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My grandma had an on-again, off-again relationship with antidepressants for her whole life. The cycle would begin with her lying in bed in the dark, crying and moaning. After months of persuasion the family would convince her that the level of sadness she was experiencing wasn’t normal and she’d start taking medication. After six weeks or so, she’d be out of bed, running errands, and even smiling. Once she reached that point, though, she’d stop taking her antidepressants, thinking that she didn’t need them anymore because she was happy. Then the cycle would begin again.
When I was in high school, I had a friend who was often mistakenly accused of being drunk. He stumbled around campus, hanging on to walls for support, and talked with a slow slur that was difficult to understand at times. The other students didn’t understood why he acted this way, and they shunned him for his abnormal behavior.
I remember the day I realized that I needed to seek professional medical help. I woke up halfway through a scheduled organic chemistry exam, dazed and confused and still in bed wearing a nightgown that read, “Sleep All Day, Party All Night.” I panicked and ran to class, still dressed in my seemingly ironic garment, only to find the lecture hall full of staring, accusing eyes, and no empty seats. It was an infamous nightmare come true, and it happened to me more than once. I soon found out that narcolepsy was to blame.
Most people have heard of staph infections, but not many realize how serious they can be. The staphylococcus bacteria that cause the infection can be commonly found on the human body and generally do not cause any serious problems. The infections can quickly turn fatal, however, if the bacteria enter the bloodstream. This causes bacteremia, otherwise known as blood poisoning. The bacteria can then travel through the blood to infect internal organs, bones, muscles and surgical implants.
Christmas is coming soon and many wasteful and environmentally unfriendly traditions are coming along with it.
Opioids are among the world’s oldest drugs and are still used today to manage pain. Classified as narcotic analgesics, they are legally available by prescription. They work by binding to specific receptors in the nervous system and altering the way that the brain identifies and interprets pain sensations.
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a mental health condition that causes much controversy in the medical world. The disorder, more commonly known as multiple personality disorder, is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personalities that alternately control a person’s behavior.
May 3, 2012
Spring is finally here. But while some are focused on the blossoming flora, others are preoccupied with devastating allergies and asthma. Springtime has always been a predictable time of triggers, but this season is anything but predictable.
There are several motivations behind seeking an ADHD diagnosis, and it's often challenging for physicians to tell the difference between real and fake complaints. Is the patient just a hypochondriac? One could legitimately have a genetic disposition and be sure of his ailment, are his complaints real, or is he fabricating the symptoms just to gain access to medication? Since there is currently no definitive method of identification other than clinical diagnosis based on self-reported symptoms and patient history, it's easy to see why such confusion is widespread. Many studies have been conducted to test the fallible methods of diagnosis. One such study at UCLA suggests that four commonly used diagnostic tests are not readily conclusive. Students were given the tests and told to answer the questions as if they were suffering from ADHD. All the tests lent themselves easily to being falsified and evaluators were unable to clearly distinguish between the falsified and sincere results. College students seem to have figured out how to work this system to their advantage, and they're especially notorious for feigning illness to open up a steady, legal stream of medication. Students often use their new stimulants as study aides, recreational drugs or even easy profit. These dubious motives beg the question: what can we do to stop misdiagnosis? If uncertainty in diagnosis can be prevented, these controversial issues will inevitably lessen and patients with legitimate diagnoses will be treated with less skepticism. To this end, it's necessary that the motive of ADHD patients be called into question before the doctor passes over the pills. Since childhood impairments are a critical part of the diagnosis, perhaps a definitive check of family history or an interview with other family members would be beneficial. Requiring opinions of employers and teachers could also be helpful, as they would validate the complaints and lessen the likelihood of drug abuse. Regular psychotherapy could also be useful, as dishonest students would have to create a new life story in order to stay consistent with the results of their testing. The more difficult it is to struggle through the process of diagnosis, the more likely it is that liars will not attempt to break the system. One also has to wonder if ADHD is worthy of diagnosis at all. Many psychological disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder, share the symptoms assigned to this alleged disorder. Could the symptoms of ADHD actually be the signs of a more general psychiatric ailment? Or, on a more disconcerting note, could physicians be misevaluating normal signs of the human condition as symptoms of a syndrome? What could be misconstrued as an abnormal lack of attention in the classroom could actually be due to lack of interest, not a physiological hindrance to concentration. What seems like a pitiable inability to listen to others could actually be due to arrogance, not psychological distress. Essentially, this controversial disorder needs to be more fundamentally understood so that misdiagnoses can be kept to a minimum.
The Woodrow Wilson scholarship is a prestigious honor given to undergraduate students who are looking to create an independent research project.
As Thanksgiving break got underway last Tuesday, students were required to leave their dorms by six o’ clock at night. Though these dates were on the assignment letters emailed out in the spring, many students were surprised when they got emailed reminders a few weeks ago.
For some time, Hopkins has been considering the creation of a fraternity row. Though in the past, the request of the Inter-Fraternity Council has been denied, they have recently re-submitted their plan.
On Thursday, November 4th, eight people gathered in Ledo’s Pizza to discuss the possibility of building a Muslim center near Ground Zero. This important discussion is only one of the many that the Jewish group “Torah On Tap” participates in once a month.