Richard G. Petty, MD

Diagnosing Illnesses

I am pleased to say that my recent item about Categorical and Dimensional ways of looking at illnesses has provoked some spirited correspondence and questions. Far from indicating that the art of diagnosis is arbitrary and vague, it reflects clinical reality. I get a great many magazines and articles from supporters of alternative medicine, and some have so misunderstood the principles of diagnosis that they think that illnesses don’t exist! One of the reasons for this flawed thinking is that we all have a bad case of physics envy. The success of Newtonian physics and Humean philosophy has seduced us into thinking that everything has a single cause, and that every item and every event has clearly defined boundaries.

We are complex and ever-evolving individuals and we are also members of of constantly changing groups, so we have to be seen not only as "objects" wth diagnostic labels, but also as people with a time and developmental dimension: you and your life challenges will change over time as you continue to develop and evolve. As the great Scottish poet Robert Burns said: Nature‘s mighty law is change.”

I think that is important to let you know how this field is developing, and why it is that we cannot always come up with a cut and dried answer to the question "Well, what has he got then?"

On May 24th, I wrote a short article about the inter-relationships between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder that you may find interesting. It develops some of the points that I made in my previous article.

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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