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…

Warning signs someone you love is experiencing mania

The individual experiencing mania is unable to realize the impact of his or her behaviour

Warning signs someone you love is experiencing maniaHave you ever noticed a friend or family member go through what appears to be a total personality change? Perhaps he or she was slightly introverted but suddenly became the extroverted life of the party. Or maybe a quiet friend suddenly became a high speed talker. This can sometimes be the dramatic face of mania…

How to keep your aging mind sharp

Research supports the ‘use it or lose it’ theory of mental ability

How to keep your aging mind sharpJust as we need to exercise our bodies to keep them healthy as we age, we must also exercise our minds to keep them from deteriorating. Research shows that people who engage in more activities that stimulate the mind have sharper cognitive functioning as they age than people who do not challenge their brains. In…

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…

Patients can suffer from multiple mental disorders

It is important for physicians to thoroughly screen for all conditions if the patient is to be treated properly

Patients can suffer from multiple mental disordersThere are two difficulties in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness: the fairly common occurrence of more than one diagnosis at the same time in the same patient, and the similarities and overlapping symptoms of many psychiatric disorders, making it difficult to make a clear distinction or choose appropriate treatment methods. These difficulties may…