Try Not to Get Sick

Posted under: politics.
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In the United States 700,000 people per year go bankrupt due to medical bills.  Pharmaceuticals put most of their money and research into drugs which will make them a profit.  We’re loaded with excessive paperwork, which is inefficient and prone to serious errors.  In order to see a specialist, one must get a referral from their primary care physician (PCP).  And there is often a wait to get in to see the doctor.  Insurance is tied to employment, so consumers are stuck with the insurance plans offered by their employers, and many are forced to stay with their employers so they won’t lose their insurance.  The many people who have no insurance simply don’t go to the doctor to seek treatment.  If their health issues become too severe, they’ll end up going to the emergency room.

You would think that I have fairly decent health insurance, being employed by a large hospital.  I suppose it could be worse.  Our former insurance with Bombardier (Learjet) required a $4000 deductible before we could receive any coverage whatsoever.  I have had a recent health concern as a result of my prolactinoma.  It seems my prolactin levels have increased again.  My endocrinologist suggested I get another MRI.  But even with insurance, the price tag is too steep for us.  So we decided to skip the MRI, hoping the tumor hasn’t grown and the medications will be effective in controlling it. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (10) Nov 30 2008

Synthetic Happiness

Posted under: psychology, video.
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I watched this video by Dan Gilbert about happiness on Ted Talks. He challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want, and states that our psychological immune system lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned. Gilbert explains how the prefrontal cortex in our brain acts as an “experience simulator.” He states:

We have something called the ‘impact bias’ which is the tendency for the simulator to work badly–for the simulator to make you believe that different outcomes are more different than in fact they really are. But they have far less impact, intensity, and much less duration than people expect them to have. A recent study that shows how major life traumas affect people suggests that if it happened over three months ago, with only a few exceptions, it has no impact whatsoever on your happiness.

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Comments (6) Nov 24 2008