"Whoever degrades another, degrades me."  
                                                                                       Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass       
     Seth Speken was a 23 year old man who lived his entire life in the Riverdale section of
the Bronx.  He died on August 27, 1993 at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in the 
City of New York.
A Few Facts About Seth
     Seth was a bright student, and was admitted to a school for the gifted in New York City
called the Hunter Campus School when he stated high school. At around 16 years of age he
developed Crohn's Disease. He lost a year of school due to this but was able to graduate.
In school, he loved and excelled at French.
     Seth went to a Lehman College, near Riverdale.  In the last 2 years of college, he
developed Panic Disorder.  In spite of his medical problems, he did well in school right up 
until the end. 
     Seth was a good person, in the true meaning of the word.   Some idea of how those of us
who knew Seth felt about  him can be found in a poem read at his funeral.
My Treatment of My Son
     When I learned about Seth's Crohn's Disease when he was 16, I began a study
of the disease and  many different approaches to its treatment.  I concentrated on various
areas of  'mind-body' medicine as can be seen in my curriculum vitae. He also saw a 
Crohn's Disease specialist but could not take the traditional medications due to side
effects.
   Seth did not recover from the disease, but over the last 2 years of his life he did
seem to be improving. He continued to suffer from persistent cramping, however.
     Seth was a Psychology major in college.  From his reading he concluded that Panic
Disorder was biologically based and not amenable to psychotherapy.  He also tried 
Biofeedback techniques, without success, to control panic attacks .
     Over the last year and a half of his life, I prescribed Xanax to him for the panic attacks.
My treatment followed recommendations in the standard Psychiatric literature. He was 
physiologically dependent on the medication. It is well recognized among psychiatrists that
there are times when dependency cannot be avoided.  This was particularly true in Seth's 
case because due to his Crohn's Disease he could not take other psychotropic medication 
which caused severe constipation. 
     The treatment was very successful until the end. He was able to stay in class and 
received almost all A's.
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