Tackling poverty and its impact on social and emotional well-being

Reducing poverty is not just about putting food on the table or a roof over someone's head. But there are useful strategies

Tackling poverty and its impact on social and emotional well-being“Stay calm. You're in the Kootenays.” The slogan caught my eye as I waited in line with my grandchildren to order gelato. As my three-year-old grandson twirled himself repeatedly around my legs, I began to wish we'd chosen the ice cream shop down the road. No one was in a hurry here; the wait seemed interminable. When…

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medications

By thinking twice before prescribing and talking with patients about the risks of medications, clinicians are tackling overuse

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medicationsBy Karen Born and Wendy Levinson EvidenceNetwork.ca Canadians are living longer than ever and we are also taking more medications than ever. And this can make us sicker, not healthier. A report released recently by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that one in four seniors in Canada take 10 or more medications. That’s…

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…

Prevention cuts demand on the health system

Increased spending has entrenched an inefficient system that has inflated the cost of getting the same outcomes. It’s time for change

Prevention cuts demand on the health systemProvincial ministers of health and finance seek to ‘bend the health care cost curve’ but year after year, provincial budgets bend the curve in the wrong direction, adding billions of dollars to provincial health spending. We’ve doubled spending on our medical treatment system in Canada since 2005 – and what did we get? Not improved…

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…

The danger of putting too much trust in doctors

The medical profession lectures the public on health. Some believe it’s time for the public to lecture the medical profession on ethics

The danger of putting too much trust in doctorsWe need the medical profession. It reassures us. When we’re ill, it either cures us or numbs our pain. Unfortunately, our reliance on health care can lead us to look at medical professionals through rose-tinted spectacles. As with society at large, the medical profession mixes the good, the bad and the ugly. Occasionally, the profession…

The sad reality of teen mothers who give birth in care

A much greater emphasis needs to be put on dual placements – whenever possible, mothers and children should be placed together

The sad reality of teen mothers who give birth in careGirls who spend time in the care of child protection services have higher rates of teenage pregnancy and teenage mothers are more likely to have their child taken into care. Teenage mothers who give birth when they’re in care are also more likely to have their children taken into care. Until recently, we didn’t know…

Sometimes we need to take people literally

It’s not a magic potion but setting positive goals and using visualization help – if you understand the root of the problem

Sometimes we need to take people literallyAt a recent dinner meeting, conversation surrounded weight loss and aging. One of the men said he wanted to lose weight. He admitted he didn’t feel very positive about it – he’d been sticking to a spartan diet for months, exercised regularly but just didn’t seem to be able to shift it. He was convinced…

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 supportBy Helen Ries and Becky Rossi EvidenceNetwork.ca, University of Winnipeg A 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…

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…