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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Week of February 24, 2003

    Question: This a very hard topic for me. I know I have a problem with stealing nominal things that I don't need or want. I have been doing this since I was a child and no one was aware. I come from an upper middle-class home where I never did without. I do get that high after I do it and I know it's wrong...    Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: I have a patient (young adult) who is fearful of clowns. I am able to see some literal interpretations of how a clown is really someone else hiding behind grease paint, a wig, etc. Also there has been a variety of horror movies where clowns have been the bad guy. The person denies knowing why they are afraid. Do you have any thoughts on this?   Dr. Pies' Answer

    Question: I was wondering if any lobbying is being done with the health insurance industry regarding depressive disorders and their treatment. I have to switch health insurance policies due to an exorbitant COBRA policy premium, and I was informed that several applications for health insurance have been declined due to the fact that I am on maintenance medication for depression. If depression is indeed a chemical imbalance in the brain, then why isn't it considered a medical disorder such as diabetes or high blood pressure? Isn't this attitude rather 19th century? What is your expert opinion on this dilemma?    Dr. Pies' Answer