Is ’13 Reasons Why’ Helping Kids Kill Themselves?

Is ’13 Reasons Why’ Helping Kids Kill Themselves?

MEDPAGE TODAY–Researchers see a link between upswing in suicide info searches and Netflix show. Internet searches linked to suicide spiked following the airing of Netflix’s controversial teen drama “13 Reasons Why,” which tells the story of a high school student who kills herself. Using what they called a “quasi-experimental” approach, researchers compared actual Internet search volumes for 20 queries which included the word “suicide” after the 13-episode television show was released March 31, with an estimate of the number of such searches that would have been expected if the show had not aired (from daily trends from Jan. 15-March 30, 2017). Searches increased for terms associated with suicidal ideation, including “teen suicide,” “how to commit suicide,” and “suicidal thoughts,” as well as for seeking help terms including “suicide hotline,” and “suicide hotline number,” reported John W. Ayers, PhD, of San Diego State University, and colleagues July 31 in a JAMA Internal Medicine research letter. In particular, the analysis showed a 19% cumulative increase in queries for the suicide terms included (95% CI 14%-24%) during the 19 days following series’ online release, “reflecting 900,000 to 1.5 million more searches than expected,” the researchers wrote. “Our analyses suggest ’13 Reasons Why,’ in its present form, has both increased suicide awareness while unintentionally increasing suicidal ideation,” they concluded. The show has been praised as an honest depiction of issues commonly faced by teenagers, including bullying and sexual assault. But it has also been strongly criticized by some mental health practitioners who say it romanticizes teen suicide. Netflix has announced that it will air a second season of the show. “The debate about the potential impacts of ’13...
Increase in sexually transmitted infections amongst Singaporean teenagers, study finds

Increase in sexually transmitted infections amongst Singaporean teenagers, study finds

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean study of 688 sexually active teens has found that there is an increasing pattern of adolescents getting diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Study results According to the Department of Sexually Transmitted Infections Control (DSC) Clinic, results from the study found that 421 teenage boys and girls – aged between 10 to 19 – contracted an STI in 2015, an 8% increase from 2014 where there were just 391 cases reported. Experts commented saying young people are not clueless about protection but they merely opt to engage in sexual activities without using condoms. It was found within this study group there were teens that engaged in these activities before the age of 16 and there were some teenagers who had a few sexual partners prior to reaching adulthood. In 2007, there were 820 cases recorded of such nature and had been steadily reducing until 2015. This study found that generally, over 90% of all adolescent STI cases were made up of those aged 15 to 19. Condom use to prevent STIs Out of the STIs in this study, chlamydia is the most common infection with gonorrhoea being a distant second. Third most common is genital warts. Dr Tan Wei Sheng, deputy head of DSC Clinic relayed his concerns with the lack of condom use amongst the teenagers despite being aware of its beneficial barrier effects against STIs. He said, “Youth today are quite savvy (about sex and contraception), more so than before; but it is not translating into action.” Based on a DSC study published in 2013, 90% of girls and 25% of boys claimed to...
Overcoming colour blindness with glasses and gene therapy

Overcoming colour blindness with glasses and gene therapy

MIMS–Almost everyone knows someone who is colour blind, or more accurately, colour deficient. In fact, colour blindness affects one in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women, while one in every six women is a carrier of the gene that causes it. Colour blindness is also more prevalent in males than in females as the most common form of defected colour vision is coded by a gene on the X chromosome. As such, fathers are unable to pass it down to their sons but are able to pass it to their daughters. The three types of colour blindness – protanomaly, deuteranomaly and tritanomaly – have eight specific variations and four degrees of severity – slightly, moderate, strong, and absolute. Generally, people with protanomaly and deuteranomaly colour blindness find it hard to tell the difference between blues and purples or pinks and grays. Greens, yellows, oranges, reds and browns are all a range of similar colours especially in low light. Tritanomaly is much rarer and those who suffer from it have problems with the blue-yellow spectrum, seeing yellows as pale pink and greens as purples. In other words, people with colour blindness can only see about 5% to 10% of the normal colour vision. Studies have also shown that people with colour blindness may react up to 30% slower to colour coded information, which affects their ability to drive or ride a motorcycle.    How the eyes perceive colour Approximately six million retinal cone cells make up the retina and each cell is ‘colour specific’, which responds to light of specific wavelengths and frequencies. Three different types of cone...
Why consulting ‘Dr Google’ is not a good idea

Why consulting ‘Dr Google’ is not a good idea

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 (Bernama) — If you are feeling a little under the weather or come down with a sniffle or find yourself aching all over, what do you do? Grab your smartphone and consult Dr Google? The search engine is, no doubt, a good tool to scour the Internet to find recipes, diet tips, weather report or just about any information on any subject. But to entirely depend on it for information and advice for health issues is going too far as Google does not necessarily have all the correct answers. It may get you the recipe you want or an accurate weather report, but the exact diagnosis and prescription for your health ailment? Not likely and, beware, adhering to the online doctor’s medical advice may land you in further trouble. GOOGLE TAKES ON DOCTOR’S ROLE Commenting on this, Malaysian Doctors Club President Dr Muhammad Hakim Nordin said some people have the tendency to think they need not consult a doctor as they could “google their symptoms” and rely on the information that pops up on their screen. He said by typing keywords like fever or joint pain, a google search would reveal a wide range of possible ailments, including serious ones, and their symptoms. “Reading all that information will make the patient even more anxious, more so if the list of ailmentsinclude cancer or other serious diseases. “It’s important to know that any Internet search can only yield information on common diseases, which may not be applicable to the patient concerned,” he told Bernama. Dr Muhammad Hakim said the so-called informed patient would have doubts if the advice given by his regular doctor contradicted the information he had retrieved from the Internet. He said...
Five Things To Know Before Purchasing Your Next Eyeglasses

Five Things To Know Before Purchasing Your Next Eyeglasses

So you were advised that you already need to wear prescription glasses. Whether it’s your first time or would need to replace your current one, there are a few things you need to know before making a purchase. Remember, dressing well is a form of good manners and dressing someone’s face is just like dressing their body–everyone has certain styles that are more flattering on them than others. The best frames will contrast with the natural face shape to provide definition, soften hard lines, and draw attention away from overly prominent features. And yes, this also applies when choosing...

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