Today’s blog is a guest entry from our partners at the International OCD Foundation.

Imagine you woke up one day during a particularly stressful time in your life, and your mind got stuck on a single thought. Perhaps you were anxious about a project at school or work, and were worried that you had made a mistake. Imagine your mind would not let that worry go. Instead, you replayed that anxious thought over and over and over again in your head. Imagine that you could not convince yourself that it was okay, even after re-checking your work and finding no mistake, or finding a mistake, but reasoning with yourself that it was minor and fixable. Now, imagine you woke up everyday with this feeling — this relentless anxiety — regardless of whether there was actually something worrisome happening in your life. Imagine this anxiety left you unable to get out of bed in the morning, or unable to leave the house, or unable to start any project for fear of making another mistake.

For approximately 3 million people in the US alone, this is a reality. This is obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. OCD is an anxiety disorder which causes

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Over 70% of internet users go online to learn about their health. Research that a few decades ago only doctors could access can now be downloaded over Starbucks’ WiFi. And because the average doctor’s appointment lasts just 13–16 minutes, many see the internet as a free, convenient alternative to medical advice.

But convenience doesn’t come without costs.

Instant access to health information coincides with an increase in “cyberchondria,” or anxiety about poor health stemming from internet research. Worse, study after study shows online health content is frequently unreliable, inaccurate, or hard to read.

That’s why I want to use this post to teach you a simple test that can help you weed out bad health information online.

The T.R.A.A.P. framework asks you to examine five qualities of any information source: TimelinessRelevanceAuthorityAccuracy, and Purpose.

Any source with its salt will have each of one. Below we’ll look at them individually as well as some red flags to keep in mind.

5 Qualities of Reliable Health Information

“T” for Timeliness

Trustworthy websites review and update their content — and let their readers know.

It’s estimated

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More and more communities across the country are encountering a commonly overlooked public health and safety issue: improper needle and sharps disposal.

“Sharps” is a medical term for devices with sharps points or edges that can puncture or cut skin. Examples of sharps are needles, syringes, lancets, auto injectors, epinephrine and insulin pens, infusion sets, and connection needles/sets.

The group of people who are put in the most danger by improper sharps disposal are environmental service workers – janitors, housekeepers, waste and recycling workers and sewage treatment workers. When a needle is tossed directly into the trash, it has the potential to stick whoever removes that trash. So the janitor may get stuck, the garbage-man may get stuck, and the waste-worker at the waste facility could get stuck. It is also possible for an animal to get to the needle or for it to tear through a trash bag. Any of these scenarios may ultimately expose the needle to neighbors and children. Such injuries cost thousands of dollars in medical testing and cause great stress on victims.

Sharps that are placed in the recycling can also

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by Andrea Baer, MS, Director of Patient Advocacy and Program Management at Mended Hearts

“I have been where you are, I know how you feel” – That’s a powerful statement. The sense of connectiveness and bonding that can happen is soothing, and often a key to successful recovery. Individuals who are going through a medical crisis or learning to change their lifestyle can find success in these connections. When my son was born in 2009 with a congenital heart defect, I was scared, alone and feared our future. I was given lots of medical information from healthcare professionals, but what I lacked was the everyday “how am I going to get through this” answer. Questions from formula, or sleep, or what to pack for surgery. My questions were never-ending. The first person who reached out to me and said those words: “I know how you feel, I’ve been there,” changed my entire thought process and set us up for success. Nine years later, I still benefit from this community. I give advice sometimes, and sometimes I need advice.

According to author Charles Duhigg, a movement starts because of the social habits of friendships

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by Richard Sagall, M.D.

Insurance is really a simple concept. But few people, and even fewer politicians, seem to understand how insurance works and why so many of the promises we hear are impossible.

Here are the basic concepts of insurance:

Number 1 – You Never Win with Insurance – You always lose with insurance. Think about what happens when you have health insurance.

Outcome 1 – You get sick, perhaps really sick, and you suffer while ill. You may experience long-term or even permanent disability from your illness. Or, in the worst case, you die. Your health insurance helps with the cost, but in any case, you suffer.

Outcome 2 – You spend a lot of money on premiums getting nothing in return. It’s true that you remain physically healthy, but, due to the high cost of health insurance, you may not be so financially healthy. So, you also suffer, just in a different way.

Number 2 – What You Really Get from Insurance – Or perhaps more accurately, what you should be getting from health insurance. What you are paying for with health insurance is a sense of comfort that you won’t

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