Tuesday, July 03, 2007

migraine news roundup 37

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When you're depressed it is tempting to tell yourself to suck it up. This article explains why talking about your emotional issues can help you overcome them.

Putting Feelings into Words Eases Pain

Putting your feelings into words by talking with a therapist or writing in a journal may actually help you feel better. Not in a touchy-feely kind of way, but more like in a mind-numbing sort of way, according to a new study.
Researchers found that when people see pictures of an angry or fearful face, it triggers activity in an area of the brain known as the amygdala, which sets off a chain of biological reactions designed to protect the body in times of danger.
“Popular psychology says when you’re feeling down, just pick yourself up, but the world doesn’t work that way; if you know you’re trying to pick yourself up, it usually doesn’t work; self-deception is difficult. Because labeling your feelings doesn’t require you to want to feel better, it doesn’t have this problem.”

A great little opinion piece about insurance companies limiting access to triptans by a fantastically outspoken M.D.

Editorial: Stop Limiting Migraine Medication

So if migraine is so common and disabling, why does it get no respect and why should we care? Imagine the outcry if insurance companies began limiting the number of pills for other diseases:

Hello, Mr. Smith, I’m sorry but we’re limiting your insulin to 40 units per day. But I take 100 units. Sorry. Click.

Hello, Mr. Jones? I’m sorry but we are limiting your chemotherapy. We can only give you one quarter of what your doctor prescribed. Sorry. Click.

So why doesn’t migraine get the same respect other diseases get? Because “it’s only a headache.” Ask a migraine sufferer if it’s only a headache.

Ask yourself what you would do if your wife, or husband, or child were curled up in pain and vomiting, for no other reason than the insurance company simply won’t let them to have an adequate monthly amount of medication — the standard of care for all other diseases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 43 milion Americans (14.8% of the population) do not have health insurance. The number of uninsured Americans has increased by an astounding 2 million people from 2005 to 2006. Two million people!

CDC: 2M More Americans Uninsured
Uninsured Americans numbered 43.6 million last year, a 6 percent increase from 2005, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Almost all the increase was in the non-elderly adult population — a trend attributed to diminishing employer coverage and pricier private insurance.

The change in non-elderly adults was significant, but the overall increase was not, CDC officials said. The overall count of the uninsured has been fluctuating between 41 and 44 million over the last five years and is not really trending up, they said.

The Journal of the American Medical Association is reporting a significant increase in chronic illnesses among U.S. children, specifically among such conditions as asthma, obesity and ADHD. Experts are concerned about the increased public health spending they expect to result from this trend.

More U.S. children Suffer Chronic Health Problems

The Freakonomics blog has a cool interview with Dr. Atul Gawande, surgeon and author of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance.

Medical Failures, and Successes Too: A Q&A with Atul Gawande

Finally, a few other noteworthy headlines.

Folic Acid May Help Counter Depression

Moms' Second Hand Smoke Exposure Linked to Psych Problems in Kids

Why is My Dog's Health Care Better than Mine?

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