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May 3rd, 2011
07:21 PM ET

How can I make my mom understand my bipolar disorder?

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 May from  California

I have bipolar disorder type 2. My mood is almost always influenced by the season and this winter I went through one of the worst depressive episodes I have ever experienced. When I mustered up the courage to tell my mom that I felt trapped and that I was desperate for help, she dismissed my symptoms as "something every teenager goes through" and that things will get better.

She keeps telling me that everyone is depressed once in a while and that's just how life is. I'm better now, but I'm constantly scared about the next depressive episode I'll have to go through. It's been about three years since my diagnosis, and I think my mom has been in denial ever since. I've tried my best to convince her that this isn't normal but she refuses to see the truth. Even when I attempted suicide about a year ago, she lectured me about how selfish I was being and refused to even consider hospitalization or medication.

How do you convince an unsympathetic parent that you need help?


Cracking down on fraudulent STD treatments
May 3rd, 2011
07:16 PM ET

Cracking down on fraudulent STD treatments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission warned several companies to remove products from the market for making bogus claims about treating and preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

“There are no no NO consumer products and dietary supplements to treat STDs that are available over the counter,” emphasized Howard Sklamberg, director of FDA’s Office of Enforcement and Regulatory affairs, explaining that the only way to treat an STD is by using an FDA-approved prescription drug obtained from a licensed health care provider.

FULL POST


May 3rd, 2011
04:44 PM ET

Speaking about sexual assaults as a recovery step

Advocates for women and survivors of sexual abuse are commending  CBS reporter, Lara Logan for speaking out about her attack.

Sexual assaults are often cloaked in secrecy and shame. Having a high-profile person speak about sexual abuse helps destigmatize it for others and could help in recovery, the advocates said.

On February 11, Logan was attacked, stripped and assaulted by a mob in Tahrir Square following the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  She spoke about the incident on-camera for the first time on "60 Minutes” that aired Sunday. FULL POST


May 3rd, 2011
03:32 PM ET

FDA warns about drug in some teething meds

Do you use an over-the-counter medication containing benzocaine to help your child's teething pain? The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning linking benzocaine to a rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia, in which the blood does not effectively distribute oxygen throughout the body. It its very worst cases it can be fatal.

Our friends at Parenting.com have a great post explaining the risks, the  condition,   its symptoms and what you can do about it. 

Thanks for the heads up on this, Parenting.


Filed under: Parenting

Asthma cases up in the U.S.
May 3rd, 2011
02:04 PM ET

Asthma cases up in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, asthma cases are on the rise. New statistics show that people diagnosed with asthma in the United States grew by 4.3 million between 2001 and 2009.

A new Vital Signs report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, finds nearly 1 in 12 Americans were diagnosed with asthma by 2009. Asthma costs have escalate from about $53 billion in 2002 to about $56 billion in 2007, which is about a 6% increase.

FULL POST


Get Some Sleep: Daily headaches? How are you sleeping?
May 3rd, 2011
01:59 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: Daily headaches? How are you sleeping?

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.
I have a patient who is a man in his mid-30s who had a headache almost every day of his life for the 10 years before he came to my clinic.  We found that he had significant sleep apnea and the treatment for it has been nothing short of a miracle for him.

Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder to present with a complaint of morning headache.  The International Classification of Headache Disorders now has a separate classification for sleep apnea headache.  By definition, the headache is present upon awakening and resolves on its own in 30 minutes or less, and is not better described by another headache disorder.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Sleep

The healing power of the doctor-patient bond
May 3rd, 2011
11:47 AM ET

The healing power of the doctor-patient bond

Dr. Charles Raison, CNNHealth's Mental Health expert and an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, writes regularly on the mind-body connection for better health.

Hot-off-the-press studies that have exciting new treatment implications always cause a media stir, as well they should. But I find it equally exciting to discover older studies with huge treatment implications that were overlooked when they first came out, either because they went against the scientific grain of the time, or because no one stood to gain financially from their findings.

To complete the little triptych of hope that started with my blog on optimism and heart disease and continued with the power of placebo to enhance health, this week I want to talk about what a number of older, and little known, studies show is probably the most powerful tool in our arsenal against depression, which must certainly be the world’s No. 1  killer of people’s ability to access the types of hope that promote health and well-being. Any guesses as to what this tool might be?

Let’s go back in time almost 30 years, when psychiatry was still in the first heady flush of excitement over the power of antidepressants, and a hot topic of the day was how well the much older mode of treatment -  psychotherapy -  might stack up against medications.

FULL POST


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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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