Game helps people overcome fear of spiders

U of A grad student designs augmented reality game that lets users see and touch virtual spiders that get more realistic as they level up

Game helps people overcome fear of spidersA University of Alberta fine arts student has designed an augmented reality (AR) gaming platform to help arachnophobes overcome their fear of spiders. “The idea is, if I'm sitting here with an AR headset on, I can see a spider right in front of me,” said Anna Chakravorty, who submitted the project for her master’s…

Women are twice as likely as men to experience mood disorders

Not only are women more likely to have a mood disorder, but women experience different symptoms than men

Women are twice as likely as men to experience mood disordersAlmost anyone can attest to the fact that men and women are different in many ways. Scores of books – which have achieved varying degrees of success and acclaim – have been published that attempt to quantify and explain the differences. In the field of psychiatry, gender differences are an important phenomenon as men and…

Coping with panic attacks

Getting enough sleep and regular exercise and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine are among the effective treatments available for panic disorder

Coping with panic attacksPanic. Your heart races, palms sweat and body shakes. You feel as though you’re choking and losing your breath as a bout of dizziness overtakes you. This is out of control. Imagine feeling this way on a regular basis. People with an anxiety disorder called panic disorder experience recurring panic attacks – brief but intense…

Severe shyness can be an indication of several anxiety disorders

Even with treatment, people with these disorders will not become the life of the party

Severe shyness can be an indication of several anxiety disordersShyness is something many people experience both as children and adults. Most of us probably feel somewhat unsettled when we meet new people or are expected to give a presentation to our peers. However, severe shyness can be a hallmark of several anxiety disorders and can cause real problems in work and social settings. Social…

Talking to my elders about coping with anxiety

When crisis strikes, I instinctively wonder if there are any parallels and guidance I can take from my elders’ lives

Talking to my elders about coping with anxietyThere’s no shortage of anxiety right now. The reasons are ample: little children are aware of the climate change crisis; adolescents are boldly marching with Greta Thunberg to draw attention to the need to decarbonize our world; for months, financial analysts have been speculating on when the great stock market boom would end; the job…

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education system

Being tested and labelled at an early age can have a devastating effect on a child’s self-esteem and intellectual potential

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education systemIf Steve Bannon isn’t on the Alberta government’s payroll, he certainly is its muse. Bannon is the notorious former strategic adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump. His views on the benefits of disruption might well inform Premier Jason Kenney’s government tactics of mass disruption in many sectors. These include the most vital areas of health…

Child abuse linked to depression, anxiety in later life

Childhood abuse or neglect can permanently alter an individual’s physiology

Child abuse linked to depression, anxiety in later lifeIn a previous column, I pointed out that nature and nurture should not be regarded as enemies or polar opposites. Rather, they are two intertwined realities that work together to make up the human experience. Nature was designed for nurture. Many studies in recent years have documented the effects that early childhood experience can have…

How to turn overwhelmed into overwhelmingly successful

Make a written list, set priorities, breathe and relax, and then focus on one task at a time

How to turn overwhelmed into overwhelmingly successfulI recently woke up sleepless at 2:30 am. If you’re in a leadership role in a business or even in your household, you probably know the drill. My mind was spinning with the long list of tasks I had to complete. The 75-unit project I’m working on for a client; the three people who need…

Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life

Mike Sloan’s positive, upbeat tone and zest for life in the face of adversity has truly been inspiring

Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life“Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it,” Haruki Murakami wrote in his acclaimed novel Norwegian Wood. “By living our lives, we nurture death.” This is rational. Nevertheless, death isn’t something we enjoy spending every waking moment thinking about. That’s especially true when we’re still at the point in our…

Psychiatric links at the heart of fibromyalgia’s pain

Psychiatric symptoms commonly associated with fibromyalgia make the condition worse for those who experience pain and depression or anxiety

Psychiatric links at the heart of fibromyalgia’s painFibromyalgia has stumped health-care professionals for years. Patients experience chronic and sometimes excruciating pain with no obvious physical reason. It's long been understood that fibromyalgia is somehow connected with co-existing psychiatric conditions. New research has examined this relationship more closely. Fibromyalgia is the existence of widespread pain throughout the body. In order to be diagnosed…