Category Archives: Anxiety

The High School Mantra: I’m a freakin’ loser!

Last March the Huffington Post was running a series on youth mental health. For that series I wrote an article about the theory of mind (the ability to imagine another person’s thoughts) and how the lack of this ability can impact children’s behaviour. This makes them point out differences in classmates because they are oblivious [...]

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How many fingers?

How many fingers? (SVP, voir plus bas pour la version Française) Every once in a while, when talking to a client, I briefly hold up two fingers. I then ask the person how many fingers I held up. He or she quickly says, “Two.” It’s a simple question and people never hesitate when answering. But [...]

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Do I need to take a pill?

(SVP, voir plus bas pour une version Française) An article in the paper two weeks ago quoted a researcher who claimed that 98% of anti-depressants and other psychiatric medication prescriptions could be stopped with no ill effects. As much as I agree that they can sometimes be over-prescribed, I certainly don’t think his statement makes [...]

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Am I having a heart attack?

AM I HAVING A HEART ATTACK? (svp, voir plus bas pour la version Française) Do you worry whenever you get an unexplained pain in your chest? Whenever you hear of someone your age having died, do you suddenly start feeling the same sensations in your body as the other person noticed before dying? Health worries [...]

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I have a weird feeling about this!

Premonitions (Voir plus bas pour la version Française) I have a confession to make. Before I get on an airplane I think about it crashing and I imagine my family at my funeral. When my kids are out late, I imagine a car crash and think of what I’d say in their eulogy. Occasionally I [...]

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Spiders, snakes and cakes

Have you ever noticed how common certain fears are while others are surprisingly rare? People can develop fears of just about anything but for the most part this doesn’t happen very often. Common fears seem to cluster around a few scary things and can include snakes, spiders, heights, and enclosed spaces. The interesting thing is [...]

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Playoff beards

I had a woman come in to see me recently who was all flustered because she felt she was losing control of her life. She said that she wore her Montreal Canadiens jersey and sat in the lucky spot and still they lost. Now she was worried that her mother would get bad news from [...]

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I plan on winning the lottery

I plan on winning the lottery (Published today in Journal Métro. Je prévois gagner à la lotterie. April 22, 2014.)  Voir plus bas pour la version Française. How’s this for a retirement plan? Spend all your money on whatever you want, but take about ten dollars every week to buy lottery tickets. As soon as [...]

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Calling all hypochondriacs: Check your pulse

Health. It’s one of those things we all need to worry about. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t do things like exercise, watch our weight, or eat foods like broccoli and alfalfa sprouts. By worrying just enough about health, or anything for that matter, we are generally safer. Like many things in life, anxiety is neither [...]


Suck it up and move on: PTSD and what not to do

We were all saddened by the recent apparent suicide of Master Corporal Sylvain Lelièvre of the Canadian Forces. It was the fourth reported suicide this past week alone. Every suicide is complex and we can never know exactly which factors go into one person’s decision. Mood is affected by our temperament, our biological makeup, and [...]