Lake Charles American-Press from Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 19, 1962 · Page 69
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August 19, 1962

Lake Charles American-Press from Lake Charles, Louisiana · Page 69

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Lake Charles, Louisiana
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Sunday, August 19, 1962
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Page 69
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Do You Need an Emotional Checkup? (Continued from page 11 ) — What are your ambitions? What would you like to do but can't? Are you developing any workable plans? —Are you withdrawing from people, seeing less of your friends? —How do you feel about growing older—is it depressing you ? —What about your marriage—what do you consider its good and bad features? (.Ask the same question about your job.) —Are you close to your children? —What do you have planned after you've reached 40, 50, €0? Honest answers to these questions may reveal soft spots in your emotional make-up. If any problems seem acute or chronic, tell your doctor, and he may be able to probe more deeply into them. For instance, if your family life appears to be unhappy, he may want to know: What causes the quarrels with your spouse? Are you both able to pour out what's on your minds? Do your in-laws interfere? F ROM SUCH an inventory of your emotional life, your doctor (or minister) should be able to give you the reassurance you need and offer practical suggestions. "If the emotional strain is not serious, there may be a simple explanation," says Dr. John A. Millet, an eminent psychiatrist who believes strongly in emotional checkups. "Perhaps you're not taking enough time off for a worthwhile vacation. Or if your trouble is that you're mad at your boss, maybe you should have it out with him, instead of spending your time being grouchy. Such simple suggestions are among the most powerful therapeutics we have." In certain cases (nearly one out of four, according to one survey), the nature of the answers to questions may indicate a serious emotional condition. Among the danger signals are exaggerated feelings not supported by facts, acute depression, phobias, and delusions. When a patient reveals that he is afraid to meet strangers, that he thinks "people are talking about me behind my back," or he is frightened of heights, he gives telltale signs of being emotionally sick. Checkups that uncover serious emotional turmoil usually impel the family doctor to suggest psychiatric help. Generally, however, symptoms of ten- ATI AS N TIRE'S-BATTERIES 4CCCSSORIES 3! X y. Si STOPS Stops up to 30% qu/cKer than ordinary tires —faster on wet pavement * p if i ^ ^* than others do on dry! Hugs the road so well you can't make them squeal at any corner. . iH M« ~ Absorbs bumps like af^ushi'on instead of bouncing over them, gives you and your car new, spfterlfttkuripus riding comfort. • J2 •M £ SI TIRE You're .never-far f row Atlas Service. More than 50,000 Service Station Dealers, in all 50 States and Canada, recommend and fc ;f ip|g|^||iitlas Tjres, Bajteries and Accessories. C| fefisfSife&i£&^y> :•.:--.•••';•. ••-./. i* • • . , ATLAS i£ *** :s (M »• •H [|*Bh the'choice is yours ... choose U into* *IWA»u.fc«mC.. >»»t2.l*. 5KHH;HiHi;;8HH-i8;HnHn8U8;y;gU;His;;8iH;;8g8HUi;inH^ sion are mild. Doctor and patient talk things over. Then the doctor asks him to think about their discussion and, if necessary, to return soon for another session. - .Among the leading advocates of an emotional review is Dr. William B. Terhune, a well-known psychiatrist and medical director of the Silver Hill Foundation in New Canaan, Conn. His concept grew out of the Foundation's program of annual health exams—including "personality studies"—for business executives. The executives spend a week at .Silver Hill, during which their physical and emotional state is intensively explored and evaluated. Prac- 12 family Weekly, August 19,1962 tically all of those participating have reported ntiw insights into problems they had not been conscious of specifically, but which caused mounting tension, irritalj/ility, and inefficiency. "The idea of an emotional checkup '£.-. can be refined," says Dr. Terhune, "so that it can be given by a good practitioner who spends an hour or more with a patient talking about the patient's personal life." In many communities, family doc- tors are seeking out psychiatric knowledge and are able to deal with moderate emotional stresses tied in with physical complaints. How, you may ask, will a busy general practitioner find time to listen to you for an hour? Just phone him to say that you want to talk to him about your problems—an emotional checkup—and the psychiatrically aware doctor will find the time. While the merits of an emotional inventory are recognized by many medical authorities, a cautionary note has been injected by Dr. Nathan Aekerman, clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. "For certain people who acutely fear a nervoua breakdown," he says, "a checkup could boomerang if the information they receive takes an alarmist turn. It is analogous to can- cerphobia among those who emotionally misuse facts about cancer. "Periodic checkups should not be turned into a ritual or they're apt to arouse anxiety. Emotional reviews should be scheduled casually, at reasonable intervals, rather than at rigidly specific times." On these points. Dr. Millet comments: "There always will be neurotics in the world. This should not stop emotional checkups. Well handled, they need not induce unnecessary neuroses. I agree that a checkup does not have to be strictly on an annual basis. Any unexpected stress, such as an accident or death in the family, also can be the signal for an emotional checkup." G OOD MEDICINE, mental and physical, should offer preventives as well as cures. To help you keep a steady emotional keel, Dr. Tevhune has devised this "Emotional Hygiene Creed": —I will adjust to life immediately, completely, and gracefully. —I will accept my liabilities and cultivate my assets. —I will discount harmful emotional urges, avoid emotional orgies, and keep away from emotionally undisciplined people. —I believe that self-pity, suspicion, envy, jealousy, and revenge are useless. I believe that loyalty, courage, and kindness are dependable sentiments; in them I will put my trust. —I do not expect to get precisely what I want in this world. I will not kick against the annoyances of life. I expect trouble and have accepted inevitable difficulty that I may be free to accept opportunity unhandicapped by a sense of difficulties. —I will face facts, discounting likes and dislikes, and cultivate an objective point of view. —I know that fear, anxiety, and worry cannot hurt me. They threaten to destroy, but they possess no weapons other than the ones I give them. Even though afraid, anxious, and worried, I shall continue with my activities, knowing that fear is the normal stimulus to courage. —I will laugh more every day. Family Weekly, August 19,1962 li

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