Playing helpless witness to a growing epidemic with no cure takes us back in time. The Hippocratics called it the “art” of medicine. It does not take a psychiatrist, however, to see that this “artful” approach frequently fails in public health crises.
Watchman Nee’s suggestion of a potential link between spirituality and mental health is no longer foreign to the field of psychiatry. Recent studies indicate that spiritual beliefs may have a positive effect on mental health.
What do physicians intend by the term “disease”? The recent IOM report on “systemic exertion intolerance disease” (formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome) casts this question in a new light and has many practical implications for patients, physicians, and third-party payers.