Korifaeus Magazine

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Hippocratic Physicians VS many modern day Psychiatrists

The Good old Art of Medicine
By Korifaeus

Psychiatry used to refer to a Physician who could “cure” those “appearing” to be mentally unwell by finding the Psychological or Physiological ( physical) “cause” for the symptoms they exhibited.

After talking to the patient and blood tests, stool and urine test, as well as inquiring about the diet of the patient, a good old fashion Psychiatrist would, for example, look aside from into nose and ears, etc. into the eyes to see:
1. What color is the white of the eye
2. How is the “movement”
3. Are the pupils “symmetrical”
4. Are the pupils lying “low” (bordering on the lower lid)
or high ( bordering on the upper lid)
5. Does the upper lid rise easily when raising the eye-brows, or how much ability to move raise upper lids – how much white does it show

The “teeth” would be closely looked at – crowded growth, distance between teeth, size of gabs and “where” the gabs between teeth are, tooth decay, fillings, combinations of metals, etc.

He would look at the ears and earlobes – size of earlobes, loose hanging, attached, no earlobes, forward earlobes, curled, etc. The form of the ear, bend, flat, curled, etc.

The Psychiatrist would feel/touch and look at the “hands” – warm, cool, sweaty, mountains inside the palms; flat, big, soft.
Form of fingers and fingernails, fingernail size, form and color.

The shoulders would be checked, their form ( inning, outing, chesting, etc. ) the form of the back ( straight, curved inward or outward )

Note: Physiognomy used to play a big part in Psychiatric diagnosis because according to Hippocrates the “mind” creates the body, thus the body’s composure reflects the mind.

The very reason why “statues” were created in the antiquity, was not to create idols of Gods or for worship, rather for medical students to closely observe the details of their features, each of whom were individualistic to a specific. Characteristic, Mental Attitude, etc. – the study of “Physiognamy”

A patient’s hair growth would be looked at – the pattern of balding, where it starts: wisdom corner balding, back of the head, circular balding, patch balding, center/top of the head balding, etc. as well as the front and the back hairline.

The patient would be asked to stand up (naked) so the Psychiatrist could look for unsymetricality, inward, outward or backbend knees, etc. Position of the feet, form of the feet, arches, flatfootedness, toe’s length, toe nails, etc.

Then of course a variety of reflex, cognition, etc. tests.

The skin would be thoroughly examed for bites, rashes, patches, etc.

A vison test; color spectrum, color blindness, light sensitivity.

And when the Psychiatrist was done with the Physical he would visit the “home” of the patient to see how the patient lives, what the surroundings, ambiance, cleanliness is like. With what the patient surrounds him/herself – taste in paintings, favoring of “colors”, furniture, etc. Which tells the Psychiatrist a lot about the patient’s mind.

But the Psychiatrist may also discover toxic problems visiting a patients home, mold for example, which can also have negative effects on a person’s mental well being.

This was what Physicians in the old days looked at which is PIVOTAL to establish a correct diagnosis.

When nowadays talking to folks who’ve been diagnosed with certain mental disorders, seeing their pupils aren’t aligned or in a position that would indicate a very different disorder than the illness they’ve been diagnosed with, i often wonder what exactly the Psychiatrist looked at prior to diagnosing and prescribing medications.

How often i was told by some people that the Psychiatrist didn’t even give them a thorough “Physical” or asked about their diet, is shocking.

Medications are subscribed to stop the “symptoms” – irrational behavior, etc. and the “symptoms” point to a disorder with which the patient was diagnosed. But the “cause” of the disorder is not diagnosed and treated for a patient to actually be “cured”.

Psychiatric patients are no longer being “cured”; their symptoms are being lessened through medications and that’s not what medical art and science stands for nor what Psychiatry is about.

Mister X suddenly exhibited irrational behavior; he was irritable, began having mood swings and sudden onsets of anger, temper. His wife suggests he sees a Psychiatrist. Based on his symptoms he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and given medications.

He wasn’t too happy about having to take meds, especially since it only lessened his symptoms, but the “cause” remained a mystery.

On a plane he sat *coincidentally ( *if there is such a thing) next to an old fashioned already retired Neurologist and they began talking. The Neurologist, a man in his seventies, looked into the man’s eyes and asked him if he recently got new “glasses”. Mister X said “yes” about a year ago, he needed a new prescription.

The Neurologist asks him if his sudden change of behavior began shortly after the change of getting new glasses.

Mister X thinks for a moment then realized it was indeed shortly after the new glasses when he began feeling irritable, etc.

“You have the wrong prescription and that can mess with your brain. It’s an old war trick to drive people insane. Just a slight change of prescription and it can drive you nuts”, the Neurologist tells him.

Back home Mister X checks with an Ophthalmologist and indeed, he had the wrong prescription. Mister X gets the correct prescription, wears his new glasses stops the medication and was feeling “well” again.

The wrong prescription was the “cause” for the sudden onset of Bi-polar disorder “symptoms”.

Mister X was “cured”.



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