Insomnia: The Multibillion-Dollar Problem Sapping World Productivity

From RAND: Complete Post through this link…

Hallie Levine learned a hard truth on those bleary mornings when she dragged herself to work after a night of insomnia: “Caffeine is temporary.”

Nearly a quarter of all adults in the United States have experienced the tossing-turning frustration of clinical insomnia symptoms. Levine, a freelance writer in Connecticut, describes her existence on the days that follow as “death on wheels.” Yet from the doctor’s office to the corner office, good sleep is often overlooked as a key part of well-being.

We pay for that. Researchers at RAND and RAND Europe estimate that chronic insomnia pulls down the U.S. economy by more than $200 billion every year. Other major economies also forgo tens of billions of dollars in lost productivity. The condition is so debilitating, researchers found, that sufferers would pay 14 percent of their income to get better sleep.

“We encourage this as a society,” said Levine, who documented her life with insomnia in a 2017 article for Prevention magazine. “Someone is always emailing, and then you respond and you get sucked down the rabbit hole, and then it’s 11 o’clock at night. We normalize it. There’s this idea that it’s good to be sleep-deprived, that you’re up and you’re busy.”

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the world. It blurs thinking, dulls concentration, and drives up the risk of workplace accidents. Some evidence suggests its prevalence has been on the rise since COVID scrambled routines and gave people something new to worry about at 2 a.m. One 2021 Canadian study found a fourfold increase in new case rates of insomnia during the early months of the pandemic.

Scientists Unveil Cheaper and More Effective Depression Treatment

From University of Exeter: Complete Post through this link…

A promising new therapy for depression has demonstrated initial results that suggest it may be both more effective and cost-efficient than the current gold standard, CBT.

A promising new therapeutic approach for depression appears to be more cost-effective and potentially more effective than the existing gold standard of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

A pilot trial conducted by the University of Exeter and supported by the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) revealed that Augmented Depression Therapy (ADepT) might represent a major leap forward in treating depression. The findings were recently published in the journal EClinical Medicine.

A core feature of depression is anhedonia (reduced interest or pleasure) and well-being deficits, but current depression psychotherapies like CBT fail to adequately target these components. ADepT has been developed to pay just as much attention to building well-being as it does to reducing depressive symptoms.

Fentanyl-laced stimulants driving ‘fourth wave’ in overdose deaths

By Lois M. Collins: Complete Post through this link…

Meth and cocaine among growing number of substances laced with the synthetic opioid.

A “fourth wave” of overdose deaths in the U.S. has been largely driven by mixing stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine with fentanyl, creating a 50-fold increase in related deaths since 2010.

That finding in a study just published in the journal Addiction shows the public health challenge and deadly risk posed as first opioids and now stimulants are increasingly laced with the illicitly made synthetic opioid fentanyl, according to researchers from the University of California Los Angeles.

The number of overdose deaths in the U.S. crossed the 100,000 mark for the first time in 2021. That’s a terrible “first” that three-fourths of the time included the synthetic opioid. Now “polysubstance overdoses” that also involve fentanyl dominate.

New Blood Test For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Has 91% Accuracy

ByCLARE WATSON: Complete Post through this link…

It can take years for people living with chronic fatigue syndrome to receive a formal diagnosis, and they are a favored few. Experts suggest up to 91 percent of people in the US remain undiagnosed, living without medical support for a condition that robs them of energy, brain-power, and a care-free life.

But those statistics could in time improve, if a newly developed diagnostic test stands up to scrutiny.

A team of scientists led by the University of Oxford has just published their preliminary results of a blood cell-based test that can distinguish between unaffected individuals and those with chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS) with 91 percent accuracy.

Fentanyl plus stimulants drives ‘fourth wave’ of overdose epidemic in the U.S.

By Kaitlin Sullivan: Complete Post through this link…

The U.S. is in the throes of what researchers have deemed a “fourth wave” of the opioid crisis, a phase characterized by overdose deaths caused by the combination of stimulants and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Overdose deaths in the U.S. surpassed 100,000 for the first time in 2021, fueled by the rise of synthetic opioids, which accounted for 75% of those deaths. Once propelled by prescription opioids and then heroin, the decadeslong crisis was overwhelmed by synthetic opioids in the mid-2010s. 

Now it has taken on a new challenge: so-called polysubstance overdoses, which include more than one drug. 

The proportion of overdoses involving fentanyl and a stimulant — most commonly cocaine and methamphetamine — increased more than fiftyfold from 2010 to 2021, a study published Thursday in the journal Addiction found.

“The roots really did start with overprescribing prescription opioids, but now it is really characterized by stimulants and fentanyl,” said Chelsea Shover, an assistant professor-in-residence at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, who co-authored the study.

Most States Have Yet to Permanently Fund 988

BY CHRISTINA SAINT LOUIS: Complete Post through this link…

 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned a year ago to the three-digit crisis phone number 988, there has been a 33 percent increase in the number of calls, chats, and texts to the hotline.

But even with that early sign of success, the program’s financial future is shaky.

Over the past two years, the federal government has provided about $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Safer Communities acts to launch the number, designed as an alternative to 911 for those experiencing a mental health crisis. After that infusion runs out, it’s up to states to foot the bill for their call centers.

5 Schizophrenia Coping Skills I Couldn’t Live Without

By Ashley Nestler : Complete Post through this link…

Schizoaffective disorder — a disorder that is a combination of schizophrenia and, in my case, major depressive disorder (MDD) — is a big part of my life. I often find that my symptoms dictate what I am able to do and what I am not able to do in my daily life. Fortunately, I do have certain coping mechanisms that make the days easier and allow me to find some reprieve from my illness. My hope is that if you struggle with schizophrenia yourself, the following coping mechanisms might give you some absolution from your illness as well.

1. Cuddling With My Emotional Support Animal, Fat Louie the Cat…

2. Putty…

3. Warming Pad…

4. A Cold Bowl of Water…

5. Television and Music…

How to defuse catastrophic thoughts

by Lucia Tecuta: Complete Post through this link…

Do you often fear the worst is going to happen? Use these therapeutic techniques to think more rationally and calmly.

You are getting into your car one morning, about to embark on a long drive, and you hear on the radio that there’s heavy traffic along your route. Suddenly, you’re preoccupied by the thought that you are going to get into a terrible car crash.

At work, you’re about to give a presentation to your colleagues. As they quiet down and you prepare to speak, thoughts about how you’re likely to go completely blank, fumble or stutter – and how awful that would feel – start to bubble up in your head.

After a week in which your significant other has been keeping to themselves more than usual, paying you little attention, you start to think: Is there something wrong with our relationship? Our relationship must be ending… This is a disaster… In this situation, as in the others, the negative thoughts might be accompanied by physical sensations such as sweating, a racing heartbeat, feeling light-headed and dizzy, or feeling a pit in the stomach.What do these scenarios have in common? They all illustrate a widespread way of thinking that we can call ‘thinking the worst’. These are just a few possible examples; there are countless other situations in which this sort of thinking could appear. Can you recognise it in some of your own, real-life experiences?

We all engage in thinking the worst now and then, especially when going through a particularly stressful time.

In more technical terms, this kind of thinking involves what the psychologist Albert Ellis and later the psychiatrist Aaron Beck called catastrophising: that is, imagining the worst-case scenario, jumping to the conclusion that the most catastrophic outcome is surely the one that is most likely to happen or is already happening. A closely related term, awfulising, is commonly used by therapists who practise Ellis’s rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT). While catastrophising refers to unrealistically assuming the worst-case scenario, awfulising refers to believing that a possible negative event is absolutely awful or terrible.

CSHCS Expanding Eligibility to Age 26 Frequently Asked Questions

From MDHHS: Complete Post through this link…

Q: When will the eligibility expansion go into effect?

A: Eligibility expansion is approved to begin October 1, 2023. However, we anticipate that it will take up to six months to make the necessary computer system updates for this expansion. Whenever possible, CSHCS enrollment will be backdated to 10/01/2023 for anyone determined to be eligible as of 10/01/2023.

2. Q: Will eligibility for all conditions be expanded to age 26?

A: Yes, eligibility for all CSHCS covered conditions will be expanded to age 26.

3. Q: Will CSHCS benefits such as Transportation/Lodging assistance and Insurance Premium Payment be available for clients up to age 26?

A: Yes, these benefits are available for clients up to age 26 meeting the eligibility criteria for these benefits. Not all CSHCS clients are eligible for these benefits.

4. Q: Will members who aged out at 21 prior to October 1, 2023, be reenrolled?

A: Clients that have a current medical report on file, and have not reached their financial review date, will be automatically re-enrolled. Coverage will begin 10/01/2023. Clients that do not have a current medical report on file and are beyond their financial review date, will need to submit additional documentation and will not be automatically re-enrolled.

And more…

‘Silent killer’ sepsis is linked to one in THREE deaths in US hospitals

By EMILY JOSHU: Complete Post through this link…

A new program will help address the growing threat of sepsis, a life-threatening infection that causes one in three hospital deaths in the US, health officials announced Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have launched a new effort dubbed the Hospital Sepsis Program Core Elements, meant to prevent sepsis and sepsis deaths by providing hospitals with teams and resources.

Dr Mandy Cohen, director of the CDC, said: ‘Sepsis is taking too many lives.’

‘Rapid diagnosis and immediate appropriate treatment, including antibiotics, are essential to saving lives, yet the challenges of awareness about and recognition of sepsis are enormous.’

Sepsis is a medical emergency health experts call a ‘silent killer.’ It’s caused by the body’s extreme reaction to an infection. Sepsis occurs when chemicals released in the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the body. This triggers a chain reaction, causing organs to fail. Infections that lead to sepsis most commonly start in the lungs, urinary tract, skin, or gastrointestinal tract, but almost any infection can lead to sepsis. The complication has been linked to one in three hospital deaths, according to the CDC.  Symptoms can closely resemble the flu and include a very high or low body temperature, sweating, extreme pain, clammy skin, dizziness, nausea, high heart rate, slurred speech, and confusion.

Sepsis can progress to septic shock, which is characterized by a severe drop in blood pressure. Signs of septic shock, according to the Mayo Clinic, include not being able to stand up, extreme fatigue or not being able to stay awake, and a major change in mental status. The CDC recommends seeking help immediately if you have signs of sepsis. If left untreated, sepsis and septic shock are fatal.