Loose Screws Mental Health News Rises From the Ashes

It’s good to be back.


A study for the U of Vermont concludes that anorexics have the highest rates of suicide. Researchers previously thought that their deaths resulted from their emaciated states. The actual article can be read at Time.com.

Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. But psychologists previously believed that those high rates of death were due to patients’ already deteriorated physical state. The hypothesis was that these are people already on the verge of death — they were so malnourished and underweight that even the slightest suicide attempt could easily lead to death.

Anorexia is usually seen as an illness rather than a psychiatric disorder. It’s good to see Time shedding some light on the link between anorexia and suicide. Making this kind of information widespread will definitely save  some lives that otherwise would have been lost.


On the topic of suicides, an 18-year-old high school student in Mobile, Alabama walked into a high school gym and shot himself in front of classmates on Thursday. There’s not much information surrounding this story but it just saddened me to read that a young man, perhaps with a good life ahead of him, took his own life away. While he didn’t shoot his classmates – he fired one shot up at the ceiling before shooting himself, I continue to remain dismayed at the trend of school shootings. No one is ever happy about suicides or homicides of any age but I think there’s something about school shootings that really speaks to adults. We like to think of kids – wow, I’m no longer a kid in comparison to them – as innocent and with a bright future ahead of them. There’s something about a school shooting that strikes a chord within all of us. The idea of school is equated with the notion of learning, growth, and development. It implies that students (for the most part) are not quite adults yet. JaJuan Holmes may have been a legal adult, but it seems that his unresolved issues were still viewed through a minor’s eyes.


laughterSeoul National University Hospital in South Korea is providing sessions on laughing your depression away. Many of the patients – if not all – suffer with depression stemming from their bout with cancer. For Americans and maybe even the British, the concept of laughing depression away seems ridiculous. However in South Korea’s culture, laughter outside of the home is deemed inappropriate, mainly for women.

“It was awkward at first. Yes, smiling is a good thing, but you know, I’m a little conservative. I sometimes still think laughing out loud is a bit low class,” [Jung-Oak Lee] said.

I’ve taken laughter for granted. I don’t know what I’d do if I was looked down upon for laughing out loud in public. That’s the last thing I want to worry about in a social atmosphere.

(Image courtesy Olson Center For Wellness)

2 Comments

  1. Alison Hymes said,

    March 8, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Hey, just noticed you are back! I’m glad. For people in the U.S. with good insurance or money, Renfrew Centers have a good reputation for respectful anorexia treatment.

  2. Prester John said,

    March 9, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    “an 18-year-old high school student in Mobile, Alabama walked into a high school gym and shot himself in front of classmates on Thursday”
    The kid had some problems. He’d been suspended from school the day before, but they won’t say why. He had been arrested recently for his part in three armed robberies. (Incidentally, one of his accomplices is the son of a prominent local judge.) He was also homeless, which may very well explain the robberies. (Maybe even the other kid’s part in them. Helping out his bud, so to speak. Kids are so dumb, or at least I was.)
    Anyway, it’s a terrible tragedy. I’m not sure what it says about this town, state, and country that an 18 year old kid can be homeless but I am sure it’s not good.


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