Self-mutilation a coping mechanism for emotional pain

If you suspect your child may be practicing self-abusive behaviours, there are a few signs you can look for

Self-mutilation a coping mechanism for emotional painPeople who deliberately cut themselves with razors, burn themselves with lit cigarettes or pick their skin until it bleeds have often been viewed as attention-seekers – people who simply want to make a statement or frighten others enough to get a rise out of them. Sadly, self-mutilating behaviours such as these are not simply a…

Irritable bowel syndrome connected to your emotional state

People with IBS tend to be more prone than the general population to psychological symptoms including anxiety or depression

Irritable bowel syndrome connected to your emotional stateBetween 10 and 20 per cent of the general population suffers from a puzzling and uncomfortable condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is one of the most common disorders seen in general practice and it affects more women than men. As the name suggests, this is an illness that affects the bowel and the…

Antidepressants for children should be used with caution

But with proper use they are quite safe and an effective way to help people of all ages in the treatment of depression

Antidepressants for children should be used with cautionThe use of antidepressant medications among depressed children has received widespread international coverage in the media over the years. Studies indicating a slightly increased risk of suicidal thoughts, or attempts, in children taking antidepressants sparked a firestorm of public debate and criticism. As a result, FDA mandated all antidepressants being sold in the U.S. have…

Coping with panic attacks

Getting enough sleep and regular exercise and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine are among the effective treatments available for panic disorder

Coping with panic attacksPanic. Your heart races, palms sweat and body shakes. You feel as though you’re choking and losing your breath as a bout of dizziness overtakes you. This is out of control. Imagine feeling this way on a regular basis. People with an anxiety disorder called panic disorder experience recurring panic attacks – brief but intense…

There is no need to needlessly suffer migraines

For people who experience migraines as well as a mood disorder, the headaches often improve once the mood disorder is treated

There is no need to needlessly suffer migrainesIf you experience migraine headaches, then you know what it’s like to have debilitating pain. Pain pulsates on one side of your head like a bad drum beat that won’t stop. All the noises around you are magnified to a chaotic cacophony and every time you move the pulsing in your temples seems to intensify.…

Diabetes may double risk of developing depression

Two of the primary risk factors for the disease are obesity and lack of exercise

Diabetes may double risk of developing depressionDiabetes is one of the leading health problems affecting North America today and is rapidly on the rise. It is also well known that this disease can cause serious health complications such as vision loss and amputation as well as life-threatening problems like stroke, heart disease and kidney failure. Indeed, diabetes, which affects the body’s…

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder no laughing matter

If you are troubled by recurring disturbing thoughts and feel compelled to perform repetitive behaviours, talk to your family doctor

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder no laughing matterOne psychiatric disorder that is commonly portrayed on television and in the movies is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). We are usually given a somewhat humourous example of a neurotic person obsessed with germs and washing, who needs things to be exactly in order or who repeatedly checks to make sure the door is locked or…

PMDD PMS on steroids

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which affects about two per cent of women, is a disabling condition that requires treatment

PMDD PMS on steroidsPMS: those three letters have been made the brunt of many jokes and snide comments since they were coined to describe the variety of symptoms many women experience at a certain point in their menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, while the symptoms of PMS are distressing to the 80 per cent of women who experience them, a…

Nine techniques to help you quit your bad habits

But keep in mind that to quit some bad habits may require the assistance of peer support groups and/or professionals

Nine techniques to help you quit your bad habitsAt some point in life, most of us develop a bad habit or two. Repetitive behaviours such as nail biting, throat clearing, hair pulling or picking at skin can be harmful to our bodies but can also be irritating to those around us. Kicking a bad habit can often seem like a high hurdle in…

Some simple relaxation techniques to achieving a stress-free life

But remember, relaxation techniques will not replace the need to solve the underlying problem

Some simple relaxation techniques to achieving a stress-free lifeIn our fast-paced world where everyone is looking for a quick fix or a speedy solution to every problem, stress and anxiety abound. Often there is no quick fix. What may be needed is a change in lifestyle, specific problem solving or at the very least an effort to stop and smell the roses or…

There is no stigma to taking needed medication

Potential risks should be measured against the benefits of relieving symptoms of the disorder

There is no stigma to taking needed medicationMany people respond to a psychiatric diagnosis and medication recommendations by saying that they are simply “not a pill person”. It seems that the idea of having to take a pill every day is a daunting thought to some and a sign of weakness to others. In truth, there is no such thing as a…

Depression more common, and costly, than you think

A little known fact about depression is that it is a systemic disease rather than simply a mood disorder

Depression more common, and costly, than you thinkWe likely all know someone affected by clinical depression. Few of us, however, completely understand the magnitude, or severity of the condition, its chronic nature, or all of the symptoms that go along with it. Depression is more than a simple case of the blues. Everyone experiences sad days, or periods when life isn’t going…

Suffering paranoid disorder is like living a nightmare every day

Imagine living your life in a perpetual state of belief that someone is trying to hurt you

Suffering paranoid disorder is like living a nightmare every dayImagine living your life in a perpetual state of belief that someone was trying to hurt you, or destroy your career. Or, imagine believing, despite consistent denial, that your spouse was being continuously unfaithful. For some people, this is the nightmare of everyday life. Not because someone really is trying to destroy their life, or…

Mental illness can exacerbate marital problems

Although separation and divorce are always painful, it may be the best option for some couples and their families

Mental illness can exacerbate marital problemsIn the unstable world of mental illness, it is not surprising that existing marital problems can complicate things further, or that new marital tensions can be created. Many of my patients who come to me with anxiety or depression also have significant problems in their marriages. Whether they recognize it or not, these difficulties are…

Insecure about your body image?

Negative body image could be precursor to more serious illnesses, including anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphic disorder

Insecure about your body image?Most people experience occasional periods of dissatisfaction with the look of a certain body part or feature. Although this is discouraging, it is normal – particularly in our culture where we are barraged daily with media images of men and women with ‘perfect’ bodies. While some self-critique is to be expected, there are instances when…