Our nation has recently witnessed another tragedy involving a young adult, with young adult victims. Facts often emerge slowly and it is important not to speculate about diagnoses through the news media; however, it seems clear in this case that mental illness is a factor -- even though few people living with mental illness are violent. To avoid tragedies, solutions are needed.  One area of real promise is early ...

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Mental health patients and their families already pay a hefty price with the stigma of mental illness and the emotional roller coaster they often face dealing with symptoms. But insufficient mental health resources across the United States also means that they must pay a financial price as well in the form of lost productivity, out-of-pocket costs for treatment and sometimes periods of unemployment. A recent USA Today special report estimates that benefits ...

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When my son Ben was 20-years-old, he was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia after five years of chaos and frustration -- what I later came to know had been symptoms of the gradual onset of his illness. At the time, I’d thought he was just having a tough adolescence. I’d thought perhaps he needed more father figures (Ben’s father had deserted the family when Ben and his sister were little, and ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, June 20, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. The Uninsured: 33 Million and Counting. In the last full year before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, more than 33 million Americans had been without health insurance for more than a year, according to CDC survey.
  2. Gross Anatomy: A Real Twisted Heart. It's nothing but heartache for ...

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Mass murders are becoming a depressingly familiar routine in the United States -- we can now expect to experience a media grabbing shooting about once a month. And the frequency can only increase as future cohorts of copycat killers are spawned by the seductive opportunity to temporarily gain the spotlight. Amidst the anguish and heartbreak felt by the victims' families, there are always two haunting questions. What motivates someone to kill ...

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I have been blogging and tweeting about ADHD a lot lately because I believe that change is in the air. This is the worst of times for ADHD diagnosis because statistics show it is wildly overdiagnosed and overtreated. This is possibly the best of times for ADHD diagnosis because I think we have reached the tipping point and feel hopeful that the ADHD fad will soon begin to fade. We humans are ...

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The headline reads, "Study: Mental illness rate higher in soldiers." The article goes on to offer alarming statistics:

The rate of major depression is five times as high among soldiers as civilians; intermittent explosive disorder, which results in episodes of extreme anger, is six times as high; and post-traumatic stress disorder was nearly 15 times higher than among civilians, the study found.
This would be pretty scary if true -- but ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Temporary Fee on Big Business Funds Obamacare. The world of healthcare, like any, is full of haves and have nots.
  2. Grassroots Group Aims to Renew Primary Care. "Change is HERE. The future of primary care has arrived." The motto of Primary Care Progress, a 4-year-old grassroots organization advocating for interprofessional teamwork and a brighter landscape for primary care in the U.S., ...

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Pamela Wible, MD, a family physician who is an expert in physician suicide prevention, recently asked other physicians why so many in the profession kill themselves. The answers were plentiful, tragic and not at all surprising. One physician confessed to having post-traumatic stress disorder after medical school. Another cited constant sleep deprivation. Yet another mentioned the combination of a crushing workload, a difficult boss and payers who are more worried about ...

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I received a panic call from Jim, who had been a patient for over ten years.  His 5-year-old daughter had passed out.  Amanda was rushed to the ICU for new onset diabetes.  After stabilization, she was transferred by helicopter to a university hospital for an insulin pump insertion.  He knew that her life, his life, would never be the same. Two weeks later, I received another call from Jim.  This time, ...

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