Category Archives: Mental health

On lady ‘staches and why kids can be so cruel

Hi, this was published in my Huffington Post Canada blog on March 3, 2016 (SVP, voir plus bas pour la version Française) On lady ‘staches and why children can be so cruel “Miss, how come you have a moustache like a man?” Did you ever hear a six-year old say something like this to a teacher? [...]

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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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Why is that cop following me?

WHY IS THAT COP FOLLOWING ME? (svp voir plus bas pour la version Française) If a police officer were walking toward you, would you run? Clearly not. Most of us would never take off no matter how scared we were. We would never want to give the police officer a reason to believe we had [...]

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The flagpole and the flag

THE FLAGPOLE AND THE FLAG (SVP, voir plus bas pour la version Française) A flagpole stays in its place while the flag keeps changing position. Such is the way of logic and emotion. These two parts of our minds are in a constant dance for control. They can work together as allies and take us [...]

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Troubled loners

(SVP, voir plus bas pour la version Française) Life can be filled with moments of pure joy at times – the birth of a child, the warmth of love, the goose bumps felt when listening to music that inspires you – but unfortunately tragedy and grief are also part of the human experience. We witnessed [...]

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Luka Magnotta, Schizophrenia, and the public’s perception of violence

It appears that Luka Magnotta’s lawyer will be arguing that his client is not criminally responsible in the murder and dismemberment of Lin Jun because he is suffering from Schizophrenia. I will wait until the evidence gets out before commenting on the specific case but since next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week I thought [...]


200 and counting. I’m still big in Bulgaria!

In today’s Journal Métro is my 200th column. I started in September 2005 and this blog started a couple of years after that. My blog posts are mostly elaborated versions of what I put in my column with a few assorted random postings thrown in. Every other week I scratch my head wondering what I’m [...]

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Betting on happiness

This is mental health awareness week. It is a week when we focus on general well-being in all of us as opposed to discussing illnesses as we do during mental illness week in October. In that spirit I wrote the following article for today’s edition of Métro. Betting on happiness (Source: Le bonheur à tout [...]

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Free and informed consent

Making decisions is not as straightforward as we assume, especially when emotions are clouding our state of mind. When I chaired the Douglas Institute’s clinical ethics committee the issue of consent came up many times. It is an important issue in psychiatry because the illnesses sometimes force us to make decisions against the will of [...]

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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 [...]