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Ever been told or hinted by a doctor that you’re fine and you should see a psychologist? This hits home for me because I’ve supported my wife through things like this.

According to Dr. Matthew Burke, a cognitive neurologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, it’s one of the most neglected areas in conventional medicine: How pain or other factors can modulate the brain.

“We’ve failed, really, to address some of these complex border-zones between medical and neurological illness and psychiatric illness,” he said.

This is so important. I’ve been there, home from the hospital after a health scare, trying to handle unexpected mental or physiological repercussions, and finding ourselves on a bumpy road to recovery without a map.

There are protocols for people recovering from cancer or heart disease, he said, yet when he was discharged from the hospital, there was little follow-up, and no discussion of potential mental health ramifications from his illness.

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