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 04.02.2015 | 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 03.29.2015 | 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 03.25.2015 | 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.

Why We Must Teach Digital Natives How to Be Alone

Michael Harris | Posted 09.22.2014 | Canada Living
Michael Harris

I believe the most crucial thing we need to teach digital natives is how to be alone. Every communication technology -- from papyrus to the printing press to Pinterest -- brought us great gifts; they also led us away from earlier frames of mind. And, in the case of the Internet and smartphones, that may leave us with impoverished interior lives.

Why Rob Ford's Addiction is An Explanation, Not An Excuse

Roger Covin, Ph.D | Posted 09.09.2014 | Canada Politics
Roger Covin, Ph.D

In the case of someone like Rob Ford, he may have very little control over his cravings for alcohol, and this is where he deserves sympathy. In a culture where everyone has something -- coffee, cigarettes, marijuana, shopping, alcohol, need for approval, etc. -- it shouldn't be too hard for us to sympathize with someone dealing with a dependence problem. However, as a man who has good financial resources and who is capable of accomplishing significant person goals, he has considerable, personal influence over the treatment of this problem.

Food Addiction Is Real and We Need To Talk About It

Kelly Coffey | Posted 08.23.2014 | Canada Living
Kelly Coffey

Only by calling food addiction by its proper name can we begin to speak frankly about how to help one another recover. Until then, food addicts like me will continue to struggle to control that which cannot be controlled. Many will keep trying, and failing, to "eat like a normal person." And many will decide, like I did, that their inability to change is simply a sign of weakness.

My Father Is an Addict and a Good Man

Kinnie Starr | Posted 08.16.2014 | Canada Living
Kinnie Starr

Dad's recent bout with sobriety was four or five years ago, and lasted over a year. During that time, he was very good to his family. Dad's wellness certainly did not last long though, and within just over a year, he had determined he 'didn't need help anymore' and was back inside the cycle of pills and alcohol. At this point in my life, my father is still an alcoholic and an addict, and he has survived tremendous odds. He is a good man. Addiction is nasty company.

This Is Why It's Vital You're Successful the First Time You Quit Smoking

Nishaan Sharma | Posted 07.29.2014 | Canada Living
Nishaan Sharma

The pain and terror that seem, for those first few days, like everything -- seen, smelled, tasted, heard, felt -- will be replaced by a longing similar to the kind one feels towards an old paramour. It is even possible that you will be capable of returning to the warm arms of the infrequent cigarette at some distant speck in the future without drowning again in the compulsion.

What Life Is Really Like After Rehab

Wendy Cope | Posted 08.03.2014 | Canada Living
Wendy Cope

Life in rehab is very structured, planned and directed by the treatment team. Although this is a necessary step towards recovery, it is only the beginning of a life journey that simply has to be very different from the life lived during active addiction.