Breathe.

Lately I have been anxious: unbearably anxious at times. Maybe it is all of the impending changes in my life. The next nine months of my life. Reflections of the past year triggering flashbacks. Or maybe it is just my damn anxiety disorder, but whatever it is I find myself on almost constantly on edge. My heart has been racing and my mind has been chasing after random thoughts and barely formulated ideas unable to concentrate on the tasks in front of me. I am afraid of a monster I cannot see, of a future I cannot predict, of the…

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Meet the ‘doctors’ who will talk to you whenever you like.

Could health apps and chatbots eventually replace your traditional doctor? “Let’s talk about how you’ve been feeling over the past 30 days,” says Joy. “This will help me get a sense for your current state.” Joy probes a bit deeper, asking a series of questions: Do I feel hopeless? Do I feel restless? When I respond that I’m a bit stressed, Joy offers me several de-stressing techniques. Joy might appear to be my counsellor or my life coach, but the conversation I’m having is actually with a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to track emotions and provide…

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How It Feels to Be Turned Away and Disbelieved by Therapists.

Shared with me by a wonderful friend, definitely worth the read. M ———————————————————————————————– Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Palms sweating, I found myself nervously fidgeting my legs and glancing at the clock. I had been here before, many times over the past decade, and increasingly losing faith. At the beginning the sessions seemed to help — you could talk about how you were feeling, what you were experiencing, and you knew the person sat opposite you would believe you.…

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Tragic case of Robert Chu shows plight of Canadian medical school grads.

After he was passed over twice for a medical residency program, after he quizzed university officials and career counsellors about the reasons for his rejection, after exploring his legal options and shortly before ending his life, Robert Chu wrote a letter. It was precise, but penned with passion. It showed the persistence the 25-year-old medical school graduate had demonstrated throughout his accomplished life. But he also expressed his despair at what he believed is a flawed system used to match medical school graduates to residency programs — the final, obligatory stage in a doctor’s training. Each year, a growing number…

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Let’s Talk About It.

Empathy. Congruence. Unconditional positive regard. Addressing Katherine and Katy as their identities. Reflection of feeling and content. Putting aside my ideas of Katy Perry for an hour, this is a beautiful example of the humanistic counseling model. I don’t think I can emphasize how much talk therapy helped me when I was at my lowest point. The questions that were asked, the revelations I came to, and the tools I was given to help me move forward. I agree with Kathryn in that social media has made it incredibly hard to be real with one another. We all hide behind…

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The Numbers Game.

I can’t believe it’s already been two years since I graduated from Western! To be honest, I debated whether I should share these pictures because on some level I do feel self-conscious despite the pictures not necessarily being representative of how I look now. I added 5 pictures to showcase how far i’ve come in 4 short years mentally, physically, and emotionally, with the first picture being where I started from. There is a picture for each of the past four years. I know regardless of how I look in those pictures, it doesn’t take away from my character, my…

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Zelda Williams Gets Real About The Work It Takes To Manage Depression.

Zelda Williams is acknowledging some major truths about mental health. In an extensive interview with Teen Vogue, Robin Williams’ daughter talked about how she prioritizes mental health, what it’s like to be an advocate and the hard work it takes to manage a condition. She told the publication that one of the ways she focuses on her own mental health is by speaking about it openly. She hopes that by doing so, it helps people recognize signs of mental health issues. “I try to bring a lot of advocacy to the people who have maybe never felt their brain to be…

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Never Miss a Day.

Many of you know I’ve never been a runner but most of you also probably don’t know one of the main reasons why I run is how I am choosing to take control of my battles with depression. This summer I want to reclaim running. I strayed away from running for many years for fear that the negative thoughts would be triggered. Thoughts like I was too slow, too fat, too tired, or thoughts that I just wasn’t made to run. But since i’ve started running, nothing beats the sound of my feet pounding on the pavement, the sun hitting my…

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Learning from Darkness.

I think we all feel helpless when grief and sorrow strike us or the ones we love. I’ve also come to accept that there is no time limit or one-step method to deal with this process. We all process grief or loss in our own unique ways and I don’t necessarily believe there will ever be a one size fits all method to deal with it. Oftentimes, we don’t know what to do with loss– how to work through it. And so we let it sit with us and cloud our vision and burden our hearts. But deep down what…

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Pushing Forward.

For everything I have to be sad about I have 20 others things to be grateful for in my life. I worked my butt off this year in my first year of nursing and despite all the challenges that landed on my plate I was able to push hard and come out with some pretty decent grades. I did in the end have to drop anatomy and physiology, but luckily I had a supportive team who have allowed me to complete the physiology component over the summer at Western to allow me to compliment my previous anatomy courses. I never thought…

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Self-Love is the Most Important Kind of Love.

This morning I woke up feeling down and sad about the actions of someone else.  So today, I decided to try something different. I made a list of all the great things about myself as a personal reminder that I don’t deserve to feel down because of someone else’s actions. I am kind to others I am generous and helpful I make people laugh I brighten moods I am caring I am empathetic I can sense people’s moods I am thoughtful I am helpful I step up to the plate when no one else does and take the blame so…

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‘A little bit OCD’: the downside of mental health awareness

It’s mental health awareness week. So that’s good. Well, mostly. There are downsides to increased awareness of mental health, it turns out. You ever met someone who is needlessly cold or even outright rude to those who deign to engage with them? I used to work with someone like that, and eventually one of his superiors had to call him out on it. I was within earshot, and happened to hear his defence, which was something like “It’s just the way I am. I think I’m on the spectrum.” He didn’t specify which spectrum. Maybe he meant the visible spectrum?…

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