DEAR DR. GOTT: I've been following your commentary on the professionalism of physicians, and I happen to have bipolar disorder. On two occasions, when I was neither manic nor depressed, I went to family physicians for purely physical problems only to have them make comments that I was "one of their crazy patients" and others that were similar. At the time, I was too shocked to speak up and ask for an apology.
DEAR ABBY: I married my high school sweetheart at 18 and put off college to start the family that we always wanted. Nine years later, we have three beautiful daughters.
In the year ahead, make good use of your time because your chart indicates that your potential for achieving large goals is better than it has been for a long time. Put your time, effort and talent to constructive use.
Anything you can do is easy. Anything you cannot do is difficult -- until you learn how to do it.
DEAR DR. GOTT: As a chronic sufferer of sciatica and lower-back pain, I am always searching for nonsurgical and nondrug forms of relief. I've recently come across information on prolotherapy and Feldenkrais Movement Therapy. I have a friend who says the Feldenkrais has been miraculous in relieving her many back pain problems. Can you tell me anything about these treatments? Have any of your readers found help with them?
Late last year there was a Moderately Confused cartoon by Jeff Stahler in which a husband is sitting in a chair looking at a newspaper with his wife standing behind him. The husband asks the wife, "What is a nine-letter word that begins with the number three?" What is the wife's reply?
DEAR ABBY: I have come to dread family gatherings. My extended family holds a different political perspective than I. It seems like at every occasion they sit around and expound on the good points of their candidate or elected official, while belittling the opposition and ridiculing his or her supporters. I have tried on several occasions to change the subject or tell them I don't wish to discuss politics, to no avail.
If you can contribute your talents, skills or experience in lieu of a cash investment, joint endeavors will work out exceptionally well in the year ahead. Just such an arrangement might be offered to you.
DEAR ABBY: Like "Chaz's Brother" (June 17), who is living in the shadow of his extremely popular younger brother, I, too, spent years feeling invisible, but finally looked for ways to differentiate myself from my "perfect" siblings. In the process of pursuing my own interests, I also found friends who liked me for who I was.
DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 23-year-old female and should have a great social life, but I don't because of one serious problem. I have bad breath! It is so embarrassing that it has cost me every ounce of confidence I had and has ruined my relationships with everyone.
In the year ahead, you will get ample opportunities to develop your creative and artistic ideas in ways that can yield both profit and recognition. However, how much will depend on the marketing vehicle and how well you use it.
Robert Benchley, who died in 1945, said, "If you think that you have caught a cold, call in a good doctor. Call in three good doctors and play bridge."
There will be opportunities dancing all around in the year ahead. Get in step with the music and in tune with the times, because advancements in the months ahead can take you much further than you ever thought.
The bidding in a British bridge book will usually follow the Acol system. (The "a" is pronounced as in "actor," not as in "acorn.") Julian Pottage's "Golden Rules for Rubber Bridge Players" (Cassell) is no exception.
DEAR ABBY: I love dogs, but they're ruining my marriage. "Ivan" and I have been together 12 years, married for five. Six years ago, he had to put his aged, sickly pointer, "Sergeant," to sleep.