A Day in the Life of a Student With an Anxiety Disorder.

Every day is a challenge. I wake up with a nervous stomachache. I get dressed and put on my mascara, trying to hold the brush tightly with shaky hands. I try to eat something, but I can’t. Everything makes me feel sick. At school I greet my friends with a fake smile and try to appear as calm as can be. It doesn’t last long. I spill out my worries in a stream of chatter. They are all irrational, so nobody understands. They tell me to “just calm down” and “it’ll be OK.” I don’t understand why it’s only me fearing…

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Where Will All the Old Folks Live?

If you’ve ever been a caregiver to aging parents, you’ve likely been through the battle over when to move them out of the home they love and into something more suitable to their changing needs. That’s only going to get more common as the U.S. population ages. Demographic experts say the population over age 65 will swell from 50 million to nearly 80 million in the next two decades. And all those people will need a place to live. If history is a good indicator, that place is unlikely to be their current home–though that appears to be changing. Even…

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The Secret Work of Nurses.

Recently, I admitted a patient in early labor and the first thing she asked me was when her doctor would be there. In my head, I laughed. I had not seen her doctor all day, even though I thought her doctor would make rounds in the morning. I knew there was a laundry list of reasons why she had probably not made it in by that afternoon: she had lucked out, and not a single one of her patients had delivered that morning, which would have forced her to come in. She had been unlucky before 7 a.m., and had…

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Avoiding Depression Caused By Social Media.

New research suggests that comparing yourself with others on Facebook is more likely to lead to feelings of depression than making social comparisons offline. The finding comes from new research on the relationship between social networking and depression. In the review, Lancaster University researchers David Baker and Dr Guillermo Perez Algorta, examined a host of studies on the topic. The international review evaluated research articles from 14 countries including 35,000 participants aged between 15 and 88. Amazingly, 1.8 billion people participate in online social networking sites worldwide, with Facebook alone having more than one billion active users. Concerns over the effect on…

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The Science of How Our Minds and Our Bodies Converge in the Healing of Trauma.

“A purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity,” William James asserted in his revolutionary 1884 theory of how our bodies affect our feelings. Two generations later, Rilke wrote in a beautiful letter of advice to a young woman: “I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion.” And yet in the century since, we’ve made little progress on making sense — much less making use — of the inextricable dialogue between the physical body and…

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What It Feels Like To Have Anxiety, Because It Isn’t Us ‘Being Crazy.

Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. It gets to the point when it’s the loudest voice in the room, no matter how much you try to get rid of it, it’s just there. Having no control over your own mind, your thoughts, your worries is scary. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when everything could be perfectly fine, but your mind tricks you into believing everything’s so wrong. It makes you question: “is something wrong with me?” and apologize for being crazy,…

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Ontario to authorize registered nurses to prescribe drugs.

The Ontario government will soon authorize registered nurses to prescribe certain medications independently and to communicate diagnoses, Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said Tuesday. “By introducing proposed amendments to the Nursing Act this spring, we will authorize RNs to prescribe certain drugs for non-complex conditions and to communicate a diagnosis for the purpose of prescribing, making it easier and faster for Ontarians to get the high-quality health care they deserve,” Hoskins said in a statement Tuesday. Hoskins said working with nurses is the latest among “significant improvements” the Liberals have made to Ontario’s health-care system since 2003. “Increased access to health…

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Medicating Women’s Feelings

WOMEN are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring. Some research suggests that women are often better at articulating their feelings than men because as the female brain develops, more capacity is reserved for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions in others. These are observations rooted in biology, not intended to mesh with any kind of pro- or anti-feminist ideology. But they do have social implications. Women’s emotionality is a sign of…

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An Open Essay on Post-Partum Depression.

Hollywood, a distorted reality of making motherhood look so easy. The glitz and the glamour of welcoming a new born and having your face flashed across the screens of millions. That achieving a beach body two weeks post-partum is realistic or that all the healthy meals being freshly made is as easy as it looks. I have mixed feeling about Chrissy Teigen. On one hand she’s witty, honest, and takes no shit, but on the she has the luxury of money and fame to allow her the time to do things like hire nannies, chefs, and maids to help do the…

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Digging Deep.

I slowly learned that we attract what we are. You know that feeling when you meet somebody and you instantly have chemistry? That magnetic connection that’s overwhelming and hard to ignore? The feelings that cannot be explained? That my friends is infatuation. In reality, if you are a mess, you will more often than not attract a mess. If you’re insecure you’re not only going to breed more insecurity but you’re going to attract insecurity from someone else just as insecure. Thinking about things and my past relationships, I attracted what worried me or I craved the most rather than what I truly needed.…

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Hospital Children with ADHD have some smaller brain regions, study shows

People with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder have distinct differences in their brain structure, a new study finds, suggesting the disorder should be considered a neurological condition and not simply a behavioural problem. The research — published Wednesday in Lancet Psychiatry — was described by its authors as the largest-ever review of ADHD patient brain scans. The scientists evaluated MRI scans and other data from more than 3,200 people, comparing 1,713 patients who had been diagnosed with ADHD to a control group. The patients ranged in age from four to 63. The researchers found those with ADHD had smaller brain volume in five subcortical…

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Mentally ill or ill-equipped? Anxiety top issue in schools, says guidance counsellor

Are more children suffering from anxiety disorders, or are doctors too quick to write a prescription? It’s a tough subject, but one that guidance counsellor Boyd Perry does not shy away from. Perry, who is also vice-president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Counsellors and Psychologists Association, said anxiety is the number one issue seen by guidance counsellors in schools across Newfoundland and Labrador. “What we see most as counsellors right through the province is an increase in a child’s inability to deal with the stressors in their lives,” he said. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, between 10 and 20 per cent…

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The Frozen Man.

A reminder that miracles do happen as the result of a relentless healthcare team who put in everything they had to save this young man’s life. Heartwarming to see he is now on the right track to recovery both mentally, emotionally, and physically. KINGSTON, ONT.—Tayyab Jafar walks through a gruel of slush coating the wide pier behind a King St. public works building. He stops and points to the place he died. “Right about here,” says the fourth-year Queen’s University student from Oakville. The spot is at the pier’s edge. Near a warning in long faded letters stencilled across the…

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Western University researchers develop concussion blood test with 90-per-cent accuracy rate

When Mark Daley first tabulated the results, he thought he might be wrong. They seemed too obvious; “like a lab exercise that I set for students.” And yet there it was – a way to tell if someone had suffered a concussion, and all it required was a drop of their blood. After two years of blood profiling, researchers associated with Western University have been fine-tuning a test that can determine if a person has suffered a concussion. The test comes with a 90-per-cent accuracy rate, a previously unheard count in the medical community working to unlock the mysteries of…

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Why I Became a Nurse Instead of a Doctor.

Since I’ve gotten into nursing school, many people around me have questioned one of two things 1) why did I go back to school or 2) why did I choose not to apply to medical school. Since I was a young kid, I always looked at hospitals with awe and aspired to somehow work my way in. Unlike some people who knew what they wanted to do since they were young, I never really thought about what it is I exactly wanted to do with my life. All I knew was that I wanted to be in a career that…

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Study: Vast Majority Of People Who Are Depressed Do Not Seek Help

“I lost more than 80 percent of my university friends,” recalls Jagannath Lamichhane. After silently struggling with depression for two decades, Lamichhane published an essay in Nepal Times about his mental illness. “I could have hid my problem — like millions of people around the world,” he says, but “if we hide our mental health, it may remain a problem forever.” Many of his friends and family didn’t agree with that logic. In Nepal — as in most parts of the world — there’s quite a lot of stigma around mental illness. That was eight years ago. Now 35-year-old Lamichhane is a mental health…

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Empathic People and Protecting Themselves.

The empathy trap: therapists and counsellors almost by definition are empathic, to facilitate clients’ recovery — but this quality can mean those carers are targets for sociopaths, aided by what Dr Jane & Tim McGregor call “apaths”.  The first UK article on this cruel sport shows how to identify and thus avoid it. People targeted by a sociopath often respond with self-deprecating comments like “I was stupid”, “what was I thinking” of “I should’ve listened to my gut instinct”. But being involved with a sociopath is like being brainwashed. The sociopath’s superficial charm is usually the means by which s/he…

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Things I’ve Realized Being a People Pleaser.

Over the past fews months i’ve come to a realization being a chronic people-pleaser. Although i’ve gotten a lot better in recent years, there’s always room for improvement. I decided to compile a list because i’m always looking for ways on how I can improve myself and learn from my mistakes. 1. I don’t know how to cut ties with anyone. I’ve always struggled with how to let go of all the toxic people in my life out of fear of hurting their feelings or making them hate me. However, I have made some drastic changes in who I keep in…

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The View From Bed Number 10.

A perspective we don’t always hear about whether as healthcare professionals or lay people. I highly encourage everyone to read the article, it’s not long but I think there is something for everyone to take out of it.Basic manners can go a long way not just in a professional setting but also in our own every day lives. It’s a disheartening reality to know that this kind of behaviour is not uncommon among healthcare professionals.  I think it goes to show a little can go a long way and I highly encourage people to take some time to read it. A…

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C-Sections Changing Human Evolution?

C-sections have been on the rise for decades, now making up more than 30 percent of all deliveries in the United States. An intriguing new study out of Austria suggests that as C-sections have become more common, they might also be altering the course of human evolution. More babies are being born with heads that are too big for their mothers’ pelvises … which leads, the theory goes, to more C-sections.   Why?   Before the widespread use of C-sections, larger babies and their narrow-hipped moms had a good chance of dying during childbirth ― meaning their genes weren’t passed on. But because…

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