Mental Health and Mental Illness, Donald Trump and REAL Wellness

Introduction

I once thought insanity was the most likely explanation that accounted for the fact that not everyone was living a healthy lifestyle. That was nearly twenty years ago. It was, of course, a jejune notion, shortsighted and unfair to those not living a healthy lifestyle.

I mention this because a lot of folks still think this way. I’ll summarize why I once did, and then explain why I don’t anymore.

Lunacy and Low Level Worseness

Mental disorders affect nearly one in five Americans, according to a succession of U.S. Surgeons General. This ratio suggests the U.S. harbors over 60 million troubled people, a good number of whom populate our prison system. The rest are out and about with little or no supervision. (According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons and county jails in 2013, plus another 4,751,400 adults on probation or parole.)

Given that the electorate last year voted Donald Trump into the highest office in the land, these estimates seem conservative. A more likely reality is that the reverse of the Surgeons General figures applies, that is, only one in five Americans is healthy. The other 80% have gone round the bend.

Officials continually advise citizens to seek help for recognized mental problems – and to be alert for symptoms of such in others.

Previous administrations urged Congress to enact laws requiring insurance coverage for mental and physical health treatments on an equal basis with physical troubles. ACA (or Obamacare to Republicans) did this to an extent.

What Constitutes Mental Health?

Mental health is described as an ability to engage in productive activities, to fulfill relationships with others, adapt to change and cope with adversity – for starters. So, go count on two hands the number of folks you work with who pass that test!

Next, think about the quality of relationships of people you know – their ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity – and ask yourself: Is it one in five who meet the test of mentally ill, or four in five? If you didn’t pick the latter, apply another test: Do those you know have the ability to change and adapt, to employ reason, enjoy exuberance in many forms, attend to sufficient exercise and good diet and value their liberties?

Looking after one’s own well being seems like a rational, mentally healthy thing to do, don’t you think?

Healthy people can adapt and change, they are not over-fat and are not afflicted with deadly habits (e.g., smoke, abuse alcohol, or remain in destructive/unhappy relationships), nor do they worry most of the time, day in and day out.

On a personal level, can you check that’s me after all or most of the following:

* Find ways to enjoy your work?

* Manage to fill most days with some form of play?

* Employ sufficient reason to recognize political and other charlatans, avoid bad actors, frauds and mountebanks and steer clear of useless products and services?

* Effectively communicate with honesty and candor?

* Reject cults, gurus, flimflam belief systems while spotting a mile away rigid, archaic and senseless dogmas and creeds based entirely on superstitions?

* Delight in the expression of your gifts and talents?

These are representative examples of good mental health, for starters. So, once again: Are we talking about one in five with or without mental disorders?

We can all profit from continuing education throughout life that helps us adapt to life as it is and function with high levels of reason, exuberance, athleticism and liberty.

I suspect you agree that government estimates of mental health problems are not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Now you know why I thought the Attorneys General estimates of mental health were off. As a result, I erroneously concluded people did not embrace wellness-oriented lifestyles because they were, how shall I put this in a delicate, compassionate way? Let’s let it go as pre-postal mad as hatters, one fry short of a Happy Meal or just plain nucking futs.

One More Reason for My Former Thinking

I assumed for a long time that anyone in his or her right mind would realize that to adapt and cope, flourish and prosper in this life, you had to attend to your body and mind in artful, science-based ways known to be effective. I believed in daily exercise of a vigorous nature, dining wisely, being responsible for one’s own health and fate to the extent possible and seeking ways to make life challenging and satisfying,

So, that’s it – that was my old self.

My (Relatively) New Take on Why Most Have Not, Can Not and Will Not Embrace REAL Wellness

Most have little chance to discover that a wellness option exists, let alone opportunities to practice and sustain such a complex personal mission that requires support from families, friends, cultures and environments. I Aussie polymath Grant Donovan has written books and dozens of articles about why most just can not do it (i.e., live well and be happy).

The relatively few who manage healthy lifestyles have done so not so much because of their disciplined ways, heroic efforts, brilliant decisions, favorable educations and good and continuing random good fortune, though any and all of these factors have helped a lot. But the main reason is that they have had better circumstances along life’s way, supportive cultures, environments, heredity and much more.

Regrettably, this summary explanation does not address the complexities of free will versus determinism. That’s for another day, perhaps. Basically, determinism holds that all behavior is caused by preceding factors and is thus predictable. The free will view maintains that we have choices in how we act because we are free to choose our attitudes and behaviors.

The icantdoit model referenced above leans heavily on determinism, not free will.

However, that doesn’t mean I like it. My advice, despite this acknowledgement, is to do what you can to change and adapt. Don’t abandon the quest for improved mental and physical wellbeing. Don’t settle for the mediocre desire to be not crazy! Set your sights higher, and in a more positive way. Seek states of well-being that transcend the norms you’ve known to date. To simply NOT be crazy, however difficult for at least four out of five, overlooks your potentials and your good fortune to be living in a mostly free society where lots of choice is still possible. Don’t go along gently with all the preponderance of experts who insist on the reality of determinism. While it’s important to avoid becoming too mental, assume you can do better than that.

Mental Health Care Coverage in Minnesota – Supplementing Federal Healthcare Reform

In 2007, the governor of Minnesota proposed a mental health initiative and the legislature passed it. One of the more important components of the initiative was legislation amending Minnesota’s two programs for the uninsured – General Assistance Medical Care and Minnesota Care – to add to the comprehensive mental health and addictions benefit.

Who Is Covered?

General Assistance Medical Care covers those with income at or below 75% of the federal poverty level who meet one or more of additional criteria known as General Assistance Medical Care qualifiers. Qualifiers include waiting or appealing disability determination by Social Security Administration or state medical review team; or being in a homeless or live in shelter, hotel, or other place of public accommodation.

Minnesota Care covers children and pregnant women, parents, and caretakers up to 275% of the federal poverty level, except that parents and caretakers gross income cannot exceed $50,000. Single adults without children increased to 200% of federal poverty level by January 1, 2008 and will rise to 215% of federal poverty level by January 1, 2009.

What Services Are Covered?

For Minnesota Care, there are limits of $10,000 on inpatient care for any condition (physical, mental health, or addictions) for parents over 175% of federal poverty level and childless adults. For General Assistance Medical Care, inpatient benefits are fully covered. Both programs cover chemical dependency outpatient services. An intensive array of outpatient and residential mental health services are available.

What Is The Cost?

In Minnesota, the Medicaid Temporary Assistance for Needy Families population, General Assistance Medical Care and Minnesota Care are enrolled in comprehensive nonprofit health plans that are responsible to deliver and are at risk for the entire health benefit, including behavioral health. Adding mental health rehabilitative services (including adult rehabilitative mental health services individual and group rehabilitation services, assertive community treatment, intensive residential treatment and mobile and residential crisis services) to Minnesota Care was projected to cost $3.40 per person per month. For General Assistance Medical Care, which includes a homeless population, the cost was $7.01 per person per month. The additional targeted case management service was projected to cost $2.22 per person per month for Minnesota Care and $7.66 for General Assistance Medical Care.

The legislature appropriated a total of $1 million in additional state dollars in fiscal year 2008 and $ 3.5 million in fiscal year 2009 to add the adult rehabilitative services and case management in Minnesota Care. State funds previously targeted for case management were moved from the counties to the state in an amount of $4.4 million in fiscal year 2009.

What Led To Comprehensive Coverage?

The state collected data on the residents served by Minnesota Care, General Assistance Medical Care, and Medicaid managed care plans serving non-disabled populations, and discovered that an increasing number of individuals with serious mental illnesses were in these plans. Several insurance reforms – similar to those included in the national healthcare reform bill – modified the private market, including guaranteed issue in small and large group plans, broader rate bands, parity for mental health and chemical dependency services, medical loss ratios, high risk insurance pool, and others. A lawsuit by the attorney general called attention to health plan denials of payment for court-ordered treatment, for example for civil commitment or out of home placement for adolescents.

Health plans settled with an agreement that behavioral and mental health benefits would be covered by a health plan if the court based its decision on a diagnostic evaluation and plan of care developed by a qualified professional. In addition to the court-ordered services provision, the state contracts and capitation with prepaid health programs (Minnesota Care and General Assistance Medical Care) were amended to align risk and responsibility for services in institutions for mental illnesses, 180 days of nursing home or home health, and court-ordered treatment. There were also highly successful experiments reducing costs and improving outcomes for commercial and non-disabled Medicaid clients who were offered a more intensive community based mental health service that improved coordination with and linkages to behavioral healthcare, primary care, and other needed services.

These demonstrations produced a positive return on investment – $0.38/person/month – and gave the health plans tools to manage the increased risk that resulted from several insurance reforms, including parity, a statutory definition of medical necessity, and the court-ordered treatment provision.

Dental Health Is a Direct Connection to General Health

Not that long ago oral hygiene was not considered anything important to one’s overall general health. Dental health and oral hygiene is as important as other things in our body. Their proper functioning can avoid lots of complications and if a problem occurs, then many of the tasks be stopped.

Apart from adding up to your beauty and smile by maintaining your teeth, it is also important for your health as dirty and pale teeth can result in many complications like intestinal problems, stomach problems and more.

They can also look good and smell good, likewise if you have maintained them well. In order to look after your teeth well, your teeth be clean of germs and debris that can make them look faded and yellow. Your gums along with your teeth if perfectly healthy they should not bleed while brushing as unhealthy gums bleed as well as hurt. So, if your gums and teeth are in perfect health they won’t bleed, hurt or have any bad breath.

Brushing and Cleaning

Proper brushing is the fundamental step to take to have clean and healthy teeth. There are many people who are not aware of the basic steps in cleaning and brushing teeth. Brushing requires 2 minutes time and it is important that at least this amount of time is given. You should reach with the toothbrush all areas of your mouth and brush all the teeth, paying special focus on back teeth, corner teeth, around the gum-line teeth etc.

Teeth cleaning and brushing helps you to clean your teeth off debris, plaque and bacteria and to make them look shiny, sparkling and white. Brushing the teeth right means brushing up and down and not long site of teeth and gums. The up and down movement with the brush will allow the bristles of the brush in between the teeth to remove any food particles. This will prevent many teeth ailments like gingivitis, cavities or dental caries, periodontal ailments etc.

Toothpaste!

Selecting toothpaste at random is a problem and a health concern. Chemicals in toothpaste make many people sick, most of the time not realizing the connection. There be hardly any toothpaste you can find of the shelf that are chemical free.

To find a toothpaste that is one hundred percent free of artificial flavor, color, sugar, sweetener, and toxic chemicals would be almost as hard as picking the winning lotto numbers. There is one well-known brand name made in China; this one is even worse than most of the others. Stay well clear from it. Most people are not aware of chemical sensitivity and those with allergies, diabetes etc. what effect this can have.

Dental Health Does Affect General Health

Most of us understand that poor dental health can cause gum disease, gingivitis, mouth sores, buildup of plaque and tooth loss. It doesn’t stop here; bad oral hygiene can lead to many other serious health issues. We should not underestimate, oral health is about much more. It can cause cardiovascular disease and blood disorder. Bacteria from the mouth can get into the blood stream, cause infection spreading throughout the body. Infection of the gum can interfere with brain cells and lead to memory loss.

Because of inflammation caused from gum disease, this can trigger rheumatoid arthritis, which is painful and is a debilitating inflammatory disease. As well it can affect kidneys, blood pressure, bones and weaken the immune system. As bacteria travels through the bloodstream, it can cause respiratory infection and infect lungs causing bronchitis and pneumonia.

Some other studies and information claim that cancer is also triggered by root canal. Evidence shows when cancer patients get the root-canal removed the recovery rate, when treated for cancer, is by far greater and the patient gets better. Although, the cause of the problem shouldn’t be ignored and treated first, before treating the symptom. As with oral health, it’s a well-known fact that oral health affect’s much more than just your mouth. Inflammation in the gums or toxic pockets in the jaw can destroy the immune system almost completely.

4 Impossibly Simple Dental Hygiene Tips for Everyday

Everyone wants to have that fantastic toothpaste-model smile. Did you know that getting such a smile is not all that difficult? Sometimes all that is needed is to maintain high levels of oral hygiene. All dental problems- at least a majority of them- are as a result of poor dental care. These issues could be anything from gum disease, bone loss, heart disease and so much more. Checkups and proper hygiene can prevent these issues. Here are some simple dental hygiene tips that you can employ to ensure that you keep your teeth healthy for years to come. They are exactly what you know:

1. Brushing

This is one of the simplest ways of maintaining oral hygiene. If you are brushing your teeth, you need to place your brush at an angle of 45 degrees close the gum line. The gum line and tooth surface must be in contact with the bristles. On the outer surface of the teeth using a backward -forward, up-and -down motion, making sure to be done gently to evade bleeding.

In order to clean the inside surfaces of the teeth and gums, place the bristles at a 45-degree angle and repeat the backward forward, up-and-down motion. Finally, the brush surfaces of your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria, which may lead to bad breath. Brushing your teeth twice a day helps you to curb buildup of bacteria. If you cannot do this, rinse your mouth with water after eating to reduce the amount of food that would serve as the home for the bacteria.

2. Flossing your teeth.

Flossing can help you remove food particles and other damaging substances that regular brushing of teeth cannot. It enables one to reach between the teeth where toothbrush bristles cannot reach or mouthwash can’t wash away. It is recommended that you floss your teeth once in a day.

3. Reduce tobacco intake

This will help your teeth a lot. First, it will save you from oral cancer and periodontal diseases. Second, it will put away all the many horrible side effects caused by agents used to mask the smell of tobacco. For instance, when you smoke a cigarette, you are highly likely to use candy, tea or coffee to mask the smoky breath and odor from getting out. This increases the harm created.

4. Use mouth wash apart from brushing and flossing

They are not important and not all are effective. They contain Listerine and carbon dioxide is very helpful because they help exterminate and preserve the bacteria in your mouth. Mouth wash can help sustain well-built teeth. However, mouth wash goes hand in hand with brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist and eating well, it is just the thing that will improve your dental strength and make it grand.

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