Diseases and Illnesses

Body health depends on mental health

Body health depends on mental health

Baltimore is the epicenter of trauma in the U.S. — gun violence, mass incarceration, poverty, heroin. I care for some of the most marginalized people in the nation, whom we refer to as “high-needs, high-cost” — the latest in a series of labels for a population that is facing multiple medical and behavioral health comorbidities, in addition to extreme poverty and social dysfunction. More often than not, my patients come to me with physical complaints that stem from an underlying psychological maladaptation to stress.

I was awestruck when I encountered a similar situation when I visited a small hospital in rural India. My preconceived notion of medicine in an impoverished developing...

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