In recent posts, we’ve explored some of the research breakthroughs for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Although scientists have yet to find a cure for this type of mental disability, new discoveries are being made all the time. The most recent discovery sounds more like urban legend, rather than science.
Anxiety disorders are usually diagnosed as mental disorders or illness, but that’s not to suggest that the symptoms experienced by many patients are not physiological. In many cases, the individual may be experiencing over activity or other problems with his or her limbic system and HPA axis, or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
A University of Georgia student recently recounted her frustration at scheduling sessions with her local on-campus counselor. According to the student, the counselor's schedule was always full.
If Hollywood screenwriters are right, the efforts of American veterans readjusting to civilian life make for compelling drama. The subject is certainly a perennial topic in movies and television. Yet Georgia readers might be surprised to learn that the real-life struggles faced by veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts may be even more difficult than those cinematic portrayals.
Masters tournament winner and golf pro Bubba Watson recently described experiencing panic attacks -- a common symptom of several types of anxiety disorders -- as feeling like his heart was going to burst out of his chest. The disclosure, made in a recent interview, is the latest in a series of public announcements by professional athletes admitting to suffering from various anxiety disorders, including fellow golfer and PGA winner Charlie Beljan.
Courts in Georgia are demonstrating a commitment to those with mental health problems or disorders in the state's criminal justice system. Currently about 20 courts are dedicated to such defendants. Called accountability courts, the tribunals may include juvenile or adult felony courts, adult misdemeanor courts, or even hybrid courts that handle both felony drug and mental health defendants. Several counties are also starting new mental health courts.
Employees at the Atlanta VA Medical Center report that many returning veterans suffer from anxiety disorders. Perhaps the most well known example is post traumatic stress disorder, although there are a range of conditions which may produce anxiety-related symptoms.
A Georgia doctor is prescribing medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- which can include stimulants such as Adderall -- to healthy children in order to boost their academic performance. Although there is not enough information on the long-term side effects of that practice, some fear that the kids may suffer consequences such as growth suppression, high blood pressure, or even addiction as they grow into adults.
Atlanta readers may be interested to know that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was recently treated for bipolar disorder. His doctors report that he is responding well to his treatment plan. Jackson has been on medical leave from Congress since June.
Georgia residents may be unaware that the Social Security Administration maintains a list of illnesses and disabilities that qualify for an immediate review when a person applies for Social Security disability benefits. The number of compassionate allowances for those in need of SSDI benefits has recently been increased by 52, raising the total number of disabilities on the list to 165.