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Stress Test

Justin Walter 16. The Sixteenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock New Articles Self Improvement Self Improvement_Stress Management

Have you ever been booked for a stress test?  The procedure involves doing exercise in a way that your heart pumps harder and harder while medical personnel monitor your breathing, blood pressure and heart rhythm.  This is an accepted scientific method that will help to assess any heart problems that may need to be treated. Stress tests for psychological issues unfortunately, usually require an individual’s self-awareness or observation by others who are close to them.  There might be significant problems coping with daily life, unhealthy habits, overwhelm or lack of strategies to revolve problems and improve Have you ever removed...

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The Mind/Body Connection

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock Self Improvement Self Improvement_Goal Setting

When I was young our family used to love to go to Katepwa Lake for holidays. My uncle had a beautiful boat with a sixty-horsepower motor and all my cousins enjoyed water skiing behind it. The problem was that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to get up out of the water! I remember the morning of my nineth birthday. The sun was shining, and the water was as smooth as glass. First thing I asked my uncle if I could try once again to ski. He agreed. After carefully tying on the life jacket, I got...

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Responding To Trouble

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Mental Health

I find it so interesting that different people can have exactly the same things happen to them but each will respond in a different manner. One person might get drunk. Another might attempt suicide. A third could seek professional help. A fourth may discuss the situation with a friend or neighbour. A fifth person might not even pay attention or notice that there is trouble. That’s what makes us human. We each have thoughts, feelings and behaviours that we have learned over the years in order to navigate life. So, now that there is such easy access to news from...

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But What If…?

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Mental Health News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic

Over the past few weeks, the world has been experiencing a pandemic which has stolen almost everything that we previously called “Normal”.   No one seems to understand the virus and we are certainly getting very mixed messages from sources that previously we would trust and respect without question.     Articles that I wrote in the past addressed depression and anxiety.  You see, there has likely been degrees of depression and anxiety throughout recorded history – and perhaps even before that.   Those who experience depression are often “stuck” in the past.   They focus on the things that happened which are...

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Things to Ponder

Dr. Linda Hancock 15. The Fifteenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Mental Health iStock News and Society News and Society_World Pandemic

The pandemic can be difficult to navigate and if we aren't careful, we might find that we are developing an anxiety disorder. It is very important that you not only remain physically healthy but also enjoy good mental health so you might find the following to help you. A little anxiety is a good thing because it can keep us sharp! It encourages us to prepare for a situation so that we won't make mistakes or look stupid and helps us to stay safe. Anxiety can be experienced by children, adults, seniors and animals. We learn from others and often...

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Be Your Own Health Care Professional

Dr. Linda Hancock 11. The Eleventh Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock

I grew up in an age when rural Saskatchewan doctors made house calls. They also did hospital rounds and ran a clinic. They usually knew their patients well because they delivered many of them. Lab work and x-rays were done in one location - at the local hospital. Specialists were almost unheard of and that meant that the local doctor needed to deal with pretty well everything. Things have changed so much! Now clinics have huge waiting lists of people who do not have a family physician. Those who are ill and do not have a family physician often end...

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Dr. Linda Hancock 11. The Eleventh Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Mental Health iStock

When I was growing up I remember hearing people talk about soldiers who had gone off to war and then come home with problems. They used the term "shell shock" to describe this condition of extremely negative symptoms that included flashbacks, sleep difficulties and exaggerated startle response. Often the returning solider would withdraw from others or try to escape memories through use of alcohol, drugs, or suicide attempts. They had become "stuck" in a situation of helplessness and hopelessness. Since I began studying to become a psychologist I have learned a great deal about what we now call Post Traumatic...

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Suicide Risk

Dr. Linda Hancock 10. The Tenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock

According to Alberta Health Services, this province has a higher rate of suicide than the national average. In fact, suicide is a leading cause of death in Alberta surpassing motor vehicle collisions, AIDs and homicides. Most people don't have a lot of training or experience with suicide. As a result, a great deal of fear and helplessness can accompany the thought that someone might be suicidal. There are several things that you should know about suicide: Treat every threat as serious - Never ignore, minimize or promise confidentiality when someone talks about suicide. Listen carefully and do not interrupt. Think...

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Why A Psychologist?

Dr. Linda Hancock 10. The Tenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Mental Health iStock

I have seen over 7,000 clients in the past few years. They do not all live in Medicine Hat. In fact, many travel long distances for their appointments. You might be wondering why people seek the services of a Registered Psychologist rather than just trying to solve problems on their own. Here are a few of the reasons: 1. Education - All Registered Psychologists hold a master's and/or doctoral degree that focusses on a number of areas including the study of cognition, emotion and behaviour. This initial 7 to 11 years of university is supplemented by professional development training during...

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How Are You?

Dr. Linda Hancock 10. The Tenth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock

I am often surprised by how many people avoid being around others because they don't know how to answer the question "How Are You?" Some people who have been ill or on a medical leave really don't know how to respond to the question. They think that the other person might be judgmental, especially if they say that they have been suffering from depression, anxiety or another mental illness. Other people think that it is none of the other person's business and want to keep things private. Following are some ideas about the question "How are you?": This is likely...

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The Personality Disorders

Dr. Linda Hancock 09. The Ninth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Mental Health iStock

Have you ever met someone who seems to have thinking patterns that are distorted, emotional responses that are problematic, lack of impulse control and interpersonal difficulties? Although it I important not to try to diagnose this person, it is a good idea to know that there are ten different personality disorders and it is not uncommon for someone to have more than one of them. Cluster A personality disorders are described as "odd, eccentric" and include: Paranoid - This person has a great deal of suspiciousness and distrusts others. Because of their fear of being harmed, they try to protect themselves...

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How Are You?

Dr. Linda Hancock 08. The Eighth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock

So often people ask, "How are you?" and we automatically reply "Fine" when we really don't mean it. It has become such a habit that we aren't really being honest about our situation. Well, often people ask us as a habit and don't really want to know anyway but there are times in our lives when it is important to have a clearer answer. Following is an excellent communication system that will help you to understand yourself and tell others the truth about how you are feeling. It is especially helpful when you are talking with your physician, an insurance...

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Is Your Perception Accurate?

Dr. Linda Hancock 08. The Eighth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Multiple Sclerosis iStock

My younger sister has had Multiple Sclerosis for about three decades. Her health has declined so that she has been in a wheelchair for the past eleven years. In August she was airlifted to ICU because of a seizure that signaled progression of the illness. I took a week off to be at her side. On the first day that I was with her husband and son, I cried and said, "I feel so badly that I have had such a good life and she has had such a horrible life". The reply that I received as not what I...

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Adjustment Disorder

Dr. Linda Hancock 08. The Eighth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Mental Health iStock

A few years ago I was in Seattle and was surprised to learn that the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks which were built in 1911 are second largest in size after the Panama Cannel. These nicknamed "Ballard Locks" provide a link for boats travelling between the salt water of Puget Sound and the fresh water of the Ship Canal that connects eastward to Lake Union and Lake Washington. Tourists and locals can descend steps in order to watch salmon pass between fresh and salt water through glass panels situated below the water line. I was curious about the way that the...

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Dealing with Crisis

Dr. Linda Hancock 08. The Eighth Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Mental Health Health and Fitness_Multiple Sclerosis iStock

It was five in the morning and thankfully I had received lots of rest on the weekend. A message flashed on my computer screen and I learned that my sister had been airlifted to ICU in Regina. Within minutes my bags were packed, and I was on my way for the four-and-a-half-hour drive. One message and everything changed immediately. All the plans for the next few days lost their significance and I was into a totally new set of goals. The week before I had been part of a team of nine individuals who walked the streets of High River...

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Strategies to Manage Anxiety

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Anxiety iStock

Fear, anxiety, worry, control and perfectionism are all cousins. People who are afraid tend to worry about what will happen in the future. They therefore attempt to prevent trouble by trying to control the environment or the people around them. This can lead to relationship problems and the confinement that terms such as "should", "must" and "have to" provide. Yes, fear forms the bars of cages that trap us and steal our freedom. We will never be able to completely rid our world of anxiety but there are several things that will help you to manage it in your own...

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Binge Drinking: How Much Is Too Much?

Dr. Linda Hancock 07. The Seventh Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock

There has been a lot of media coverage lately about the changes recently made regarding Alberta's drinking and driving laws. The penalties are not only stiffer but the .08 blood alcohol content that was used in the past to define "intoxicated" is being lowered to .05. But what the professionals are concerned about lately is not the term "intoxicated" but the term "impaired". You see these are two very different terms that need to be understood clearly. "Intoxicated" is a legal term that is used in the legal system. "Impaired" is a more general term that is used in health...

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Say What You Want

Dr. Linda Hancock 07. The Seventh Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock

So often people tell me how upset they are about things that are happening in their lives. They rehearse all of the details of their troubles over and over again and are convinced that things will not change or get better. Then they complain that other people seem to be avoiding them. No wonder! What do you think would happen if, instead of saying what you don't want, you would say what you do want? You really have nothing to lose by doing this. You see, repeating negatives over and over again is depressing! And you have a far better...

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Dealing with Depression Effectively Today

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Depression iStock

Statistics claim that approximately forty percent of individuals will experience depression at some time in life. The symptoms can be not only debilitating but also confusing for the person as well as for family members. Like diabetes, depression is not cured but must be managed in order for the individual to experience any sense of well-being. Following are some strategies to help with the management of depression:1. Focus on the present and future - Things of the past need to be left in the past. There is absolutely nothing that can be accomplished by harbouring hurts and problems that are...

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Why Are You Depressed?

Dr. Linda Hancock 07. The Seventh Year Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Depression

Statistics claim that as many as forty percent of Canadians will experience depression at some time in their life. This would likely be very hard to measure and might not actually account for the different types of depression that individuals can experience. For example, some depression is temporary and can pass with time. You might be depressed about an examination you wrote only to find that you actually got a good mark which then greatly lifts your mood. Grief can bring different reactions from different people. One person may be devastated by the loss of a pet while another person...

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Why Are You Crying?

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock

Some people think that crying is a sign of weakness and should never be done. Even when they tear-up because of an emotional situation, they hold back and do everything possible to prevent others from seeing that they have been moved. Unfortunately, the long-term consequence of this can be that they pile up their emotions and become more vulnerable for a break down in the future. Other individuals cry freely about most things that happen during the week, even when others might not find the events to be deserving of such a reaction. It seems that they walk around with...

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Be the Communication Center for the Family

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Multiple Sclerosis iStock

My sister used to be the most active individual. She loved to drive what we called her "stinkin Lincoln". She liked to dance and party and visit other people. She was the one who would keep the community laughing, celebrate a new babies birth and support those who were grieving. Well, over the years she has given up on most of those activities. Her Multiple Sclerosis has stolen mobility to the point where she spends month after month in her farmhouse, lying on the couch or sitting for brief periods of time in her wheelchair. The Liberation Treatment that she...

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Eating Choices Can Hurt Your Business

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_And More iStock

Some people think that eating is just something that they need to do in order to survive. Others treat food as a wonderful activity of amazing delicacies and ambiance which we do not get enough. But did you ever stop to think about how eating choices might actually hurt your business? There are actually three specific things that you need to consider when it comes to the relationship between business and food: 1. Type of foods you are eating - I think each of us has had an encounter in the past when we were repelled by the smell coming...

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Get the Help That You Need

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Multiple Sclerosis iStock

Sometimes when people are ill, they slide into a state of accepting things the way they are - even if they aren't working for them anymore. There are several things that those with Multiple Sclerosis patients can do that will improve their life: Renovations: Sometimes changing a doorway or removing a wall can provide an individual in a wheelchair a great deal of freedom that would otherwise not be experienced. Some of my clients have told me about how wonderful they have felt knowing that they can get into a shower or use toilet facilities once renovations were completed. Special...

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The New Liberation Treatment

Dr. Linda Hancock Health and Fitness Health and Fitness_Multiple Sclerosis iStock

My sister and her husband are in Mexico this week.   On Monday she had the surgery that has been dubbed "Liberation Treatment". It was about 1984 when Deb had her first MRI and officially received the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. She had been struggling with symptoms for a number of years but no one seemed to be able to identify the source of the problems. Her balance and eyesight were both negatively affected. Deb went through so many tests and none of them led to identification of the source - until the MRI. Since then, her health has deteriorated...

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