blaming the patient

Discussion in 'Community' started by jefhatfield, May 6, 2003.

  1. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i wonder why some diseases like AIDS, cancer (in some cultures, leprosy, and alcoholism are looked on differently than diabetes or arthritis?

    i have noticed that some people think that only immigrants (or asian immigrants) carry tb but when i worked in a hospital, every case i came across were elderly people who were american citizens...many of the workers in the hospital were asian immigrants and they were all tb free

    and now we have SARS...what is that about?...while the flu and common cold kills hundreds of thousands
  2. evoluzione macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    Re: blaming the patient

    i guess it's a stigma that's attached to it all. things like HIV/AIDS and the like are i think looked at as a "dirty" disease/condition. Same with anything that's contagious I guess, with the minor exception of 'flu and the common cold, perhaps because they really don't affect people the way other conditions do, they come and they go of their own accord. that's my take on it anyways.

    additional: are alcoholism and obesity really diseases??? personally i think it's an excuse (except in a very small number of cases where it is actually a condition of some kind)
  3. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    Re: Re: blaming the patient

    do a google search on those two and see who thinks they are a will open your eyes if you have any doubt

    obesity can lead to just about any disease known to man that is a major killer....cancer, stroke, heart disease, and in some cases diabetes...those are the big four anyway...and it's very unlikely you will not die from one or more of those four conditions if you live past middle age

    as with young people, there are other dangers and near where i live, homicide and gang related killings are unfortunately in the obits more and more...not a natural way to go, but seen by many as the times
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    and what about mental illness? seems a large part of society still doesn't think of it as a real disease: "just get over it."
  5. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    hm on this earth you can find at least one person who thinks that (name some disease or disorder) is imaginary.
    yup yup...adhd is imaginary...schitzophrenia is imaginary...cancer is imaginary...asthma is imaginary...obesity is imaginary...sars is imaginary...PMS is imaginary...:rolleyes:
  6. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    my disease is not a matter of fact it will most likely kill me

    it's called heart disease...i have the first early symptom...abnormally high cholesterol with bad ratios...but if i add hypertension, extreme obesity, smoking, or a whole host of other things to it...then i am full blown and if i continue with two or more factors, then i am dead in a short matter of time

    when i first found out i had this cholesterol problem, which i got genetically, i worked in a hospital, so i was not surprised...i can say with all honesty that if you are a woman, heart disease will be the most likely killer of you...with a two to one margin over the next most likely culprit to end your life...cancer

    and if you are a man, the odds are not much better

    so when i got the news after a hospital employee physical, i was not shocked or saddened...we all die and the most likely way that will happen is heart disease

    a lot of people who have the first sign...hypertension, blockage of the arteries, or bad cholesterol...think it's imaginary or that it can't happen to them...those are the first in line to the cemetery

    it's the taboo dieseaes like schizophrenia, alcoholism, and depression that have a lot of its sufferers who deny it...especially since it's not as quick and obvious as heart disease or cancer, but even those diseases can eventually kill a person just as heart disease and cancer

    but we live in a still unenlightened world and many with the less obvious ailments like schizophrenia and alcoholism are doomed to be in denial and suffer silently while many around them suffer also
  7. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Jef are you on a cholesterol lowering med, one of the statins? Are you watching your diet? What kind of job do you have in the hospital?
  8. MrMacMan macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2001
    1 Block away from NYC.
    Yes, I myself have some sort of type of my heart beating too fast, basically someone will scare me some day and kill me, how frikken wonderfull will that be... :(
    Person a: BOO
    Me: AHHHHHhhhhhhhhh *dies*
  9. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    alcoholism is most certainly a real disease. unfortunately it's incredibly difficult to cure, and comes with a host of symptoms that make some people belittle it. But trust me, if you had an alcoholic relative or friend, you'd understand.

    to an alcoholic, the need for alcohol is as real as the need for food or water. that's the truth and to hell with people that don't understand it.

    i have a disease as well, social anxiety disorder, and like most mental illnesses, it's looked at as imaginary (or an excuse). Let me tell you, when you become a prisoner of your own home, you can tell me it's imaginary. it's not unheard of for people to have heart attacks from it. not to mention self-inflicted injury or death, but i guess that's imaginary too :rolleyes:

    i'm lucky in that while my disease progressed rapidly to a dangerous level, the right medications and years of therapy have brought me back to normal a considerable degree. i'm not normal yet, and i may never be, but i can function as part of society again.

    wasn't that a fun rant? :)

    i just don't understand why people aren't open to mental illness. i don't understand a lot of things i guess, but it doesn't make me closeminded to them-- just the opposite-- if i don't understand something, how can i form an opinion about it?

    sorry, this just really gets to me.

    i agree diseases like AIDS shouldn't viewed as 'dirty'... tell a little girl that got it from her mother that she's a bad person for having it. i dare you.

    ignorance manifests itself in many forms, this is just one. i think the closest thing we'll ever get to true peace on the subject is safe harbor for people with diseases, those that cannot be cured. the human race is just too addicted to disinformation.

  10. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    I had a guy in high school tell me that if he filled my inhaler up with water and aerosol the placebo would do the same thing as albuterol. Yeah, and I'd be dead in a week.
  11. shadowfax macrumors 603


    Sep 6, 2002
    Houston, TX
    it's my opinion that a lot of this disparity in viewing things as diseases comes from conflicting definitions of just what "disease" means. i mean, i certainly agree that things like schizophrenia and other mental diseases, as well as the tendency toward alcoholism and overeating do indeed come from genetic "problems" and chemical imblances. there are those who say that what you have to do is get some chemical, some pill, to fix it, that there is nothing you can do; it's not your problem, it's the fault of whoever conceived you, or random chance; perhaps this is often so. there are others that say that everyone is different. it's those "chemical imbalances" and "genetic differences" that make us different. we each have our own problems, our own weaknesses, but we can fight them through changing our daily habits, by focusing on it, by being committed to fixing things. i think that both assessments are wrong. it's always going to be some mix of these two extremes, and it will even vary from case to case. i believe there are obese people who really do need some help from outside, and others that are just incredibly lazy and so on for other reasons. These are people i know who were way overweight and then lost it all on their own, simply by starting an exercise regimen and/or eating better. they say in retrospection that they didn't have a disease, they were just being lazy bastards. it's the same with alcoholism. some people are lost without help. others aren't nearly in so much trouble, but won't change nevertheless.

    we attack people for being "unscientific" and "backwards" about this, but i think it should be understood that it is just as possible to use science to take the blame off people who really do need to take responsibility for some of their problems.

    case in point: John Nash. he had a problem that no one would have said was curable without serious help, shock treatment and drugs. that's not what saved him. granted, he uses medication now, and his life isn't perfect, but there you go. not a disease. a problem that could be worked out. sometimes.
  12. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    luckily, i have not got to the point where i have to take that what they call it?

    i was once the death records keeper at the hospital and i got to see who died of what...heart disease will still be a problem long after medicine cures all microbe, bacterial, and virus based illnesses

    lifestyle illnesses like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease do not have any hope of being cured based on what we know of medicine today...and they may never be cured

    i could see mcdonald's or something like it five hundred years from now...perhaps by then almost all deaths will occur from what we eat...hey, just look at how fat all the star trek characters got;)
  13. Giaguara macrumors 6502a

    Nov 22, 2002
    normally the women who were not born with a heart problem, get to those because of the birth control pills they use .. and other crap like tabacco etc. i've never used either, but had a small heart attack when i was 25. and of course it was my fault... :rolleyes:
  14. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i have a friend who was severely attacked with the disease and he won't admit that he has that or that there are really any such thing as a real mental illness...or at least one that would attack him

    in his job, teaching at a college, it has affected his performance...on his resume, he has degrees from two top shelp collges while the college he teaches at is largely unknown

    normally, at his institution, it takes four years for a new teacher to go from associate and assitant professor to full professor, with the full benefits and pay that comes with that position

    due to his illness, it took him seventeen years to finally get promoted to the position it should have taken him four years to achieve...add to that he entered the field of teaching about four years later than his peers so by the time he got the basic package of his work all lined up and ironed out, he was near retirement!

    unfortunately, my friend uses alcohol to get over this ailment and drinks every day as he has for at least two glass or maybe two of wine...some say that can help the heart, but what does that do to the other internal organs? a moderate drinker could take a day off, or several days, or even longer...but not my friend

    i hope that there are effective treatments for this disorder and just as important...awareness...otherwise a person can ruin or handicap there entire work life and maybe even their personal life
  15. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    I think I may be a bit schizo, it runs in the family and it sure would explain a lot...

    Don't know for sure though, never been to a doctor about it or anything and even if I was diagnosed, I'n not sure if I would do anything about it unless it got completely out of hand or something but I dunno, its all wierd...[​IMG]
  16. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i hope you have a regular cardiologist and that you are careful about taking care of yourself

    i know of my predisposition to this terrible chronic illness, or call it terminal illness if that's what you need to get action to be taken...and now i understand why there are so many commercials, ads, and print literature on this spammed to everybody

    i have not had a heart attack yet and i am 39, but many in the same doctor's office my same age have already had their first heart attack, and every day they live past that first incident is borrowed time, so they appreciate every moment they have left

    unlike other doctor's office waiting rooms, like the dentist, ob/gyn, dermatologist, psychiatrist, podiatrist, or whatever, the people in the cardiologist's office know that they will likely not get cured from what ails their heart so their destiny for a prolonged life is strictly in their hands, and not in the doctor's or the medication's

    one day, my hope is that there will be a magic cure all for heart disease or people predisposed to those conditions

    perhaps genetic engineering will be the engineer the human dna to weed out the gene or genes that predispose a person to heart disease...fix the problem in the sperm or egg

    then we could all be like that fat lady/man we all know who is fifty+ pounds overweight, eats beef, and still only has a cholesterol reading of, what a boom that would be for mcD's:p :p

    wow, i am getting hungry:eek:
  17. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    ...but instead of mcD's, i will have chicken tonight

    and right now, for a snack, my dip, for chips, will be made with yogurt instead of sour cream

    and sometimes the meatballs i put in spaghetti are made from turkey, not hamburger meat

    those little substitutions, while hard at first, can make a difference...not so much in actual calories, but in cholesterol intake

    where i used to rarely take in fat from fish and olive oil, i do so now because the body still needs fat but can benefit from olive oil, grape seed oil, and fish oil...and those fats susbstitute deep fried foods and red meat

    but i also believe in moderation, so i sometimes get to have red meat or fried foods because spending 30+ years focusing on red meat and fried foods sets myself up for a major binge if i cut it out altogether

    that's my secret to healthy eating...moderation instead of starvation or denial

    of course, if my doctor orders me onto a more strict diet, i will keep it even though i know people who have disavowed all doctors and healthy diet and just want to live it up...even with their high cholesterol diagnosis or hypertension diagnosis

    when my grandmother was in her late 80s and 90s, her doctor basically said at that age, she had earned the right to eat junk food all she wanted...somehow she got that old on a diet of junk food and lots of salt

    while growing up in japan, she had a good diet, but when she came to america and discovered nestle's and frito lay, it was all over...that was her part of the american dream...she lived to 99 and somehow i did not get those set of genes:)
  18. Giaguara macrumors 6502a

    Nov 22, 2002
    yucky. well well, if ever i'll decide to 'have' kids, i'll just adopt some and thats it. darker than me, or chinese maybe, whatever but different from me. i would hate if i saw in a kid of mine anything that feels or looks my mum (or her side of family), they are complete jerks.. and my dad's side people have a suicidal and bad charachter. and everyones freaking asthmatic, allergixc, nasty, and all except me are just dark, round, hairy etc.. and at least cousins seem addicted to whatever, gambling, alcohol, suicidive behaviour, and maybe like 20-30 % have some sort of eating disorders .. :mad:

    well. the attack was because of a weakened heart and a baaad reaction that some steroides i was / am prescribed to, had with 2 other medicines.
  19. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    well, if that is the case, you will live a lot longer than me if you are not a classic heart disease candidate (high cholesterol/hypertension/obesity)

    since i know i will never live 99 years like my grandmother, i just will try and maximize the trip of life

    if you don't have heart disease or the early warning signs or red flags, count yourself lucky;)
  20. Giaguara macrumors 6502a

    Nov 22, 2002
    well obesity high cholestrol etc definitelly not ... the exact opposite. at some point for a longer time about all my muscles and otehr stuff were kind of 'eaten', and heart is a muscle as well .. :rolleyes: lucky your grandma, of my relatives about 1 has got to over 75 years.. and of cousins, most seem to die for various reasons before they are 40 anyway. :eek:
  21. voicegy macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    Big hugs to ya,:) and thanks for feeling safe enough to admit to what I'm sure was a terrifying time in your life.:(
  22. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2002
    Chicago, IL, USA
    [rant]between the research i did at carnegie mellon and the personal experience i had with doctors growing up, i made a few conjectures about the health care system and where it sometimes fails people.

    it seems there are too many assumptions made at the diagnostic phase of treatment. for example, the chances of a woman recieving appropriate treatment for a heart attack were one third that of men. Twice as many women die from their first heart attack as men. (i'm glad you made it through, giaguara:))

    Young people are assumed to be in good overall health, so practicioners are quick to move onto anxiety/drugs/psychological issues if the initial round of tests turns up negative.

    Why? Does the fault lie in age/gender/race bias in testing and research done over the past century? Does it lie in diagnostic models that emphisize certain protocols? That i can't answer with any degree of certainty, but i can say is there are two people i went to college with who would not be alive today were it not for their own dilligance and the support of their respective PCPs. And there is one girl from my city who was not so lucky.[/rant]

    to those of you working through health concerns right now: best of luck. are your doctors supportive of you? i hope so. in my experience, there is nothing more valuable that a doctor who trusts you and fights for you. may you all find the support you need, and may it sustain you through your trying time.
  23. AppleMatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2003
    Disease is classes as any part of the body not functioning normally, even a stroke which is seen as a condition, is infact a disease.

    By the same token health is defined as "the complete mental, physical and social wellbeing" (WHO).

    Alcoholism is a self-inflicted disease, the immediate effects prevent the body functioning normally, and the long term effects are very serious.

    So it's a shame when narrow minded people criticise what they believe is and is not a "disease", especially mental disorders.

    I know this because I am studying health psychology and biology, then moving into medicine.

    Jeff I am sure you have looked into this, but there is a goldmine of info on the internet about lowering your low density cholesterols on the internet, most things have almost no impact on your lifestyle.


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