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    YOU ARE NOT ALONE

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | October 4th, 2020

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE

    Here are the facts:

    • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.
    • 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year.
    • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6 – 17 experience a mental disorder each year.
    • Mental illness affects:
      • 37 % of LGB adults
      • 27% Mixed/Multiracial adults
      • 22% of American Indian or Alaska Native
      • 20% of White adults
      • 17% of Latinx adults
      • 16% of Black adults
      • 15 % of Asian adults
    • Most common disorders are anxiety and major depression.

    This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers.  Mental health is a component of our overall health. There is no shame in having a mental illness like there is no shame in having high blood pressure or diabetes. What is a shame is not getting help. We must all make sure that those who need help get the help that they need.

    Unfortunately, there is no blood test to diagnose mental illness. We rely on signs and symptoms. Some of the signs include:

    • Feeling sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks.
    • Trying to harm or end one’s life or making plans to do so.
    • Severe, out-of-control, risk-taking behavior that causes harm to self or others.
    • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or difficulty breathing.
    • Significant weight loss or gain.
    • Seeing, hearing or believing things that are not real.
    • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs.
    • Drastic change in mood, behavior, personality or sleeping habits.
    • Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still.
    • Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities.

    IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOURSELF OR SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT – SEEK HELP.

    • Talk with a health care professional.
    • Talk with a family member or friend.
    • Learn more about mental illness.
    • Call the NAMI HelpLine at 800-950-NAMI (6264)

    Please know that you are not alone.

    If you are in a crisis – text “NAMI” to 741741 for help. They are available 24/7

    Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

    There are online screening tests offered by Mental Health America if you want to determine if you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Please click here to access that screening test.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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