Happy New Year!

Love+Medicine - Anne

As this year comes to an end I want to thank my Love and Medicine readers. With so much out there to read, I’m happy you choose me.

You never know what you’re going to get when you read my blog. That will continue in 2018.

Here’s a look at what we’ve been talking about. Kick back and browse. I’m different from a year ago. You’re different too. Take a second look. Enjoy!


FASHION

The Men’s Outerwear Conundrum
Lovely Brazilian Workout Leggings
I love my Turkish Towel…and here’s why


POETRY

Object of Desire
Steady Hand

There was a Space. Part 1
1217 Miles
Most of All
Shadow Cookies


ENTERTAINMENT

The Psychiatrist in Film
What I’m Watching


LOVE

Love and Medicine - Candy

Let’s Talk About VD
Unconditional Love:A Murder- Suicide Mystery


ASK Dr. Annie K.

Are Your Ears Ringing?
Being There for a Friend

Transition in Parenting
Transitions From Nervous to Excited
Cannabis Oil


SEX

Sex and Familiarity
Why We Need To Talk About Sex
Got Passion?
Don’t Give Up on Sex


HEALTH

Hello darkness, my old friend
Lung Cancer: A Lonely Place

5 Tricks An Old Dog Can Teach You
It’s Just Like Riding A Bicycle
The Paradox of Water
Walking (guest blogger)


FOOD

410 Calories of Magic
Gogi Berries

Spending Time in Napa Valley got me thinking about Wine
Sociology and The Lemon Bar


TRAVEL

Yes, Look Back
10 Reasons to Visit Japan (that you won’t find in the guide book…)

Studenthue – The Student Cap
Love and Medicine Goes Global!


LIFE

Love+Medicine Meteor Shower

Life As a Gypsy
Hula Hoops

My Son bought Bitcoin…
What Happens in Vegas Does NOT Stay in Vegas
16 Things You Don’t Know About Me
The Winter Solstice and Other Musings
The Weekend is Almost Here
Things I’ve Learned this Week
12 Things I Want to Do This Summer
My Summer List Update


RELATIONSHIPS

Platonic Love
The Winter-Spring Romance


SPORTS

Somebody Turn On The Game

The Psychiatrist in Film

In residency, I spent a good deal of my time analysing the portrayal of the psychiatrist in film. At that time, Prince of Tides, a movie based on a book by Pat Conroy, was huge and certainly convinced a good number of confused medical students to go into the field of psychiatry. Who didn’t want to be that glamorous Barbra Streisand treating Nick Nolte in more ways than one? She portrayed Dr. Susan Lowenstein and was highly criticised for everything “from the length of her fingernails to the way she crossed her legs.” People could not reconcile that women who get medical degrees can also get manicures. She also showed a vulnerable side, very un-doctor like. She was both a healer and in need of healing.

Cinema and Psychiatry both developed around the 1800s. The first motion picture was in 1885 and shortly thereafter Freud’s “Studies in Hysteria”(Anna O.) was released on film. According to the book Psychiatry and the Cinema, “Both movies and psychiatry focus on human thought, emotions, behavior, and motivation- making the link between the two subjects inevitable”.

The way psychiatrists are portrayed in film gives us insight into the field of mental health care and the prevailing attitudes in society at that time. Hollywood can’t resist the mystery of psychotherapy in a voyeuristic way, like the dark refuge of the confessional. Sometimes we are portrayed as omniscient. Even tough guy Tony Soprano became vulnerable around Dr. Melfi, portrayed magnificently by Lorraine Bracco. Other times we are portrayed as foolish charlatans. Perhaps the most realistic portrayal of a psychiatrist and the psychotherapeutic process is “In Treatment”, an HBO series adapted from the Israeli series. Gabriel Byrne is seen in weekly sessions with patients as an intelligent, intuitive and thoughtful therapist. Silver Linings Playbook portrayed a psychiatrist who used anxiety-provoking treatment methods. Bipolar disorder and Borderline/Dependent personality were presented quite accurately but the illusion that love cures all ills is misleading and over simplified.

While there certainly are psychiatrists that blur boundaries, they are overrepresented in film because that is just what Hollywood does. It’s like the old joke:

Patient: Doctor, since it is our last session, can I just have one little kiss?

Psychiatrist: A KISS?? I shouldn’t even be lying here on the couch with you!

Today, few psychiatrists are practicing psychotherapy. This is relegated to psychologists, who are largely much more adept at it and who receive more training in therapy, while the psychiatrist handles the “medication management”. I believe this is an insurance-driven issue rather than a patient-centered one, but I don’t think this model is going away any time soon. In film, as in real life, many people use the term psychologist and psychiatrist interchangeably. Many people just don’t know the difference (a big one–medical school). I wish I had a nickel for every time I was assumed to be a psychologist (implicit bias as a woman).

The fascination Hollywood has with psychiatry is here to stay. If we will be portrayed differently now that our role has changed is a question. Psychiatrist and therapists need to be aware that patients are coming in with preconceived beliefs and images that are created larger than life on screen. It is quite the hurdle to come for help-the stigma of a psychiatry visit persists. Singling out mental from medical health leads to lack of parity in the heath care system. Sure would be nice if Hollywood could lend a hand in portraying a more realistic image.

I love this clip from Annie Hall (1977). Needs no introduction.

What I’m Watching

What I'm Watching

People often ask me what I am watching these days. Not because I watch so much, but because I am very passionate (and vocal;) about what I watch. This is the age of great television, specifically not network television. People who ask me know that I have very particular preferences in what I watch and they are drawn to the same, or they tell me how horrified they are that I suggested it!

First let me tell you what I really disliked, if you like these, you may not be drawn to my recommendations. Notting Hill, Modern Family, anything with Sandra Bullock, reality TV, Star Wars, The Notebook, anything animated, anything PG13, comedies.

My kids say that I only like movies where “nothing happens.” So here is my list right now, subject to change:

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