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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Overcoming Disability

Tom Wolfe changed both journalism and literature despite suffering with painful scoliosis and a spinal injury which required a walking stick. Stanley Falkow, a world-famous bacteriologist, suffered with panic attacks which confined him to his home and lab. He overcame them through will-power, by forcing himself to take long-distance flights.

I found it interesting that, late in life, Falkow earned a pilot's license. I once worked with a child psychiatrist whose initial career had been nursing. After attending medical school, she trained first as a pediatrician and later as a psychiatrist. She suffered from panic attacks and, as self-treatment, learned to fly late in life. Perhaps the deep concentration required to fly a single-engine plane forces anxiety from consciousness.
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