Mental Health

Taking the next step: My first visit to my Naturopath.

published: September, 19, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // Food, Nutrition and Recipes, General Health, Mental Health, Health, Vitamins - Supplements, Brian Finch

Going to this Naturopath was the best decision I've made in a long time

Taking the next step: My first visit to my Naturopath.

When it was recently suggested that I go see a naturopath a couple months ago, I shrugged it off. I’ve gone this route before and It’s been helpful and I’ve learned a lot from those visits. But in the end I’d slide back into my old ways and some of the underlying issues didn’t seem to get dealt with  - such as my lack of energy. When I picked up this nasty bug from Italy and had to take Flagyl, a drug with warnings that it is possibly carcinogenic, at it’s maximum dosage, it f

Sometimes you gotta butt out: ten days later

published: September, 13, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // General Health, Mental Health, Health, Smoking Cessation , Brian Finch

I did like the Italian “Glamour” cigarettes I was smoking. The same as the nelly little ones I smoked in Canada, but with a pretty flower on the filter.

Sometimes you gotta butt out: ten days later

Ten days later: still not smoking. It’s funny, no later than a few hours into quitting smoking did I have my first smoking dream. The antibiotics I was taking were knocking me out that Saturday, so I slept all morning. It’s easy to start the day off not smoking when you’re asleep.  But alas, as I drifted in and out of sleep, I dozed off again and  - bang  - I was right in to a dream having a cigarette. My thoughts were, “What? I’m not supposed to be smoking. Why am I s

The Flagyl Blues & my recipe for success

published: September, 01, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // General Health, Mental Health, Health, Brian Finch

At least they say I look good!

The Flagyl Blues & my recipe for success

Flagyl Blues: A traveller's guide to weight loss. In my last post I shared some of the challenges I face. One message I wanted to get out is that those of us who work on Positivelite.com are just like those who come to the site. We are you and you are us. Today I wanted to focus on some of the solutions that I'm focusing on and not just the problem. Before I get to that I wanted to thank everyone forthe very kind messages I received after letting everyone know where I was at. A perfect storm h

Stirring up controversy about “rebound depression”.

published: August, 31, 2011 Categories // Mental Health, Health

Are people who use antidepressants more likely to experience a relapse of major depression after they have stopped their course of medication, than those who did not take antidepressants?

Devan nambiar says|: people living with HIV struggle with various forms of depression from mild to chronic.  Here is a meta-analysis from a Canadian researcher at McMaster University.  While the analysis is controvesial , it is very important for anyone on antidepressant s not to stop their antidepressant medication(s)  when they read these findings.  Always consult with your health care provider, mental health counsellor or psychiatrist.  For further reading &nbs

Buckle Your Seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!. Bette always said it best.

published: August, 24, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // General Health, Mental Health, Health, Brian Finch

I’ve been trying to write a light and funny post for quite some time, but it just hasn’t been in me.

Buckle Your Seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!. Bette always said it best.

I’ve been trying to write a light and funny post for quite some time, but it just hasn’t been in me. Like many people living with HIV, I struggle with depression, and have been hit with a major bout of it. I want to thank Bob Leahy for helping out so much over this past bit of time. Hence I have not been writing, been on Twitter, and maybe a smidgen on Facebook, but not much there either. What I am seeing here in Toronto is a major gap in services for people who need help to deal with at t

THE DEMISE of AMY WINEHOUSE: DRECK, DRUGS and ROCK & ROLL?

published: August, 09, 2011 Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Mental Health, Music

Stephen Lincoln says “in all the speculation, confusion and debate over Winehouse’s death, there has very clearly reemerged a pronounced sense of preoccupation with and revulsion for those with addictions.”

The recent death of Amy Winehouse is, by now, unlikely to be news to most. However, the definitive cause remains to be seen and (as far as I know) conflicting reports continue to circulate. Initial autopsy results have been ruled “inconclusive” and we’re told that the outcome of further toxicology tests won’t be available for several more weeks. Yet despite this, many (particularly in the media) seem perplexed that anyone would even bother trying to muddle through all this speculation

Who do YOU sleep with?

published: August, 01, 2011 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Mental Health, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy is the third and final contributor to this week’s look at the importance of pets for people living with HIV from three positive points of view.

Who do YOU sleep with?

(left to right Peggy, Dougall and Dudley) It’s official. Pets are a huge asset to people living with HIV. Two PositiveLite guest writers have confirmed that already this week, and I'm not disagreeing. Denise Becker said of her doberman pinscher Ziggy “pets are our joy, our companions, our support. They give us something to care about, they make us feel needed and make us realize that we can’t give up on life because we would be giving up on them too… and they are always there for

Continuing our spotlight on Pet Therapy: PositiveLite’s LA friend Kengi and pal Dodger

published: July, 27, 2011 Categories // Mental Health, Pets, Health, Louis "Kengi" Carr, Guest Authors

“Dodger is a rescue, when he came to me he was pretty beat up. He had stitches all over. He looked a bit sad too. In many ways he reminded me of myself - homeless, scared, badly broken and in need of love.”

Continuing our spotlight on Pet Therapy: PositiveLite’s LA friend Kengi and pal Dodger

I have to be completely honest and say that I almost sent Bob an email letting him know that I would not be able to write this article. The very same day he asked me to write it turned out to be the very same day I lost someone very dear to me. Someone who was the inspiration behind my Unplugging HIV outreach. Someone who was my HIV peer support, but more than this, someone who I considered my friend. The very same day I said "yes I would write this article" is the same day about 6 hours later

Offerings To The Needle And My Search For Normalcy

published: July, 13, 2011 Categories // Mental Health, Guest Authors

Guest writer Ian Awesome from hivster.com in a compelling post about the power of crystal meth addiction and how he’s fighting it.

Offerings To The Needle And My Search For Normalcy

PositiveLIte says: This article first appeared in hivster.com, an "online Magazine for forward-thinking, hip/alternative men, women that are HIV+ and the people who love us.” From the hivster.com website: "hivster.com is an online magazine that strives to give voice to anyone living with or affected by HIV. We believe that living life to the fullest is essential to everyone, especially those who are HIV+. The disease is only part of one’s life and it’s important to remember the thin

Heroes Week: Can I blame gay culture for my drug addiction, please?

published: June, 04, 2011 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, Mark S. King

Mark S King: after a lifetime of sporadic, recreational drug use, I became a full-blown crystal meth addict ten years ago, and then eventually got clean and sober in January of 2009. But why would I, or anyone as engaged in life as I was . .

Heroes Week: Can I blame gay culture for my drug addiction, please?

 . . . . morph in to a drug addict? It seemed an unlikely turn of events for a gay advocate and outspoken community leader living with HIV. Was my drug addiction some sort of post-traumatic stress from the AIDS horror show of the 1980’s? Maybe it pre-dated AIDS, and resulted from the stress and shame of growing up gay. It’s easy to understand why anyone who came of age believing they were perverted (and going straight to hell) might need a stiff drink. Research indicates that gay men

Mind Games - (le français suit)

published: April, 11, 2011 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // Aging, CATIE, General Health, Mental Health, Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource

What can you do to keep your brain sharp? Instead of listing a bunch of ideas here, we want to suggest you read the fantastic Positive Side article “A Mind of Her Own."

 Mind Games - (le français suit)

We know what you’re thinking: “Those folks at CATIE would never play with our minds, so what can this post possibly be about?” You’re right, we never would; we’re straight-shooters. So, what are these mind games then? How’s about we call them mental gymnastics, as in the things you can do for your brain to keep it in tip-top shape. We know that HIV affects the brain, and that the extreme damage, called AIDS dementia complex, is now much less common thanks to HIV treatment. However,

Cannabis Use and Earlier Onset of Psychosis

published: February, 15, 2011 Categories // Mental Health, Health

The HIV sector has not undertaken any long term research on the safety of marijuana use on immune functions, mental health or concurrent disorders in poz persons who smoke marijuana.

   The use of marijuana or cannabis is common amongst HIV positive persons to assist as an appetite stimulant and minimize weight lost.  Its use has been “normalized” in the HIV community, and in general marijuana use in the poz community has not caused much concern.  But the HIV sector has not undertaken any long term research on the safety of marijuana use on immune functions, mental health or concurrent disorders in poz persons who smoke marijuana. Additionally,

My Muscles, My Disease: Portrait of a Gay Drug Addict

published: January, 25, 2011 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Mental Health, Health, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

"It wouldn’t be long before my drug use trumped my gym schedule, and my status in online chat rooms devolved from intriguing hottie to that crazy mess that doesn’t look like his pictures."

My Muscles, My Disease: Portrait of a Gay Drug Addict

There is a folder, tucked within a folder, buried deep in my computer files. I shouldn’t be looking at its contents, yet I can’t bring myself to delete it altogether. It is labeled MARCUS, and inside the folder is my disease. During my years of crystal meth addiction I went by the name of Marcus, at least to dealers and tricks and fellow addicts. It helped me determine who was calling my cell phone – those calling for Mark or Marcus usually had very different agendas – and Marcus even

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