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The Seven Deadly Sins of Psychiatrists

What makes a good psychiatrist? If you ask patients to talk about their bad experiences with psychiatrists (or just ask psychiatrists who have taken over care of a patient from a bad psychiatrist), you'll certainly get an earful! Herewith, a highly unscientific list of "sins" that can arise in psychiatric care. Selective Attention "You didn't hear a word I said!!!" Whether due to unreasonably short appointments, or quickly focusing on only one small aspect of [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:52+00:00 October 5th, 2015|Medications, Metabolic, Therapy|1 Comment

Consequences

In the health care system, many people fall through the cracks. A lot of people shrug and say "that's just the way it is". Sometimes the consequences aren't too severe. Sometimes though, they are. Mental health writer Natasha Tracy vividly shared the story of her own suicide attempt (trigger warning). If you're able to, read it. If you're one of the people working in mental health who goes out of their way to help people [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:52+00:00 July 6th, 2015|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Alberta Mental Health Review

First off, my apologies for the lengthy delay since my last posting. We relocated from Alberta to Victoria, BC at the start of May, and the period before and after that has been chaotic to say the least. As it happens, I'd like to talk about Alberta today. It's certainly been politically interesting there the last few months, to say the least. If you didn't see it, I want to draw your attention to a [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:52+00:00 June 17th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

I Talked. Now What?

Let's talk about mental illness. Good advice, and if you're ready to take this step (or have already), congratulations! That in itself is a very big and scary accomplishment. But sometimes you don't know what to say, or how to say it. Or are too scared and overwhelmed to get it out clearly. Or maybe you've tried to talk with your doctor or another care provider, but it didn't go as well as you wanted. [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:52+00:00 January 27th, 2015|Finding Help|0 Comments

Let’s Talk, Don’t Stop!

January 28th is Bell Let's Talk Day. Kudos to Bell and all the people who participate in this event for the work they're doing to help reduce the stigma of mental illness. Working up the courage to step forward and admit to someone else that you're worried you may have a mental health problem is one of the toughest things to do for many people. With continued efforts to reduce stigma, hopefully asking for help [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:52+00:00 January 22nd, 2015|Top Tips|0 Comments

Rationing Mental Health Care, Part Two: Doctor Fees

In the previous post, I talked about how healthcare administration, by controlling the training opportunities, facilities, hiring and activities of physicians, psychologists and other mental health practitioners can restrict the amount and type of access to mental health care. In this post, I want to take a closer look at another mechanism that is used, the physician fee schedule. Most physicians, in part or in whole, generate income by billing governments for specific services they [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:53+00:00 January 9th, 2015|System|1 Comment

Rationing Mental Health Care, Part One.

Anyone who has tried getting mental health help knows that it can be very difficult to find. Clearly, there isn't enough care available to satisfy the need that's out there. One look at the recent shameful stories about Canadian Forces Veterans who are unable to access adequate mental health resources for widespread problems like PTSD, provides a glimpse into the problem. There are significant practical, philosophical and economic issues at play in terms of how much [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:53+00:00 January 5th, 2015|System|1 Comment

Soft Launch

I'll spare you the cocktail parties, hope-filled pronouncements, gatherings of dignitaries and VIP's that tends to go along with official health-related "social media initiatives" these days. And while I'm not about to rehash the About page, I will say that putting together the first cut of this site has left me even more frustrated and pissed off at the poor quality of mental health care that too many people are subjected to in this country. [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:53+00:00 December 4th, 2014|Site News|0 Comments

Five Ways Your Psych Consult was Doomed Before it Started

Have you had this conversation with your family doctor yet? "You sent me to see that psychiatrist and I'm no better than before!" "Look, I've already sent you to the specialist, what more do you want me to do?" There's a lot of possible things that could have gone wrong to get you to that point. The simplest is that your family doctor mistook a midpoint of an inherently uncertain treatment process with the end of that process. But I [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:53+00:00 December 4th, 2014|Referrals, Top Tips|0 Comments

On Antidepressants, Still Anxious

Antidepressants, despite the name, are first-line treatments for anxiety as well as depression. Choosing the right antidepressant is hard, a topic we'll come back to frequently. It involves a lot of trial and error, but there is both some science to it and some knowledge to be drawn from practical experiences. Here are two pieces of practical experience that don't seem to be as well known as they should be: Wellbutrin tends to increase anxiety [...]

By | 2017-05-18T13:16:53+00:00 December 4th, 2014|Medications, Top Tips|0 Comments