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Are the Mentally Ill Being Unfairly Targeted by the FBI’s Gun List? The Mysterious Link Between Auti

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Welcome back to In Case You Missed It (our weekly roundup of articles touching on psychology, health, mental health and social justice issues from multiple news and commentary websites). This week, we address whether the mentally ill are being unfairly targeted by the FBI’s gun list, the mysterious link between autism and extraordinary abilities, and whether the midlife crisis is just a myth.

A new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) makes it clear that health agencies and medical facilities can report the names of certain people to the federal database without violating privacy laws.  Some advocates believe this unfairly targets the mentally ill, who are more often the victims, not perpetrators, of gun violence. The White House is also pushing to allow the Social Security Administration to share information with the FBI about individuals with mental health issues who are determined to be legally incompetent. Advocates worry that this proposal is overly broad.

Doctors have noticed that some types of brain injury or dysfunction in the left hemisphere may be related to compensatory improvement in typically right-hemisphere functions. The brain may be redeploying its resources so that regions engaged for one purpose are recruited to take on more advanced tasks to compensate for damages in another area. San Diego psychologist Dr. Bernard Rimland noticed that savant skills, such as artistic expression or the ability to mentally manipulate three-dimensional (3-D) objects, were most frequently right-hemisphere faculties. Dr. Bruce Miller, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, believes enhanced perception may contribute to logical ability, which might explain the superior skill of some people with autism in solving complex logical puzzles.

A team from the University of Alberta in Canada concluded that the midlife crisis is nothing other than a myth. This study published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Developmental Psychology, presented data that showed participants registered a higher level of happiness at 40 than when they were 18. The level of happiness increased when the participants were between the ages 18 and early 30s, and some said their happiness were low when they get preoccupied with jobs. However, most achieved their maximum happiness after they got married and had better physical condition. Dr. Nancy Galambos pointed out that younger people may have a harder life than the older ones who already got their lives organized.

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