Changing the ‘No Casserole’ Response to Mental Illness

A mother of two who is active in the International Bipolar Foundation shared a story the other day. When her youngest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, friends called, sent cards and flowers, brought food, and posted encouraging Facebook messages.

4 Predictions for the Future of Addiction Treatment

While there are no easy answers, either for those struggling with substance use disorders or those attempting to help them, science gives us much to hope for, and accumulated experience is teaching us better each day what works and what doesn’t.

11 Ways to Help a Friend With Bipolar Disorder

Those diagnosed with bipolar disorder may be at the mercy of extreme mood swings, but they are not powerless. Medication, therapy and a healthy lifestyle can help them enjoy full and productive lives, especially when supplemented by the support of those closest to them.

5 Must-Ask Questions When Your Doctor Prescribes Painkillers

So what’s a patient to do when they’re on the receiving end of an opioid painkiller prescription? Talk. It may not feel natural to question your caregiver—they are the one with the medical degree after all—but healthy skepticism is in order when opioids are recommended.

You Just Found Your Kid’s Drug Stash - Now What?

Don’t delay in talking to your child. Take a little time to get educated about commonly abused drugs and adolescent substance use trends so you can better assess your child’s risks.

Writing a New Pain Prescription

In the past few decades, chronic pain relief in the U.S. has come primarily in the form of prescription opioids. And it’s taken a deadly toll. Sales of these painkillers have increased 300 percent since 1999; meanwhile, overdose deaths from opioid pain relievers have quadrupled.

Why Residential Rehab Matters in Heroin Addiction

A sweeping 11-year study out of Australia adds fresh understanding to our knowledge of heroin dependence and, in the process, challenges a widely held misconception—that residential rehab doesn’t really do much to help the heroin addict. Instead, the research shows residential rehabilitation may well set the best course to long-term improvement.

What We Can Learn From Russell Wilson’s Super Failure

Failure doesn’t get much more public than this. The Super Bowl. 114.5 million people watching. A ball thrown slightly off the mark. The end of a dream for the Seahawks and their fans. Yet, after it was over, the man who threw the ball sat before a press corps assembled to record his humiliation and said, “I can use this for the future.”

Is Your Planning Really Procrastination?

Planning is a necessary and positive thing and can dramatically boost the chances of a successful endeavor. But at some point, unless we are content to end our lives with nothing more than good intentions, we have to stop planning and start doing.

5 Ways to Silence Shame

Shame is among the most corrosive of human emotions, with the power to convince us that that little voice in our head is right after all – you know, the one that says “I knew you’d fail,” “You’ll never really belong” and “Who would love you?”

10 Ways to Turn Off Your Worries

Worrying can feel like a way to cover our bases, to find answers, to be responsible, or to keep that plane in the air. In reality, it’s wasted energy. If something bad does happen, worry didn’t stop it. If it doesn’t happen, worry only sucked any joy from the moment.

Obamacare's Mental Health and Addiction Benefits

When the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, lurched into existence last year, it brought with it political rancor and confusion. But it also brought promise, especially for a group historically left on the sidelines - those struggling with mental health and addiction issues.

AA Without the God?

For the agnostic, atheist and humanist, the God factor can feel like a distraction from the work at hand as well as a disturbing admonishment to check their beliefs at the door. For others, however, tapping into God’s power is the very thing that makes recovery possible. How, then, to ignore it?

Four Reasons Sex and Marijuana Don’t Mix

As marijuana’s social acceptability grows, it’s easy to forget that its use can come with some unwelcome side effects. A recently released National Institute on Drug Abuse summary of marijuana research, for example, confirmed that, yes, cannabis really can be addictive, it can impair brain development, and it has been linked to a variety of mental health issues.

Why Depression Test Is Good News for the Addicted

We may soon be bypassing the trial and error of treatment options and proceeding straight to what works best to eliminate depression.

Ward Family Questions Raise Issues for Us All

The death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. sparked a heated national conversation over who was at fault. Had NASCAR star Tony Stewart done enough to avoid hitting Ward? Had Ward written his own death sentence by exiting the car?

5 Excuses for Staying Addicted - Is One of Them Yours?

Living with an addiction to drugs or alcohol is hard. Coming to terms with the need to seek treatment can be even harder. Are you making excuses to avoid dealing with the elephant in the room?

5 Signs You’re Living Too Small

Do you proactively make the most of your talents and seek out fulfilling experiences and relationships? Or is your focus avoiding pain, confrontation and embarrassment — in other words, making yourself as small a target as possible so the world won’t shoot you down?

When Addiction Becomes the Boss

It’s always disturbing when drugs or alcohol take over a life but especially so when it happens to those we count on to be in control - the doctor, the pilot, the business executive, the judge, the attorney, among others.

5 Ways We Punish Addicts - And Why We Should Stop

Despite growing acceptance for a more compassionate approach, we still have a long way to go in terms of how we treat the actual person in the grip of an addiction

Legal Marijuana: Moving From ‘What If?’ to ‘What Now?’

Whether you love or hate the idea, marijuana legalization is already here. What will legalization look like in 5, 10, 20 years? Where will it lead us? What should we be thinking about and preparing for to minimize the bad and maximize the good?

Tough Truths You Should Know About Addiction, Depression

With each bout of depression, the sufferer may feel hopelessness, anxiety, preoccupation, dread, fear, and/or self-loathing. In Robin Williams’ case, we are again reminded of the strength of this foe. Treatment, therapy and medication for depression can help most and save many. But sometimes, despite mighty efforts, there is no Hollywood ending.

Comic-Con: A Healthy Dose of Non-Reality

Comic-Con, an annual celebration of pop culture, is not only not crazy, it’s good for your mental health. Why? It remains a place where you can get a dose of non-reality and allows us to try on new identities. And Comic-Con gives a green light to the desire to be goofy that we all have but that we are usually too inhibited, busy or guilty to indulge.

Mapping AA: The Neuroscience of Addiction

A central question, particularly for critics, is why, exactly, does 12-Step recovery work?

Bad Mommy: How Prosecuting Pregnant Addicts Misses the Mark

A pregnant addict puts her unborn child at risk, but the trend toward jail sentences will do nothing to solve the problem. Effective long-term treatment, not shame and punishment, is what’s needed.

Giving Nutrition Its Due in Bipolar Disorder Treatment

People struggling with bipolar need long-term support that includes a focus on nutrition to help them build momentum toward a healthier lifestyle.

When Emotional Trauma Is a Family Affair

Trauma has the power to reach out from the past and claim new victims. That makes it even more urgent that those affected by trauma are helped as soon as possible, before the body can sabotage itself and future generations.

What Therapy Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human

Not just dogs and horses are used in animal-assisted therapy. Llamas, cats, birds, dolphins, rabbits, donkeys, even wolves, to name a few, are used to form a connection with those who need help, whether dealing with addictions, depression, schizophrenia, phobias, PTSD, or a host of other issues.

What Is Healthy Distraction?

Mental distraction is a technique that has been used effectively for a number of physical and mental health issues. Though seemingly simple, choosing to distract yourself from a craving or painful emotion is actually far more complex than the automatic response of drug use.

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?

Each person processes alcohol differently due to a wide range of factors—such as gender, weight, food intake, your tolerance, age, mood, and other medications you are taking.

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