Thank you for visiting this site
Please take a couple of minutes to read this page, to make the most of the information you’ll find here. Most importantly:
Do not try to treat yourself!
This website contains general information about mental health problems and treatments. It will not necessarily apply to your unique circumstances. This information is intended to help you start a conversation with your physician or other members of your care team, so that together you can come up with a treatment plan that is right for you. Do not, under any circumstances, start any new treatment, or discontinue an existing one, based just on what you read on any website, including this one!
Who am I?
This site has been developed by Mark Roseman. I’m a self-employed software guy . I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on the internet. As you’ll see from the “Back Story,” I think I have a useful contribution to make with regards to mental health treatment in Canada. This is a personal project. There is no organization, institution, commission, corporation or association standing behind it. The information here has not been vetted by committees of experts.
Who Should be Reading This?
This site is for people who have been fighting their way through the mental health system, trying to get the right care for themselves or a family member, often for years. You’ve probably talked to one or more doctors, tried several treatments, done lots of research on your own, and are still not getting better. You’re at a frustrating standstill.
What is Here and What Isn’t?
You’ll find out about causes and treatment for mental health problems that frequently get overlooked in practice. When solutions aren’t found, despite several attempts, the symptoms become known as “chronic” or “treatment resistant” and you often get stuck. You’ll find here tools to help you move forward. You won’t find a ton of info about stigma (from the patient side anyway), how to deal with a mental health crisis (for which there are many excellent resources), or local resources in any given area. While I think there will be material useful to people with a wide variety of mental health concerns, it’s probably going to be most useful for those with the more common problems, e.g. mood and anxiety disorders.
I’ve heard a lot of people describing their search for the right treatments. They talk about running into a brick wall, banging their head against a wall, falling through the cracks, putting their life on hold or being in limbo until they find a way to get better so they can move on with their life.
The material here is primarily based on practical experience, suggesting helpful approaches to commonly seen problems. Where possible, I’ll try to include links to relevant, evidence-based research. Again, this information has not been vetted by committees of experts. I can promise that I’m not here to push some flaky nutraceutical on people desperate for any solution. Having said that, if you have a question or comment, or disagree about anything you read, email or post a comment.
Definitely not. However, it is your health. If possible, I think decisions should be jointly made between you and your doctor. While your doctor has the benefit of likely 10+ years of postsecondary and continuing medical education, they also have hundreds of patients. The odds are that you have more time to do multiple hours of reading to become better informed on your own very specific health problem than your doctor. If you can bring some reasonable suggestions to discuss to your appointment, most good doctors would be happy.
Good question (and something that should be asked about every source of medical information!). I am paying for it myself, just out of personal funds and time. My only motivation is that I don’t like seeing people suffer needlessly, and I think widely sharing this kind of information can help. I’m not here to sell people on any treatment or service, nor is there any political agenda driving this. Having said that, I could see the possibility in the future of putting together a book or e-book based on the site, which might not be free. But charging for access to the core site content I just don’t see happening.
Fantastic! Don’t hesitate to email, use the form on the Contact page, or post a comment on any of the blog entries. But again, please remember to discuss any information you find with your doctor or other health care professionals on your care team.
While I’m not a doctor, my wife is—a psychiatrist in fact. A few years back, she put together a program that took patients from across the country dealing with treatment-resistant mental health problems. More recently, she’s had a private practice that has also seen a lot of people who’ve been struggling for a long time to get better.
Unlike a lot of psychiatrists, she sees new consults for two hours, plus often several half hour or hour long followup sessions (she also sees some patients for ongoing care). It’s a tradeoff, in that as a result she sees fewer patients than most other psychiatrists.
Due to various circumstances, I had the opportunity to help out in her office for a couple of years; her long appointments left me plenty of time to do my own work. In doing so, I had the privilege of getting to know her patients and their stories.
Over and over again, she’d get referrals from family docs—many of the patients having seen one or more psychiatrists over the years as well—who weren’t getting better because something was missed. And it was amazing how often it was the same set of things that nobody had looked at or asked about.
So many patients had been trying for years to get help, and were told there wasn’t anything that could be done, or they were tried on another med. It was often dumb luck that they got sent to someone who was able to finally help. But it shouldn’t require luck.
My wife is busy and happy treating her patients (so no, this is not some kind of shallowly disguised podium for her). But as someone more involved with web sites and information sharing, I wanted to do what I could to help those spending years looking for a way forward, but not finding it.
I’m realistic about what this can accomplish, but here’s what I’d like to see happen. The next time your family doctor says “there’s nothing more that I can really do”, instead of just sitting there in despair, you can ask “does it make sense to try …?”