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October 12th, 2011 by Dr. Phil

World Arthritis Day

arthritisToday, October 12, is World Arthritis Day — a chance for us to show our concern and support for all those affected by rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. It’s astounding just how many of us are affected by arthritis. In the United States alone, more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions rob at least 50 million adults and 300,000 children of living life to its fullest. I am one of the 27 million Americans who battle a particular form of arthritis called osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease.

Even before I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis — and for me it’s all in the knees — I was deeply interested in the reality of chronic disorders and long-term injuries for which we have no cure; no pill, no “silver bullet” fix. A lot of my education, professional training and subsequent practice was in an area of psychology called Behavioral Medicine, a specialty in which we helped patients with such diseases and disorders as arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diseases of the central nervous system, diabetes, head and spinal diseases and disorders, chronic organic-based pain, obesity and other conditions for which there is no cure. We helped these patients learn how to cope and manage — often with very good results. (more…)

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July 21st, 2011 by Dr. Phil

A Tribute to Our Accidental First Lady

Former First Lady Betty Ford was recently laid to rest beside her husband — the man she always called her boyfriend — her amazing life of 93 years having come to a peaceful end. Because many of you under the age of 40 may know little about her, I want to share with you some insight into this remarkable woman and the path she blazed for all of us.AP781107025_sized

In 1974, due to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, and after serving as vice president for only one year, Gerald Ford took over our nation’s highest office. Suddenly, Betty Ford was unexpectedly thrust into the White House and the limelight, and became known as “the accidental first lady.” As accidental as it may have been, she embraced the role like Americans had never seen before; with a candor and humanity that was unheard of at the time.

Betty used her position to become an advocate for women’s rights. Remember, the early 70s was a far more chauvinistic era than today. She will be remembered for enforcing the notion that “being ladylike does not require silence.” She spoke of the contributions of women as wives and mothers. “We have to take the ‘just’ out of the phrase, ‘just a housewife,’” she insisted. (more…)

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July 18th, 2011 by Dr. Phil

The Senate Hearing on Domestic Violence

345301452_resizeListen up, all you Silence Breakers out there, it’s game time. A very vital piece of legislation that protects millions of victims of domestic violence is now before Congress, and we’ve got to make some noise to make sure it’s passed.

The legislation is called the Violence Against Women Act. It was first ushered into law in 1994 and is now up for reauthorization by Congress. I was recently invited to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee as a content expert to talk about VAWA, which funds programs that help survivors of domestic violence rebuild their shattered lives. The money from VAWA goes to building vital emergency family shelters and creating domestic abuse hotlines. It also trains police officers on how to better protect victims and prosecutors on how to establish better criminal cases that will stand up in court. And because of VAWA, these women have access to resources such as counseling, financial literacy education, gainful employment, long-term housing options and legal assistance. (more…)

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May 14th, 2011 by Dr. Phil

Putting Obesity out of Business

junkFood1I’m worried about kids today for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that so darn many are getting overweight and out of shape. Today, one out of three children under the age of 12 is now considered medically overweight. And the tragedy is that we know that very few of those children ever lose that weight. Seventy percent of those children will become overweight and obese adults and endure all the problems both psychological and physical that come with it. Diabetes and heart disease are exploding among the overweight and obese — so much so that experts now say the lethal effects of obesity are literally greater than cigarette smoke. Are you hearing that? Today, obesity is our number one public health issue above all others. (more…)

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April 13th, 2011 by Dr. Phil

Rory McIlroy: Dignity in the Face of Defeat

rory_1I’m a big golf fan, and on Sunday, I did what I do every year during the first weekend of April: I watched the final round of the legendary Masters golf tournament at Augusta National. Even if you’re not a fan of the sport, you may have heard about this year’s dramatic outcome, because the big story wasn’t about who was awarded the green jacket — Charl Schwartzel of South Africa — it was about who lost it.

With a four-shot lead going into the final round, Irishman Rory McIlroy was on the brink of winning one of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments. But his game began to melt down. At one point, when he knocked his drive into a small tributary, he dropped his head on his right forearm, his body slumped in confusion and embarrassment, and by the time he stepped off the course, he had fallen to a tie for 15th place. It was one of the greatest collapses in Masters history. (more…)

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