Friday, August 28, 2020

Depression: The silent killer

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To some people, depression is understood and associated with a mere feeling of sadness that brings a person to a low-spirited disposition. To this point, people might loosely say that they are “depressed,” even if they are simply expressing disappointment over something minor, like when they open their fridge and find out that they are out of ice cream. The truth is that depression is a far graver issue.

Dr. Curtis Cripe has studied extensively on the topic, and he brings our attention to what the professionals mean when they talk about depression in the clinical sense. Depression is a disease of the mind, which is referred to as the silent killer, because it makes a person lose himself and his own self-worth.

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It isn’t easy to spot a person who is dealing with clinical depression. This is especially true because coping mechanisms for sadness often compel a person to appear normal on the outside, at times when others are around to see them. Fake smiles act as artificial masks to people who have already reached the point of depression, even if they are chaotic deep inside. They typically don’t want to reveal their true feelings for fear of being ridiculed.

One more harsh truth about depression is that not many people are aware that they have it, Dr. Curtis Cripe shares. Brain chemistry imbalances and hormonal shifts combined with a host of other factors can lead to depression, and in extreme cases, suicide. It’s not uncommon for people to shrug things off as mere sad thoughts and think that they’re just having a bad day, just like everyone does from time to time.

For this reason, it is healthy to have oneself assessed periodically by a competent mental health professional, just to see if any intervention is necessary.

Dr. Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., hails from a multidisciplinary academic and professional background that includes aerospace engineering and psychophysiology. He is the director of research and development at the NTL Group, a company that specializes in neuroengineering programs to diagnose and treat a wide array of neurological dysfunctions. Visit this page for more details.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Psychological troubles in the time of COVID-19

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It is easy for everyone to think that the only problem in front of us today is the Corona virus and its direct impact on our health and safety. All of a sudden, personal protection equipment, social distancing, and community quarantines, occupy as space in our collective consciousness. For Dr. Curtis Cripe, a host of psychological problems have also crept into our lives slowly but surely.

In more than a few cases, cabin fever has hijacked the home environment today. Cabin fever describes the psychological symptoms that people commonly experience after being trapped inside their home for prolonged periods of time. Nowadays, people are running on a short fuse as they become more restless, irritable, and lonely.

There has been an alarming spike in suicides and suicide attempts that have a strong correlation with home restrictions. Somehow, being backed into a very narrow corner has caused some people to view the loss of their own lives as a better alternative to grinding it out on a daily basis, not knowing if they will even make it far enough to outlive the virus.

Image source: newscientist.com

Anxiety has reached an all-time high, and this has shown huge signs. People are eating less, not really because they wish to starve themselves, but because they have lost their appetites.

Sometimes people have even reached the point of depression, which is arguably one of the most tragic psychological conditions around, simply because it is too silent that it escapes even the closest people to any given individual who is suffering from it.

Dr. Curtis Cripe cautions us to be mindful of how this pandemic is causing us all of this pain, both physical and psychological. The latter has established a strong foothold in our daily lives today.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a diverse multidisciplinary background that includes software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, brain injury, and child neurodevelopment. He is part of a White House-NASA initiative created to spearhead telemedicine during this time of pandemic. Dr. Curtis Cripe is also the Research and Development lead at the NTL group.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What to do if you have COVID-19-like symptoms

As we approach our fifth month dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19, it is apparent that this pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon. While multiple countries including the US are working on a vaccine, Dr. Curtis Cripe believes that people shouldn’t rely on it and should learn how to care for patients with COVID-19 instead. And it all begins with knowing what to do if you have COVID-19-like symptoms.
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The first symptoms of COVID-19 are a high fever, dry cough, and a general feeling of tiredness. If you first exhibit these symptoms, you should self-isolate yourself for a minimum of 14 days before coming into contact with other people or go out of your house. Other less common symptoms include body pains and aches, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste and smell, conjunctivitis, and skin rashes or discoloration in the fingers and toes.

During your self-isolation, you could ask family members to look after you. If this is the case, you should have your own isolated quarters such as your bedroom. Whenever interacting with a caregiver, both parties should be wearing face masks in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Have your clothes and eating apparatuses cleaned and disinfected after every use.

As you self-isolate, you should be mindful of your symptoms and inform your caregiver of any new symptoms that arise. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, if you experience trouble breathing, inability to stay awake, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, and bluish face or lips, ask that you be taken to the nearest medical facility immediately.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a diverse multidisciplinary background that includes software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, brain injury, and child neurodevelopment. Dr. Curtis Cripe was asked to participate in a White House - NASA committee for TeleHealth/TeleMedicine during the COVID-19. His committee has been asked to spear head long term and on-going TeleHealth and TeleMedicine protocols and procedures that can be followed during the current and future Pandemics as well as TeleMedicine and TeleHealth even after the COVID-19 diminishes. The committee proposals have been accepted and is now moving forward Internationally with UN participation. Visit this website for more reads on COVID-19.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Caring for people with ASD during the coronavirus

If the changes brought on by COVID-19 is especially difficult for "normal" people, what more to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder? People with ASD can lead normal lives as long as there's routine, according to Dr. Curtis Cripe. With many of businesses and institutions caught in a standstill due to the pandemic, these routines that give these persons a degree of functioning have been compromised. Here's advice on how to help people with ASD during this time.

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In response to these times, you will need an emergency plan in case the primary caregiver or the person with ASD gets sick. A plan involves a list of contacts and resources. Make sure you attach pictures to this list aside from their numbers and color coding to appeal to someone with ASD.

After making sure you have an emergency plan, you will need to establish a new routine. The routine should share commonalities with their own normal routine while incorporating different sensory and behavioral activities. You should also establish cues about activity times so they can easily pivot and adjust. Your interventions should also involve the physical environment, like putting labels on things and making a space for certain types of activities, adds Dr. Curtis Cripe.

Of course, you should also seek resources and your community online as you push on with your developmental goals with your loved one who has ASD.

Dr. Curtis Cripeis currently working in a White House-NASA committee during the pandemic. His committee has been asked to spearhead long-term and on-going TeleHealth and TeleMedicine protocols and procedures that can be followed during the current and future Pandemics as well as TeleMedicine and TeleHealth even after the COVID-19 diminishes. Dr. Curtis Cripe is a brain development expert and a former engineer at NASA.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Neurodevelopment and beyond: When children have bad dreams

One of the fascinating things that can happen to people occurs in their dreams. When people sleep, the body rests, but the mind at times goes to places the body otherwise would have never reached. However, the opposite can also happen. Sometimes, dreams can be quite scary and downright terrifying. While this can be jarring even for the most courageous of adults, one can only imagine the effect on children.
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Dr. Curtis Cripe mentions that what magnifies nightmares for children is that at a young age, they still have issues telling the waking and dream worlds apart. This is still a huge question mark in science and the research of dreams, but parents will be able to help their child when the latter wakes up in tears.

But before anything else, Dr. Curtis Cripe mentions that parents should never dismiss their children’s dreams. Doing so may have a negative effect on children, especially since some nightmares may impact how a child perceives the world and, ultimately, their behavior. That said, parents should also learn how to approach a child without making things worse.

Psychologists and therapists have come up with ways in which parents may help children confront the situation. Children may be asked to draw their dreams, with these drawings becoming topics of conversation later. Another way is to reinforce the belief in children that they are safe with their parents at all times, Dr. Curtis Cripe adds.

However, mental health experts mention that if children cannot let go of their dreams and they seem bothered throughout the day, parents should take the next step and bring them to a child psychiatrist.

Dr. Curtis Cripeis a neuroengineer with a diverse multidisciplinary background that includes software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, brain injury, and child neurodevelopment. For more updates on neurological disorders, visit this blog.

Friday, March 27, 2020

The link between physical trauma and drug addiction

Over the years, law enforcement together with doctors, researchers, scientists, therapists, and mental health professionals have recognized a lot of “gateways” into drug addiction. From cannabis to alcoholic beverages to pain killers, these seemingly less serious substances have led people into harder drugs such as crack, cocaine, and heroin.

In today’s blog, Dr. Curtis Cripe explores a rather unconventional gateway to drug addiction— trauma. It is important to note that while psychological and physical trauma are not substances that a person can take like marijuana or hard liquor, their effects are similar when it comes to leading a person into addiction and abuse.

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One of life’s most tragic realities is that many children experience physical and psychological trauma. From beatings to sexual assault, to witnessing violence between their parents, to even having to go through their parents’ divorce if a marriage becomes messy, all these events can have life-long effects on children.

People with childhood trauma who are not lucky enough to get therapy and treatment seek other ways to cope with the memories of their experiences. And as they grow older, they find ways to alter their consciousness through substances such as alcohol and medication, and then harder and more dangerous drugs.

A great deal of people in the world have been changed for the worse because of childhood trauma. And a huge percentage of drug addicts cite psychological and physical trauma early on in their lives as among the main factors that led them to substance abuse, Dr. Curtis Cripe adds.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of research and development at the NTL Group, which specializes in the creation of neuroengineering programs for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. For more reads on neurology, go to this page.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The main difference between Asperger’s and autism spectrum disorder

For most people, distinguishing Asperger’s and autism spectrum disorder or ASD can be difficult. We in the science community continue discovering new aspects of neurological disorders that definitions tend to change often, especially for relatively new diseases. Dr. Curtis Cripe states that people need to have a clear idea of the two neurological disorders as mistaking one for the other can raise serious concerns.
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Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological condition where the brain’s development is hindered, which causes problems in social interaction and communication. Medical experts use the term spectrum because ASD refers to a wide range of different symptoms with varying severities. Aside from leading to difficulty in communication and social interaction, ASD can also show repetitive patterns of behavior in people suffering from it.

As for Asperger’s Disorder, people who suffer from the condition, unlike those with ASD, want to have social interaction with other people but don’t know how to do it. They are described as socially awkward and have poor understanding of social conventions, may lack empathy, or find it difficult to read social cues.

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One would easily mistake Asperger’s with the first level of the ASD spectrum, which is often described as manifesting in people with high functioning autism. What makes it easy to distinguish Asperger’s from ASD is the fact that there is no delay when it comes to speech and communication in Asperger’s patients.

Because of the nature of Asperger’s, it has been added and removed or reclassified as being part of the spectrum of ASD. Due to the nature of neurological diseases and disorders, Dr. Curtis Cripe believes that there is still much to learn about neurological disorders, how they can be treated, and how people can better manage them.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a multidisciplinary neuroengineer and aerospace engineer whose diverse background includes software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, brain injury, and child neurodevelopment. To know more about Dr. Cripe, visit this website.