My father is a workaholic. How do I get him to slow down?

The question:   My father overworks himself because he was laid off a number of years ago and he hasn’t made as much money, or pension, since then. He feels like he needs to work six days a week, and take any overtime offered by his current job, to make as much money as he […]

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My family is smothering me. How do I tell them I need space?

The question:   I’m approaching 30 and living at home to help support my mother. I’m very devoted to my family, but starting to feel a bit smothered by all the responsibility. How can I demonstrate my need for alone time and independence – without offending my family – while I’m still living at home? […]

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My friend had a miscarriage. How can I help her?

The question:   My friend was a few months along in her pregnancy when she recently had a miscarriage. How do I support her without being intrusive or overbearing?   The answer:   Miscarriages are, unfortunately, relatively common. Up to one out of five women will experience a miscarriage, with the large number occurring within […]

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I’m in a new city and horribly homesick. How do I adjust?

The question:   My husband was offered a job that we couldn’t refuse and we recently moved to Alberta from Ontario as a result. Now I’m horribly homesick. He is doing well because he is very busy at the office, but I am struggling to find a job and I miss my friends and family. […]

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My parents are getting old and forgetful, but they won’t acknowledge it

The question:   My parents are aging and showing signs of slowing down mentally. I’m concerned about Alzheimer’s some time down the road, but they don’t even notice it. They say I’m overreacting. How can I get them to acknowledge that they may need help sooner rather than later?   The answer:   Having a […]

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Shift work is ruining my sleep. How can I fix it?

The question:   I recently started a new job that requires me to work shifts; I am constantly exhausted, and can’t seem to get my sleep under control. I don’t want to take medications as I’m worried I will become addicted. What can I do?   The answer:   Edgar Watson Howe summed it up […]

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She thinks botox is the answer to her problems. How do I stop her?

The Question:   My friend is convinced she has wrinkles and needs to get botox. She has absolutely no wrinkles that I can see (in fact, her skin is wonderful). I am concerned about her warped perception of her appearance. Why can’t she be happy with how she naturally looks?   The Answer:   A […]

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Argh, my daughter is always late! How do get her to be on time?

The question:   My teenage daughter is always late, and it drives me crazy. She’s not a bad kid at all. But the moment I ask her what time she’ll be home, what time I can pick her up, what time she’ll be ready for dinner, she is never on time. The added frustration is […]

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Our sex life is great, so why does my boyfriend want to take Viagra?

The question:   My boyfriend wants to take erectile dysfunction medication to enhance his performance. Why would he want to do that? I think our sex life is great, and I don’t want medication to make it unnatural and weird.   The answer:   There may be a number of reasons as to why your […]

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My sister is an attention-seeking hot head. How do I deal with her?

The question:   It’s clear to our entire family that my adult sister has big emotional issues, but she won’t recognize this fact. How do I deal with her mood swings in a loving way, but also not promote further outbursts that seem to only be brought on for attention?   The answer:   Speaking […]

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Why do I still think about my dead ex-husband?

The question:   I suppose this is a problem of old age, but I think constantly about my ex-husband, who has been dead for almost 40 years. Could this be from unresolved trauma? It was not a happy marriage.   The answer:   Regularly thinking about someone who was an important part of your life […]

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My son has autism. How do I cope with the stress of parenting him?

The question:   I have a 17-year-old son who suffers from autism. It can be difficult at times. When he eats, he can unexpectedly start acting up and make awful sounds. He will randomly pick up and turn things over. You can give him instructions as a parent and he decides not to move an […]

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I’m 65 and I hate my boyfriend’s platonic female friend. What do I do?

The question:   After being happily divorced for 35 years, I met a man my age (I’m 65) who is also divorced. We’ve been dating for almost 2 years now and I think I’m in love. The problem? He has a very good female friend that he’s known for decades. She’s also divorced and they […]

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Why do women like Valentine’s Day so much!?

The question:   Why do people like Valentine’s Day? I hate it. Not because I’m single, I’ve actually been happily married to my wife for six years. But she always gets upset when I don’t go all out or seem sincere enough on this one annual occasion. I’m a good husband, I think, and she […]

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My stress makes me physically ill. How do I stop it?

The question:   Ever since I was young, intense stress has always made me physically ill. My body tenses up, and my stomach ties itself up into knots. At its worst, I feel like I’m going to throw up any second. Usually, the moment the source of stress disappears, so does my physical pain. But […]

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My friend has anger issues. How can I get her to change?

The question:   I have a close friend I’ve known for 20 years who still can’t control her temper. Once or twice a year she completely loses it – yelling, screaming at me, an adult version of what you expect from a four-year-old’s tantrum. Later she’s ashamed and mortified. What can she do? What can […]

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My husband always gets night terrors and hits me. What do I do?

The question:   My spouse has night terrors. He frequently yells out in the night, often profanities, and thrashes around wildly. What could be causing this?   The answer:   Night terrors – also known as sleep terrors – are intense nightmares that can occur recurrently. Up to 6 per cent of children will experience […]

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I’m depressed, but my family needs me. How do I get help?

The question:   I think I’m severely depressed. I’ve never seen anyone professionally about it because of family issues. My eldest daughter is already getting help for her depression. And my younger children are having a hard time dealing with my divorce. And we are not doing that well financially. I try to be the […]

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I fought with my daughter over the holidays. How do I say sorry?

The question:   I had a huge fight with my daughter. She had only moved out last September to go to university in another province, and was home for the holidays. She hasn’t had a great first semester, and perhaps we were being a bit too critical of her while she was here. We ended […]

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I’m still haunted by the Sandy Hook shootings. What do I do?

The question:   It’s been weeks since the Sandy Hook shootings. I was most worried about how to handle the feelings and reaction of my own seven-year-old son to the event. But now that he’s had the holidays to distract himself from all the adult talk, I realize that I’m more traumatized than I thought. […]

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I hate New Year’s resolutions!

The question:   New Year’s always makes me anxious. All this talk of resolutions, starting fresh and getting everything done – why? Between problems with my marriage, children and work, I know I have a lot to figure out – but New Year’s just gives everyone I know a chance to ask insensitive questions about […]

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