What You Should Know About Medical Ethics

Medical Ethics or Bioethics is the application of ethical principles to healthcare

Dilemmas arise when these principles conflict.

A treatment is considered appropriate if the potential benefits outweigh the potential burdens or harm.

Life support (e.g. CPR, artificial feeding and ventilation) is appropriate if it provides an acceptable quality of life (as judged from the patient’s perspective).

Why Ethics Matters

Medical ethics is the foundation of medicine and applies every time you interact with a healthcare provider.

Our tests and treatments are merely tools. Ethics guides us in their appropriate use.

The Principles of Bioethics

  1. Nonmaleficence: The first rule of medicine: “Above all else, do no harm.”
  2. Beneficence:Do good. The primary goal of medicine is to help the individual patient.
  3. Autonomy:The right of the capable individual to direct his or her own healthcare. Informed consent is an essential aspect of autonomy.
  4. Justice:Be fair. Treat like cases alike.
  5. Confidentiality:Respecting personal information

When Confidentiality Can Be Breached

Duty to Protect: When you pose a serious threat to others

Duty to Report: unsafe drivers, child protection, certain sexually transmitted infections

Court Order

Minors and others who rely on others to provide consent

What has access to your records?

  1. Your physician’s professional staff
  2. Other healthcare providers involved in your care (your hospital team, specialists to whom you are referred)
  3. 3rdparties (insurance companies, lawyers) with your written consent (or by court order)

Informed Consent requires:

  1. Sufficient information about the benefits, risks and alternatives of a test, procedure or drug before you can choose or refuse it.
  2. An individual capable of understanding the situation and the available options and able to make and communicate a decision.

 Preventive Bioethics

With proactive reflection and discussion, future ethical dilemmas may be avoided.

  1. Anticipate the future when you may be incapable of medical decision-making and suffering from serious illness.
  2. Understand the benefits and burdens of CPR, artificial feeding and artificial ventilation.
  3. Consider what gives your life meaning and what constitutes a good quality of life.
  4. Communicate your values and your wishes while you can. Ensure your family knows what you would want.

 An Advance Directive is a statement of what kind of medical care you would want in the event that you are unable to make your own decisions.

What procedures do you want?

What procedures do you refuse?

Under what conditions?

Who do you choose to make decisions for you?

e.g. You may not wish to have CPR (chest compressions, assisted breathing, a tube down your throat, electric paddles on the chest) if you had an irreversible, terminal condition with no hope for a return to an acceptable quality of life (by your standards).

You may not wish to be kept alive on machines if you were in a persistent coma with no hope of recovery.

For more information: google “My Voice”

http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2013/MyVoice-AdvanceCarePlanningGuide.pdf

Dr. Davidicus Wong is a physician in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Please note that this article related to Western medical ethics. Healthcare providers in other countries may not follow the same principles or interpret them in the same way and laws regarding access to your medical records and who can make decisions on your behalf may vary in different countries and states.

 

 

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Emotional Wellness (Davidicus Wong)

What is Emotional Wellness?

A deep sense of meaning and purpose, an abiding sense of peace, the ability to manage the stress and transitions of life, awareness of your thoughts and feelings and the ability to manage them.

 

Why emotional health matters

  1. Emotions influence our behaviour, our relationships and our thinking.
  2. Anxiety holds us back from doing what we need to do, from moving forward, from reaching out, and from giving our best to the world.
  3. Depression is a major cause of disability and absenteeism from work or school.

Video: Why Emotional Health Matters https://stage.divisionsbc.ca/Burnaby/emotionalhealth.

 

Anxiety Disorders

When your anxiety has a significant impact on your function at work, school or home or in your social life.

  1. Generalized Anxiety:excessive worry about many things
  2. Panic Disorder:recurrent panic attacks (symptoms may include chest pain, a racing heart, sweats, shortness of breath and dizziness)
  3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: repetitive intrusive thoughts or recurrent compulsions to perform an act (e.g. checking, handwashing, rituals)
  4. Social Anxiety: excessive anxiety in specific social situations e.g. large groups, interviews, shopping
  5. Phobias:extreme specific fears e.g. spiders, heights, flying

 

Mood Disorders

The Symptoms of Depression: fatigue, change in sleep, change in appetite, impaired concentration,  forgetfulness, thoughts of death or suicide, self-blame and guilt, feeling sad, hopelessness, lack of enjoyment or pleasure, loss of motivation.

 

Bipolar Disorder:episodes of depression and mania/hypomania (heightened mood and energy, overconfidence, decreased need for sleep, impaired judgment, decreased need for sleep, delusions of grandeur)

 

Psychotic Symptoms:impaired reality testing, delusions (fixed false beliefs), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), disorganized behaviour e.g. schizophrenia

 

Video: 4 Key Emotional Health Skills https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4iPjKBOY-U&list=PLAWTWe0JNCdHMVTJSe4Jk_vhb53H2jk-b&index=1

Key Emotional Health Skills

  • A Meditative Practice to calm your mind, centre your thoughts and reflect.

Recommended Reading on Mindfulness: Joseph Goldstein, Thich Nhat-Hahn, Jon Kabat-Zinn.

 

Cognitive Therapy

  • Reflect on the thoughts that trigger your emotions. Is there another way to look at the situation?
  • Question the underlying beliefs behind unhealthy thinking.
    • Identify your cognitive distortions
    • all or nothing thinking – seeing all the bad in another person or situation; catastrophizing – imagining the worst;
    • excessive self-blame

Recommended Reading:Mind Over Mood by Padesky and Greenberger; Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman.

 

Visualizing Your Goals

  • Turn your problems into goals.
  • Instead of replaying the past or ruminating on the negative, think about what you want.
  • When you are most relaxed, visualize yourself having achieved your goal.
  • How do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear? Make it real!

 

Managing Stress

  • Burnout: when the demands of work or life exceed our ability to manage them.

 

Seizing the Locus of Control

  • Identify your sources of stress.
  • Are you reacting in proportion to the stress?
  • Recognize what you can change or control.
  • Accept what you cannot change; assume responsibility for what you can.
  • Recognize your choices.

 

The 80/20 Rule: 20% of our reaction to a situation is related to the facts; 80% arises from what we bring from our past and how we conceptualize the present.

 

The Daily Management of Stress

Be a good parent to yourself:

  1. Go out and play.Have an exercise routine.
  2. Don’t skip meals.Schedule regular healthy meals.
  3. Go to bed.Get enough sleep and take regular breaks.
  4. Go to the doctor.See your own family doctor appropriately.

Express your emotions with those close to you with a group of confidantes. Form or join a support group.

Live in accord with your values.

Attend to your relationships.

  1. Foster emotional intimacy.Agree on a habit of checking in with one another each day. How are you feeling? How was your day?
  2. Show your affection. Express your positive feelings.
  3. Schedule regular dates.Commit your time to what matters most. Don’t wait ‘til there’s time; make time!
  4. Communicate in a healthy way.Take a breath and let anger cool before you react. Acknowledge the other’s feelings and point of view. Express how you feel without blame.
  5. When things get stale, have an affair. . . with your partner.

 

Video: Keys to Managing Stress https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoN-lIlx460&feature=youtu.be&list=PLAWTWe0JNCdHMVTJSe4Jk_vhb53H2jk-b

Where to Find Help

Canadian Mental Health Association

cmha.bc.ca

Courses, resources, cognitive therapy and support.

 

Burnaby Mental Health

fraserhealth.ca (604) 453-1900

Assessment, treatment, counselling and crisis intervention.

 

Cameray Child & Family Services

203 – 5623 Imperial Street, Burnaby (604) 436-9449 cameray.ca

Counselling for children and families.

 

AnxietyBC

anxietybc.com

Education, cognitive therapy courses.

 

 

Mood Disorders Association of BC

mdabc.net

Support groups, cognitive therapy and wellness programs.

 

SAFER  (604) 675-3985

Education, support and counselling for those who have suicidal thoughts, have attempted suicide.

Support for family members.

 

The Four Foundations of Self-Care

 

  • What you eat(what you put into your body).

 

  • What you do(physical activity and rest).

 

  • How you feel(emotional wellbeing).

 

  • How you connect(healthy relationships).

 

Please share this information with your family, friends and anyone else who may find it helpful.

Together we’ll create a healthier community and a healthier future.

Posted in Burnaby Division of Family Practice, Emotions, Empowering Healthcare, empowering patients, Happiness, Healthy Living, Positive Potential, Preventive Health, Self-care, stress management | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Relationships (Davidicus Wong)

 

Why relationships matter

  1. Social support from friends, family and partners are key to your emotional health and resilience.
  2. Harmony in the home is essential to your wellbeing.
  3. Loving friends and family support your health.
  4. Conflicts at home, work or school are major sources of stress and contribute to anxiety and mood disorders.

The sources of conflict

  1. Incompatibility (religion, culture, language, introversion/extraversion, values and beliefs.)

Game changers: incompatible values (core beliefs about right and wrong)

                                     abuse(physical, emotional or sexual)

  1. Cognitive Distortions– When we start seeing each other differently.
  2. Mind reading: making negative assumptions about the other’s intentions without checking them out.
  3. Excessive blaming: when something goes wrong (or is left undone), it’s the other’s fault.
  4. All or nothing thinking: seeing all of the BAD (and none of the good) in the other, in your relationship and your situation.
  5. Neglect and loss of intimacy.Too often we can let the rest of our lives take over our life together.
  6. Feelings change.We mistake the inevitable fading of infatuation and romantic love with not being in love. With attention and commitment, we can transition into enduring love, from passion to compassion.

The quirks that endear us when we fall in love eventually irritate us when the honeymoon is over, but they are the things we’ll miss when our loved ones are gone.

The 5 Love Languages (Gary Chapman)

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

The Qualities of Healthy Relationships

  1. Mutual respect– for our individuality, our feelings and our ideas
  2. Commitment to one another and to our relationship. We express our commitment with time, thought, patience, effort and a willingness to work together.
  3. Acceptance and management of the differences that make us unique– personality, passions, preferences, spirituality, customs. Extraverts are energized by people and parties; introverts need solitude to recharge. Extraverts need to speak to think; introverts think before they’ll speak. With acceptance and understanding, we complement one another.
  4. Unconditional love: mutual positive regard, compassion and good will.

Nurturing Your Relationship

  1. Foster emotional intimacy.Agree on a habit of checking in with one another each day. How are you feeling? How was your day?
  2. Show your affection.Express your positive feelings. Remember the 5 languages of love.
  3. Schedule regular dates. Commit your time to what matters most. Don’t wait ‘til there’s time; make time!
  4. Communicate in a healthy way.Take a breath and let anger cool before you react. Acknowledge the other’s feelings and point of view. Express how you feel without blame.
  5. When things get stale, have an affair . . . with your partner.

The Four Things That Matter Most (Dr. Ira Byock)

  1. “Please forgive me.”
  2. “I forgive you.”
  3. “Thank you.”
  4. “I love you.”

THE 4 FOUNDATIONS OF SELF-CARE

What you eat(What you put into your body). What you do(physical activity and rest).

How you feel(emotional wellbeing). How you connect(healthy relationships).

 

Posted in Burnaby Division of Family Practice, Emotions, Empowering Healthcare, empowering patients, Happiness, Healthy Living, Love, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Eating (by Davidicus Wong)

 

The Empowered Patient: Healthy Eating

Canada’s Food Guide indicates the recommended servings per day for each of the 4 food groups:

  1. Vegetables and fruit
  2. Grain products
  3. Milk and alternatives
  4. Meat and alternatives

We require a small amount of oils and fats in our diet (30 to 45 ml or 2 to 3 tbsp of unsaturated fat). Healthy choices include vegetable oils such as olive, canola and soybean. Avoid saturated and trans fats. Limit butter, hard margarine, lard and shortening.

For patients with diabetes or glucose intolerance: Glycemic Index is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood sugar. Lower GI foods (such as quinoa, whole grains or brown rice) raise blood sugars more slowly than high GI foods (such as white bread or bagels).

For more information on diabetes and glycemic index: diabetes.ca.

If you have a question about nutrition, Dial a Dietitian (8-1-1).

For more on healthy eating: healthlinkbc.ca/healthyeating

Tips on Healthy Eating on a Budget

  1. Cook at home (cheaper than prepared foods).
  2. Cook extra portions and freeze the leftovers for quick meals.
  3. Plan your meals and shop with a list.
  4. Keep an inventory of your pantry supplies and use what you have.
  5. Buy only what you need unless you are sharing with family and friends for cost-sharing.
  6. Know your prices and buy on sale.
  7. Plan healthy snacks, such as raw veggies, low-fat cheese, popcorn, whole wheat bread.
  8. Read labels for unit cost (i.e. cost/100 gm) and best before dates.

Money saving tips:

For meats and alternatives

  1. Buy larger packages of meat on sale. At home, divide them into smaller portions for freezing.
  2. Eat dried or canned beans and lentils; tofu, eggs, canned fish and peanut butter.

For vegetables and fruits:

  1. Buy in season.
  2. Don’t buy fruit that will ripen before you can eat them.
  3. Buy larger bags of frozen vegetables.
  4. Buy canned, frozen or dried fruit.

Grains:

  1. Buy rice, flour, oats and pasta in bulk.  Buy whole grain bread in bulk and freeze the loaves.

Milk:

  1. Buy larger portions.  Buy no name brands.

KEYS TO ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS

  1. Choose wisely.Make it a goal that matters to you.
  2. Visualize yourself having achieved your goal.Use the power of attraction to reprogram your subconscious mind and prime the pump for success.
  3. Break it down.Turn that daunting supersized goal into manageable morsels. Gain confidence with early success and progressive achievement.
  4. Write down the details.

SMART goals are:

Specific.What are you going to do? Eat more fruit and vegetables? Where and when will you do it?

Measurable.How many fresh fruit/day? One salad every day? Two glasses of skim milk each day?

Achievable.Realistic goals that are do-able for you.

Relevant.The goal has to be important to you and your health.

Time-specific.What day will you start the change? When will you finish?

  1. Anticipate and prepare for roadblocks.
  2. Enlist support.Consult your family doctor, choose a coach you’ll answer to, or get a friend to join you.

THE 4 FOUNDATIONS OF SELF-CARE

What you eat(What you put into your body). What you do(physical activity and rest).

How you feel(emotional wellbeing). How you connect(healthy relationships).

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HEALTHY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Davidicus Wong

Empowering Patients: HEALTHY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY  Davidicus Wong

 We were made to move. When we don’t, our health suffers. When we do, we thrive.

 7  BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

  1. Decreases your risksfor heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

Exercise plays an important role in managing and improving chronic health conditions.

  1. Prevents weight gainand – complementing healthy nutrition – helps you maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Improves the fitness of your heart, lungs and muscles. Physical activity conditions your body to function better, making everyday activities easier.
  3. Prevents falls and improves cognition. When your limbs, eyes and brain are accustomed to movement, your balance, agility and ability to react improve. When blood flows better throughout your body, it also provides better circulation to your brain. A healthy body promotes a healthy brain.
  4. Weight bearing exercise(e.g. walking, hiking, weight training) helps maintain bone density, reducing your risks for osteoporosis and fractures.
  5. Improves sleep. Although vigorous exercise just before bed may be too stimulating, activity earlier in the day can improve the quality of your sleep.
  6. Improves emotional wellbeingby decreasing stress hormones, such as cortisol, and raising endorphins, natural painkillers. Exercise can raise your confidence and sense of accomplishment. There are social benefitsto physical activities such as yoga, zumba, dance and spin classes, ballroom and line dancing, Tai Chi, weight training, running clubs, lap swimming, badminton, ping pong, walking groups and hiking.

 

PHYSICAL LITERACY: The 7 Fundamental Movement Skills These are the essential sports skills taught to children from birth and throughout their school years, but each remains relevant throughout your lifetime.

  1. Running You may need to run without falling if being pursued, trying to retrieve a purse, escaping a burning building, chasing your newspaper down the street or avoiding a collision with a fast-moving object.
  2. Jumping You have to be able to do this without tripping to avoid falling into a puddle or stepping on the droppings of dogs (or horses in Victoria).
  3. Kicking To kick out the window of a burning or sinking bus or car. To defend yourself from an attacker.
  4. Striking (as with a racquet) To swat a mosquito with a flyswatter.
  5. Throwing When you don’t want to walk to the trash can. A faster way to move your laundry.
  6. Catching To catch the keys someone tosses you. To catch a dish before it crashes on the floor.
  7. Agility, Balance & Coordination To change your own clothes, shower and bathe, cook, shop and drive. To avoid falls and fractures. This is especially important for the man who does all his shopping at the mall on Christmas Eve.

 

The 6 Aspects of PHYSICAL FUNCTION (from the textbook,“Therapeutic Exercise” by Carolyn Kisner and Lynn Allen Colby)

  1. CARDIOPULMONARY FITNESS: Endurance housecleaning, yardwork, walking, laundry, cooking, shopping
  2. FLEXIBILITY: The Ability to Move Freely picking up the paper, reaching the top shelf, changing, bathing, footcare
  3. COORDINATION: Smooth, efficient Movement cooking, dusting, eating, drinking, changing, driving, grocery shopping
  4. STABILITY: Joint Stability, Muscle Balance putting on socks, shoes & support stockings; getting into the tub; bathing
  5. DYNAMIC BALANCE: Maintaining Balance in Action walking at home & outdoors; shopping; bathing; ladders; stairs
  6. MUSCLE PERFORMANCE: Strength, Power and Endurance driving, taking out the trash/recycling, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, moving tables and chairs, sweeping, dusting, grocery shopping

 

 

TOYS EVERY GROWNUP SHOULD OWN (and play with regularly)

  • A skipping rope; sidewalk chalk for hopscotch: to practice balance and jumping
  • A soft rubber ball: to kick, dribble, bounce, catch and throw outdoors
  • A foam ball: to toss and catch indoors
  • Badminton racquets and shuttlecocks: to practice striking and promote agility, balance and coordination 

FITTING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY INTO EVERY DAY Look for simple ways to increase your level of physical activity.

  1. Walk or bike to school or work.
  2. Get off the bus a few blocks further from your destination.
  3. Buy a bright, new umbrella and raincoat, embrace the rain and do an extra walk each day.
  4. Go hands-free at home and walk while you talk on the phone.
  5. Dance to your favourite music.
  6. Limit your screen time (in front of the television or computer).
  7. Stretch and exercise while you watch your favourite shows.
  8. Check out the local pool, gym and community centre. There’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy learning and doing.

 

REDUCING RISK WITH EXERCISE

  1. Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program ifyour current workout is moving from couch to fridge, you’re over 40, at risk for heart disease or have a chronic health condition (such as diabetes, heart failure, asthma, chronic bronchitis or arterial disease).
  2. If you have osteoarthritis, choose activities that do not harm your joints(e.g. With degenerative arthritis of the knees and hips, avoid running. Swimming would be a better choice.)
  3. To reduce injuries: start at a lower intensity, b. exercise in a safe environment, c. get expert assistance and instruction, and d. use proper equipment (e.g. helmets for cycling, appropriate footware).
  4. Avoid dehydrationby drinking adequate fluids
  5. Avoid OVERexercise. Watch out for the signs of overexercise: a. excessive weight loss, b. constant muscle soreness and tiredness, c. recurrent injuries, d. recurrent infections, chronic fatigue, and e. neglect of work, school, friends and loved ones.
  6. Balance activitywith rest and healthy nutrition.

 

KEYS TO ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS

  • Choose Wisely. A goal that matters to you.
  • Visualizeyourself having achieved your goal, reprogramming your subconscious mind and priming the pump for success.
  • Break it downfrom supersized into manageable morsels. You’ll gain confidence with early successes.
  • Write down the details.

SMARTEST goals

  • Specific: What will you do? Where?
  • Measurable: How much? How long?
  • Achievable: Realistic and do-able
  • Relevant: Important to you, your values and your health
  • Time Frame: When will you start? When will you finish?
  • Evaluate: How did you do? What did you learn?
  • Stepping Forward: What will you do next? What will you do differently?
  • Together: Who will you work with? Who will you share with?
  • Anticipateand prepare for roadblocks
  • Enlist support. Consult with your family doctor. Choose a coach or teammate: your partner, friend or neighbor.

 

THE 4 FOUNDATIONS OF SELF-CARE

  • What you eat(What you put into your body).
  • What you do(physical activity and rest).
  • How you feel(emotional wellbeing).
  • How you connect(healthy relationships).

 

Please share this information with your family, friends and anyone else who may find helpful.

Together we’ll create a healthier community and a healthier future.

 

 

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Thanksgiving: The Holiday with Attitude

Autumn in Whistler.jpg

Wine may grow in value with age, but as I age, I appreciate more the value in all things.

The celebration of Thanksgiving has become more meaningful with each passing year. It is the holiday with attitude – a decidedly positive one.

Unlike other stat holidays that are to many just a reason for a long weekend and cross border shopping, Thanksgiving asks us to pause and reflect, gather and give thanks for what we have been given. It can bring about a frame of mind that can frame our words and actions in the days that follow and possibly for the rest of the year.

Unlike Christmas where the meaning can be lost in the frenzy of feasting and shopping, Thanksgiving remains comparatively simple though much thought and love goes into the preparation of a meal to share with family and friends.

It is a reason to gather and appreciate that which we have. It turns our thoughts and actions towards the needs of others – the homeless and others who struggle to stay warm each night and to keep food on the table.

Grace may be a prayer of thanks many of us will be saying before dinner, but it is also an attitude – a way of thinking and acting.

Thanksgiving is not just the giving of thanks. I divide it into “thanks” (or appreciation) and “giving.”

The thanks is in the appreciation of the gifts of our past, present and future. The gifts of your past have enriched your experience and shaped your growth. Think of the special people who have supported you through love, teaching and inspiration.

The gifts of the present are those that you have this day. One of the tragedies of every human life is that we don’t always recognize and appreciate the gifts that are in our hands at this moment. Both this moment and those gifts are fleeting.

The gift of the future is its promise – so rich in youth but still present in our later years and even at the end of life. This is what you give forward – the seeds you have planted, the good you have done and the love you have given. It is your gift to the world of the future. What can you give to others in the time you have left?

Thanksgiving reminds me to give. We give away . . . to others – not just the things we don’t need or can part with, but rather what is most needed by someone else. We give back . . . not just to those like our parents who have given so much to us but also to our community, to nature and to our world. We give forward . . . to our children, to the future and to others who may never be able to thank us.

The greatest gifts in our lives are not always obvious or appreciated when we have them, and they are not ours to keep. They are given in trust for us to give away, give back or give forward. And the greatest of our gifts is the love we receive and the love we express.

Davidicus Wong is a physician and writer in Vancouver, B.C.

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Your Brain on Emotions

Your amazing brain is the product of evolution but still contains the vestiges of more primitive species.

The brainstem reflects the reptilian brain that is mainly concerned with survival. The midbrain or early mammalian brain is emotional, and the cerebral cortex represent the higher primate brain from which we can plan, reflect and manage our emotional states.

When life and limb are threatened, the reptilian brain takes over.

When we are overwhelmed by emotions, such as anger, anxiety or depression, our normal rational thinking is restricted and our thoughts both reflect and perpetuate our emotional state.

Cyclops at the CNE

For example, when angered, our thoughts obsess with how we have been threatened, insulted or harmed. It is much easier to see the negative aspects of the other person than our connection to them. If we continue this line of thinking, our anger continues to brew.

When we are overwhelmed with anxiety, our minds exaggerate the enormity of the challenges we face and minimize our strengths and resources. We may start thinking that we are going to die, fail or lose control when our rational minds know we really can manage.

When our brain is shaded by depression, we may only see the negative aspects of our reality. The triad of depressed thinking includes negative thoughts about our selves, our situation and the future.

We can move out of a depressed state by thinking about the very opposite – our personal strengths and accomplishments, the positive aspects of our situation and the people in our lives, and the positive potential of the future.

In Homer’s Iliad, the Sirens’ irresistible singing would lure sailors to their deaths as their ships crashed onto the rocky shores. Odysseus wanted to hear their beautiful songs without destroying his ship, so he commanded his crew to tie him to the mast and cover their own ears, ignoring his commands when he was in an altered mental state.

We could all use an Odysseus app – in our brains or smartphones – when we are overwhelmed by difficult situations and our emotional states. At those times, we need to see our reality from the perspective of our more rational and compassionate minds – the cerebral cortex.

DSC04853

From this perspective, we accept those aspects of our situation over which we have no control while recognizing what aspects we can positively change. What are the positive aspects of this situation? What resources do we have? In what other areas of life are things going well?

At these times, we need to be reminded of our personal strengths, our greatest goals and values, our connection to others, our best relationships, and the likelihood of a positive future.

This is when we can call upon special family members and best friends who can bring us back and remind us of who we really are and how we are loved, bring us to our senses and shine a fresh light on our perspective.

In an upcoming column, I’ll talk about what you can do when you can’t speak to a friend when you need one: what to pack in your emotional first aid kit.

Dr Davidicus Wong is a family physician in Burnaby, British Columbia. His Healthwise columns appear regularly in the Vancouver Courier, Burnaby Now, Royal City Record and Richmond News.

What You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure

Thursday, October 4
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Davidicus_Wong

Dr. Davidicus Wong, popular Burnaby family doctor and Burnaby Now columnist, will present a talk on high blood pressure.

Dr. Wong will cover the following topics:

• What is hypertension (high blood pressure) and how is it a silent cause of heart attacks and strokes?
• Are you at risk?
• What can you do to prevent high blood pressure?
• What do you need to know to effectively manage your blood pressure and remain healthy?

This free presentation is provided by Burnaby Public Library in collaboration with the Burnaby Divisions of Family Practice.

Free, but seating is limited. Please register by phone at: 604-522-3971, in-person, or online.

If you cannot attend the program, please contact the Library so someone else can have your spot. Thank you.

Posted in Burnaby Division of Family Practice, Emotions, Empowering Healthcare, Forgiveness | Tagged | Leave a comment