Genetics strongly influence our predisposition to mental illness

It is becoming increasingly clear that our genes influence everything from our personality traits to specific psychiatric disorders

Genetics strongly influence our predisposition to mental illnessNature has been pitted against nurture for centuries. People have always pondered the question of whether human behaviour is primarily dictated by genetic hard-wiring or by our experiences and environmental factors. The debate has lasted so long because we know comparatively little about the functioning of the human brain. As a result, disorders of the…

Understanding what causes stress and how to handle it

Ask yourself (and maybe someone close to you) the following questions to get a better understanding of what causes it and how to handle it

Understanding what causes stress and how to handle itStress afflicts us all and is a common precursor to mental distress. While there is plenty of good advice about how to manage stress, I don’t think we spend enough time talking about how to anticipate, and avoid, it. It starts with self-awareness. What is your stress profile? How each of us responds to stress…

Clinical trials important to ensure patient safety

All new treatments used in Canada and the U.S. must go through a rigorous clinical trial process before approval

Clinical trials important to ensure patient safetyIn this age of fast advancing technology and almost-daily medical discoveries, researching new treatments with clinical trials is of critical importance in assuring their safety and effectiveness. It is important to learn how well new treatments work and also to compare them with established techniques and medications to learn where there are advantages and disadvantages…

How to build a strong self-image

Your self-image plays a major part in how you live your life. It determines the quality of your life and, often, how successful you will be

How to build a strong self-imageYour self-image plays a major part in how you live your life. It determines the quality of your life and, often, how successful you will be. It also sets the tone, rhythm and meter for all your relationships, both personal and professional. According to psychotherapists, a strong self-image can be the foundation for achieving a…

How to spot the narcissists among us

Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty

How to spot the narcissists among us  Is narcissism actually a disorder or is it just a description of someone who happens to be more self-absorbed than most? We all know people who seem to focus almost solely on themselves with little interest in the feelings or contributions of others. But where does selfishness end and narcissistic personality disorder begin? Narcissistic…

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate support

Individuals with developmental disabilities live longer than ever and that means the responsibility for care is shifting to siblings

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate supportA combination of better medical care and good lives in the community mean longer life expectancies for individuals with a developmental disability. That’s good news. But many are outliving their parents, who have taken care of them over their lifetimes. Once parents are no longer able to provide the same level of support or care,…

De-institutionalization of mental illness a costly mistake

Governments reneged on their promise to implement new, community-based treatment programs for the mentally ill

De-institutionalization of mental illness a costly mistakeIt used to be that individuals with serious mental illnesses were sent to live in institutions for extended periods and often their entire lives. Since there were few effective treatments, most patients would be sedated or physically restrained to control disordered behaviour. This environment was the norm for mental health patients who were completely separated…

The stigma of mental illness

If you think you suffer from a mental illness, resist succumbing to stigma and ask your doctor about getting treatment

The stigma of mental illnessGetting treatment for a mental illness is often a lot more difficult than simply calling up your doctor and making an appointment. For many people it involves a painful process of accepting that they have a problem and being willing to expose themselves. Many people who come to be treated for the first time say…

Pulling the plug on anger before it ignites real trouble

Learn how to express your feelings in more productive ways and keep an explosive temper from hijacking your life

Pulling the plug on anger before it ignites real troubleAnger doesn't have to hijack your life. Anger is a natural emotion that helps protect us from real (or imagined) attacks against our physical or emotional well-being. When used appropriately, anger can motivate us to achieve goals we would otherwise be too afraid or lazy to pursue. In this way, anger may not be a big…

Tips to unravelling the complicated language of disability insurance

Whether you are covered or not is really not up to your doctor

Tips to unravelling the complicated language of disability insuranceA lot of people come to me hoping I can help them in their attempt to leave an unsatisfying work situation and receive disability insurance because of the stress or depression their job is causing. Unfortunately, disability insurance is not as straight forward as is sometimes thought and is intended only for fairly specific reasons…