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February 8th, 2011
05:36 PM ET

Should I force my teen to get help after trauma?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Aurora Benson of St. Louis, Missouri:

My 17-year-old son, Will, lost his best friend two weeks ago; his friend killed himself in a very, very unexpected suicide. His friend was on the phone with my son, and evidently the friend told my son that he was going to kill myself. My son tried to stop him, but the kid shot himself. My son heard it all. My son is showing signs of PTSD along with depression - nightmares, anger and irritability - and he's had at least two panic attacks. I know he needs help that I can't provide, but he adamantly refuses. What can I do? Should I force him to see a psychologist?

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February 8th, 2011
05:13 PM ET

'I know I'm capable of better,' says new triathlete

In the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge , six selected viewers will  participate in a six-month training program. Each will receive all the gear, training and nutritional support necessary to complete the race and will compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta on August 7 in the Nautica New York City Triathlon.

Processed, sodium-filled, fatty foods and pop. That's what Anastasia Cirricione remembers about her nutrition growing up.

"I'm just a Midwestern girl that was raised on sugar and fried foods and pop," she said. "I came from a low-income family of six."

As a kid, she never participated in sports, partly because she was unfit, she says, but also because she was self-conscious and shy.

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February 8th, 2011
05:10 PM ET

Cheeseburger addict takes on triathlon

As part of the 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, CNN has selected six viewers to participate alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in a six-month training program. Each of the viewers selected is receiving all of the gear, training and nutritional support necessary to complete the race and will compete alongside  Gupta on August 7  in the Nautica New York City Triathlon.

Growing up in Atlanta, Kendrick Henley was a fairly health eater.

"There were times where we had unhealthy foods, but for the most part, my parents cooked pretty healthy," he said.

But when Kendrick went off to college, he found an endless supply of junk food. With no influence from his parents, he began eating, and eating a lot.

"I definitely gained the Freshman 15-plus," Henley said. "During my senior year, I managed to lose some weight, but when I entered graduate school, the late night snacking and lack of exercise got the best of me."

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Study: Handling stress may be a matter of 'Y'
February 8th, 2011
04:21 PM ET

Study: Handling stress may be a matter of 'Y'

All people don't deal with stress the same way. And a new study suggests there may be a biological reason for that. The research, published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry, finds the more neuropeptide Y (NPY), you have in your brain, the better you are likely to handle stress.

Researchers classified those participating in the study as having low, medium, or high amounts of NPY. When presented with a negative word – “murder” for instance – those with low amounts of NPY showed a lot of activity in the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain involved in processing emotions. Those with high amounts of NPY showed less activity in that region, as measured by an MRI.

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Get Some Sleep: Daytime sleep attacks = narcolepsy
February 8th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

Get Some Sleep: Daytime sleep attacks = narcolepsy

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs on Tuesdays on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

Kerry was 32, the mother of three small children, and she was falling asleep several times a day. She sometimes had to pull over and take a nap when she was driving even though she was only running an errand in her own neighborhood.  She also complained of “fainting spells” that she was told were due to “low blood pressure or low blood sugar.”

It was a miracle that she had not wrecked her car and killed herself or her children.

She had symptoms that were textbook for narcolepsy but she was not being treated.  There are excellent treatments that allow people to live very normal lives, although I’m not sure brain surgeons or air traffic controller would be great job choices for them.

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Filed under: Sleep

February 8th, 2011
08:13 AM ET

Human Factor: In sickness, doctor finds calling

In the Human Factor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship –- they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. Dr. Lynne Holden's life changed in a split second after giving birth to her daughter.  A very rare heart weakness nearly killed her.  Here is her story in her own words.

From the time I saw "Marcus Welby, M.D." on television at the age of 6, I knew I wanted to be a doctor. When I was 8 years old, the only gift I wanted for Christmas was a book called "Gray's Anatomy." I could not sleep the night before in anticipation of that one gift.

After I opened that big package, my father told me I would have to know everything in that book if I became a physician. That was the beginning of my journey to become a doctor. I keep a copy of Gray’s Anatomy. This has been my visualization tool-the constant symbol of my dream. FULL POST

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Filed under: Human Factor

Kids and aggression: Popularity matters
February 8th, 2011
12:00 AM ET

Kids and aggression: Popularity matters

Bullying is all too common, with studies showing as many as 160,000 students skip school every weekday to avoid the torment, the National Education Association has found.

Now there's research suggesting that aggression increases with peer status, meaning popular kids are the ones who are tormenting others. But here's the twist: Those who are most popular, at the top of the social hierarchy, are the least aggressive.

FULL POST


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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