Clues about the biological mechanisms that contribute to a person’s chance of contemplating or attempting suicide
“NOTE: The findings shown in this graphic come from studies with very different approaches to investigating suicide. Some studies control for psychiatric disorders, others don’t; different studies focus on different brain areas; and many of the findings are preliminary.” © LISA CLARK
by Catherine Offord
“Scientists have identified several key neurobiological pathways with ties to suicidal behaviors. Research in the field addresses only a fraction of the complexity of this serious public health problem, and the literature on the topic is complicated by variation in study design, but the clues point to several interacting moderators of suicide risk. Three of the systems best-studied in relation to suicide are:”
Click here to read this article at The Scientist in its entirety.
“Op-Ed: Think you want to die at home? You might want to think twice about that” – The Los Angeles Times
by Nathan Gray
“Gray is an assistant professor of medicine and palliative care at Duke University School of Medicine and an artist who draws comics on medical topics.” And this is an interesting way to get information on the subject of end of life care.
The possible explanations could help us better understand the condition.
by Shayla Love
“It was something Tom Pollak had heard whispers about—an odd factoid, referred to now and again, usually with bewilderment: No person who was born blind has ever been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
“Over the past 60-some years, scientists around the world have been writing about this mystery. They’ve analyzed past studies, combed the wards of psychiatric hospitals, and looked through agencies that treat blind people, trying to find a case.
“As time goes on, larger data sets have emerged: In 2018, a study led by a researcher named Vera Morgan at the University of Western Australia looked at nearly half a million children born between 1980 and 2001 and strengthened this negative association. Pollak, a psychiatrist and researcher at King’s College London, remembered checking in the mental health facility where he works after learning about it; he too was unable to find a single patient with congenital blindness who had schizophrenia.”
Click here to continue reading this fascinating article at Vice.com.
Following release of the federal poverty guidelines, we have updated our chart showing the income and asset levels needed to qualify for Part D Extra Help in 2020. (Note: Social Security has not updated its manuals yet with the new income thresholds.)
by Neil Prose and Ray Barfield
“Malcolm cleans patient rooms and offices in the large medical center where we both work as pediatric doctors.
“After finishing our respective rounds one afternoon, we noticed that Malcolm was deep in conversation with the parents of one of our very sick patients. We met him later in the hall, and the three of us began to talk. After Malcolm told us a bit about the concerns of our patient’s family, he mentioned the ways he often supports and cares for the children being treated on our ward.
“‘I don’t call myself a housekeeper,’ said Malcolm, who has been with the hospital for 10 years. ‘I am the keeper of the house.’”
Keep reading this article at STAT, CLICK HERE.
by Brent Sugimoto, M.D., M.P.H., A.A.H.I.V.S.,
“Quick quiz: Which of the following is not associated with exposure to adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACEs?
A) Heart disease
C) Chronic lung disease
E) Parkinson’s disease
“The answer: All of the above conditions have been closely associated with ACEs except Parkinson’s disease, but a recent study suggests that even Parkinson’s disease (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) may be mediated by exposure to ACEs.
“We know that childhood trauma is a devastating experience that can impact mental health; we are also increasingly learning of its insidious effects on the body.”
Governor Tom Wolf introduced an online form for Pennsylvanians to provide feedback on mental health barriers, services and how the state can better support people’s mental health needs. The creation of the form is on the heels of the governor’s Jan. 2 announcement of Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters initiative to reduce stigma and increase access to mental health and well-being services and supports.
“Having a way for all voices to be heard is critical to our goal of increasing access to mental health services, breaking down barriers, and detailing the ways we can meet the mental health needs of all,” Gov. Wolf said. “I encourage every Pennsylvanian to reach out via this online form to let us know their thoughts and suggestions.”
Of note is the first message on the form, which advises site visitors, “If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text PA to 741741.”
“It’s critical that people in crisis have a way to get immediate help, which is why we included the suicide prevention lifeline first,” Gov. Wolf said. “Our form is intended for feedback and suggestions for the commonwealth as we move forward with breaking down barriers, improving services and reducing mental health stigmas.”
The commonwealth will not share any identifying information without permission of those who submit information. Comments and suggestions will be compiled and reviewed to determine next steps in program and service development or redesign, as well to convey pertinent information to state agencies involved in the initiative. Forms may be submitted anonymously.
“You can help improve the state of mental health in Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said. “Completing this form and sharing your thoughts and ideas is another step in the right direction to make mental health a priority for all.”
The online form is available now.
“For patients with life-altering illnesses or anyone just getting older, it helps to roll with the punches and make the best of the here and now.”
by Jane E. Brody
“Just when I needed it most, I learned a valuable life lesson from Lynda Wolters, who has a cancer that is currently incurable, diagnosed just after her 49th birthday. As an Idaho farm girl used to hard work, Ms. Wolters led a healthy life, enjoying ballroom dancing, horseback riding, rafting and hiking when not at work at a law firm. Then, as she wrote in her recently published book, ‘Voices of Cancer’:
“Everything changes with cancer — everything. Life will never be the same again, even on the smallest of levels, something will be forever different. There is no going back to who you once were, so embrace it and grow from it and with it. Find the new you in your new space and make it wonderful.”
“I’ve long been a stubbornly independent do-it-yourself person who rails against any infirmity that gets in the way of my usual activities. For jobs I think I should be able to do myself, I typically resist asking for help.”
“RISE OF THE DANCEFLUENCER | These L.A. dancers show how the internet is helping nontraditional talent break into the industry” – The Los Angeles Times
“These L.A. dancers show how the internet is helping nontraditional talent break into the industry”
“Amanda LaCount got the type of Instagram message most dancers could only dream of: an invitation to audition for a secret project with Parris Goebel, a choreographer for Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj. Although the 18-year-old LaCount didn’t know many details, she knew it had to be big.
Only after auditioning in L.A. and booking the job did she learn that she would be performing for pop goddess and fashion mogul Rihanna.
“For growing numbers of people the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent. What can be done to break this toxic cycle?”
“I wake up on a Saturday and feel down. It’s a struggle to pull myself out of bed if I have nothing planned.” – Illustration: Monika Jurczyk/The Guardian
by Paula Cocozza
“On Saturday morning, Peter got up and went to the supermarket. He carried his shopping home, and took care of his laundry and ironing. In the afternoon, he browsed a few record stores and later he cooked himself dinner; always something adventurous on a Saturday night. Afterwards, he hit Netflix. And in all those hours, in common with many of Peter’s Saturdays, not to mention his Sundays, he had no meaningful interaction with another human being. ‘The only person I spoke to,’ he says, ‘was the lady who came over to verify my bottles of beer at the supermarket self-checkout.’
“During the week, Peter, 62, is too busy to be lonely. His commute from Brighton to London means that his working life is ‘a tunnel’ he enters on a Monday and from which no daylight is glimpsed until Friday. But just when Peter re-emerges, he is stymied by an overwhelming sense of loneliness. Instead of providing respite from the stress of office life, a chance to reconnect with family and friends, the weekend looms as a vast emotional and social wilderness that must be traversed before work takes hold again.
“Peter dreads the weekend.”