Hospitals frighten many patients but they can be especially confusing and traumatic for people with dementia. According to a story for the Boston Globe by Felice J. Freyer, hospitals in Massachusetts are making an effort to better accommodate patients with memory loss. Freyer reports that the loud, high-tech hospital environment is disorienting to patients with “fragile minds,” and staff frequently rely on sedatives to calm confused patients. Freyer interviewed family caregivers, Alzheimer’s advocacy groups and hospital executives to learn more about the problem and how hospitals are making improvements.
Danielle was almost 7 years old when detectives removed her from a filthy house in Plant City, Florida. She was so malnourished and neglected that doctors predicted she would be disabled for the rest of her life. The Tampa Bay Times’s Lane DeGregory won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for her profile of Dani and her adoptive family. Yesterday, Nov 29, DeGregoy published a fascinating update about Dani’s condition. Check out DeGregory’s latest report by clicking HERE, and to read the original award-winning story click HERE.
Navy veteran Scott Beaty hosts an art workshop every Friday night and Saturday morning at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri. Many of the veterans who attend experience symptoms of PTSD and appreciate the opportunity to express their feelings in a creative medium. The class is sponsored by Vision for Vets and the coordinators are hoping to expand to more locations. “Everybody here has some kind of disability, but we don’t give a damn,” Beaty said. “It doesn’t matter. We’re family. We’re all in this together. We help each other with our issues.”
Check out this article in the local Illinois paper Belleville News-Democrat to learn more.
Last Friday the student newspaper Iowa State Daily featured an excellent profile of two college women who share the same invisible disability – postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Laura Wiederholt had been living with the condition for several years and recognized the symptoms described by her friend Taylor Schumacher. With Wiederholt’s encouragement, Schumacher received an official diagnosis and was able to adapt her lifestyle to her new condition. Apparently POTS is more common than people realize but it is underdiagnosed due to symptoms like fatigue and nausea that resemble other illnesses. Check out the article here to learn more about POTS and the students adapting to it.
In this recent article from the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire, reporter Annmarie Timmins provides a deeply personal, detailed perspective on her experience as a person with mental illness. After struggling with whether or not to include her story in the newspaper’s series on mental illness, called “In Crisis,” Timmins has received a great deal of positive feedback. Timmins describes her childhood and the beginnings of her depression, along with the difficulties of psychiatric care (finding and keeping mental health counselors in the state for an extended period of time) and the invaluable support she received from her husband.
The first-person account is part of a larger series at the newspaper called “In Crisis,” which explains the need for a reform of New Hampshire’s mental healthcare system through stories of various people in the state. The home page for this series can be found here.
The Associated Press recently announced that it is adding an entry to its stylebook to help journalists cover the topic of mental illness in a fair and appropriate manner. Some of their recommendations include being specific when including information about a diagnosis by using the name of the disorder and proper sourcing.
Another aspect of the new entry has ties to the Newtown school shooting in December, 2012. AP cautions not to “assume that mental illness is a factor in a violent crime,” and advises reporters to use more neutral language when describing a condition, such as “has obsessive-compulsive disorder” rather than “suffers from” or similar terms.
The complete AP entry, which will be included in the upcoming Spring edition, can be found at the link above. The National Association of Broadcasters also released a statement on the new addition, which is linked to here.
The senior citizen in Deerfield Beach’s Century Village is so incensed over her condo’s refusal to honor her doctor’s “prescription’’ that she live with her dog, Sweetie, for emotional support, and the retaliation she says she suffered over her request, she’s made a federal case out of it, literally. Broward County government has taken her cause to the courthouse, and the public is paying for it.
More than half of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans treated in Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals since 2002 have been diagnosed, at least preliminarily, with mental health problems, according to statistics obtained by the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense.
During first grade, Eric Pace was called on by his teacher to answer a question. He stuttered and struggled through his answer.