About S.T.A.R.T. Clinic
Our Goal is to enhance the quality of life of our patients, by delivering a full complement of community based health care services including: diagnostic assessment, medication based treatment, psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural treatment and mindfulness based treatment.
We also are engaging in research to enhance and develop new and exciting approaches to helping people reach wellness. In addition, we also provide business coaching and educational activities to enhance the quality of diagnosis and treatment in the community.
Your Experience Entering the Clinic
The S.T.A.R.T. Clinic for Mood & Anxiety Disorders offers
specialized outpatient assessment and treatment services for people with mood & anxiety disorders AS WELL AS FOR PEOPLE SUFFERING WITH ADHD AND OTHER DISORDERS OF COGNITION AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTION.
Subsequent to a referral into our clinic, we begin with a thorough individual assessment. This will begin with a consultation from your referral source (often your doctor). After the referral, you will receive a series of questionnaires that will allow us to get a good understanding of who you are and how you are doing. Upon the day of your consultation, prior to your meeting with your clinician, you will meet with other members of our team, who will undertake a structured clinical interview to get a good objective assessment of your diagnoses. After this, you will meet with your clinician and they will undertake a full consultation to determine your diagnoses and the factors contributing to your individual’s problematic condition.
A treatment plan is then outlined (including medication, (pharmacology) and/or Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatment as well as psychotherapy (in group or individual) to meet your unique needs. Psychotherapy may include a referral for Mindfulness based treatment (also in group or individual formats).
During this time or subsequently, you may be offered an opportunity to contribute to a research project. Your clinicians and others within the clinic will provide you information so that you can decide if the opportunites to be part of a research study are for you.
The Mood and Anxiety Disorders assessed and treated in our clinic include:
Panic Disorder (PD)
Those with panic disorder experience reoccurring panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes without warning, without any obvious reason and has a distinct beginning and end point. The fear is accompanied by physical symptoms such as pounding heart, sweating, and difficulty breathing.
An inability to go beyond known and safe surroundings because of intense fear and anxiety. Agoraphobia often occurs in people who experience Panic Disorder.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
A marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The individual fears the he or she will act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
People with this disorder have experienced a serious traumatic event and have ensuing symptoms such as reliving the trauma in dreams, numbness and lack of involvement with reality, or recurrent thoughts and images.
Recurrent pulling out of one's hair resulting in noticeable hair loss. An increasing sense of tension is present immediately before pulling out the hair or when attempting to resist the behavior and pleasure, gratification, or relief occurs when pulling out the hair.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder includes both obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive or unwanted thoughts, images or impulses. Whereas, compulsions are behaviors or thoughts that one feels compelled to do in response to an obsession.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive anxiety and worry about a number of events or activities. Those with this disorder have difficulty controlling the worry.
Fear of a specific object or situation (e.g. heights, snakes, etc.) that interferes with one's ability to function.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
People with MDD experience depressed or irritable mood and a significant loss of interest or pleasure. People may also have accompanying symptoms such as weight loss or weight gain, difficulty concentrating and problems with sleeping.
Attention Deficit Disorder - With or without Hyperactivity (ADHD)
ADHD is a brain-based disorder that makes it difficult for people to control their behavior and/or focus, concentrate or pay attention. It ‘s onset is in childhood and as a result, it is usually diagnosed in childhood but in 70% of cases it continues into adulthood. In children one often assumes one will see symptoms of hyperactivity that is not always how children with ADHD look. The three primary characteristics of ADD/ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The signs and symptoms that children with attention deficit disorder have, depends upon which characteristics predominate. In fact, it is important to note that children who only have inattentive symptoms of ADHD are often overlooked, since they’re not disruptive, and yet the inattentive symptoms can affect a child’s performance in a variety of ways.
In Adults, ADHD may look quite different then what is seen in kids, hyperactivity in its childhood form is not generally there, but may be seen in another forms including difficulties with standing in lines, road rage, and with cutting off other people in conversation and finishing others sentences. More prominent ways ADHD presents in adults may include difficulties with lack of focus (or being very distractable) or with hyperfocus (being so engrossed with what they are doing that they become completely unaware of what is going on around them, resulting in being late and often in relationship misunderstandings. Other manifestations may include problems with chronic disorganization, tardiness, forgetfulness, impulsivity, moodiness and low frustration tolerance, difficulties with motivation energy and procrastination as well as chronic sadness (low hedonic tone), anxiety and poor self esteem. This can result in depression and anxiety disorders as well as substance abuse, marital discord, parenting challenges and frequent losses of job.