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…

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…

Battling the myths and stereotypes of psychiatry

Dr. Paul Latimer helps minimize some of the misconceptions about seeking psychiatric help

Battling the myths and stereotypes of psychiatryIt seems that practically every person who comes in for treatment has a different idea of what constitutes psychiatry and what they should expect when seeing a psychiatrist. Many stereotypical impressions of psychiatry arise out of television shows or books. In these stories, patients are portrayed lying prostrate on a couch, delving into the deep…

“I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living”

History is full of policies established to determine which human lives were valuable and which were not. Are we comfortable going down that path again?

“I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living”By observing history without judgment, we can learn from our mistakes. By examining primary documents – artifacts from a particular era – we can begin to understand the thinking of the people of that time. In an effort to create a more objective perspective, I tell my students to imagine that they’re living in the…

Not every mental health concern requires a doctor

Perhaps the elixir of good feeling is available at a friend’s house, at the next desk in the office, or from a partner or spouse

Not every mental health concern requires a doctorBy Dominic Covvey and David Zitner Atlantic Institute for Market Studies Canadians suffer when important mental health services are unavailable or wait times are too long. Fortunately, many of us – including children, parents, other relatives and friends – may find and implement worthwhile solutions to important problems while people wait. However, some people are afraid…

When a kiss is just a kiss

Fairy tales impart pro-social values and are full of lessons for the young. We do our children no favours when we read lust and sexual assault into them

When a kiss is just a kissIn Casablanca, the greatest movie ever made, Dooley Wilson (as Sam) sings: “You must remember this/ A kiss is just a kiss/ A sigh is just a sigh.” Sarah Hall of North Shields, England, would disagree. For her, a kiss, such as that bestowed by the handsome prince on Sleeping Beauty, teaches impressionable youngsters that…

Donations now being accepted for Christmas hamper program

The Salvation Army supplies the turkeys and the West Central Crisis and Family Support Centre supplies gifts for children

Donations now being accepted for Christmas hamper programKenneth Brown of The Clarion It’s the season for giving, and the organizers of an area Christmas Hamper program hope people are in the giving spirit as they collect donations of food and money. The Kindersley branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has been operating a Christmas Hamper program for more than 50…

Passion is at the heart of an energetic, fulfilled life

Strive to incorporate more of what you love into your life. Seek new paths. Stop making excuses and go for it!

Passion is at the heart of an energetic, fulfilled life“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof,” says author Barbara Kingsolver. Have you ever stopped to wonder what you want…

Making peace with past mistakes

The more we dwell on a past mistake, the more we identify with it. We have become that mistake or bad choice

Making peace with past mistakesDid you ever wake up from a nightmare still in distress? Were you awake but still experiencing the trouble you got yourself into while dreaming? One of the most horrible nightmare experiences I ever heard of was that of a young mother who, in her dream, had oven-roasted and eaten her baby girl. She was…

‘What gets measured gets done’

We lack critical information on the diverse and often unmet needs of Canadian children with disabilities, as well as the out-of-pocket costs paid by families

‘What gets measured gets done’By Stephanie Dunn and Jennifer Zwicker EvidenceNetwork.ca “The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children, including their health, safety, material security, education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued and included in the families and societies into which they are born,” according to UNICEF. Yet how…
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