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My son's making a bad life choice. Can I interfere?

The question:


Our son, who was an excellent student and athlete, suddenly dropped out of university and left his summer job in order to pursue a relationship with a woman. He says he is not interested in various possibilities, and that he needs to figure out what to do in life. What should we do?

 

The answer:


Watching a child of any age make decisions that you feel aren’t in their best interest is always difficult for a parent. It sounds as though you have understandable concerns that your son is giving up positive opportunities (education, athletics) that would help him build a stable future, in exchange for a relationship that may be temporary.

 

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The science of empathy

The Science of Empathy (by Simon Baron-Cohen, The Observer) Does it upset you when you see people arguing? Do you cry at the cinema? Empathy is one of our most powerful emotions yet society has all but ignored it. Autism…

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My dad says he's looking for work, but he plays computer games all day

The question:


My dad got laid off from work almost a year ago. He says he’s been looking for a job, but all he seems to do is play on the computer with my mom for upwards of 15 hours a day. I’m more stressed about their retirement than they are. I’m scared they’re relying on me to bail them out but my wife and I aren’t willing or financially able to help them when the hammer falls. What can I say to snap them out of this?

 

The answer:


Being laid off falls at the top of stressful life events.

 

The impact of layoffs is particularly accentuated for men, given their traditional roles and expectations of being the family breadwinner.

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West coast anxiously waits for 'the big one'

(by Luke Brocki, OpenFile)


According to many seismologists, a mega earthquake is overdue to decimate the Pacific coast. While OpenFile is covering this story from many different angles today, Vancouver reporter Luke Brocki talked to a local anxiety expert about what all this bad news and constant worrying is doing to our mental health. Dr. Joti Samra is a Vancouver-based clinical psychologist and president of the BC Psychological Association.

 

Luke Brocki: Have you ever dealt with earthquake anxiety or fears of natural disasters?

 

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My husband's temper is getting worse. What should I do?

The question:


My husband has always been short-tempered, but he has become increasingly angry over the past few months. He takes it out on our pre-teen children – he has never gotten physical and does not swear or get otherwise verbally abusive. But he gets easily annoyed and frustrated, and will raise his voice and get upset with them to the point that they don’t want to be around him. His responses are out of proportion to the situations. How can I help him see the damage he is causing?


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How can I get over my fear of swallowing pills?

The question:


I’m afraid of swallowing pills. The size and shape of the pills makes no difference; I either crush pills into food or some other suspension, or avoid taking them altogether. The avoidance strategies I have tended to use are getting harder to manage as I get older. What can I do?

 

The answer:


Dysphagia – or difficulties with swallowing – can be related to a range of causes including fear, pain, or some other cognitive, anatomical or physiological problem.

 

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