ICYMI: Schizophrenia Treatment In America And Toddlers With Guns

17 Oct

ICYMI Health features what we’re reading this week.

This week, we read about how society struggles to provide care for mentally ill patients, both in the U.S. and abroad. First we spend time with an investigation by our colleagues at HuffPost Highline, and learned about how early intervention programs can be life-changing treatments for patients with schizophrenia — and why the U.S. isn’t using them.

We were also transfixed by a video from West Africa, where treatments for major mental illnesses are limited. While mentally ill people in the U.S. frequently land in prison, the last stop for people with schizophrenia in one part of West Africa is being chained to a concrete block in a prayer camp. 

Read on and tell us in the comments: What did you read, watch and love this week?

1. Stop The Madness — HuffPost Highline

Early interventions for patients with schizophrenia can reduce expensive hospitalizations and improve patients’ lives. So why are there only a handful of early-intervention treatment centers in the U.S.?

“All we ever saw in the ‘80s was the equivalent of stage 4 schizophrenia,” says Ken Duckworth, a psychiatrist and medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “It would be as if you were an oncologist, and all you saw were people with metastatic breast cancer.”


2. The Scary Way Your Job Could Be Harming Your Health — The Huffington Post

Women working in high-stress fields had a 33 percent higher stroke risk than those in low-stress fields.

If you’ve ever complained that your job is “killing you,” your hyperbole may not be totally off base.


3. Thresholds Of Violence — New Yorker

Sociologists compare school shooting patterns to a different social phenomenon: the way riots catch on.

We misleadingly use the word “copycat” to describe contagious behavior — implying that new participants in an epidemic act in a manner identical to the source of their infection. But rioters are not homogeneous. 


4. How One of America’s Most Overweight Cities Lost a Million Pounds — The Atlantic

When the mayor of Oklahoma City realized that both he and his constituents were overweight, he set out to overhaul everything from the city’s driving culture to people’s fast-food orders. 

Churches began setting up running clubs, schools discussing diet, companies holding contests to lose weight.


5. People Are Getting Shot By Toddlers On A Weekly Basis This Year — Washington Post

Shootings during which a toddler finds a gun and accidentally injures or kills a family member or himself (and it’s usually a him), are shockingly common.

Depending on where you stand on gun policy, you may feel that 13 dead toddlers in 10 months is too many. Or, you might reason that stuff happens, and that this is part of the price we must pay to protect our gun rights.


6. These Foods Might Be The Secret To A Healthy Brain — The Huffington Post

Research shows that consuming probiotics, including fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha, might help improve your mood and repel negative and anxious thoughts. 

Increasing the amount of good bacteria in your gut can actually have a positive effect on the way you feel.  


7. Life, Interrupted: The 100 Day Project — New York Times

Four years after Suleika Jaouad was diagnosed with cancer at age 22, she is embarking on a 100-day road trip to visit people who wrote to her while she was in the hospital.

I have never been on a road trip and after spending so many years relying entirely on caregivers, I’m fixated on the idea of getting in the driver’s seat of my life.


8. The Chains Of Mental Illness In West Africa — New York Times 

In West Africa, where psychiatry is almost non-existent, the only available treatments for people suffering from mental illness are prayer, mental illness camps and, as a last resort, shackles.

People with mental illnesses are the forgotten of the forgotten. They’re treated as if they’ve been possessed by witchcraft. They’re treated like garbage, like human trash in our society.

Also on HuffPost: