Minding Your Mind’s Fourth Annual Blue Gene Gala

Meet the Sixers Player Who Refuses to Take Airplanes

Royce White

This summer, the Sixers’ new GM Sam Hinkie traded for a promising, versatile, fascinating 22-year-old power forward named Royce White. Last season, White played for Houston, where Hinkie used to work. Except, he didn’t really play last season. That’s in part because White suffers from a severe anxiety disorder–including a crippling fear of flying on planes–and wrangled with the Rockets all season about trying to get treatment and health exemptions from the team.

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Guns, PTSD, Mental Illness and a Post-Navy Yard World

As the theories about what set Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis on his homicidal tear pile up, old policy clashes are re-emerging. Gun control advocates are quick to offer assorted “we-told-you-so” arguments, and for good reason. But as fevered as the uproar over guns is the conversation on mental health.

Once details emerged that Alexis had a long post-9/11 history of mental issues, the spigot of outrage flowed. How could a 34-year-old disturbed Navy veteran with a Molotov cocktail of “anger management” and firearms episodes get a security clearance to the facility overseeing Naval operations worldwide? Here in D.C., getting security clearance for a cushy federal gig is like finding gold. You can’t even get one if you have bad credit. So, how did Alexis slip through the cracks?

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Bradford Regional Medical Center to Offer Internet Addiction Treatment Program

Are you a karma junkie? Memes Got You Hooked? Chasing the Youtube dragon endlessly? If so, consider checking into the nation’s very first internet addiction program, running directly out of Bradford’s Regional Medical Center. You too can be free from the tyranny of endless cat pictures.

The program starts September 9 with a 10-day voluntary program aimed at alleviating internet addiction in those of us who take the geek thing a little too far. That alleviation, of course, comes from a whole menu of “digital detox” programs couples with medication, if necessary.

But will it help? Is this really something to worry about? Well …

“Research has found that Internet addicts and drug addicts experience similar withdrawal symptoms, especially when going cold turkey. A 2006 study by Stanford University’s School of Medicine found that nearly one in eight Americans suffers from at least one sign of “problematic Internet use” — such as the inability to stop looking at their phones or computers for an extended period of time.”

Maybe now would be a good time to unplug. [MLMN]

Police Remove Three Children From Feces-Filled Logan Home

Police removed three girls from a Logan neighborhood home that was reportedly filled with feces, trash and other random nasties. Aged 1, 3, and 4, the children removed from the home were found wearing only diapers, with no crib or children’s bedding in sight.

Police initially went to the home, located on the 4800 block of N. Ninth Street, to deliver a domestic violence warrant as the girls’ mother, Lakeeshanaye Overton, 24, had been arrested for attacking her husband, Soyika Eldemine, 25. The couple now is charged with three counts of reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. The children have since been transported to an area hospital, though there has been no word about their condition.

This comes on the heels of last month’s report about a Bustleton home owned by a man in his mid 70s that police found stacked with trash and animal feces. An investigator in that case called it a “house of horrors.” Now, it would appear that Philly has more than one. [NBC]

LOVE Park’s Real Homeless Problem

Last week Philly Mag posted what seemed to be a fairly innocuous question on its Facebook page: “LOVE Park will be getting an upgrade. What would you like to see happen there?” Some answers addressed the question in the way we expected: “Some cool digital features like a virtual tourist center or something on the history behind the LOVE statue.” Or, “More sculptures/art … maybe pieces you can sit on.”

But then there were also responses like this one: “Less half naked bums scratching their asses and feeding the pigeons.”
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Humane Officers Find Hoarder’s “House of Horrors” in Bustleton

Humane officers last night entered — in the words of PSPCA law enforcement director George Bengal — a “house of horrors” to rescue an unconscious man in his mid-70s from the day’s heat. The house, located on Bickley Street in Bustleton, was stacked with trash and filled with animal feces, along with dozens of cats, some of which were dead. Investigators said that the home’s roof was also in the process of caving in and the basement had been flooded. The unidentified homeowner was taken to Nazareth Hospital following the rescue by fire personnel. Relatives of the man initially called police after finding the house in its deplorable state. [CBS] [Daily News]

Montgomery County’s Suicide Rate Up an Astonishing 83.9 Percent

Turns out the ‘burbs are somewhat depressing, at least recently. Suicide rates in Montgomery County, once below the national average, have skyrocketed 83.9 percent between 2005 and 2011. Surrounding counties like Chester, Bucks and Delaware County fluctuate regularly, increasing only marginally comparatively. With their suicide rate at 13.25 per 100,000 residents, what exactly is causing this rise in suicides? Officials say they aren’t sure, but with 80 percent of suicide victims being male, a focus on outreach in that arena might help. In the mean time, loved ones are encourage to follow Montgomery County Emergency Services‘ ACE acronym:

Ask: calmly but directly, “Do you think you might try to hurt yourself?”

Care: Listen to them while removing any means of self-harm.

Engage: Don’t leave the person alone. Call for help: 1-800-273-TALK, 1-800-SUICIDE, or 911.


For Those Who Are Suicidal, Despair Will End

I am in Rehoboth in a cheap motel room, a nubby yellow bedspread rough beneath my fingers, a loose, faux-wood headboard hard against my back. The window is open and I can hear the ocean whoosh in and out on the beach. I look at my reflection in the gray-black mirror of the TV screen across from me. Still. I am utterly still.

The only thing I can think is: “I want to die.” There’s no cognitive process that goes along with the words, no thoughts about hopelessness or a failed life trajectory. Just the words themselves along with a searing physical pain that seems to come from the bottom of my pelvis and travel upward, around my rib cage, against my sternum, into my throat, along the ridges of my teeth, spilling out of my mouth like liquid, and I say it aloud: “I want to die. I want to die.”

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