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WISE WEDNESDAY: “Bigotry complicates everything”: a psychologist on how prejudice harms Muslim patie



Prejudice is bad for our health. Discrimination is a source of chronic stress that keeps us from sleeping well, it weakens our immune systems, and raises our blood pressure. Equally important is its impact on mental health.

And Ben Herzig, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating Muslim patients in the Boston area, sees it all the time.

“I have not had anyone come into my office strictly because their chief complaint was Islamophobia,” says Herzig. “But bigotry complicates everything.”

These days, bigotry is bountiful. In the months since Donald Trump was elected president, it’s become shockingly commonplace for Americans to blatantly dehumanize Muslims and Mexican immigrants — and then use violence against them. Hate crimes against Muslims in the US are at their highest levels since 2001. President Trump may have revised his executive order on immigration, but it still singles out those from Muslim-majority countries...

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