Clinical depression: Shining a light on the world’s leading cause of disability.

Keith Dobson is a professor of clinical psychology who leads UCalgary’s Depression Research Laboratory and heads the Department of Psychology. When Dobson was a teenager, though, his family lived on a farm north of Edmonton, and his father had a drinking problem. The farm work began to slip. Things began to fray. His father became distant, staying to himself, and then increasingly absent. Though he didn’t know it at the time, Dobson was witnessing his father’s descent into depression. “Looking back on it, my father was significantly depressed,” says Dobson. “The extreme avoidance and isolation were the key features of…

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Sophie Grégoire Trudeau Opens Up About Her Former Struggle With Bulimia.

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau spoke at an event for Eating Disorders Awareness Week and shared her own struggle with an eating disorder. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, while struggling with bulimia years ago, used to ask, “Why me?” “I remember feeling ashamed, thinking, ‘Why am I suffering from this?’ On the surface I had it all,” she told a crowd at an event on Parliament Hill for Eating Disorder Awareness Week on Thursday. “I kept reading about what it was to be a bulimic and saying, ‘This is the last time I’m doing this to myself.’ I started to tremble because of too…

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Entrepreneurship and Mental Illness.

Although we often read stories about successful Canadian startups – Shopify, Wattpad, Wealthsimple, and others – the reality is that many startups fail, and even those that succeed often experience a series of extreme highs and lows as they grow. With failure constantly looming, and workplace stress levels having doubled since 2009, according to a 2013 study by Morneau Shepell, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that entrepreneurs are more likely to experience mental health conditions than the general public. In fact, these mental health concerns have been reported across 72 per cent of entrepreneurs, compared to a mere 7 per cent of…

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The Aftermath of Bell Let’s Talk.

I think this is an insightful perspective into the impact Bell Let’s Talk day has on the mental health movement. I have to admit it is one of my favourite days on social media, it’s incredibly inspiring to see so many people open up for the first time and share their experiences or words of positive encouragement for those going through mental illness. However, it’s also incredibly sad and frustrating at the same time to see so many people suffering in silence and unable to find the resources they need to lead a meaningful life. Mental health treatment is expensive.…

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“Splitting” Mental Health From entertainment

  Split is marketed as a horror film where Kevin, the main antagonist, kidnaps three teenage girls. According to the teaser text online, those three girls must convince one of his 23 personalities to release them before the 24th personality, referred to as “the beast” emerges. James McAvoy has been praised online for his portrayals of the various personalities, but the film uses these personalities as a warped funhouse carousel where viewers are left wondering which personality is to come next. The film deliberately takes advantage of and reinforces a perception of mental illness as being dangerous, as the material for…

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9 Inspirational Quotes from Carrie Fisher Fighting Mental Health Stigma

Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her 20s and was very open with her struggles throughout her life, including battles with addiction. Since her death, fans have taken to social media to share stories of how Fisher’s honesty helped them come out about and cope with their own mental health struggles.Here are some of the most memorable and powerful of Fisher’s quotes on mental illness, delivered with the sharp wit and unflinching honesty that we will always love her for.   “I used to think I was a drug addict, pure and simple – just someone who could not…

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Biological Changes Could Be Underlying Factor For Higher Rates of Psychosis in Immigrants.

 A new study could explain how migrating to another country increases a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia, by altering brain chemistry. Immigrants had higher levels of the brain chemical dopamine than non-immigrants in the study, conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College, London. Abnormal dopamine levels are linked to symptoms of schizophrenia. Dopamine is also connected to the body’s stress response. The study was published in the January issue of Schizophrenia Bulletin. “Schizophrenia is still a rare diagnosis,” says Dr. Romina Mizrahi, a senior author and Clinician…

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Spotting Addiction.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former Ohio State University football player whose NFL career fell apart because of a painkiller addiction says he wants to become a college coach and help others avoid similar pitfalls now that he’s clean and has a degree. Shane Olivea told The Columbus Dispatch he was high every day following his rookie year with the San Diego Chargers. “At my height on Vicodin, I would take 125 a day,” said Olivea, who was briefly a Giant in 2008. “It got to the point I would take a pile of 15 Vicodin and would have to take them with…

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The First Steps.

To be honest, it’s crazy to think about how far my mental health journey has taken me over the past 4 years that i’ve been able to share my experiences. It hasn’t been an easy 4 years and I realize this is going to be a life-long journey in how I learn to manage, adapt, and cope with my depression and anxiety. It’s not easy being a student on top of everything. The amount of stress that is placed on me at times is incredible when it comes time to balance work, nursing school, finishing my master’s, community service, and…

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PTSD.

Lady Gaga revealed in a “Today” segment that aired Monday that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, almost exactly two years after she opened up about being raped at the age of 19. “I suffer from a mental illness — I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are,” the singer said. “But the kindness that’s been shown to me by doctors — as well as my family and my friends — it’s really saved my life.” she added. “I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.” The 30-year-old…

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Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to those celebrating today and Happy Holidays to those who celebrate other awesome holidays. The holidays can bring about things such as stress and depression for some individuals due to the cheeriness, business, and demands that come along with all the festivities. For others it can be reminders of loneliness, sadness, and grief. For those who may not have anywhere to go or anyone to confide in, know there are resources available to you. Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression (Mayo Clinic)  When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent…

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Study finds many Millennials spend Christmas alone

Mind has today released research into the different responses of different generations to the pressure of Christmas as part of its Christmas campaign. Key findings include: One in ten Millennials [25-34 y.o.] have no one to spend Christmas with compared to one in 20 older people [65+] (10% vs. 5%) Half of Millennials (48%) worry about their finances at Christmas compared to only one in five older people (18%) A third of Millennials (35%) dwell on things they failed to achieve in the year, compared to one in ten older people (9%) Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, has today…

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Big Bad Anxiety.

To be honest I never really understood what anxiety did to an individual until today. While out shopping I had one of the most embarrassing and scary moments of my life. I experienced a full on anxiety attack in the middle of the food court full of Christmas shoppers and other guests. I was all of a sudden flooded with overthinking recent events and thoughts of previous memories and slowly began to feel like I had tunnel vision in my eyes.I started to feel incredibly hot, constricted, and felt like my chest was tightening making it hard to breathe. Then I…

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Where To Get Help.

The holidays can be a tough time for many individuals struggling with various forms of mental illness. If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868  all offer ways for getting help if you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental health issues. Don’t hold back and be afraid to reach out to get support.

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What is depression?

I recently stumbled upon this post when I was going through reddit and it perfectly sums up how I feel when my depression is at my worst. I am currently experiencing unmedicated depression. I have not been awake for more than a 90 minute period today. I have an exam in a subject I love on Monday, but studying for even a few minutes instantly results in a wave of crushing fatigue. I cry every time I wake up, both because I can’t bear the thought of moving and because I am so frustrated with myself that I am being…

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Perceptions of Mental Illness.

I recently had a conversation with a close friend on the topic of mental illness, someone who had been tentatively diagnosed as having depression and anxiety. Upon their diagnoses and winding down from the emotional medical appointment their perception of the diagnoses began to drastically change. They felt that they were seen as “weak” or “crazy”, labelled as someone suffering from a common mental illness. Yet when I brought up the fact that it’s well known that I suffer(ed) from mental illness their perception on my case changed with them saying that I wasn’t “crazy” or “weak”. I just can’t…

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