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Early Signs of Bed Bugs | Healthfully

October 25th, 2017 by admin

Bed bugs are small, flat, reddish-brown pests that feed on human and animal blood. They often lurk in bed linens and bed frames. Mostly dormant during the day, at night, bed bugs come out of their hiding spots to feast on sleeping humans. If you suspect you have a bed-bug problem, look for the bed bugs at night, as the bugs are very good at hiding during the day.

Red, bumpy or itchy skin is one of the earliest symptoms of bed bugs. Bed-bug bites are generally red, with a darker red color in the center, and are often clustered or lined up near one another. The bites are most often on the hands, face, neck and arms. Unfortunately, bed bug bites look like most other insect bites, so it is hard to tell whether your home has bed bugs without noticing a couple other symptoms.

While foul odors are not always present when bed bugs have embedded themselves into your home, a musty, sweet, “buggy” smell does often accompany an extreme infestation. These odors are from secretions created in the glands of bed bugs.

Small brown spots on bed linens are a sign of bed bugs; bed bug fecal matter is typically in the seams of sheets as well as on mattresses and the walls near an infested bed. The spots can be hard and look bumpy, or can take on the appearance of a stain from a dark-colored marker.

Bed bugs molt five times before becoming adults, leaving behind empty, transparent, light-brown exoskeletons that look like empty bed bugs. Each exoskeleton becomes progressively bigger as bed bugs age; adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed.

Small smears of blood on your sheets is a telltale sign of a bed-bug problem. These smears occur when you accidentally crush an engorged bed bug while you are sleeping.

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Early Signs of Bed Bugs | Healthfully

Manhattan Bed Bug Map | Bedbugs Exterminator Staten Island

October 22nd, 2017 by admin

Manhattan is the lynchpin of New York City, and is one of the busiest and most culturally relevant places in the entire world. Manhattan has a permanent population of over 1.5 million people, making it the third most populous borough in New York City, but it is by far the most densely populated borough, and one of the most densely populated areas of the entire world. Those 1.5 million people all live on a landmass of only 23 square miles.

New York City was originally settled on the southernmost tip of Manhattan Island, and has now grown to encompass 303 square miles of land.

Manhattan Island was originally home to the entirety of New York City, but the city expanded quickly over the past two centuries.

In 1898, the residents of what are now the boroughs of New York came together to vote to consolidate their interests, and Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens voted to consolidate with Manhattan into the modern New York City.

Times Square is the name of the intersection which meets at Seventh Avenue and Broadway. This is the busiest pedestrian intersection in the entire world, and it is estimated that over 300,000 people pass Times Square on a daily basis. Times Square is most well-known for its annual New Years Celebration, when the Times Square Ball drops to ring in the New Year.

Times Square is the headquarters of a number of different media entities, and is widely considered the center of the entertainment world. Times Square is the most popular tourist attraction in the entire world, seeing almost forty million visitors per year.

Central Park is an 840 acre urban park in the heart of Manhattan. Central Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1873 and is the most highly visited park in the United States.

The beautifully designed park is the most popular place in Manhattan to rest and relax, and is also surrounded by a number of amazing museums such as the Guggenheim Museum, as well as a number of other popular tourist destinations. Central Park provides a variety of outdoor activities, including boating, rock climbing, and bird watching.

Wall Street is the most important financial and banking district in the world, and is home to a number of important national and international trading markets, including the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street itself stretches over eight blocks between South Street and Broadway.

The financial firms based on Wall Street are a powerful economic force for the United States, employing upwards of 200,000 citizens. It is estimated that the jobs on Wall Street account for fully one-fourth of the income generated by the city, and over ten percent of the tax revenue.

Broadway represents a collection of forty large theaters located in New Yorks theater district, and is the largest and most important theatrical center in the English-speaking world, save for perhaps the West End theaters of London.

Broadway generates over one billion dollars of ticket sales per year, with a yearly attendance of over ten million patrons.

The plays on Broadway feature many of the most world-renowned actors in the world, and a number of well-regarded Hollywood actors continue to star in Broadway productions in addition to their Hollywood careers.

Where Broadway is synonymous with theater and Wall Street is synonymous with finance, Madison Avenue is considered one of the foremost advertising centers in the United States. A number of advertising firms, including Doyle Dane Bernbach and Young & Rubicam, are located on Madison Avenue.

The most popular tourist attraction on Madison Avenue is Madison Square Garden, the home of the New York Knicks and the Big East Basketball tournament, which also hosts a large number of other athletic functions in addition to concerts and a variety of popular conventions.

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Manhattan Bed Bug Map | Bedbugs Exterminator Staten Island

Are Bed Bugs in the Walls? | The Bed Bug Inspectors

October 20th, 2017 by admin

With the seemingly unstoppable spread of bed bugs, especially the rapid pace in which infestations expand in apartment buildings, hotels, dorms and schools, many wonder if there are bed bugs in the walls, making it easy for them to move from location to location.

Two Perspectives on the Bed Bugs in the Walls Debate

While its common knowledge that there may very well be bed bugs in the walls when a structure is infested, there is still debate as to if this is the origin of the infestation and/or the primary cause of the infestation spreading to other locations. One family who moved into a new apartment and got bed bugs believed that they came into their home from being transferred on clothing and furniture. Of course, that can also be true.

The University of Kentucky, in its research, both agrees and disagrees with the idea that bed bugs in the walls are a primary way they spread. In their research on how bed bugs originate, they noted the following:

The bugs are efficient hitchhikers and are usually transported in on luggage, clothing, beds, furniture, and other items. This is a particular problem for hotels, motels and apartments, where turnover of occupants is constant. Bed bugs are small, cryptic and agile, escaping detection after crawling into suitcases, boxes and belongings. The eggs are especially tiny and are usually overlooked. Acquiring secondhand beds, couches and furniture is another way that the bugs are transported into previously non-infested dwellings. Bed bugs also can be carried in on a persons clothing or shoes, resulting in an infestation.

Yet, they do not rule out the use of walls as a means of bed bugs spreading out throughout a building. Their research also concluded, Once bed bugs are introduced, they often spread throughout a building. The bugs can travel from room to room or floor to floor either by crawling or via a person. And, because there may be cracks and crevices in walls, it makes sense to think that they can hide out here and also avoid some bed bug treatments this way. Eventually, they will come out and seek beds and other areas, so it is important to re-inspect and re-treat those areas as well as inspecting any used furniture and other items like suitcases before bringing these items into a new location in case you are inadvertently transporting hitchhiking bed bugs.

In SummaryIn debating how bed bugs spread, this blog post noted the following points:

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Are Bed Bugs in the Walls? | The Bed Bug Inspectors

Bed bugs | United Federation of Teachers

October 4th, 2017 by admin

If a bed bug is found on a child, should I isolate the child or send him or her home?

No. Bed bugs are not known to cause or transmit disease and the risk of person-to-person transference in school is very low. No child should be isolated or removed from a classroom setting. It is important to remember that bed bugs can resemble other insects and that many bed bugs submitted for identification are not, in fact, bed bugs.

No. If it is a bed bug, it is likely that it was unknowingly brought it into the school by someone who encountered it in another place. If you have captured it, you may have already eliminated the problem. Additionally, many suspected bed bugs are not bed bugs at all. You should send the captured specimen to the DOE Pest Management Unit for identification by following the protocol described in the DOEs Bed Bug Information Kit.

The DOE Pest Management professional will inspect and, if necessary, treat the room in which the specimen was captured. In most cases, a thorough inspection and vacuuming of the room with a HEPA vacuum by the Pest Management Unit professional is the best treatment when there is not an infestation. If the Pest Management Professional determines that there is an infestation (bed bugs living and reproducing in the room), the rooms above, below and adjacent to the infested room will be inspected and treated as necessary.

Parents of students in the entire building must be notified if there is an infestation, according to state law. An infestation is identified by bed bug reproduction in a given area. A single confirmed bed bug does not constitute an infestation. A DOE Pest Management professional must inspect the school and determine whether there is an infestation. Schools are not a friendly environment for bed bugs and the chance of an infestation is low. If it is determined that your school is infested, the Pest Management Unit will provide notification materials to share with parents and building staff.

Learn to identify the signs of bed bugs (visit the Health Departments website or call 311 for additional information). Frequently inspect your rooms; if you see signs of bed bugs, report them immediately. If you capture a suspected specimen, submit it to the DOE Pest Management Unit following the procedures outlined in the beginning of this kit. Check your furniture frequently for bed bugs, especially chairs and couches. Get rid of clutter to reduce places in which bed bugs can hide and discard anything that is not being used. Seal cracks and crevices, and vacuum periodically. Consider removing rugs.

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Bed bugs | United Federation of Teachers

FAQ: Is this a bed bug? (photos of creatures mistaken for …

September 24th, 2017 by admin

There are several creatures commonly mistaken for bed bugs by people who have not seen bed bugs or havent seen different life stages of bed bugs.

Booklice (a type of psocid) are often confused for bed bug nymphs:

Photo courtesy of LieutenantDan.

An anonymous Bedbugger helpfully recommended this military fact sheet (click for a PDF) on book lice with helpful identification tips (hint: booklice have a large protuberance on the front of their heads).

Spider Beetles are often confused for adult bed bugs:

Photo courtesy of Lou Sorkin.

The presence of these creatures may mean you do not have bed bugs. In some cases, it may also mean you have bed bugs and something else, and just have not seen the bed bugs yet.

To determine if you also have bed bugs, click here to see photos of bed bugs and signs of bed bugs.

Got other imposters to add? Click below to leave a comment and link to a photo of the culprit!

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FAQ: Is this a bed bug? (photos of creatures mistaken for …

United States, Bed Bug Registry Map Bed Bug Infestation …

September 20th, 2017 by admin

Although bed bugs are typically thought to be a household pest, they can hitchhike with people to their places of employment. In fact, a 2015 Bugs Without Borders surveyby NPMA found that 45% of pest control professionals have encountered bed bugs in office buildings. Here are the NPMAs tips to prevent bringing bed bugs home from the workplace: Check outour other tips for preventing bed bugs in different settings: Continue reading

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Tips for Bed Bugs in the Office: Advice on Bed Bugs at …

ATLANTA Cities across the U.S. are trying to encourage the homeless to find beds of their own, not just a cot for the night. Continue reading

Source Link(s) Are Here

Homeless wary as Atlanta closes its last-resort shelter | News … – The Philadelphia Tribune

ATLANTA (AP) Cities across the U.S. are trying to encourage the homeless to find beds of their own, not just a cot for the night. In theory, no one should stay in a shelter very long. Continue reading

Source Link(s) Are Here

Homeless wary as Atlanta closes its last-resort shelter – CT Post

Posted: Aug. 25, 2017 8:00 am Updated: Aug. 25, 2017 3:30 pm ATLANTA (AP) Cities across the U.S. Continue reading

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Homeless wary as Atlanta closes its last-resort shelter – New Jersey … – New Jersey Herald

WASHINGTON, DC Mosquitoes might not be the only nasty, pesky, biting bugs for folks in the D.C. Continue reading

Source Link(s) Are Here

Bed Bug Infestations Earn DC National Ranking – Patch.com

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United States, Bed Bug Registry Map Bed Bug Infestation …

Marvel Superheroes Who Basically Only Protect New York City, Ranked – Kotaku Australia

August 21st, 2017 by admin

The New York City of the Marvel universe is teeming with heroes, being home to everyone from Steve Rogers to Peter Parker. With four of those famous New Yorkers teaming up on the small screen in The Defenders, we decided to rank the finest inhabitants of the comic book Big Apple.

Image: Marvel Comics/TSR. Marvel Superheroes RPG: New York, New York supplement cover.

Given the vast number of heroes that operate on Earth-616’s NYC and we mean vast, we’re talking hundreds, if not thousands we decided to lay some ground rules before forming our final list. First, these heroes have to spend the majority of their superhero careers actively in New York City. It isn’t just that they live there, or have their headquarters there, but they actively fight bad guys there, instead of flinging their way around the world like the Avengers do. Second, they operate within the five boroughs of the city: Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island, which rules out Kamala Khan in New Jersey (let’s be honest, she’d probably be pissed a being called a New Yorker), and the X-Men, whose mansion up until recently was based in Westchester, outside of the city.

So, without further ado, a comprehensive ranking on the best heroes swinging around in Marvel’s NYC, based on the very scientific notion of New-Yorkiness.

There is literally nothing more New York than a clan of misfits with strange abilities who find their chosen family after being rejected by the dominant culture and build their own society in the dark, dark tunnels of the MTA subway system. There are people who ride the subway because they have to, and then there are the Morlocks who are the the subway not in form, but rather concept. They’re scrappy and downtrodden and broken, but also powerful and a reflection of both the good and the evil of the harsh world that lives above them.

The New Warriors’ most infamous moment might have occured outside of the five boroughs that time their reality TV show lead to hundreds of lives being lost and the start of the superhero Civil War in Stamford, Conneticut but for much of its time actively crimefighting, the team called Brooklyn and Manhattan their home, supporting the myriad other heroes who called the city home. Being known for blowing up part of another town dings your New York cred a bit though.

In-between bouts of being dead or being insane, Marc Spector has spent most of his second career in crimefighting on the streets of New York as Moon Knight (with some stints in LA for the West Coast Avengers) since settling down after a career as a mercenary. In fact, Spector built multiple personas, from a high-rising Manhattanite financier to a lowly cab driver, to help him fight crime on the streets of the city. So you might argue that he’s almost three times the New Yorker than everyone else! But that’s not how it works.

For the vast majority of their careers as heroes, the Fantastic Four lived in the Baxter Building, a gargantuan sky scraper ever-so-conveniently located on the corner of 42nd Street and Madison Avenue. The Foursome are “New Yorkers” in a sense that they own(ed) a ridiculously expensive piece of real estate that was more a statement about who they were as opposed to what they could do for the city. Add that to the fact that they spend almost as much time in outer space messing around with Galactus as they do actually enjoying all that NYC has to offer, they’re sort of low on the list. To their credit, though, they are responsible for having saved the world (and city by extension) more than a few times. Then again, who hasn’t?

Clint Barton’s early life might have been spent in a travelling circus, but once he quit that, joined the costumed villain game, quit that, and then joined the costumed heroes game (it’s a long story), Clint’s made a home for himself in and around NYC while working alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Hell, in the excellent Matt Fraction/David Aja Hawkeye comic series, he even bought out his own apartment building to maintain rent levels for all the residents, so he’s technically a New York landlord who just also happens to be very good with a bow.

Silk is relatively new on the hero scene, having been introduced in the pages of Spider-Verse a few years ago as the alias of Cindy Moon, the other person bitten by Peter Parker’s radioactive spider. But she’s a life-long New Yorker. Outside of some parallel world Spider-adventures, Cindy hasn’t really left the city… although part of that is because she spent 13 years of her young life locked up in a bunker in Times Square, being protected from a race of interdimensional, Spider-Person-eating vampire monsters. In fact, it’s kind of impressive she managed to stay in the city and come to terms with her trauma over being trapped there after being freed.

There is no character in Marvel’s comics who better embodies the complicated, dark, and at-times terrifying id of New York City than Frank Castle. To flat out call the Punisher a hero, villain or anti-hero is to misunderstand just what it is to be a person devastated by a loss so profound that their world falls apart on a fundamental level. Frank’s approach to justice is a dangerous and threatening one (even with his code), but at the same time, his feelings are understandable in undeniable ways. Frank is, quite literally, the product of what one very, very bad day in NYC can do to a person, which makes him both a tragic figure and a proof that even at a person’s lowest lows, there’s always a way to hang on.

Danny Rand’s spent a lot of time outside of NY thanks to years of training to become the Immortal Iron Fist in the magical city of K’un Lun. But when he isn’t in the mystical world of living weapons and ancient dragons, he’s best known as one of Marvel’s premiere street-level heroes, both in the Defenders and as a Hero for Hire alongside his best friend, Luke Cage, keeping the streets of New York safe with his magical martial arts. Also, he runs a dojo.

At this point a lot of Spider-People call New York home, but Jessica Drew has lived in the city as both a costumed superhero and a private investigator, after the early days of her career saw her globe-trot across Europe and eventually move to San Francisco. Since then, though, Manhattan has been Jess’ home through thick and thin, from crime-fighting base to the hectic city where she’s currently raising her newborn son.

As Miles Morales has adjusted to his new life in Marvel’s primary comic book universe where Peter Parker is still alive, he’s proven that in many ways, he is the modern personification of all the things that Spider-Man once represented in his younger years. As Peter Parker’s grown up, gotten married, and had a kid (in certain continuities), Spider-Man’s trials and tribulations have gradually become textured by his adulthood and rightfully so. What Miles brings to the table, though, is a fresh take on the youthful wonder and heroism that Spider-Man always stood for, now updated to speak to a broader, more diverse audience like the melting pot that is the city he lives in.

It isn’t just that Miles is Afro-Puerto Rican himself, it’s that the world he lives in his friends, family and surroundings is objectively more expansive and inclusive than Peter’s was when he was Miles’ age, and there’s an importance to that that can’t be understated. Also, Miles’ powers and costumes are cooler.

Patsy Walker may be responsible for having brought literal demons from Hell to New York on more than one occasion, but honestly, the demons are the only people she should be apologising to. Patsy’s spent her fair share of time living in a couple of the city’s boroughs, but in her most recent series, she really made a point of living like a real New Yorker (albeit in Brooklyn). The things that made Hellcat! AKA Patsy Walker such a fun series to read weren’t just Patsy’s kooky, kick-arse shenanigans, but the way that she lived her civilian life searching for a roommate, hanging out with friends, flirting with guys all while taking full advantage of the city. Also, you’ve got to hand it to her for having a villain whose primary power was to summon bed bugs as part of her odd rogue’s gallery.

Misty Knight is the kind of NYPD officer that you want to show up when you need help. Not just because she has a badarse vibranium arm, but because her sense of justice has been forged and tempered by her experience as a full-on superhero. Most city cops that you meet have a deep and abiding love for their cities and Misty does as well, but her perspective and understanding is immeasurably more expansive because of the life she’s led away from the force.

Although the movies have recast Steve as a Brooklyn boy, in the comics, he grew up in Manhattan and although technically a good chuck of his life after becoming Captain America during the war saw him living outside the city (as a block of ice in the North Atlantic), when he returned to help found the Avengers, Steve found himself back in his beloved city soon enough, helping establish the team’s first headquarters right on Fifth Avenue. His time as an Avenger has seen Steve travel the world, but as the superpowered face of American liberty, his heart will always been in New York.

Shame about the fascism, though. Points off for that.

Janet van Dyne doesn’t get enough credit for the role that she played in helping the original Avengers become the team that they are today. Sure, Janet’s the one who came up with their name, but more importantly, she was the moral centre of the team who helped it weather all manner of challenges that plagued them, be an attack from Ultron or a family dispute from within the team. Even as her fellow Avengers dart all over the world, Janet still remains rooted in the city where it all began, starting her own business and now looking after the next generation of the Wasp in the form of budding young scientist Nadia Pym.

Cloak and Dagger’s destinies were forged in New York, when the two runaways found each other and went through hell being forcefully put through a dangerous drug program that turned them into dark-and-light-powered superheroes. Since then, they have fought back against city’s illegal drug industry that gave them their powers, and otherwise teamed up with countless other heroes and teams in New York. This includes during Manhattan’s recent entrapment in the Darkforce Dimension in Secret Empire, throughout which Dagger painfully provided light to the city at the cost of nearly killing herself.

Sam Wilson grew up in Harlem, and a tragic upbringing in the borough that saw him lose both of his parents as a young man set him on a path that would ultimately see him collide with Steve Rogers and become his erstwhile companion, the Falcon. Years by Steve’s side ultimately lead Sam to take on the Captain America mantle himself granted by an ailing, super-serum-drained Steve after Sam nearly sacrificed himself saving New York from being destroyed by a bomb. Sam decided to differentiate himself from Steve’s career as Cap by being a more socially-minded hero, starting in his home city.

Jessica Jones always knew that being superhero was for the birds and, like her partner Luke Cage, understood the importance of being able to capitalise on her god-given skills in order to pay her bills. As a private detective, Jessica’s used her powers to help the people of New York in immediate, appreciable ways that other heroes seldom do, and that’s a very big deal.

Sure, the folks up in Avengers Tower have saved the world countless times, but there comes a point at which the adventures of heroes kind of lose their meaning for regular people on the ground. If you asked a random person on the subway in Marvel’s 616 universe who Ultron was, there’s a chance they might be aware of “that robot the Avengers are always scrapping with”. But if you were to check out Alias Investigation’s Yelp page, you’d probably see countless posts from people who were once in desperate need of help that neither the authorities or most well-known capes bothered to take seriously. That’s what makes Jessica a hero in the truest sense of the word.

Let’s say one day you suddenly developed superpowers after a freak chemical spill and decided to become a superhero. Let’s say that rather than spending time learning how to control your newfound ability to lift incredible amounts of weight with your breath, you threw yourself into the fray, stopped a bunch of criminals, and accidentally caused millions of dollars in property damage that the city council decides to sue you for. You know who’d have your back in court and probably be able to convince a jury to let you off with a warning and some community service? She-Hulk, that’s who. For all of the good that Jennifer Walters has done as hero fighting alongside the Avengers, it’s her work as an NYC lawyer that really makes her stand out as one of Marvel’s most versatile and giving heroes.

Howard the Duck is every single oddball you’ve ever bumped into in New York, made eye contact with, and had an immediate and tacit understanding that you’re both going through some shit. As a character, Howard’s whole schtick has always been about pulling back from the present events of one’s life and taking the time to appreciate how incredibly weird life can be. It’s an outlook on life that we could all stand to have more often than not and it makes him one of NYC’s better, uh, duck… people… things.

Hell’s Kitchen’s perennial defender, Matt Murdock and his home neighbourhood are deeply intertwined in a way so few other heroes can claim. They can say they protect a city, but Hell’s Kitchen is Daredevil’s turf, and the Marvelverse knows it. Sure, he’s taken extended periods of time away from the city, most notably to live in San Francisco a few times, but eventually, Matt Murdock always returns to Hell’s Kitchen, whether it’s as a lawyer or as the man without fear.

Up until very recently, the entirety of New York City was trapped in the Darkforce dimension thanks to Hydra’s evil plan to divide and conquer the world’s heroes. Though there were many sacrifices made in an attempt to break through the Darkforce bubble and save millions of innocent people, none was quite as great as Dr Stephen Strange offering to trade his New York brownstone to a demon in exchange for a powerful spell that almost managed to break through the barrier. Ultimately, it didn’t work out and Strange kept his home, but his willingness to part with it in the first place is telling. Like many of Marvel’s other heavy hitters, Strange spends a sizeable amount of time away from NYC as his duties require him to, but Strange’s appreciation for the city, its people and its real estate is admirable.

Remember when we said few heroes were so closely rooted to their home area like Daredevil is? Luke Cage is one of the few heroes who not only matches Matt, but trumps him. Luke’s connection to Harlem and its people, starting from his life as an ex-con trying to blend in to its protector as the Power Man, is a bond that’s even stronger than his friendship with his fellow hero for hire, Danny Rand. In the Marvel universe, Luke is a symbol of Harlem’s spirit, a man who’s willing to do anything to help its people, a community he has always been fiercely protective of.

It’s hard to think of a more quintessentially New York hero than Peter Parker. From his early days in Forest Hills to today, where he runs his global megacorp from the Baxter Building itself, Peter Parker is rooted in the beating heart of New York City in a way almost no one else in Marvel’s vast pantheon of heroes ever has been, or really, ever will be someone who knows it in and out like the back of his spandex-covered hand. In his entire superhero career he’s barely ever lived outside of the city, and his goal as a hero has always been to protect the civilians that call it home. Spider-Man is far more comfortable on the streets of New York than he is in any other environment, even if he’s mostly swinging above them but he will always be New York’s finest champion.

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An update today from BioWare confirmed that Mass Effect. Andromeda will indeed not be getting any new content. Kotaku reported as much back in late June, when sources familiar with BioWare’s plans said that Andromeda would receive no single-player DLC, a huge departure from every previous game in the series.

Update #1. That was quick. According to Microsoft Australia’s online store, the Xbox One X ‘Project Scorpio’ is already out of stock.

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Marvel Superheroes Who Basically Only Protect New York City, Ranked – Kotaku Australia

Living With The Epidemic: State official talks about hoarding – Martinsville Bulletin

August 19th, 2017 by admin

MARTINSVILLEThere was a man who once bought three rats after his wife died. He wanted some pets and so he adopted the rats, to keep him company. But soon, three rats turned into 10 and he kept going, buying 15 and then 20. By the time authorities discovered the situation, his house was infested by 3,000 rats and the man himself was living in an outbuilding. However, he cared so much about his rats that when he found a dead one, he mourned it and blamed himself for its death.

Hoarding is an issue, whether it involves living animals or collecting material in your home. In fact, it has been officially defined as a disability, which means among other things, landlords cannot legally reject a hoarders application to rent.

The topic came up Wednesday at the Henry County Administration Building, as Mahalia Mally Dryden-Mason, a Fair Housing Training Specialist in the Virginia Fair Housing Office, spoke about ways of Battling the Growing Hoarding Epidemic.

The program was sponsored by Martinsville/Henry County Seniors and Law Enforcement Working Together (S.A.L.T.).

This is a hot topic here, she said. Everyone wants to know about hoarding.

In addition to the man who hoarded rats, Dryden-Mason talked about a case where 109 cats were found in a persons home. Only seven survived, and only one of them was tame enough to be a pet.

Another woman bought a horse. That one horse she bought just triggered hoarding, Dryden-Mason said: Within two months, the woman had 60 horses. They werent being cared for properly and had to be removed.

Illinois and Hawaii are the only states which have laws that specifically address animal hoarding, Dryden-Mason said. However, animal hoarding is implicitly covered by all states animal cruelty statues. They typically require caretakers to provide sufficient food, water and veterinary care.

Cases of animal hoarding usually are discovered after putrid or foul odors or infestations of bugs are noticed by people outside the house, she said.

Defining the term

As Dryden-Mason introduced her topic, she defined hoarders. Number one, if you are a hoarder, you wouldnt be telling anybody, she said to the chuckles of those folks in the crowd.

Hoarding is defined as persistent difficulty discarding possessions, regardless of their values, such that living areas cannot be used, she said. A home may have only narrow pathways which wind through stacks of clutter. The medical term for hoarding is disposophobia.

When your house gets full, your cars take over, or your outbuildings, she said. I can tell whos hoarding without ever going into the homes because the porches and outside areas are full.

Some hoarders collect animals, she said.

The American Psychiatric Association recently added hoarding to its list of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 disabilities. That designation came after 19 years of research and studying disorders, Dryden-Mason said.

Hoarding also is linked to other mental disorders, such as: depression, social phobias, anxiety, ADHD, OCD and obesity. Depression affects about half of hoarders

They used to say that hoarding was OCD, she said, but that didnt make sense to her: Most people with OCD tend to be overly clean.

There is some speculation that the urge to hoard was passed down through time as a once helpful condition. Before these days of materialism, when mankind had few possessions, people had to keep whatever they found useful. Through evolution, she said, most human beings have lost that urge but not all.

Some say its hereditary, she said.

Research shows that its characteristic of many people who hoard that they dont return items they had borrowed, and they steal things. Hoarders spend large sums of money purchasing items and often dont pay necessities, such as utility bills, she said.

Hoarders have a difficult time throwing things away. They believe an item will have value in the future, or has sentimental value, or was too big a bargain to throw away.

Hoarding is different from collecting, she said. Collectors have pride in their collections, which usually are kept neatly displayed or organized. Hoarders are embarrassed about their possessions, and they avoid having people come into their homes. While collectors budget for their acquisitions, hoarders usually are in debt.

By the numbers

Six percent of Americans are hoarders, Dryden-Mason said. Its most common among elderly women. About 15 million or more elderly adults have the disorder.

Hoarding is statistically four times more common than Alzheimers disease, Dryden-Mason added.

Half of all hoarders excessively acquire free items, and 75 percent of hoarders engage in excessive buying.

Hoarders generally are not considered to be lazy, nasty or defiant, she said and in fact, most tend to be very intelligent, and even successful in their careers.

The best treatment for hoarding is cognitive behavior therapy. About 70 percent of patients respond positively to talk therapy, training and motivational interviewing, she said.

Success from the use of antidepressants has mixed results, she said. Scientists do not fully understand neurological sources of hoarding, and effective medication has not been discovered for it.

Simply forcing hoarders to throw away large quantities of their stuff, or cleaning it out for them, has very little effect on improvement, she said.

She told the story of a woman whose children sent her off on a cruise. While she was gone, they cleared out her full house. When the mother returned, she was mad at them for doing it and within two months, she had spent $20,000 and filled up the house again.

Support for hoarders has to come in on several levels, she said. She said that she would like to see hoarding addressed on a large scale with the involvement of hoarding task forces, peer support groups, inter-agencies collaborations, clean-up companies and mental health organizations designed to help hoarders.

Fairfax County has the nations hoarding task force, she said. It was started in 1998.

The original Collyers mess

Dryden-Mason talked about the case of two famous hoarders, brothers Homer and Langley Collyer the sons of two cousins who had married. The brothers lived in a brownstone mansion in Manhattan.

Homer was blind, and Langley believed he could cure his brothers blindness by feeding him a special diet of black bread, peanut butter and dozens of oranges each week. Meanwhile, Langley kept years worth of newspapers for his brother to read when that time came.

Homer never left the mansion, and Langley only went out for errands occasionally at night. The two were found dead there in 1947, after neighbors reported a foul odor coming from inside the mansion.

Homers body was found first; he had died of starvation and heart failure. Police began the process of emptying the house. Langleys body was found two and a half weeks later, only 8 feet from where his brother had been found. He had been crushed by piles that had fallen onto him.

The more than 100 tons of stockpiled possessions removed from the house included 25,000 books, 14 grand pianos and the chassis of a Model T Ford, she said.

To this day, the term Collyers mess often is said by mothers telling their children to clean their rooms. The term Collyers mansion is used by firefighters and other rescue personnel to describe a house too full of stuff to enter safely or comfortably.

A hoarding house is too dangerous for firefighters to enter, Dryden-Mason said, giving as example a fire in Connecticutt which killed a 42-year-old man and left his mother in critical condition. The fire may have started from hazards from hoarding, and firefighters could not enter to save the people.

Hoarding can damage a house: If you have any stacks that come up to your knees, you compromise your floors and walls, she said.

Renters who hoard

Since hoarding officially is considered a disability, Dryden-Mason said, landlords cannot turn away a prospective tenant who hoards.

However, based on the Virginia Landlord Tenant Act, the results of hoarding may constitute lease violations, she said.

Under the Virginia Housing Act, hoarding can be a lease violation under a good housekeeping clause, she said. However, its easier for landlords to enforce conditions of apartments, which affect other residents of the property, and more difficult for free-standing houses.

Another way for a landlord to address hoarding is from safety violations, such as when items block exits, create fire hazards or prevent the rooms from being used for their intended purposes. Citations by the health or fire departments as well as damage from animals or infestations of roaches, bedbugs, silverfish or fleas also could be considered lease violations.

However, dont be in a hurry to evict a hoarder, she warned. A fair housing complaint can cost a landlord. If a tenants hoarding is not handled properly, the landlord may have to pay legal fees, fines and even face paying between $10,000 to $30,000 to bring the residence up to code.

A specific diagnosis of a disorder is not necessary for a tenant to be considered to have that disability for purposes of fair housing, Dryden-Mason said. The definition of disability is (1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such persons major life activities; (2) a record of having such an impairment or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment.

A tenants just being perceived as having a disability is enough to trigger fair housing protection against discrimination, she stressed.

What the landlord needs to consider is, Does this place have a chance that we can clean it up and put it back together while the person still lives here? she said. If repairs are needed and the tenant wont pay for repairs, the landlord doesnt have to let them stay.

A resident may establish a fair housing claim if: he or she has a disability; the landlord knew or should have known of the disability; an accommodation may be necessary to afford the resident with the disability equal use and enjoyment of his unit; the resident requested an accommodation; and the landlord refused to grant the request, she said.

The fair housing law has two key elements, she said: whether the resident has a disability, and whether the landlord discriminated against the resident.

A tenant may file a fair housing complaint under the Virginia Fair Housing Law as a civil action or affirmative defense or a counterclaim against eviction, or through HUD. If a tenant wins, the landlord may have to pay actual damages, punitive damages, attorneys fees and injunctive relief.

So, Dryden-Mason said, instead of rushing to evict a tenant who hoards, a landlord instead should work with that tenant to fix specific problems that the hoarding causes. That requires time, patience, goals and a well defined plan.

The landlord should address the problems in steps. For example, require that a table be cleaned off within a week, then return the next week to see that it was done. Even small accomplishments should be recognized, she said, and the property should be monitored regularly.

Landlords, families and others should remember: Behind all that clutter is a human being, she said. This is a hard disease to deal with, but I have seen it work.

Holly Kozelsky writes for the Martinsville Bulletin. She can be reached at .

See the original post here:
Living With The Epidemic: State official talks about hoarding – Martinsville Bulletin

Marvel Superheroes Who Basically Only Protect New York City, Ranked – Gizmodo

August 18th, 2017 by admin

Image: Marvel Comics/TSR. Marvel Superheroes RPG: New York, New York supplement cover.

The New York City of the Marvel universe is teeming with heroes, being home to everyone from Steve Rogers to Peter Parker. With four of those famous New Yorkers teaming up on the small screen today in The Defenders, we decided to rank the finest inhabits of the comic book Big Apple.

Given the vast number of heroes that operate on Earth-616’s NYCand we mean vast, were talking hundreds, if not thousandswe decided to lay some ground rules before forming our final list. First, these heroes have to spend the majority of their superhero careers actively in New York City. Its not just that they live there, or have their headquarters there, but they actively fight bad guys there, instead of flinging their way around the world like the Avengers do. Second, they operate within the five boroughs of the city: Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, which rules out Kamala Khan in New Jersey (lets be honest, shed probably be pissed a being called a New Yorker), and the X-Men, whose mansion up until recently was based in Westchester, outside of the city.

So, without further ado, a comprehensive ranking on the best heroes swinging around in Marvels NYC, based on the very scientific notion of New-Yorkiness.

There is literally nothing more New York than a clan of misfits with strange abilities who find their chosen family after being rejected by the dominant culture and building their own society in the dark, dark tunnels of the MTA subway system. There are people who ride the subway because they have to, and then there are the Morlocks who are the the subwaynot in form, but rather concept. Theyre scrappy and downtrodden and broken, but also powerful and a reflection of both the good and the evil of the harsh world that lives above them.

The New Warriors most infamous moment might have occured outside of the five boroughsthat time their reality TV show lead to hundreds of lives being lost and the start of the superhero Civil Warin Stamford, Conneticutbut for much of its time actively crimefighting, the team called Brooklyn and Manhattan their home, supporting the myriad other heroes who called the city home. Being known for blowing up part of another town dings your New York cred a bit though.

In-between bouts of being dead or being insane, Marc Spector has spent most of his second career in crimefighting on the streets of New York as Moon Knight (with some stints in LA for the West Coast Avengers) since settling down after a career as a mercenary. In fact, Spector built multiple personas, from a high-rising Manhattanite financier to a lowly cab driver, to help him fight crime on the streets of the city. So you might argue that hes almost three times the New Yorker than everyone else! But thats not how it works.

For the vast majority of their careers as heroes, the Fantastic Four lived in the Baxter Building, a gargantuan sky scraper ever-so-conveniently located on the corner of 42nd Street and Madison Avenue. The Foursome are New Yorkers in a sense that they own(ed) a ridiculously expensive piece of real estate that was more a statement about who they were as opposed to what they could do for the city. Add that to the fact that they spend almost as much time in outer space messing around with Galactus as they do actually enjoying all that NYC has to offer, theyre sort of low on the list. To their credit, though, they are responsible for having saved the world (and city by extension) more than a few times. Then again, who hasnt?

Clint Bartons early life might have been spent in a traveling circus, but once he quit that, joined the costumed villain game, quit that, and then joined the costumed heroes game (its a long story), Clints made a home for himself in and around NYC while working alongside Earths Mightiest Heroes. Hell, in the excellent Matt Fraction/David Aja Hawkeye comic series, he even bought out his own apartment building to maintain rent levels for all the residents, so hes technically a New York landlord who just also happens to be very good with a bow.

Silk is relatively new on the hero scene, having been introduced in the pages of Spider-Verse a few years ago as the alias of Cindy Moon, the other person bitten by Peter Parkers radioactive spider. But shes a life-long New Yorker. Outside of some parallel world Spider-adventures, Cindy hasnt really left the city… although part of that is because she spent 13 years of her young life locked up in a bunker in Times Square, being protected from a race of interdimensional, Spider-Person-eating vampire monsters. In fact, its kind of impressive she managed to stay in the city and come to terms with her trauma over being trapped there after being freed.

There is no character in Marvels comics who better embodies the complicated, dark, and at-times terrifying id of New York City than Frank Castle. To flat out call the Punisher a hero, villain, or anti-hero is to misunderstand just what it is to be a person devastated by a loss so profound that their world falls apart on a fundamental level. Franks approach to justice is a dangerous and threatening one (even with his code), but at the same time, his feelings are understandable in undeniable ways. Frank is, quite literally, the product of what one very, very bad day in NYC can do to a person, which makes him both a tragic figure and a proof that even at a persons lowest lows, theres always a way to hang on.

Danny Rands spent a lot of time outside of NY thanks to years of training to become the Immortal Iron Fist in the magical city of Kun Lun. But when hes not in the mystical world of living weapons and ancient dragons, hes best known as one of Marvels premiere street-level heroes, both in the Defenders and as a Hero for Hire alongside his best friend, Luke Cage, keeping the streets of New York safe with his magical martial arts. Also, he runs a dojo.

At this point a lot of Spider-People call New York home, but Jessica Drew has lived in the city as both a costumed superhero and a private investigator, after the early days of her career saw her globe-trot across Europe and eventually move to San Francisco. Since then, though, Manhattan has been Jess home through thick and thin, from crime-fighting base to the hectic city where shes currently raising her newborn son.

As Miles Morales has adjusted to his new life in Marvels primary comic book universe where Peter Parker is still alive, hes proven that in many ways, he is the modern personification of all the things that Spider-Man once represented in his younger years. As Peter Parkers grown up, gotten married, and had a kid (in certain continuities), Spider-Mans trials and tribulations have gradually become textured by his adulthood and rightfully so. What Miles brings to the table, though, is a fresh take on the youthful wonder and heroism that Spider-Man always stood for, now updated to speak to a broader, more diverse audience like the melting pot that is the city he lives in.

It isnt just that Miles is Afro-Puerto Rican himself, its that the world he lives inhis friends, family, and surroundingsis objectively more expansive and inclusive than Peters was when he was Miles age, and theres an importance to that that cant be understated. Also, Miles powers and costumes are cooler.

Patsy Walker may be responsible for having brought literal demons from hell to New York on more than one occasion, but honestly, the demons are the only people she should be apologizing to. Patsys spent her fair share of time living in a couple of the citys boroughs, but in her most recent series, she really made a point of living like a real New Yorker (albeit in Brooklyn). The things that made Hellcat! A.k.a. Patsy Walker such a fun series to read werent just Patsys kooky, kick-ass shenanigans, but the way that she lived her civilian lifesearching for a roommate, hanging out with friends, flirting with guysall while taking full advantage of the city. Also, youve got to hand it to her for having a villain whose primary power was to summon bed bugs as part of her odd rogues gallery.

Misty Knight is the kind of NYPD officer that you want to show up when you need help. Not just because shes got a badass vibranium arm, but because her sense of justice has been forged and tempered by her experience as a full-on superhero. Most city cops that you meet have a deep and abiding love for their cities and Misty does as well, but her perspective and understanding is immeasurably more expansive because of the life shes led away from the force.

Although the movies have recast Steve as a Brooklyn boy, in the comics, he grew up in Manhattanand although technically a good chuck of his life after becoming Captain America during the war saw him living outside the city (as a block of ice in the North Atlantic), when he returned to help found the Avengers, Steve found himself back in his beloved city soon enough, helping establish the teams first headquarters right on Fifth Avenue. His time as an Avenger has seen Steve travel the world, but as the superpowered face of American liberty, his heart will always been in New York.

Shame about the fascism, though. Points off for that.

Janet van Dyne doesnt get enough credit for the role that she played in helping the original Avengers become the team that they are today. Sure, Janets the one who came up with their name, but more importantly, she was the moral center of the team who helped it weather all manner of challenges that plagued them, be an attack from Ultron, or a family dispute from within the team. Even as her fellow Avengers dart all over the world, Janet still remains rooted in the city where it all began, starting her own businessand now looking after the next generation of the Wasp in the form of budding young scientist Nadia Pym.

Cloak and Daggers destinies were forged in New York, when the two runaways found each other and went through hell being forcefully put through a dangerous drug program that turned them into dark-and-light-powered superheroes. Since then, theyve fought back against citys illegal drug industry that gave them their powers, and otherwise teamed up with countless other heroes and teams in New York. This includes during Manhattans recent entrapment in the Darkforce Dimension in Secret Empire, throughout which Dagger painfully provided light to the city at the cost of nearly killing herself.

Sam Wilson grew up in Harlem, and a tragic upbringing in the borough that saw him lose both of his parents as a young man set him on a path that would ultimately see him collide with Steve Rogers and become his erstwhile companion, the Falcon. Years by Steves side ultimately lead Sam to take on the Captain America mantle himselfgranted by an ailing, super-serum-drained Steve after Sam nearly sacrificed himself saving New York from being destroyed by a bomb. Sam decided to differentiate himself from Steves career as Cap by being a more socially-minded hero, starting in his home city.

Jessica Jones always knew that being superhero was for the birds and, like her partner Luke Cage, understood the importance of being able to capitalize on her god-given skills in order to pay her bills. As a private detective, Jessicas used her powers to help the people of New York in immediate, appreciable ways that other heroes seldom do and thats a very big deal.

Sure, the folks up in Avengers Tower have saved the world countless times, but there comes a point at which the adventures of heroes kind of lose their meaning for regular people on the ground. If you asked a random person on the subway in Marvels 616 universe who Ultron was, theres a chance they might be aware of that robot the Avengers are always scrapping with. But if you were to check out Alias Investigations Yelp page, youd probably see countless posts from people who were once in desperate need of help that neither the authorities or most well-known capes bothered to take seriously. Thats what makes Jessica a hero in the truest sense of the word.

Lets say one day you suddenly developed superpowers after a freak chemical spill and decided to become a superhero. Lets say that rather than spending time learning how to control your newfound ability to lift incredible amounts of weight with your breath, you threw yourself into the fray, stopped a bunch of criminals, and accidentally caused millions of dollars in property damage that the city council decides to sue you for. You know whod have your back in court and probably be able to convince a jury to let you off with a warning and some community service? She-Hulk, thats who. For all of the good that Jennifer Walters has done as hero fighting alongside the Avengers, its her work as an NYC lawyer that really makes her stand out as one of Marvels most versatile and giving heroes.

Howard the Duck is every single oddball youve ever bumped into in New York, made eye contact with, and had an immediate and tacit understanding that youre both going through some shit. As a character, Howards whole schtick has always been about pulling back from the present events of ones life and taking the time to appreciate how incredibly weird life can be. Its an outlook on like that we could all stand to have more often than not and it makes him one of NYCs better, uh, duck… people… things.

Hells Kitchens perennial defender, Matt Murdock and his home neighborhood are deeply intertwined in a way so few other heroes can claim. They can say they protect a city, but Hells Kitchen is Daredevils turf, and the Marvelverse knows it. Sure, hes taken extended periods of time away from the city, most notably to live in San Francisco a few times, but eventually, Matt Murdock always returns to Hells Kitchen, whether its as a lawyer or as the man without fear.

Up until very recently, the entirety of New York City was trapped in the Darkforce dimension thanks to Hydras evil plan to divide and conquer the worlds heroes. Though there were many sacrifices made in an attempt to break through the Darkforce bubble and save millions of innocent people, none was quite as great as Dr. Stephen Strange offering to trade his New York brownstone to a demon in exchange for a powerful spell that almost managed to break through the barrier. Ultimately, it didnt work out and Strange kept his home, but his willingness to part with it in the first place is telling. Like many of Marvels other heavy hitters, Strange spends a sizable amount of time away from NYC as his duties require him to, but Stranges appreciation for the city, its people, and its real estate is admirable.

Remember when we said few heroes were so closely rooted to their home area like Daredevil is? Luke Cage is one of the few heroes who not only matches Matt, but trumps him. Lukes connection to Harlem and its people, starting from his life as an ex-con trying to blend in to its protector as the Power-Man, is a bond thats even stronger than his friendship with his fellow hero for hire, Danny Rand. In the Marvel universe, Luke is a symbol of Harlems spirit, a man whos willing to do anything to help its people, a community he has always been fiercely protective of.

Its hard to think of a more quintessentially New York hero than Peter Parker. From his early days in Forest Hills to today, where he runs his global megacorp from the Baxter Building itself, Peter Parker is rooted in the beating heart of New York City in a way almost no one else in Marvels vast pantheon of heroes ever has been, or really, ever will besomeone who knows it in and out like the back of his spandex-covered hand. In his entire superhero career hes barely ever lived outside of the city, and his goal as a hero has always been to protect the civilians that call it home. Spider-Man is far more comfortable on the streets of New York than he is in any other environment, even if hes mostly swinging above thembut he will always be New Yorks finest champion.

Go here to read the rest:
Marvel Superheroes Who Basically Only Protect New York City, Ranked – Gizmodo

How (Not) to Find Psychiatric Help in New York City – TheFix.com

August 4th, 2017 by admin

My husband tried to hang himself last week. Suicidal over the unmanageability of his life as a chronic alcoholic, he looped a noose around an exercise bar in our kitchen doorway. But he couldn’t get the right angle, and he gave up and went back to drinking.

I found out about this when I arrived home the next day after a dogsitting gig. My husband sat there on the couch sobbing as he told me what he had done.

I am no stranger to suicide attempts, addiction, or depression myself. Once, I swallowed a bottle of Depakote, a mood stabilizer, and came to in the ICU just in time to hear a doctor telling my family that I might be permanently brain damaged.

It took 15 years and 12 hospitalizations to finally get sober, find the right meds, and become stable.

At the end of my rope dealing with my addicted, suicidal husband, I had been begging him to check into a hospital or rehab for months. Despite the fact that it took 12 hospitalizations for me to get well, I really had no other game plan for him.

Jimmy surprised me when he finally agreed to go to a hospital. The door of willingness, shut tight for so long, finally opened a crack. Amazingly, he was finally ready to ask for help.

We called Jimmy’s sponsor, Gus, and Gus offered to drive us to a nearby university hospital, which supposedly has a good rehab program.

For a city the size of New York, there are surprisingly few detoxes and rehabs. Only about a dozen hospitals serve the needs of thousands of addicts who need help.

The whole drive down the Staten Island Expressway, I expected Jimmy to change his mind. But we safely arrived at the ER and began the process of being evaluated.

A nurse took blood, vitals, procured a urine sample. Jimmy sat there on a gurney, with me by his side, waiting for a psychiatrist to come talk to him.

After six hours, the doctor finally arrived to assess Jimmy’s condition. He explained about the noose, the drinking. She did a mental status exam: Remember these three words: rabbit, truck, cloud. Count backwards from 100 in multiples of 7. Who is the president? What were those three words I asked you to remember?

At last, the doctor explained Jimmy’s options. He could either go to the psych ward, or he could choose to go to detox followed by rehab.

Jimmy chose the detox and rehab. The doctor left to process paperwork and Jimmy smiled for the first time in weeks.

I feel hopeful, he told me, and I was so grateful. Perhaps there would be a good ending to this crisis after all.

And then came the bad news: No bed available in detox.

OK, I said to the nurse. He’ll go to the psych ward.

No, she explained. The doctor has discharged him. He can come back tomorrow morning to try to get a bed.

How could they release him when he was suicidal? Didn’t they hear him? He had tried to hang himself!

I was very angry, and scared. But it soon became clear that there was no getting around the doctor’s decision to discharge him.

And so, after eight hours in the the hospital’s ER, Gus drove us back to Brooklyn.

I should really kill myself now so you can sue the hospital, Jimmy said, and I knew he was only partially joking.

Gus explained that he couldn’t take us back to Staten Island the following morning due to his job. And there was no way for us to get all the way out there without a car.

Gus suggested we try the detox at another nearby Hospital, and surprisingly, Jimmy agreed. But after sitting in that ER for two hours without even being acknowledged by staff, Jimmy decided he had had enough.

We went home. And I spent that night wide awake, listening to his snoring, afraid that if I wasn’t vigilant, he would get up and try to kill himself again.

The next morning we reviewed our options. We called a few rehabs, listed on a printout given to us by the first hospital.

No beds were available.

And then a friend suggested a hospital in Manhattan. It supposedly has a good psych/addiction unit.

Amazingly, Jimmy was still willing to get help even after we wasted a day on Staten Island.

And so we took the subway into Manhattan and checked into the ER.

At first it seemed promising. The main ER was clean, bright, and staff was kind. We got through the intake process quickly and were then informed Jimmy would be going to the Psych ER.

Immediately upon entering the locked unit, we were overwhelmed by the smell of urine and body odor.

The room was painted a shade of puke green. And it was filled with several people brought in by police, handcuffed to gurneys.

A homeless man named Ronald came out of the bathroom butt naked and ran around the room, chased by staff who tried to put a gown on him.

Another man named Arthur kept yelling, I need a ticket to Albany to go to my economics class! And,

Somebody give me an iced cappucino!

He threw cups and garbage at staff when they asked him to empty his pockets and put on hospital pajamas. They bribed him with a tray of food: If he emptied his pockets and took off his boots, he would get the lunch tray.

Finally Arthur dumped about 20 granola bars and a jar of Folgers coffee from his pockets. But he continued to menace the staff and other patients.

And one of the handcuffed patients kept yelling and making inappropriate sexual comments to women in the room until the staff was able to stick him in the ass with a dose of Ativan.

To be fair, the staff were very respectful of the patients, despite the fact that many of the patients were really abusive. One staff member washed Ronald’s sweat suit and brought him a new pair of shoes. He even helped Ronald put his socks and shoes on, despite the fact that Ronald’s feet were pretty gnarly. And another psych aide didn’t take the bait when Arthur called him the N word, even providing some ice to put in Arthur’s coffee to placate his demands for an iced cappuccino.

At first it seemed the the doctors were going to send Jimmy upstairs to a rehab ward. We were told that the rehab ward would be calmer and less scary. So we sat there for hours amidst the chaos, waiting for this to happen.

Then we were informed that, instead of going upstairs, the doctors were going to keep him in the Psych ER for 24-72 hours for further observation.

Please don’t leave him in there, I begged the nurse. But the plan was firm. He would have to stay with Ronald, Arthur, and the handcuffed patients in the urine-soaked, puke green Psych ER.

When I left Jimmy, I looked at him behind the locked door, and he looked so sad and alone.

He called me that night from the patients’ pay phone.

This is your fault I’m in this shithole, he ranted. You made me do this. I felt heartbroken, but then my sister reminded me that I used to say the same thing to my family when I was locked up in psych wards. Just as it was clear it was not my family’s fault that happened to me, so it was clearly not my fault Jimmy was in this situation.

Jimmy is a tough guy, and I knew he could take care of himself if the other patients got violent.

But I couldn’t help but worry that he might get himself into trouble while locked up in there.

Two days later he was released. The hospitalization did nothing for him. He was given no medication and zero counseling. The doctors recommended he go to the Chemically Dependent Outpatient Program, but other than that referral it was a waste of time, not to mention being very traumatic.

Jimmy couldn’t wait to take a shower when he got home to wash the Psych ER off himself. He quickly washed his clothes in case they had been in contact with bedbugs or body lice.

Amazingly, he was still willing to ask for help, and he followed through with applying to the outpatient program. Time will tell if this new treatment component helps him stay sober.

It turned out to be a blessing for me that I was in there, Jimmy told me. It made me realize there’s still hope for me. So many of those other people in there are beyond help.

But it strikes me that when someone suicidal and struggling with addiction is finally willing to ask for help, it shouldn’t be this hard to find it. It’s truly shameful that in a city like New York, it is so hard to find help for mental health and addiction issues.

Jimmy had insurance, and a wife to advocate for him. And he still got the Psych Ward run-around.

What about those homeless people in the Psych ER and on the street? With no insurance, no one to advocate for them. If Jimmy has to jump through so many hoops to get help, what chance in hell do those people have?

Read more:
How (Not) to Find Psychiatric Help in New York City – TheFix.com


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