Addiction

The Beauty in Missing

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 07.23.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

I love the subtlety and ambiguity of words, and that no doubt had a lot to do with why I taught English for 23 years, and why I am now pursuing a care...

What Do Addicts Really Need?

Candace Plattor | Posted 07.22.2015 | Canada Living
Candace Plattor

It is not a loving act to allow addicts to get away with self-destructive behaviour. If someone in active addiction is consistently being rescued from the potentially negative and harmful consequences of his or her behaviour by his family, friends, teachers, bosses, or colleagues, then why should he ever change anything?

I Have Been Losing Time to PTSD

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 07.03.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

Over the past few years, I've written extensively about, and on many occasions have spoken candidly of my struggles with addiction, mental health issues, and sexual violence. I have grown to believe that the greatest antidote to fear is honesty, and it's with this in mind, that I share the following with you. For the past few months, I've engaged in a convoluted relationship with time. It all started out rather innocent. Hours were slipping away from me, and I had absolutely no idea how to account for that lost time.

Why Is It So Hard To Find An Antidepressant That Works?

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 06.10.2015 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

My sister suffers from depression and she has been prescribed several different antidepressant medications. While she feels marginally improved, her doctor is about to start her on a new drug to see if she can do better. Why is it so hard for some patients to find the "right" antidepressant?

I've Learned to Live With PTSD

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 06.04.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

My name is Jean-Paul, and I am in treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Hearing me say that usually elicits one of two responses in people -- abject pity or recoiling fear. I want you to know that I understand where you're coming from, but allow me a few minutes to see if we can change this dialogue.

Recovering From Addiction Means Learning to Live With it

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 06.03.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

Within the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, the word "recovered" comes up at lot, and come to think of it, why wouldn't it? Many an addict latches on to that idea as a desperate lifeline of hope. I, on the other hand, have grown to embrace the fact that until the day I die, I will be a recovering alcoholic. I long ago decided to make peace with this disease, but that in no way makes me immune to feeling frustrated and angry by the circumstances surrounding my relationship with the addiction.

Becoming a Mother Saved Me From Alcoholism

Stephanie McDougall | Posted 05.10.2015 | Canada Parents
Stephanie McDougall

Giving up drinking for nine months was easy. It was a no brainer. Plus I was so nauseous I don't think I could have had a drink even if I had wanted to. But here's the kicker. I've officially given up alcohol. For good. My son is almost one year old and I'm coming up to two years sober.

After Getting Sober, I'm Still Getting Comfortable With Success

Keeley Milne | Posted 06.02.2015 | Canada Living
Keeley Milne

As an addict, self-sabotage becomes a comfort-zone, failure a safe place to be. Predictability is key -- we know what will happen when we drink or screw up, and while it is painful, at least it is familiar. With success, I feel completely unprepared.

Loved Ones of Addicts May Also Need Help Saying No

Candace Plattor | Posted 05.29.2015 | Canada Living
Candace Plattor

If you find yourself being manipulated by a loved one with an addiction, you'll need to ask yourself why you're allowing this to happen. That will be your first step toward stopping it. If you're not sure how to change your enabling patterns, please consider reaching out for help.

Is it All or Nothing For You?

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 05.25.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin's latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives in which she puts forth the argum...

As A Recovering Addict, I Admire People Who Pick up the Pieces

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 05.12.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

People often assume that the main problem of addiction comes down to an addict's lack of willpower or commitment. Although it may appear that way from the outside looking in, I would suggest the complete opposite is true. I say this because the addicts I've met in recovery are some of the most tenacious, resilient, and creative people on the planet.

If It Doesn't Bring You Joy, Let It Go

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 05.03.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

I sat across from my therapist as she said: "So, in your own words, can you tell me what it feels like? "Well... have you ever run across a grass...

Why Running Will Change Your Life

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 04.26.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

I believe that deep inside, all of us have something that eats away at us, something that just doesn't sit right. Maybe it's some trauma from your past, or hurtful words that still resonate, or even some "dis" ease you are currently living with. For me, it was coming to terms with sexual abuse in my childhood.

The Truth About Bullying and What We Can Do About It

Candace Plattor | Posted 04.25.2015 | Canada Living
Candace Plattor

I believe that bullying is an addiction. We use addictive behaviours to mask what we feel --generally about our own low self-esteem and dissatisfaction about our lives. Anything can become an addiction if we are using it for that purpose: drugs, alcohol, food, TV, smoking, gambling, excessive spending, gaming, sex, co-dependency in relationships -- the list goes on and on.

Learning to Quiet My Ego

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 04.05.2015 | Canada Impact
Jean-Paul Bedard

Even though I've been clean and sober now for almost 18 years, without a doubt, I continue to move through life with the mind of an addict. For me, learning how to "soften into things" means learning how to quiet my ego, the presence that convinces me that in order to build myself up, I need to tear someone else down.

Why Canadians Can't Rely on Current Mental Health Treatment Programs

Paul Kurdyak | Posted 04.01.2015 | Canada Living
Paul Kurdyak

Mental illness is one of the biggest predictors of inequitable access to care in this country. We know that having a mental illness means that you are far less likely to get the healthcare you need than someone without a mental illness and that mental illness is a bigger predictor of poor access to care than low income.

How Running Helped Me Overcome Addiction

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 03.31.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

If I look at a snapshot of my life 18 years ago, I see a young man ravaged by a spiraling alcohol and drug addiction, a man fractured in spirit desperate to claw his way out of the darkest hell of a deep depression. Shortly after entering a treatment program to deal with my addiction issues, I took my first tentative steps into the world of running. Before I knew it, I had found my "people." I had stumbled upon my "tribe."

Trying to Quit Smoking? Your DNA Might Be Holding You Back

University of Toronto News | Posted 03.16.2015 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

If you're trying to quit smoking, new research from the University of Toronto suggests the first thing you need to understand is your DNA.

Addicted to Pills? Here's How to Find a Doctor to Treat You

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 03.16.2015 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

When patients get into trouble with highly addictive pain medications, their family physicians may not know where to refer them for help. To make matters worse, the prescribing habits of some physicians -- such as giving too high a dose of a drug -- can contribute to patients becoming addicted to painkillers.

Mental Illness Programs Shouldn't Force Abstinence On Smokers

Marvin Ross | Posted 02.14.2015 | Canada
Marvin Ross

Mental illness patients who smoke are discriminated against by having separate smoking rooms in hospitals closed. As a result, they are being forced to leave the hospital grounds to smoke if they are not in locked units. This is unsafe for patients and others.

Stop Being a People-Pleaser and Start Doing What You Want

Candace Plattor | Posted 12.31.2014 | Canada Living
Candace Plattor

My definition is a very simple one: "codependency" occurs when we put other people's needs ahead of our own on a fairly consistent basis. In truth, when we are codependent, we are also people-pleasers who will go to virtually any lengths to avoid unpleasant conflict with others.

What I've Learned After a Decade of Researching Suicide

Jitender Sareen | Posted 11.10.2014 | Canada Living
Jitender Sareen

The death of comedian Robin Williams last month sparked a worldwide discussion about suicide, its underlying causes and how it might be prevented. And, with World Suicide Prevention Day taking place Sept. 10, the subject is certain to generate more debate as people seek to understand this important health issue. Having spent 10 years researching the subject while working as a professor of psychiatry, I believe there are things we can do as a community to tackle this problem. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to reflect on what researchers have learned over the years about strategies for preventing suicide.

Addicts' Loved Ones Need Recovery Too

Candace Plattor | Posted 11.09.2014 | Canada Living
Candace Plattor

I'm so happy that the stigma associated with addiction is being lifted in this way and we're finally talking about it! But what about the loved ones of those who are addicted? These people suffer and struggle right alongside the addicts in their lives.

If We Always Talked About Suicide This Much, We'd Be Better Off

Arthur Gallant | Posted 10.12.2014 | Canada Living
Arthur Gallant

The moment a celebrity or somebody takes his or her life we, as a society, are all over it. It makes me think if we talked about suicide this much when it wasn't in the news due to something like Williams' death we would be better off. In addition to talking about Williams let's also talk about the thousands of other "normal" people who also died of suicide today.

A Conversation With BJ Thomas: Love, Near Tragedy And A Song That Saved

Howard Kerbel | Posted 10.06.2014 | Canada Music
Howard Kerbel

For the series It's About The Words & Conversations, BJ Thomas talks about that special night he heard Jackie Wilson sing "To Be Loved" and how thankful he is to have been exposed to those lyrics. They have stayed with and supported BJ through the pleasures of launching a career, falling in love, starting a family and battling addiction.