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Why people can’t just “move on” from trauma:

Lately, we’ve been hearing people in positions of influence tell the victims of the riot at the US Capitol that they should just “move on” from the experience.

We’re also hearing people tell those who’ve recently been discharged from having been hospitalized for Covid to do the same, seeing as how they’ve recovered physically from the disease. The phrase, “move on,” is problematic, however, and it’s packed with meaning — meaning that I’m going to unpack.

I feel uniquely qualified to write about trauma because in my psychiatry practice, I’ve been diagnosing and treating people who suffer from trauma for…


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The pandemic has changed the way we date:

It’s safe to say that the pandemic has changed almost everything about our lives, and dating is no exception. In honour of Valentine’s Day 2021, I thought it would be interesting to talk about all the ways dating has changed over the past year in lock-down.

When I think about it, dating hasn’t been changed this dramatically since 1960, when the birth control pill came on the market and revolutionized the way couples came together.

Isolation has been a major aspect of the pandemic and with it, people are rethinking how they want to interact with one-another. Many of us…


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Toxic narcissism is on everyone’s minds these days:

The concept of toxic narcissism is on a lot of peoples’ minds these days, whether we’re seeing it in politics, in our families, or in fictional stories onscreen, and that’s why I was so interested to see an example of it on this season of the Bachelor, exemplified by one of the contestants, a woman who calls herself “Queen Victoria.”

Just the fact that she presented herself from the start as a “queen,” and came out of the limo wearing a crown, was an indication that here might be a person with some serious narcissism. …


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Covid’s silver lining:

Covid-19 has been devastating for many. Whether from the loss of health, of loved ones, of jobs and businesses, of homes, or of finances, people have been suffering tremendously. We can’t underestimate the toll the pandemic has taken on our emotional and physical wellbeing. Still, in some ways, there’s a silver lining to the pandemic. It’s nothing I could have expected, but a year into lockdown, it’s something that I’m appreciating very much.

For some people, the isolation, all the free time, and the vast amount of quiet have created remarkable opportunities for growth, learning and creativity. …


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Is the pandemic revealing our dark side?

I was talking to a radio host the other day. His name is Drew Remenda, and he’s on 650 CKOM out of Saskatchewan. Drew asked me was whether I thought that the pandemic is turning us all into more negative, uncaring people, or if it’s just revealing the darkness lurking deep in our souls.

I told him that I think it’s neither. In my mind, what’s really going on is that the pandemic is showing us how a lot of people just don’t have the tools for coping with a major, life-changing stress.

Covid has challenged us in ways that…


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Covid has been traumatic for many:

The Covid-19 pandemic has been with us for nearly a year now, and I have noticed that many people have been traumatized by the pandemic and that their trauma has led to dysfunctional coping strategies.

How is it that I’ve noticed this? I happen to be an expert in trauma. Over the years I have diagnosed and treated hundreds of people with trauma-related conditions, so I feel well-equipped to write this article.

Before I go any further I should define “trauma.” Trauma is an emotional response to severe stress that can also have mental and physical manifestations. …


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January 6, 2021 — a day that will live on in infamy:

I’m writing this article on January 7, 2021. Yesterday, I was riveted to the TV set, witnessing the insurrection and its aftermath at the US Capitol. It was deeply troubling to watch.

It got me thinking about the recent article I wrote on how the politics of division are driving people crazy and in light of yesterday’s events, I thought I’d add an update about how politics in general are having a negative impact on our overall mental health.


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Good riddance to 2020:

The past year has been brutal for everyone. We’ve seen a global pandemic; a financial crisis that rivaled the Great Depression of the 1920s; a mental health crisis brought about by poverty, loss and isolation; mounting racial strife, political polarization, and too many people dying from Covid-19.

In dark times such as these, we have a greater opportunity to recognize what really matters. It’s not accumulating more fame, influence or money. It’s not having more followers on social media or flashier possessions.

When all around us there is so much pain and suffering, we’re reminded of the value of kindness…


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2020: Our “annus horribilis”

Everyone can agree that 2020 has been a brutal year. For many months now, we’ve had little reason for optimism. Bad news followed more bad news and we’ve felt helpless, frightened, and out of control. But thanks to science, it now looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

It was almost impossible to be hopeful in 2020 with people losing loved ones, businesses being shuttered, and images everywhere of massive line-ups for donations of food. And just as tragic, in 2020, loneliness and isolation became the “new normal.”

Fortunately, the scientists working so hard on developing…


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May you live in interesting times:

There’s an old curse that goes, “May you live in interesting times,” and looking back, I don’t think 2020 could have been any more “interesting.”

With the arrival of a global pandemic, the return of Black Lives Matter to international attention, as well as the bizarre goings-on following the US presidential elections, we’ve all been through a lot.

It’s been a year filled with loss. People have lost their jobs, their businesses, their livelihoods and their loved ones. There has been so much pain and suffering, as well as an overwhelming sense of helplessness and uncertainty. …

Marcia Sirota

Writer, speaker, MD, and author of the Short & Sweet Guides to Life book series

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