Health

What Is Sadness, and What Is Depression?

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I stood onstage as an audience of over a thousand people applauded and cheered. My hosts placed an award in my hands. I nodded to the crowd, and they all rose to their feet. Hooray for you, the strangers shouted. Hooray! Jennifer Finney Boylan The New York Times Less than a week later, I sat up in bed in my house in Maine. A voice said: “You’re nothing. You’re a joke. They’d never have given you that award if they ... Read More »

When possessions are poor substitutes for people: hoarding disorder and loneliness

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A decomposed, mummified body of a man was recently found by forensic cleaners in a Sydney apartment. Authors: The Conversation The apartment’s owner is thought to have suffered from hoarding disorder, and police believe the decomposed body had been there for more than ten… We occasionally read stories involving people with hoarding disorder – people whose possessions pose a serious burden. Clutter might prevent them from sitting on their sofa, taking a shower, cooking a meal, or sleeping in their… ... Read More »

The Insatiable and Unknowable Anthony Bourdain

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Anthony Bourdain devoured the world. That’s not hyperbole. It’s not even metaphor. Frank Bruni The New York Times There was no place that he wasn’t curious to explore, no food that he wasn’t determined to try, no cap on his hunger and no ceiling, or so it always seemed, on his joy. In his writing and especially on his TV shows, most recently CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” he exhorted the rest of us to follow his lead and open our eyes ... Read More »

How we talk about Kate Spade could help others survive

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I was sitting at my desk when a push notification came on my phone about Kate Spade’s suicide, and I felt a rush of vertigo, as if the room had tipped sideways. Gayle Brandeis CNN I had to clutch the arms of my desk chair to steady myself, had to take a few deep breaths. My mother took her own life in 2009, and whenever I hear news of a suicide, it both reopens that grief and sends my heart ... Read More »

Why long-term separation from parents harms kids

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As a society, we often wax eloquent about how important it is to nurture, support and protect our children. David Rosenberg The Conversation The sad reality, however, is that all too often major, life-changing decisions are made without any consideration of their potential lifelong and devastating impact on kids. Case in point: children separated from their parents at borders as new immigration policies are debated. Separation from parents for even short periods can cause anxiety disorders that can last a ... Read More »

The desperate global need for medical diagnostics

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Prince, a three-year-old boy, is brought to the emergency room in Monrovia, Liberia, with fever and a decreased level of consciousness. He is critically ill. He is treated for malaria. Authors The Conversation Time is the only way to tell if this was the right treatment choice — but time may not be on his side. An astute nurse asks a visiting doctor if she can borrow a blood glucose monitor and nails the diagnosis: Type 1 diabetes, requiring urgent ... Read More »

Syrian refugees in America: The forgotten psychological wounds of the stress of migration

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War in Syria and the refugee crisis have been the subject of a heated debate in United States politics, leading to a travel ban and drastic reduction in the number refugees to the U.S. this year. Arash Javanbakht The Conversation We occasionally hear about brutal deaths and starvation of civilians in Syria from the news, as a far concept happening in another world. This is a group of people who may justifiably feel betrayed by the world. But what do ... Read More »

The art of healing: five medicinal plants used by Aboriginal Australians

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People have lived in Australia for at least 65,000 years. In all those generations the land provided original Australians with everything they needed for a healthy life. Beth Gott The Conversation At least half the food eaten by the first Australians came from plants, and it was the task of women to collect them. Fruits, seeds and greens were seasonal, but roots could usually be dug up all year round, because the earth acted as a natural storage cupboard. The ... Read More »

Northern Ireland abortion debate LIVE: ‘We don’t protect women by criminalising them’, MP Stella Creasy says

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MPs from all sides call for legal reform to give women right to choose Benjamin Kentish anf Peter Stubley Independent MPs are debating lifting the Northern Ireland abortion ban after Labour backbencher Stella Creasy was granted permission for an emergency debate. The motion relates to repealing the Offences Against the People Act, which initially outlawed abortion. It follows the Republic of Ireland’s referendum on abortion, which saw 66 per cent of voters back lifting the ban in that country. The three-hour debate could culminate ... Read More »

It’s not just the young who have a drink problem

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I consume 100 times more alcohol than my dad did. Now I’ve learned that harmful drinking affects older people most, I feel I need to do better Ian Jack The Guardian Recently I calculated that every year I drink about 100 times as much alcohol as my father did, and at least 200 times as much as my mother. The annual total in dad’s case came at most to a dozen small bottles of beer plus a whisky at New ... Read More »

Defence lawyer calls Puneet Puneet’s hit-and-run ‘just an accident’

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“Just an accident”, is how the defence lawyer for hit-and-run driver Puneet Puneet described the death of Queensland student Dean Hofstee, aged 19, in 2008 when Puneet smashed into him after drinking and driving at high speed in Melbourne. Amrit Dhillon The Age Speaking in a Delhi court hearing the Puneet extradition case, Kanhaiya Kumar Singhal said Puneet’s crime was “not heinous in nature”. He went on: “Yes a life was taken but it was not intentional. Accidents happen. It’s ... Read More »

Catholic Church signs up for national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse

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Victims of institutional child sexual abuse are one step closer to receiving compensation, after the Catholic Church announced it would sign up to the national redress scheme. By political reporter Jane Norman and staff ABC In a major step forward, the Church has confirmed it will enter the national scheme, despite its earlier misgivings, becoming the first non-government institution to opt in. The church’s governing bodies, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia, wrote to the Government ... Read More »

Having an abortion does not lead to depression

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A study of nearly 400,000 women is the first to explore the risk of antidepressant use around an abortion as a proxy for depression University of Maryland EurekAlert! Having an abortion does not increase a woman’s risk for depression, according to a new study of nearly 400,000 women published today in JAMA Psychiatry. While previous research has found abortion does not harm women’s mental health, studies claiming that it does continue to be published and state policies that restrict access ... Read More »

How your religion changes your views on the right to die

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Rank-and-file Christians are at odds with religious leaders on euthanasia, with some denominations more supportive of voluntary assisted dying than others. Katie Burgess The Canberra Times As an ACT parliamentary inquiry into the end-of-life choices available to Canberrans continues, a survey of 1004 people has revealed how nearly half (48 per cent) of people with religious beliefs supported assisted dying laws. This is despite a hardline stance from some religious orders against legalising the practice. One of the report’s authors, Anthony ... Read More »

How much exercise keeps our brains healthy as we age?

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New guidelines outline how much physical exercise older Australians concerned about their memory should be aiming for each week, to help maintain brain health By Professor Nicola Lautenschlager, University of Melbourne Staying physically active later in life, by doing around an hour and half of moderate aerobic exercise and a couple of strength training sessions per week, can help keep your brain healthy. Research has shown that exercise can improve cognitive function in people who are concerned about their memory ... Read More »

Infant mortality rates higher in areas with more Christian fundamentalists, study finds

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The odds of an infant dying before their first birthday are higher in counties with greater proportions of conservative Protestants, especially fundamentalists, than in counties with more mainline Protestants and… Portland State University EurekAlert! The study, published online in May in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, supports the idea that the more insular, anti-institutional culture of fundamentalists can lead to poorer health outcomes. Ginny Garcia-Alexander, a sociology professor in PSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and ... Read More »