Cabin fever: A behavioral examination

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For all the various issues on mental health and wellbeing out there, nothing is more popular in this pandemic than cabin fever. NTL Group leader Dr. Curtis Cripe shares his take on this behavior today.

Cabin fever is a human condition wherein the people involved are characterized by restlessness and irritability caused by being in a confined space for prolonged periods of time. Have you noticed how frequently you and your spouse, or any other person you are living with at home, seem to argue more often during this pandemic?

If you notice that more behaviors like anger, disdain, and intolerance have taken place at home while everybody is forced to stay indoors, there’s a big chance that you and your loved ones are experiencing cabin fever now.

According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, one theory suggests that the term “cabin fever” originated in the United States as a name to refer to the state of people who displayed a set of common and predictable behavioral patterns while they were forced to stay inside their cabins in the winter season until all the snow thawed. Another theory says that the term is drawn from seafaring ships where passengers had to endure months of slow travel while being confined inside their small cabins below deck.

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It seems that the behavior is a result of humans being removed from their comfort zones for too long. Generally, people are social beings and are able to actualize themselves better when in the company of others. The drastic shift from a relatively free and highly social lifestyle to being under uncomfortable limitations and isolation are enough to trigger cabin fever.

Dr. Curtis Cripe advises everyone who has behaved similarly while in their homes during this pandemic not to take things personally not to hold any grudges towards each other. Also, there are various tips online on how to manage this and lessen domestic friction.

Dr. Curtis Cripe, Ph.D., is the director of research and development at the NTL Group, a company that develops neuroengineering diagnostic and treatment programs to address a broad array of neurological dysfunctions. His professional background and academic expertise span several disciplines, including aerospace engineering, software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, and child neurodevelopment. To know more about his work, read this website.


Why telemedicine is a reliable tool today

The rest of the world has been impacted with one of the most crippling issues in recent history, which is the COVID-19 pandemic. A small number of us may have enjoyed some amount of relief as restrictions have eased out a little in some parts of the globe, but for the most part, we are now living in a changed society, Dr. Curtis Cripe shares.
When it comes to health, COVID-19 is top of mind. However, that doesn’t mean all other health concerns will just cease to exist. There remains the issue of chronic diseases and terminal diseases, and even diseases of the mind that range from depression to trauma plague us all while the dark cloud of the pandemic is overhead.
In this very irregular situation, medical experts have turned to telemedicine as a tool to beat the odds. As many people have been trapped in their homes with less available doctors tending to their health conditions, telemedicine has worked around the restrictions and has broken through geographic challenges.
With the use of technology and connectivity, patients and doctors are now taking the route of virtual communication whenever and wherever this is possible. Of course, telemedicine does not fairly address all health situations, especially ones that have to do with the most serious conditions and emergencies. However, there are medical conditions that do not require for a patient to be in the actual presence of a doctor for concrete steps to be made.
Dr. Curtis Cripe points out that diabetes management, active heart monitoring, and even blood pressure monitoring are common in a telemedicine set-up. This practice is expected to become a permanent change in the way that we will be dealing with health issues, even after COVID-19 gets a needed vaccine.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is the founder of the Crossroads Institute, and now heads the research and development teams as developer of Cognitive Repair for Brain Disorders technology. He is also part of a White House-NASA committee that has been tasked to spearhead the use of telemedicine as a solution during this time of pandemic, and even after the COVID-19 diminishes. Dr. Curtis Cripe is also a brain development expert and a former engineer at NASA.

How to care for COVID-19 patients at home

As the country enters its fourth month of combating the coronavirus pandemic, it seems justifiable for people to be treated at home. There are many reasons why this could be a viable choice for many. Firstly, it is possible for hospitals in hotspots to be at full capacity, people might think hospitals are unsafe, or that people simply don’t have the resources to send their sick to the hospital. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, here are some guidelines to follow when caring for COVID-19 patients or patients who have COVID-19 symptoms at home.

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Limit Contact
A minimum distance of 6 feet between patient and caregiver should be followed at all times. Unnecessary visitors should be prohibited, especially those who are at high risk of contracting the illness, like elderly people. If possible, the sick individual should be confined in one room to avoid spreading the disease.

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Wear proper PPE
When interacting with a patient, both the patient and the caregiver should wear proper PPE. This includes face masks for both parties. The caregiver should also wear disposable gloves when cleaning items from the sick room, like used plates and laundry.

Track your own health
It is also paramount that healthcare workers and caregivers monitor their own health. If they also start showing symptoms, they should self-isolate for 14 days in order to confirm whether or not they have contracted the disease. Dr. Curtis Cripe also suggests that if any party begins to show respiratory problems or have trouble breathing, emergency services should be notified immediately.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a background that includes child neurodevelopment, among other disciplines. He is also the head of the Research and Development Department of the NTL Group. 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. For more on Dr. Cripe and his work, follow this Facebook page.

How to access a therapist during a pandemic

If you need support for your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, rest assured that there are more ways of accessing one during this critical time. A new law made in response to COVID-19 has waived the restrictions made by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act on telehealth for Medicare users, explains neuroengineering professional Dr. Curtis Cripe.

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This means you will be able to access the services of your therapist through phone, video chat, or app. Telehealth and telemedicine services are currently ramping up to meet your needs. The paperwork and copays to find mental health support have also lessened in case you’ve always wanted to receive mental health support before but could not. To access one, first determine how you might be able to pay for it either through Medicare or through a private insurance.


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You can always opt to ask Federally Qualified Health Centers to receive this support for free. You can also talk to counselor at the national crisis text line by sending an SMS with the word CRISIS to 741741. If you’re covered by a private insurer, please visit their site and check their local directories for mental health professionals in your area, Dr. Curtis Cripe advises.

Once, you identify your coverage, just look up mental telehealth services through sites like Amwell, MDLive, Teladoc, and Psychology Today or apps like TalkSpace. Please use this information to take care of yourself in this difficult time.

Dr. Curtis Cripe, a brain development expert and former NASA engineer, was asked to participate in a White House-NASA committee for TeleHealth/TeleMedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about Dr. Curtis Cripehere.

PSA: Reading is good for the brain

Dr. Curtis Cripe has devoted a huge part of his life studying the human brain. As such, he has done extensive research on fields such as neuroengineering and neurodevelopment. For the past few years, he has released a series of blogs about the human brain.

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In this blog post, Dr. Curtis Cripe discusses several reasons why reading is good for the brain and one’s overall wellbeing.

Brain enhancement: As mentioned earlier, reading does wonders for the brain. Research has shown just how beneficial reading is to a person neurologically and psychologically. Reading has been found to increase the strength and bonds between brain muscles and improves one’s memory, which is why it is often recommended for people with early-onset dementia.

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Reduced stress: It has already been proven that stress plays a huge role in a person’s wellbeing, which is why any stress-relieving activity is highly recommended for people with health issues. A study shows that reading help lowers stress by almost 70%, Dr. Curtis Cripe notes.

Stronger relationships: Books help readers learn more about the world and other people. This way, it enhances understanding about everything around them. Reading helps people look for solutions to problems, and helps people keep their minds off troubling times, even if only for an hour or two.

Dr. Curtis Cripe has a diverse multidisciplinary professional and academic background, having worked in aerospace, engineering, software development, bioengineering, addiction recovery, psychophysiology, psychology, and child neurodevelopment. More on Dr. Cripe and his work here.


A primer on cognitive development in children

Tied with Dr. Curtis Cripe’s research on neuroengineering are his studies on neurodevelopmental delays and cognitive disorders. To get a better grasp of this, Dr. Cripe has come out with this short blog, which serves as a primer on cognitive development in children.

Cognitive development is an incredibly diverse famous area in psychology and neuroscience. It has gained a lot of traction over the past few decades, alongside the field’s other numerous milestones and breakthroughs.

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What makes cognitive development so popular to students is the study of the many ways a child’s brain can develop, how it processes information, how the child ultimately sees the world around him, and what he learns from it.

From a historical perspective, the study of cognitive development can be traced back to Jean Piaget’s notes. While Piaget has theorized a healthy number of concepts on cognitive development, his most important contribution are the four stages — sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational – all of which have become the foundation of cognitive development as a science. Over time, newer schools of thought have come up with a number of concepts added to Piaget’s teachings. Today, students of cognitive development learn about object permanence for infants and how toddlers explain cause and effect.

However, some famous psychologists and behavioral theorists offer different theories that conflict with Piaget’s notes. And this only serves to make the study of cognitive development all the more interesting to students.

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But, for Dr. Curtis Cripe, the bottom line is that whatever psychologists young and old choose to believe, studying how a child’s brain develops is both fascinating and extremely helpful in understanding human development as a whole.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of research and development at the NTL Group. He has published two peer-reviewed papers and wrote two book chapters on neurotherapy and neuroengineering. For more on Dr. Cripe, visit this webpage.


What is high functioning autism?

Medically speaking, high functioning autism is not an official medical term or diagnosis. It is mainly how people describe those within the autism spectrum disorder who can speak, read, write, and can do basic day-to-day functions such as eat or get dressed on their own. A lot of how the term was coined is due to past medical practices, according to Dr. Curtis Cripe.

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For the longest time, only people with severe symptoms were diagnosed with autism. It was only during the 1990s that milder forms of autism became recognized as part of the illness. In fact, the term autism spectrum disorder or ASD was only coined in 2013. In terms of this spectrum, people who are on the first level are generally considered as those with high functioning autism, given the mild symptoms.

For people with high functioning autism, the symptoms include a hard time interacting socially with other people or reading social cues. They don’t make eye contact, don’t bother with small talk, and often shut down due to the stress of social situations.

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Growing up with high functioning autism is still a toss-up, even if those affected are able to communicate and perform functions like most people. There have been those who suffer from the condition but still end up doing well in school. At the same time, there are also some whose studies go poorly due to their inability to concentrate or are overwhelmed by their surroundings. Later in life, people with high functioning autism can even hold a job even as others struggle to do so. Dr. Curtis Cripe believes that this fact simply shows the effects of having an underdeveloped social side.

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. For more reads on neurological disorders, visit this blog.

Tourette’s: How it affects people and how to manage it

Tourette syndrome is one of the few neurological illnesses which can greatly affect a person’s lifestyle. A person with Tourette’s would have involuntary body movement called “tics,” ranging from something mild like flinching to cases where patients would flail or curse. In severe cases, some tics could paralyze a patient indefinitely. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, Tourette’s begins during childhood, with a good chance of it subsiding as one reaches adulthood. For a lot of patients, symptoms subside after just 10 years. However, persistent Tourette’s require a lot of effort in terms of managing the illness.

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People suffering from Tourette’s can be categorized by the tics they experience. They can either be vocal tics or physical ones. For both categories, symptoms could either be simple or complex. Simple vocal tics manifest themselves in coughs, sniffles, blows, and screams while complex tics include repetition of words or phrases, mimicking other people, or even swearing. As for physical tics, simple ones could include jerking movements like neck twisting, blinking, and teeth grinding. Complex physical tics are often complex movements like hitting, kicking, shaking, and mimicking the movements of others.

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Managing Tourette’s can be tricky. For one, suppressing the patient can simply agitate the person and make the episode worse. This is why lifestyle changes are necessary in order to lessen the episodes. Dr. Curtis Cripe believes that stress can be a big factor in the surfacing of these tics. That is why patients are often told to avoid stress or to have a ready, quiet, and safe space where they can deal with and “release” their tics. The good news is that, given the delicateness of the issue, it is good to know that there is a growing community which supports and helps children and adults suffering from Tourette’s.

Dr. Curtis Cripeis a neuroengineer with a background that includes child neurodevelopment, among other disciplines. He is also the head of the Research and Development Department of the NTL Group. For more insightful reads on neurological disorders, visit this blog.

How is procrastination connected to depression?

Procrastination is the act of avoiding what needs to be done by pursuing other actions. For example, instead of studying, a student might end up cleaning his or her room or watching television. While this simple act of omission sounds harmless enough, new studies have shown that certain degrees of procrastination are linked to depression. Dr. Curtis Cripe says that chronic procrastination is tied to depression, which happens when one feels a certain helplessness and lack of energy to fulfill tasks.

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Depressed people often put actions off but to a severe degree. For example, a person who is depressed may not feel like accomplishing anything at all, even if it’s as simple as writing their name down on a form or answering phone calls. Given the nature of this combination, seeking treatment becomes a greater challenge.

However, not all acts of procrastination can be traced back to depression. Oftentimes, people who are chronic procrastinators have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. People suffering from this ailment are easily distracted or have difficulty sticking to a task they are given. The same goes for obsessive-compulsive disorder, where a person has compulsions that keep him or her from performing certain tasks.

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Given the available information regarding procrastination and depression, it is important for people to assess the situation of those whom they know to be chronic procrastinators. Mental health issues are serious matters and getting ahead of them can make all the difference. According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, finding the root cause of our procrastination can help us overcome this crippling problem.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a background that includes child neurodevelopment, among other disciplines. He is also the head of the Research and Development Department of the NTL Group. To read more about Dr. Cripe and his work, visit this webpage.