Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life

Mike Sloan’s positive, upbeat tone and zest for life in the face of adversity has truly been inspiring

Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life“Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it,” Haruki Murakami wrote in his acclaimed novel Norwegian Wood. “By living our lives, we nurture death.” This is rational. Nevertheless, death isn’t something we enjoy spending every waking moment thinking about. That’s especially true when we’re still at the point in our…

Psychiatric links at the heart of fibromyalgia’s pain

Psychiatric symptoms commonly associated with fibromyalgia make the condition worse for those who experience pain and depression or anxiety

Psychiatric links at the heart of fibromyalgia’s painFibromyalgia has stumped health-care professionals for years. Patients experience chronic and sometimes excruciating pain with no obvious physical reason. It's long been understood that fibromyalgia is somehow connected with co-existing psychiatric conditions. New research has examined this relationship more closely. Fibromyalgia is the existence of widespread pain throughout the body. In order to be diagnosed…

Healthy body, healthy mind: a double payoff for exercise

The mental health benefits of exercise are well documented, and even moderate sadness and feelings of anxiety can be improved

Healthy body, healthy mind: a double payoff for exerciseNot only is exercise good for our bodies, it’s also good for our minds. Most people with a regular exercise routine will tell you that it makes you feel good physically and is a helpful way of reducing stress, improving confidence and self-esteem, and increasing energy. It adds to a general sense of well-being. Although most fitness…

Anxiety disorder can weigh down your life

But there are strategies — and medications — that will help you control this all-too-common condition

Anxiety disorder can weigh down your lifeDo you worry constantly about your family, money, health or work? Does this uneasiness affect your sleep or your ability to function? These are a few of the common hallmarks of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). We all worry to a certain degree about the well-being of our families, our financial situation or jobs, but it isn’t an anxiety…

How willing are you to stretch your comfort zone?

Fear has the power to hijack our thoughts and behaviours, even when a new path makes sense or is harmless

How willing are you to stretch your comfort zone?I’m often fascinated by how rigidly some folks cling to the familiar, especially when it comes to being asked to do something novel. Not something dangerous – just unfamiliar. In my former career, this came up a lot, with leaders standing up in meetings and asking for “out of the box thinkers.” Then they would point…

Some memory loss as we get older is normal

But memory loss can also be a symptom of treatable disorders such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse

Some memory loss as we get older is normalA very common concern among my patients aged 45 and older is a fear that they are losing their memory and may be on their way to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Although these are possibilities, some memory loss is common as we age and not associated with a degenerative dementia. This kind of memory…

The reward for treating your agoraphobia is freedom

Agoraphobia literally means ‘fear of open or public places’

The reward for treating your agoraphobia is freedomOne condition that commonly exists alongside panic disorder is agoraphobia. Agoraphobia literally means ‘fear of open or public places’. However, in a clinical setting it is defined as a fear of situations from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing, or in which help may not be available in the event of a panic attack.…

Moving from pandemonium to peace in uncertain times

Our stressful, crazy world can lead to insomnia and worse. But there are ways to cope

Moving from pandemonium to peace in uncertain timesInsomnia could be called the 21st century disease. Falling asleep, staying asleep and getting enough sleep is ever more difficult, especially as one gets older – and everyone is getting older. Couple this with the increasing number of studies that show that lack of sufficient sleep is a major contributor to ill health. Now we…

Coping with the uber angst of the modern world

Nothing in modern history has felt as tribal and reckless as what’s unfolding now

Coping with the uber angst of the modern worldCan you remember a time as crazy as this? If you’re 60-something like me, you can flash back to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Martin Luther King Jr. and brothers John and Bobby Kennedy assassinations, the Age of Aquarius, the Vietnam War, the Summer of Love, Mikhail Gorbachev and the end of Russian communism. But…