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They suffer alone.

For many of our readers, the preceding study of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome and panic disorders will prove to be of some intellectual interest; some may find it of no interest or possibly a source of boredom.

Some readers may find the subjects of uncommon concern and even scientific enlightenment. They may not be particularly moved by the implications of a revolution in medical diagnosis, portents for a correct diagnosis of mental illness and an unprecedented realization that genetics can help define our existence.

For others, more numerous than we suppose, the revelations contained in these reports will be thunderous: "How could we have been so insensitive?" How many parents will suddenly realize that their child has been unfairly condemned to the darkness of mental illness, terribly misdiagnosed, tortured, too often unnecessarily institutionalized?

Too many physicians and psychiatrists have treated these unfortunates without knowing the mosr elemental fact about obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette Syndrome or panic disorder.

Too much blame out of ignorance has been heaped upon victims of psychiatric and medical malpractice that always began with the false premise of the victim's guilt rather than the inevitability of a genetic disorder.

And finally, how crassly and indifferently has society dealt with the multitude of sufferers, people of otherwise lucid mind, often very productive, but shackled by a wayward gene and therefore consigned to human scrapheaps, ignored or shunted by society.

Most of all, we should embrace with contrition and compassion the hundreds of thousands of victims whose existence is not only clouded by doubts and rituals, tics and uncontrollable fears, and the torture of self-depredation that arises constantly from their painful plight.

Knowledge is truly power, and the occasion for heralding the dawn of a new era in knowledge is upon us. A new enlightenment has risen that will prevail and lead the afflicted into new understanding and relief.
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Title Annotation:those who suffer from panic disorders, Tourette Syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorders have been poorly treated by society and the medical establishment
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Article Type:column
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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