Is the Mental Health System Failing Troubled Kids?

(HealthDay News) — In the aftermath of the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children in Newtown, Conn., last Friday, voices around the nation are asking, “How could this have happened?”

At the heart of any answer is the psychological makeup of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter who forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School before gunning down the young students and six adults. Earlier that morning, he shot and killed his mother in the home they shared.

Details of Lanza’s mental health issues are still emerging, but it’s clear he was a troubled child and young adult. As reported by ABC News, typical comments by people who knew Lanza included “weird kid,” “not well” and “hated looking at your eyes.”

Mental health experts stressed that merely noting that a child seems “weird” is not enough to mandate that he or she seek care. Most agree, however, that children and young people with mental health issues across the United States are falling through the cracks of an inadequate system.

via Is the Mental Health System Failing Troubled Kids?.

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Mental Illness Affects Women, Men Differently, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) — Certain types of mental illnesses affect either men or women more often, a new study indicates.

Men are more likely to be diagnosed with substance abuse or antisocial disorders while women are more likely to develop anxiety or depression, according to the researchers.

These findings show the need for gender-specific prevention and treatment efforts, said the study authors, who analyzed data collected in 2001 and 2002 from 43,000 people who took part in a U.S. National Institutes of Health survey.

via Mental Illness Affects Women, Men Differently, Study Finds.

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Expert on Mental Illness Reveals Her Own Struggle – NYTimes.com

Are you one of us?

The patient wanted to know, and her therapist — Marsha M. Linehan of the University of Washington, creator of a treatment used worldwide for severely suicidal people — had a ready answer. It was the one she always used to cut the question short, whether a patient asked it hopefully, accusingly or knowingly, having glimpsed the macramé of faded burns, cuts and welts on Dr. Linehan’s arms:

“You mean, have I suffered?”

“No, Marsha,” the patient replied, in an encounter last spring. “I mean one of us. Like us. Because if you were, it would give all of us so much hope.”

via Expert on Mental Illness Reveals Her Own Struggle – NYTimes.com.

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For Many, Stigma of Mental Illness Lingers

(HealthDay News) — Persistent efforts to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness haven’t succeeded as well as hoped, suggesting that new strategies might be necessary.

For decades, a number of organizations have been trying to persuade the public that mental illnesses such as depression, alcohol dependence and schizophrenia are neurobiological disorders, not just people behaving badly, hoping that harsh judgments would subside.

Even drug ads unintentionally bolstered the view of the mentally ill as having “lifelong” or permanent problems, with their emphasis on science-focused explanations of the brain mechanisms behind some mental illness, claims a study appearing in the November issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry

via HealthDay Articles.

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Mental Illness Hit 1 in 5 U.S. Adults in Past Year

(HealthDay News) — A new survey finds that 20 percent of U.S. adults — over 45 million people — experienced mental illness in the past year.

Overall, 4.8 percent (11 million people) suffered serious mental illness, 8.4 million people had serious thoughts of suicide, 2.2 million made suicide plans, and one million attempted suicide, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

via HealthDay Articles.

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