Anxiety? It’s All in Your Head. Your Sinuses, to Be Exact

The man with chronic sinusitis was ecstatic. “I feel so much better. No more headache, no more congestion, no more fatigue. I even feel less anxious. I mean that’s not really possible, is it? Somebody told me there’s a link…”

“Well, you know, men with prostate infections sometimes present with fatigue and depression”, I said as I minimized the EMR on my laptop and googled “SINUSITIS ANXIETY”.

There were many sites with articles about such an association. Some were blogs, some were ENT practice website and some were actually scientific papers, like JAMA Otolaryngology about anxiety and depression and American Journal of Rhinology an Allergy about depression.

Of course this got me thinking:

Is it the type of bacteria or the location of the infection that is the risk factor?

Is this perhaps a universal association with all infections?

Are the psychological symptoms due to the infection or to our immune response?

How can you be a clinician and not love medicine?

May I never lose my curiosity.

Curiosity, Antidote to Burnout

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Osler said “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”. Duvefelt says “Listen to your patient, he is telling you what kind of doctor he needs you to be”.


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