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Posts Tagged ‘Mental Health’

*This post first appeared on Care2Causes in Women’s Rights*


Mental illness and disease are not much different than physical illness or disease.  This approach fits squarely in the medical model: there are doctors and hospitals and diagnoses. There are also risk-factors, treatments and morbidity rates.

If you have a problem, most likely, it has a name, whether it’s cancer or diabetes, depression or schizophrenia. “Health” in this model is the absence of illness or disorder, but it is not a measure of the strength, vitality or fitness of your body, mind and spirit.

The medical model is the one most often used when conducting research about abortion and mental health, including the latest study out of Denmark, just published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  This significant project confirms (in great detail and with an impressive pool of data) what many researchers have said before: there is no science that shows an abortion causes mental illness.

While I hope this science is a relief to every woman who worried that, after an abortion, she may wake up one day with a life-threatening illness like bulimia, alcoholism, or obsessive compulsive disorder, it is inadequate for understanding the scope and depth of a woman’s emotional experience when it comes to abortion.

That’s why it is so important to understand the difference between the medical model that’s focused on reducing disease and the well-being model focused on health promotion; what these differences mean for scientific research; and, eventually, what they mean for the development, adoption and promotion of strategies that can effectively enhance the emotional health of women who have had abortions. (more…)

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*This post was first published on the Huffington Post.

Dr. Bennet I. Omalu published an article in the journal Neurosurgery in July 2005 that described the new brain disease he found in a dead former NFL player, Mike Webster. Webster, a former Steelers Hall of Famer, died at age 50 after years of increasing dementia-like behaviors. Dr. Omalu told GQ magazine in “This is Your Brain on Football” (October 2009) that he expected the NFL to respond to his research by taking action to protect its players. He believed that the NFL would welcome “scientific evidence that the kind of repeated blows to the head sustained in football could cause severe, debilitating brain damage. He thought they could use the research to try and fix the problem.”

Instead of seeing this research as an important tool to protect and promote the health and longevity of its players, the NFL denied the findings, defended itself, and attacked Dr. Omalu. Four years later, despite the deaths of more players, despite more findings, more research, and more scientists who back up Dr. Omalu’s claims, the NFL continues its Deny-Defend-Attack strategy.

“I was naïve,” Dr. Omalu now says, to think the NFL would embrace his findings.

(more…)

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