Letter: Body and mind should be treated together

Dear Editor

As we tyre-lever the human condition back into the GP surgery, organ by organ, via the ludicrously reductionistic quality framework mechanism, it is salutary to read of yet another illness linked to the way human beings might feel about having it... to say nothing of how a poor circulation, in itself, prior to, and after a stroke event, might effect part(s) of the very organ that determine how 'we' do feel in the first place?

Those with an interest need to know that both Primhe (Primary care mental health and education) and the Primary Care Neurology Society (PCNS) are there to foster your interest and help you do your job to your optimum.

It is impossible to separate mind from body (except with an axe) and the adjective 'mental' merely describes the functions of the brain-mind.

As Professor Stephen Pinker says: 'Mind is one of the things that the brain (at least) does'.

Do people really think, or is there really any evidence, that the physical functions of that organ and its associated systems are delivered in ways that are different from, or any less or more than, the physical functions of every other organ on the body? Is it perhaps governed by the laws of the planet Zog orbiting in a parallel universe to ours (perhaps NICE should collate the evidence?)

There is a case to be made for all patients to be asked at least how they feel about how they are feeling and especially in those with 'major' medical conditions and long-term ones (not just neurological).

A case can be made for acne, alopecia and other self-esteem-destructive conditions, COPD, pain (the commonest presentation of depression), arthritis, asthma, polycystic ovary syndrome, epilepsy and migraine.

There are some really good 'tools' out there now, including PSYCHLOPS (MIMOPS for the brain-mind), CORE-PC and quality-of-life scales.

It is also much more useful to use patient-derived domains of concern rather than handing out HADS scales without any counselling?

Dr Chris Manning, CEO Primhe (www.primhe.org) P-CNS board member; Mental Health Taskforce.

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