Your Doctor

New surveys show that as many as 80 percent of people omit information, stretch the truth or outright lie to their doctors. Experts discuss why it happens, consequences, and methods that might reduce the amount of less-than-truthful answers to doctors’ questions.

What Determines Our Food Preferences

Scientists are discovering that our food preferences are much more than a matter of taste, and that taste itself is more complicated than we thought. Psychology also plays a role. An expert discusses what determines preferences, such as why some people like jalapeno peppers & black coffee, and some don’t.

Superstitions in Sports

Professional athletes are among the most superstitious of all people. While we may be tempted to think these rituals have no effect on performance, psychologists say that if an athlete believes it helps, then it actually does. Experts explain how superstitions work in sports and in life.

Invisible Girls: Victims of Incest

Experts say incest is the most common of all sexual abuse, but the least discussed openly. This can leave victims isolated and less able to reveal abuse, which can have further psychological ramifications later on. A noted expert on sexual abuse discusses how incest makes girls feel particularly responsible and unable to come forward, and a non-profit organization that seeks to help them.

18-51 Segment 1: Amnesia

It's a rare thing for people to lose their memory of past events. An expert discusses why doctors believe it may occur, and a woman to whom it happened recounts her experience.  

18-47 Segment 1: School Based Mental Health

Schools would be a good place for programs to screen for mental health issues in students, and to educate about mental health to lessen the pervasive stigma. Some states are making programs mandatory, but elsewhere schools and personnel may resist, seeing mental health as outside the normal role of teachers. Experts discuss how inventive programs are overcoming obstacles.

18-46 Segment 2: Emotional Support Animals

A woman who suffered abuse as a child describes the mental health benefits of owning a dog, and an expert on the Americans with Disabilities Act discusses requirements for emotional support animals.

18-44 Segment 1: The Psychology of Adopted People

People who are adopted have more psychological problems than others, yet they also tend to have other psychological strengths. Experts, both themselves also adoptees, discuss the roots and outcomes of these issues as adopted children grow up.

18-41 Segment 2: Homesickness

What we now call “homesickness” used to be a medical diagnosis called “nostalgia,” and it was considered life-threatening. Today many people consider homesickness to be a childish emotion, but an expert says it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all suffer from it sometime and need to know how to cope.

18-37 Segment 2: Imposter Syndrome

Many people who are smart, talented and successful still believe they are incompetent on the inside and that others will eventually find out. This “imposter syndrome” can undermine careers and lead to psychological distress. Two noted experts in the field discuss origins and how to deal with the phenomenon.

18-36 Segment 2: Saving Talk Therapy for Mental Illness

Decades ago, psychiatric treatment meant talk therapy. Now it usually means drugs or cognitive behavioral therapy for an extremely short time. A noted clinical psychologist and author explains why patients are better served when talk therapy is an option for recovery.

18-32 Segment 1: Addiction, Relapse and Criminalization

After criminal convictions, many people with substance use disorder are placed on probation with the condition they remain completely drug free. They are often jailed when they relapse, setting back recovery and removing them from treatment that helps keep them clean. Is that fair, when relapse is a common symptom of their disease (and many others)?

17-50 Segment 1: Mental Health Treatment For Children

Experts discuss readiness of pediatricians to treat mental illness in children and efforts to be sure they’re prepared.