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…

‘Happy’ New Zealand has a teenage suicide problem

Indigenous teenagers around the world face problems they think are insurmountable. But there are solutions

‘Happy’ New Zealand has a teenage suicide problemThe United Nations consistently includes New Zealand in its list of the happiest countries on the planet. Yet  in the midst of all this happiness there’s very deep unhappiness: New Zealand’s teenage suicide rate is now the worst in the world. How can this profoundly unsettling anomaly be explained? The answer becomes apparent when the…

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…

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…

Early intervention important when fighting depression

If you are depressed you should not procrastinate and you should not settle for partial treatment

Early intervention important when fighting depressionIn the fight against depression, time is the enemy. Early intervention is critical when treating this chronic disorder and it often determines the success of treatment. What many people are unaware of is that depression can be a progressive disorder that gets worse as time goes on. Not only does the person experience more severe…

Madness, murder and antidepressant drugs

From Alexandre Bissonnette to Stephen Paddock to Nickolas Cruz to many more, the connections are chilling

Madness, murder and antidepressant drugsThe sentencing hearing for Alexandre Bissonnette (the Quebec man who has pleaded guilty to committing mass murder in a mosque) has been disclosing new details each day about what led up to that tragic event in January 2017. Portions of his initial interrogation have been released on video. Be forewarned: it’s disturbing to watch someone speak…

Overcoming mental health issues – and the stigma surrounding them

We have a long way to go in improving the understanding of mental health issues and in serving those who have them, but people like DeMar DeRozan are helping

Overcoming mental health issues – and the stigma surrounding themIt’s becoming more clear than ever that mental health issues are very real and very prevalent in our society. There are few of us who aren’t impacted, either by living or working with people who struggle, or dealing with our own mental well-being. Mental health issues are nothing new. Soldiers returned from war 100 years…

When a new mom has disturbing thoughts about hurting her baby

Postpartum OCD is frequently misdiagnosed and misunderstood – but it is treatable, help is available

When a new mom has disturbing thoughts about hurting her babyBy Gina Wong and Nicole Letourneau EvidenceNetwork.ca In January, a new mother in California became part of a viral Facebook post that described her baby’s four-month postpartum checkup. As a result of the thoughts she shared with her health-care providers, the police were called and she was escorted to the hospital, forcibly admitted to the…

Are you suffering mood swings or bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder affects between one and two per cent of the adult population

Are you suffering mood swings or bipolar disorder?Many of us have a friend or family member we wonder about because they seem to shift unpredictably from one mood to another. We are often worried or in awe of them because they can be on a high one day and despondent the next. While it certainly isn’t always the case, people like this…

Not all hallucinations or delusions are caused by mental illness

Psychotic episodes can occur for a variety of reasons, not all of them having to do with mental illness

Not all hallucinations or delusions are caused by mental illnessHallucinations and delusions are the first things many people imagine when they hear about mental illness. They think of people who hear voices, see imaginary people or think they are someone they’re not. While hallucinations and delusions are not the hallmark of every mental illness, they can occur as a symptom of several disorders. Schizophrenia…

Child abuse linked to depression, anxiety in later life

Childhood abuse or neglect can permanently alter an individual’s physiology

Child abuse linked to depression, anxiety in later lifeIn my last column, I pointed out that nature and nurture should not be regarded as enemies or polar opposites. Rather, they are two intertwined realities that work together to make up the human experience. Nature was designed for nurture. Many studies in recent years have documented the effects that early childhood experience can have…

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…