Lesson 1 of 7 - free your true Self to guide you

People with Mental Disorders Risk an Early Death

By Megan Gannon
 
LiveScience.com via Yahoo News
02-12-2015

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The Web address of this article is http://sfhelp.org/gwc/news/early_death2.htm

 Updated  02-13-2015

      Clicking underlined links here will open a new window. Other links will open  an informational popup, so please turn off your browser's popup blocker or allow popups from this nonprofit Web site. If your playback device doesn't support Javascript, the popups may not display. Follow underlined links after finishing this article to avoid getting lost.

      This reprint validates a key premise in this nonprofit Web site - that people who don't reduce inherited psychological wounds from childhood neglect, abandonment, and abuse die prematurely. See my comments after the article. The links and hilights below are mine.  - Peter Gerlach, MSW

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People with mental disorders are two times more likely to die early than their peers in the general population and not just because of factors like suicide, a new study suggests.

More than half of the early deaths analyzed in the study were blamed on natural causes, such as acute and chronic illnesses like heart disease.

"I think it's an important study that's drawing attention to the general health risk that's associated with a range of psychiatric disorders," said Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, who wasn't involved in the study.

There are hundreds of studies going back decades that produced data on the mortality rates of people with mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. A group of researchers, led by Elizabeth Walker, of Emory University in Atlanta, recently reviewed this massive body literature.

Using data from 148 studies conducted in several countries, Walker and colleagues found that the death rate for people with mental disorders was, on average, 2.22 times higher than that of people in the general population. (Mortality rates usually refer to the deaths that occur during a specific study's time frame. The studies covered in the new analysis varied widely in length from 1 to 52 years, with a median of 10 years.)

Overall, people with mental disorders potentially lost a decade of their lives, the analysis showed.

"When people think about the risk of death for people with mental health problems, they often focus on suicide because it's so tragic and traumatic," Olfson told Live Science. But people with mental health disorders face many other health problems such as high rates of smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise and a lack of medical care that can lead to an early death, Olfson said.

"Rates of smoking have come down for the general population, but that hasn't been true for people with serious mental health problems," Olfson said. "It's factors like that that are increasing the gap."

Indeed, about 67 percent of the deaths analyzed in the study were blamed on natural causes, while about 17 percent were due to unnatural causes, such as suicide and accidental injury. (The rest of the deaths in the study had unknown causes.)

The researchers wrote that suicide-prevention efforts are still crucial for high-risk populations with mental disorders. But efforts to reduce the "excess burden of mortality" among people with mental health issues also need to look at ways to prevent deaths that result from health problems like cardiovascular disease. That might mean addressing behavioral and lifestyle factors, access to health care, and social factors like poverty.

The study was published online today (Feb. 11, 2015) in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

  Comments

      These research findings imply a significant connection between "mental health" and physiological health and longevity.

      Publishing this study in a leading psychiatric journal implicitly supports the misconception that "mental health problems" are medical "illnesses" rather than indicators of major family dysfunction.

      This article doesn't (1) define "mental health," (2) what promotes "
mental health problems," or (3) offer practical suggestions about how to reduce or prevent such problems. This leaves readers to form their own conclusions about these complex topics. Typical lay readers lack enough knowledge about "mental health" to do so accurately.

       My professional family-systems research since 1979 suggests that "mental or psychiatric" problems are symptoms of inherited psychological wounds. The wounds form in early childhood because of caregivers'  abandonment, neglect, and abuse (trauma)

      If this is true, then the findings of this research offer powerful incentives to parents and grandparent to (1) learn about the toxic [wounds + unawareness] cycle, and to then (2) evaluate whether they're at risk of unintentionally wounding the young people in their lives and shortening their life-span.

      Lesson 1 in this nonprofit, educational Web site offers more detail on early-childhood wounding and how to prevent and heal it.

 - Peter K. Gerlach, MSW.

       Pause, breathe, and reflect:  what are you thinking and feeling now? Why did you read this article? Did you get what you needed? If not, what do you need? Who's answering these questions - your true Self, or ''someone else''?

This reprint was very helpful  somewhat helpful  not helpful   

 Also see this similar article.

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