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'Laughter Is Not Enough'

July 06, 1985

Now I'm confused. Isn't the stress level of a patient directly related to his mental state? And, therefore does Dr. Barrie Cassileth's study mean to imply that stress does not make a difference in our state of health, or our ability to fight disease?

It seemed for awhile that the medical community was moving toward treating the whole patient, not just the disease. Now with this new study are we going to see a reversal? I hope not.

I agree that maintaining a patient's healthy mental state should not be a priority over administering results of current medical research, but it should not be dismissed as pop psychology.

Does anyone deny that stress can bring on disease, or that stress depletes a patient's energy, which is so vitally needed to fortify him against disease? In time of illness one's immune system needs all the support it can get.

I hope that reduction of stress will be a continued part of therapy for any ill patient--advanced stage or not. That includes positive thinking, chicken soup and happiness therapy--or anything that aids a healthy mental state!

DALE HANSON

Los Angeles

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