Behavior Health Digest

© Volume 11 Issue 4                      Edited by Abraham Kuperberg, Ph.D.



Mental health disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older - about one in four adults - suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year. Many mental health disorders have their beginnings in childhood or adolescence. The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey found that 13 percent of children ages 8 to 15 had at least one mental health disorder, a rate that is comparable to diabetes, asthma, and other diseases of childhood. Yet, mental health disorders often go undiagnosed and untreated for years. Help usually begins by acquiring information and learning about treatment choices. See links below for additional information about specific disorders and treatments:

Anxiety Disorders


Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Bipolar Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder

Eating Disorders

Social Phobia

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder



Sleep Disorders

Aging & Dementia

  Choosing a Mental Health Professional for You or Your Child-

Every individual experiences emotional difficulties from time to time but at some point the problems may warrant professional attention. Yet many are usually less familiar with, or feel confused about, obtaining mental health care. Individuals or parents may not readily recognize the presenting symptoms as a mental health problem. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed, think they should handle the problem on their own, feel the situation is hopeless, disagree when others suggest the need for outside help, or dismiss or misunderstand an emotional problem. Unfortunately, misconceptions and shame may delay or prevent adults and children from getting the help they need. When one is concerned about a possible mental health issue they can benefit from seeking guidance from a professional. This article describes when to seek help, discusses common myths about mental health, and describes the different approaches offered by various mental health professionals.

Are Americans Cheating More?-

David Callahan recently published a book "The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead" (Harcourt.)  Americans more and more frequently take the quick, dishonest route to wealth, writes Callahan. "It is just too easy in this society for cheaters to float seamlessly upward, seeing few downsides along the way," he maintains. We cheat on our taxes and our SATs, we lie on our resume, we overcharge our clients and customers, and from there it is a short leap to the sorts of business and investment fraud that swept America in the 1990s and exploded with scandals like Enron and WorldCom.  White-collar crime is rarely severely punished. No one will be socially ostracized for stealing cable service -- as 10 percent of Chicago households do, according to one study -- or pirating music online.

America needs a new social contract, Callahan concludes, as well as more individuals unafraid to be "chumps" if they are honest when others aren't.

Doing right can be as simple and small as leaving a tip in a roadside restaurant where you'll never be seen again. Rational-choice theory -- the hypothesis, popular in economics and political science, that we behave in ways that efficiently serve our self-interest -- can't explain such behavior. Nor can it explain why we make anonymous gifts to charity, return lost wallets to strangers, or choose to work for modest pay at socially useful jobs.

The Psychology of Hoarding-

People who hoard things are unable to organize and may fill their houses so full of stuff that they cannot function normally. Hoarders typically fill their living space with so many things that they canít hold a job, keep track of their own bills, enter certain rooms, invite family or friends to visit or even find a bed. Some have been hoarding for so long they donít remember what they have been collecting. Hoarders tend to be emotional; they attach sentimental value to most of their belongings, even used paper coffee cups or outdated calendars.  The first extreme case of hoarding came to light in 1947, when police found Homer and Langley Collyer dead inside their Fifth Avenue brownstone in Harlem, N.Y. According to news reports, Langley Collyer had transformed their house into a fortress with packing boxes and cartons in interlocking tiers with hidden tunnels. He hoarded thousands of newspapers, books, furniture, clothes, toys Ė you name it. He had hoarded so much stuff; the house was starting to buckle under the weight of it all, and Langley was buried alive while trying to bring his brother food.

Dealing with the Consequences of Suicide-

More than 29,000 Americans kill themselves every year. Each death forcibly derails the lives of parents and children, partners and siblings, hurtling them into unfamiliar and sometimes perilous territory.

However, the study of suicide has for the most part been devoted to those who choose to end their lives, not to the survivors, those left behind. Only recently have researchers begun to investigate, in a systematic fashion, the effects of a death from suicide on family members.

"Survivors were always seen as a source of information about suicides, but few studies looked into the problems that survivors were having," said Dr. Herbert Hendin, the medical director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which joined with the National Institute of Mental Health in May in convening experts to assess the state of research on suicide survivors, the first meeting of its kind. The report from the conference was recently released.  Yet the lack of knowledge about how the survivors cope and grieve, how they change as they absorb their loss, also reflects a wider public discomfort with the subject of suicide.

The Importance of Sleeping Well-

An estimated 10 to 15 percent of adults have severe or chronic insomnia. Many cases appear to be caused by an underlying condition like depression or painful arthritis, and the best approach is to treat that underlying condition. But for perhaps 15 to 30 percent of those with chronic insomnia, no known underlying disorder can be found.

Several studies have shown that people with insomnia are more likely than others to become depressed.

Lack of sleep, though not always caused by insomnia, can interfere with social life, job performance and driving. At least one study has shown that sleep deprivation results in poor glucose metabolism, a hallmark of diabetes.

A new effort appears to be developing to expand the use of sleeping pills, which because of their potential for abuse have long had a reputation as being in some ways more dangerous than the insomnia they are meant to treat.

Some sleep experts say newer pills are safer than the ones that once caused deaths from overdose. Moreover, some say, there is growing evidence that insomnia is a serious medical condition, not just a nuisance.  This article reviews the use of sleeping pills, their risks and their benefits.


Other Articles Featured in This Issue... (Just click on the article)


How Our Mental Skills Decline As We Age

Depression and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Addiction: A Brain Ailment, Not a Moral Lapse

Can Drugs Make us Happier?  Smarter?

Drug Blocks Pot's Effect on the Brain

Managing Depression

Talk Therapy for Teenage Depression

Are We Prepared for Mental Health Effects of Terrorism?

Many in Denial of Weight Problems

Diagnosing Mental Illness

Distinctive Cognitive Styles Stay with Age

Exercise and Setting Ease Alzheimer's Symptoms

The Futile Pursuit of Happiness

How Household Junk Can Grow Into Mountains

Medicating Young Minds

Insurance Still a Barrier to Mental Health Treatment


Parents favor counseling over meds for kids

Soldier Blues

Traversing the Mystery of Memory

Treatment for Low Sex Drive

TV/Video Violence and how it Affects Children



Book Published by Dr. Kuperberg Describes Father's Holocaust Experiences-

Dr. Kuperberg has edited a book written by his father, Icek Kuperberg, regarding his personal concentration camp experiences during World War II.  Icek was a prisoner in as many as ten work and death camps.  The book is entitled Memoirs of a Holocaust Survivor: Icek Kuperberg

The synopsis of the book reads as follows:

Powerful in its stark simple language, Icek Kuperberg chronicles his personal experiences as a concentration camp prisoner during World War II. Interned in various work and death camps, Icek had to use his guile and wits to simply stay alive. That he persevered despite tremendous horrors and obstacles, testifies to his strong will to survive.

The book's web site is at  One can read the first 25 pages for free, if so desired.  It is also being featured on , , and . Simply type in "Kuperberg" and go search.  Take a look!


Original Concept by Dovid Kuperberg