The Takeaway: Performing Helped Bruce Springsteen Cope With Severe Depression

By now, you may have heard about the New Yorker profile of Bruce Springsteen in which the now 62-year-old rocker talks about — gasp! — suffering from depression. The admission has swiftly been making the media rounds, because I guess it’s not every day that a symbol of good old-fashioned American working-class masculinity admits to something as unmanly as mental illness. And depression at that! Oh my. Generally when our rock stars have psychiatric problems, we like it to be something sexy, like drug addiction.

The Takeaway: Anxiety Could Make You Age Faster

Afraid of crowds? Heights? Spiders? If you suffer from one of these or other “phobic anxieties” — and about 6 to 10 percent of the American population does — it could mean you’ll age more rapidly than your non-phobic counterparts. In fact, a study published this week found that compared to a person with no phobic symptoms, seriously anxious individuals were aging about six years faster.

The Takeaway: 1 in 5 Older Adults Have Mental Health or Substance Abuse Issues

A new report finds 20 percent of older adults suffer from mental health or substance abuse problems. With an aging boomer population and a serious shortage of doctors, nurses and other health workers trained in mental health care, “the burden of mental illness and substance abuse disorders in older adults in the United States borders on a crisis,” researchers say.

The Takeaway: Health-Care Costs Rise Faster Than U.S. Inflation Rate

Higher charges by doctors, hospitals and drug companies have resulted in healthcare costs that have risen even faster than the rate of inflation, according to a survey released today by the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Washington DC. The study found that health care costs rose 3.3 percent in 2010 even though people actually used fewer services in many categories.  The average price of prescription drugs rose 3 percent; inpatient admissions cost 5.1 percent;  more and …

Hit and Run

Recently, the New York Times ran another in their series of articles about concussions and football players. Written by George Vecsey, this piece focused on a college football player, Derek Owens, who has joined with other varsity players – three football players and one soccer goalie – in a class action suit that claims the NCAA has been negligent regarding awareness and treatment of brain injuries to athletes. The article begins with Derek’s mom, Teresa, reacting with a mother’s horror at …

The Takeaway: Super-Committee Countdown; 1 In 5 U.S. Adults On Psych Meds

Yet the deficit reduction committee’s deadline fast approaching, it’s still uncertain whether panel members will be able to get over their current partisan deadlock and actually do what they set out to do””and if they fail, older Americans have a lot to lose. Plus, a new analysis finds 20 percent of all American adults are taking medication to treat some sort of mental or behavioral health problem.