Psychology

I Have a Condition That Almost No Doctor Understands

Sarah Robertson | Posted 04.02.2014 | Canada Living
Sarah Robertson

I am just one of the millions of people in Canada who has a condition called Trichotillomania, a.k.a. Hair Pulling Disorder. These conditions are also under the umbrella term Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours. In Canada, there are currently only two doctors who treat these conditions, and they have waiting lists for up to a year or more. This is unacceptable.

Why I Quit My PhD to 'Strip'

Sarah Vermunt | Posted 03.24.2014 | Canada Living
Sarah Vermunt

Three months ago I quit my PhD to become a stripper. Of course, I was afraid of what people would think, but my old life wasn't working for me, and so I decided to change it. I'm not taking my clothes off, but this stripping of mine makes me feel free and, yes, naked and vulnerable, too. Layer by layer, I'm stripping away thoughts and beliefs that were toxic.

I Don't Need the New York Times to Tell Me What to Read

Ilia Blinderman | Posted 02.27.2014 | Canada Living
Ilia Blinderman

Recently, the Times' laudably levelheaded public editor wrote about the "Recommended" section's growing real estate. Readers had, according to Sullivan, complained about the move's impinging on their privacy; some noted that they were sufficiently competent to choose the articles they read on their own; others did not want their reading preferences monetized.

Turns Out, Honesty Is The Best Policy

University of Toronto News | Posted 04.14.2014 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

A University of Toronto report based on two neural imaging studies that monitored brain activity has found a reward given for telling the truth gives people greater satisfaction than the same reward given for deceit.

Breathing Life Into the Year..

Paula Pyne | Posted 04.12.2014 | Canada
Paula Pyne

It probably seems to you that the days of the New Year have long passed but I'm just getting around to writing this post. I've been going at turtle ...

Why Smoking 'Skunk' Cannabis May Lead to Early Psychosis

Romeo Vitelli | Posted 03.27.2014 | Canada
Romeo Vitelli

They also found that patients who started smoking cannabis at age 15 or younger preferred to smoke high-potency "skunk" cannabis rather than lower potency "hash" type cannabis. The earliest onset of psychotic episodes occurred in males who have been smoking high-potency cannabis on a daily basis -- on average, their first psychotic episode occurred six years earlier than for non-users.

What to Ask Your Doctor Before Going on Antidepressants

Roger Covin, Ph.D | Posted 02.14.2014 | Canada Living
Roger Covin, Ph.D

I have had many conversations with clients over the years where they tell me they've been feeling nauseous, panicky and depressed. The symptoms my clients describe are directly due to a reduction in, or complete termination of, their antidepressant medication. I hope the following advice is useful to patients.

Probiotics May Improve Symptoms of Autism

Jason Tetro | Posted 02.08.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

A collaboration of over 20 American researchers found a possible answer although at first glance, it seemed ludicrous. The team looked at the bacteria in the gut of both normal and autistic children in the hopes of identifying any changes. Indeed, there were.

The Secrets of Happy People

Dr. Jamie Gruman | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada Living
Dr. Jamie Gruman

Most of the time I ate chocolate bars without much thought. In fact, I'd often half-consciously find a wrapper in my hand without any real memory of eating a chocolaty treat. The ease with which I could afford chocolate bars had caused me to appreciate and savour them less. I came to think of this phenomenon as the cost of convenience -- a failure to appreciate things.

Lather Up for Global Handwashing Day

Jason Tetro | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg October also brings in a day that commemorates what should be a part of our daily activities but for many is either forgotten or simply ignored: handwashing. It's not a surprise as handwashing is not considered -- other than perhaps in the public health field -- to be an incredibly important part of living.

Can Joan Rivers' Signature Help Us Understand the Separatists?

Annette Poizner | Posted 12.05.2013 | Canada Living
Annette Poizner

As a psychotherapist, I'm always intrigued by the question of what makes people tick. It's always most important to listen and to ask, but the truth is that people tell a lot about themselves indirectly. Two signatures -- Joan Rivers' and that of former Bloc Québecois leader Gilles Duceppe -- gave me food for thought, as I pondered the psychology of the Separatist.

What Makes Suicides Newsworthy?

Romeo Vitelli | Posted 11.10.2013 | Canada
Romeo Vitelli

Is suicide really contagious? Along with celebrity suicides, research has linked copycat deaths to news stories describing specific locations and/or methods of committing suicide that increases the likelihood of vulnerable people killing themselves in the same way. However, looking at the data on a per-country basis reveals a different story about how suicide is reported, and why.

What Kind of Facebook Personality Are You?

Sarah Vermunt | Posted 10.18.2013 | Canada Living
Sarah Vermunt

A recent study says that Facebook may undermine your well-being. Your own Facebook activity may offer clues about your mental health. Are you a dumper? A chronic comparer? A spinner? Read on to see which Facebook profile you fit.

The Politics of Brain Injury and Concussions

Shireen Jeejeebhoy | Posted 10.12.2013 | Canada
Shireen Jeejeebhoy

This post originally appeared on Shireen Jeejeebhoy's political blog at talk talk talk. Summer is too nice to talk about the politics of the TTC or Pr...

So Your Home Is in Foreclosure - What Now?

Joaquin Benitez | Posted 10.07.2013 | Canada Living
Joaquin Benitez

If you find yourself in a foreclosure situation, emotions will overtake you, so it's critical that you deal with them in order to keep a clear head and survive the trauma. You are well able to defend your home from foreclosure, but first you must take control of your emotions. And you will survive!

Rex Murphy and the Myth of the Angry Atheist

Roger Covin, Ph.D | Posted 09.29.2013 | Canada Politics
Roger Covin, Ph.D

A few days ago, the well known and respected commentator Rex Murphy presented a blistering critique of atheists, which seems to have been triggered by the recent debate over whether atheists soldiers should have access to their own chaplain. I believe it is worthwhile to highlight another glaring weakness of Mr. Murphy's article -- his misuse of the term anger.

Eight Ways to Pick a Great Partner

Diane Francis | Posted 09.29.2013 | Canada Living
Diane Francis

A marriage for many years, if it will involve children, is an extremely complex partnership and here are some nuggets that I have gleaned over the years from experiences, my therapist sister and the hundreds of self-help books that I have devoured as a frustrated shrink myself.

The Lives We Present Online Aren't Always What They Seem

Erica Berman | Posted 08.25.2013 | Canada Living
Erica Berman

Those friends of yours who appear to have the perfect marriage may post gorgeous photos of their weekend in Montreal, but they are not going to post updates about their massive debts or the fight they had last night about how to manage them. That colleague who just posted the ultrasound photo of her first child may not have tweeted about the three miscarriages she had prior to its conception.

Helping the Fight Against Cancer, One Outspoken Celeb at a Time

Samara Perez | Posted 08.13.2013 | Canada Living
Samara Perez

What Angelina Jolie and Michael Douglas have in common is that both are using their celebrity status to bring attention to the very realistic threat of cancer. For now, we must rely on celebrities to get the public's attention about important health threats. Both celebrities have provoked discussion, but where do we go from here?

Why Taking an Antidepressant Is Right for Me

Erica Berman | Posted 07.13.2013 | Canada Living
Erica Berman

Hello, my name is Erica Berman and I take an antidepressant. Do you think I'm crazy to admit it? Or just plain crazy? Well think what you want. I have been taking a low dose of a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) for almost four years, not for depression, but for anxiety. Yes, in case you were unaware, some antidepressants are very helpful for controlling anxiety.

6 Cognitive Biases That Make Politics Irrational

Adam Kingsmith | Posted 06.14.2013 | Canada Politics
Adam Kingsmith

These seemingly irrational flaws in judgement can lead to perpetual distortion, inaccurate judgement, and illogical interpretation -- all of which are key ingredients in the widening of cultural rifts, the deepening of global disparity gaps, and the general intensifying of political upheavals.

Creating New Horizons: Paradigms at Work

Heron Free | Posted 05.20.2013 | Canada Alberta
Heron Free

Some paradigms support us better than others. 'The world is flat' was believed to be true until Christopher Columbus proved it otherwise. And though we need paradigms to help us make sense of the world, the minute we turn them into concrete truths we become enslaved by them.

What Marilyn Monroe Taught Us About Suicide Notes

Romeo Vitelli | Posted 05.01.2013 | Canada
Romeo Vitelli

But could Marilyn Monroe's own writings provide clues about her suicidal intentions? Many of the letters, poems, and personal notes that Monroe wrote in the years leading up to her death were recently collected in a single book, Marilyn Monroe's Fragments. Her writings have only recently become available for serious study by suicide researchers.

How I Overcame My Fear of Needles

Lisa Jackson | Posted 03.26.2013 | Canada Living
Lisa Jackson

When I was nine, I had a bad experience while in the hospital with scarlet fever. A nurse restrained me and abruptly poked a needle into my arm, inflicting a pain that felt worse than a bee sting. I avoided having blood taken for the next 20 years, even if it meant risking my health.

Why Are so Many Veterans in Prison?

Romeo Vitelli | Posted 02.27.2013 | Canada Living
Romeo Vitelli

Increasing numbers of military veterans are entering the U.S. prison system. Why? A recent study highlights the important role that anger can play in how well veterans reintegrate into society after traumatic tours of duty -- and how likely they are to run into problems in prison, if that's where they end up.