The Despair That’s Killing White, Middle-Aged Americans

En español | For decades, the death rate among all groups of Americans has been steadily declining, thanks to advances in medicine and quality of life. But 15 years ago, that trend suddenly reversed for one group: white Americans ages 45 to 54. In what a new study termed “an epidemic of despair,” two Princeton economists find that suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse are driving up deaths among less-educated, middle-aged, white Americans — some of it due to job loss and financial …

Why Your Adult Children Suffer From Anxiety in College

October at colleges and universities may evoke images of falling leaves and football games, but midsemester exams bring a spike in anxiety, the No. 1 mental health problem on campuses. Midterms are not the only reason for anxiety, which causes students to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Most college professors share tales of students’ missed deadlines, classes and assignments, all because of anxiety. A friend told of a student who was in danger of failing because of multiple missed assignments yet …

Robin Williams’ Suicide Triggered by Type of Dementia?

A gossip website has attributed actor Robin Williams’ suicide to Lewy body dementia, a devastating disease that affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans, most of them men over age 60. Sources told TMZ that Williams’ doctors agree that the dementia was a “key factor” that drove him to suicide, though neither the diagnosis nor the doctors’ statements have been confirmed. >> Famous People We’ve Lost in 2014 Lewy body dementia is the second or third most common type of progressive dementia, according …

Retired NFL Players Settle Suit Over Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are more than 18,000 retired NFL players. Some time ago, more than 4,500 of these former players – a full quarter of them – sued the NFL over traumatic brain injuries that they claim caused dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions. On Aug. 28 the players settled with the NFL – ending any future claims – by agreeing to the league’s offer to pay $765 million to provide medical benefits and injury compensation for the retired players, fund medical and …

2 Cups of Coffee Daily May Cut Suicide Risk

Chalk up yet another health benefit to coffee: A new study indicates that drinking two to four cups a day may lower suicide risk — by half! Yes, it seems amazing, but Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that people who drank two to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 45 percent lower chance of taking their own life, while those who drank more than four cups of coffee daily had a 53 percent lower risk when …

Should Doctors Ask If You Own a Gun?

No one questions when a doctor asks if an older, cognitively impaired patient is still driving, and urges family members to take away the car keys for the safety of the patient and everyone else. So why is it any different for a doctor to ask if a patient with similar problems has guns at home that could endanger him or others? There is no difference — it’s simply the doctor’s role in contributing to patient and public safety, argues …