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Why Are We Lonely and What Can We Do About It?

Why Are We Lonely and What Can We Do About It?

More than 37 million people are living in Canada, yet many Canadians have never felt more alone. The Angus Reid Institute and the Cardus think tank collaborated on a recent study that found that an astonishing 23 percent of the country experiences extreme loneliness and social isolation. That isolation correlates with many negative side effects that can have an impact on every area of a person’s life.   “Social isolation and loneliness are a symptom of our culture’s obsession with personal autonomy, leaving us living life as ‘I’ instead of ‘we,’” said Cardus...
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Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings And Representations Of Multiple Sclerosis

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings And Representations Of Multiple Sclerosis

When it comes to representation of people with disabilities in film and television, we’re progressively starting to see some growth and change. But while we’re starting to do away with the harmful tropes of the past, there’s still a lot of work left to be done.  People with disabilities – be it an addiction, mental illness, neurological condition, or physical disability – tend to be forced into certain categories. For the most part, they’re used more as plot devices than characters in their own right. In this way, their humanity is stripped from them, and...
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A Day In The Life – Living With Chronic Pain

A Day In The Life – Living With Chronic Pain

Living with a chronic condition can make day-to-day life very difficult, if not unbearable. From one person to the next, each experience is unique, varied mostly by the severity of their condition and their access to help. For those who live alone, it changes things and makes the process of living with a disability even more difficult. Algar, a client of ours, was kind enough to grant us a peek into what a day in his life looks like. 48 years old and living alone in a single room in a house in Toronto, Algar deals with chronic pain. This is what a typical day in his life...
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Fibromyalgia: Triggers, Signs, and Treatment

Fibromyalgia: Triggers, Signs, and Treatment

For years, Fibromyalgia was written off as a catch-all disability, something doctors diagnosed when they couldn’t find another answer. The truth, however, is that Fibromyalgia is an insidious invisible illness. The symptoms can be crippling, often leaving those who live with the condition feeling helpless, and incapable of leading normal lives. But what is it that causes Fibromyalgia flare-ups? What do you need to look for to spot the signs of an oncoming flare-up, and how can you treat them when they happen? Fibromyalgia affects approximately 900,000 Canadians, roughly...
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By the Numbers: Canada’s Growing Awareness of Invisible Disabilities

By the Numbers: Canada’s Growing Awareness of Invisible Disabilities

Invisible disabilities are far more common than many people realize. According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD), more than 2 million Canadians are currently living with a mental health-related disability, and even that number does not fully reflect the scope of the issue. Pain-related conditions are the most common cause of disability for adults over the age of 25, and many of those conditions – including fibromyalgia and arthritis – may not be immediately apparent to a casual observer. Unfortunately, even our best metrics are imperfect. The previous CSD...
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The Challenges of Life with Epilepsy

The Challenges of Life with Epilepsy

While epilepsy is frequently associated with physical seizures, the condition is, in fact, a brain disorder that involves abnormal bursts of electrical activity. Those bursts can and do trigger seizures, but the severity and frequency will vary from individual to individual. That means that epilepsy will manifest differently depending on the circumstances. Many patients are able to lead relatively unencumbered lives, with seizures occurring at a rate of less than one per year. Others experience multiple seizures every day, which can make it far more difficult to hold a...