Kristoff St. John’s Son Commits Suicide




By   –

It is with great sadness to report that Julian St. John, son of The Young and the Restless’ Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters), has died. News of Julian’s passing came to light from a posting by his mother, Mia, on Saturday, November 29. Julian St. John died on Sunday, November 23 from an apparent suicide.

“Our son was the light of our lives, an artist with a beautiful mind and spirit. He fought long and hard against an illness for which there is no cure. Unfortunately the pain became too great for him and I dare not say he lost the battle — he simply chose to set himself free,” wrote Mia on
“My fight for mental health will continue. They may not find a cure in my lifetime, but we can try and prevent the loss of another beautiful soul.”

“And so the legend continues…once upon a time,” wrote Kristoff on his Twitter and Facebook pages with a link to a post on the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot website featuring Julian’s art.

If you suspect someone may be suicidal, don’t think it will just “fix itself”. Here’s some signs to tell if your loved one may be contemplating suicide:

1. Talking About Suicide
If someone you know is talking about harming himself or says that he doesn’t want to live, take it seriously.

He or she may be at risk for a suicide attempt, particularly if they feel trapped or hopeless and is withdrawing from friends and family.

2. Feelings of Guilt
Madelyn Gould, PhD, a professor of clinical epidemiology in psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City, says that excessive and inappropriate feelings of guilt—a common symptom of depression and anxiety—are something to be on the lookout for as well.

“You start to feel guilty about things—letting people down—and someone else who’s listening would say, ‘But you’re not,’” says Gould. “It’s just this very unrealistic guilt.”

3. Drug Use and Excessive Alcohol Use
Some agitated and anxious people turn to drugs and alcohol for relief—potential warning signs for suicide. You might not be an alcoholic or a drug abuser, but if you take things to make yourself feel better or to numb you, that makes you more vulnerable because it impairs your judgment and makes your thinking not as clear.

Substance use can also contribute to impulsivity. Studies have shown that up to 80% of all suicide attempts are done on the spur of the moment, with very little planning.

4. Buying a Firearm
One of the loudest and clearest warning signs is buying a gun. Access to a firearm in the home significantly increases the risk of a suicide—by up to 10 times, according to a 2008 article in the New England Journal of Medicine. Guns account for less than 10% of all suicide attempts, but those involving guns are far more likely to be fatal.

Two to one, men complete suicide more often than women. It’s largely because of the method they choose, not because of the intent that they have. Men tend to use firearms; women tend to take overdoses.

Whatever the situation, don’t leave that person alone. Let them know you’re going to get help and/or call 1-800-273-TALK.

Administration Has Forgotten That Alzheimer’s Is Deadly



Former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher complained that the Obama administration has requested $6 billion to fight the Ebola virus yet Alzheimer’s Disease, which is already cutting a deadly swath across the country, is seriously underfunded. Dr. Satcher, founder of AfricanAmericansAgainstAlzheimer’s Network, said so far there have been four cases and one death from Ebola in the U.S., but an estimated 500,000 Americans will die this year because of Alzheimer’s.

Currently, 5.1 million Americans, including 1 million African Americans, suffer from Alzheimer’s, but that number is expected to reach as many as 16 million by mid-century, Dr. Satcher wrote in a Nov. 14 article published in The Hill, titled “Alzheimer’s is [a] greater public health crisis than Ebola.” By 2030, the number of blacks entering the age of risk for dementia will reach 6.9 million, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s report “African Americans and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Silent Epidemic.”

“If you happen to be more frightened by Ebola than by Alzheimer’s consider this: At the age of 65, 1 in 9 Americans has Alzheimer’s. At the age of 85 that number jumps to 1 in 3,” Satcher wrote. “While there is virtually no chance of contracting Ebola in the U.S. right now, the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s or needing to care for someone with Alzheimer’s is staggering.” Because the U.S. does not have effective treatments, Alzheimer’s will cost the country $214 billion this year.

Dr. Satcher said the $6 billion the administration requested to fight the Ebola Virus is more than the federal government has spent on Alzheimer’s research over the last decade. He added that Ebola is deadly but so is Alzheimer’s and it’s time to bring the disease to the front of the agenda.

The Number of Blacks With Alzheimer’s Disease is expected to grow dramatically


By Frederick H. Lowe


WASHINGTON — The number of African Americans with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia is expected grow nearly seven times in 16 years, but blacks can fight the deadly disease through a number of activities including engaging in regular physical exercise and intellectually stimulating pursuits.

Currently, 5.1 million Americans, including 1 million African Americans, suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the most-widely known form of dementia. But by 2030, the number of blacks entering the age of risk for dementia will reach 6.9 million, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s report “African Americans and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Silent Epidemic.”

The risk factor is age. More than 10 percent of persons over 65, and nearly half of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by loss of cognitive function —thinking, remembering and reasoning—and behavioral abilities, to an extent that interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.

Large-scale longitudinal studies indicate that individuals with histories of high-blood pressure and/ or high cholesterol, a disease and a disorder both common among blacks, are twice as likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s.

So what can African-American men and women do to fight Alzheimer’s Disease? The Alzheimer’s disease Fact Sheet encourages individuals to increase their physical activity, eat a healthy diet, engage in intellectually stimulating pursuits and participate in Alzheimer’s clinical trials so a cure is developed to address the unique needs of blacks.

Some of the findings were discussed at a symposium titled “Mental Health Practice and Aging: Recruitment and Retention Strategies of Ethnically Diverse Older Adults in Cognitive Aging Research.”

The symposium was held at the GSA 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting Nov. 5-9 in Washington, D.C.

Lowe attended the five-day conference as one of the journalists in the 2014 Aging Fellows Program, a collaboration of New America Media and The Gerontological Society of America, and sponsored by the Silver Century Foundation.

Fainting: How Serious Is It?



By Gwendolyn Harris     –

Whether you call it passing out or having “a spell,” fainting is an unexpected scare that will happen to nearly one in three people at least once in their life. Although it’s common and people usually regain their consciousness quickly with no more damage than feeling a little disoriented and shaken up, fainting can be a sign of a more serious health condition.

So, what causes a person to faint? When there’s a sudden drop in blood pressure – say from standing up too quickly after lying down, being dehydrated or taking certain medications (e.g., blood pressure, depression, allergies) – blood flow to the brain is decreased.

This can trigger a loss of consciousness and muscle control, which causes the fall to the ground. Signs that you may be close to fainting include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • “Blacking out”  – loss of vision

Fainting triggers

Some people faint at the sight of blood, or from some type of emotional stress or trauma. This type of fainting is the most common and is caused by a reaction in the brain, when the vagus nerve – the nerve that extends from the brain to the stomach – is overstimulated.

The use of alcohol, narcotics and antistamines can also cause you to pass out. Low blood sugar may also trigger an episode.

More serious, though less common, causes of fainting are problems with your heart that block the flow of blood and oxygen.

You are at an increased risk of fainting if you have any of these conditions:

  • diabetes
  • heart blockages
  • irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • anxiety or panic attacks

What to do if you faint

If you only had an isolated fainting incidence and are in pretty good health, there is little cause for concern. If you are having multiple fainting episodes, you should see your doctor or cardiologist to test if there’s an underlying medical condition. Treatment will depend on the doctor’s diagnosis.

5 Delicious Ways To Feed Your Skin



By Princess Gabbara

Part of aging gracefully is loving the skin you’re in and what better way to show love than with the foods you eat. Skip the expensive beauty products and make a trip to the grocery store for these five anti-aging foods:

Blueberries: Just one serving delivers more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable out there. Antioxidants help protect our skin from sun damage while also preventing wrinkles in the process.

Cod fish: We all know how great fish is for our health, but in addition to having omega-3 fatty acids, which helps fight depression and cancer to name a few, cod contains anti-aging properties, such as selenium – a natural skin protectant.

Cucumbers: With the highest water content of any food and loaded with silica (in the peel), cucumbers are guaranteed to plump up your fine lines and wrinkles. Whenever you can, purchase unwaxed cucumbers so that you can actually consume the peel.

Avocado: Rich in biotin and monosaturated fats, avocadoes are great for your skin, hair, and nails.

Pomegranate seeds: The juice in pomegranate seeds contains ellagic and punic acids – they both fight sun damage and preserve the skin’s collagen.


This Is How To Burn Off All Those Thanksgiving Calories

Jill Chen via Getty Images

Jill Chen via Getty Images


By    -The Huffington Post

It is not a secret that Americans overeat on Thanksgiving. We typically consume more calories during this one meal than we ingest in an entire regular day. According to the Calorie Control Center, Americans eat anywhere from 3,000 to 4,500 calories at this annual feast. That’s equivalent to about seven Big Macs. It would take more than 20 hours of bowling to burn all of that off. Or, if bowling isn’t your game, you could spend nearly eight hours shooting hoops (maybe instead of playing “Horse,” you’d play “Turkey” for festivity’s sake) before you broke even.

Of course, you can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet, and we don’t recommend spending time post-Thanksgiving un-doing your delicious meal. We say, enjoy the day, the food and the company — and then get back to your normal routine. If you’re curious how other activities match up to your Thanksgiving plate, check out the infographic below, courtesy of CoachUp.

(Click to enlarge)

Mercy, Mercy We: Managing Stress In Traumatic Times

 With their hands raised, residents gather at a police line as the neighborhood is locked down following skirmishes on August 11, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

With their hands raised, residents gather at a police line as the neighborhood is locked down following skirmishes on August 11, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)



By C. Achebe: Posted Aug. 2014   –

Are we living in 1964 or 2014!?! Yes, I am aware it is 2014, but with all that has taken place recently one must wonder. I mean c’mon,  it seems like every week we have to hear of or deal with a tragedy that tops the one before. The news, community conversation, social media platforms, TV and radio all seem to spew the same message with no solutions.

Violence and reports of it in this magnitude, overlapping moment by moment, can eventually take up residence in a society’s mind. Like combat veterans, every day citizens – especially our youth – develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As many as one-third of children living in our country’s urban neighborhoods have PTSD, according to recent research and the country’s top child trauma experts. That’s nearly twice the rate reported for troops returning from war zones in Iraq. Can you imagine what the number is for adults who are bombarded with violence on all media platforms and not to mention their daily life stressors?

My questions in the midst of all of  this are,  where do we go to process our emotions, who do we turn to, how do we deal with it all and what can we do to stay sane and mentally healthy in these stressful times?

First, let’s look at some of the symptoms of stress:

Your Behavior:

  • An increase or decrease in your energy and activity levels
  • An increase in your alcohol, tobacco use, or use of illegal drugs
  • An increase in irritability, with outbursts of anger and frequent arguing
  • Having trouble relaxing or sleeping
  • Crying frequently
  • Worrying excessively
  • Wanting to be alone most of the time
  • Blaming other people for everything
  • Having difficulty communicating or listening
  • Having difficulty giving or accepting help
  • Inability to feel pleasure or have fun

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Who Suffers The Most?

Your Body:

  • Having stomach aches or diarrhea
  • Having headaches and other pains
  • Losing your appetite or eating too much
  • Sweating or having chills
  • Getting tremors or muscle twitches
  • Being easily startled

Your Emotions:

  • Being anxious or fearful
  • Feeling depressed
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling angry
  • Feeling heroic, euphoric, or invulnerable
  • Not caring about anything
  • Feeling overwhelmed by sadness

Your Thinking:

  • Having trouble remembering things
  • Feeling confused
  • Having trouble thinking clearly and concentrating
  • Having difficulty making decisions

More than likely, you’ve experienced one or more of these symptoms, but may not have considered yourself stressed.  Here are five healthy techniques that psychological research has shown to help reduce stress for short and long term results:

Is Gun Violence A Health Disparity?

  1. Take a break from the stressor. It may seem difficult to get away from a big work project, a crying baby or pick up and move from a violent neighborhood. But when you give yourself permission to step away from it, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you have a new perspective or practice techniques to feel less overwhelmed. It’s important to not avoid your stress (those bills have to be paid sometime), but even just 20 minutes to take care of yourself is helpful.
  2. Exercise. The research keeps growing — exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine. Even a 20 minute walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.
  3. Smile and laugh. Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress in their face. So laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve the situation.
  4. Get social support. Call a friend, send an email. When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. But it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and whom you feel can understand and support you. If your family is a stressor, for example, it may not ease your stress if you share your work woes with one of them.
  5. Meditate. Meditation and mindful prayer help the mind and body to relax and focus. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self-compassion and forgiveness. When practicing a form of mindfulness, people can release emotions that may have caused the body physical stress. Much like exercise, research has shown that even meditating briefly can reap immediate benefits.

Let us know how these techniques work for you or share some of your own that we may have not mentioned. Do what works or try something new, but by any means necessary protect your mental well being.

Air Pollution & Your Diet: 5 Foods That Help You Breathe Easier




By Gwendolyn Harris   –

According to the 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study, air pollution kills more than 3.2 million people each year worldwide. How could something as natural as breathing take your breath away, permanently? When tiny foreign particles enter your bronchial tubes they penetrate and inflame the lungs, leading to respiratory diseases like COPD and asthma. Research shows that there are several foods and drinks that can help clean and clear your airways. Here are five anti-inflammatory foods worth adding to your diet to breathe easier:

1. Olive oil: Olive oil contains alpha-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E, that has been shown to improve lung function. This oil also contains monounsaturated fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation. Make olive oil your cooking oil of choice the next time you’re in the kitchen to get more in your diet.

2. Flaxseeds: Studies have shown that anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of phytoestrogens can significantly reduce asthma and allergy symptoms. Secoisolariciresinol, a type of phytoestrogen, is found in many foods, including flaxseeds. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds are also linked to reduced asthma risk. Get more of these seeds daily by adding them to smoothies or on top of salads.

3. Fruits and vegetables:  It doesn’t matter what kind you eat, just eat more of them! They are rich in antioxidants that can fix damage caused by air pollution. Broccoli, in particular, has been shown in studies to help you breathe easier. Try to have a fruit or vegetable with each meal daily.

4. Tomato sauce: Lycopene, the antioxidant found in foods like tomatoes, has been shown to help protect against asthma brought on by exercise. Instead of increasing your pasta intake, eat more fresh tomatoes.

5. White wine:  If you are taking medication for your respiratory issues, alcohol may be strictly prohibited. If you are not, you may be surprised to learn that studies show people who drink wine, particularly white wine, have healthier lungs. This is likely due to wine being high in antioxidants thanks to the grapes used.