How to be merry even though it’s Christmas.

IT’S THE MERRY CHRISTMAS season, a holy time, joy-to-the-world days, happy Chanukah, the heartiest and most beautiful holiday of the year — except that it often doesn’t work out that way. And the only way to deal with this paradox is to understand how and why it works. The truth is, few people get through these gala days without feeling decidedly annoyed by the season. With some, it’s only a flinching reaction to the insistent jollity. Others, particularly those suspended in the middle years between taskless childhood and self-indulgent old age, are harassed by shopping, wrapping, mailing, cooking and debts…

Read More

Despite funding boost, advocates say Canada has a mental health crisis.

Frustrations over what some advocates are calling cutbacks to Afrocentric mental health services in Toronto came to a head last week in a town hall meeting in Scarborough. One by one, parents of Black youth stepped up to the microphone to share their experiences and voice their concerns over the lack of funding for programs. “We heard from a parent who spoke about basically having to refuse to leave the hospital because they were treating her 21-year-old son as just an angry Black man,” recalls Janelle Skerritt, a Black mental health advocate who moderated the town hall. “But she kept…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

What My Depression Has Taught Me.

I thought I would finally start blogging a little more about my experiences with mental illness now that I am feeling a bit more motivated again. So I think the best place to start is begin to tackle some of the topics i’ve wanted to write about for the past while. I know i’m not going to hit every point I want to make in this post, but I think it’s a start and I know that I still have much to learn in the coming years. So here’s to a post about some of the things i’ve learned not…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

“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…

Read More

New Research Proposed on Concussions in Females.

Katherine Snedaker says she has had 20 concussions, the first three decades ago from a car accident when she was 16. But it wasn’t until her son suffered a series of concussions in the sixth grade, around 2008, that she felt compelled to learn all she could about head injuries to help him recover. During her journey of learning, she has become a nationally known advocate for better research, medical care, and support for girls and women with brain injuries, including concussions. She founded her nonprofit advocacy group PINK Concussions in 2013 in response to what she discovered was a…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Enzyme Research Provides a New Picture of Depression.

Despite the fact that more than four percent of the world’s population suffer from depression, and even though approximately 1,500 individuals commit suicide each year in Sweden, the understanding of the pathophysiology of depression remains unclear and only a few new discoveries of mechanisms behind it have been made in recent years. New approved pharmacological interventions are mainly absent, despite intensive research on the subject. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have characterized the role of the enzyme CYP2C19 in depression and functional and morphological changes in the brain. The enzyme is responsible for the metabolism of many neuroactive compounds, including antidepressants,…

Read More

Why We Need To Talk About High-Functioning Depression

(Photo: Pexels/Freestocks.org) By Emily Laurence for Well+Good To an outside observer, Amanda Leventhal, a college student at the University of Missouri, appears to have it all together. Perfect grades, a good group of friends, involvement in her campus choir group—she’s not someone many would characterize as “depressed.” And yet, she is. It wasn’t until Leventhal penned an essay on her secret struggle with anxiety and depression that her friends knew anything was even wrong. Antidepressant ads and pop-culture portrayals of depression often paint the same picture: withdrawal from friends or favorite activities, trouble sleeping, and crying. While those are signs, the problem is that…

Read More