While physical disabilities like blindness more obviously demonstrate the need for a service dog, the animals can be trained to serve a host of people with invisible illnesses as well. These service dogs learn how to respond to mental health issues including PTSD and social anxiety; detect silent conditions like irregular heartbeats or blood sugar levels; and provide emotional support for victims of sexual abuse.
The diagnosis of PTSD requires that a person has "...experienced, witnessed or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others." The traumatic event must provoke intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
Teal Swan was only six years old when she found herself in the hands of her abuser and forced into a nightmarish world that a lot of people were unwilling (or unable) to believe. For the better part of 13 years, she was was raped, beaten and psychologically tortured by people who she was told to trust.
Welcoming refugees into our communities implies a responsibility to provide a safe environment for rehabilitation and integration. Yet this weekend thousands of our neighbours will be exposed to trauma in a spectacle many of us would do away with in the first place. The air show is nothing like a charity bike ride. In a city with a large population of refugee newcomers and people who have experienced the trauma of war it is insulting, invasive, and violent.
We see celebrities who we admire as "friends". We support their work, we cheer them on, and we ardently defend them when someone makes an accusation against them. In the eyes of millions of people, Johnny Depp is a hero, an onscreen buddy, and who wants to believe that your best film buddy abused his wife?
The dark fear of living with cancer is like living with death on your horizon. For a long time I let myself feel like that was a certainty. First, before chemotherapy I took a stance of come what may. Since then, I've taken a more active line in trying to move away, and pursue a better, longer life. The truth was that until the appointments of this month I still had no long term vision. I was constantly repeating in my subconscious that radiation therapy was coming, to not be irrational and look into the future,but to stick in this moment and deal with it.
While the incomes of Canada's wealthiest are increasing, the absolute wealth of our poorest is decreasing. As this gap grows, so too do the differences in people's health risks, care and outcome. The poorer people are in Ontario, the more likely they are to have shorter lifespans, to be overdue for screening tests and to suffer from multiple chronic health conditions.
When a friend says postpartum depression is normal, I get disappointed. When a psychologist says postpartum depression is normal, I get worried. When a New York Times best selling author and former U.S. congressional candidate with hundreds of thousands of followers says that postpartum depression is normal, I get livid.
In the wake of Paris, employers must remain alert to the potential "emotional aftermath" of terrorist attacks among employees. Such events can cause considerable potential trauma and anxiety for workers, and employers have a responsibility to ensure that the workplace remains a venue of safety, security and open discourse.
What fascinates me as a clinician is the emergence of new, and dare I say, fun tools, to combat a traditionally difficult and solitary set of symptoms. While cognitive behavioural therapy and other forms of mental health interventions are important clinical considerations, so too is the potential role of games