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.