Tag Archives: brain

The NO-PANIC Guide to the Birth Control Pill – Part I

The no-panic guide to the birth control pill

For quite some time, I’ve been trying to put together a comic on the birth control pill (a.k.a. “the Pill”). I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about: its risks (e.g. blood clots, cancer), its benefits, available alternatives, etc.

And yet, I was staring at a blank page. Utterly stuck.

Then, at some point, I finally discovered the reason for my mental block: it’s impossible to tackle the risks of the Pill without first understanding how it works.

After all, how many women know…

  • How the menstrual cycle and ovulation work?
  • What are the purposes of the different structures of the female reproductive system, such as the ovaries and the endometrium?
  • What are the roles of estrogen and progesterone?
  • How does hormonal contraception work?

Answer: not many.

It’s easy to frighten people with a list of all the serious side effects of hormonal contraception (because they do exist), but it’s much garder to paint the whole picture.

This is Part 1 of my “No-Panic Guide to the Birth Control Pill.” The second (and last) part will specifically deal with the risks and benefits of the Pill.

In order to make sure that my comic is accurate, I asked for the help of Lyne Massicotte, a clinical biochemist. Lyne, whose work I greatly admire, is the cofounder – with her partner Mathieu – of Nasci Biologie Médicale, a medical lab specializing in male fertility. Thanks Lyne!

Translated by Qian Li (Pharm.D. candidate), proofread by Stéphanie Alcaraz-Robinson.

 

Introduction

 

The brain releases FSH and the ovaries start working on the folliclesEstrogen appears and LH stimulates the ovaries even furtherThe ovum begins its journey and progesterone prepares the endometrium

Fertilization or period

 

How the Pill works A

How the Pill works B

 

How the Minipill works

 

Other types of hormonal contraception

 

Conclusion

 

The no-panic guide to the birth control pill part II (header)

 

partage_page_EN

partage_post_EN

Anxiety… prisoner of the metal collar

Stress and anxiety are helpful in life.

Imagine you’re hiking in Alaska, and you suddenly find yourself in front of a Kodiak bear that’s fresh out of hibernation and looking for his first meal. You can actually see drool coming out of his mouth, and the only defense you have is a spoon…

…Okay, bad example.

Let’s say you’re allergic to wasps. Stress is what tells you to be careful when they’re nearby. When you see a wasp, anxiety is what drives you to move in the opposite direction. These are normal defense mechanisms, and they’ve allowed human beings to evolve.

However, with evolution, the causes of anxiety changed in modern times: work, family, money, health, and so on. Cavemen didn’t care about all of that… but today, these are the things that stress us the most.

Today I’m going to talk about Generalized Anxiety Disorder, like I did before with depression.  Although it’s a really common disorder, few people easily accept it or feel comfortable talking about it.

Note: You might need a little effort and imagination to get into this comic strip… but you’ll definitely appreciate it more if you try to go along with my unusual analogies. Enjoy!

Translated by Ellie Rieber with edits by Patricia Rainville; proofread by Stéphanie Alcaraz-Robinson.

 

How the electric metal collar works

The anxiety thought experiment test

 

Panic attacks and real-life concerns

 

 

Going to the doctor and physical symptoms of anxiety

 

The psychological and chemical keys of the anxiety collar

 

The amygdala and the prefrontal cortex in the brain

Anxiety denial and how to test yourself and others

 

What to you for your family and friends and hope

 

 

CBT and a book recommendation

 

partage_page_EN

partage_post_EN

Cancer, chemo, radiation and … dandelions

Cancer chemo radiation and dandelions (header)

My initial idea was to write a cartoon titled “5 toxic beliefs about chemotherapy”. The goal was to take 5 myths about chemo and deconstruct them. In doing this, I wanted to challenge the false notions about chemotherapy that are perpetuated over the internet.

However, along the way something became obvious: it’s absolutely pointless to attack false beliefs on chemo… when the majority of people do not know what cancer really is.

Then, by pure chance, two oncologists appeared out of nowhere and proposed to help me make a comic on cancer! It’s great how things work out.

After reading this comic, you will have a better understanding of cancer, surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. And you will never see dandelions the same way.

Author’s notes:

I want to thank my two great collaborators for authoring this comic! They proposed to me the dandelion analogy, and told me they didn’t know where it came from (in short, we don’t really know where it comes from)… An ENORMOUS THANK YOU to you two for your massive help in the creation, preparation and improvements on this comic!

– Marc-Émile Plourde, MD, FRCPC (Radiation Oncology)

Marc-Émile is a radiation oncologist, meaning his specialty is radiotherapy. He is also the author of the blog radiotherapie.ca (in French) and he develops medical apps for mobile devices.

– Vincent Éthier, MD, FRCPC (Hematology Oncology)

Vincent is a hematologist and oncologist, meaning his specialty is chemotherapy.

– And the two generous doctors who translated this cartoon to English : Pierre-Yves McLaughlin, MD with the help of Martin Korzeniowski, MD.

 

* Note: This comic explains what cancer is, and how it is treated. I do not address prevention, not because it’s not important (to the contrary), but simply because it’s a very vast subject that I indirectly bring up all the time when I promote healthy living habits on this website.

 

cancer01_EN_1 cancer02_EN

 

cancer03_EN cancer04_EN_01 cancer05_EN cancer06_EN cancer07_EN_01 cancer08_EN_01 cancer09_EN cancer10_EN

partage_page_EN

partage_post_EN