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Maryland ERs flooded with patients of mental health and addiction problems

April 19, 2018 Mental Health

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Maryland ERs flooded with patients of mental health and addiction problems Maryland continues to suffer from lack of treatment facilities for patients of mental problems and substance abuse, resulting in longer wait times of such patients outside emergency rooms (ER), and delayed recovery. The ER staff is responsible for stabilizing such patients before handing them off to community-based treatment. What adds to the patients’ woes is lack of care in ERs along with the chaos of regular ER patients. However, when these patients do get attention for their medical needs, some of them refuse referrals for long-term behavioral health treatment while others simply leave in frustration. The issue was brought to…

Effective enforcing of IDEA vital for helping children with mental health impairments

March 26, 2018 Mental Health

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Effective enforcing of IDEA vital for helping children with mental health impairments Children with disabilities –including physical disabilities, psychiatric disorders, emotional and behavioral problems, and learning disabilities – are eligible to receive additional academic accommodations. One of the three United States federal laws governing special education needs of children with disabilities is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Key requirements of IDEA stipulate that American states and local school districts must offer “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to children aged 3-21 with disabilities, and provide an individualized education program (IEP) to eligible children in the “least restrictive” environment. Instances of recent mass shootings have reignited the debate on the effectiveness of…

Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net accused of violating False Claims Act

March 20, 2018 Mental Health

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Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net accused of violating False Claims Act Big players in America’s health insurance industry are not strangers to lawsuits and penalties for a wide range of reasons. In recent years, several insurance companies have been under siege for withholding payments to drug rehab centers for months under the pretext of investigating fraudulent claims. Now, a former medical data contractor worker has accused several insurers, including Health Net and Anthem Blue Cross, of violating the False Claims Act (FCA), according to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. According to Anita Silingo, a former employee of MedXM, these insurers submitted inflated data on health assessment…

Unable to bear her son’s frequent outbursts, Parkland shooter’s late mother considered relinquishing parental rights

Getting hit with the plastic hose of a vacuum cleaner. Losing three teeth due to a punch in the jaw. Witnessing fur Getting hit with the plastic hose of a vacuum cleaner. Losing three teeth due to a punch in the jaw. Witnessing furniture and utensils being flung across the room. Tolerating abusive language and being threatened by a gun. Lynda Cruz, the now-deceased adoptive mother of Parkland, Florida high school shooter Nikolas Cruz, endured her son’s violent outbursts and erratic behavior for several years. An unnamed family source recently disclosed that Lynda found herself torn between the love for her sons (Nikolas and his adoptive brother Zachary) and the inability to tolerate their behavior. Lynda, who passed away Nov. 1, 2017…

OCD self-treatment app to launch new Android version with more features

OCD self-treatment app to launch new Android version with more features The makers of nOCD, a free self-treatment app designed to assist individuals struggling with symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), recently reiterated their commitment to launch the Android version of the app in 2018, and add more features to the existing app. The app is currently available only on iOS, the mobile operating system deployed on products offered by Apple. The new development and enhancements are being made possible by the $1 million funding received by nOCD in February 2018. Founder and CEO of nOCD Stephen Smith decided to create the app in 2016 when he found that existing mental…

Visual biases induce misperceptions about body size and shape, suggests study

Visual biases induce misperceptions about body size and shape, suggests study Eating disorders (EDs) are mistakenly considered lifestyle choices, but they are actually serious mental disorders that can turn fatal, if left untreated. No single reason has been identified for the development of EDs; researchers have found that a combination of psychological, biological, hereditary, behavioral and sociocultural factors is responsible for these disorders. A recent research has also found that misperceptions regarding body size and shape are some identified risk factors for the development of two EDs – anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). Although the existence of such a link was established before, its underlying mechanisms were still unclear.…

Novel mechanism of schizophrenia susceptibility gene reveals possible cause of disorder

February 26, 2018 Mental Health

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Novel mechanism of schizophrenia susceptibility gene reveals possible cause of disorder A severe and chronic mental illness, schizophrenia affects about 1 percent of Americans. It interferes with a person’s ability to manage emotions, think clearly, make decisions or relate to others. The diagnosis is not that easy with the average onset age being late teens to early 20s in case of men and late 20s to early 30s for women. In case of teens, it is difficult to detect the symptoms due to a number of social and environmental changes happening that might mask the signs or present them as another mental disorder. So far, scientists have identified a number of…

Titus Young on living with bipolar disorder

January 31, 2018 Mental Health

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Titus Young on living with bipolar disorder “Hearing voices is no joke, it’s actually very scary. I feel like someone is trying to come kill me.” This is an excerpt from the diary of ex-football player Titus Young, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, sent to prison due to “altercations and worrisome behavior”, and was subsequently taken away from the game he has loved all his life. Despite all odds, Young still believes that he could play the National Football League (NFL). Picked by the Detroit Lions in the second round of NFL Draft in 2011, the former NFL and Boise State Wide receiver Young has been…

Mental health problems among girls and young women go beyond social media and body image

Mental health problems among girls and young women go beyond social media and body image Most discussions regarding mental health concerns among girls and young women tend to focus on problematic social media use, body image issues and school-related problems. Although these are common issues affecting the mental health of this section of the population, the risk of other issues cannot be overlooked. Some of the defining moments of 2017 involved the countless stories of sexual abuse/assault and the #MeToo movement. Women who survived incidents of sexual abuse were considered the hidden face of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sexual harassment is not restricted to the workplace or the community/society – increasing instances of sexual…

Pennsylvania lawmaker Justin Simmons reveals long battle with OCD

Pennsylvania lawmaker Justin Simmons reveals long battle with OCD Pennsylvania state Representative Justin Simmons, who dropped out of congressional race in November 2017, recently talked about his struggles with mental illness. Overcoming all hurdles, including stigma associated with mental conditions, Simmons posted a video on his campaign’s Facebook page, talking in detail about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) he has been suffering from since childhood. Simmons confessed that it was not the easiest thing for him to talk about as it was an illness not understood by most people. Simmons, 31, took the bold step, saying that his coming forward would bring awareness about the mental condition and help someone…
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